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Easy Ways To Save Money on Your Pets

Five Simple Ways To Cut Pet Costs

Now more than ever, cutting costs is becoming a way of life. I know my drive up to the Napa Valley a few weekends ago cost me a bundle in gas – even though my car is pretty gas friendly – which in turn had me cutting corners the rest of the week to make up for the price of filling the tank. Of course, when it comes to North, I'll spare no expense if he needs something, however these days you may not find me adding a doggie perfume into my virtual shopping cart just for the heck of it. We can all use a crash course in how to cut back our living costs, whether it be due to the economy, because we want to save up for a rainy day, or maybe you're a closet penny pincher who loves finding great deals. Whatever the reason, I have a few simple tips that you can incorporate easily into your daily routine that can help you save some cash on pet costs.

Find out what they are when you


  • Keep a list of things that your pet needs in order from highest priority to lowest. This way, you can keep focused and not get distracted by those bling'd out Flexi's (that you could totally DIY and save some money in the process) while you should be focusing on getting him a new bed.
  • Keep an eye out for my Online Sale Alerts, and search around for your own. Sites like RetailMeNot and CurrentCodes keep you on top of sales so you can get what you want for less.
  • Check your local dollar stores for pet toys. There's usually one close to major grocery stores, so next time you're out shopping, make a point to stop in and check it out. Keep in mind that not all cheap toys are cheaply made. If you're on the lookout, you can often get some pretty durable toys at those dollar stores that carry goods from bigger box stores. You just might find some diamonds in the "ruff"!
  • It goes without saying, but be proactive about your pet's health. Get all necessary vaccinations and check ups on time to prevent problems (and higher expenses) down the road.
  • Do as much grooming on your own as possible. Taking your pet in for a nail clipping is much more cost effective than taking her in for the works!

Do you have your own money saving tips? Leave them in the comments below!


shoecraze shoecraze 8 years
I agree with hihowareya, my 18 year old started out with food prescribed by the vet and didn't like it much. We then got her cheaper food mixed with some of our own food and she never complained. She's very healthy and still has a lot of energy. I mostly wash and clip her myself and bring her to the groomer twice a year for some pampering. I've always bought her toys from the dollar store and she always loved them.
clumsymelissa clumsymelissa 9 years
I know this post is probably outdated by now, but I wanted to throw in some "cheap" tricks. My dog has a protein allergy, so finding treats she can is hard. Our vet dermatologist recommended salt-free rice cakes and baked lays. A bag of lays can last us all month! She doesn't care about stale chips. If I'm gone all day, I'll leave an opened snack bag of lays on the floor for her. She loves the work of pulling chips out without eating the bag.
okmom23 okmom23 9 years
I occassionally buy a toy for the dogs at the Dollar Store. I do think you can find good quality items if you look through their inventory. But-if they don't have the a/c on, and it is 95 degrees outside, I pass...
dcfashionista dcfashionista 9 years
I buy my cats toys and food from the Dollar Tree. I am actually going back today to get some more bags of food.
hihowareya hihowareya 9 years
My dog likes the cheapo Dad's food, so that's like $5 for 30lbs with a coupon or whatever, and likes to supplement her diet with paper products she finds around the house. She enjoys playing "the bottle game," where she chews a plastic bottle until the cap comes off. She's 14 and healthier than ever: acts like an annoying little puppy at times even with all her energy! She has a naturally beautiful coat and great teeth, so she's been a great low maintenance dog. The only real expenses for her are the vet visits and maintenance meds, but that's nothing in comparison to her faithful companionship and happiness she brings! :-) I feel people really pamper their pets to unnatural extremes, but if they can afford that and it makes them happy and the animal isn't hurt, then huzzah. Commercial animal care products are a marketing niche, and they can totally be circumvented with creative thinking in terms of alternative uses for 'human' products.
allea6 allea6 9 years
I've bought dog/cat toys made by Milk Bone and Friskies at the dollar stuff and seen the same ones at Walmart or CVS.
emalove emalove 9 years
Hotstuff, you're probably right on that one...scary.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
Great tips! If you think your dollar store has lead based toys and your other local stores don't your fooling yourself! Lead based toys can be found for even our human kids at the local Toys R Us!
eleigh eleigh 9 years
I've been clipping coupons for doggie treats, also I started bathing the boys myself, and instead of boarding I either take the boys with me or I have a friend watch them if I'm going out of town for the weekend.
Angelica Angelica 9 years
These are great tips!
runningesq runningesq 9 years
Don't buy your pets ridiculous looking outfits. All a dog or cat needs is a collar!
pugglelover pugglelover 9 years
I buy the squeaky toys @ the dollar store since they usually only last a day then all the stuffing is ripped out of it. I've also found there a 6ft cable and the stake that goes in the ground. I use that when we go to the lake or the river. They have great non food items for a dollar too.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
Who needs new toys when my slipper are his favorite? ha! I used to buy him treats a lot but the awesome dog bakery closed so now he just gets regular treats, which are cheaper so it's ok :-)
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
I second the concerns about dollar store toys - including the ones at the "dollar shop" of Target. There's no testing for lead levels in pet toys, and I'm just not willing to take that risk. Same thing for dog treats - for the love of Dog, please don't feed your pet dollar store treats - the amount of garbage and food coloring in those will boggle your mind. If your budget is really that tight, your dog would probably rather spend some time at a (free) park than get another toy.
LMessing LMessing 9 years
I love shopping at the dollar store (I get all my birthday/greeting cards there!), but I never buy anything that will go in my mouth and I certainly wouldn't buy my pet toys there either. All that soft plastic/rubber that comes from China and other unregulated countries - that's why those toys are only a dollar. No way would I expose my animals to those risks.
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