Dogs are great companions, but they also tend to be quite expensive. Food, vet bills, toys, grooming, and training are all expenses that can add up to a pretty hefty bill. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you be a thrifty dog owner and save money, while not compromising your dog’s quality of life.
Here are four ideas to save money as a dog owner.
Adopt don’t shop
Adopting a dog from a shelter is both a compassionate and thrifty dog owner thing to do.
Going to a breeder or pet store will cost hundreds or even thousands, depending on the dog.
Dropping into your local animal shelter and picking up a dog is much cheaper, though you won’t have as much choice. Some other benefits of adopting are that your new friend comes up to date on their shots, neutered and healthy.
When you buy from a breeder, there is no guarantee your dog will be healthy, and a lot of purebreds are susceptible to conditions because of their genetic bloodline.
Make your toys
Making homemade dog toys can be fun and an excellent way to save some cash.
Your dog loves to play with you. So it doesn’t matter if you spend $20 on a toy or play tug of war with an old t-shirt.
Even something as simple as tossing your dog an empty peanut butter jar can work. Just make sure you keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t eat any plastic.
Another thing you can do is pass down an old pillow or stuffed animal to your dog. Dogs won’t mind that it’s a hand-me-down and they’ll love that it smells like you.
Buy food on the cheap
If you shop smart, you can buy your dog’s food for less without compromising the quality and their health.
Remember that a high price does not mean high quality.
Don’t get fooled by words like “premium.” What matters is what’s actually on the ingredients list.
Look for dog food that includes healthy ingredients and a minimal amount of filler.
Always buy in bulk, and you will save money over time. Just be sure to pay attention to expiration dates.
Your dog will need food for years to come, so there’s no sense in buying in smaller amounts and paying extra.
Look for retailers who will cut you a deal for repeat business, such as rewards programs that will give you a free bag for every ten that you buy or sign up for auto-ship programs that provide discounts.
Do it yourself
Toys aren’t the only thing you can save money on by doing it yourself.
One big expense you can eliminate is dog grooming. You can save by doing it yourself at home.
Just buy some shampoo and a pet comb and brush. Then prepare yourself to wrestle with your dog a little bit.
Get in the habit of giving your dog a good brushing every day and say goodbye to the groomer.
Buy a nail trimmer and do that yourself as well. Having a groomer trim your dog’s nails can cost up to $40, but there’s no reason you can’t do it yourself. Just be sure to get a trimmer that restricts how much you can take off at a time so that you can’t hurt your dog.
Once you get good at it, trimming your dog’s nails shouldn’t take you any more than 10 minutes.
To keep your dog occupied, consider assembling some DIY food puzzles. The puzzles keep your dog interested and occupied while giving him a snack and encouraging him to eat more slowly.
One easy option is to put some treats in an old muffin tray and then fill the holes with different toys to hide the treats. You can also save money by making dog treats and jerky.
There’s nothing better than owning a dog, except having a dog and saving money at the same time. Doing things on your own rather than paying someone to do them is a big part of being a thrifty dog owner.
You’ll spend a bit of extra time grooming your dog or clipping their nails. But you’ll also save a lot of money, while still getting to spend some quality time with your pet.
Chloe Bennet is a book editor at Do My Assignment Online and PhD Thesis Writing Service websites. She helps with manuscript editing and proofreading, also helps with preparing it to publication. Also, Chloe tutors at Academized service.