We waited so long before our family added our first pet, Ollie. A large part of the wait was because our kids are in so many activities that require us to be away from home quite a bit. Another large part was that pets are an added expense. While I knew it wouldn't break the bank for us, I wanted to make sure we were in a position to be able to provide emergency care if needed (and as it turns out, we did need to).
I knew that many expenses could add up if I didn't find ways to save, as I always try to do. Pets are a part of the family, and with every member in our family, that means food, shelter, haircuts, medicine, etc. So, those things can add up fast unless you try to find ways to save money in those areas as well. And, why wouldn't you, ya know?
If you are looking for ways to save money on your pet, you are in the right place! Here are seven simple ideas to save money on pet expenses from a new-ish dog mom.
Our sweet pup, Ollie. <3
Consider grooming your pets yourself! Trips to the groomer can get costly. Instead of relying on someone else to bathe, groom and trim your pets nails do it yourself. It is generally fairly simple to groom your dog, you just have to devote a little extra time.
These Andis clippers came highly recommended from many of the doodle Facebook groups I'm a member. If you do purchase a pair of clippers to do your own grooming, make sure your clippers comes with appropriate blades that are for your specific breed of dog. They aren't all the same. Things you learn once you become a dog mom. Also, many groomers in those groups also suggest that you don't skimp on the clippers' purchase.
I was thrilled to find a very nice grooming set at a garage sale this summer for just $1! Even though I wasn't grooming our pets at the time, I knew it was something that I wanted to do eventually. And for $1, it was a no brainer even if it was only used for sanitary trims!
I plan to peruse YouTube to learn some tips for grooming when I tackle that with our next pup. I'm sure there will be some bad hair jobs, but it's all part of learning.
Save Money on Pet Food
Healthy pets are happy pets. Each food has a recommended feeding schedule based on age and weight. However, always check with your vet to see if that suggestion is valid for your pet.
It is unnecessary to leave a bowl full of food down all day, refilling it as it gets emptied. We had our pup on a strict schedule of twice a day meals. I found that she would graze all day if I left the bowl down, not really finishing her first bowl.
When I changed it (after talking to my vet) to two separate meal times (morning after potty break and then evening dinner time), she would eat all of her food and not get filled up on treats. Feeding on a set schedule will not only save you money on extra food that your sweet furball does not need, but it will also help them from gaining excess weight, which can lead to other health issues.
We always kept her water bowl full so she could drink anytime she wanted. Since she was potty training I knew I had to take her out every hour anyway so the additional fluid was fine with me until she learned to “hold” it. She got her treats throughout the day as well for going potty. She was content and full.
Here are some other delicious looking homemade dog food recipes to try:
- Slow Cooker Organic Stew
- Turkey and Veggie Dog Food
- Homemade Roasted Chicken and Veggies Dog Food
- Homemade Dog Food
I was totally that dog mom who made her furbabies food fresh every morning and evening. She was a happy and well-loved puppy!!
Pet Meds Coupons
Look for pet medicine online. Flea medicines can be pricey from your veterinarian’s office. Save by purchasing it cheaper online, a farm supply store, or a warehouse club. Many online retailers will price match one another, or even price match your vet's prices, so definitely seek out those other options.
Also, don't forget to look for coupons online! You can use a printable manufacturer coupon many times to save on those meds as well.
Invest in Appropriate Pet Toys
Animals need entertainment. Especially puppies! If they are not provided with the proper toys, your belongings will soon become their toys. RIP to all my shoes that I lost (sometimes a shoe is just way more appealing than a Kong toy for some reason)!
With that, it's important to purchase or make toys to keep your animal babies from destroying your belongings. Cat scratch posts are perfect for kitties. When it comes to dogs, spending a little more money on quality and durable toys that will last, will save money in the long run.
There is nothing worse than having to continuously buy pet toys. These were some of Ollie's favorite toys:
- Pig Squeaker Toy
- Snuggle Pet *must have for all new puppies
- Nylabone Chew Toys
- Babble Ball Interactive Dog Toy *purchase according to your pet's size
- Hopper Ball *most suitable for small pets
I was also very fortunate to purchase some toys at that garage sale I mentioned!
Homemade Pet Treats
Consider making your own pet treats. A box of Milk Bones is good for helping clean your puppy's teeth, but they generally are not cheap and not always the healthiest option.
Instead of forking over your hard earned money on store bought treats, make your own dog treats homemade with just a few simple ingredients. Here are a few easy options:
- Homemade Fresh Breath Dog Treats
- Frozen Blueberry Skull Dog Treats
- No Bake Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats
- Easy Homemade Cat Treats
Free Printable Dog Clothes Patterns
If you've never made your pet wear clothing, are you really a pet parent? :) Instead of spending a small fortune, try to make your own clothing!
Not only will you have a larger selection of fabric to choose from, but you can save a fortune by sewing up an entire wardrobe yourself. Here are a few cute designs:
- Reversible Over The Collar Dog Bandana
- Dog Coat
- Rain Jacket
- Harness Cover
- Frilly Dress
- Ewok Dog Costume
And, I love this one to learn how to make dog clothes from baby clothes! You can find lots of used baby clothes at your local thrift store.
I also lucked out at that garage sale and got a few outfits. I did hit the garage sale jackpot for pet parents!
Finding a Good Veterinarian
I wouldn't consider this a mistake, but this is something I didn't do more checking into before we chose a vet's office. I would suggest calling around before you decide upon which vet will care for your pet. Not only for happy customers, but for prices from a basic checkup, an emergency visit (different hourly rate), bloodwork, spay and neuter fees, anesthesia charges, hospitalization charges, etc.
Most often prices aren't listed on websites (which is typical). Just because there is an office right down the road from you, it does not mean that they are the best option for pet care.
Also, another thing to consider, many Humane Society locations can be of great assistance when it comes to finding affordable vet services, especially for a spay and neuter procedure. It's worth a call to determine if there's a low-cost option to consider.
I'm not suggesting your pet isn't worth it, please believe that. I want you to find the best possible care at the most comfortable price for you. That means making a few calls so your gut and wallet are happy!
Also, if you have not looked into affordable pet insurance options, please do! I shared about our experience and it helped our family save thousands as we faced devastating health news on our precious Ollie. It is worth the peace of mind!
While I was a pet parent for a brief period of time, I learned a lot of ways to save the most possible! I am excited to welcome a new furbaby to our family again. I'm sure I'll have new ways to save and will share with you as well!