Consumer Reports: Tips on how to save money caring for pets

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Nina Pineda has tips on how to save money when caring for pets.

Americans have spent almost $30 billion on veterinary services for their pets last year, according to Consumer Reports.

More than a quarter of all pet owners worry they won't be able to afford their pets' medical treatments.

"We want our dogs to be healthy," dog owner Diana Bryant said. "But it cost a lot more to keep them healthy than even us sometimes."

Pet owners spend anywhere from $9,000 to more than $13,000 for medical treatments over the course of an animals' lifetime.

If your pet needs a prescription, costs can continue to rise.

Consumer Reports Health Editor Lauren Friedman said before you buy the medications directly from the vet, consider shopping around.

"You can also buy a lot of your pets' medication from a regular human pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens," she said.

Although there are some veterinary-specific drugs, a number of the medications prescribed to pets are the same as used for people -- and some pharmacies will give you the same discounts on drugs they offer regular human customers.

CR said online pharmacies are another way you could save filling your pup's prescription. But just like when buying your own medications online, it's important to make sure you buy them from a safe site.

"The safe-dot-pharmacy program screens online pharmacies for humans and for pets," Friedman said. "It makes sure that they're storing their medication correctly, dispensing it correctly and dispensing the right kind of medication."

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends you spay or neuter your pet to prevent health problems, like uterine infections, breast tumors and testicular cancer.

And like all medication, always follow the directions on the labels. If you have any questions about the medication, ask your veterinarian.

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pets-animalscvswalgreensveterinarianconsumer reportssave moneysavings
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