One of the first things you have to consider when getting a furry friend is the cost of supplies. The cost of a crate, bones, leash collar, food, treats and toys can quickly add up creating a hurdle to any would be pet owner. After having fostering dogs, I have quickly learned the ways to treat your furry friend right without breaking the bank.
The most valuable step is knowing where to get which items at what time. Certain stores will always have better prices on certain items. Some stores consistently have great coupons and sales on things. In this blog I will go into the places I shop for and how I learned to save money.
I started by scoping out my local stores. There is an HEB, Walmart, Marshall’s and Target all really close to my house. One thing I immediately noticed was that T.J. Maxx, Ross, and Marshall’s sell almost identical dog beds as Target except at Marshalls the price tag is $16.99 and at Target they sell for over $50.00. As I explored my local stores more I realized Marshall’s had a variety of pet items like leashes and collars for $5.99 compared to Petco’s $14.99. Marshall’s also sold my preferred training treats, dog bones and dog toys at a cheaper price than Target, Walmart or Pet stores.
For dog hygiene products I have found the best luck with Target and Walmart. About once a month I have found that Target will have a 25% sale and you can easily check if there is a sale going on through their app. One of my dogs has short hair and dry skin and I found that the Burt’s Bees pet dandruff wipes worked wonders. For my long fur coat dogs I have found the vanilla scented wipes at Walmart keep them clean and smelling lovely.
For food, puppy pads and even some dog treats I have found the best luck at my local grocery store. For those of you in Texas, make an HEB account. You can narrow your search based on coupons instead of hunting in the store for those yellow pieces of paper. Similar to Target, HEB runs a sale or coupons on pet supplies every month. Many of these coupons are buy one get one free, which adds up to the most savings if it is something you know you will use or will need. It makes sense to get two for the price of one or even one of my other favorite coupons is save $5 on a basket of $15 pet supplies. I can buy a bag of food and treats for less than I would have otherwise bought it for just by buying it at the right time.
For vet care, Yelp has been my savior. I was already a frequent yelper but there are so many discounts for pet care on Yelp so if you have a place you already like the odds are there is a Yelp coupon for it to save you a little money. Beyond vet care, Yelp can have coupons for pet grooming, pet walking, and pet sitting. It’s an easy way to save money.
Also, final tip. The best investment I have made for my pets to date has been a dog grooming kit. At the groomers it would cost about $60 per dog to get my Aussie and Border Collie a haircut and with a $30 investment on Amazon and about 30 minutes each month I have saved so much money. Cutting your own dog’s hair is not complicated and there are so many Youtube Videos about how to do it correctly.
For dog training in Austin, I highly recommend Karma Dog training. Most dog training places in Austin easily cost almost or over $1,000.00 but Karma offers special programs for around $200.00 and they specialize in positive reinforcement rather than punishment. When I took my first dog Leo I saw an improvement not only in his obedience but his temperment and anxiety. I also learned skills I was able to use on my second dog Socks. They also often have specials and discounts on their programs. It’s a great deal if you are new to dog training like I was.
For my dogs, they need bones to keep them occupied during the day, they need flea baths to keep their coat healthy and once I started saving money on the things I bought every month it quickly added up as the year went on.
Hope this helps keep your furry friend and your wallet happy!
Feel free to leave any additional pet tips you have in the comments below!