Sense & Centsibility Blog

Tips to Keep Pet Expenses Affordable

Since I've recently gotten a new puppy, pets are on my brain. So here's a flashback Friday post from Ashley about keeping your pet expenses down.

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 on pet expenses? 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. Also check out online ordering options. You may be able to save more that way.

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 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 you as the owner to get some exercise as well.

Preventative care

Be sure to take your dog in for their annual visit as prevention can save a lot of money. However, you know your dog so if there are signs that something isn’t right in between regular visits, 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 it's best to stick to dog food and treats.

While regular vet trips are cheaper than emergency vet, it can still add up. So to offset this cost, start setting aside money monthly so that when the vet appointment comes up you don't have to scramble to find money or charge it.

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 from pet expenses to entertainment to utility bills and more. Just think if you can cut out or reduce one expense, like buying expensive dog toys, you could put that extra money toward debts, add it to emergency savings, or save it for future vet appointments. 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?!

If credit cards are making it tough for you to save money, you may benefit from a free financial counseling session. Call us for your free session to determine the best options to pay down your cards faster and save money. Or GET STARTED ONLINE NOW at your convenience. Take action now to improve your finances.

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