Pet parents know that large dogs are expensive to own. Beyond the vet bills, owners of large dogs need to invest in more dog food than owners of small and medium-sized dogs. Additionally, items varying from collars to bowls to pet clothing costs more when you buy it in a bigger size. Most owners also find that it’s more practical to purchase larger brushes, cages and elongated pooper scoopers. Despite the extra expenses, large dog owners can still find ways to save money on pet food and supplies.
Many dog trainers charge more for full-size large dogs than they do for puppies and small dogs. To avoid the additional training cost, consider training your dog immediately as a puppy (which is also safer for the dog and minimizes household frustration) or training your dog yourself.
If you choose the latter option, review tips, tricks and safety information from trusted professionals such as Cesar Millan and Victoria Stilwell.
Due to limited finances, my husband and I waited years before hiring trainers to assist us in stopping the bad habits of our two dogs. We quickly learned that training adult large dogs is more expensive. Furthermore, they are too big to attend ‘puppy socialization’ classes and learn how to appropriately greet other animals.
Buy in Bulk
Large dogs consume a massive amount of food. Our pit bull and Boxer consume a 35 pound bag of dry dog food in two weeks. The dog food brand we purchase comes in varying sizes, and after doing the math, we’ve realized that it’s ultimately cheaper to buy the larger quantity. We plan for this expense whenever we go shopping.
Since we have two dogs, we’re always on the lookout for two-for-one deals and store specials.
Barter Services Including Pet Sitting
If your dogs are well-behaved, you can barter for pet services. I’ve bartered social media promotion services for veterinary care and grooming. When one of my friends was interested in our old computer, my husband and I gave him the computer in exchange for walking our dogs while we were out one day.
Products Frequently On Sale
After buying the same products for my dogs for a few years, I noticed that some of the brands I continually purchase go on sale frequently. It’s also pretty easy to get coupons for newly introduced products.
After shopping around, I realized that Target and Tractor Supply Company offer the best prices and most consistent sales on Beneful dog food. Various dollar stores usually carry Milk Bones; it’s also easy to find online coupons for them. Take note of these patterns as you shop.
Specialty pet stores tend to sell gimmicky and novelty items. If I run into these stores to get something basic like a dog bowl or leash, I’m tempted to leave the store with something I didn’t mean to buy.
Even though it might look more pleasant, your dog doesn’t need designer items. Your dog will love a good old rope toy as much as she’d appreciate a Martha Stewart sweater (especially if your pet hates wearing clothes like my dogs do).
Stick to your list to avoid purchasing unnecessary items.
By following these guidelines, I saved about $30 per month ($360 per year, or almost a dollar per day) on pet expenses.
More from Tara M. Clapper:
5 Steps: Preparing Your Dog for the Dog Park
Pet Safety: Leaving Your Dogs Home Alone
Dog Diet: How to Switch Your Dog’s Food