Americans spent $66.75 billion on their pets in 2016 and that number is expected to rise to nearly $70 billion in 2017 according to the American Pet Products Association. The amount of pet industry spending might be shocking to some people, but Americans love to spoil their pets. This becomes a problem for some that want to take good care of their pets and have to make choices about what they can do or spend because they are spending so much on their pets.
There are some simple ways to spoil your pet on a tight budget, though. Most of the time, it takes just a bit of creativity and time to create things for your pet instead of buying them. Here are some of the best ways to give your pets all the things you want to without spending a fortune.
Make Your Own Pet Toys
All pet owners know that pet toys don’t often last long. Those chews toys are destroyed within a week or two of giving them to your dog. It’s certainly not cheap to buy new pet toys all the time because you want to make sure your pet always has something to entertain them. If you want to save some money on spoiling your pet, start making your own pet toys.
We’ve all seen a dog or cat choose some leftover box or a sock instead of the toys you spend all that money on. This should reassure you that your pet doesn’t need brand new pet toys in order to be happy. In fact, they may enjoy the homemade toys even more. BarkPost.com recently published a list of 33 simple dog toys you can make at home for next to nothing. One of the easiest and most popular with pets is putting a water bottle in a sock and tying the end shut. This simple toy takes seconds to make and your pet can play with it for days or weeks before they destroy it. Denim knots from an old pair of jeans you are not wearing anymore make a great toy for any pet as well. The denim is durable enough to last for weeks with each knot.
Exercise with Your Pet
The simplest way to spoil your pet for free is take them on a walk or run. It might be easy to get in a routine of just letting your pets out back or taking them on a short walk to take care of business quickly. The problem is that most pets could really use a lot more exercise then they are getting. It will also generally keep them happy just to see some new scenery. There really is no substitute for ample exercise for your pet. It will help keep them happy and healthy, and might even do you some good too.
Make Your Own Healthy Pet Food
The Clean Label Project has published many studies on the toxic ingredients found in the most popular pet food brands. It is shocking when you start scrolling down the list of pet foods with lead, mercury, BPA, pesticides, cadmium and more. Whether you plan on making your own pet food or not, you should definitely check their website to find out if the brand you buy for you pets has any toxic ingredients. You will be doing your pet a huge favor by ditching any brands with toxins and switching to a brand with healthy and natural ingredients.
For those of you that would be willing to make your own healthy pet food, it is surprisingly easy and affordable to create some high-quality food that your pets will love. TheDogBakery.com has a large collection of simple, cheap recipes that your pets will love. You can also experiment. You just want to make sure you are aware of all foods that are poisonous to pets, like chocolate, grapes, avocados and others!
Use Free Online Training Tools
Many pet owners spend lots of money on hiring professionals to train their pets or sign up for expensive schools. Now, these schools and trainers might be excellent at what they do. There are just so many amazing resources for pet training online. There are thousands of free websites and videos that will allow you to work with your pet in your free time to get them trained. This provides a perfect opportunity to bond with your pet while you both get some exercise.
Make Regular Visits to Vet
It is hard enough for most people to make their own yearly physical, much less make the time to get one for their pet. They just figure that there is no reason to get a checkup if their pet seems healthy and fine. Unfortunately, this means that they will not find out about issues until it’s too late or it will be extremely expensive to address. You can substantially improve the quality of life for your pet and potentially extend their life with some simple treatment on things like their teeth. Getting in the habit of a yearly veterinarian trip will help head off potential issues and keep your pet around to spoil for much longer.
Build Your Own Pet Bed
A simple online search will show you that the sky is the limit on how much you can spend on a pet bed. Obviously, you want your pet to have some comfortable to sleep on, but you don’t have spend a fortune in order to give them a fluffy place to lie down at night. One of the best places to search for creative ideas for pet beds that you can build with things around your home is Pinterest. They have an amazing selection of images of homemade pet beds that people have posted. Just scrolling down the list of images should give you some cool ideas. You’ll quickly realize you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars the next time your dog destroys their bed.