Money-Saving Pet Care Tips!

By Amy Loeffler      

Pet companionship is expensive. If only Fido could get a job to help out with his kibble and squeak-toy budget you’d be set. But unless they have their own talent agent it’s not likely the family fluffball will be garnering wages anytime soon. That means it’s up to you trim the fat, er fur, and put some pennies in the treat jar. You can do it, with these nibbles of advice from Redplum:

DIY Dog Spa

If you’ve already cut back on appointments for mani-pedis, take it a step further and groom your dog at home. Redplum has recommended using wipes to cut down on bathing costs in previous articles, but there comes a point where your fur-kid needs a good old fashioned bath to get rid of pet dander, loose hair and the unmistakable essence of eau de canine that he’s cultivated over the last several weeks.  A good old-fashioned backyard hose will do for warm-weather bathing, and if you’re lucky enough to enjoy the combo of fair weather and a backyard, voila, you’ve got a dog spa. Splurge on shampoo like Earthbath’s Oatmeal and Aloe dog shampoo to cut down on itching and moisturize Fido’s coat. Don’t have a backyard? You can still save some doggie dollars by skipping the spa and heading to a DIY dogwash where you’ll only pay for water service, towels and shampoo, and not a groomer’s time.

Clinics Instead of Vet Visits

Pet care such as routine vaccinations need not always be with a veterinarian. Most county jurisdictions hold clinics for vaccinations like rabies and other common canine preventative medicine and are far cheaper than getting them done at your vet’s office.  Inquire at your local animal shelter where and when pet clinics are held. Keep in mind that going the pet clinic route means more careful record keeping is necessary on your part since no one else but you and Fido will know when his health maintenance occurred.

Cut down on Commercially Made Treats

Trim Fido’s waistline and your wallet by limiting commercially made dog treats.  Lots of human foods can stand in for classic crunchy dog treats, like circular cuts of carrot, dehydrated sweet potatoes and apples (be sure to core and cut up the apple for your pooch. Dogs should avoid eating apple seeds). According to The Dog Bible by Kristin Mehus-Roe no more than 10% of your dog’s calories should come from dog treats and snacks. Treats that your dog should never eat include chocolate, onions, grapes and/or raisins.  If you’re feeling ambitious, recipesource.com has a great archive of dog treat recipes that Fido will flip over!

Trim Training Expenses

One-on-one dog training can quickly add up to Fido’s weight in gold. You’ll save money per hour by seeking out county-sponsored group training or dog training classes at your local pet store. Get more bang for your canine classroom buck by taking the time out of class to work with your dog and reinforce lessons learned with the group on class day.

Cheap Doggie Play Dates

Doggie day care may be popular, but with an average of $30-$60 per day it’s easy to blow your entire grocery budget in just one week of paid day care for your family furball. What really matters is consistency when it comes to your pet and daily outings to the neighborhood dog park in the morning or the evening are an inexpensive way to keep your dog exercised without spending a week’s worth of grocery money.