Cute, loving, and entertaining furry friends are part and parcel of life for many of us. So much so we often treat them like adopted children because they are a source of our pride and joy. The fun part is that dogs speak in a language that humans rarely understand, but they remain man's best friend.
Additionally, dogs require care, and if you’re not careful, owning one can be very expensive upfront or over time. Some of the expenses you expect to incur as a dog owner include the cost of;
- Annual visits to a veterinarian or when your dog is ill or has an injury.
- Premium quality food.
- Cute dresses or sweaters.
- Toys for entertaining your dog. Fashionable harnesses/leashes.
- A comfortable bed and perhaps a crate.
- Accessories like the must-have rhinestone collar, among other things.
Also, you need to find a boarding location or companion animal caretaker if you’re planning to travel without your dog. You also need to tip the pet sitter. These will all be part of the additional expenses you may incur as a dog owner. Note the minimum cost of caring for a large dog is $875 yearly and $695 annually for a medium-sized canine. That is according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
How to Reduce the Cost of Owning a Dog
If you are a passionate dog owner, you will probably give your furry friend more than the bare minimum care. This suggests that you’ll likely pay more. As much as that is the case, providing your dog with the best care doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Here are a few tips for taming the cost of owning a dog.
1. Learn DIY Care and Prioritize Necessities When Owning a Dog
One way you can reduce the cost of owning a dog is by learning DIY care. For instance, you can make pet-safe toys by recycling pet-safe products. Or, you can opt for natural control of parasites if your dog has ticks or fleas. The reason is that your dog does not need fancy and expensive products to be happy. After all, a dog cannot tell the difference between the boutique collar and the bargain find.
2. Keep Your Dog Healthy by Feeding Them Quality Pet Food
First and foremost, understand that brands of pet food that contain genuinely nutritious content are expensive. Although that’s the case, you’ll eventually save much more. The reason is that opting for better quality pet food will preserve your dog's health. Talk to your vet and compare ingredients. You can often find quality food for your fur baby without paying the cost of premium options. It is also worth mentioning that 56% of adult dogs are overweight, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
Obesity causes most dogs to suffer severe medical conditions, and that is why you should avoid overfeeding your pet. Otherwise, doing so will bear a negative impact on your dog's health, which, in turn, may dent your wallet. Cancer, dental issues, compromised immune systems, allergies, kidney disease, hair loss, heart issues, and foul-smelling feces arise from poor diets.
Addressing these health issues later becomes paramount and is quite expensive. The solution here is keeping your dog healthy by feeding them quality pet food. You can read more on that here.
3. Avoid Expensive Vet Visits When Owning a Dog
Taking your dog to the vet at least once a year, even when they appear healthy, is advisable. That does not suggest that you should opt for a veterinarian who charges exorbitant rates. Instead, consider checking with a nearby university whether there is a veterinary program. Such programs offer low-cost check-ups and vaccines, and that can translate to significant savings.
Also, you can check 1800petmeds if you discover that your dog needs medication after visiting a veterinarian. By doing so, you will realize savings through discounted generic brands. Additionally, researching and talking to your vet about whether your dog needs all the recommended vaccines is a wise idea. You can also inquire about holistic alternatives for particular pet health issues.
4. Avoid Purchasing Pet Supplements
Buying expensive vitamins if your dog is on a quality diet that provides all essentials is not necessary. The only reason you may go for such supplements is when a veterinarian recommends them for your dog's nutrition requirements.
5. Consider Neutering/Spaying Your Dog
If managing one dog is quite a task, caring for more of these furry companions will be challenging. Neutering or spaying your dog plays a pivotal role in avoiding long-term medical issues. You also need to consider that going through heat or pregnancy can affect a female dog's health. On the other hand, neutering a male dog helps address their urge to go out and explore.
6. Do Not Buy Treats
Most pet treats have low nutritional value and high calories, and they can be expensive. Instead, try giving your dog pieces of their regular diet as a reward for positive behavior over the special snack. Making treats at home is another option you can consider. Doing so allows you to avoid the chemicals and preservatives in store-bought treats.
Note that homemade treats are an ideal alternative for dogs with allergies. A homemade treat will also allow you to choose the right ingredients, making such a snack a nutritious option.
7. Ensure You Care for Your Dog's Teeth and Ears
Since your dog cannot clean its teeth and ears, you need to assume that responsibility. That way, you will reduce your dog's chances of developing dental or ear infections. You can achieve that by regularly checking your dog's ears and brushing their teeth. Prioritizing good hygiene saves on the cash you should channel towards dental procedures, medications, and additional vet expenses.
8. When Owning a Dog, Get Pet Insurance
If your dog is sick or suffers an injury at some point, pet insurance will come in handy. You should decide if you want to put money in a pet insurance plan to take care of the unexpected. Or, you can see whether your bank will help you take care of the expenses when such issues arise. Pet insurance may not be mandatory, but looking into it to determine whether it is worth it is prudent.
9. Groom Your Dog
Opting to groom your dog at home can attract savings in one way or another. Establishing a routine will help you detect skin issues, fleas, or infections, and will keep your furry friend looking good. A good pair of nail clippers can cost less than having a groomer clip them once.
10. Vaccinate Your Dog
Protecting your dog against deadly diseases is possible through vaccination. A veterinarian can recommend particular vaccines for your animal specifically that would be best. Speak with them about the vaccines that are critical to the overall wellness and health of your dog. Talking to your vet will help you identify the vaccine options your dog should get.
Your Furrever Friend
Your dog's love and companionship enrich your daily life. So, caring for your furry friend is not an option. But, it can be more affordable by adopting the tips above. Join a community of dog lovers by becoming a PrimeWay member today, and put those savings to work for you.