Thinking of adding a furry friend to the family? According to the ASPCA, the first year of owning a dog can add up to as much as $1,843! Here’s a look at how I was able to cut the cost of my dog’s first year by over 60%!
1. Adopt from a shelter to save hundreds on microchipping and vaccinations.
When you adopt from a shelter, you’re not only saving money, you’re saving a life and giving back to the organization, helping other dogs in need. When I adopted my dog from a local shelter, I saved hundreds right away because I didn’t have to worry about spaying, microchipping, or vaccinating him—the shelter did it all free!
Microchipping a dog will cost you around $50, while the first round of vaccinations is about $70. The average charge of a neuter/spay procedure is $220. When you adopt from a shelter, those fees are already taken care of!
Total savings: $340
2. Get over $270 in coupons with a PetSmart Puppy Starter Kit.
Total savings: $270
3. Attend a vaccination clinic and keep your pet’s shots up to date without the vet exam fees.
Stores like Petco offer vaccination clinics at certain times each month. All I had to do was call my local store for information on dates and times.
The average annual recurring medical costs (vaccinations) for a large dog are around $260. Depending on what vaccination package you select from a Petco clinic, you’ll spend up to $81 for a basic package (healthy dog/puppy pack + rabies).
Total Savings: $180
4. Get your puppy’s nails trimmed for free at PetSmart.
Total savings: A complete meltdown and lots of tears from accidentally clipping too much off.
Related: How to Make Dry Dog Shampoo
5. Find better patterns and prices for beds at Ross, T.J.Maxx or Marshall’s.
Total savings: $90
6. Don’t buy the bleached bones from pet stores—ask a butcher.
One Dentley’s Nature’s Chew stuffed bone (9.3 oz) is $10.99 at PetSmart. My local butcher sells bags of bones at $3.98 per pound. Treating your pup to two of the PetSmart bones per month sets you back $263.76 in a year. Buying a 1lb bag of bones per month from my butcher costs me only $47.76 annually.
Total savings: $216
7. Buy subscription services like BarkBox through Groupon.
A three-month subscription purchased directly from BarkBox.com is $72. Groupon.com sells BarkBox subscriptions at a discount of as much as 28% off. Stack those savings when a 20% off “goods” coupon rolls around, and purchase a six-month subscription for $44.80!
Total Savings: $27.20
8. Buy puppy leashes and collars at the dollar store.
Total savings: $15.23
The figures above are based on the average pet care costs of a large dog according to the ASPCA.