Save Dollars with Your Dog
By Arlo the Hound with help from Honor Tarpenning
Americans, on average, spend around $2000 dollars a year on their dogs. In today’s economy it has become more and more necessary to find every way to stretch your pennies. Even if you haven’t been affected by the economic downturn, it’s always a good idea to make every dollar count.
Skip the Gym Membership
Take your pooch for a walk instead. There are tons of physical activities you can do with your dog that can help you stay in shape. Run you dog on the beach, play Frisbee, go swimming with your pooch, and you’ll both be better for it.
Look for Coupons
You can almost always find some sort of coupon to help you afford what you need for your dog. Next Day Pets has several coupons running at all times!
Spay or Neuter
Spaying and Neutering sidesteps many potential and expensive pet health problems down the road; not to mention the costs of an accidental litter. Stretch your funds further by shopping around for a reduced-rate clinic, or a local shelter. Many organizations will offer to help pay for the procedure to encourage more pet owners to have their dogs spayed or neutered. Want to know why else your dog should be spayed or neutered?
Buy in Bulk
The more you buy, the less you pay with most dog products, especially with food, treats, and chews. Store the leftovers in an airtight container. Don’t need the 40 lb bag of dog food, or the bag of 12 rawhides? Invite your dog-lover friends over for a puppy play date and go shopping online together while your pooches play. Buy in large portions and split the bill.
Annual Vet Visits
Seeing the vet annually will make it more likely that you catch health issues before they get out of hand. A well check up could easily catch a problem that could become serious (and thus more expensive) by the time your dog starts showing blatant symptoms. Senior dogs should go twice a year. Learn about when you should definitely go to the vet.
If your dog gets lost and is picked up by animal control, you might have to pay to get him back. If your dog has an ID tag with current phone numbers at which you can be reached, the chances he’ll be returned for free are much higher.
Groom at Home
Roll up your sleeves, grab a helper, and wash that dog yourself! Have your vet show you how to properly clip your dog’s nails. You can also visit our Grooming Articles
page to learn more about grooming your dog at home. Does your dog require high maintenance grooming and you’re just not up for it? Talk to your groomer about what you can do at home so you can stretch the time between visits.
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
On a similar note to grooming at home, you can also brush your dog’s teeth yourself. Dogs who have their teeth brushed regularly are less likely to develop dental issues, or need professional cleanings. Learn How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth.
Give Your Dog Chews
Dog chews also help keep your dog's teeth healthy and thus improve his general health.
Pet Health Insurance
If you have a good pet health insurance plan, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank, or making heartbreaking decisions if your dog gets sick or injured. Trupanion Pet Insurance offers $20,000 coverage.
Don’t Try To Save on Pet Food
Most of the time in life the generic version is just as good as the name-brand stuff, but this doesn’t apply to pet food. Cheaper pet foods tend to be full of fillers and short on nutrients. If you don’t buy premium dog food, you will end up spending just as much regardless, because your dog will require more food to get his daily nutrients. Also, feeding quality dog food will help sidestep costly health issues down the road like diabetes and urinary tract infections. With dog food, you usually do get what you pay for.
Flea & Tick
Treating your dog for fleas and ticks helps avoid various skin and general health problems that will require extra vet visits and costly medications. Be sure your spot-on treatment includes tick control. This will help your dog avoid Lyme disease.
The cost of monthly heartworm preventative is nonexistent compared to the cost of heartworm treatment. It is worth every penny to keep your dog on a heartworm preventative since it means safeguarding your dog against a dangerous, and often deadly condition.
No Chubby Pooches
Talk to your vet about the idea weight for your dog and get him there. Overweight dogs are usually eating too much food (thus eating into your wallet) and are far more likely to develop a myriad of health conditions down the road.
Keep that pooch healthy and stay tuned for tomorrow's Tips on planning a dog-friendly picnic.