10 Simple Money-Saving Tips for Dog Owners
It’s said that dog owners spend from $1,000-$2,000 on average per dog each year, and that’s not even counting the initial cost of the dog, which can be several hundred to several thousand dollars for a purebred. While there’s no arguing that this is money well-spent on man’s best friend, you may be wondering how to cut down on the inevitable expenses of food, gear, toys, treats, veterinary care, and more. Here are 10 ways to cut down on costs.
1 Look for better prices on meds.
if your dog needs medicine, ask for the prescription from your vet and fill it online or, depending on the prescription, at your local pharmacy, for less. If it’s a medicine that’s prescribed for humans, ask if there’s a generic option to save even more.
2 Take advantage of rebates.
There’s heavy competition for flea and tick medicine so oftentimes the manufacturer will run a rebate where you get more money back the more months you buy in advance. While it can hurt spending all the money upfront, it’s worth it when you get a bigger rebate.
3 Time your vet visits.
Like many other small businesses, veterinary offices may run specials throughout the year to get more business in the door. Try to time your dog’s dental cleanings or vaccines to when your vet is running special deals.
4 Be choosy where you shop.
It may be convenient to grab items you need from your veterinarian’s office, but it’s very likely to be more expensive, too. The same is true for pet stores, which charge a premium for the convenience and If you have the time, you’ll save more by buying your food, treats, and toys from other places.
5 Buy in bulk.
Sam’s and Costco sell big bags of kibble at a lower price per pound than pet stores and grocery stores, so look into buying your dog’s food there. They both sell their own store brand as well as name brands. You can also stock up on treats here, too.
6 Check out the dollar store.
Most dollar stores have a good selection of plush and chew toys for dogs at very low prices. You may also find other necessary items, like dog bowls and waste bags for cheap, too. (Dollar stores also sell pet food and treats, but look carefully at the label before buying.)
7 Make your own dog toys.
Do you have a sock, a tennis ball, and a piece of rope? Maybe some old jeans or past-their-prime dishtowels? Then you have the makings of a dog toy. Check out some of these ideas for making your own dog toys, free.
8 Take care of your dog’s nails yourself.
Get a pair of nail clippers for dogs or a Dremel nail grinder and find a video online to learn how to trim your dog’s nails safely and effectively. A simple nail trimming can cost $10-$15 at the vet or groomer’s, so it’s definitely worth learning how to do this yourself.
9 Groom your dog yourself.
In addition to keeping your dog’s nails trim, you can also give your dog a bath and even a trim to cut down on groomer’s bills. Again, find a video online to learn how to do it right. You can trim fur too much, or in the wrong place, so it’s best to know what you’re doing before you start.
10 Clean your dog’s teeth regularly.
You will still need to bring your dog in for a professional cleaning, but by brushing your dog’s teeth daily you lessen the likelihood that you’ll need to pay for expensive extractions and you may even be able to lengthen the time in between cleanings.
Remember that when it comes to saving money, sometimes it makes more sense to spend money on quality that will last rather than look for the cheapest option in the moment. There are some things you shouldn’t skimp on when it comes to your dog, like collars and leashes (cheap collars and leashes can be a safety issue) and high-quality dog beds that will last longer than cheaper versions. My advice is to save money where the result is the same so you can spend the difference on quality where it counts.
Maple's a little older, but with age comes wisdom, and Maple is always ready with great life advice! He's seen a lot in his lifetime, and he's happy to be spending his golden years sharing that experience with others.