Lifestyle: How to Afford a Dog When MONEY is Tight

Hello Everyone!

Have you ever wanted a dog but couldn’t afford it? Well, I have. In fact, that was my reality when I was in College. I wanted a friend who could go places with me, who would be there for me all the time. I decided to adopt my dog from a high kill shelter, please refer to my post on Adopt NOT Shop, on reasons why you should adopt your dog instead of shopping for one.

Well, I am here to tell you, you can afford a dog! All it requires is some planning, and sticking to that plan!  Yay for LOVE!

Dog Food:

Buying dog food is one of the main costs of owning a dog.  You can get large quantities of food from Bulk Stores such as BJs, Sam’s Club, and Costco. On top of the discounted bulk prices, you can also use coupons at BJs. They usually have a BJs $5 off coupon every month for some type of dog food. Sometimes it is even $7 off for new brands of dog food. My costs for dog food usually comes down to $17 for 50 pounds of food because of the bulk prices and coupon. The food usually lasts my dog 2 months.

You can also go to regular stores, and use regular coupons. At Petco, they have $5 off a $25 purchase coupon on some receipts. You could use that, or you could go to Target, and use Cartwheel. They offer dollar off Cartwheels or a percentage off Cartwheel.

 PEDIGREE Complete Nutrition Adult Dry Dog Food Bonus Bags

Dog Toys:

You can buy dog toys from many places for cheap. For example, I buy a lot of my dog toys from the dollar tree. A lot of their dog toys are name brand stuff, that somehow came into their possession. I also buy my dog toys from places like Bargain Hunt, which have toys that would cost like $10 from the store for like $3. You can also buy them from as well. I have posted up dog toys that have lasted my dog years, and are still going strong.

Ethical Pets Plush Skinneeez Fox 14-Inch Stuffingless Dog and cat squeaking Toy

MultiPet Duckworth Duck 13″

Kong Classic Dog Toy

Vet Visits:

I visit AffordAVet in Kentucky, for my dogs vet visits.  Although, they have not expanded very far. I recommend looking into affordable, trust worthy vet places. I have visited my fair share of vets that I did not like. Check the reviews, and get a price quote before you are seen by the vet. Don’t pay for services that were not on your quote! That is very important. Sometimes they will ask you if you want something, and you say yes because you assume it is free. Then they charge you. In my opinion, that is entrapment, and unethical. Just ask if it is included, and only pay what was on your quote.


It is very easy to groom your dog. Just follow these steps, and you will be fine!

Step 1: Examine your dog’s skin, and needs. Is he/she sensitive to anything or have allergies? What type of fur does your dog have? These questions can help you choose the right Shampoo for your pup. I generally just ask my Vet for some feedback on how to choose the right Shampoo and Conditioner for my dog. Then I proceed to buy it.  For example, I use this shampoo for my dog, and this flea stuff afterwards.

Burt’s Bees Dog Itch Soothing Shampoo, 16 Ounces

Step 2: Teach your dog that a bath is okay. Sometimes they are afraid. I give my dog a bath every week, and I give him treats whenever he is in the bathroom. I also sing the same song every time, and he gets right into that bathtub. He loves his treats! Here are some treats I give my dog!

Milk-Bone Flavor Snacks Dog Treats

Step 3: Put warm water all over your dog with a cup. Then put the shampoo on your hand then lather it into your dog. Wash everywhere, including the butt area, where the fleas could be lingering.

Step 4: Close your puppy’s eyes and rise him/her with the cup used before. Sometimes you have to rinse a couple of times to get all of the soap out.

Step 5: Dry your dog. I take my dog for a walk. You could also blow dry your dog, or towel dry them.

You can also clip your dogs nails, although be careful not to hurt them. I bought this off of amazon, and I have not had any issues with it.

Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer By Boshel – With Safety Guard to Avoid Over-cutting Nails & Free Nail File – Razor Sharp Blades – Sturdy Non Slip Handles – For Safe, Professional At Home Grooming


You can train your own dog. Just use treats, give a command, and repeat it until the do what you want. Then give them a treat. Keep repeating until it becomes a habit, then slowly wean off of the treats. Still give them treats every once in a while to keep the behavior constant. Looking up Youtube videos is always nice for this as well.


It is absolutely necessary to exercise your dog! They need exercise. You can play fetch, walk them, run, etc. Just get them out somehow! Please! My dog loves running around my house as well, although that is not the recommended path of exercise. They have this cool product on Amazon you could buy and use if you want.

PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher, Tennis Ball Throwing Machine for Dogs, NEW FRUSTRATION-FREE PACKAGING


It is recommended to socialize your dog with people and humans. Set play dates, or go out and meet new people at the dog park or on walks. I always meet new people, and they are always super nice! Socializing helps you dog in situations that are stressful. They are able to comprehend and adjust better. It also makes dogs happy to socialize with other dogs as well.

Heart Worm Medicine:

I always buy my dog’s heartworm medicine from the vet. It is usually very cheap. Although, the vet might be able to tell you other ways to buy this.

Flea Medicine:

I usually buy my Flea Medicine from BJs or Amazon. Sometimes there are BJs coupons, so that is when I stock up on them! Other times, I just order them from Amazon.

Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control for Dogs and Puppies 8 weeks or older, 45 to 88 lbs, 3-Doses

Always plan ahead! It is very easy to own a dog, and it is not expensive if you take care of them! Prevention is key! Hopefully this guide is helpful to you!


Peggy Roe

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