How To Be A Thrifty Pup Parent

Written by: Claire Wolfson

January 20, 2016

In a world far too focused on commercialism, we’re all looking for ways to spend less money. Every pawrent wants the best for their fur-kids — but can’t always afford all the shiny new dog toys or top-of-the-line accessories. There are great ways to save by reducing, reusing, and recycling — an idea that can easily be applied to our dogs as well. Make an effort to think outside the box, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint with these great options for your fluffmeister!

Save big by making DIY dog toys for your pup!

There are many items that you can purchase secondhand for your pup instead of them going to waste and ending up prematurely in a landfill. Here are a few examples to get you thinking about where you can save:

– Clothing and costumes
– Stuffed toys
– Leashes and harnesses
– Beds
– Blankets
– Dishes and dish holders
– Training books and Training Tools
– Strollers
– Cages and crates
– Ramps and stairs

Save big by making a DIY dog bed for your pup!

There are also hundreds of dog themed DIY tutorials out there to guide you with repurposed projects for your pooch. From upcycling an old sweatshirt into a plush dog bed to recycling old furniture into a one-of-a-kind feeding station, the options are endless!

Here are some stellar suggestions of ways you can save and find great bargains on new-to-you items for your fur-butt:

Thrift/Vintage Shops

I picked up some outstanding ceramic dog bowls that were in perfect condition for $10 a few years ago at a vintage shop in Portland, Oregon. Other cities you’re bound to find killer second-hand items are Los Angeles, Austin, and New York City. These cities are saturated with excellent vintage shops and thrifting opportunities — and also are filled with dog people. The likeliness of you scoring some awesome doggy digs are high.


Craigslist is one of the best resources for deals on previously owned items. Does your pooch need a new crate or gate to keep him confined when necessary? These types of items are regularly listed at a fraction of the normal retail cost on Craigslist.


eBay has an entire section specifically for dog supplies of new and used items listed for a fraction of their normal price. You can narrow your search down by brand, size, price, and more. For the best deals make sure to filter to the “used” items only.

Secondhand Stores

Many second-hand stores such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army often have entire sections dedicated to dog supplies. Here you can find gently used dishes, beds, leashes, collars, and clothes. Before you run out and spend a fortune on brand new and expensive pup goods, check out your local secondhand stores for unexpected treasures.

Discount Retailers

Stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls have amazing dog departments where you can find brand new but discounted pawducts. I’ve found my Dachshunds some seriously cute winter sweaters at our local TJ’s! If you’re not into the idea of pre-owned pup wear discount retailers are a good option. You’ll still be saving money!

Flea Markets

Another great place to find unique pup items are flea markets. They’re usually held in outdoor locations so you might even be able to browse with Bruno in tow. See what kind of prizes he can sniff out!

Garage Sales

Good garage finds are extra satisfying. This is where you can score major deals by negotiating the price you want to pay. Make sure to show up early, bring single dollars, and your furry side kick for a paw up on bargaining. The seller may turn down your offer but there’s no way they’ll turn down a wagging tail and floppy ears.

Save big by recycling old toys for your pup!

There is a pawsibility that you’ll spot a shiny new item or two in 2016 that you just can’t see your pup without and that’s OK. As long as you’re conscious and cautious with your spending you’ll be on a good trail. With some smart second-hand and discount shopping, your Woofster will still be happy as can be and your wallet will be far fatter at the end of the year!

Featured Image via Christina Hart / Flickr

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Written by: Claire Wolfson

January 20, 2016

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