Pet Care on a Budget

Petcare does not have to break the bank. Photo courtesy: Shutterstock
Petcare does not have to break the bank. Photo courtesy: Shutterstock

Many households are on a tight budget when it comes to things like food and health care costs, while the same can be true for our four-legged family members. While we do treat our companion animals like family, sometimes the cost for caring for them can get a little pricey, depending on the circumstances of course.

Here are some affordable options that can help us save money when it comes to caring for our pets:

Discount Stores

Discount stores can be an affordable alternative for cutting costs on toys, treats, grooming supplies and more. In the toy department, I have often purchased stuffed animals at garage sales and thrift stores for a fraction of the cost especially since my dog ends up destroying them anyway. Steer clear of fuzzy toys with plastic eyes, noses or other parts that could become detached and pose a possible choking threat.

Middle of the Road

When purchasing food, read the label and make a choice where the first ingredient is some kind of meat, like beef or poultry. There are plenty of brands and choices available at all ends of the spectrum. Buying food is does not have to break the bank.

Some dogs eschew their fancy dog beds for a cosy blanket on the floor. Photo courtesy: Shutterstock
Some dogs eschew their fancy dog beds for a cosy blanket on the floor. Photo courtesy: Shutterstock

Cutting out Custom

Once I got a dog unexpectedly and threw down an old blanket on the floor for her to sleep on before getting her one of those customized dog beds. After purchasing one, she never sets foot (or paws) on it and is perfectly happy and content to sleep on her old blankie. The same goes for food and water bowls as I will usually just use clean, empty containers that I would usually throw away. This way, once the bowl does get nasty after a great deal of use, I can simply toss it into the trash and use a new one.

Dietary Supplements

A few times a week, I may supplement my dog’s diet by adding some cooked, white rice, which I buy in bulk for next to nothing. Healthy leftover meats, like chicken and turkey also make it into my pet’s dish from time to time. Take it easy on the “people food” as this can cause obesity in dogs which is just as dangerous for them as it is for their guardians.*

We can pamper our pooches with love and attention without breaking the bank. Other than eating and going for a walk, there’s nothing my dog loves more than simply playing or hanging out with me on the couch.

* Note: These are the writer’s own experiences only. Check with your veterinarian for advice on the best nutrition for your dog.

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