While you cannot put a price on the joy that dogs bring into our lives, there is no denying that their care can be expensive. Listed here are eight money saving tips for dog owners.
Obesity is an entirely preventable disease, yet more than half of household pets in the United States are more than 20% overweight. Besides negatively impacting a dog’s health, canine obesity is expensive for pet owners, too. According to CBS Money Watch, dog owners spend an extra $600 - $3,500 per year treating obesity complications.
For instance, obese pets are more susceptible to cancer, which costs on average $2,033 to treat. Urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal distress, and heart disease are other common problems for obese dogs, with treatment ranging $600 - $1,200. Being overweight also places additional stress on joints, making arthritis inevitable. Even young dogs can suffer from joint problems, as obese pets are far more likely to tear the anterior cruciate ligament. Surgery to fix this problem can set a pet owner back $3,000 - $5,000.
Dog owners can prevent obesity by feeding proper portion sizes, skipping fatty table scraps or treats, and providing plenty of exercise.
Don’t Skip Annual Exams
Dogs should receive an exam from their veterinarian each year. Not only do these wellness exams ensure your dog is up to date on vaccines and a heartworm test, but they also provide your veterinarian a chance to catch the warning signs of disease. In many instances, canine disease can be fully treated when caught early.
Avoid Preventable Disease
Preventing disease is far less expensive than treating disease, not to mention the emotional cost of having a sick dog. All dogs should receive monthly preventative treatment for heartworm, parasites, fleas, and ticks. In addition, make sure your dog is always up to date on vaccinations. While the average cost of heartworm preventative is $5 - $15 per month, the average cost of treating heartworm disease is $400 - $1,000.
Don’t Skimp on Nutrition and Supplementation
While it can be tempting to purchase the least expensive dog food, the reality is that dog owners ultimately pay more for lower quality. Inexpensive dog food contains fillers, by-products, meals, and sub-par ingredients. As a result, portion sizes are much larger. On the contrary, more expensive dog food contains higher quality ingredients that are safer for your dog to consume and fewer fillers. The higher nutritional content results in significantly smaller portion sizes. Dog Food Advisor provides a helpful analysis of the safety and healthfulness of most dog food brands.
Feeding your dog supplements is another money-saving strategy for the long run. For instance, WINPRO soft chews can prevent many common problems in dogs. For example, WINPRO supplements can be used to help treat or prevent chronic digestive system complaints, arthritis pain, allergies, anxiety, and diseases associated with chronic inflammation.
Once you have found the food and preventatives that are best for your dog, the next step is to utilize an autoship program through your favorite online retailer. These autoship programs help pet owners save 5 – 10% on purchases they already make, plus save them the hassle of going to the store.
Skip the Groomer
Unless your dog is a breed that truly requires a professional groom, consider saving money by bathing and trimming your dog yourself. If your dog is skittish in the tub, tape a plastic plate to the wall that has been smeared in peanut butter. This “hack” will distract your dog, and you will be able to save $30 - $60 per month in the process!
Make Your Own Treats
One of the most overpriced dog supplies is training treats. However, many dog owners do not realize they can make treats at home. If your pet is a healthy weight, small pieces of cheese or liver are wonderful high-value rewards. For dogs that need to shed a few pounds, cooked chicken, cooked carrot, or canned green beans are also loved by dogs.
If you would prefer to make a treat that more closely resembles what you could buy at the pet store, listed here are 25 simple treat recipes that require 5 ingredients (or less).
Spay or Neuter Your Dog
Finally, having your dog spayed or neutered is another money-saving strategy. Spaying and neutering reduces or eliminates the chances of developing common diseases of the reproductive organs, such as mammary gland tumors, prostate diseases, perianal fistulas, pyometra, and uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors. Additionally, pet owners experience less mess from heat cycles and marking.
Pet owners who spay their female dogs also eliminate the risk of having an unexpected litter of puppies. The average cost of veterinary expenses and care for the duration of a dog’s pregnancy as well as 8 weeks after the puppies have been born is $1,000 - $2,000, assuming no complications for mom or pups.
Ultimately, pet owners can save money by providing preventative care, maintaining a healthy weight for their dogs, setting up auto-shipments for common supplies, and engaging in DIY projects.
Take a look at the line of WINPRO Supplements and help your dog feel their best!