We all know the dogs in our lives are priceless. They bring an immeasurable amount of joy and love and are the most valuable things in our lives in a million intangible ways.
But, phew! Do they cost a lot!
From expensive food and beds to veterinary bills and grooming costs, dog ownership can run a hefty price tag year after year.
Here are some practical tips to reduce your dog-gone expenses.
BUY SUPPLIES AT DISCOUNT STORES
The cost of everything your dog needs and loves can add up when you shop at boutiques or even name-brand pet stores. But, discount department store chains like TJMaxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods all carry pet items. Leashes, crates, dog beds, toys… brand-new products sold for up to 60 percent off other retailers’ prices. These discounts are possible because the items found in these stores are overstock, or sometimes a previous years’ model. Supplies vary, so it might take some additional time to find the things your dog needs, but the savings can be significant! And Fido won’t mind if his collar is last year’s colors or patterns!
BUY HIGH-QUALITY GENERIC DOG FOOD
Feeding your dog high-quality dog food is essential to maintaining his health and well-being. Finding a veterinarian-recommended food free of artificial ingredients and fillers will help extend your dog’s life. But these foods can be costly.
The good news is that many companies that sell expensive foods sell the same food in a generic form. It’s just as healthy but less pricey! Diamond Pet Foods makes a line of high-quality dog food that they sell under the Kirkland Signature label at Costco. The premium dog food maker Merrick makes the less expensive Whole Earth Farms. Ask your vet if one of these less costly alternatives is suitable for your dog
INVEST IN YOUR PETS HEALTH
Sometimes you have to spend a little money to set yourself up for future savings. This adage is true for things like pet insurance when your pup is small and investing in monthly preventative care. Sure, spending money on heartworm prevention and flea and tick medication can feel expensive. But the cost of preventing a big and scary health issue is considerably less costly than paying for an emergency vet, hospitalization, or pricey treatment plans should your pet get sick with something avoidable. Be sure to ask your vet if they offer a discount plan to save on veterinary costs. PetAssure, for example, gives members a 25% discount on their vet bills for a monthly payment of $7.95 each month. Likewise, shot around for the best prices on medicine. There are often generic versions of your pet’s pills that come with a much lower price tag, like human medication. Just ask your veterinarian!
“From expensive food and beds to veterinary bills and grooming costs, dog ownership can run a hefty price tag year after year.“
LEARN HOW TO GROOM AND DO YOUR OWN MAINTENANCE
Learning how to cut your dog’s nails can save thousands throughout a dog’s life, as can learning how to clean your dog’s ears or brush his teeth effectively. Ask your vet to teach you best practices rather than outsourcing these tasks to an expensive professional. Investing in the tools and solutions can make these tasks something you can accomplish at home, saving your money and time. Likewise, learn how to groom your dog yourself! Investing in a high-quality grooming tool can help you save money when you consider that the average cost of having your dog professionally groomed can be $75! Learning how to do it yourself (via YouTube tutorials available online) can equate to massive savings — and a less stressful experience for your dog. If you get them accustomed to you performing their maintenance with positive reinforcement, they will be happy to be home with you for these events.
SET UP A SAVINGS ACCOUNT
Finally, an ounce of planning prevents a pound of pain. Setting aside money each month in a savings account reserved specifically for your pet bills will help offset any unforeseen (expensive) medical emergency. Knowing you have the resources to pay for your pet’s needs will be a relief for you — and even allow you to splurge on a fun toy for him every now and then!
Photo by Danika Zachrisson on Unsplash
If you enjoyed this post, you should read Pet Food 101: What to Feed Your Pup here.
How do YOU save money on your pet’s expenses?