Hi, all! Dachshund Mommy here today to share my tips and tricks on living frugally with your dog, i.e. what our family does to save money with doggie expenses.
Random note, but please stop by my mom's blog (aka Nola's Sweetie of "Say What, Sweetie?") here. She just did her first review!
But before that, I just wanted to answer a question many of you asked on yesterday's post. The question was what was Nola wearing in the picture. She's wearing a Ruffwear Web Master harness, pictured below (review coming soon!). I love this harness, and if you have an escape artist it's a pretty much foolproof way to keep your pup safe.
Now that that's cleared up, here are my tips!
1. Get a small breed. :p
If you don't have a dog yet but know you'll be on a budget, consider a smaller breed. Not only do they eat significantly less, medication is often much cheaper (for example, 12 months of heartworm prevention for Little Kielbasa is about $49, and for a larger dog it'd be anywhere from $65-75). Spays and neuters are often cheaper for dogs under a certain weight, and gear for small dogs is usually much less expensive.
Not to mention renting with a smaller dog is much easier, as is traveling with them (dog friendly hotels usually don't charge you extra if your dog is under 25lbs).
|"I'm an economical choice! And freaking adorable and loving, to boot."|
2. Start a blog ;).
Since starting the blog two years ago, I've saved and/or earned about $3,500. I don't have to pay for collars, leashes, harnesses, treats, most toys, chewies, jackets, ID tags, grooming products, most supplements, ect. Really my only expenses (besides occasional splurges on unnecessary things) are food and vet bills.
I've also made about $100-120 from selling things I've gotten to review on eBay (I only started doing that a month or so ago), so that's 100% profit for me.
3. Feed a good quality food.
It'll cost you more upfront, but in the long run you're saving money two ways. One is that with a high quality food you can feed less of it, and two, in general, the better the diet the healthier the dog (or person!).
Feeding my crew a home cooked diet has really cut down on food costs. It's much less expensive for me to cook for them instead of buying the high quality, high protein, grain free food they'd be on otherwise.
4. Shop around on prices.
Whether it's food, toys, gear, vets (just an FYI: Banfield vets, aka PetsMart vets, are generally majorly overpriced), heartworm and flea prevention, see where you can find the best deal. 1800PetMeds is more expensive than Dr. Foster and Smith, by a lot. Heargard+ (12 month) for Nola's size is $57.98 from PetMeds, but from DF&S it's only $49.
Also check out the makers of your heartworm and/or flea prevention to see if they offer coupons or rebates. I checked Heartgard's (what I use for Little Kielbasa's heartworm prev.) website, and found a $12 off coupon when you buy a 12 month supply. Here's the link. I also checked out Comfortis's (what I decided to use for Bean's flea treatment) site and found a $25 rebate on a 12 month supply, or a $10 rebate on a 6 month supply. Here's that link.
5. Low cost spay and neuter places are your friend.
Boston and Augustine's spay and neuters (respectively) were both done by low cost clinics. Particularly for neuters, it's a great alternative so long as it's a reputable clinic.
6. Know when to splurge and when to skimp when it comes to vet care.
When Nola was suffering from her food allergies, her old vet heavily pushed getting a skin scarping done to check Kielbasa for mange. I was 100% positive she didn't have mange, and I kew it was just how severe her allergies were/are. But I let myself get pushed into getting it done, and what do you know, the scraping showed no mange. I wish I had declined that test! Things like that you can decline, but you need to be 150% sure.
You also need to know when not to skimp. If, god forbid, Nola were to ever have a back issue I would do my damnedest to get her to the University of Florida's small animal orthopedic department. They are the best ortho surgeons in the southern US, and in a case like that you're better off paying for the best possible treatment.
7. Learn to do things yourself when it comes to grooming.
Smooth Dachshunds (Nola and the Minions are all smooths) are pretty much wash and wear when it comes to grooming, but they still require occasional baths and nail trimmings. I do all the dogs' grooming, bathing, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, nail clipping, ect, at home. Not only is it cheaper, they're more comfortable with me and in their own home. It also gives me a chance to throughly look over all of them and keep a mental log of how they're doing.
If you have a breed with more extensive grooming needs, try learning to do it yourself.
The only exception to this is anal glands. I refuse to do this. As my grandpa says, "Best $15 I've ever spent" in regards to anal glands!
8. When it comes to gear, buy used.
Save money on gear and buy used! Ebay is your friend.
9. If you have the experience or are willing to learn, train your dog yourself.
Provided the dog doesn't have any serious issues, and you've educated yourself on positive methods, training your dog at home, yourself, is a great option to save money and have a training program tailored specifically to your dog.
10. Buy online or from smaller pet stores instead of the big box stores like PetsMart or Petco.
The big box stores are more often than not ridiculously overpriced. Chewy.com is a great place to find deals!
There you have it! That's what I do to save money. What are y'alls tips?