Raising a pet requires a lot of patience, dedication and time. But that’s not all! One needs to have sufficient funds to be able to take care of their dog too. Not only will you have to spend on dog food and a number of dog accessories, the vet bills are yours to pay too.
Perhaps you are having trouble managing your budget. Whether you are looking to cut costs or planning to bring home a dog despite your financial limitations, these suggestions should help you significantly.
Feeding the Right Food
Pet food is expensive. There’s also a chance that the food you’re feeding your pooch is not nutritionally balanced. What you can do instead is feed your dog a home-made diet keeping in mind its nutritional needs.
You’ll be able to customize the diet according to your dog’s breed, age and preference. You won’t ever have to worry about all the things that go into making commercial dog food as you’ll be using the best ingredients to dish up a meal for your pooch. You’ll be glad knowing that you are no longer feeding your dog unhealthy additives, fillers, or preservatives.
You can purchase meat and vegetables in large quantities whenever there’s a sale and prepare your pet’s food days in advance. You can consider sharing the expenses and labor involved with a friend or a neighbor who owns a dog. Do your research on what’s best for your pooch.
Don’t purchase cheap pet food to cut down on costs. Cheaper pet food is often of a lower quality with more filler that won’t do any good to your furry friend. While you may not see the effects of low-quality food straightaway, your dog’s health may deteriorate eventually. This will only add to costs in the long run.
Also keep a tab on the treats you offer your dog. If everyone in the house keeps giving it treats every now and then, you could be spending a lot of money on that packet of treats. Your pet could also gain weight easily this way.
Exercise Your Dog Regularly
Just as we need to exercise regularly to stay fit, dogs need exercise too. An unhealthy dog will have to be taken to the vet more frequently and will need regular medication to stay healthy.
Perhaps you have hired a dog walker to take care of your dog’s fitness regimen. Hiring a dog walker can easily cost you over $4,000 per year. Of course, this depends on the amount of exercise your pooch needs. If your dog requires more exercise, you’ll be paying a lot more.
If meeting ends is tough, forget about hiring a dog walker. That doesn’t mean you allow your dog to sulk all day. You will need to take time out of your schedule to give it the exercise it needs. Not only will your dog stay fit and healthy, you’ll be spending quality time with it.
Moreover, dogs that are exercised are less prone to resort to destructive behavior such as digging holes, ripping apart clothes or curtains, or chewing on furniture. The good news is that just a 20-30 minute power walk is enough to keep your pooch (and you) healthy.
Hone Your Pet Grooming Skills
Dogs need to be groomed regularly. Depending on the breed of your dog, it may need to be groomed daily, two to three times a week. If left untreated, flea and tick infestations can be distressing to your dog and may even lead to other serious problems. Coats of long-haired dogs can mat easily if not brushed as needed.
A visit to a dog spa may be nice once in a while, but you can’t spend on it regularly if you are trying to curb expenses. Learn the techniques yourself; it isn’t that difficult. Grooming your pooch is another way of getting close to it and your efforts will be highly appreciated.
Grooming also extends to brushing your dog’s teeth daily. This will give your dog a fresh breath and prevent oral infections. Brushing daily also means you won’t have to visit the vet for routine dental cleaning procedures.
Get Your Dog Spayed/Neutered
Spaying or neutering your pet can help you save costs in more ways than one. Firstly, you won’t have to churn out loads of money treating your pet for illnesses such as pyometra or reproductive system cancer. Spaying/neutering pets helps them lead a healthy life in comparison to unaltered pets.
While a litter of pups will melt anyone’s heart, if you are on a tight budget, you won’t be able to handle all the costs that will crop up. Once you realize this, you will have to either sell the pups to someone or leave them at an animal shelter.
You’ll be surprised to know that in the US alone, around 8 million homeless animals are left to the care of animal shelters each year. More than a half of these are euthanized. By spaying/neutering your pet, you help reduce the number of homeless animals.
Apart from this, spaying/neutering pets helps curb bad behavior such as spraying, marking, mounting, excessive barking, etc. If you have expensive furniture at home, you should definitely consider getting your dog spayed/neutered so that it doesn’t urinate on it, chew it, or claw at it.
Just because you brought a pooch home and are unable to care for it now doesn’t mean you give it away. With these tips, you should be able to care for your furry friend with the same amount of love and affection but without having to spend a lot of money.
If you haven’t already got a pet dog but wish to, you can consider adopting one from an animal shelter. Pets at rescue shelters are up-to-date on vaccines and generally, already spayed/neutered. This will help lower the initial costs related to getting a dog home.