Raising a Puppy on a Budget 101
Oh man, there is so much to say about The Bear. If you follow me on instagram you have definitely seen far too many photos and videos of him. First, why don't I start by introducing this cuddle bug, I would like for you all to officially meet Takoda, the dachshund-cocker spaniel all the way from the Lonestar State. We rescued Takoda almost a year ago when he was just a few months old, but it feels like it was only yesterday he was still chewing on the couch. If there is one thing I will never regret in this lifetime it is adopting this little man right here. He always seems to brighten my day even if he decides to dig through the trash every once and awhile.
The Bear has been the best addition to our little family and I believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of owning a dog, if they choose, of course. So if you are on the fence about adopting a dog I am here to offer some of my tricks for owning a puppy on a budget. Trust me they can steal be spoiled even if you think you don’t have the funds for it.
Become a Petco member
Hands down the best advice I received prior to getting Takoda was to join the Pal Rewards program. I know it sounds like a cliche, you always join a new rewards program but then it turns out there are actually no rewards at all just constant advertisements for crap you probably don’t need. I promise this time it’s different.
This will always be my number one recommendation for any and all new dog owners. Petco offers some incredible deals for new dog owners, discounts range from shots to dog toys, in their New Pet Guide. Maybe you are looking for some training help, Petco offers some great deals on classes for new pet owners as well. I am such a fan of the Pal Rewards Program that the Petco up the street from our house knows the whole family by name and the Bear gets tons of love as soon as we step through the door.
Ask Friends for Help When Needed
If you have ever had a friend with a dog you know very well that everyone wanted to hang out with them all the time, there is no shame. If there is a puppy involved, oh hell yeah I am going to be the first one there. Why does that matter to me, do you ask? Well when the time comes and you need a little help letting him/her out one night or you want to go on a mini-vacay, your friends are a great resource. While you get a little break your friends get to have a pup without all the permanent responsibility.
When we took our trip to the Dominican Republic for a week, we saved a ton of money by leaning on a friend willing to help. Takoda had a blast - walks in new places, loads of cuddles, and of course plenty of snacks. I almost thought he wasn’t going to want to come home, but of course, a week was long enough with the Bear for our generous friend.
Try Out Subscriptions
Now when I say subscriptions I don’t necessarily mean a monthly box although they are great. There are a number of websites that offer subscription services not only on a box of supplies but also on individual products as well. One of my favorites is Amazon, you can find almost any kind of dog food, treats, and toys from any brand. Why I prefer Amazon over many other pet cares websites is not because of their wide selection but it's because I can easily subscribe to all the products I want in one place. All I have to do is select the frequency, you can select a subscription as low as one week up to every six months, plus when you subscribe you can save 5-10% off every purchase.
Sometimes life gets ahead of me, so it is nice to know that when it comes time to get The Bear his treats for the month that they will be right at my doorstep at the right time.
Don’t Neglect Healthcare
Over time I have met plenty of people that have owned or did own dogs and I realized that often times they can neglect their pup's health. Many times this can be unintentional, we all know healthcare is expensive and this is no different for animals. This is why you should look into free vet clinics or low-cost programs in your area. This a great way to make sure your pup is healthy year-round, don’t just wait until things get really bad - it can end up being far more pricey in the long run.
If you live in the Boston or Atlanta check out some of the programs below for your pups next check-up:
Merwin Clinic in Allston, MA
Boston Pet Clinics - various locations in MA
Atlanta Humane Society in Bankhead
Now there are a million ways to save on your news family member everyday - shoot I have met people that make their own dog food and toys, but if you are like me that is just not your jam. All these tips help save me time, money, and a little stress in my life and I hope they do the same for you. If you have some tips on how to save on your pup leave them in the comments below.