It’s no secret we love our canine companions. All that love, however, can sometimes add up and worry us that we just might break the bank. We reached out to Paris Permenter and John Bigley, the incredible husband and wife duo behind one of our all-time favorite sites, Dogtipper.com, to help us create a list of ways that you can save money while still providing all the loving care you want for your best friends.
According to the American Pet Products Association, caring for a dog costs the average person in the United States at least $1,593.00. Add several dogs to your at-home pack, and you could buy yourself a car each year for the amount of money you spend on their care. Take a look at our chart on the right to see just where the average dog caretaker spends their money and pay attention to these quick tips from Dogtipper.com to soften the blow to your pocketbook.
Do you have your OWN ways you like to save? Make sure you tell us in the comments below.
Do It Yourself
- Make Your Own Dog Food - Shop when vegetables are in season, and invest in a slow cooker and a good cookbook to feed premium food at a fraction of commercial prices.
- Make Your Own Toys - Interactive toys are the best way to keep your dog occupied. Make your own toys out of water bottles or braided T-shirts, or make your own interactive feeder from a football with two small holes cut into each side.
- Self-Service Grooming - Save costs by brushing your dog’s teeth at home, dematting his fur in between groomings and looking into self-serve dog washes in between trips to the professional. Don’t forget to ask your groomer if they have a referral or loyalty program.
- Newspapers - Use tried-and-true methods like the Sunday newspaper for valuable coupons on popular dog food brands. If you find something exceptional, buy another copy—it will quickly pay for itself!
- Stay Connected - Sign up for company newsletters and follow your favorite brands on Facebook and Twitter. Follow @lifeanddog and @dogtipper for our favorite offers.
- Go Digital - Applications like Coupon Sherpa can download coupons directly to your smartphone. It’s easy, automatic and keeps all your coupons in one place.
Other Great Tips
- Lower Costs of Vet Care - Reduce the costs of your veterinary care by keeping up with annual examinations to get in front of any potential issues, spay or neuter your dog for numerous health benefits, and consider investing in a pet insurance plan to protect yourself from costly emergency procedures.
- Travel with Your Dog - Avoid the cost of boarding. Use sites like Dogtipper.com and GoPetFriendly.com to find the most dog-friendly locations to visit.
- Puppy Proof Your Home - Before bringing a puppy home, you should puppy proof just like you would for a baby. Remove fragile items from the ground level, don’t leave your new shoes lying around, and proactively ensure your dog doesn’t get into something they shouldn’t.
This article was written by LIFE+DOG publisher Brett Chisholm.
To read more from Brett, visit his blog on our site.