Controlling The Costs of Dog Ownership

Pet ownership can be an expensive commitment. Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or an experienced one, it’s important to understand the financial responsibilities and costs involved in taking care of a dog. With the right planning and budgeting, you can save money and ensure that your pup leads a healthy and happy life. Here are a few tips to help you keep costs down:

  1. Save on pet supplies. If you’re looking for pet food and other essential items, do your research to find the best deal. You can often get supplies at a discounted price online. Consider buying in bulk to save money. Also, keep an eye out for coupons and promotions. Compare prices between Amazon, Chewy and your local pet store for items you regularly purchase. If you have a CapitalOne card, you can use their shopping extension that automatically helps you find the best prices online.
  2. Buy second-hand clothing and equipment. If you’re looking for pet supplies like coats, ramps, dog houses, etc, try second-hand sources. You can find gently used items at thrift stores, yard sales, and online marketplaces such as eBay.
  3. Make your own pet toys. If you’re crafty, you can make your own pet toys. Have fun with it by using items from around the house, such as socks or old t-shirts. Here is a video on this from the Houston Humane Society.
  4. Make your own dog treats. Store bought dog treats are expensive, and don’t always contain the freshest ingredients. If you are good in the kitchen, consider making your own dog treats. Here is a simple 4-ingredient recipe:

1.25 cups oat flour
2 medium ripe bananas
4 tbsp of natural peanut butter
1 tbsp of cold water

Add to a blender or food processor and blend until well combined. Form into bite-sized pieces and bake in an oven on 325 until crisp (20 to 25 minutes). Let cool. Put into an airtight container and refrigerate leftovers.

  1. DIY pet grooming. Instead of taking your pup to the groomer, you can groom her yourself. If you’re comfortable giving your dog a bath, brushing her coat and trimming nails and excess fur, you can save money on grooming visits. Check out videos from Go Groomer on YouTube to learn more about this.
  2. Home remedies. Many pet owners rely on home remedies to treat minor ailments. For example, you can use ground oatmeal powder or chamomile tea in a bath to help soothe your pup’s itchy skin, or use a few drops of lavender oil in a warm bath to help relieve anxiety.
  3. Pet insurance. Pet insurance can help you save money in the long-term. The cost of vet visits and treatments can add up quickly, and pet insurance can help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Be sure to compare plans from top insurers such as and
  4. Monitor expenses. To make sure you’re staying on budget, it’s important to track and monitor pet expenses. A spreadsheet is a great tool for this. You can use it to record all of your pet-related purchases and expenses whether you have one or multiple pets.

Taking care of a pet is a big financial commitment. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money and ensure your dog has a comfortable and healthy life. For a great tool that will help you stay on budget, check out this pet expenses spreadsheet. With a little planning and budgeting, you can help save money on the costs of dog ownership.