Budget Friendly Pet Care Tips
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
To Shannon Miller Lifestyle, our pets are like family.
And we like to treat them like family! As one Team SML member recently adopted a new pet, it made us think — how much money do we spend on our pets? As it turns out, Americans spent over $56 Billion last year on their pets! The ASPCA breaks down the costs a little more specifically here, but you can expect to spend between $1000-$2000 each year for your pet.
So, to see where we could shave off some of the costs of being a new pet owner, we spoke to the experts at doggyloot to get some tips on how to spoil our pets, without the extra costs.
Shannon Miller Lifestyle: When adopting a new dog, what are some budget friendly ways to make sure I have the necessary items for my dog?
doggyloot: There are many perks that come with adopting a dog from a rescue organization or shelter. In nearly all cases, the dog will be up-to-date with shots and will be spayed / neutered. Occasionally the rescue organization or shelter will even pay for your first vet visit. Low-cost clinics are also available to dog owners that allow for owners to bring their healthy dog to be vaccinated and microchipped.
Here at doggyloot, we carry many of the products that new dog owners need to help them get started. We find the best products, secure discounts, and pass the savings along to our friends. The best part – free shipping included with every purchase – very rare in this day and age.
SML: If this is the first dog in the home, what are the most basic supplies I will need?
doggyloot: The number one thing you will need is a dog collar and identification tag which should be worn at all times. Other basic supplies include a leash, bed, food and water bowls, dog food, dog crate, and grooming supplies.
You’ll also need to have treats and toys on-hand to help keep your dog occupied and out of trouble!
SML: If I have another dog already, what are some things I will need to do to prepare my current dog for the new dog?
doggyloot: Safety is key. Bring your dogs outside for a walk so they can meet each other on neutral ground. Remove the toys and treats that may be around the house to avoid potential disputes between both dogs. You’ll need to monitor your dogs closely to help diffuse any situations that may arise. The dogs will quickly figure out who is the dominant dog in the house.
SML: What precautions should I take in my home to “dog-proof”? How can I make this as budget friendly as possible?
doggyloot: Determine what areas of the house will be accessible to your new pooch. Secure those places and make sure doors, latches, gates, and windows are all in proper working order. Make sure you have all food and beverages out of reach and stored within cabinets. Trash needs to be properly stored – it could be the first place your dog sniffs out for a free meal when you’re not in the room. Basically, anything in reach needs to be analyzed. Also, you will want to set boundaries before you bring the dog home. Will you let your dog on the couch or the bed?
One other tip if you’re bringing a puppy home is to make sure to initially restrict them to only a few rooms in your house or apartment.
SML: When it comes to food for my pet, is it true that the more expensive brands are better quality foods? Is there a budget friendly food that will still provide excellent nutrition for my pet?
doggyloot: Do your research to find the food that is best-suited for your dog’s diet and your wallet. A great starting point is DogFoodAdvisor.com which breaks down most of the foods on the market. It will give you insight into why you should stay away from certain dog foods that have a lot of fillers or mystery ingredients.
Feeding your dog a well-rounded and nutritious diet can keep your dog healthy and happy for years to come. Generally speaking, the lower priced food will consist of more fillers versus protein.
SML: What are some budget friendly treats and toys for my dog?
doggyloot: Invest in chews and toys that are higher quality and longer-lasting. We love Bully Sticks for dogs – they’re all natural, made from free-range cattle, and are great for dental hygiene – it helps fight plaque and tartar. One dog on the doggyloot team boasts a clean bill of dental health because he receives a semiweekly snack of bully sticks.
Elk Antlers are also great for dogs. We consider this to be a combination toy / treat. Dogs love to play fetch with them and also gnaw on them because they’ve very flavorful with lots of nutritional benefits.
We also really love Mighty Dog Toys – they make some of the toughest plush toys on the market and they have a ton of adorable options.
SML: What are some ways to save money at the vet? Is pet health insurance worth it?
doggyloot: We think people should consider investing in vet insurance. We treat our pets as family and as such, we’d like to take care of them when illnesses and accidents occur. There are many companies that offer low-cost plans with deductible and reimbursement fees that may be aligned with your budget. Some policies include preventative care, and others cover accidental injuries. Dogs are like children and there will almost certainly be an accident. Do your research to find the plan best fit for you and make sure you check out the exclusions so you’re not ever caught off-guard.
SML: What are some important things I need to do for my pet to help prevent future health problems for them?
doggyloot: Feed them quality food and treats so that they consume a well-rounded diet – consider this to be preventative health care. Make sure you monitor your pets while they’re playing with new toys or consuming new chews. Do research on the breed of your dog to learn more about predisposed conditions – you can also take a DNA test to learn more about your mixed breed.
doggyloot helps dog owners discover tasty treats, durable toys, and accessories. We help secure discounts on products and pass the savings directly on to our customers. Check out our deals at doggyloot.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.