Is 2018 your year to kick up your savings and work on that new budget? While cutting back on the LA brunches and avocado toasts is one way to stay under budget, we also have some tips on how you can lower your pet costs as well.
Having a dog is an extremely rewarding experience, but it isn’t without its expenses. To be a good dog mom/dad, there are the essential recurring costs like dog food, vet visits, and health care. Most of us also can’t help but spoil our dogs with lots of toys, treats and maybe one too many dog beds. Who can blame us? They are our fur-babies after all.
Here are 5 ways you can cut back on spending while still keeping your dog happy, healthy, and of course, the most spoiled member of your family.
1. Practice Preventative Care
First and foremost, maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your dog will lessen his/her chances of getting sick or requiring medical attention. This is a proactive measure that can save you thousands of dollars throughout your dog’s life. Daily exercise and watching what your dog eats will keep him/her fit and healthy. Additionally, don’t forget to schedule regular check ups and dental cleanings. Keeping your dog’s teeth clean is often an oversight for dog owners. For some dogs, hard food and regular cleanings are enough. For others, brushing their teeth daily will help keep their teeth healthy and save you from costly medical procedures in the future.
Accidents or unforeseen health issues can happen, though, regardless of how healthy your dog is, so planning ahead is important. Before jumping straight to signing up for pet insurance, dedicate time to researching different options and seeking advice from your vet and others who own pets. In the process, also consider if dedicating a small amount of savings per month towards any potential emergency expense for your pet is a better alternative to traditional insurance.
Finding a great vet who cares about you and your dog is key to your dog’s preventative care. Your vet is your ally. Together you can figure out what the best health plan for your dog is, including discussing anything from medicines to food and even how often you need to come in for a checkup. At the end of the day, preventative measures may cost you a small amount upfront, but they will end up saving you significant amounts of money in the long run.
2. Make DIY Dog Treats and Toys
There are so many great DIY recipes out there to turn us all into Etsy store pros. Whether it’s DIY dog food, treats or even toys, getting into the DIY spirit will help you spoil your dog without breaking the bank on fancy pet-store brands. Plus, doing something like making at-home dog treats allows you to keep track of exactly what ingredients you are using. This helps you make healthy and delicious snacks for your dog that your pup will enjoy much more than any store bought alternative. To get you started, check out some of these at-home dog treat recipes that we featured on the blog in the past.
3. Groom Your Dog at Home
People spend hundreds of dollars grooming their dogs. When this happens monthly, it can really add up. But are monthly groomings always necessary? There are plenty of ways for you to keep your dog’s coat shiny without the expense.
Most shedding breeds of dog actually do not need to get their fur cut at all. A good scrub in the tub and daily brushing will do. For those dogs who do require some more high-maintenance grooming, you can learn a lot of tips and tricks online to help you cut back on your grooming sessions. Instead of heading there every month, maybe keep it to every couple of months and do your own fur trimming, brushing and washing in between.
Also, ask your vet at your next visit how to safely trim your dog’s nails at home to keep you from needing to make a trip to the groomer just to cut your dog’s nails. In reality, most dogs don’t need to see a groomer as frequently as they do. Most of the grooming can be done at home. Yes, you’ll miss the complementary post-groom bandana but your wallet will thank you.
4. Bring Your Dog to Work
If you have a pet-friendly office, skip the daily doggy daycare or dog walker visits and bring your dog to work with you instead. You’ll start saving money instantly, and you’ll also be able to spend more quality time with your dog.
If your office isn’t pet-friendly, consider requesting work-from-home days. Being able to take extended lunch to go home and take out your pup for a walk or having the option to work from home a few days a week can make a big difference. Employers are becoming increasingly flexible in an attempt to accommodate the many different lifestyles of their employees, and it never hurts to ask!
If your employer needs some convincing on the benefits of taking your dog to work, pass him/her along this blog post about why every day should be take your dog to work day!
5. Quality Over Quantity
Not everything is created equal, and that goes for dog food and dog toys as well. When you’re looking into what kind of dog food to buy and what types of dog toys to purchase, think quality over quantity. For dog toys and even dog food, it’s better to find high-quality options that won’t require as many repeat buys than it is to purchase a lot of cheap alternatives. The same can be said for your dog’s accessories, like a leash and a collar or harness.
Buying higher quality pet food will also keep your dog healthier and further benefit your long-term plan for saving on costs. Once you do find that dog food that keeps your dog’s tummy happy and coat extra shiny, consider buying in bulk. Buying in bulk can help you save both money and time.
The expenses associated with dogs is always something important to consider before adopting. If adopting a dog is something within your financial means, the associated costs become quite manageable so long as you develop a preventative care plan and overall budget for your pup. For most, the rewards of having a dog far outweigh any of the potential costs.
Wags & Walks neuters, microchip, vaccinate and take all dogs we rescue to the vet before putting them up for adoption. This saves our adoptive parents hundreds of dollars both in the short and long term. Neutering/spaying your pet is one of the top ways to prevent costs down the line. That and the other medical initiatives we take for those dogs we rescue helps us ensure we are setting our pups up for success in their forever homes.
If you do have interest in adopting a dog, check out our other available dogs for adoption. To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?