My Dog Ate My Wallet

Owning a pet, whether it's a dog, a cat, a hamster or a bird, can be pricey. In this sluggish economy, everyone is on the lookout for ways to shed unnecessary expenses, and spoiling our pets may not make the budget. However, the quality of products you purchase for your pet doesn't have to decline with the cost. Here are some simple ways that pet-parents can save a little extra dough on supplies, vaccinations, pet travel, etc. without sacrificing quality and safety.

Take Advantage Of Subsidized Animal Services
A local vet can charge up to $300 for spay/neuter services! Rather than pay full price, checkout ASPCA's low-cost spay/neuter online search tool for inexpensive animal services and vaccinations. PETCO also hosts low-cost vaccination clinics for dogs and cats throughout the month. Contact your local PETCO store for clinic dates and times.

Buy Discounted Pet Food and Medication
Sites for niche retailers such as Pets Warehouse, PetFoodDirect and large retailers like Costco, PETCO and PetSmart offer helpful discounts on pet food and oftentimes offer special bulk pricing for premium brands. Other online websites like offer free samples to members willing to provide feedback in the form of short surveys or written reviews.

If your pet needs prescription medication, skip the premium prices at the vet and take the script to one of the 60,000 pharmacies that honor your free AAA Prescription Savings card for a discounted price. Your AAA membership is also the key to online discounts with our pet-friendly retailers at Shop in the AAA Dollars online mall and earn up to 12 percent in AAA Dollars for online purchases at 1-800-PetMeds, PetSmart, PETCO and Walmart!

Comfortable Traveling
Traveling with your pet can be a delightful bonding experience. If you're considering air travel, choose a direct flight departing/arriving at an off-peak time. The fewer passengers and delays will streamline your trip and cause less stress for you and your pet. Turbulence and motion sickness may occur throughout the course of the flight, so don't feed your pet four to six hours prior to liftoff. If possible, give your companion small amounts of water before takeoff and secure a travel bowl to the inside of the carrier with a few ice cubes in it.

Looking for a pet-friendly hotel? Our hotel search engine will help you locate a AAA Diamond-Rated hotel fit for you and your pooch. And don't forget to pick up a copy of Traveling With Your Pet at your local AAA office for pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, attractions and more.

Safety First
Even though your pets can swim, it's easy to take their water safety for granted. Before you and your critter hit the H2O, make sure your best bud is equipped with the appropriate pet-safety gear. Items like a flotation vest provide buoyancy and high visibility (and not to mention style!) while on the water.

For more great tips and savings, visit AAA's PetSpot.

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