Money-Saving Tips for Animals Owners
Guest Post By Elizabeth Glavin, author of 20SomethingSaver
As parents you dread hearing your child ask the age-old question, “Can we get a pet?”At this point you are praying she wants a beta ﬁsh and not a Greyhound, but what areyou supposed to do? So you head out and get a dog. And a leash. Food bowls, too. Oh,and clothes?! And now youʼre $500 poorer and the puppy is chewing the corners of yourPersian Rug!
Luckily, Iʼve not reached that stage and I wonʼt for a while. But, I do have two dogsmyself and I have managed to not spend very much by following some simple and funguidelines.
First things ﬁrst– health. Your vet is going to be pricey unless youʼre careful. There aresome ways to avoid silly costs, though. I highly recommend PetsMartʼs Banﬁeld PuppyProgram. If you donʼt have a PetsMart near you (or you animal is an adult), a regularAnimal Hospital is just as wonderful. Be smart. When my puppy ate a foam football andI called our Dr. to see what to do, I got a $112 invoice in the mail 3 days later. If youneed vet help over the phone, be sure and ask if you will be charged!
Food can also be pricey but itʼs the easiest to save with! Unless you are very pickyabout your animalʼs food, buying dog or cat food from the grocery store is probably themost economical. Find a brand you like and stick with it. My dogs love Pedigree AdultDog Food and it goes on sale quite often. The best way to save with food is couponing.When the 8.8lb bag of food went on sale for $3.99, I had a $4 off coupon! Obviously westocked up on this sale and Iʼm stockpiled with dog food until the next sale. Be sure andread your store ads and ﬁnd coupons. Pedigree does a great job with providing itscustomers with coupons.
Treats fall under the “food” category but beware– do not get these from pet stores; stickwith the grocery store as well. Of course this is just my opinion, but they are usuallyoverpriced. Publix had treats that my dogs love 2/$4 last week, for example. I checkedthe PetsMart ad online and one bag was $3.74! Itʼs very easy to save some money withfood and treats, you just have to do your research.
Grooming is an expense that many dog (and cat) owners overlook. Grooming is anecessary aspect of an animalʼs health, and it can get quite expensive. With my twopoodles, I cannot skip the grooming department. Invest in a ﬁne tooth and wire brushand brush your dogʼs coat twice a week. Try to bathe him every other week unless hegets really dirty. If you bathe your dog yourself, you can save well over $500 a year! Usenatural oatmeal shampoo ($4 at Target), and try not to get your dogs ears too wet.
Lastly, have fun! Almost all dog parks and dog beaches are free of charge. Not only arethey a great form of exercise, you get the satisfaction that your dog is enjoying himselfand itʼs not on your dime!
Elizabeth Glavin is a 20something learning to live on less. Visit her blog, 20somethingSaver, to read more about her journey of living, giving, and saving with her two dogs.