We love our pets, and they love us. What we might love less is the amount of money pets cost because, let’s be real, pet needs are expensive. In 2015 in the United States alone, there was an estimated $60.59 billion spent on pet expenses.

That’s a lot of money.

Luckily, there are several simple, easy ways to save money on pets — pet food and pet needs in particular.

  1. Save Money on Pet Food

    Never buy pet food full price; always get it in bulk or with a coupon. Either look to your local paper for coupons, go online to the pet food brand’s website for discounts or order in bulk from companies like Amazon.

  2. Make Pet/Dog Treats at Home

    It’s super easy to make DIY treats in your own home and saves a sneaky amount of money. Check out these recipes for great DIY dog treats:

    Chicken Biscuit Dog Treats
    Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Chews
    Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats

  3. Get the Best Dog Proof Trash Cans

    If you own a dog, you know how bad it is if they eat foods like chocolate or lethal material like glass. It means a trip to the vet that is not only unpleasant for you and your pet, it is expensive. Help prevent your pet from getting into the garbage by getting the best dog proof trash cans, such as:

    The Brylanehome Country Kitchen Trash Bin (White Honey)
    The Simplehuman Semi-Round Step Trash Can, Black Plastic, 50 L / 13 Gal
    The Rubbermaid RM5F8201 Thirty Two Gallon Animal Stopper Trash Can in Olive-32 Gallon/121.1L Olive Color Trash Can Designed to Keep Animals Out

  4. Skip the Dog Salon; Do Pet Grooming at Home

    Fido may love his time at the dog spa, but pet groomers are expensive. By cutting that expense, even just once a month, you’ll be shocked at how the savings add up.

    Photo Credit Goes to Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

  5. On Anything You Can, Order Pet Needs Online or Wholesale

    Whether your pet needs special vitamins, flea medicine or anything else, order as many pet needs and expenses as you can online if it’s the cheapest option (which it usually is). Costco also has great deals in bulk, which is prime if you have more than one pet or dog to take care of!

  6. When Possible, Save Money Training Pets at Home

    Go to the local library and get out DVDs and books on dog training. Following its rules and advice, you may be able to train your dog without professional dog training.

    Photo Credit Goes to Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

  7. Make Your Own Pet Bed (DIY Dog Bed Ideas Included)

    There are a variety of methods to make a pet bed right at home! These are super easy to make:

    DIY No Sew Dog Bed
    14 Other Awesome DIY Dog Bed Ideas

  8. Get Dog Chew Bones SUPER Cheap

    You can save big on dog bones by going to the local butcher or meat department at your grocery store. Bring some money, maybe $5, $10 or $15 and ask how many dog-friendly bones you could buy with that, like the leftover beef marrow bones which are safe for dogs to eat. There’s another plus here: chewing on such marrow bones actually helps with your dog’s breath! (Learn how to get and pick out safe dog bones at this article.)

  9. Make Homemade DIY Pet Toys

    Pet toys can get wicked expensive. Some toys are so simple you could make them yourself at home and, hey, that’s exactly what you should do. A Golden Retriever or Corgi will love a simple dog toy made from T-shirts (like this DIY T-shirt Toy) or plain tennis ball just as much as a fancy schmancy toy that cost $25.

  10. Get Your Dog Plenty of Exercise

    When an animal gets more of the exercise it needs, the healthier it is – just like you and me! Make sure your dog is running and playing as much as it should be to keep those vet bills down. Plus, it’s a great workout for you.

    Photo Credit Goes to Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

  11. Take Time to Research Vets and Their Prices

    Like dog salons and pet foods, veterinarians vary in price. It might be tempting to go to the one nearest your home, but make sure to reach out to all the ones in the area. That way, you make sure to get the best deal.  

  12. Adopt Pets, Don’t Buy Pets

    If you already have a pet(s) or are at your current limit, this one won’t apply. However, if you’re thinking about getting a pet, I strongly encourage pet adoption over purchase. Not only are you taking home an animal that may be euthanized if it doesn’t get a home, it’s WAY cheaper.

Feature Thumbnail Image Photo Credit Goes to Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

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