Owning a dog is more expensive than people realize. In fact, the average first year cost of raising a dog is $1,270. Of course, not all of this is necessary and you can give your dog everything it needs for much less. If you’ve noticed that you’ve been spending a lot on your dog, here are six tricks that could help you to spend less.
Buy food in bulk
There are a few ways to spend less on dog food from avoiding premium brands to making your own food. However, the simplest way to save costs is to buy dog food in bulk. Buying dog food in large quantities entitles you to big discounts. You’re unlikely to find these discounts at your local convenience store and may have to buy from sites like Zooplus.com – here you can find giant packs of kibble and multi packs of wet dog food on the cheap.
Shop around for veterinary care
Alongside food, veterinary care is one of the biggest costs of owning a dog. Many dog owners don’t think to shop around when in fact veterinary prices can vary widely from clinic to clinic. This could be particularly the case with major treatments – some vets may be more familiar with certain procedures and may be more equipped, resulting in cheaper rates. You should also look out for pop-up clinics where you can sometimes get very cheap checkups and vaccinations.
Consider pet insurance
Pet insurance doesn’t always save you money in the long run, but it can make veterinary treatment more affordable. By paying a small amount each month, you can have all procedures paid for by your insurance company. Considering some procedures can cost over $1000, this can be very handy to have. Don’t forget to also shop around for pet insurance.
Make your own toys
Some dogs can easily chew their way through thirty toys in a year. If you’re constantly buying new toys, consider saving money by making your own toys. This guide at care.com has some great ideas to try out. Some of these may be possible to build with items already in your home.
Do your own grooming
A lot of owners pay someone to groom their dog, but you may be able to do this yourself to. There are plenty of blogs such as allaboutdogsandmore.com where you can read up grooming tips. You may also be able to learn tasks such as cutting your dog’s fur or trimming their claws from watching YouTube videos.
Encourage a healthy lifestyle
Healthy dogs cost less money. Much like a human, a dog that is overweight is more likely to get problems such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. This could mean more costly trips to the vet. Overweight dogs will also eat through more food, which could mean extra food costs. Make sure that you’re regularly exercising your dog and giving them appropriate portions of food so that they maintain a healthy weight.