When you have a pet, It’s natural to want to buy him also every single thing that they could possibly want.
Every time you walk into a store that sells pet toys, you naturally want to buy every new chew toy, stuffed toy, or doggie treat that catches your eye.
However, maintaining a pet can be much more expensive than you would initially imagine. From dog food that’s not from a generic brand, or pet insurance, to doggie swimming pools; everything that’s good quality or brand can put a rather large hole in your pocket.
Note: before you head to the pet store to shop for your pet make sure you grab some free gift cards.
Here are five ways to make sure you can indulge your pet without breaking the bank every month.
Five Ways to Save Money on Your Pet
Make A Pet Budget
Although it seems like a rather obvious answer, you’d be surprised to know how many people don’t know how much they spend per month on the dogs. In fact, the cost of owning a dog may surprise you if you have never checked it before.
Sure, you have a general idea of how much dog food do you buy, or how many trips you make it to the pet store for treats now and then. But- How much money are you spending per month? And how much of this comes out of your savings?
One of the best ways to figure everything out and get an exact idea of how much you’re spending is to make a pet budget.
Divide your expenditures between essentials and nonessentials. Essentials include expenditures such as dog food, medicines, shampoo, pet insurance, dog sitter expenses, etc.
These are the expenses that you have to make every month. This forms the base of your expenditure. Now figure out how much of this you could cut away. Do you really need a dog walker? Are you buying an unnecessarily expensive dog shampoo? The idea is not to cut corners on your adorable little dog’s well being, without spending extravagantly.
Under the nonessential expenses, you can add treats, grooming supplies, pet toys, and miscellaneous expenses like housing or bedding. This is the category in which you can save the most money by making some intelligent choices.
- Does your dog need a velvet bed?
- Does your dog absolutely need a stuffed minion?
She would be just as satisfied with a dollar store version stuff toy to chew through, no surprises there.
Plus, a budget for your pet expenditure will also tell you how much of your pay is going towards your dog’s upkeep. If you want to save money, this is an essential figure for you to know.
Pets To The Vet!
Another critical and very significant way to save money is to make sure that you take your pet to the vet regularly.
It may seem counterintuitive to spend money at the clinic, but periodic healthcare check-ups for your dog will give you a chance to catch up on any developing diseases in their earliest possible stages.
Whether it’s a small flea infestation or a tapeworm, regular vet check-ups help you save thousands in later vet bills.
Make sure your pets are vaccinated regularly, and their vaccination schedule is up-to-date. Delays can result in a weakening of their immunity and make them susceptible to infections from other dogs or from the environment.
If your pooch is not already spayed or neutered, make sure you get it done within a reasonable amount of time. Unless you want your dog to have a litter at a later date, getting your dog spayed prevents any unnecessary and unexpected expenditures later on.
The same applies to dental care. Brushing your dog's teeth and maintaining good health for your dog will help you say expensive cleaning or replacement procedures in the future. As a bonus, your dog will also have better-smelling breath.
And, he will be at a lower risk of infections secondary to having bacterial gum disease. Brushing your dog's teeth and maintaining good health for your dog, will help you say expensive cleaning or replacement procedures in the future.
As a bonus, your dog will also have blessedly better-smelling breath. And, he will be at a lower risk infecting infections secondary to (having a smelly mouth doesn’t help!). Bad dental health can lead to severe infections in deeper seated organs like the heart or lungs.
Additionally-and, more importantly-this way you can make sure your dog does not develop any diseases that progress without you noticing them. At the end of the day, this is what we all want for our pets.
It goes without saying, but a lot of things that we buy from stores can easily be made at home. Whether that refers to chewable braided toys or rope toys for dogs, or a scratching post for cats, your pet does not want or need expensive, store-bought toys.
Instead of buying a twisted rope chew toy, make one! Instead of buying your dog an expensive branded sweater [that he will possibly hate anyway], make him one that fits him and that he actually may love!
The essence of what your dog enjoys is his time with you. Make sure you spend as much time with your dog as he wants. Or at least, close to that! Your dog will gladly take a half an hour of playing with you over any new toy to bite on, I promise you.
Buy your dog food in bulk. When stored properly, this helps you save massive amounts of money with economy size bags. Plus, it doesn’t go bad, and when stored, does not lose its taste or freshness.
Buying large amounts online is also a great way to save some money. And all the little saved bits add up!
But make sure that you have your pets likes and dislikes down to rote. No point in forcing your dog to eat or drink something that they otherwise would not tolerate. Same time, it’s not like you can afford to buy a Kobe Level Beef for them every day either.
A perfect way to accommodate slightly more expensive things in a restricted budget is to scout the local newspapers and magazines coupons.
Coupons help you save money on slightly more expensive items, especially when you buy them in multiples at the same time. Look online for websites that are coupons for regular users.
Putting all the small things together will help you save a lot of money in the long run.
Don’t Skimp Where you Mustn’t
Again, it may sound a little counterintuitive, but in some places, make sure you pay the right amount of money. Sure, paying insurance is no joke. It feels like you're throwing money away.
But given how high bills can become, making sure you have a backup and insurance should be one of your topmost priorities. Make sure you have chosen insurance that passes your dog and your household well.
Proper insurance into account factors such as the age of the dog any pre-existing conditions in the operations, any danger or threat to other people, and they are treated accordingly. Naturally, good insurance takes into account factors such as the age of the dog, any pre-existing conditions, any operations, any danger or threat to other people, and they are treated accordingly.
But at the same time, when in the rare event that you need it, you will be ready for anything that comes your way!
This also applies to regular activities such as basic training. Instead of sending your dog to an expensive obedience school, invest a little time, and spending one-on-one time with your dog and teaching him basic commands.
Not only will he learn personalized commands on your hand, but it will leave him with a lasting impression that will stay with him for life.
Plus, it’s not so hard to teach your dog basic commands. Tutorials and how-tos are readily available on the Internet. Some of them go into great detail about what you should and shouldn’t do. And, if you have a dog who is a little hard to deal with, even that’s a Google search away!
Do More, Save More.
The basic of saving money is that the more time and effort you put in, the more money you will save.
Groom your dog at home. Buy pet shampoo, pet grooming tangling combs, brushes that prevent shedding, nail clippers, and products that condition your pet’s fur. Stacking coupons and apps can be a great way to reduce pet costs.
Even all of those put together will cost you a fraction of what you regularly pay at the groomers. Grooming your dog at home is not hard. Sure, it takes a little time, but it’s doable and saves a lot of money over time. As an added advantage, you get to play with your dog the entire time, too!
Exercise regularly with your dog. Take your dog to the park, around the block, play with him in your yard. Not only is it a good exercise for you, but also makes sure that your dog remains healthy and happy.
Not to mention, a dog who is tired at the end of the day, is a dog at a much lower risk of developing emotional and behavioral problems. If your dog has hyperactivity issues, is extra stubborn, or respond to positive reinforcement, regular exercise helps you bring him to the emotional state most conducive to actually listening to you.
Oh, and you know those vet bills? Those are going to be a lot cheaper with the dog who is exercised regularly!
Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.