Essential Dog Care on a Budget
The cost of owning a pet has risen considerably over the last several years. Vet visits, food and grooming are all expensive. If you buy clothes or special toys for your dog, you’ll spend even more money. Dog care can take a big portion of your budget, but here are some ways to cut back on expenses so you can enjoy your pet and stay within your budget.
Getting Your New Dog
After you’ve made the decision to get a dog, decide where to get one. Think about getting a mixed-breed dog because they are often less expensive to purchase than a purebred dog. Shelters and rescue agencies often sell dogs at lower rates, but find out if the cost covers the animal’s shots and procedures such as spaying or neutering. If not, plan to spend money on these shortly after getting your new dog.
Consider getting an adult dog because they need less immunizations and obedience training. They may also already be neutered or spayed, which can save you a considerable amount of money.
You may be tempted to save money by switching to a cheaper dog food, but this is not a good way to save money. Some cheap dog foods do not have as much nutrition as more expensive dog foods, so dogs must eat more to get the vitamins and minerals they need. Inferior food can also lead to more vet visits and sickness as the dog gets older.
To save money on dog food, buy in bulk or use coupons for high-quality food.
Dogs do not need treats, but if you want to give them to your new pooch, consider making your own. You can find recipes for treats that use common, inexpensive ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store.
Dog care guidelines have changed, and vets are now recommending that dogs get vaccinated every three years and not every year. Ask your vet when your dog should get his vaccinations.
Vet prices vary, even in the same area. Look for a vet who has good recommendations but doesn’t charge the highest amount. Ask friends and family for recommendations.
If your vet prescribes medications, compare prices to get the best deal. You may find that a local pharmacy or a pet medication website is cheaper than your vet.
You can save a lot of money by grooming your dog yourself. Your vet can teach you how to trim your dog’s nails to save money. You can also clean his ears and bathe him at home, which is a lot cheaper than taking him to a groomer.
Part of being a responsible pet owner is training your dog. Borrow dog training books and videos from the library to help you learn how to train your dog, or find an affordable professional trainer in your area so you can take classes with your new dog.