There’s no doubt that owning a dog can be an immensely rewarding experience. It’s an experience that’s filled with love, companionship, and joy. Only those who have ever owned a dog can attest to this emotion.
However, it’s no secret that caring for a dog can get very expensive at times. At first, the costs may seem manageable, but after months and years, you’ll see that these costs add up.
According to a Forbes report, dog owners in the US spend around $730 every year on their dogs. Diving into the report, it’s seen that 41 percent of US dog owners spend between $500 and $2,000 a year on their dogs. Another 8 percent of dog parents spend more than $2,000.
Hence, from food and veterinary bills to grooming and accessories, it’s evident that being a responsible dog parent requires a proper financial commitment. Fortunately, there are several ways you can save money on your dog while still providing the best possible care for your canine companion.
In this article, we’ll explore some valuable strategies on how dog owners like you can keep both your pup and your wallet happy.
Shop Smart for Dog Food
One of the most significant ongoing expenses for dog parents is the cost of food. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent over $58.1 billion on pet food and treats in 2022. A good portion of this money was spent particularly on dog food, given how many Americans own dogs. Of course, there are several ways to save money on food without compromising your dog’s nutritional needs.
One strategy you can try is buying dog food in bulk. Larger quantities usually come with discounted prices. Always keep an eye out for sales, promotions, as well as various loyalty programs offered by your local pet store. Different online stores also offer these discounts, especially during the holiday season.
Also, be sure to compare prices across different brands and explore both generic and store-brand options. However, make sure you’re not compromising on the nutritional standards at any cost. Healthy dogs will always need good quality food, so you can’t make any compromises on that.
You must also be aware of any food allergies your dog might have before buying from a brand for the first time. Remember, you might be trying to spend less on your dog, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook any health concerns they may have.
Consider At-Home Grooming
If you want to maintain your dog’s health and appearance, regular grooming is a must. However, professional dog grooming services can be pricey.
According to Vents Magazine, full grooming services can cost between $50 and $70 for small dogs. For medium-sized dogs, similar services can cost from $60 to $90. For large dog breeds, grooming services will cost you between $70 and $120.
Grooming sounds costly, right? If so, why not just learn to groom your dog at home?
Start by investing in quality grooming tools. These include everything from clippers and brushes to nail trimmers and shampoos. Then, follow online tutorials or seek advice from your veterinarian on the best techniques. As you do the grooming yourself, you not only save money but also build a stronger bond with your furry friend.
Seek Preventive Veterinary Care
While regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for your dog’s well-being, preventive care can help you save money in the long run. Keep up with vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, and dental care to prevent costly health issues from arising.
You’ll find that many veterinarians offer various wellness packages or discounted rates for preventive services. These are things you should inquire about during your visits to the vet. At the same time, you must be proactive about your dog’s health by maintaining a healthy diet and providing regular exercise.
Subscribe to Monthly Subscription Boxes
From dog medication to toys and treats, monthly subscription boxes can have them all. You don’t even have to visit your pet store frequently once you subscribe to such a service. Also, you might not know this but getting a pet supply subscription is a great way to save money on your pooch.
According to PetCareRx, subscription boxes can help you save over $250 a year on each pet. Each monthly subscription box can help you save up to 35 percent on costs. That’s because subscribers can avail of the products at wholesale prices, which is why they can make these savings.
Make Your Own Dog Toys
Entertaining your dog doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to break the bank with the purchase of expensive dog toys. You’ll be amazed to know that most dogs are just as happy with simple, homemade toys.
You can easily get creative by repurposing items lying around the house, like old socks, cardboard boxes, or plastic bottles into DIY toys. This is an excellent way to save money and it also stimulates your dog’s mind and keeps them engaged.
While trying to make durable toys, make sure they don’t have any sharp edges or features that might hurt your dog. Also, avoid making the toys too small so that your dog doesn’t swallow them by mistake.
Set Aside an Emergency Dog Fund
Unexpected veterinary expenses can catch you off guard at any time. These cases can lead to severe financial strain.
To mitigate this risk, set up an emergency fund for your pooch. Regularly contribute to this fund, maybe once a week or month, even if it’s a small amount. This will help ensure that you have sufficient financial backup available in case of unexpected medical expenses.
In conclusion, having a dog around the house is always a fulfilling experience. However, you must remember that it’s also a big responsibility, one that comes with financial commitments. By implementing these simple yet practical tips, you can provide the best care for your canine companion while also saving money.
At the end of the day, you can’t cheap out when it comes to caring for your dog. You can, however, plan your finances and purchases to make the most of the budget you have at hand for your dog. In doing so, you can enjoy the companionship of your furry friend without troubling your wallet.