Do you sometimes look at your bank balance and despair when you realise how much you have spent on your dog this month? Whilst we all love to treat our furry friends, there are ways to do this without breaking the bank.
Have a read of our money-savvy top 10 tips for ideas on how to reduce your dog expenses.
1. Make your own dog treats
Don’t rule out human food when it comes to your dog. It’s easy to go to the pet shop and reach for the enticing, well-packaged treats that are hanging on the shelf, right? Well stop. The internet is full of homemade recipes that your dog will love from peanut butter and banana treats to sweet potato biscuits just waiting for you to try. Not only will you save money by making your own, you can also ensure that there are no nasties lurking in the ingredients such as hidden sugars. Making your own treats is also good if your dog suffers from allergies.
2. Make your own toys
How many toys have you got through over the last year? From the one-legged rubber pig to the decimated stuffed duck sat looking forlorn at the bottom of the toy basket, we’re sure your dog has got through their fair share of toys – especially in their pup years. If you stop and think, that’s quite a bit of money that’s been chewed up and destroyed! So, why not make your own toys instead? Get creative with household objects like cardboard boxes, socks and old t-shirts. You could plait old clothing into your own braided ropes for a game of tug-of-war or create an interactive tennis ball toy by cutting the ball open and filling it with treats. The list is endless… and much cheaper than a new toy every time!
3. Spend time, not money
This probably sounds quite simple but, how many of us spend time to really play and interact with our pups every day? They don’t need fancy toys to lead a happy and healthy life and they will be quite satisfied (in fact, more than satisfied!) to spend some quality time with you running through the fields, getting lots of attention and snuggling up on your lap for a belly rub and a snooze in the evening.
4. Use preventative supplements
Did you know that over 90% of dogs develop arthritis in their senior years? That means that it is highly likely that your dog will have joint issues at some point in their life. Why not seek to start them on joint care supplements early to help reduce the risk – prevention is better than cure after all.
5. Use preventative care
Preventative treatments are a must for keeping your dog fit and healthy. From regular worming tablets to flea treatments and annual vaccinations, it’s important your dog receives these as part of his ongoing care. Whilst it might seem like quite a cost upfront, think of the long-term financial benefit (as well as the benefit to your dog’s health). A monthly flea treatment might cost you £10 whereas treating a flea infestation could leave you with a vet’s bill to make your eyes water!
6. Buy medication online
We’ve all gasped at the cost of a trip to the vets and of course, we would do anything to make sure our dogs are looked after however, have you considered shopping online for pet medication? If done correctly, buying online could be a great way to save money when it comes to much needed medications or even supplements. Do your research before you buy and look for sites that can fulfil UK veterinary prescriptions along with clear terms and conditions of sale, a visible UK presence and contact details. If you are considering giving your pet something you have bought online, consult your vet first.
7. Teeth cleaning
Dental treatment can cost in the region of £300+ so taking care to your dog’s teeth is essential. Keep their teeth healthy with regular care. Toothpaste and a toothbrush will probably cost you less than £10 so there really is no excuse not to brush those gnashers. You could also give your dog chicken feet as a treat. Not only will your dog benefit from a natural teeth clean, they will also get some help with joint maintenance as chicken feet are a great source of glucosamine.
You could be paying anything up to a couple of hundred pounds for a dog bed which is crazy! Especially when they then refuse to sleep on it (but that is another story!). Make your own comfy snuggle spots using old duvets and cushions. If you do want to buy a bed, get one that is going to last with parts that can be washed and replaced as they wear. Rather than buying blankets from the pet store, why not hit your local homeware shop which will probably have cheaper alternatives that you can colour match to your décor!
So, home grooming might take a bit of practice, but it could easily save you £40+ every 6 weeks. A quick internet search will provide you with plenty of “how to” videos to try and minimise anything too disastrous. Invest in some clippers, scissors and a grooming table and give your dog a makeover!
10. Pet insurance
Imagine your energetic bundle of fur jumping around and tearing a knee ligament… this could lead to a vet’s bill in excess of £1,200. Whilst we really hope this doesn’t happen, being a pet owner means you need to be prepared financially for the unexpected. If you are concerned about finding the money to pay for any potential vets bills that may arise in the future, we highly recommend you seek dog insurance.
Your dog doesn’t need to break the bank. Pick one or two of our money saving tips to start saving £££ today!