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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dogs and Dollars: 6 Ways to Save

Guest post by Sean Green
Tanner and Toni
Tug with a Homemade Toy
Sometime last year, I paid my grandmother and her Border Collie a visit.  As soon as the dog greeted me, I noticed a tiny piece of his ear missing.  “Grandma,” I said.  “What happened to Charlie’s ear?”

She sheepishly looked at me and admitted that she tried to give him a haircut and…

“Say no more.” 

After careful inspection, I found that the wound had been treated and Charlie didn’t seem to be in any pain at all.  Now, the only person allowed to cut Charlie’s hair is the groomer. 

Since hiring the services of a groomer costs a pretty penny, no one could blame my grandma for trying to save a few bucks.  In this day and age, you could walk into any pet store and find a slew of shoppers clutching dog food coupons or closely examining kitty litter prices.  Nothing is more devastating than having to give up your pet because you could no longer afford it. 

Have you ever heard the old Greek saying, “desperate times call for creative measures”?  Well, it might not be a good idea for us dog owners to wait until our bank accounts fall into the red zone to start seeking creative ways to save money.  By forming new money-saving habits now, you’ll be able to give your dog the best care possible on a shoestring budget! 

The most obvious way for dog owners to save money is to go the DIY route. Here are a few things you can make at home:

Dog Treats
Who doesn't like homemade treats? Not only are they more delicious than store-bought treats, they're also healthier and more wholesome. The has a great list of 9 homemade dog treat recipes.

Dog Beds
Have you seen how much dog beds cost these days?!  You can give your dog an old comforter or make a bed with the fabric of your choice

Dog Toys
Dogs don’t care if they have the most expensive toy on the block.  Any ole’ sock will do.  Here’s a list of 10 dog toys you can make at home

The best things in life are free.  Here are two things you can get for free:

Tug Toys Made by Carrie
Dog Toys (free)
You can look on or for free gently used dog toys.

Dog Sitting
Some people will watch your dog for free if you return the favor.  You just have to find them.  Pet Sitter Swap is a great website to start with.

Finally, you can never go wrong with the tried and true method of saving money: coupons

Dog Food
I have a friend who collects so many coupons that he gets bags of dog food for pennies on the dollar.  For different ways to score dog food coupons, check out this article I just wrote for PetMOZ. 

Compensation for this post was provided by


Jen said...

I love The Kitchn! I wonder how I missed the dog treat post? I'm also checking out the DIY toys (though some days, I feel like I should just go to a junkyard and buy rubber castoff car parts for my sharkface).

Bassetmomma said...

These are some great ways to save money. Our dogs always used to have an old comforter for their bed. I don't know why we moved up to "boughten beds" when comforters work just fine!

Dawn said...

I make my dog toys often from old clothes and especially socks. Put a tennis ball in a sock and tie a knot and Maya thinks it is the best toy ever!

It never occurred to me to check Craigslist for free dog toys. What a great idea! Has anyone here used the pet sitter swap?

Nancy Dewar said...

Thanks for these ideas, Sean! I'm going to try making some of the treats! Since my "girls" love getting new toys, I often go to Goodwill and buy stuffed animals for them very cheaply!

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