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Save on Summer Pet Costs

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Save on Summer Pet Costs
They may be man's best friend, but they can also be man's biggest expense! Here's how to save.

By Kendal Perez for GalTime.com

The dog days of summer are upon us, and that means lots of outdoor time for your pets. Though lounging in a shady spot is favored by your cat, your dog is likely eager for daily walks and playtime at the park.

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Despite the carefree nature of the season, there are some surprising expenses associated with pet ownership during summer months. Read on for tips to keep your pets healthy without sabotaging your vacation fund.

1. Annual Exams

Annual exams are common in the summertime because of treatments required for such seasonal ailments as fleas, ticks and heartworm. In addition to shots and blood work, office visit fees can tack on an extra $30 to your bill. Some veterinary practices offer free clinic days to help pet owners reduce the cost of office visits, so check your local Humane Society branch for lists of participating clinics.

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2. Medications

Pet owners are required to get their cats and dogs tested for heartworm -- a disease caused by a parasitic worm and contracted through mosquitos -- before receiving a prescription for preventive medication. That’s because the meds can actually harm or even kill animals if they already have the disease, according to the American Heartworm Society. Once your animal is tested, you can save money with generic medications and they are sufficient in most cases. Check with your vet!

3. Treatments

Both dogs and cats are susceptible to fleas and ticks, and treatment types abound at big-box stores and specialty pet shops. Much like generic meds, you can often find treatments for less by shopping online. Head over to CouponSherpa.com to get 10-percent off topical treatments for fleas and ticks from 1-800-PetMeds.

4. Kenneling

Summer vacation plans may require you to leave your pet behind for a time. Expect to shell out $20 for “no frills” kennels, and close to $50 per day for the full treatment. Depending on the personality of your dog, kenneling might cause anxiety and stress, leading to diminished energy and appetite. Consider alternatives to kenneling before you make a reservation, including pet sitting from a neighbor or trusted friend. If you do intend to kennel, make sure your dog gets a vaccination for kennel cough.

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5. Grooming

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