Owning a dog is such a gift in life, but let’s face it: sometimes it can be expensive! Or maybe you want to get a dog but are unsure if you’re able to take on the financial responsibility. There are ways that you can save money taking care of your best friend without cutting corners, you just have to know where to find them!
1. Don’t shop, adopt!
If you’re considering getting a dog but don’t want to spend a ton of money, look into adopting a pup from your local shelter. Purebred dogs can cost upwards of $1,000! And if you don’t buy from a reputable breeder, you can end up with a dog that has a laundry list of health concerns (hello, enormous vet bills). There are thousands of dogs in shelters that are looking for a loving family. Not only is adoption good for your wallet, it’s good for your soul, too.
2. Food and Exercise
Many pet owners think that the easiest way to cut down on pet costs is buy the cheapest food they can. While this may seem like a good idea, in the long run it can end up being even more expensive. Proper nutrition is important for your dog, and cheap foods often contain fillers that are terrible for them and have little nutritional value and could eventually lead to health issues down the line. Instead, go online and look for coupons for the brand of food your dog needs. Also make sure to consult your vet on proper portion size for your dog. If you’re consulting the back of the bag, chances are you’re over-feeding them. if you start to measure out the proper portion size you’ll notice that your dog’s food lasts a lot longer than usual.
Exercise is also of major importance when owning a dog. Giving your dog the proper amount of exercise keeps your dog healthy and happy, cutting back on costly vet trips and medications. It can also help with some expensive behavioral issues such as chewing.
3. Groom at Home
Regular trips to the groomer can add up. Alleviate some of that financial strain by taking on the task yourself. Baths, teeth brushing, hair-cuts and nail trimming can all be done at home. If your dog is finicky and doesn’t allow you to trim their nails or brush their teeth, it may be wise to contact a groomer for those tasks but look online for coupons for your groomer of choice.
4. Do It Yourself!
Dog toys from pet stores can be outrageously priced. If you own a dog, you’ve definitely witnessed that $20 plushie from the store be destroyed in a matter of minutes, and stuffing strewn across the house. Instead, use an old pair of jeans to make a chew toy, or go to the hardware store and by some sturdy non-toxic rope. These options can save you a lot of money and will definitely last longer.
Dog treats can also be crazy expensive, and a lot of them are packed with calories and fattening ingredients that are no good for your dog. Try making some treats at home! Many treat recipes use bulk ingredients, like whole wheat flour and peanut butter, which can be stored and used to make several batches of treats. Not only are they cheaper in the long run, but they’re healthier for your pet and you know exactly what’s going in them.
5. Health Is Wealth
The ultimate long-term way to save money on pet expenses is to keep your dog healthy. Stay current on their shots and pills – it’s better to take preventative measures and pay the fee now, rather than paying exorbitant costs later for treatment of diseases like Lyme and heart worm. You can also look into buying meds online. Not all of the meds will be cheaper, but flea and tick medications can usually be found at a discount and will save you a good chunk of change.
Also, don’t forget to vet-shop. Choosing the closest vet isn’t always the cheapest. Read reviews online, make a list of potential vets and call to compare pricing for the ones that sound like they would be the best fit for you and your dog.