The Frugal Approach to Living With a Dog

The Frugal Approach to Living With a Dog

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Owning a dog is inarguably expensive but it doesn’t have to be that pricey. There is a lot that you can save money on when owning a dog without making any compromises.

Before getting a dog or puppy, you should always make sure that you are financially capable of providing for him. There will be many unexpected costs that I have also covered in my post 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting a Puppy.

Create a Dog Budget Plan

Having all your expenses in one place always helps. Keep track of every penny you spend on your dog and set aside a monthly budget for him. Think about what costs could be cut a little lower and what expenses are the most important to you.

For example, I don’t cut any expenses on my dog’s food. It influences so many aspects of her life and her health. The higher quality and more nutritious the food is, the longer your dog will life and the fewer health issues he will face which in the end will save you a lot of money on vet bills.

I spend about $90-$110/month on her raw diet and different supplements. Depending on your dog’s size and weight this will either be much lower or much higher. I would never switch her diet only for the sake of saving money through buying cheap commercial dog food.

Also set aside an extra amount in case of unexpected illness that requires veterinary care and treatment. Take into consideration any extra money that you may need to spend if your dog must go to doggy dare care for example.

At Home Grooming

I know a lot of people that bring their dog to the groomer weekly. A single visit to the groomer can cost $30-$90 depending on where you live. Services like brushing and nail trimming can easily be done at home.

I own the Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush which is only a one-time investment that saves you many dollars on the groomer. For cutting my dog’s nails, I use the Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer By Boshel which has nice sharp blades and even cuts through my Rottweiler’s thick nails.

The video below will show you all the tips and tricks when it comes to trimming your dog’s nails on your own. They also feature a nail grinder like the INVENHO Pet Nail Grinder for easier use:

DIY Dog Games & Toys

Games for dogs can be very expensive but most of them can be made at home with a little bit of creativity. I have shared a few ideas in my post 12 Boredom Busters to Keep Your Dog Entertained in the Yard so make sure to check that one out.

One of my most favorite and easiest games is the “kibble in the bottle”. Just grab an empty plastic container or water bottle and cut three holes in the size of your dog’s kibble into the mid-section of the bottle. When introducing it to your dog, make it really fun and engaging.

It shouldn’t be too hard or too easy for your dog to get out the kibble to prevent frustration and boredom. If it’s hard, put more kibble into it which will increase the likelihood of one falling out. Holes that are too big might make it too easy for him.

Another fun idea will only require a muffin tin and tennis balls. For preparation, you will only need to cut a few tennis balls in half until every muffin holder is covered. Hide some kibble or treats under the muffin halves and let your dog search for them. You can find my more DIY dog toy ideas here.

Make Your Own Treats

My dog loves it when I prepare some treats for her! Her favorite ones only need three ingredients and are so easy to do:

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 2 bananas
  • Cinnamon

Just mash up the bananas in a bowl and add the oats and cinnamon. You can also add almond butter if you like. Line up some baking paper on a tray and coat it with coconut oil. Roll little dough pieces between your fingers and press them down with a fork to form some cookies. Preheat the oven at about 180°C (350°F) and bake the cookies for 15-20 minutes.

Keeping Your Dog Healthy

Properly maintaining your dog will save you thousands of dollars in vet bills. Starting with the right diet, you should not shy away from highquality dog food whether it is kibble, wet food or raw food. Keeping your dog at a normal and healthy weight will prevent many joint diseases like arthritis.

Regularly trim your dog’s nails and brush his coat. Once a week I spray a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water on my dog’s fur as a tick and flea repellent and to keep her skin hydrated and coat shiny. There are also many supplements that will complement your dog’s diet and you should definitely talk to your vet about them.

It is also advised to brush your dog’s teeth daily to prevent plague and expensive cleanings from the vet. You may also want to implement the Oxyfresh Premium Pet Dental Care Solution into your daily routine. It’s a simple water additive that will keep his teeth clean and gums healthy.

Keeping your dog healthy also means to stay up to date with current vaccinations. You should definitely take any preventive care seriously while taking your dog to routine check-ups.

Buy in Bulk after the Holidays

During the holidays everything gets more expensive including dog products and accessories. Try to buy as much as possible right after the holidays when all of the items suddenly drop in price.

Whenever there is any sale or coupon event, take advantage of it and buy in bulk. Shy away from spending too much money on the newest and cutest dog accessories as these can get expensive really quickly. Try to practice a more minimalist approach and ask yourself if your dog really needs this product before buying it and skip the designer dog clothes.

Buy Dog Supplies Online

If you look at sites like Amazon, you will often find products for much less. It is not only more convenient to get your dog’s food and supplies delivered to your door but it’s also cheaper.

Pet supply stores often offer coupons, deals, and sales throughout the year. Some even give you cashback for every purchase or will gift you loyalty points. Before I buy anything, I always like to compare prices on different sites online to see if I can get a better deal out of it.

Cheap Dog Training

Dog training doesn’t have to be expensive. With all the resources that are online today, you will find solutions to any problem. From blog posts (like these) to research papers and Youtube videos. People on forums like Reddit may be able to give you some tips for your specific problem.

But don’t believe everything that you will find on the world wide web. Some sites suggest questionable training approaches or the use of punishment. Always check your source first before you can follow their tips. You can also message me anytime you like with questions and suggestions.

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