Owning a dog is such a wonderful experience but, unfortunately, it comes at a cost. Although you don’t need to be rich to be a dog owner, things like food, grooming, or vet bills add up. With so many different things contributing to the costs of owning a dog, there’s plenty of room to implement money-saving tips. In this post, you’ll learn some of the easiest money-saving tips dog owners can apply without sacrificing their dog’s well-being. Some of them can require you to spend a bit more of your time, but these tips can help you save at least a few hundred bucks annually.
Create your own dog toys or swap them with other dog owners
Store-bought dog toys can be expensive and might not last long. To avoid spending a lot of money on toys that get destroyed in a matter of seconds, many dog owners choose to create their own using things they might have laid around the house such as tea towels or empty plastic bottles. You can find DIY versions of almost any dog toy online. But whatever you choose to build, make sure it’s safe for your dog to avoid any injuries.
A good rule of thumb is to only craft toys that your dog can play with rather than chew to pieces. When it comes to chewing toys, it’s safer to stick with store-bought ones. Other than that, you can create any toy your dog can fetch, play tug of war with or you can use to hide treats. If you’re not that into crafts and prefer using commercial toys, consider swapping them with other dog owners. That way you can both save money and have different toys for your furry friends.
Regularly brush your dog’s teeth
Dental care for dogs is expensive with the average price for a dental cleaning ranging between $450 and $1,000. Still, many dog owners overlook this problem as almost 85% of dogs over the age of four have periodontal disease or gum problems. A simple dental cleaning routine is enough to avoid spending this amount of money on vet bills. Cleaning your dog’s teeth regularly will avoid plaque from forming and thickening to become tartar and helps keep your dog’s mouth clean and healthy. It’s better to spend a few bucks on a toothbrush and toothpaste for your dog than a hundred (or even a thousand) bucks on a dental cleaning at the vet. Even if your dog is not used to having its teeth brushed, there’s nothing that a little training and time won’t help.
Trim your dog’s nails at home
The main reason behind trimming your dog’s nails is not aesthetic. Besides avoiding scratches on you, your family, and your furniture and floors, caring for a dog’s nails is important for its health. That’s because dogs with extremely overgrown nails can have trouble walking and develop joint problems over time. This means it’s important to regularly check your dog’s paws and trim its nails whenever needed. Although this is something you can see the groomer for, it will save you a few bucks if you do it yourself.
Although it’s not the easiest of tasks, every dog owner can learn how to do it and, whenever a dog really doesn’t like the regular nail clippers, there’s always the option of using a rotary tool to grind the nails. This can make the nail-trimming process a lot easier and safer.
Learn how to groom your dog at home
Although some dogs require more grooming than others, every dog owner can benefit from this money-saving tip which is to learn how to groom their dog at home. This can range from something as simple as brushing their dog’s coat regularly to a full grooming routine. Dogs with short hair can easily get away with home grooming as they have very low-maintenance coats that owners can easily take care of themselves.
As for long-haired dogs, they might require some professional grooming every now and then but if owners can care for their coats at home, the need for professionals can be significantly reduced. Regularly brushing a dog’s coat can help keep their coat and skin healthy by preventing any matting while keeping an eye out for any nasty parasites such as fleas or ticks. Doing this is a great preventative measure and will save you money down the line.
Watch your dog’s diet and exercise levels to keep a healthy weight
Obesity is an increasingly frequent problem in dogs and can lead to several other health issues such as heart problems, diabetes, liver disease, and high blood pressure. Besides, walking around with extra weight can severely damage a dog’s joints making it more likely to develop back and hip problems and arthritis. All these can drive your vet bills through the roof.
Caring for your dog’s health will help avoid these medical expenses and one way to do it is by keeping your dog’s weight at a healthy level. Dog owners can do this by monitoring their diets and ensuring they have enough exercise. Walking your dog and giving it plenty of exercise throughout the day is not only good to prevent obesity but can also prevent behavioral problems that can result in destructive behaviors (e.g. chewing your furniture).
It’s important that you provide the appropriate amount of food per day according to your dog’s target healthy weight. By doing this, you also prevent spending more money on food than you need to as food is one of the main expenses for dog owners.
Making sense of it all
Every dog owner wants the best for their dogs, but some don’t have a huge budget to work with and that’s ok. Caring for your dog and giving it everything it needs doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money. There are a lot of money-saving tips dog owners can use while still being able to keep their pups healthy and happy.