During tough economic times, who doesn't want to save money and spend less? With these tips, pet parents can save big.

Health Insurance
Pet health insurance is becoming a wise investment for millions, particularly when an unexpected illness or emergency occurs. Peace of mind is priceless, so having insurance in place and/or a pet emergency fund proves valuable when most needed. Ask about limitations and any pre-existing exclusions first.

Dog-friendly Picnic
Social media unites, but real-life connections are fun and necessary to strengthen relationships with our dogs. An afternoon at the park with a Frisbee, sandwiches and your dog's favorite treats is like Disneyland to a dog. Put the electronic devices in hibernate mode, skip the restaurant and spend an afternoon away with your pet.

Dog Diet
Check online or with your favorite pet supply store to see if your dog's brand of food has an associated coupon or frequent buyer plan available. Never switch diets abruptly for temporary cost savings. Diets that are suddenly changed and/or are inferior in quality can ultimately lead to digestive issues or worse in the long run.

Snack Savings
Pet supply superstores and your neighborhood favorite shops often have sales, coupons and deals on your dog's favorite snacks. Ask about their next sale, event or cost savings on treats. Many pet supply stores allow dogs inside.

Prescription Price Chopping
Joining a warehouse club may have more rewards than bulk savings. Some clubs and pharmacies are filling pet prescriptions, many of which are generic and discounted.

Dog Vacation
Celebrate and start a piggy bank for a special dog-friendly trip. Grandma was right: A dollar saved is a dollar earned, especially when the year is up and the vacation goal is met.

Carol Bryant is the Social Media and PR Director for Fido Friendly magazine. A frequent media contributor, Carol is a two-time nominee from the Dog Writers Association of America, and she maintains her own dog blog, Fidose of Reality. Her articles have previously appeared in The Dog Daily.

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