Dogs on a Dime: 7 Tips for Do the Best for Your Dog on a Budget
Dr. Debra Primovic
With the current financial situation not looking any better in the near future, we thought we would give you some easy and effective ways to save money for your dog.
No, I'm not going to give you a recipe at how to make your own dog food, but some idea's you might not have thought of before or some things you may have forgotten about.
1.Get Healthy. Pet health is very serious and just like humans your dog needs exercise to stay fit. There isn't a 'magic pill' that can replace preventive medicine, but here are some tips to help with the cost. Go outside and take your favorite 4-legged friend for a walk. This will help both you and your dog, and it doesn't cost a thing.
2.Brush. Get a toothbrush for your dog and brush their teeth. This is a simple and effective way to keep their overall health on the up and up. It also helps prevent tartar build up, and gum disease, such as gingivitis.
3.Wash, Wash, Wash. Bathe your pet with pet shampoo and make sure you thoroughly rinse your dog. You want to make sure you use a pet approved shampoo because it will lessen the chance of developing an allergic reaction. It is also very important to rinse your dog thoroughly because if you don't, the suds left behind can cause dry skin and your dog to itch. I recommend using the Rapid Bath, which makes this task a treat.
4.Get a Short Doo. If you take your dog to the groomer ask them to cut your dog's hair shorter. This will decrease the number of times you need to get your dog groomed, and it will help keep your pet cooler during the summer months. You can also trim your dogs nails at home instead of going to the vet or groomer. We recommend the using a nail grinder. It's a fast and easy way to trim your dogs nail safely and effectively.
5.Feed Right. Next, check how much food you feed against what is recommended by the manufacture and your veterinarian. You could be feeding too much to your dog each day, thus creating an overweight dog and your food not lasting as long as it could by just feeding the recommended amount. Also remember to comparison shop. Just because you have bought your food at the same store for years doesn't mean they have the best price. Check the food manufactures and pet stores websites often because they will often email you special promotions and coupons if you sign up for their free newsletter. In addition to their discounts, you can usually find coupons in your local paper for numerous pet food brands.
6.Yearly Exam. Take your dog in for a yearly physical exam. The earlier you can catch any sign of disease the better. The vet will also be able to inform you about your dogs overall health and give the appropriate vaccinations. Before choosing a vet, call around your area and ask different offices how much they charge. You may be surprised at how much different offices charge for the same services. Some offices even offer special discounts to new clients, and clients that are in a difficult financial situation. You can also ask your friends for offices that they recommend. Remember to be on the lookout for discount vaccination days with your local county office and pet stores. At these discount days, you can get your yearly vaccinations and rabies shots for a fraction of the normal cost.
7.Multi-use Toys.Finally, look for good quality multi-use pet toys. Look for toys that are long lasting so you don't need to replace them often. Toys such as the "Go Dog" line are great, we especially love the Green Dragon. We also love toys by the company West Paw Design such as the Zogoflex (hide treats in it and toss it), the Humunga Tongue, (fun to carry, retrieve and tug), Pentapulls, (a fun tug toy) and the Everlasting Fun Ball (hide a treat, toss or you can even freeze in water with treats and let them play outside in the summer) are some of favorites.
Hopefully these ideas will spark some thinking at how you can improve your dog's health and to stay on a realistic budget for your best 4-legged friends.