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If you’ve owned a dog for a while, you already know how expensive they can be. But taking them back is usually not an option, especially if your family has already started forming a bond with the dog. What many don’t realise, however, is that they might be making some decisions that are ending up increasing their costs. By making adjustments, you could take care of your dog and make sure that they’re happy and fulfilled, even on a budget. Here are a few easy ways dog owners can save some money.
Get Cheaper Insurance
If you don’t have a dog yet, there are some things that you can do to reduce health-related and overall costs. The first would be to research breeds that cost more to insure than others for a variety of reasons. For instance, dogs like Chow Chows, Boxers, and Bulldogs can be expensive dogs to insure. Chow Chows, for example, are prone to developing “entropion”, an eye disorder that can be extremely costly to treat. Bulldogs are also known to develop certain breathing problems and suffer from excessive bloating, which makes them more claim prone than other dogs.
If you want to save money on dog insurance, the first thing you have to do is shop around. Insurers like Everypaw offer all sorts of coverage and plans that you’ll get coverage on things like vet bills, legal costs, and third-party liability, as well as reward and advertising costs on missing dogs among other things. There may be caps on some of these, where you’ll only be able to claim up to a certain amount. These are called policy limits. If you want to learn more about the kind of plans they have to offer or for more information on dog insurance, check their site.
Adopting a dog is another thing you could do if you want to save money and haven’t bought a dog yet. However, you have to be careful there. Some rescued dogs may not have had the best start in life and could find it difficult to adapt to new surroundings, so you may need to give them time and patience. This means a rescue pet may not always the best choice for a young family. And you should ideally be already used to dogs before you adopt one.
Also, know that while they will cost you less to buy or adopt, you’ll have to spend more on training, which could take some time with this type of dog. But if you’re up for the challenge and think you have the patience needed to deal with a rescued dog, adoption could be an option.
Check with Your Current Circle
Another thing you could do to save on purchase costs is to look around to your family and friends and see if anybody has a few pups or a dog to unload. In some cases, dogs may have unexpected litters, or it might be too much to handle for the current owner. Look around and don’t be afraid to ask, chances are someone somewhere has a dog that you could take off their hands.
Save on Dog Food
There are tons of ways that you could save on dog food. The first one would be to take advantage of special offers. A lot of retailers will have special deals for return customers or for people who are part of their loyalty program, so find those with the best program and stick with them.
Also, don’t get suckered into thinking that expensive or “premium” dog food is the best. In many cases, you’re just paying for the name or for exotic proteins such as bison or kangaroo that make little difference to the pet. Instead, learn how to read labels and look for nutrients. Make sure that the brand or line you choose uses as little filler as possible.
Buying in bulk is another great way that you can save on dog food. Just as anything else, the more you buy at once, the less it’ll cost per meal. The same goes for specials. If you see any special deals, stock up as much as you can. Just make sure that you’ll have the storage space and that it won’t expire.
Save on Toys
Dogs need toys, but they don’t have to be fancy or top of the line. The most important thing is not how many toys you buy either. What you should do is check the toys they like the most and keep your selection small. This will prevent you from buying toys they’ll end up disregarding.
You can also save by making your own toys. Dog toys, in general, are pretty simple and dogs are usually happy with tug of war kinds of toys, find a treat, or your classic chew toys. For instance, an old belt or rope could make for a perfect tug of war or chew toy. You could also refill an old stuffed animal with old clothes. Don’t be afraid to be creative.
Also, forget hitting big box stores for toys. They will overcharge you for things you could easily find at your local pound shop. Go there and look for toys you know your pup will like. However, make sure that you’re on the lookout for things that could be a choking hazard or could be toxic to the dog, like paint chipping, for instance.
Save on Dog Training
All dogs should ideally be trained, not only for the sake of you and your family but for the sake of the public as well. However, training a dog, especially a younger one, is something you could actually learn on your own. There are plenty of books available on the subject, as well as video and online tools that you can use. Not to mention that you could even hire a virtual dog trainer these days. Just make sure that you get your information from a verifiable and reliable source, and don’t bite off more than you can chew, pun intended.
If you follow these few simple tips, you’ll be able to take care of all your pup’s needs without breaking the bank. Always make sure that you look for new ways to save, and don’t forget to splurge on some luxuries here and there.
This is a collaborative post.