Caring for your dog on a budget
With costs rising and budgets getting tighter, you may be looking for ways to save money on your dog’s care. Our member Blue Cross has put together tips on cutting costs without compromising your dog’s health and happiness:
Cutting costs on your dog’s supplies
The ongoing expense of your dog’s supplies can be difficult to maintain when you’re on a tight budget, but there are some small things that you can do to help save money.
Cheap dog food
You may be wondering whether it’s OK to feed your dog a cheaper brand of food. The good news is that healthy adult dogs just need a balanced diet that is specially made for their species. You can find all the essential nutrients needed in your dog’s food by looking for dog food that is:
- labelled as ‘complete’
- approved by the Food Standards Agency (FSA)
A high price tag doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting the best food. Just be sure to use commercial foods and avoid feeding your dog a homemade diet, as these are unlikely to provide the nutrients your dog needs.
To help cut costs further, treats aren’t necessary for your dog’s diet and can be cut out. This will also help your dog to maintain a healthy weight.
Changing your dog’s food
New foods can cause an upset tummy in dogs, so if you do need to change your dog’s food, remember to do so gradually. You can do this by mixing a small amount of the new food with their old food, and slowly increasing the new food over a few days, until your dog has fully switched over.
If your dog shows symptoms of vomiting or diarrhoea, stop the new food, try again at a later date and introduce it at slower pace.
Buying in bulk
Buying dog food in bulk can help to save money, as it allows you to get more value for your money. The upfront cost can be more expensive, but you could consider sharing the cost with other dog owners, such as friends or family. This will also help to make sure you use the food well before the best before date! Don’t forget to shop around for deals on your dog’s food. You may find that their food is cheaper in places other than pet shops.
Shop second hand
Needing new supplies for your dog when you’re on a tight budget can be daunting. However, shopping second hand can be a great way of picking up items such as beds, coats and toys for cheaper than you would usually find when buying them new. Keep an eye out on local selling sites and try looking for second hand items before you head to a shop.