Easy Ways to Save Money on Dog Care

We all love our dogs and would do anything to keep them healthy. However, many people are unaware of how to do preventative health care for pets, and so they end up spending too much money on groomers or veterinary bills. Here are some easy suggestions for do-it-yourself preventative health care.

1. Buy a brush and use it regularly, Almost all pet stores carry wire dog brushes. If your dog has short hair, choose one with shorter bristles. For a dog with thicker hair, get a heavier brush. You should also get a dog come, both for picking out stubborn snarls in the hair and cleaning out the brush. Brushing your dog at least once a weak will make his or her hair healthy and shiny, and also help you avoid shedding hair. If you do this regularly, you will avoid having to take your dog to the groomer all of the time.

2. Make sure that your brush your dog’s teeth, every day if you can. Dogs, like humans, can get tartar build up that leads to cavities and dental pain. The best way to avoid this is to use an old toothbrush. Skip out on the toothpaste. If you are unsure how to brush Fido’s teeth, don’t fear; the process is simple. Try to get the dog to lay down and the catch his or her head in your hands. Use one hand to hold onto the dog’s lower jaw and to push gently on the jaw muscles to keep it open. Then, wrap your other hand around your dog’s head and use the toothbrush to gently brush the teeth. You should also plan to feed your dog tartar-reducing food if it is a problem for your dog, and also make sure that your vet checks up on your dog’s teeth regularly. This will save money on extractions or pain medication

3. Wash your dog regularly once a month rather than taking it to a groomer. Instead of using human shampoo, which can irritate the dog’s skin, use a solution of castile soap, like Dr. Bronner’s, which is cheap and gentle for the dog.

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4. Instead of taking your dog to the vet to get its nails clipped, buy nail clippers and do it yourself. Don’t simply cut the dog’s nails off all at once because they will bleed; dogs have veins running through their nails. Instead, cut about an eighth of an inch off one day, and then wait until the next day and cut a bit more. The veins will slowly recede and you will avoid making the nails bleed.

5. If your dog begins to “scoot” on the carpet, don’t bother going to the vet. Instead, you can empty the anal gland yourself by squeezing firmly at the base of the tail. A thick yellowish liquid will come out. Although it is a bit gross, if you wash the dog right after, you will not smell it and the dog will feel better. Another great option is to let your dog go outside; it will probably “scoot” on the ground and empty it.

6. Make sure that your dog wears a flea collar and takes heartworm medicine. Treating fleas or heartworm is quite expensive, and an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure in this case.

7. Consider making your own dog food with one part white rice to one part hamburger and one part carrots or other cheap veggies. You can make small batches using cheap meat and veggies, which will save you money in the long run, provided you have the time to do it.

8. If you have a dog who has to jump to get on the bed or likes to climb, consider making it a ramp with plywood or buying it a set of doggie stairs so that it can climb up easily, which will prevent injuries that might cause costly trips to the vet.

When caring for dogs, the key is to make sure to engage in preventative health care, but to avoid wasting your money on services you can do yourself. This way, you can save money and ensure Fido a long and happy life.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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