Owning a dog can be a great thing for any households whether you’re a family or living alone, it’s great to have a furry friend who will love you unconditionally in exchange for some food, exercise and love.
But having an additional member in the house comes with additional costs, and research shows that owners can end up paying up to £17,000 during the lifetime of your dog depending on the size (source: PDSA)! – With that amount of money, you could buy a decent car, 4 pretty good cars, pay for a deposit on a house or buy 17,000 bones for your pooch!
We here at RelaxMyDog always have the owners best intentions in mind, and that’s why we’ve put together 9 (and a half) ways to help reduce the cost of owning a dog that will help put some money back in your pocket!
1. Insure your pooch!
I know what you’re thinking, how can paying an average of £23.90 a month actually save you money? Bare with us, it does actually make sense! You see, part of that £17,000 figure quoted earlier is built up from visits to the vets which can be stupidly expensive without insurance. On average, an uninsured visit to the vets can cost end up costing £810 (source: This Is Money). And with insurance, this figure can be halved – so it’s very logical to spend on insurance to save in the long run and reduce costs.
2. Train your dog.
Poor training on your dog can result in a big bill landing on your doorstep should your dog decide to attack a child for no reason or run out on to a road, causing a lorry driver to swerve and driving it off a cliff along with £1,000,000 worth of oil… Okay, the chances of this happening are pretty slim! But if your dog does things that endanger others it could result in a nasty bill or even worse – your dog getting put down. Some basic training of commands such as Heel, Sit and Stay are effective and can help keep your dog under control when it’s critical that they do.
3. Buy unbranded food.
Owners are right to feel good about buying “good quality” food for their dogs, but most of the time the branded food doesn’t serve a whole load of nutritional value to your dog. It has been proven that some brands can provide a minuscule amount of nutritional value to your dog, while other brands just use better ingredients to justify a higher price whilst providing no benefits to your dog whatsoever. If small benefits (and we mean small) don’t mean much to you, then buy unbranded. £20 here and £20 there can save you hundreds over the course of a year.
4. Buy in bulk.
Some supermarkets as well as most cash & carry’s will stock food, treats and flea treatments in bulk. Buying in bulk is claimed to save you up to £500 a year for a medium-sized dog. The only downside to going for the bulk option is that you will most likely need a lot of space, but it will save you lots of money in the long run!
5. Reduce the toys.
We’re not telling you to take away all of your dog’s toys, we’re not that cruel! What we’re saying is, dogs can often get bored of the same toys every now and then, resulting in you going out to the nearest pet store and buying more – until those get used and inevitably unloved. Many dog-blogs will tell you that it’s recommended to keep 2-3 toys out at a time and rotate them with the spares every week, this will keep your dog entertained and give it something to look forward to, as well as saving you from buying more toys!
6. Groom your dog.
Dogs require regular maintenance just like we do, whether it’s their nails, teeth or fur, getting it done through a third-party can be very expensive, especially since it needs to be done on a regular basis. So, why not do it yourself? An initial investment of some nail clippers, dog toothbrush and hair trimmer (optional) will last a lifetime and help you save some dosh! And if you discover that you’re really good at keeping your pooch looking fresh, you can even advertise and sell your services!
7. Say no to kennels!
If you’re going on holiday or even going to work for however long it may be, it’s only natural to stress on what you’ll do about the dog, our advice is don’t put it in a kennel, it’ll cost you a very large sum! Instead, look to friends or family that can take it for daily walks, toilet breaks as well as keeping it fed and watered. Additionally, there are also services where people can “borrow your dog” for an agreed period of time, completely free of charge done solely out of the kindness of their hearts and their love for dogs!
7.1. Bring your dog with you!
Following from tip #7, if you happen to work in a dog-friendly office (like ours!) then why not bring your dog with you? You can guarantee that it will be well-loved by either you or every other person in the office! This provides reassurance for yourself as well as saving you from spending on a kennel or a daycare session. The biggest drawback to this is that you may struggle to get any work done with your dog laying around in the way!
8. DIY food and treats.
Making your own food really isn’t as hard or as worrying as it might sound, and if done correctly, can save you a lot of money as well as providing some delicious treats where you know every ingredient that’s in it! Don’t worry, we’re not just going to tease you with a massive money saving tip and not even tell you how to do it! We’ve actually put together a list of some homemade dog recipes that you can make yourself straight away right here! It’s even got a scrumptious vegan recipe for your dog if you’re looking for a vegan option. 🙂
9. Go second-hand
Beds, toys and accessories (lead, bowls, etc) are very expensive items, so our last tip in this guide is to look at charity shops when you next need to stock up on the dog essentials! There is often nothing wrong with these items and most of the time they are only there as they are no longer needed.
Money, money, money!
You’ve done it, you’ve beaten the system and hopefully saved thousands of hard-earned cash! Now you can go treat yourself to anything you want, the skies the limit – just make sure that your dog gets to reap the rewards as well!
If we’ve helped you save hundreds, thousands or even millions (probably unlikely!) then we would love to hear from you over on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!
Thanks for reading! 🙂