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4 Ways to Save Money On Your Pet’s Expenses

Danasiafantastic Founder, Editor-in-Chief
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I consider my fur babies to be my actual children, and as such, I go to great lengths to make sure my boys are properly cared for. If you’re like me, you probably already know that owning pets can increase your household’s expenses by a significant amount.

Of course, like any other family member, pets also have living expenses you have to account for. For example, dog food can cost between $120 to $900 a year, depending on your pup’s size and feeding requirements. Since Miles is a 95lb puppy and Humphrey is a 110lb adult dog, I’m scared to even do the math on how much I spend on their food yearly!

Veterinary care is another necessary expense and can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,500 annually – and that’s on the low end. I spent about $1,200 for an ER visit with Humphrey in January! Those vet bills are no joke!

Though some pet-related expenses can’t be avoided, the good news is that you can reduce some of your spending without compromising your pet’s health and safety. To learn more about how to shave some dollars off your pet-related expenses, check out the following tips:

1. Look for Pet Supply Deals

The cost of buying pet supplies like pet beds, collars, leashes, bowls, toys, and treats can easily add up. This is especially true if you’re purchasing them all at once, either for a new pet or to replace an existing pet’s collection of worn-out items.

While these pet items are considered essentials, you don’t always have to spend a fortune on them. In fact, you can get these products for a great bargain if you know where to look.

Start by looking for any discount stores that stock pet products in your area. Many of them offer everything your pet needs, from leashes to pet beds. These stores also put certain products on sale whenever they’re overstocked.

You’ll want to make the most of any and all sales. For instance, if you see a promo on custom martingale collars, get a couple of collars right away. Apart from buying the collars at a lower price, you also have some spares in case your playful pup accidentally breaks one.

2. Try Generic Pet Food

A lot of top-grade pet food can be extremely expensive. That said, you don’t want to feed your fur baby anything that’s of low quality, either. The best way to save up on your pet’s food without sacrificing their nutrition is by getting tried-and-tested generic brands.

When shopping for affordable pet food, make sure to read through the ingredient list. Ideally, meat should be at the beginning of the list, as the first ingredient listed usually makes up most of the product.

Also, avoid any pet food products that contain meat by-products or corn. These two ingredients are often used as cheap fillers to bulk up pet food products. The thing is, dogs can’t digest corn, which means the pet food will only pass through your pet’s digestive system without providing your pup with any nutritional value. You’re better off going with grain-free pet food made with sweet potatoes and meat.

3. Do Your Pet’s Grooming Yourself

Depending on where you live and your pet’s breed, the average price of dog grooming can range from $60 to $90 per appointment. If you want to reduce this cost, consider doing your pet’s grooming yourself. Trimming your pup’s nails and cleaning their ears can seem like daunting tasks, but they’re definitely doable. You and your family members can take turns doing your pet’s grooming, too.

If you can, start doing your furry friend’s at-home nail trims and ear cleaning while they’re still young. Grooming your dog from an early age will help them become used to it as they grow older, and they’ll be less like to show signs of anxiety.

This, in turn, will make the task of grooming your pup less stressful. It’s also best to seek your vet’s recommendations regarding ideal pet care tools and proper grooming procedures to ensure you’re doing everything correctly.

I actually bathe my dogs right in my bathtub- true story! It’s a bit of a hassle, a ton of clean-up, and I have to use Draino after every bath. But it definitely saves me coins! Also, most apartment buildings now have doggy washing stations, so if yours does, take advantage of that!

4. Organize a Dog-Walking Club

Another pet expense you may be paying too much for is hiring someone to walk your dog whenever you’re not home to do it yourself. Even if you were to get affordable dog walking services, the daily cost can add up quickly.

Before anything else, try working out a dog walking schedule with the people closest to you (your roommates, partner, etc.). If someone can’t do it on a particular day, see if another family member can cover that person’s shift, so to speak.

Another way to minimize your expenses and still give your dog enough exercise is by creating a dog-walking club with other friends who live in your neighborhood. Try asking the pet owners in your neighborhood if they also need someone to walk their dogs for them.

Then, organize a rotating dog walking service with them, where each person takes turns walking everyone’s pups according to an agreed-upon schedule. Apart from saving you some money, your dog gets an opportunity to socialize with other canines.

If you’re like many pet owners, you want only the best for your beloved furry friend. But giving your pet a good life doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend beyond your means. Give the tips above a try, and start saving some money while still taking care of your furred family member.

For more dog tips, be sure to check out our dog parenting blog, Large Dog Small Apartment!

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