6 Money Saving Hacks for Pet Owners

Going over your budget and tweaking costs on non-essential items is an easy (though sometimes painful) way to save money.

But there are a few thrifty measures you can employ to make your buck go further.

I’m not talking about the necessary costs—you shouldn’t cut back on vet visits or quality dog food. In fact, by doing that, you’re actually putting your bank account at risk. A healthy dog is important to keeping bills at a minimum in the long run. With regular check-ups and a high-quality diet, you’re ensuring your dog lives a healthier and less complicated life.

That being said, here are six ways to cut costs without cutting into your pet’s health.

DIY Grooming

Can’t afford to give your posh pooch a spa day? Not a problem. Give him a bath and cut at home. Sure, you’ll have to invest in a few grooming tools, such as a brush, fur clippers, and nail trimmers, but you’ll recoup your costs by doing the work yourself.

Rotating Toys

How many toys does your dog have? My dog, Oscar has a basketful. How many does he actually play with regularly? About three or four. Take a few out and hide them away, leaving a couple favorites for him to play with. In a few weeks, swap them out with a few from the hidden stash. That way, it’ll seem like he has brand new toys to play with and his old favorites will last longer.

Gently Used

Why buy new when you can get nearly new for a fraction of the cost? In the past, I’ve used Craigslist and other websites to purchase crates, gates, and beds that would have cost me a small fortune brand new. My second-hand finds were in great shape and Oscar couldn’t tell the difference. You can also set up a swapping circle with friends and co-workers, where you trade items your dog has outgrown or no longer has a need for.

DIY Dog Bed

You don’t have to be skilled to make your pooch a comfy dog bed. You can turn your old dog bed into a new one with a new cover (instead of buying a whole new bed) or pick up an appropriately sized pillow from a second-hand store. Cover the pillow with a sham and you’re all set.

Online Videos

I know you usually visit YouTube to watch videos of pets getting into all kinds of mischief, but did you know you can actually learn useful skills too? It’s true! From dog grooming basics to dealing with specific behavior problems (such as chewing or jumping up on people), you have instant access to a digital library of free info from the experts.

Bone Up on Bones

Don’t pay for the packaging. Buy bones from your local butcher rather than the pet store. If your supermarket has a meat department, ask if they have any leftover bones that would be safe for dogs. Unlike the pre-packaged bones, the ones you get from the butcher are fresh, contain more marrow and meat, and cost you a lot less. Now that’s something to chew on!

Meet the Author: Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

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