Owning a dog/puppy does not have to be expensive!
Even though family and friends have all told you owning a dog or puppy is not cheap, you are still desperate to own your own adorable canine pal?
Does that sounds familiar?
Any dog lover will tell you they’re worth every cent, but when pushed you’ll find most owners will admit they spend way too much on their furry family member.
In a world where decent dog food comes at a staggering price, there are some basic ways in which you can cut down the costs without getting trapped by merchandise marketing.
Here are some tips!
1. DO NOT buy from pet shops
I know I should support Australian businesses, but pet shops and stores tend to have the highest prices for dog food, toys, beds, and the many other things you may or may not need.
It can be quite convinient to nip down to your local pet shop where you can have the products instantly, but it’s best to wait until you either see the item is on special or buy elsewhere (as mentioned in the next tip).
When you visit one of the big pet stores you’ll often find a friendly pet shop staff member who will let you know what a great pet owner you are if you buy lots of premium merchandise. You can’t blame them for doing their job – what they’ve been trained for, and they’re genuinely trying to help, but the result is you’ll pay a premium price.
2. DO buy from the Internet
When it comes to online pet stores you’ll find they’re wonderfully competitive with each other. That’s great for you as you can find the cheapest prices for all things dog from the comfort of your own home.
My personal preference is Pet Circle. I say that genuinely, as I pretty much always find they offer the best prices. Especially on dog food which is what you’ll spend most of your money on through dog ownership.
Competition between pet companies is great for us as they’re always trying to out-do each other’s prices. They have a smaller profit margin than physical stores who spend money on premises and more staff, and for us we’re buying the same products whether in store or online.
Occasionally you might buy an item online and find it isn’t what you had imagined, but in the interest of consumer loyalty most reputable online stores will accept returns as long as you haven’t damaged an item or fed half a 20kg bag of food.
When buying online always check the “Sale” pages, as most stores always have sales on something.
3. DO buy decent dog toys
Yes, I know this is about saving money, but I cannot stress enough how cost-effective it is to buy decent dog toys!
All over the place, including K Mart and BigW, you’ll find lots of really fun toys. You’ve probably been tempted to buy these already, either for your own pet or as a gift to other pet owners.
The problem is, with no requirement for these toys to be safe for your dog, not only are they a potential choke hazard, they’ll also last as long as 5 minutes.
Investing in decent toys, such as Kong, will mean your toys are not only safe but will last a very long time.
Appropriate raw meaty bones are also great “toys” for your dog to play with, so if you’re okay with raw bones and have done your research, then your dog will love you for it. They’ll keep their teeth clean as well.
4. DO reuse household items
Sometimes the most fun toys can be repurposed items from around the house. All dogs love stimulus, so offering them different things to play with will also help them learn and be less naughty.
You can recycle old boxes or toilet rolls for example and use them as a cubby house or chew toy for your new puppy instead of the furniture. Old footballs are great fun to kick around in the garden or at the park, and require your dog to really think about how to push them around.
Just make sure any repurposed household items are safe for your dog. Plastic bottles can be easily torn apart and become a choke hazard, and be wary of any previous contents. Often it depends on your size and breed of dog what toys you choose to give them.
The best thing about repurposed household items is they’re free, and you won’t care if your dog destroys them!
There are many ways you can be creative making new toys with old items around the house. If you have ideas of your own, tell us in the comments.
Do you have any cost cutting tips yourself, either for buying and raising a puppy, or an older dog? That’s why we have the comments section, and I always love to hear your opinion!
Gina & Maisy