17 Best Clever Dog Money Saving Tips

Are you always on the lookout for ways to reduce your dog expenses, while still providing your dog with great care? I definitely fall into this category. There are many ways to save money on your dog expenses. Additionally, there are ways to reduce your dog’s expenses. Some are very easy and actionable (my favorite). While others are a bit more involved. Remember that when you save money in one area, it can allow you to spend in another area of your dog’s budget that you’ve been skimping, such as pet insurance or even medication. With this in mind, today let’s dig in and discover the 17 best clever dog money saving tips. 

A dog mom hugs her pups after learning about dog money saving tips.
disclaimer note

*Updated: January 9, 2024

Budget tip:

Admittedly, I love dog money saving tips. The great part of a saving tip is that it generally doesn’t cost anything. Yet, it can improve your bottom line. In other words, it can decrease the amount of your overall dog costs. How great is that? There’s really no downside and only upside in this one. Basically, it’s a ginormous WIN-WIN for you and your dog!

1. Automatic deposit

One great idea is to have a certain amount automatically deposited into a pet savings account and dog emergency fund each month. It could be $5, $10, $20, or more. However, I encourage you to set up different accounts and have each receive automatic deposits. This could be straight from your checking account or from your paycheck. Additionally, make sure you have automatic deposits for your retirement funds as well. 

Personally, I love this option. It makes it easy and I don’t have to think about it. Additionally, if I should need to suspend it for a month or move money back for any reason, I can without issue. 

Although, if you should need to suspend the auto deposit at any time, make sure you can without paying fees. Basically, set up these accounts prudently and look at the fine details, especially since no one knows the future. 

Wondering what a pet savings account is all about? In this article, I walk you through what it is, why it’s important, and how to set one up.

2. Higher yield pet savings accounts and dog emergency funds

Of course, you want the most for your pet savings and emergency dog funds. That’s why you should search for the highest-yield accounts. However, always read the fine details to make sure that it’s an account that will fit your needs. This will allow you to cover your dog’s pet care gap from pet insurance. 

Curious about dog emergency funds or how much you need in your account? In this article, I share everything you need to know. 

3. DIY what you can 

Look at what you buy for your dog and ask yourself if you can easily make any of them, such as dog treats or dog toys. Honestly, dog treats are super easy even for the non-baker. 

Additionally, if you don’t sew, there are plenty of dog toys that don’t require any sewing and can be created in minutes. Yet you can save a lot of money. Especially, if your dog is a toy destroyer. 

However, be realistic too. Don’t look at something and think you can tackle it knowing full well it’s out of your wheelhouse. This might include building a dog house when you’ve never picked up a hammer in your life. If this is the case, then ask a friend or family member for help. 

Does your dog love homemade treats? In this article, I walk you through how much you can save with a simple dog treat recipe. 

4. Low-cost vaccinations

While it’s always a good idea to keep your dog’s vaccines updated, you can do it economically. There are easy ways to cut veterinary costs with low-cost vet clinics. These clinics generally only charge for the vaccine and not for the visit, which can save $60-100. 

Are you unsure how to find a vet-approved low-cost vaccination clinic? In this article, I walk you through how to find one in your area. 

5. Spay or neuter

You’d be surprised how many health problems you can avoid with spay or neutering your dog. Plus, you can do it for much less than you expect. 

Worried about spaying or neutering your dog? In this article, I share everything you need to know and how to find a low-cost clinic. 

6. Preventative care

It may seem that preventative care is just another vet bill. Actually, it can reduce your future vet bill. Nipping health problems in the bud or learning how to avoid them altogether is truly a money saver!

Want to learn the details about how preventative dog care can reduce your vet bills? In this article, I walk you through the process and break down the numbers as well. 

7. Basic dog training

You might be surprised to learn that basic dog training can reduce your overall dog expenses. When you have a well-trained dog your costs can go down dramatically. Plus, you don’t even need to spend money to teach your dog basic obedience or worry about your time schedule. How amazing is that? 

Curious how basic dog training can help you save money? In this article, I share all the details and break down the numbers. 

Henry at his Therapy Dog Graduation.

8. Barter for dog services

I really love this idea. Basically, this means you simply ask people if you can barter for your dog’s services or needs. This could include a fancy dog birthday cake or even a dog grooming service. In return, you offer something you’re good at doing such as social media services or washing and detailing a car. The sky is truly the limit. 

Have you ever bartered for your dog’s services? In this article, I share how to do it the right way. 

9. Dog community or dog exchange

Instead of calling a dog walker, pet sitter, or boarding service, why not call on your dog community? Although, some people refer to a dog community as a dog exchange. Either way, it means a group of dog parents where you each take turns helping each other out. That could be dog walking, recommendations, or even dog baths. Think of it as a human pack of dog parents! 

Do you know what a dog community is or how valuable it can be as a dog parent? In this article, I share everything you need to know. 

10. Sell unwanted or un-needed items

Have you ever received things for your dog you simply don’t use? Maybe you have items your dog isn’t using any longer, but they’re still in decent shape. Then sell them. Personally, I’ve found that Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist works well. But always be careful when meeting a potential buyer. For instance, meet in a well-lit area with cameras and try to take a friend or family member with you. 

Additionally, some people find sites like NextDoor and OfferUp work well for selling items. I suspect it’s different for each area. Perhaps if one site (each is free) isn’t working then try a different site. 

11. Stop impulse buying (know your needs from your wants)

I know it’s easy to go to the store, see a cute toy, or yummy dog treat, you know your pup would love and just buy it. Or maybe you’re scrolling through various internet sites and stumble upon the cutest Halloween dog outfit and buy it on the spot. That’s extremely easy to do. Heck, I’ve fallen for the impulse buy with my dog, Henry. 

However, the best trick I’ve found to counteract impulse buying is to stop for 10 seconds. Take a deep breath. And ask three questions:

  • Is it a need?
  • Or is it a want? 
  • Will I regret it if I don’t buy it now? 

Honestly, that little trick helps me from buying things I just don’t need for both Henry and myself. Especially, when I pass my favorite coffee house and I’m low on energy. 

12. Negotiate and ask for discounts

Do you know you can ask for discounts on just about anything? When you go to your groomer ask if they honor military discounts. Or when you go to your vet ask if they have a multiple pet discount? Perhaps your vet has a wellness plan discount. Once you start asking about discounts, you will be surprised by what you learn. 

For instance, I discovered some places will offer discounts to locals. I had no idea. But I live in a very touristy area. I guess it’s businesses’ way of saying thank you to the ones that keep them going year-round. 

13. Free activities are good

I know some activities with your dog just sound like fun. Why not take your dog to the state park to explore? What if the state park is charging $15 to enter? But you can go a mile down the road and explore a path on your own for free. When you’re trying to save money, it’s simply a matter of looking for low-cost or free options. 

Are you looking for budget-friendly date ideas to do with your spouse and dog? In this article, I share 25 ideas that won’t bust your budget and many are even free.

14. Ask your employer about pet insurance 

I have to admit, I wasn’t aware of this until about two years ago or so. But some businesses are providing pet insurance as a benefit of employment. That’s a great benefit! However, this may be a new benefit for some companies, which you may not even be aware of yet.

Consequently, simply ask your employer or human resource department if pet insurance is part of your benefits package. If they say no, then encourage them to look into it as it would boost morale and productivity. There are many benefits for companies to offer pet insurance. This can dramatically help reduce your vet bill and dog expenses. 

15. Using credit card points to pay for necessities

Do you order supplies for your dog online? Here’s an idea that will save you, simply use your credit card rewards. I generally never pay the full amount for Henry’s supplies online, because I use my credit card points. Admittedly, I’m a bit surprised by how much I can save with this simple tip.

16. Do it at home

Whenever you’re comfortable try doing basic dog care at home. This includes bathing, grooming, and nail trimming. I’ve saved a lot on Henry’s care with this one trick alone. Sometimes I may have someone else bathe Henry, but I’ll groom him. Then I trim his nails. It’s actually easy. Plus, I can do it on my schedule and when Henry needs it. This is the nail grinder I use for Henry.

Want more DIY care to cut your vet bill? In this article, I walk you through some of the best and easiest ones to implement.

17. Automatic basic supplies

If there are certain pet supplies you buy for your dog regularly, such as pet medication, dental products, or dog food, then make them automatic refills. It will save you 5-10% and more importantly you’ll never run out. Additionally, you can always change the automatic status or skip a shipment if you need to at any time. I do this with many of Henry’s supplies. While I often change the shipping date, it does save me money and the stress of running out. Honestly, it’s one of those “it’s so simple” kind of tips that I don’t know why I waited so long. 

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Summary of the best clever dog money saving tips

It’s amazing how easy some things are that can make a big difference in saving money for your dog. Personally, I love automatic deposits to a pet savings account and dog emergency funds. Additionally, I really like making Henry’s supplies automatic. These ideas can save me money, and help Henry, yet I don’t even have to think much about it. That’s kind of remarkable!

To clarify, I fully endorse each idea on this list. They all work. You don’t have to use them all in order to make a difference, but you can if you wish. Moreover, you can customize them to your needs. For example, customizing automatic supply refills. It’s a great idea when you can save money with little effort. To quote Martha Stewart “It’s a good thing!”

a toddler hugs her hugs after her parents learn about dog money saving tips

What dog money saving tips do you use for your pup? Will you add any to your routine from this list? 

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About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

6 thoughts on “17 Best Clever Dog Money Saving Tips”

  1. So many ingenious ideas here. Some are so obvious but I think ‘Ooooh yes!’ I love the DIY and also the saving. It is easier to set aside $5 than find a lot of money for a bill!!

    Brilliant tips.

    Reply
    • Thank you! Yes, there are a lot of ways you can save on dog and pet expenses. Of course, some are more obvious. But many aren’t as obvious like a automatic deposit to your pet savings account or using the want/needs strategy. It’s amazing how little tricks can really add up. And you’re right, finding $5 can be easy and it can add up to something significant when you really need it.

      I appreciate your kind words and continued support!

      Reply
  2. I am LOVING these ideas! Credit card points are fabulous, so are low cost spay/neuter and vaccinations – people really should look to their local county animal shelter for low cost services. I earn some points from the manufacturer when I buy my dogs flea/tick/heartworm medication. You come up with such great ideas Terri. Thanks. Definitely sharing.

    Reply
    • Thank you! It’s amazing how simple ideas can make a big difference in your bottom line. Sometimes they’re so simple they get overlooked. I’m so happy you liked these ideas for saving money on your dog expenses and I LOVE that you earn points with your pups flea/tick/heartworm meds. I completely agree with low services from local shelters. The trick is to ask, which some folks are a bit shy about doing.

      Cathy, I’m very grateful for your continued support! Thank you!

      Reply
  3. Fantastic tips! I did not know some companies are offering that as a benefit, but I’m so glad to hear this. If that was an option, I’d certainly have accepted it as insurance on five Huskies would have been high. I love this. I chuckled at your impulse buying one…I am so guilty of that! I always *thought* my dogs needed something like a new toy (times 5) or specialty treats (times 5), that it made me feel like Santa Claus when I brought it home for them and saw how excited they were! Now while I wouldn’t trade that fun feeling and all the Husky hugs I received, I really noticed how “overboard” I may have went after they passed and I sorted through their toys and things to donate. Wow. To sum it up, my last of the FiveSibes, Wolfie, passed almost two years ago (this December) and I STILL have unopened bags of treats that I share with my buddy dog here in the neighborhood. Always excellent tips! Sharing for sure!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, Dorothy! You know that tip of taking a step back and asking myself if it’s a want, need, or if I’ll regret not getting it in that moment, has saved me more money than I can even imagine. Wow, that’s something to think about! How we’re wired to impulse buy, is just off the wall. One of my majors is marketing and I remember how we studied different techniques to entice buyers at the checkout line. Kind of sneaky stuff. But now it’s progressed to online checkout. Either way you can overcome it, by simply stepping back for a few minutes and asking those three simple questions.

      I can’t even imagine how many toys and treats you had for you five fur kids. It’s nice you were able to donate many of those items. And I absolutely LOVE that you get to share some of the treats with your neighborhood buddy dog. That’s a really sweat gift that your five left you.

      Thank for your kind words and continued support. I really appreciate it!

      Reply

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