Fido On
A Budget

When it comes to cutting back in an uncertain economic times, we know that virtually no area of life goes unexamined - even when it comes to your pets. Of course for many of us, our pets are like our kids, and they are members of our family. It's difficult to imagine doing anything less than pampering them. Fortunately there are still ways to provide a high standard of life for your animals while saving some cash.

Dogging Holding Money

1.    Day care or dog walker

What does your pooch do during the day? If you're working all day, you may have opted to take them to day care or invest in a dog walker. Of course, I'm not advocating that your pup sit at home all day by themselves to save you money, but you can reevaluate where this money is going, and how much is being spent.

Many day cares offer options to buy sessions in bulk, which cut down on the cost of each individual day. If you have a dog walker you may be able to recruit other dogs in the neighborhood to be part of a dog-walking co-op,  and that may mean the dog walker would charge less per walk. Or ask about discounts if you refer new clients to them.

Think outside the box. Can you work from home some days? Are you gone for only a few hours at a time and could you pay a neighbor kid to come let your dog out? Can you come home at lunch to walk your pup yourself? Perhaps you may have a friend or family member nearby who is retired or works from home who would love to get some fresh air with a four-footed pal in the park. All these are potential solutions that could end up saving quite a bit of money in the long run.

2.    Buy in bulk

Getting a lot of, say, dog food at a time can mean less money spent in the long run. If you're concerned about carting giant bags of dog food to and from your downtown apartment, look into ordering online and having it delivered. Although sites such as aren't discounted, the doorstep delivery helps to save on gas and is especially convenient if you use public transportation. and are also great with providing bulk orders and shipping!

3.    Investigate your pet insurance

If you have insurance, do you frequently use it? Are you paying more for coverage than you're receiving in reimbursements? If so, consider reducing the insurance to catastrophe only, or to the lowest plan offered. This will often help you save a bit on you monthly bill while still keeping your pet covered should something happen to him or her!

4.    Use discounted medication providers

Whether your dog requires routine medication or you simply treat them for fleas once a month, chances are you can find medications at cheaper prices than what you pay at the vet.
Check out these online resources:

All of these steps may not save you a bundle all at once, but added together, and taken over a period of several months, you'll start to notice a difference, especially at a period where every little bit helps!


Comments on "Is having a pet costing you too much?"

Rich C. NJ May 09, 2011 | 10:16 PM

My three kids should be costing me a fortune and not even a small one. They get the best of both worlds, the sleep with mom and dad and lay on the couch life of being poorer and they get the expensive and healthier foods, treats, and bones of the wealthy pet owner along with daily playtime at daycare with their friends and me there with them because I manage Preferred Pet Care, a doggie daycare in NJ. I would never be able to give them the awesome lifestyle they have right now if it wasn't pretty much free. I don't make a fortune doing what I do and it is hard and stressful work but being with all those dogs as well as my personal dogs is awesome and almost my dream job and I don't think the kids would ask for anything more if they had the ability to talk except maybe to ask for the ability to Anyway you should rescue a dog from a bad situation and bring them to my job and together we can make them forget the past ever really happened and make them the talk of the town when all your neighbors see the change from scared shelter mutt to happy spoiled family member with school friends and a second daytime family to play with them, feed them, or whatever else they need while you stay home worry free or work or even run the errands you would have otherwise not wanted or been able to because your crazy new addition would otherwise destroy the house because of his or her lack of exercise and boredom.

SUSAN LLOYD January 09, 2009 | 12:45 PM

My dog costs me a small fortune, I inherited him when my mother died, he is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I had to move from a flat to a house because of the dog, i had to fit a new back door with a dog flap so he has run of the garden. He only eats fresh cooked chicken and dog chocolate drops and has a professional dog walker every day as I work during the day. He is now 13 with a grade 6 heart murmur so he is on expensive heart drugs............ But he is adorable and full of energy and beans....!

Ella December 17, 2008 | 3:28 PM

I totally agree, Chani. Your dog is loyal to you in tough times, and y ou should in turn remain loyal to it and cut costs rather than get rid of it.

Chani November 04, 2008 | 10:44 AM

Thanks for your excellent suggestions. The thing you DON'T want to do when times get tough is give up your pet. These days, too many people are in a financial crunch and are cutting expenses by dropping their pet off at an animal rescue and that's very sad. There's always a way to make things work out and keep Fido too!

Abby November 04, 2008 | 9:40 AM

This dog is so cute - I looove Jack Russells! My family has 2 and they're the cutest:)

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