**Always check in with your vet before introducing new foods or if you notice any changes in your pup’s behavior.**
As a recent college graduate, I know a thing or two about pinching pennies. And there’s no denying that dogs don’t come cheap. Food, bowls, beds, sweaters, jackets, and whatever else your dog-ruving tendencies have led you to buy can add up pretty quickly.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you become a thrifty dog person without compromising quality of life for cash. We promise your pup will love your new money-saving ways, treats, and toys just as much — if not more!
1. DIY Treats
These simple recipes can help you save a few dollars for a week or even a month depending on how many you cook up! The best part is you’re bound to have a few of these dog-friendly ingredients around the house.
2. Buy in Bulk
If you’re not one to cook up treats, buying in bulk can help you save you a few dollars along with an extra trip to the store.
3. DIY Doggie Bed
Pinterest has a lot of great ideas for making your own doggie bed from fabrics, tires, and even dresser drawers! (Pawlease be careful and make sure your creation is puppy-proof!)
4. DIY Chew Toy
You can use old ropes, fabrics, and sometimes even baby toys to make your own doggie toys! Just be sure to remove small pieces like the eyes of stuffed animals, and other hazards your puppy could get hold of.
5. Always Choose High-Quality Products
Buying higher-quality chew toys, beds, and supplies may cost you a little more upfront, but it’ll save you money in the long run. Better products are more likely to last longer, so you won’t end up with destroyed toys that your dog chewed right through.
6. Train Your Dog At Home
There is no substitute for a professional trainer — especially if you’ve got a pup with behavioral issues — but you can use an app like Puppy Coach 101 or any dog training guidebook to supplement training techniques you learn from your dog’s trainer.
7. Borrow Puppy Equipment
Your puppy will be growing quickly, even more so if you have a large breed dog. Check with friends and family to see if they have a puppy crate or additional supplies for you to borrow. You’ll be thanking yourself when your dog grows out of it in the next month or two!
8. Pet Hotel Alternatives
Pet hotels can add up quickly. Instead, try asking friends and family that your dog is comfortable with and that you trust to watch your pooch for a few days. Other possibilities worth checking out are Dog Vacay and Borrow My Doggy.
9. Skip The Groomer
With the right equipment, cutting your pooch’s hair can be a breeze. And bathing? Even easier! Most pet shops will have grooming essentials to help you leave your dog just as squeaky and clean as they would be from any fancy pup parlor.
10. Check Out The Store Brand
Store brand food items are often made with the same ingredients, without the fancy packaging. Make sure to check out the labels and slowly integrate new foods into your dog’s diet to avoid discomfort.
11. Generic Pet Medicine
Similar to store brand items, some generic medications are made of the same ingredients as the name brand medications — just without the well-known label. Be sure to check with the vet first before taking advantage of this tip!
12. Buy Pet Medicine Online
Buying some pet medication online instead of the pet store can save you a few dollars. Make sure to do your research and always buy your dog’s medication from a reputable source. When in doubt, ask your vet.
13. Adopt, Don’t Shop
If you’re thinking of adding to your four-pawed family, consider adoption! Adopting a dog is not only less expensive, but saves a shelter dog from euthanization.
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Don’t underestimate how much this one could save you. Dog stores and brands appreciate your loyalty and will often throw you an extra 20% off to prove it to you. Spend $100 and that’s an extra $20 in your pocket!