Eight Ways to Save Money on Your Pets in a Ruff Economy

09/18/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Animal shelters across the country are reporting being inundated with dogs and cats being given up by families who say they can no longer afford them. Here are some fun, healthy and easy ways to save money on your pets until the fiscal crunch is over! If you have any more questions and comments ask Dear Lucky on !

1. Buy your cat and dog food in bulk instead of buying individual boxes and cans of pet food.
For Instance, Iams Dog ProActive Health Minichunk:

8# = $12.99
40# = $32.99

Buying the 40# is over 50% less expensive! Large bags are found at major pet retailers
such as Petsmart.

2. Unfortunately you might have to get rid of your dog walker until times get better, so walk your dog yourself! Not only will you save money, you will get fit -- how's that for an extra perk. It's worth it for you to both make the time and rearrange your schedule.

3. Sorry to burst your bubble but dogs don't care about fashion, they are fine with last year's leash and collar. Try sparkling up your old collars and leashes yourself with affordable Crystallized Swarovski Elements.

4. Learn to groom at home. Boutique groomers cost up to $100 to groom your
dog, Petsmart offers all variations of grooming products, various shampoos for your dog or cat that make it less than a dollar to groom your dog!

5. Make toys for your pet. Get creative and go back to basics with what people used to use as toys, such as a string from a ball of tinfoil for your cat or kitten to play
with. Trust me, they will love it just as much as any expensive toy!

6. Make sure to keep your yearly vet appointment -- whatever you
do -- don't skip this! This will save you money in the long run!

7. Wash and dry your dogs paws in the mud room before letting him or her roam your house or apartment. This will help you save money on carpet, rug and floor cleaning.

8. Want a dog or cat? Adoption is a great and affordable option. Don't
waste money on buying a pet when so many homeless animals in local shelters in need of rescue and a loving home.