Dog ownership can be an incredibly rewarding endeavor. There is nothing better than coming home to a wagging tail and an excited dog. One feeling that isn’t so great about dog ownership is the feeling of dread every time you have to pull out your wallet.
Dogs, while wonderful to have around, can be incredibly expensive. Between the food, toys, and grooming, your dog can cost upwards of a thousand dollars per year. You shouldn’t have to go broke to enjoy the experience of having a dog, so here are some great tips to cut down on the expenses of dog ownership:
Make Your Own Toys: Toys can be incredibly expensive. Even a cheap toy at a regular pet store can cost $15 or more. And some pups tend to tear through toys at a lightning fast speed. Save the money and make your own toys.
Old socks and shirts make great toy parts. Take an empty water bottle and put it inside an old sock for the pup that loves to chew. You’d be surprised with the amount of money you can save with just making your own dog toys.
And, the best part is that your pup will never know you didn’t shell out the big bucks for his new favorite toy. Need some ideas? Watch this video on making homemade dog toys by Mitchell Crisp:
Save on Training: Training your dog doesn’t have to be expensive. Renowned trainer Doggy Dan has a ton of great videos (250+) with helpful tricks and tips for any dog or demeanor. He covers everything you’ll need to know from puppy to adult in easy to understand instructional videos.
Why spend hundreds per month on a local trainer (where you’ll likely have 10 or more other dogs in your class) when you can learn at you and your pup’s own pace in the comfort of your home? Best of all, you can start watching for free by clicking here.
Groom at Home: Grooming, depending on the breed, can cost at least a few hundred dollars a year. Save that paper and bond with your dog by doing the grooming at home. Small and medium dogs can usually fit right in the bathtub while older dogs can be sprayed down outside.
Even if you still go to the groomer, you can do a lot of the maintenance yourself and keep those groomer bills at a minimum. Many people panic about cutting their dogs nails and that’s okay – get a nail grinder to take care of that job at home. It’s less invasive than regular trimming.
If your pup’s having a problem with matted hair, check out our article on removing mats from fur that will tell you all you need to know!
Preventative Care: By keeping your dog in tip-top health, you can cut down on costly vet bills. Those walks aren’t just good for you and your pup, but also your pocket book. Obesity in dogs can cause many costly health and quality of life issues, so keep your dog active.
Brushing their teeth also helps out a ton. Teeth cleaning can cost $200 or more and that is before any tooth extractions. Keep their teeth as clean as yours to prevent any costly vet visits in the future.
Buy In Bulk: Dog food can be incredibly expensive – especially when you just buy the smallest bags. When you buy in bulk, the overall cost is usually much cheaper and your sweet pup will rarely run out of food. This does require a higher up-front price, but the savings can be tremendous.
Additionally, keep your eyes peeled for coupons. Many websites, including coupons.com, offer discounts for dog foods. It’s not a good idea to switch dog foods just for the price, but by googling your regular brand, you might be able to find some discounts.
Use Subscribe & Save: If you don’t want to deal with storing a massively large bag of dog food, there’s still a very easy way to save money on food for your dog. Amazon sells basically every brand of dog food you could imagine, but you probably already knew that.
What you may not have heard of, however, is their Subscribe & Save feature. By signing up to have your dog’s brand of choice sent to you at a regular interval you specify (e.g. once a month), you’ll receive a discount of usually 5 to 15% off of every order.
And no worries about having bags of dog food piling up because you set the interval to send them too often. All you need to do is login to your Amazon account before it ships and choose a later date, and you’ll still receive the discount.
Adopt: Instead of paying thousands of dollars for a dog, visit your local shelter or find a rescue group online and adopt. Adoption and rescue can be a great way to find your family’s next furry friend without being obscenely expensive.
Many shelters even offer discounts during certain parts of the year, so be sure to check out their websites before stopping by to get your future furry buddy. Not only is adoption cheaper, but it definitely feels better to know you’ve helped save a dog.
Forget Boarding: Boarding your dog during a family vacation can be super expensive. And, bringing your dog on vacation can also cost quite a bit. One way to skip all the expenses is to find a trusted family friend that is familiar to your dog.
Make a pact that they’ll take your dog when you go on vacation, and you’ll take theirs when they go. That way, you both save money and your dogs get to have sleepovers with their K9 friends!
Pet Insurance: Pet insurance can seem like an unnecessary expense, but if you’ve ever had to make an emergency trip to the vet because your dog got into something she shouldn’t have, you would know how beneficial pet insurance can be.
For a small fee a month, your dog is protected for all the big stuff. And, just like your own health insurance, vet visits are covered through co-pays. There are a lot of companies that provide pet insurance, so be sure to do your research before making that decision.
Being a dog owner can be an incredibly rewarding experience and it doesn’t have to break the bank. These helpful dog tips can help you be a great doggy parent while still being able to afford everything else.
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