There’s never been a better time to get thrifty and explore fun ways to keep those dollars growing. But you might wonder - how can I save money when I have a dog? Well, these money saving tips for dog owners are just the ticket!
If you’re anything like us, you love treating your pooch…probably too much. So we set ourselves an office goal to discover the most effective and achievable ways to save money on dog supplies. In this article, we’ll be sharing everything our team learned from this thrifty dog challenge.
According to recent research, the average annual expenses for a pet dog amount to about $1,480.
On top of that, more than half of owners buy their pets gifts at least once a month. Hands up if you are those people (*our whole office raises their hands.*)
While we will always want to give our dogs the best life we can and stay squarely in the gift-giving camp, there’s no real downside to saving some extra dollars every month. Whether it can help offset other rising costs, add to a pot for your future plans or simply get a better handle on your spending - it’s great to know how to save money whilst owning a dog.
So we set about doing just that, and we promise it's easier than you might think!Without further ado, here are our top money saving tips for dog owners. Starting with…
1. Ditch The Gym & Up Your Quality Time
The average gym membership in 2021 cost $50.03 a month, or $600.41 per year. No doubt these prices will rise in the years to come as inflation, well….inflates.
At Potty Buddy HQ we realized just how much our gym passes were neglected, getting dusty in draws or lost under car seats. So we thought - why not use our pups to get moving instead and pocket that $600?And you know what - it worked. We got creative and discovered plenty of ways to work out with our canines, which also had the added bonus of some quality time with them added to our day.Why not try:
Paws To 5k - A great training plan that helps you and your dog get fit enough to run a 5k together. And don’t worry, as for such short distances you won’t need any special equipment - just a comfortable harness and sturdy lead will do just fine.
Playtime HIIT - High-Intensity Interval Training involves taking breaks between exercises. Not only is it a hugely effective form of exercise, but those breaks are great for a quick tug session. Plus you can teach your dog to wait between sets for some extra obedience skills.
Tennis - Practice your serve and your dog’s fetch all in one. You might want to pick quieter times on the courts for this one and take plenty of water with you.
Swimming - Swimming is great for a dog’s joints and is easier on their paws than running. Likewise, swimming is just as great for people too! Just find a dog-friendly spot that’s free from any harmful algae or chemicals. Ultimate Frisbee - Get the whole family involved with this fun workout. Not only is it a strong cardio workout, but it challenges your hand-eye coordination and strategic skills too.
2. Get Thrifty On Dog Supplies
With so many essential items our pups need, it can be hard to know how to save money on dog supplies. But you know what they say? Buy used, save money!
For example, here’s a list of purchases our team made during the thrifty dog challenge:
Running harness and bungee lead (for those new workout sessions) - These are around half the price when buying used, and many are often only used a handful of times.
Dog bandana - Again many of these are barely used and machine washable, so they are easy to buy cheaply second-hand.
Cool mat - Many owners never use these when buying new and will sell them on barely used. A quick clean and it’ll be fresh as a daisy for your pup.
Crate - You pay half as much for a used crate, and a quick clean will leave it feeling brand new for a bargain price.
3. DIY Toys
Toys are where we can see our budgeting go out the window. And don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing better than playing with a new, exciting toy. But to save those all-important dollars, we replaced some of these purchases with a DIY option. Try:
Turning every parcel delivery into a treat sniffing, tug & destroy session - all great forms of enrichment.
Using toilet roll cartons as treat dispensers.
Plaiting old t-shirts into tug toys.
Attach an old toy to a stick or bamboo cane with some rope for a homemade flirt pole.
4. Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Preventative care is one of the best ways to save money as a dog owner. By brushing your dog’s teeth as often as you can, you’ll be lowering their chances of dental disease significantly.
It might sound counterintuitive, but feeding your dog the cheapest food you can find is probably going to end up costing you more. Good nutrition is a cornerstone of your dog’s wellbeing, so a diet that doesn’t nourish them or that promotes obesity will mean more vet visits - and more spending.
Choose the best food for a healthy weight, and don't skimp on quality. Instead, the key to saving money on dog food is to focus on other clever ways to cut the costs of that chow:
Save your time with a delivery service - Time is money, as they say, so reduce the time (and gas) you spend running to the pet store and sign up for a delivery service instead. Read more about our favorite brand here.
Buy in bulk - Buying in bulk saves you precious dollars and (again) reduces the time you spend going to the store.
Look for complete nutrition - Discuss with your vet a feed that covers all your bases. For example, find a food that contains all the essential supplements your dog might want to include in their diet to prevent any breed-specific issues as they age. This will stop you from shelling out on expensive extra supplements.
Measure up - Not only is this good for your dog’s waistline, but it’s also great for your wallet. No more blindly throwing kibble in a bowl, get out those scales!
6. Homemade Treats
How many treats do you go through in a week? We realized just how much all those training games and recall practice sessions were adding up.
By creating your own natural dog treats, you know exactly what your pup is eating. Allowing you more control over their weight, mood, and energy levels. Plus, DIY treats are usually cheaper too! Win-win. Or should that be ‘woof-woof’?
8. Create a Local Dog-Share
Walks in the neighborhood and trips to the dog park aren’t just for your furbaby. When you start to socialize with other dog parents, you’re building a valuable network of other owners who all want the same thing - to cut costs.
Once you know them well enough, consider asking them to join a group chat where you can offer walking, sitting, or even daycare to each other on an exchange basis. Considering a dog owner spends on average $228 a year for these services, it’s a great way to save!
7. Choose Reusable
We LOVE reusable dog supplies. Because…what’s not to love! Not only do reusable products prevent unnecessary landfill waste (yuk) and reduce your dog’s carbon pawprint (yay), but they save you dollars too (double yay). This was the main reason we brought Potty Buddy to life - to offer quality, reusable dog supplies that help to nurture healthy dogs, protect the environment & save owners money. Why not make these cost-saving swaps:
Disposable pee pads to The Potty Buddy 100% leak-proof, reusable potty pad, with an ultra-absorbent inner layer & weighted bottom. Machine washable and super comfortable. Perfect for crates & apartments, seniors, or young pups. No more shredded, leaky pads ruining your home!
Paw wipes to The Paw Buddy Paw wipes aren't cheap, and they are often made from yukky microplastics. Instead, make muddy paws less of a chore with our portable, gentle paw cleaner.
Disposable Diapers to Reusable Diapers are a lifesaver for a range of conditions. Whether your dog is in season, spraying, struggling with incontinence, or living with a health condition - they can make your house a more hygienic space. Save money and waste by switching to our comfy, reliable & machine washable diapers.
How to Save Money Owning A Dog: The Wrap Up
There you have it, our top 8 money saving tips for dog owners. We hope these tips will help you see those savings start to roll in.
What’s your top tip on how to save money owning a dog? Let us know over on Instagram!
Learn how Potty Buddy™ products help pet-parents keep their homes clean and their pets comfortable
Leak-Free Potty Pad
A durable and super-absorbent potty pad that can be washed and reused for years. It saves money and the planet.