Sense & Centsibility Blog

How to Keep Pet Expenses Down

family with dog

My husband and I have not one, but two beloved pets. A yellow lab named Cashmere and a black lab named Sadie. These giant kids occupy a huge spot in our hearts and will forever be an equal part of our family. And when your dog is a part of the family it can be hard to think of ways to save money and still give them the best care possible. Their needs are so basic, how on earth could you reduce or limit anything? Or are there even ways to save? Though I was skeptical at first (owning two dogs of my own), I started looking for savings and found that there are a few ways that you can reduce the cost of having a dog and maybe even become a better dog owner in the process.

Start with the food

When choosing the best food for your dog you are looking for nutrition and high quality. Compare brands to make sure that you are getting the best food for your money. Once you have decided what you are going with, compare prices. Stock up when you find a great deal. Some pet and feed stores have reward programs that will get you a discount but make sure that it is worth it. Sometimes the food can be more expensive at these places.

Brush Brush Brush

Brushing your dog once a week will help to keep trips to the groomer fewer and less expensive. The more work the groomer has to do the more the visit will cost. Another tip is to choose an odor-free and bacteria resistant, easy to clean collar. When your dog starts to smell…well…like a dog, it could be their collar that is carrying that smell. In addition to brushing their coats, their teeth could use some attention too. Regular brushing of your dog’s teeth can prevent illness (and who doesn’t love a challenge?).

Get moving

dogs walking

Dogs need regular exercise in order to stay healthy. Not only does it keep them at a healthy weight but it can have a positive impact on their digestion, mood, behavior, and even help them living longer. It is also a great way for the owner to get some exercise as well.

Watch for signs

You know your dog so if there are signs that something isn’t right take them into the vet right away. This may prevent the problem from getting worse and you can avoid a possible trip to the emergency vet which can be very expensive. In addition, try to keep them from eating what you eat. There are all kinds of foods that we eat that are potentially harmful to dogs (grapes, onions, and chocolate to name a few) so best to stick to dog food and treats.

Nothing says love like homemade

There are all kinds of fun blogs and websites out there that teach you how to make dog safe toys and treats that are easy and very inexpensive. Keep in mind you don’t want to make dog toys out of something you have worn and smells too much like you. It might give your dog the impression that they are free to chew on thing that you wear. You will end up spending the money you saved on new socks!

At LSS we are all about finding ways to save money. Get creative! Just think if you can cut out one expense, like buying expensive dog toys, you could pay that extra money torwards debts, add it to emergency savings or save it for a rainy day. Or maybe you and your pups could take a camping trip or go to the beach for a swim. What would make your pups happier?!

Want to learn more creative ways to save? First, continue to follow this blog. Second, call us at 888.577.2227 or START ONLINE COUNSELING NOW! It's free, fast and just as effective as in person counseling.

Author Ashley Hagelin is a Certified Financial Counselor at LSS and specializes in Reverse Mortgage Counseling and pet ownership!