Pets are more than creatures that roam around our homes or serve as decorations in a cage. We bond with them. We love them like family. And when they are sick or injured, it can be just as stressful and nearly as expensive as having a family member go through it. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $58.04 billion on their pets in 2014.

Pet insurance can help keep veterinary costs to a minimum and while pet insurance is not expensive, it's not free either. That means you want to find ways to save money and get the best bargain you can. Here are 8 great ways to keep your pet healthy while saving a little kibble on your pet insurance premiums.

Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Spaying or neutering your animal can improve their behavior and lead to added benefits, from reduced cancer risk to fighting stray animal overpopulation. Most importantly, this has been shown to lead to a longer life. Some companies will offer discounts to owners who have their pets spayed or neutered. Your pet may not love you for it, but Bob Barker will.

Ask For Multi-Pet Discounts

The average number of pets per household in the U.S. in 2012 was 1.6. (source: American Veterinary Medical Foundation) That means there are a lot of households out there with more than one of the little guys running around. If you do have multiple pets, insuring them all with one carrier will usually qualify for a discount.

Pay Your Bill Online

Do your billing and payments online. This saves the insurance company money on paper, printing and postage, plus it's better for the environment. For you? Less mail. Boom. Discount.

Mention Your Military Service

If you are a current or former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you may be eligible for many kinds of insurance discounts, from auto insurance to pet insurance.

Change Your Billing Cycle

Monthly payments can break up your bill and make things seem more manageable. However, by paying your pet insurance bill annually instead of monthly, you will usually get a discount. If you don't want to go annually, you may have an option for quarterly payments that would offer a slightly smaller discount.

Have Your Dog Tested

Hip dysplasia is the most common cause of arthritis in dogs and leads to expensive veterinary trips. Fortunately, the PennHIP or OFA tests can help identify the likelihood of hip dysplasia early in a puppy's life. Dogs that are given this test and score a low probability may be eligible for pet insurance discounts.

Bonus: Do You Have A Service Animal?

Is your pet more than just a pet? Service animals are given special consideration (and discounts) from some insurance providers.

Our pets are important and we're not afraid to spend a little money on them, but why spend more than you need to? By checking out available discounts and asking for them, you may be able to get the coverage you want at better prices. You can use the money you save to buy your little buddy a pet treat or two.

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