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Dogs are amazing companions for anyone lucky enough to have one in their life. Pet owners come from all walks of life, but one thing they all have in common is the desire to save money. While you may love spoiling your pooch, he'll have a much better quality of life when you save money for the things he really needs. To find out how to make pet ownership work for you, whatever your financial situation, here are six ideas on how to keep your dog healthy on a budget.
When selecting food for your dog, never skimp on quality. A poor grade of dog food often contains fillers that cause obesity in dogs and puts them at risk for disease. To afford high-quality food, always look for the ultimate pet nutrition discounts that save owners tons of money every year. There's no reason to sacrifice your dog's health when you can buy high-grade brands at a fraction of the cost.
Toys are so much fun to buy for your dog, but if you're honest, you know your dog always heads toward her favorite toy. Instead of splurging on new playthings, stick with the one or two she loves the most and replace them when worn out. Be sure to never purchase stuffed animal toys for a dog. Sharp teeth can chew right through to the stuffing, which can be a choking hazard. Rawhide is another item to avoid, as it may splinter and cause an intestinal blockage.
It's no secret that veterinarian appointments are expensive, but what will cost you more is a sick pup. Making sure your dog never misses a vet appointment will ensure he's up on his shots and that he's in otherwise healthy condition. Also, don't delay having your puppy spayed or neutered when the time comes, usually around six months of age. Spaying and neutering help control the animal population and keep your dog healthier and better behaved.
Having your pet professionally groomed is a real treat, and they look and smell so good. However, all this doggie glamour comes at a serious price. Instead of having your dog groomed on a regular basis, learn how to give her the salon treatment at home. Bathing your dog with sudsy oatmeal shampoo will have her looking and feeling her best, and you'll save big bucks. Learning how to trim your dog's nails can also save you significant money.
All dogs love treats, but don't feel guilty about being stingy with them. The cost of biscuits really adds up and they also cause quick weight gain. When you have an overweight dog, treats are always the first thing to go, anyway. Your pet will consume the bulk of his nutrients at mealtime, so save treats for training and as a reward for good behavior. When choosing treats, select ones that are low-calorie and the right size for your dog.
While pet insurance may sound like an expensive proposition, it can save you hundreds of dollars, especially as your dog ages. While regular check-ups are part of routine care, it's the emergency and unexpected visits that will cost you. Insurance may help you pay for X-rays, bloodwork, broken bones and hospitalizations. Every insurance plan is different, so make sure you research each one carefully and take into consideration which one works best for your breed.
Dogs bring immeasurable joy to their families. Being a responsible dog owner means providing healthy food, medical care and exercise, but not breaking the bank in the process. By using valuable discounts and being smart about how you shop, you can keep your dog healthy even on the strictest of budgets. Having lots of fun with your dog also costs nothing, and will keep him healthy and happy forever!