Frugal Dog Tips

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Dog Bark Collar Store. All opinions are 100% mine. For more information please view my Disclosure Policy.

Saving money is so important. Having a large-breed dog costs can definitely add up. Here are some tips to help you keep those costs down.

Frugal Dog Tips

Do the Grooming Yourself

It’s not an easy task to bathe a mastiff that hates water, but spending $50 for someone else to give her a bath isn’t ideal. Bathe your dog at home or find a facility that offers self-serve dog baths, which cost less than having a full-service groom. This is a great way to save a few dollars. If your dog’s breed requires more than bathing consider purchasing clippers and learning how to groom them yourself. It may take time and practice but is well worth the savings.

Skip the Expensive Treats

We love to spoil our pup, but dog treats can become a big expense. Many of those high-cost treats aren’t healthy for them either! Treats are great for rewards, so you definitely don’t want to skip them altogether. Consider making your own treats. There are many resources out there. Or use fruits and vegetables! (Though please be aware of those that may be dangerous to your pup like grapes and avocados.)

Take Them With You

Boarding costs can be extremely expensive. When you add on the “extras” like play time, treats, etc. costs can rise into hundreds of dollars for a week away! Because we don’t want the bare minimum for our dogs it’s expected to add some “extras” during their stay. Hiring a pet sitter can be just as costly as rates have risen over the past couple of years.

So what are we to do?

If you’re not able to have friends or family members care for your dog while you’re away – take them with you! There are many pet friendly hotels, and some don’t even charge extra to include your pet. We have stayed in multiple hotels with our mastiff at no extra cost!


Having been a dog trainer I often heard that most dog owners don’t take a training class or hire a trainer because of the cost. If you are unable to train them at home as well as provide proper socialization they may receive through a group training class you may find the costs of NOT having training far exceed the costs of training. Destroyed furniture, walls, carpet, yard, garden, etc. can be costly to replace.

If your dog isn’t socialized properly they may react negatively toward other dogs – or even other people, which can result in financial consequences (fines, court fees, etc.) – not to mention consequences beyond the financial consequences. So although training is an investment up front it is a money saver long term.

Keep Them Healthy

This may seem obvious, but it really is an important point. Make sure your dog visits the vet regularly for check-ups and is on preventive treatments for fleas and heart worms. Should they get fleas or heart worms due to not being on preventive treatment the costs to treat them can be steep. Many think of flea treatment as just a bath, spray, and/or collar, but you would actually need to treat your entire home and possibly even your yard. Costs definitely add up quickly. Heart worm treatment is very costly. It can cost over $1000 if you have a large-breed dog.

Beyond vet care and preventive treatment make sure your dog is eating well, getting plenty of water, and gets exercise regularly. These are all important to maintaining good health. Make sure when purchasing dog food you read ingredients carefully. This is an area where cheaper is not better. In fact, it can be far worse.

I actually suggest spending a little more for a high quality food because it will not only help them maintain better health, but they will eat less because it has more nutrients instead of fillers. My rule of thumb is – if corn is in the first five ingredients it is not a quality dog food as corn is a filler. They will eat more (and go to the bathroom more). So you may feel like you’re saving money by buying the less expensive food, but you’d do better to buy a food with better quality so your dog is healthier and happier.

Do you have any frugal dog tips you’d like to share?

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  1. Krista Bainbridge

    I didn’t realize that avocados were on the “no-no” list for pups, too! Thanks for this great share of tips for dog owners!

    • Just like anything, some dogs may have a reaction and some might not, but it’s best not to take the risk in my opinion. It’s the persin in avocados that can cause intestinal upset for pups!

  2. Great post! My former roommates and I used to train and foster abandoned dogs, then they’d be put up for adoption at PetSmart. I need to add something very important as far as dog health is concerned, especially in the summer: DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR! When I lived in Las Vegas, every summer (with the temp going up to 120), dogs died because their people left them “just for a minute” in the car, in the sunshine, of the Nevada desert, while they shopped. (Some people also did this to their kids – you should have to get a license to procreate, I firmly believe!). Anyway…..people, take care of your animals – they love you unconditionally. Remember – no dog ever called you fat, ugly and stupid!

    • Yes, that is so very true! Leaving them in a vehicle is SOOO dangerous!

    • I just found your blog from penny horder. I’d love you to check out my blog. Here is a way to earn and help a traveler with pets, too: become a Host! xcDogs connects people who travel with pets to a local, loving person who will pet sit. Allows travelers to enjoy a pet-free activity (a hike, boat ride, fancy dinner); allows pets to be safe (not left in hot cars, or alone in hotel rooms). Join us as a pet sitter Host! Set your own rates and schedule, #PetsGoFar

  3. We spend so much money on treats for our big girl. I hadn’t ever thought about making my own to save money. Thanks for the tip, and I’m gonna start checking into some recipes!

  4. Sarh Snarski says

    She is beautiful! My mom’s 80lb pit bull/yellow lab mix does not like water at all either, but she always manages to wrestle him in the bath tub and bathes him. It’s definitely not an easy task and she is often covered in water herself.

    • Thank-you! I can relate to your mom’s situation – I often end up soaked by the end of the bath myself!

      • Sarh Snarski says

        I can imagine! However, to be honest, I think it is easier to wrestle larger dogs then it is the small little ankle bites. She has a few of those as well and they are just crazy!

        • I TOTALLY agree! I have a soft spot for the larger breeds! 😉

          • Sarh Snarski says

            I do as well, we’d like to get a dog, but my fiancee will only get a lab. We were going to have my mom’s big dog, but then she chickened out.

          • Aw Labs are great, but the biggest complaint I heard as a dog trainer is raising a Lab from a pup. They have SO much energy and don’t really mature until they are around 3. So there is a lot of digging, chewing, jumping, etc. unless you keep them VERY active. They get bored easily. Once they mature, though, they are the perfect dog!

  5. Paula Ball says

    your dog is gorgeous! I do rescue so always have several but MY dog is an American Pit Bull Terrier that came from Tx (near Gainsville) and was being readied to either fight, breed, or be a “bait” dog. She is such a loving, trusting , and forgiving dog.
    One thing I do to save money ,and this has been vet approved, is buy the Revolution dosage for Xlarge dogs and divide it between pets. One Xlarge can treat 10 cats or 3 40lb dogs. Much cheaper than buying individual doses.

    • That is a great tip! Unfortunately, our pup needs the XLarge! Can you store it so it can be used on the same pet in different months? So 10 doses for our cat? I guess I will ask our vet! Thanks!

  6. All great tips…I love brindles!

  7. A cheap but effective way to treat your house for fleas is to sprinkle borax or baking soda everywhere and then vacuum it up the next day
    Mark recently posted…Best Flea Treatment For Dogs – Pills, Drops, Shampoos, Collars, & SpraysMy Profile

    • We don’t use Borax in our home due to potential health concerns, but baking soda would definitely be an inexpensive way to do so! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks for the amazing tips! Many people don’t really know how much it actually costs to have a dog.
    Olivia Williams recently posted…10 Best Dog Boots in 2017My Profile

  9. I know grooming your dog saves so much money but beware of how your dog will treat you after! My mom groomed our miniature schnauzer and after my mom would groom her she would be angry at my mom for a couple of days and not let my mom pet her! Haha! She was such a struggle for my mom that it took a long time. Thanks for the tips!
    Sara recently posted…Diamond Naturals Dog Food ReviewsMy Profile

  10. Hi Emilee,
    Great post, I agree to have a dog its a lot of responsibility, to take care of them, keep them healthy give them proper training and much more,
    Thank you for sharing this post,

  11. These are really great tips and tricks. I have been training dogs for more then 2 years now. Your tips and tricks will help me to my dogs trained perfectly now.
    Thanks for sharing wonderful tips.

  12. All excellent information. We love large-breed dogs, but, yes, the costs certainly do add up.

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