We love them and they bring so much to our lives, from companionship to working and more. They also can be quite costly on a day to day, year to year basis. And there’s nothing wrong with looking for some ways to save a few dollars here and there. So we’re here with some money saving tips for dog parents. (Or dog “owners,” however you like to refer to yourself.)

According to one study, the average cost of dog ownership per year is anywhere from $1,270 to $2,803. That’s a month’s rent most places or a mortgage, to put it in perspective.

Then if you assume a typical 15 year lifespan and include everything from purchase to quality end-of-life care, the total lifetime cost of owning a dog can go from $19,893 to $55,132. For more detailed and size-of-dog specific averages, you can read here.

Looking at those numbers, it doesn’t seem quite so silly to look for these money saving tips for dog parents.

Money saving tips for dog owners

Some of the biggest pet expenses

Emergency Vet visits

For many reasons, a lot of people will avoid regular vet visits. But this can eventually lead to the bigger expense of a trip to the emergency vet. Taking your dog in for regular check-ups can mean catching a lot of things early. This eliminates the emergency room, and it often means spending less to deal with the issue during its earlier stages.

Boarding and Daycare

These services have been around since the 1980s but have gotten more common (and busy!) since people started working more from home and just needed some space and time without their dog(s) around. Doggie daycare, of course, also meant people working at home didn’t have to stop to walk their dogs during their work day. But this is a major expense.

Can you limit the time at doggie daycare? Perhaps only do this two or three days a week instead of every day? Or is there a way to have your dog at home but in a space away from you for a couple of hours here and there? Getting up to let your dog out is good for you too!

Smaller ways to save

Dog furniture, beds, toys

You can see this same thing with small human children: Give them an expensive toy that comes in a big box and they will be playing with… that big box.

So think about repurposing boxes and crates and using older blankets and pillows and even jackets that you would normally get rid of. Like children, your dogs will just ruin nice things anyway so why spend the money when you can use what you have?

Same goes for toys. Here are some simple toys that you can make at home.

Dog treats

You can also make these at home. For a lot less than purchasing. And your dog won’t be picky like that annoying uncle who critiques your baked goods at every Thanksgiving. ((ha)) Go here for some simple recipes.

Pet food

Of course you’re probably already keeping your feelers out for sales and cheaper pet food stores, because prices really do vary. But you could also be saving money by measuring out portions. Not only will you save on food but you’ll save on possible chronic disease down the road by making sure your dog is not obese.

Don’t neglect dental care

Dental issues as dogs age are not only problematic in and of themselves but can cause other systemic issues. Be sure to start early with daily dental care in the home.

Do your own grooming

Even if you do your own grooming most of the time and only take your dog in once or twice a year, you’ll save over the long run compared to having them regularly professionally groomed. Investing in some good clippers might seem costly but will eventually save you dollars.

A note about training

A lot of the lists out there about money saving tips for dog owners include training your dog yourself. We’re sure that some people are more than capable of this. But we find that often dog parents/owners should stick to the more “fun” end of training and give yourself and your dog the gift of excellent training at the start. You can read about Sundance Retrievers’ types of dog training here.