corgi

Let’s face it, dogs are expensive. From food to toys, medical bills, and even accidents; sometimes we’re surprised by how much our furry friends are costing us! On average, most families spend $1200 a year on their furry friends. Fortunately, there are easy ways to save money and still keep your dog happy, healthy, and safe. We know how to help you save because we’ve found ways to save with our own pups! No need to run to the pet store every month, with our smart buying tips, you’ll be able to spoil Fido without breaking the bank.

subscription services

Subscription services can be a way to save money on toys, treats, and chews. If your dog is constantly ripping through their toys, you may find it hard to keep up with their destructive behavior. And constantly replacing toys and treats can become costly very quickly. Fortunately, subscription services (if you choose the right one), can help you save some money. 

One of our favorites is Woof Pack. But how are they more affordable than retail stores?  For the same reason big box stores are; Woof Pack buys in bulk at discounted prices, then ship the toys directly to you in your Pack each month.  Not having a retail location means a low overhead, so they pass those savings onto you.  It also means the retail value of each Pack will always be more than you pay each month.  If you go through dog toys like we do, saving a few dollars a month really starts to add up! It’s a win, win!

WoofPack

Woof Pack

Woof Pack

One of the main reasons why Woof Pack is our favorite subscription service for dogs is because of the durability of the products. They dog test all of their toys, treats, and chews to ensure that everything that gets put into their packs is not only safe for your dog, but will last you. They want to save you trips to the pet store, and of course also save your from having to replace new toys every week. With Woof Pack you’ll always have new and interesting toys to treat your pup with, and rest assured that they won’t be destroyed in a matter of seconds. Woof Pack includes brands such as Kong, MultiPet, Chuckit! and more. 

Your dog will also love their treats. From one-time treats, to dog power bars, to long-lasting chews, your dog will get to try out some of the best treats on the market every month. Woof Pack knows your dog will love them, because they use picky dogs to test all of their treats. If their dogs won’t eat it, they won’t include it in their packs. They also never include raw hides in their packs; all of the treats are safe and delicious.. You can find treats from reputable brands such as Red Barn, Etta Says, and Ziggy’s in their packs. 

d.i.y. toys

Making your own dog toys can save you hundreds, especially if you have a dog that likes to destroy toys. Box knot toys are one of our favorites. They take only a few minutes to make, and are great for heavy chewers. You can make them out of old T-shirts, or go try out fleece. Either way, your dog will have a dog toy that costs you about 10 cents to make!

Box knots are great for making your own dog toys. They’re sturdy, and can be made with a variety of fabrics. Many people use either felt or old T-shirts, both of which become surprisingly sturdy when knotted together. We use fleece for our toys because the material is both stretchy, and dependable. For our project, we’ll be using holiday colored felt that will catch your dog’s attention. These box knot toys are great for tug of war, and chewing. Your pup will love the texture, and you’ll love how much money you’re able to save on dog toys!

box knot
box knot
box knot
box knot
box knot
box knot

Materials

Instructions

  1. Start by cutting 4 long strips of fabric (We used red, white, and green). You can make the strips as thick as you’d like to suit your dog’s chewing needs.
  2. Knot one end, leaving a bit of fabric at the bottom.
  3. Spread the strips in a + shape.
  4. Fold the top strip (red) towards the bottom (white), and the bottom fabric towards the top.  
  5. Fold the right strip (white) towards the left (green), weaving going under, and then over.
  6. Fold the left strip (green) towards the right (white) weaving over then under.
  7. Repeat these steps until the toy is as long as you’d like. You can then loop and knot the other end securely. 

d.i.y. treats

bone cookies

Considering how fast dogs go through treats, making your own is a great money saver! You can buy the ingredients yourself, and have a batch of biscuits ready for your pooch in no time. They’re also healthier than store-bought treats because they don’t require any artificial preservatives to keep them fresh during packaging or transportation. 

Ingredients: 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper.
  3. Mix together the flour, baby food, oats, and honey. Dump them onto a floured surface and kneed dough.
  4. Roll dough into 1/2 inch thick sheet. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes for your pup.
  5. Lay shapes on a cookie sheet and lightly cover them with the beaten egg. 
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 

exercise their mind

Interactive toys keep your dog engaged and prevent destructive behavior. Unlike traditional toys, they exercise both their bodies, and their minds. We love interactive toys because they keep our dogs occupied, and we know we’re getting the most out of our toys. They can teach puppies discipline, and even help senior dogs stay sharp in their old age. Check out our favorite interactive toys below, or check out an in depth review of all of our favorites here. 

When your pup gets bored, it can cause serious issues and destructive behavior. Especially in the summer and winter months, where the weather is unfavorable for months at a time, it’s important to find ways to keep Fido occupied indoors. We know how antsy dogs can get when they’re not able to run around in the yard all the time. Dogs can cost you hundreds of dollars when they partake in destructive behavior caused by boredom. The last thing you want is your pup to start tearing up your house or start gaining weight because it’s hard for them to get the exercise they need. We’re here to help you find engaging toys, and fun games to play with your dog when it’s hard to send them outdoors to burn off all of their energy.

puzzle treat ball

Outward Hound Treat Ball

Now, this is a quality ball!  At a $15 MSRP, this ball comes in at a higher price-point. It is also significantly more friendly towards dogs of any size.  At 5 inches in height, it comes up to about chest level to smaller toy breeds; and while this puzzle treat ball could fit in the jaws of larger breeds, the construction is significantly more sturdy than it’s predecessor featured above.  The two halves slide independently of the green center strip, allowing the ball to do some interesting turns and swivels.  Add to that the green center of the ball is weighted off-center, and you have a ball that swivels, wobbles, and rolls every-which-way to create a level of unpredictability that your dog will appreciate to keep them involved.

Inside the toy, there are various flaps and poles. They keep treats jostling and making noise when the ball is pushed around by your pup.  This is a wonderfully innovative design for its cost and simplicity;  while ultimately it is still a level 1 toy, it’s a great first purchase in the interactive toy department.

One thing we noticed that seemed odd was that the openings for treats are directly opposite of each other.  This means if you’re loading the treat with a hole at the top, they’re falling right back out at the bottom.  You have to either cup your hand over the bottom hole while you load treats in, or you need to feed them in one at a time with the ball tiled.  Certainly not a deal breaker, but it does seem odd when you experience it firsthand, so it’s notable for you

Exercise

Your dog’s physical health is crucial as well. If they’re not getting enough exercise all year round, it can lead to depression and weight gain. Of course weight gain is bad for your dog’s joints, and can lead to expensive and painful ailments. If your pup has pent up energy, this can also lead to destruction in your house. They’ll be antsy all day long and constantly looking for ways to release energy (even if that means destroying your house). 

The PawHut Agility Course Kit is an easy way to bond with your pup and keep them active all year long. This kit is great for both indoor and outdoor use; it’s made with soft, safe materials that won’t hurt your pup, or damage your house. This kit includes a tunnel, a high jump, weave poles, and a square pause box. We love this agility kit because it’s lightweight, easy to set up, and can be used for dogs of all sizes. The pieces are made with durable polyester which will prevent ripping, and allow your dog to play for hours on end. 

agility course