There are fewer things in life more joyous than owning a dog. These wonderful animals are kind, loyal, much more intelligent than many people give them credit for, and make excellent companions. But owning a dog comes with a host of responsibilities.
Many of the requirements of being a good dog parent can be expensive. But with a bit of preparation, research, and smarts, you can save money on your pooch’s needs and still give them the proper care. This article will give you nine simple money-saving strategies for dog parenting.
9 Money-Saving Strategies for Dog Parents
- Find Out the Cost of a Dog
Before you invest time and love into a dog, you need to know if you can afford to give the dog the care they deserve. There are food requirements, vet procedures, and other things you may not think of when faced with that adorable fuzzy face staring at you in the pet store or private breeder’s home.
Many dog expenses, such as spaying or neutering, are one-time investments. However, other expenses, like food, toys, and vet care, will be ongoing for the dog’s entire life. You can easily use an online calculator to find out what a dog will cost you. Once you know the numbers, you can determine if you can afford a dog.
- Save Money by Shopping Online
Technology has given us an almost infinite range of possibilities for shopping. Rather than driving from store to store to find the best deal on a product, you can compare websites in seconds. And it can be even faster, too.
Online shopping extensions immediately search the Internet for coupons and discounts and give you the discounts in your shopping cart when checking out. Many such extensions work automatically, are free, and can save you a lot of money.
- Use Any Existing Discounts
Are you a college student? Your student ID unlocks discounts from retailers both offline and online. Many times, you’ll need to ask retailers, especially brick and mortar shops, if they offer student discounts.
If you are in the military or are a veteran, savings possibilities exist for you even more. Military discounts are regularly posted both ion offline storefronts as well as many websites. In some cases, the sites even provide special links to make it even easier to redeem special offers.
- Crate Train Your Dog
By committing to crate training your pup, you will have to invest in a crate. However, many experts recommend crate training for many reasons. While crate training has many benefits for your dig unrelated to saving money, there IS one big reason why it can save you money in the long run.
An untrained dog may mark or pee in the house. If you work long hours, your dog may be unattended or locked in one room in the house. As a result, the moisture can seep into the floorboards of your home. The result? A smell that never quite leaves, no matter how much you scrub your floor.
If you are renting your home, it could result in the loss of your security deposit. For homeowners, it means costly floor repairs down the road.
- Make Your Dog’s Treats
Dogs are scavengers and will eat just about anything, including many things they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, many store-bought treats have ingredients in them unsafe for animals, despite the clever packaging and marketing messages. By preparing your own homemade dog treats, you can save a great deal of money and ensure your pup only eats good ingredients for dogs.
- DIY Dog Toys and Beds
Toys and beds for dogs are often costly. With just a little do-it-yourself effort, you can save money on toys and beds by making your own. Patterns, designs, and tips are easily available online. Dogs love to chew, so giving them inexpensive and safe items is healthier for them and saves you a lot of money.
- Buy Dog Medication Online
Many times, brick and mortar stores mark up items on their shelves. They do this to account for the expense of having a storefront people can visit in person. This includes veterinarians. Fortunately, you can save a lot of money by ordering your pet medications online. Be sure to find reliable sources and do your homework to get the same medicine your vet recommends.
- Schedule Regular Checkups with Your Vet
Just like you or your children, your dog needs to see the doctor regularly. The difference is in sickness or an injury; your dog can’t use words to tell you when something is wrong. The best way to keep your vet bills low is to find the best vet in your area and schedule regular checkups. That way, your veterinarian can make sure your dog’s health is in top form. Regular visits will also allow your vet to warn you of potential problems later. Problems that go unchecked can result in thousands of dollars of medical bills later in your dog’s life.
- Save Money on Your Housing
If you rent, there are protections provided to you by the Fair Housing Act. These provisions prevent you from being discriminated against or having to pay certain surcharges. For instance, if you suffer from anxiety, your dog can be registered as an emotional support animal. In addition, by getting an ESA letter, your landlord is prohibited from charging you more money for your rent because you have a dog. There are guides online to help you with the ESA registration process and getting a legitimate ESA letter.
Your Duty as a Pet Parent
The money-saving ideas in this article help you ease the strain of a dog on your bank account. But these tips never compromise your dog’s needs or health. So before bringing a dog into your home, look at your finances and calculate the investment for a dog. By doing your homework in advance, you’ll be better prepared for the times when unexpected expenses with your pooch pop up.