By Regina Novickis • August 22, 2013
My dog Cricket is one of the biggest joys in my life. The special moments shared with my four-legged monster (term of endearment) are priceless … but being a responsible pet-owner does come with a cost.
The ASPCA estimates that the average cost of basic food, supplies, medical care and training for a dog is $600 to $900 annually. The numbers can get even higher if pet owners opt to place their animal in doggy daycare, expensive kennels, and accessories, Bloomberg.com estimates the astounding lifetime figure of $59,669.
How does one reduce this expense? In celebration of National Dog Day, pet owners can learn to bark up the best deals by following these tips:
1. Don’t overfeed; do overstock. To maintain both the health of your dog and the health of your wallet, don’t overfeed, but do purchase more food to save more. Usually the larger the quantity purchased, the less expensive the item is per unit. Consider buying in bulk and splitting the costs of food and treats with a friend or a neighbor. Purchasing more may also qualify you for a better value promotional code to maximize savings.
2. “Paws” and find a promotional code before you buy. Prices for pet supplies are often better online than in brick-and-mortar establishments, and many sites offer promotional codes to further savings. When you get to a retailer’s checkout page, “paws” before you purchase. If you leave the promotional code box blank, you could be leaving your wallet empty. To find a code, go to aggregator sites like www.promocodes.com, which organize thousands of online coupons for retailers like PetSupplies.com, PetSmart, 1800 Pet Meds, among many others. The sites feature codes aggregated in a “Pet Supplies” category, which makes it easy to be a savvy shopper for your pet.
3. “Flea” from overpaying by comparing prices on flea and tick medications. The key to saving money is comparing prices among competitor stores, and the same goes with online coupons. When shopping for flea and tick medications, always compare money-saving codes among brands that offer the same or similar products to find the best value. For example, promocodes.com features an entire section on flea and pest medication, and you can easily sort out the best coupons and promo codes in that particular category.
4. Don’t buy pet prescription products at the vet’s office. Buying prescriptions at the veterinarian’s office can quickly bite into your budget, particularly if your pet requires ongoing treatment. Unless your pet requires immediate treatment, shop for prescription medications online. Visit sites like PetAlive.com and PetCareRX, utilizing promotional codes to further savings.
5. Learn to groom your pooch yourself. A one-time investment in some high-quality grooming tools can pay off big in the long run. Professional grooming can run upwards of $80 per visit depending on your dog’s breed. A do-it-yourself approach can lead to big savings. Some canines that are sensitive to being handled (such as animals from rescue) may also do better with a hands-on approach at home instead of a foreign environment.
With the money you’ll save on your own pet by employing these savvy savings tips, consider making a donation to animal rescue organization such as the ASPCA.
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Regina Novickis Regina Novickis is a savings expert with a passion for helping people make easy money decisions without drastically altering their lifestyle.