Dog-With-MoneyAs you know by now, I live on a pretty tight budget. From eating out and shopping to throwing parties and vacationing I’ve offered numerous tips and tricks on how to save but still have a good time. So for this month, I thought I would introduce you to the fella in my life, the guy who reminds me to spend my money so wisely. He weighs 70 pounds and poops more than anybody I know, but he depends on me for food, water, shelter (which all cost money) and companionship (which I give away for free). His name is Rascal and he is the best and most adorable dog on earth (I’m confident in saying that and if you scroll down to the picture section, I think you will agree). As any good dog parent does, I try to provide him with the best things in life, but as in many cases, money is tight. So, here are my tips on how to take care of your pooch without braking the bank:

funny-money-DogShop around for Vets

If I wasn’t terrified of cats, I’d become a Veterinarian. They can charge outrageous amounts for everything. A “well visit” alone can cost anywhere between $50-$90 and when you add in vaccines, urine tests, fecal samples, removal of inedible objects, X-Rays, etc you might as file the bankruptcy papers while you’re at it. Shop around and ask about pricing from different offices in your area before selecting one. Also some organizations like the Humane Society offer free or discounted vaccines and other services, so do your research!  While you’re doing your research look into Pet Health Insurance too~it may just make sense!

dog bathDo the Dirty Work Yourself

As nice as it would be to send Rascal to the Groomers for the day, it’s not necessary. I bathe him in my shower, brush him, cut his nails and even clean his ears myself. He hates it and will try to make a break for it if I give him the opportunity, but it saves me a bundle and I know he feels better afterward.

 A Tired Puppy is a GREAT Puppy

Rascal stays out of trouble (for the most part) if I keep him busy. It might not seem like this is a money saving tip, but once I came home and he had torn up every single pillow in my house and it cost a fortune to replace. If I wake up 30 minutes earlier, take him for a walk and play with him for a bit before heading to the office, he’ll usually behave himself while I’m gone. With this change, pillow retention got longer, table legs stopped being chewed and I saved a lot on replacement costs.

Go Easy on the Festive Attire

Best Dog Costume EVER

Cha Cha Cha Chia Dog! The BEST ever!

It’s adorable to dress your pup up for Halloween, buy bunny ears to celebrate Easter and get him a holiday bandana (for pictures with Santa Paws of course), but it’s not always the best idea if you’re on a budget. Rascal does have a holiday bowtie, but it was a gift, which I proudly accepted because it’s super cute, but doggie wardrobes aren’t practical for budgeters. I know, it breaks my heart, too.

Make Your Own Toys

Being the big boy that he is, Rascal can destroy an “indestructible” toy in a matter of seconds. So, I give him old t-shirts of mine to play with.~he loves them! He cuddles with them at night, plays tug-of-war with me and even fetches them. There’s no need to spend $15.95 on a stuffed toy from the store, he enjoys the shirts and I have a million more to give him once one gets too ratty.