The frugal pet

Any pet owner will tell you that their beloved fur baby is as much a part of the family as the other members. This extends to expenses as well. The problem is that pet-related expenses don’t always fall under a particular line item in your household budget, so you don’t always account for them.


Here are some tips on how to shave down those pet-related costs:

Thinking of getting a pet

If you don’t have a pet already, start at your local animal shelter or look for families that are giving away pets. Not only are you saving a lot more than you would if you bought your pet from a pet store or breeder, you are giving an animal in need a new home.

Verify why the animal is up for adoption (i.e. costly medical conditions, some organizations may cover these expenses, if a dog was too aggressive with children, you may want to think twice about introducing him to yours).

DIY grooming

If you are a dog owner, you know how expensive it is to take your dog to the groomer. This is where a little DIY elbow grease can really cut expenses. A onetime purchase of clippers, nail clippers and grooming scissors, can set you up for years. It’s not too hard to do either.

Make your own toys

Like your kids, your pet’s toys are expensive. You can make some of your own and save a bundle.

Slice a tennis ball in half, three quarters of the way around and fill with treats. Your dog will chase and play with it for quite a while trying to get the treats out.

Take a washcloth or hand towel, soak in water and freeze. Let your dog chew on the frozen towel (also good for teething puppies!).

For your cat, take yarn remnants and connect the ends together to make a pom pom. She’ll love to pounce for hours.

The clean up

You can spend a fortune on cleaning products, but there are cheaper options, right there in your pantry. To get stains out of carpet, soak up what you can with a paper towel. Sprinkle baking soda over the area. Let set for about 20 minutes and then vacuum up.