10 Ways to Save Money On Your Dog's Care

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New book fetches over 300 ways for dog lovers to save on all aspects of dog care, from food to veterinary care to supplies.

In today’s tough economic times, everyone has an eye on the budget and that includes expenditures for dog food, supplies, and care. However, with some frugal shopping, pet lovers can keep their dogs happy and healthy without breaking the bank.

"Trimming pet costs isn't just an option for many families in this economy, it's a necessity," says Paris Permenter, co-author of the new book Barkonomics: Tips for Frugal Fidos (Riviera Books) and publisher of http://www.DogTipper.com. "There are many ways to save money on everything from dog food, the biggest day-to-day expense, to services such as grooming and veterinary care, to supplies such as beds and toys. Because the pet industry is so competitive and continues to grow at a rate of about $2 billion a year, companies offer many bargains for shoppers who are willing to take a few moments and plan their purchases."

Ten top tips recommended for cutting costs when it comes to your canine:

1. Sign up for newsletters of favorite companies. Many dog food and treat manufacturers offer electronic newsletters that provide exclusive discounts and coupons.
2. Follow favorites on Twitter and Facebook. Just about every company has a Twitter and Facebook presence these days (just check the company website for links). You’ll often find some great fan/follower discount offers that are only promoted through social media.
3. Go the DIY route. Consider learning some grooming and dog training skills. You'll find numerous free videos at sharing sites such as YouTube for everything from trimming your dog's hair to teaching your dog to stay.
4. Start a price book. A price book helps you identify sales patterns and recognize a true sale price when you see one. Make entries for your pet's staples such as favorite dog food brands so you'll be able to compare per pound prices and identify the best buy.
5. Learn whether your pet's prescription can be filled at the drugstore. Many dog prescriptions can be filled at the drugstore, often at a savings (and you’ll have the option of generic, low-cost equivalents for some drugs.) Also, some drugstores offer prescription clubs with lower costs--and family pets can be added to many of the prescription clubs.
6. Check your memberships for special offers. Check all your memberships--from auto clubs to work-related affiliations--for special partnerships offering discounts on everything from pet insurance to boarding services.
7. Consider pet insurance. Investigate pet insurance options while your dog is young, if at all possible. Do your homework and learn about exclusions and limitations, balancing the monthly premium against the amount of coverage.
8. Make your own home cleaning products. Simple, inexpensive ingredients such as white vinegar and baking soda are the basis of many homemade cleaners, ones that are "green" both for the environment and for your pocketbook. You'll be keeping your dog safe by not introducing chemicals into his environment--and saving money at the same time.
9. Shop thrift stores and garage sales. When it comes to dog accessories, you can sniff out many bargains by shopping for used products. Items such as stainless steel bowls and dog crates can be found at a fraction of the price of their new equivalents. Also look for purchases that can be repurposed for your dog's needs (that child's sleeping bag can be stuffed with rags to make a great dog bed!)
10. Get proactive. Prevent costly problems before they start by taking your dog to his annual veterinary exam, spaying and neutering, brushing your dog's teeth, and dog-proofing your home to prevent expensive accidents.

For more information on over 300 other tips for saving money on all aspects of your dog's care, learn more about Barkonomics at http://www.dogtipper.com/barkonomics.

About Barkonomics: Tips for Frugal Fidos

Barkonomics: Tips for Frugal Fidos retails for $9.95 and is available at Amazon.com and on order from major booksellers. Twenty percent of the book's proceeds will be donated to the pet non-profit selected each quarter by the readers of DogTipper.com.

About the Authors

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are a husband-wife team of professional writers. The authors have written 28 books and are the publishers of DogTipper.com, a site for dog lovers. DogTipper.com includes daily tips, dog news, dog-centric festivals, giveaways, product reviews, celebrity canines, dog of the day, and more. For more information, visit http://www.dogtipper.com.

Barkonomics: Tips for Frugal Fidos
Paris Permenter and John Bigley
Riviera Books
ISBN 978-0-9717620-0-8
Publication Date: Nov. 2010
$9.95, 168 pages

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