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Saving money taking care of my dog 2016

Updated on March 17, 2016
Doggie bath time. Photo by MarloByDesign.
Doggie bath time. Photo by MarloByDesign.

Can I groom my own dog?

My pets are my children. I love them more than life itself and would do anything to keep them safe, warm, well feed, loved, and happy.

Pet owners spend over $41 billion USD per year. Times are tough for a lot of households right now, and the cost of goods are not getting any cheaper.

The focus on this article is on how to save you money for dog owners, without sacrificing your dog's lifestyle.

Ways to save money

(1) Clip your dog's nails

Many dogs hate having their nails clipped. If you start when they are puppies, they will be more accustomed to this, as opposed to starting this routine on an older dog. I suggest you have someone help you if your dog gets fidgety. Your helper can rub your doggie's tummy or ears to relax them, or talk to them in loving tones, as you clip away. Remember not to cut into the dog's "quick". The quick is the blood vessel in pet dog's (as well as cat's) nail.

Your dog's nail should be cut every 2-4 weeks.

Monthly savings: $15.00.

(2) Does your vet offer 3 year shots?

Many vets now offer 3 year shots. The typical cost for a vet visit (exam and shots) could run upwards of $100.00, and more if you have a stool sample analyzed or 4DX heartworm test. If you are really struggling financially, I suggested finding a vet that offer 3 years shots, to save yourself $200.00 (Year 1 - $100.00, Year 2 - $0.00, Year 3 - $0.00; start over again Year 4 - $100.00). You can save the extra money for a pet emergency, or other medical issue that may rise unexpectedly.

Bi-yearly savings: $200.00

(3) Groom your own dog

The cost of a grooming session for dogs can range anywhere from $20.00-$40.00 (or more). Dog shampoo cost $10.00 a bottle, and can last for up to a year. If you have a shower with a removable shower sprayer, you can bath Fido in the tub. Set aside some towels that are earmarked for you dog's use.

Monthly savings: $30.00-40.00 a month.

(4) Brush their teeth

A visit to the vet for a teeth cleaning runs anywhere from $100.00-$300.00. If you get in the habit of brushing your dog's teeth, and keeping plaque off, then you dog will not need a dental exam. Dental exams also require your dog to be anesthetized, which can be harmful if your dog has a heart condition. Many vets require blood work be done before anesthetization, which could increase the cost of the visit as well.

Dental cleaning savings: $100.00 - $300.00

5) Ask for coupons

I personally use Natural Balance for my dogs, and the prices have been slowly creeping up. I called the company to ask for coupons, and they sent me an entire envelop full!

Savings: $1.00 - $10.00

(6) Find rabies clinics in your community

My town offers $10.00 rabies shot once per year. Adult dogs only need their rabies shots once every 3 years, a puppy needs their rabies shots at 5 months, one year later, then every 3 years (once the reach adult age). However, when it is time for their rabies shots, I find comfort knowing that the cost is only $20.00 for two dogs.

Rabies shot cost: $10.00 per dog (saves you a vet visit)

(7) Clean your dog's ears

Ask you vet which ear cleaner he or she recommends. This will result in less ear infections, mites, and other ear-related health problems. The initial cost of the ear cleaner is around $10, but you will be saving in future vet bills.

You can also use a little hydrogen peroxide to clean your dog's ears - then rinse with water by using a Q-tip or cotton swab dipped in water if your dog has sensitive ears.

--->>> This is a frugal idea - will not be harsh of your beloved dog's ears - and it works!

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Take aways ...

I hope these tips help you save money when caring for your dog. If you do not have pet insurance, it is always a great idea to have a little extra savings stashed away for a medical crisis. Hopefully, these tips afford you the opportunity to save ... and eliminate "doggie breath" in the process!


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    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 6 years ago from United States

      Millionaire Tips - I recommend Natural Balance Duck and Potato for sensitive tummies - dry food, Natural Balance Duck and Potato meat roll, and Natural Balance Duck and Potato bones as well. This is a consistent and healthy diet for dogs. Also, as far as the bath - your dog will eventually accept "doggie bath time" if you just start bathing him or her and give praise all along the way. Nail clipping works too if you just do it and firmly and hold their paws. The faster you are without hurting them or cutting their quicks, the better the situation will be!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 6 years ago from USA

      These are great tips. I have a dog, and have been trying to think of ways to take care of him frugally. He won't let me clip his nails - I am too nervous, and will try it sometime when he is asleep. He won't get in the bathtub either, but he was light enough to lift earlier. He gained some weight recently, so it is harder now. I will definitely look for 3 year shots and coupons. I was trying to think of a healthy but inexpensive kibble for him. Do you think Natural Choice is one that best fits that criteria?

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 6 years ago from United States

      Thank you Dr. Griz! That means a lot coming from you.

    • profile image

      Dr. Griz 6 years ago

      You give good advice for pet owners in this hub. Vets are expensive and it is only going to get worse with time.

    • profile image

      Judi 6 years ago

      I never thought to call dog food companies. Thanks for the advise.