Tips For Raising Dogs On The Cheap

Even a “free” dog comes with his share of bills and living expenses, but we have the tips and tricks to help manage your dog’s allowance and raise that pup cheap! Dogs can be expensive to have. Much of the cost depends on the needs of your selected dog breed and on your decisions as a dog owner.

You can save right from the start by adopting a pet versus paying a lot of money for a purebred dog from a breeder. There are often still adoption costs to consider, but these usually include vaccinations and spaying or neutering a dog, which are steps you should be planning to take anyways.
Size Matters
Keep in mind that if you want smaller dog bills, size does matter. A bigger dog eats more, needs a larger and more expensive crate and collar, and even his preventative medications are higher priced. Not all dogs demand the same size allowance.
Seek Hand-Me-Downs
As long as it is clean and in good condition, your dog won’t mind that the crate was pre-owned, or that his dog sweater is last season’s style. If you let your friends and family know that you are planning to get a dog, or that your dog has outgrown his first crate, you may be surprised to learn how many people are hanging on to dog gear that their hounds don’t use anymore.
DIY Dog Products
If you have talents in knitting and sewing, then you can make some of your own dog wear, but anyone can tackle the creation of some homemade dog toys, treats and chewies! A dog toy can be as easy as a recycled plastic bottle filled with a few beans for noise. That green bean from the freezer can be a fun and nutritious treat.
Be Your Own Dog Trainer
While it is convenient to seek the advice of the professional, this should be limited to the specialty training situations if you are looking to raise a dog cheap. Teach the basics like heel sit and come yourself.
Be Your Own Groomer
And after that training session, be sure to give Fido the once over with the brush. Unless you’ve selected a breed with high-maintenance grooming needs you can easily tackling the regular bath and brushing. If your dog does require special fur care, you may want to learn how to complete these trimmings yourself.
Invest in Healthy Habits & Prevention
Sure, you can save money now by putting off that trip to the veterinarian, skipping the monthly heartworm medicine or taking the winter season off from giving your flea and tick preventative. However, keep in mind that the alternative may be disease, costly medical care, the loss of a beloved dog, or at the very least it could mean lots of shampooing of the carpets to get rid of that flea infestation. Furthermore, healthy habits should extend beyond the preventive healthcare measures to include healthy exercise and dietary habits. A walk is free, but the quality time and health benefits are priceless.
Susan Wright DMV is a dog expert, a vet and a freelance writer often sharing affordable ways to raise dogs