Money-Saving Pet Care Tips


We all want to treat our dogs to the fancy life– but let’s face it, in today’s world, that’s not always a reality.

The American Pet Products Association crunched the numbers, and they added up that that the average American   spends at least $1,593.00 a year on dog care. That’s a lotta bones.

Thank goodness we found these money-saving tips over at Life + Dog magazine!

Do It Youself

  • Make Your Own Dog Food
    Shop when vegetables are in season and invest in a slow cooker and a good cookbook to feed premium food at a fraction of commercial prices.
  • Make Your Own Toys
    Interactive toys are the best way to keep your dog occupied. Make your own toys out of water bottles or braided T-shirts, or make your own interactive feeder from a football with two small holes cut into each side.
  • Self-Service Grooming
    Save costs by brushing your dog’s teeth at home, dematting his fur in between groomings and looking into self-serve dog washes in between trips to the professional. Don’t forget to ask your groomer if they have a referral or loyalty program.

Use Coupons

  • Newspapers
    Use tried-and-true methods like the Sunday newspaper for valuable coupons on popular dog food brands. If you find something exceptional, buy another copy—it will quickly pay for itself!
  • Stay Connected
    Sign up for company newsletters and follow your favorite brands on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Go Digital
    Applications like Coupon Sherpa can download coupons directly to your smartphone. It’s easy, automatic and keeps all your coupons in one place.

Other Great Tips

  • Lower Costs of Vet Care
    Reduce the costs of your veterinary care by keeping up with annual examinations to get in front of any potential issues, spay or neuter your dog for numerous health benefits, and consider investing in a pet insurance plan to protect yourself from costly emergency procedures.
  • Travel with Your Dog
    Avoid the cost of boarding. Use sites like and to find the most dog-friendly locations to visit.
  • Puppy-Proof Your Home
    Before bringing a puppy home, you should puppy proof just like you would for a baby. Remove fragile items from the ground level, don’t leave your new shoes lying around, and proactively ensure your dog doesn’t get into something they shouldn’t.

How do you save money on your dog? We want to hear your ideas!

Dog Bone Danger


Dogs and bones seem like a natural combination, but they’re not, warns Karen “Doc” Halligan, DVM.

Doc Halligan, a sought-after pet health expert, wants to educate pet owners about the potential, life-threatening dangers of feeding dogs bones.

Bones Can Harm Your Dog

Dogs can spend hours chewing on a bone in a happy bliss and contentment, but there have been many emergency trips to the veterinarian because a dog has choked on a bone, or bone fragments have become lodged in an intestine.

“All veterinary experts agree,” says Halligan, “that there are potential hazards to feeding bones to dogs: broken teeth, fragments lodged in the mouth, intestinal obstruction and even perforation — which can lead to painful abdominal infection.”

This can result in hospitalization with major surgery that can be very expensive. In the worst cases, warns Halligan, it can even be fatal.

“Although dogs love bones, it’s not worth the risk to your pet’s life to give him something that is possibly unsafe.”

Bones Have Hidden Dangers

Natural bones, whether raw or cooked, can present potential health hazards.

Cooking bones in an oven hardens and dries the bone matrix, allowing the bone to splinter while chewing it into sharp pieces that can injure a dog’s intestinal tract. But even raw or uncooked bones can be dangerous as well.

“Raw meat and bones can harbor bacteria such as salmonella and e coli,” explains Halligan, “which can be transmitted to humans, causing vomiting, diarrhea and even organ failure.”

Is There a Safe Bone for Dogs?

Dogs that are used to eating bones can have problems under certain circumstances, says Halligan. “Bones that are described as ‘safe’ can injure an individual animal and there is no way to predict whether your dog will have a problem.”

According to Halligan, there’s not one bone out there that is completely safe in any given circumstance. She recommends pet owners talk with their veterinarians about finding a safer way to feed their dogs a balanced diet, protect their teeth and keep them happy and healthy.

“Although dogs love bones,” insists Halligan, “it’s not worth the risk to your pet’s life to give him something that is possibly unsafe.”

How to Choose the Safest Collar


The wrong type of collar for your dog could be dangerous. Hundreds of dog die a year from wearing the wrong collar. Here’s what you need to know about collar safety from our expert vet, Karen “Doc” Halligan.