SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — MJ Cash and her dog Kaya come to the self wash at Petco fairly often.
It's a way they save money on bathing and grooming. All the supplies are provided free and customers don't have to clean up the mess.
Petco store leader Cristy Buttrey says she's always being asked by pet parents how they can save money.
"People are definitely struggling, its expensive and they went and got animals during the pandemic and didn't do the research on what the animals need," said Buttrey.
According to the ASPCA, the annual average cost of owning a dog or cat is nearly $1,000.
And many pet insurance plans average a few hundred dollars a year.
At Petco and other locations around San Diego county there are vaccination clinics that offer services without extra fees.
And although regular vet care is necessary for all pets, Buttrey says you can avoid a lot of issues simply by feeding your pets healthy food.
"For sensitive stomachs, digestion, overweight, you want to make sure you start with the nutrition of your pet cause that's gonna be the number one thing that keeps them from getting sick in the future," said Buttrey.
Another important thing that Buttrey says many people forget about is dental care. "You definitely want to make sure your animals get dental care from day one, its one of the biggest issues for dogs and cats."
Buttrey also says if you take better care of your pets now, chances are you'll end up saving money in the long run and they'll live healthier happier lives.
The link below has resources for low cost or in some cases, no cost pet care.