According to the latest figures from the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Americans spent $69.5 billion on their animal companions in 2017. And according to the ASPCA, the cost of the first year of pet ownership exceeds $1,000.
Owning a dog is awesome, but it’s also expensive. Food, vet bills, toys, medications, treats, grooming — they all add up. But luckily there are a few ways to save money on dog-related expenses without sacrificing your dog’s health. From making your own dog toys to bathing your dog at home, here are 10 money-saving tips for dog owners.
1. Make Your Own Dog Toys
When it comes to saving money on dog supplies one of my favorite methods is making my own DIY dog toys. Laika’s a tough chewer, and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve bought a toy only to have it destroyed within minutes. So rather than wasting money on toys that don’t last I started making my own. Some of my favorite DIY dog toys include:
- Snuffle mats
- Tug toys
- Flirt poles
- Muffin tin puzzle
- Interactive feeder toy
2. Make Your Own Dog Treats
Another money-saving tip for dog owners to make your own dog treats. It’s nice knowing exactly what ingredients are going into your dog’s treats, and making them yourself lets you control the portion size. It’s also a nice way to brush up on your baking skills if you’re a novice like me. Here are 25 simple dog treat recipes to get you started.
3. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Daily
Taking care of your dog’s teeth is a good way to save money in the long run, yet routine dental care for our dogs is something many of us overlook. Nearly 85% of all dogs over the age of 4 have periodontal disease. You can cut down on that risk by brushing their teeth every day. If you’re not familiar with brushing your dog’s teeth here are some tips on getting started.
4. Take Your Dog in For Their Wellness Exams
Keeping up with your dog’s wellness exams is a good way to save money in the long run. They’re aimed at detecting medical issues early, as well as making sure your dog is up to date on any necessary medications or preventatives.
5. Make Your Own Dog Bed
Another simple way to save some money on dog-related expenses is making a DIY dog bed. Whether it’s a no-sew dog bed made with sheets or one made out of an end table there’s plenty of options to choose from:
6. Use Packing Tape & Rubber Gloves For Hair Removal
It’s hard to keep your house clean when you have pets, but one easy way to save a few bucks is to use some of your household items to clean up dog hair. Rubber gloves are awesome at picking up loose hair on furniture. And a roll of packing tape is a great way to pick off dog hair that gets stuck to your clothing (it lasts a lot longer than a lint roller). Here are a few more tips for cleaning up pet hair.
7. Trim Your Dogs Nails at Home
I don’t know about you, but I dread trimming my dog’s nails — those traditional clippers are a nightmare to deal with. But rather than take my dog into the groomer or vet for a nail trim I decided to try out a nail dremel at home (a rotary tool used for grinding). I was shocked by how easy it made the process. Rather than having to worry about cutting your dog’s nails too short a dremel allows you to grind them down gradually.
8. Stick With Tough & Durable Dog Toys
When it comes to saving money on dog supplies remember to stick with durable dog toys that were designed to last. If your dog is a tough chewer stick with brands that are known to be durable such as West Paw’s Zogoflex line and Goughnuts. A couple of my favorite tough dog toys include the Chuckit Max Glow Ball for fetch & a classic Kong for stuffing.
9. Bathe Your Dog at Home
If you want to save a few bucks on dog-related expenses bathe your dog at home, rather than taking them to the groomer. Many dogs hate getting a bath, but there are some easy ways to make it easier for your dog.
10. Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercises
Now I know what you’re thinking; what in the world does exercise have to do with saving money? By giving your dog plenty of daily exercises you can prevent them from getting overweight and developing destructive behaviors such as excessive chewing. If you’re looking for some exercise suggestions be sure to check out 10 easy ways to exercise your dog and 33 ways to keep your dog busy indoors.
What Are Your Favorite Money-Saving Tips For Dog Owners?
How do you save money on dog supplies? Do you make your own dog toys or treats? Do you bathe and trim your dog’s nails at home? Let me know in the comments below.
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