Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 1, 2023 by Crystal Uys


Costs for pet health care, food and other supplies continue to increase just as human health care and food costs are rising. Since pets are part of the family, pet care expenses are often the last item that gets cut from the family budget. Pampered Pets On A Budget: Caring For Your Pet Without Losing Your Tail helps pet owners cut pet costs without compromising care.

I was curious about this book. Advising people to save on pet care expenses can backfire. Recommendations on how to save on veterinary costs published in a 2003 Consumer Reports article essentially stated that you should price shop for veterinary care. While price is certainly one consideration, it shouldn’t be the only one, and it should most definitely not be the most important one when choosing your pet’s family doctor.

Thankfully, the authors of this book do not make this mistake. In the chapter titled “The Value of Your Veterinarian,” Barnes and Levine stress the importance of regular veterinary care, adding that “the relationship you have with your veterinarian may be more important than the one with your regular physician.” Annual wellness visits will actually save you money in the long run, since problems that are detected early tend to be less expensive to address than diseases diagnosed in the latter stages.

The book offers money saving tips on everything from pet adoption to choosing groomers and boarding facilities. The section on pet health insurance contains excellent information to help you decide whether pet insurance is right for you, and how to choose the right plan for your pets. Throughout the book, the authors stress that educated consumers save money. Understand what products and services you are buying, and how decisions based on cost may impact the quality of those products or services.

The one section of the book I had issues with is the section on food. While I agree with the authors’ statment that nutrition is one of the most critical decisions a pet owner can make when it comes to their pet’s health, I don’t necessarily agree with their advice that the pet’s veterinarian is the best source of information when it comes to nutrition. I respect veterinarians’ experience and education in almost all areas of animal health, but unless vets take the time for additional study in an unbiased forum, they may not be the best source of advice on pet nutrition. At veterinary schools, they receive very little education in nutrition, and what little they do receive is mostly sponsored by the larger pet-food companies.

In these tough economic times, a book like this can be a lifesaver. Pampered Pets on a Budget is a valuable resource for pet owners looking for ways to save money without compromising their pets’ health.

For more information about the book, its authors, and where to purchase, please visit Pampered Pets On A Budget.

This book was sent to me by the publisher. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. Readers Choice awards

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7 Comments on Book Review: Pampered Pets On A Budget by Jeffrey L. Barnes and Kristen M. Levine

  1. Ingrid,
    Thank you from the bottom of our paws for the flattering review our our book. You are correct in your assertion that veterinarians are not always the best nutrition experts. They receive little education on nutrition in vet school. However, they are a good resource to begin with, along with some due diligence on the part of the pet parent to further research the best diet for each pet.

    Keep up the great work!
    Kristen Levine

  2. This sounds like an interesting book. Many of us are trying to take the best possible care of our beloved cats without breaking the bank. I like my vet a great deal but I do not take her advice on feeding. She still promotes Science Diet prescription dry food. I’ve often thought that I should try to find a vet in NYC who is on board with new ideas of nutrition. I’ve learned so much from your posts Ingrid and feel that my cats are better for the food changes I’ve made. They are certainly more active and playful which is always a good sign. cat art cards, prints and collectibles

    • There must be some holistically oriented feline vets in New York, Debbie. I’m so glad that your cats are doing so well after you changed their food.

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