According to the financial website This is Money, the annual cost of owning a dog in the U.K. is £1,418. Over a lifetime — an estimated 13 years — the cost would reach nearly £18,500. That’s a lot of cash
But there are ways to reduce the expense of pet parenting if you spend smartly and cut back where you can. To help you give Fido the best life possible without breaking the bank, here are a few areas where you can trim the fat.
Switch Food Brands
I’m not suggesting that you should feed your dog slop — he’s your best friend and he deserves the best. On the other hand, your dog doesn’t need to eat like a king; he is just a dog, after all. If you’re buying top-of-line food, however, and it’s hurting your wallet, look into less-expensive-but-still-quality brands to provide your pet with the nutrition he needs to live a long and healthy life.
Bathe/Groom at Home
All dogs need to be groomed — some more than others. For instance, I have a poodle/terrier mix that has hair that needs to be trimmed every three months and I have a small mixed breed (we have no idea what mix of breeds) that has short, fine fur that sheds. The latter of the pair doesn’t need to visit the groomer for her fur necessarily, but she does need her nails cut every so often. You can save money on grooming bills no matter what kind of dog you have if you learn how to wash and groom your dog properly. There are plenty of video tutorials online to help you. Keep in mind that trimming your dog’s hair and nails isn’t child’s play — that’s why professionals get paid a pretty penny to do it — so if you decide to DIY this, be confident that you know what you’re doing so you don’t hurt your pet.
Just like there are online tutorials on how to groom your pet, there are tutorials on how to properly train your pet so you can raise an obedient dog. Training your dog on your own is a major time commitment, mind you, so consider that investment versus the cost of hiring a professional to help you make your decision.
Use Human Shampoo
Guess what? Human shampoo cleans your dog just as well as pricey dog shampoos. Skip the expensive stuff and use whatever you use for your head to wash your dog. You must note, however, that human shampoo doesn’t have flea repellent in it, so if your dog is prone to fleas you may need a separate solution to combat that problem.
Make Homemade Treats
You’ll never have to buy processed dog treats again with this extensive list of homemade dog treat recipes. Making dog treats yourself will save you money, allow you to be creative, and provide your dog with a healthier alternative to store-bought snacks.
Research More Affordable Vets
A good vet is essential to your dog’s wellbeing, but a good vet doesn’t have to be an expensive vet. If you’re feeling the pinch on your vet bills, research other local providers who can give your buddy the same top-notch attention he deserves for a lower cost.
Invest in High-Quality Products
Higher quality often means more expensive but with regards to toys, leashes, crates, and beds, it’s OK. A higher-quality item will last much longer than its cheaper cousin, ultimately saving you money in the long run. For instance, that £15 leash may last you a year or more while the £10 leash falls apart in six months. If you have to keep buying the £10 leash over and over, you’ll spend more money over time than if you had chosen the more expensive leash at first. Definitely something to think about the next time you’re picking out products.