6 ways to make dog ownership more affordable

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She’s brought so much to our lives. We laugh more, hang out together more and spend more time outside. But we’ve also had a rather rude awakening on how expensive it can be to own a dog. We were recently hit with a $220 vet bill when Rosie picked up a simple ear infection. The experience left me with wondering: why is it so expensive to have a dog? And what, if anything, can dog owners do to keep costs down? 1. Shop around — especially for medicine After doing some digging, I discovered I could’ve bought Rosie’s prescription ear drops online — for half the price I paid at the vet. But it can take time. I would have needed the vet to write a prescription, mail that off to the pharmacy, and wait for the medication to be sent back in the post. Laura, who recently bought some prescription medication for her dog’s kidney condition, said she had no problem getting her vet to write a script. “[Vets] are more than happy to make your cost cheaper if it’s possible, especially if you’re a long-term client,” she says. So why the huge difference in price? I spoke to several vets and they say the typical mark-up for prescription veterinary medicines is about 100 per cent. In other words, if you are buying a medication for $40, the vet may have paid as little $20 for it. On top of that, you might also be charged a dispensing fee of about $20 as well as a consultation fee of $60 to $70. Howard Humphreys, who owns an online pet medicine business that works with a pharmacist in Queensland, says online pharmacies are cheaper because they buy drugs in bulk and charge a lower mark-up. But before you buy pet medicine online, make sure all drugs are dispensed by a registered pharmacist. You can look up their details on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency’s website. https://www.abc.net.au/life/ways-to-cut-costs-of-having-dog/9679816

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