10 Tips on How to Save and Budget for Your Dog’s General Expenses

​When you take into account the fact that 26% of the population in the UK have a dog , that’s a good chunk of the UK population that are dog lovers. Having a furry friend in the home can provide some much-needed hugs, love, and comfort, however, just like with human beings, keeping your pooch healthy and happy will come at a cost.

​Whether it’s buying food, toys, visiting the vet, or keeping your pooch well groomed, here are some useful tips on how to save and budget for your dog’s general expenses.

We all want the best for our dogs to ensure they live a happy and healthy life, so if you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to start by making a list of all your weekly dog related expenses. Doing so can help you figure out which items are essential and which are non-essential. Once you’ve identified expenses, you can look at how to reduce costs and by how much. It’s important that you work out what you can realistically afford, as well as where savings can be made.

Buy Second-Hand

Keeping your dog safe, comfortable, and happy in the home should be your number one priority. When it comes to purchasing toys, bowls, collars, and leads, the total cost can be extortionate, so to keep costs down, you may want to try visiting online retailers who sell second-hand merchandise. Whether it’s by visiting websites like eBay, or heading to your local charity shop, there are bound to be second-hand items that are as good as new.

Consider Insurance

Regular health checks are important for your dog to eliminate the risk of any serious health problems. Taking out dog insurance could protect you and your pooch ifany nasty surprises occur as it contributes to vet bills. There are providers like Everypaw that you can look into, who offer different forms of insurance coverage that may suit your needs. Dog insurance may also give you financial protection should your pet become ill or injured.

Make Your Own Bed

Dogs don’t tend to care about the colour, style, or pattern of their bed. All they’re interested in is comfort. Whilst there are many providers on the market who specialize in dog beds, you may see it as an unnecessary expense. For those who would prefer to go down the DIY route, bringing your creative side out and making your own dog bed can save you tons of money in the long run. There are dozens of online DIY dog bed tutorials to check out on the internet, so if you like a challenge and want to do the hard work yourself, making your own dog bed can add a personal touch for your furry friend.

Make Your Own Household Cleaning Products

​Owning a dog can be a dirty business, so if you’re serious about keeping costs down, and want to do your bit for the environment, why not make your own cleaning products? We all know how much of a nuisance it can be to clean up mucky paw prints after a walk, so rather than shelling out on cleaning products that could be full of toxic chemicals, being Eco-friendly and using items in your cupboards such as vinegar and baking soda can work just as well . What’s more, many natural cleaning products are safe for your pets too, meaning you don’t run the risk of them falling ill.

Get Your Dog Spayed or Neutered

​There have been various articles published that show that neutered and spayed dogs are at a lower risk of developing behavioral issues and medical problems that are commonly linked with huge pet-related spending.  Another advantage of getting your pooch spayed or neutered is not having to worry about caring for a litter of puppies in the future.

Prepare Dog Meals Yourself

While it may take a little more time, preparing your own dog food made from fresh ingredients can save you money and may be a healthier alternative for your pooch. What’s more, depending on the recipe, the food may be tastier and have fresher ingredients, giving you confidence that you’re feeding your pet the right food. If you do need to add mineral and vitamin supplements, you can do this yourself to ensure you still know exactly what’s in their food. Your dog’s diet can have a huge influence on their health, so it’s recommended to feed them nutritious meals to keep them tip top. Before you do take the step, make sure you’re fully aware of what foods are toxic to dogs and if required, speak to your vet.

Dog-proof Your Home

Dogs will be dogs, which often means that they enjoy exploring and munching on anything that’s in sight. Unfortunately, many dogs take a great liking to your furniture, belongings, and upholstery which can cost a fortune should any of your personal possessions get damaged (or eaten!). Whilst there are some items that can be replaced, your dog may stumble upon medication and toxic substances which could prove fatal, so ensuring you dog-proof your home is vital.

There are numerous strategies that you can take, such as keeping medication bottles out of reach, being careful when having lit candles, as well as ensuring cleaning supplies are placed on hard to reach surfaces. And think about the surfaces the cleaning products are used on, generally changing your cleaning products to more dog-friendly ones is an option.

Use Technology

Thanks to technology, more and more dog owners are turning to their smartphones and downloading free apps that are designed to make dog care easier. Using apps can help you monitor the health of your pet, as well as check what the best walking routes around you are. You can also maintain a well-ordered schedule, meaning you will never miss a vet appointment again and have to fork out on a missed appointment fee.

Save on Professional Services

No matter what breed of dog you have, making sure they look their best is important. Instead of taking your canine companion to the dog groomers, why not learn to do it yourself?

Sure, it will take some time and patience on your end, however, you will soon get the hang of it. Rolling your sleeves up and following a DIY tutorial can help make sure your dog stands out for all the right reasons.Make sure you do this in a safe way to ensure that you and your dog are safe. Be very careful when clipping your dog’s nails, especially if they have dark claws. If you cut to the quick, the blood vessels feeding the nail, it will bleed. For dog’s with dark nails, it may be worth filing instead.

Many dog owners see their furry friend as one of the family, so no matter how old your dog is, using the tips listed can help when it comes to saving and budgeting for your dog’s day to day expenses. Whether you’re on a strict budget, or you have the cash to splash on your pet, there are lots of corners that you can cut to keep costs down.

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Mike Stiven

I'm a pet owner, blogger, and writer from the Massachusetts. I've worked at the Alpha Dog Training Center, a dog boarding and training facility, and also shared the knowledge garnered over the years with a good number of pet sites. As a firm believer that great care has to be given to pets, beside sharing my whole experience in this blog I also work as volunteer at pet stores during the weekend.

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