Frugal Guide to Pet Care

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Pet care items are one of the fastest growing markets in the United States. Every year we spend billions of dollar on items for our pets, and why? Well, to show them that we love them of course.

The fact of the matter is, a dog doesn’t know the difference between your slipper and a $25 specially-design chew toy. Nor do cats or dogs care that they are wearing a Prada collar, or that they get to travel around in a Louis Vuitton handbag. They are dogs. Give them food, water and a scratch behind the ear and they are in heaven. That is one of the great things about dogs and cats, they are easy to please.

So stop blowing perfectly good money away on your pet. In fact, see if there are ways that you can start saving money. Here are a few places to start:

Pet Food

Now, this is probably one of the only places where you shouldn’t scrimp. In fact, depending on the dog food you are feeding your pet you may actually be spending more money by buying cheap dog food. Here’s an example – when we got our puppy last year we were feeding her a national brand of puppy food (the kind that has commercials all the time). At only 20 pounds she was eating 6 cups per day and pooping most of this out. We switched here to a high grade pet store food and now she eats only 2 cups per day, and poops a whole lot less.


Whether cat or dog most of our pets require regular grooming. Unless you have a show poodle you should be able to manage most of this yourself. Learn how to wash your animal and clip their nails. Brush them regularly so they get used to having it done. Eventually you will both enjoy the time together, and you can save on trips to the groomers.


One thing that our family seems to spend a lot on is dog beds. We buy them for the old, arthritic dog and the puppy eats them. Finding cheap pet beds can be a challenge, so you have to put your thinking cap on. I managed to save some coin by buying pet beds on eBay, or rather the shell of a pet bed. IT comes with a zipper on it and you can stuff in old blankets and pillows. The dog gets a soft, squishy bed and I only had to spend $10.

Many dogs with short coats find themselves at a disadvantage over the winter, so we run out and spend a fortune on coats and sweaters for our pet. If you know how to knit, sew or crochet you can easily manage this yourself.

Other than the items above and a collar and leash your dog should be perfectly happy. Resist the urge to splurge on unnecessary items. Look for chew toys at the dollar store, or pick up some stuffed animals at the Salvation Army for fifty cents each. Your dog will love you even more.

To learn more about frugal living, click here.


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