Being a good, responsible pet owner requires quite a bit of time and energy, not to mention money. Did you know Americans spend on average roughly $2,000 a year on our pets? The good news is there are some things you can do to keep your costs down. Whether you’re a dog-lover, cat person or other, here are some budget-friendly ways to care for your furry friend.

1. Low-Cost Preventative Care

When it comes to the health of your pet, you can’t afford to skimp on preventative care. Making sure their shots are up-to-date, getting flea and tick treatments and taking steps to prevent heartworms can help you to head off potentially expensive health problems down the road. If you’re trying to keep your pet’s basic health care costs down, it’s worth it to consider cheaper alternatives to traditional veterinary care.

2. Take Control of Food Costs

When you cruise down the pet food aisle at your local grocery store, it can be difficult to avoid the temptation to buy that pricey premium kibble. While there are certain situations where it may be necessary to pay more for your pet’s food, such as an allergy to certain ingredients, chances are Fido will be just as happy with a less expensive choice. Just make sure to check out the nutritional content before you buy.