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Barks and Banking: Prep You and Your Pet

woman smiling and hugging a panting golden retriever next to an orange backpack in the bed of a pickup truck

Did you know National Pet Week is recognized each year in May? The purpose of the week is to honor the benefits of having a furry friend and encourage responsible pet care each day of the year. We’d like to keep the celebration going by going over some helpful tips on how to care for you, your pet, and budgeting for summer pet expenses. Let’s dive in!

How Can Having a Pet Increase a Person’s Well-Being?

What would we do without our pets? Through the years, researchers have conducted studies that show that there are many health benefits of owning a pet. Having a pet to love and care for can give you a greater sense of purpose and companionship, which helps combat loneliness or depression. Plus, you get to be a part of the community of pet owners.

On a scientific level, owning a pet can boost your serotonin and dopamine levels, which are responsible for those warm, happy feelings we need to thrive. Regularly walking or playing with a pet can significantly reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, which are all indicators of heart disease. But how can we improve our pets’ well-being?

Costs for Maintaining Your Pet’s General Health

Pets truly make the world a better place. But it’s up to us as pet owners to make their world equally as bright. Keeping up with their routine vet visits, making sure they have enough fresh water and food, and showing them some love are all key to helping our critters thrive.

Pests such as heart worms, fleas, and ticks are a huge risk to our beloved pets. The heat and humidity of the summer months are ideal conditions for survival and higher reproduction rates of these unwanted pests. Regardless of where you live and your and your pet’s lifestyle, these pests can find their way to your pet and affect their health.

If you’re looking for budget-friendly options, some treatments you can buy over-the-counter. There are some medicines that require a prescription from your veterinarian, which usually cost a little more than the grocery store versions, but are more effective. You can talk with your vet to determine which type of treatment would be best for your pet and suitable for your budget. They’d be happy to work with you. While every veterinary clinic is different, you may be able to get a payment plan or a special type of credit card to make financing your pet’s care less stressful.

In addition, there are some amazing companies out there like Chewy, which sells everything from medicated treatments to fun pet toys. Chewy offers a subscription service and discounts to make things easier on your paw-llet. Chewy will handle vet approvals and can deliver medications straight to your door, too! You can also save money in the long run by using their autoship feature and get repeat deliveries of your pet’s favorite treats, shampoo, or whatever they need.

Speaking of pet shampoo, let’s talk about grooming.

Prep Your Budget for Pet Grooming

No matter rain or shine, winter or summer, grooming your pet goes a long way. Not only does a grooming session help your best bud look cute, but it can help them be more comfortable and healthy. Grooming allows you to identify the early stages of possible underlying diseases or health conditions your pet may have, which can ultimately help out your bank account in the long run.

While grooming is fundamental to your furbaby’s wellness, you don’t have to pay premium prices. Sometimes the specialty, high-cost treatments don’t do much more for the health of your pet’s skin and hair than the standard treatments. Definitely shop around and compare the prices of your local groomers to commercial groomers. It’s a good idea to check online reviews to get a feel for the value and quality of the services.

The same goes for other expenses like pet daycares or travel fees when you have to take a trip.

Factor in Pet Care Expenses into Your Travel Budget

We know there are a lot of things you have to factor into your budget when you’re planning to travel. But don’t forget about budgeting for pet expenses! Do you intend to bring your pet along with you on vacation, or will they be staying behind? Are you boarding them or will someone visit them at home? Do your research and review all your options.

If you’ll be taking a cross-country trip with your furry friend, you should prepare or purchase all the proper supplies to ensure that the trip is a good dog-gone time. Many recommend bringing items that your pet is familiar with so they’ll be safe and secure. These can include:

  • Their crate or bedding
  • Seatbelts or tethers ($15-$50)
  • Seat covers ($15-$75)
  • Food, bottled water, and treats
  • Toys and chews
  • Medicines
  • Grooming tools

While some of these items may not seems like a priority, ensuring your pet is safe while traveling will literally pay off in the long run.

If you’re traveling with your pet, you’ll want to budget for pet-friendly hotels. Some may be more costly due to cleaning fees. You can use a site like or to make your search simpler.

If you must leave your furry best friend behind, make sure to compare boarding accommodations and costs. Every daycare or boarding kennel is different. Some offer discounts the more your pet stays, while others offer higher rates for more frequent potty breaks, playtimes, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask about special offers, too! You may be able to find a special discount on Groupon or directly from a kennel’s website.

Another alternative that may be more cost-effective is professional pet sitting. Professional pet sitters come to your home to care for your pet while you’re away. They can refill your pet’s food and water bowls, play and walk with them, clean up any messes, and administer any necessary medications such as insulin. Often times, folks prefer their pets to stay at home where the smells are familiar, making their stay-cation not as stressful as being in a kennel. While professional pet sitting might be as expensive as boarding, having someone to check in on your pet and give them some TLC can provide everyone with peace of mind.

Your friends here at Highlands Community Bank want the best for you and you pet! If you want more financial tips, stay tuned for our upcoming blogs. Or if you have any questions regarding budgeting, contact us. We’d be happy to help with anything.

P.S. we’re sending a virtual hug to your pet!

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