Saving Money on Dog Care

Posted on 09/23/2011

It’s National Dog Week, seven days set aside every year in September to raise awareness of the needs of dogs. The founders’ goals included eliminating strays from the streets, finding good homes for every dog and increasing consideration for dogs. In an effort to help pet owners care for their furry family members, here are some tips for saving money on dog care.

Don’t Skimp on Vaccines - According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cost of vet care for dogs and cats jumped from $11 billion in 1996 to $23.2 billion in 2006. One way to reduce vet bills is to focus on preventative care including vaccines. Just make sure they are tailored for your dog’s lifestyle. Does your dog take long hikes through the woods? Then a Lyme disease vaccine might be a good choice, but if your pooch is perfectly fine with a walk around the block that may not be worth the expense.

Take Advantage of Your Humane Society - Besides adopting pets your humane society likely offers low cost care. Heading here instead of the vet for services like spay and neuter clinics, vaccinations and heart worm tests can be a good way to keep your pet healthy without overspending. Some humane societies even offer grooming services.

Shop Online - Buying pet medicines from your vet may be convenient, but it’s probably not the cheapest option. Head to websites like or You may need your vet to fax in a prescription, but that step could save you up to 50%.

Be a Smart Shopper - While I have one diabetic dog that requires pricey prescription food, I have rarely had to actually pay for food for my other pooch. That’s because I track sales, use coupons and search for rebates. For instance, right now you can score a free four pound bag of Hill’s Science Diet Ideal Balance pet food with this mail in rebate. That’s a savings of up to $12.99.

Skip the Clothes - Your dog probably doesn’t like being dressed up in a Halloween costume nearly as much as you like it. Yes, it’s cute to see your Dachshund in a hot dog costume or your Labrador looking like a super hero. But if you’re serious about saving money, skip the new costume and pocket the savings instead.

By Alison Storm

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