Times are hard, for everybody. We hope none of our readers is not caring enough for their dogs in order to save some precious dollars or pounds. The vet consultations, the treats, and food, the grooming (and the groomer!), but also all the toys and dog breeding supplies you must have at home at all times. As a dog breeding reference, we know better than others, because we continuously speak to you guys, that all these expenses can sum up to a hefty amount at the end of every month.
Quality comes with a price tag many will say, and it can be true. Yet, we think that a lot of money can be saved if dog owners and dog breeders were willing to invest more time in this. Tug toys cost loads if you go for quality, what about coming up with your own? Sure, the first attempts may be pathetic but who cares? Try, improve, and you’ll soon have the perfect DIY tug toy for your dog(s) to play with.
Let’s see what we’ve got in store…
We’ve come up with five easy ways to save (a lot of) money on your dogs’ everyday care. You’re welcome. They are no rocket science, they require zero subscriptions or membership of any sort: they are simply philosophies and habits you should start to establish gradually, so you can soon save a lot of money and make your dogs feel even happier (and healthier!)
As you can see, there is no need to go into expensive insurance plans, bulk premium dog food, etc. A lot of financial savings will come your way as soon as you are happy with spending time doing things yourself. Plus, we all know how much better keeping tabs on everything is.
Your dogs will thank you later!
Create Your Own Unique Fun Toys
Nothing makes us happier than a dog’s wagging tail when the favorite toy is in sight! Come back five minutes later, that cuddly toy is in pieces and the squeaky ball is not squeaky anymore… Toys are expensive, it is a massive business and money is better spent on smart toys, and better saved when it comes to regular good ol’ toys.
Not that you shouldn’t give these good ol’ toys to your dog: they love balls, cuddly raccoons, sticks, tug toys, and so on. But instead of buying these, make them yourself with fabric and supplies you already have at home! It takes a little bit of time and it will save you precious monies! You can even come up with some DIY smart toys for dogs that will cost you no more than a pair of socks, literally.
The Two-Sock Treat — Get a treat or two that your dog loves, add the treats inside, and stuff them with anything you want. Simply ball these socks up and let your dog sniff these balls of socks and hide them somewhere challenging for your dog to find. Your pooch will absolutely love the challenge! If your pet suffers from separation anxiety, it is a great half-treat half-activity to keep them busy while you are gone, and they will even associate you leaving the house with them finding yummy treats! Total cost? Not much.
Spend less money. Invest more time.
The DIY Dog Tug Toy — Find an old pair of jeans you haven’t worn in a long time and prepare scissors. Cut three long stripes and make one solid knot at one end. Braid the three stripes and knot the other end a couple of inches from the bottom. You now have a solid, resistant and durable (that’s why jeans were made for, remember?) tug toy that will keep company to your dog for a few weeks. One pair of jeans will usually allow you to make several tug toys, don’t waste! You can also do it using regular t-shirts or even mix the materials to create an original experience for your dog’s senses!
There are so many fun toy you can come up with randomly depending on what you have in your house, and in your yard, that you should just keep your eyes open and create toys, see what your companion likes and keep on improving. A great resource for Do it Yourself Dog Toys is this board on Pinterest: you have each toy’s final picture so you don’t waste your time with non-suitable toys.
Feed Your Dogs Homemade Meals & Treats
Dogs need a balanced diet following established macros respecting a healthy ratio of quality proteins, carbs, fibres and fats (yes, dogs need fat!)
You can save money by buying dog food in bulk on several websites or through a local manufacturer, the latter being probably healthier and of better quality. The issue is that you will indeed spend more and save money but your dog(s) will pay the difference. What you paid for will turn into a lower quality pet food, full of meat by-products and grains: your dog will eat it as, without any doubt, flavour enhancers will be present in quantity, but it will not be nutritious enough.
Preparing your dogs’ food at home, whether your are a dog breeder or simply a dog lover, will save you money and also save you from unexpected vet visits. It simply keeps dogs healthier, as long as they are not fed with table scraps. Homemade food does not mean a ready-meal in the microwave. There are several different dog diets, some are based on biologically appropriate raw feeding, others allow for the meat to be cooked, and others are even vegan dog diets.
Don’t forget to download our FREE cookbook with over 20 homemade dog food recipes with pictures for every single one of them! Simply complete the form to receive it within a couple of minutes![optinform title=”Download our FREE cookbook now!” subheader=”You’ll find over 20 homemade dog food recipes!”]
Speak to your local butcher(s), ask for great prices on offals as they are an extremely nutritious source of proteins and cost a lot less than chicken breast. Same with your fishmonger, ask for the best deals of the week and go home with fresh quality fish and meat! Trust me, your dog will welcome you like never before.
You ideally want to prepare dog meals in batches, for the next few days, so they are in an individual freezer bag, ready to be served. Raw feeding is simpler as cooking is no longer required, but you must be extra attentive to keep your produces and meat as fresh as possible to avoid bacterial contamination.
Enjoy Grooming Your Dogs With Your Own Hands
Dogs must be looked after and cared for, sometimes daily. It translates into special attention given mainly to the coat, skin, and nails. If you have to go to the groomer or use expensive dog grooming supplies each and every time, you might end up broke without realising it.
We always want the best, the most natural, and the safest products for our pooches, and we often go for products and brands over-promising and under-delivering. We put our trust in the brand rather than the obvious results: even the most expensive products offer average results. It is time to fix this!
Bathing Your Dog
How often you must bathe your dog will depend on the breed he belongs to, and the lifestyle he has. However, you can save some money by buying a much bigger volume of dog shampoo, and that way you will save money.
Other dog shampoos are sold in a concentrated form, you save even more money and you just have to dilute the shampoo in water before use. These will last you several months, it is ideal for dog breeders or if you own multiple pets.
Some people will recommend you to use baby shampoo on your dog instead of dog shampoo, we would not condone this practice since humans and dogs have a different threshold of pH and using shampoo may irritate your dog’s skin.
Unless your dog has a particular coat that requires a specific wash and grooming, you want to bathe your pooch yourself on a weekly basis, more if required, instead of bringing it to a professional groomer.
Brushing Your Dog & Control Shedding
This is perhaps the easiest to do yourself out of all the grooming, simply buy a quality brush or even the world-famous FURminator and regularly brush your dog, for several minutes if needed.
Ask your veterinarian what type of brush is the most suitable for your particular breed’s coat and confirm your vet’s recommendation through a Google search, just to be sure and read feedbacks of others about it.
Doing a thorough brushing session frequently will help control hair shedding. There is no miracle solution, and on this, it won’t cost you much money, just time. Brushing is a super moment of intense bonding so just be happy to do it.
Every few weeks, puppies and dogs should have their sharp nails trimmed using a quality dog nail grinder. This is to avoid involuntary scratches of any member of the family or even your walls and furnitures.
Most dog owners are worried of doing it wrong and cut the quick, resulting in a sharp pain for your dog and bleeding. However, we always recommend to let your vet or an experienced groomer do it a couple of times in front of you, so you can learn and do it yourself the next times.
YouTube has dozens of videos showing you how to do it, watch a few and give it a try if you feel comfortable enough.
Other Dog Grooming Tips
We’ve reviewed the main dog grooming tasks but you may also want to trim your dog’s hair yourself, it is easy but here again we suggest some learning on Youtube or by asking a groomer (go see one once and ask them all the questions you need!) If you want to do it yourself, simply invest in a great professional dog clippers (Wahl does professional-grade products for both pets and humans!)
Don’t forget that a dog’s skin, coat and nails are all heavily influenced by the quality of the dog’s diet: you probably want to prepare amazing meals, balanced, so you need to use less products to get that shiny coat.
Speak To a Few Different Vets
Vets and veterinary practices differ in size, facilities, range of services, staff size and obviously, in prices. One thing to get clear from the start is that veterinary practices are businesses like others and they are here to generate revenue.
That being said, your vet is also one of the closest people you will ever know: he or she holds your puppy and dog’s life at every consultation. Therefore, you must have a perfect relationship and trust from the second you first meet them, to when you have the veterinary practice over the phone for an emergency out-of-hours request.
Bottom line is, money should not be your top criterion here however, you should always engage with other vets than yours, understand the differences and what could they bring to your dog(s) than your current vet can’t.
Finding the perfect vet, or changing for a new one, are both hard and we wrote a specific article to guide you through what should be considered when starting this process. We go over several points that must be carefully understood before making any decision, including accreditations, reputation, location, services and facilities, out-of-hours operations, visits, communication, costs, etc.
Buy Second-Hand Supplies
A lot of people do not even want to consider second-hand supplies and dog accessories, and there is no point to force yourself, if it is not your thing, just forget about it. You’ll still spend more than needed, it is not that bad after all hehe.
Most of what dog owners and dog breeders are buying, except food and grooming products, could be bought on websites specialised in second-hand dog accessories, products and supplies. If you don’t want to research forever, you may simply go to eBay, or Amazon Warehouse Deals. For those who don’t know, Warehouse Deals are easily available on most Amazon products, under the “New” price. Just click the “Used” link as shown in our illustration and you can save some bucks for products that are still in a great, almost brand new, state.
These two together probably offer any product, supply or accessory your dogs may need, at a much lower price than if it had to be purchased brand new.
Now, if you are willing to spend a bit more time finding your product, usually for bigger products such as kennel runs, you may join Facebook Groups specialised in the trade of used dog breeding equipment. There are hundreds of those Facebook Groups, some of them are nation-wide, some target a specific city or area. Just use the Facebook Search toolbar using keywords such as dog, equipment, agility equipment, kennel equipment, for sale, etc.
As any classified ads platform, make sure you message the seller and ask about how damaged or how new the item sold is and always negotiate the price. Ideally, you want to join a local group so picking up the item isn’t a journey across the country. Think smart!
Obviously, you may find a lot of good bargains on Gumtree (UK) or Craigslist (US), make sure you keep in touch with the people you meet so you can always buy other stuff from them in the future. I always say, if you buy, you can sell too… Anything you don’t use anymore, or anything you want to upgrade, start by selling it and reinvesting the money received to buy the new upgrader better item…
We hope you liked these smart ways to spend less and give more to your dog(s) and if you did enjoy reading this post, please share it… Sharing is caring :)