There’s no doubt about it – owning a dog is a wonderful thing and brings great pleasure and rewards. It can’t be denied though that being a dog owner can also be expensive if you’re not careful and I’d be surprised if quite a few potential dog owners haven’t been put off by the prospective cost of owning a dog.
And I’d be equally surprised if there aren’t a lot of owners who’ve found that their little doggy pal is accounting for a large chunk of their household budget. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to save on the cost of owning a dog.
Don’t buy new toys
These days pet shops are packed full of super expensive dog toys. Do you think your dog cares how much his toys cost or what they look like? No, all he cares about is a) that he’s having a great time with whatever he’s playing with and b) that you’re giving him attention and playing with him.
So forget the latest and greatest toys – your dog will be perfectly happy playing fetch with a stick or an old tennis ball. And you may have noticed that dogs will play tug-of-war with anything! So just use an old piece of rope, or even tie some towels or old t-shirts together to make a great home-made tug-of-war toy.
If you do buy new toys, make sure you buy the highest quality ones that will last a long time. Don’t go for the false economy of buying cheap rubbish that won’t last two minutes.
Avoid expensive medical bills
Vet’s bills can be incredibly expensive. There are two ways you can avoid having to pay them as much as possible:
- Look after your dog well and make sure he gets plenty of exercise and also make sure he has a healthy and nutritious diet. Avoid the temptation to over-indulge him on unhealthy treats that will only cause problems in the long run. A dog which stays fit and trim through exercise and healthy eating is much less likely to need veterinary attention and the accompanying expense.
- Take out pet insurance. For a small monthly payment you can have peace of mind that you’re covered in case of any emergency. And you’ll soon get used to that money coming out each month and soon you won’t even notice it. You’ll be very aware and thankful of it in the unfortunate event that your dog does needs veterinary treatment though!
Buy dog food in bulk
If you just buy small amounts of dog food at a time from your local convenience store then it’ll likely work out to be expensive. You can save heaps of money by buying in bulk from places like CostCo, and even on Amazon and other online stores these days. Don’t skimp on the quality of the food that you buy though as this will likely work out to be a false economy – your dog is more likely to stay healthy if you give him the best quality food.
Groom your dog yourself
Getting your dog groomed can be an expensive business. Learn how to do it yourself and you can save yourself a lot of money. It’ll take effort on your part (not to mention a lot of patience!) but it’ll be worth it in the end. The younger your dog is when you start, the better as then your dog will get used to you doing it and he’ll just look at it as something that just happens.
Get friends and family to help out when you go away
No dogs like being put in kennels anyway, so if you’ve got family and friends who are willing to help out by visiting your house a few times a day to play with, feed and water, and exercise your dog while you’re away, not only will you save money on kennel fees but your dog will be much happier too. If you’re lucky you may even know someone who’s also a dog owner so you can arrange to take turns dog-sitting each other’s dog; that way no money at all is needed.
Being a dog owner needn’t be as expensive as you might think. There are plenty of areas where you can save yourself money, a few of which I’ve described above. And the good news is that small dogs tend to be the least expensive to own!