Senior dog supplies can get costly. Depending on the health of your senior dog, you can spend anywhere from $40 to $400 a month on caring for your senior dog.
The good news, however, is that if you have a keen eye for bargains (or know someone who does) and are willing to be flexible, there are plenty of ways you can save money and stock up!
10 Ways to Save Money on Your Senior Dog Supplies
1. Orthopedic Beds
Orthopedic beds are great for seniors because they offer the additional support that senior dogs need for their joints. Unfortunately, orthopedic dog beds are not only expensive, but they’re also the worst for absorbing odor! My suggestion? Ignore the $200 orthopedic foam dog beds and invest $46 in a crib mattress like the one pictured above. This is a completely waterproof option and the coils offer support without odor absorption!
2. Price Match
Talk to your vet and ask if they will price-match your dog’s medications with online competitors. Some vets are willing to do this and others are willing to send in a prescription to a trusted online retailer if they are unable to price match. These savings can vary from a few dollars to a hundred dollars. Don’t be afraid to talk to your vet, they fully understand the financial strain that having a senior dog can often cause a family and much prefer to help you find solutions for your senior than to have them go without the care they need!
3. Write to Drug Manufacturers
If your senior dog requires a specific medication that is just too far beyond your budget, try writing a letter to the manufacturer of the medication. Some companies offer their own discount cards, prescription programs, or discounts to pet parents in need.
4. Talk to Your Vet About Human Alternatives
Many pet medications are also available to humans and as such, human pharmacies can and will fill the same drug for your pet. Ask your vet if there is a human alternative to your pet’s medication and whether it’s available at your local pharmacy. If so, ask your vet if they can help you to procure the medication this way instead. This is also a great way to get generic drug prices and options for veterinary drugs.
5. Invest in Picnic Blankets
If your senior dog has accidents or the occasional leak on their bed, you can save a bundle on the water bill by investing in picnic blankets! The waterproof backing on picnic blankets keeps the bed underneath from being soiled so all you need to do is launder a single blanket rather than a whole bed. Worried about keeping a slippery-backed picnic blanket in place? Use sheet straps designed for human fitted sheets!
6. Stock Up In Bulk AND Use Coupons
One thing we used plenty of between senior dog instability and incontinence was baby wipes. Just like caring for babies, you don’t want to buy the cheapest wipes or you’re going to end up with holes in the wipes! Instead, do what we did and shop for your wipes using Amazon. Amazon has some of the best prices which they improve by offering “Subscribe and Save” discounts and keep your eyes open for their applicable coupons too to save even more!
7. Talk to Your Vet About Human Grade Supplements
Many of the supplements that vets recommend for older dogs are identical to the supplements that we take ourselves. In “pet form” these supplements come with inflated price tags, but with guidance from your vet, you can purchase more affordable human supplements and alter dosage levels.
8. Check Out Used Products, Open Box Items, and Warehouse Deals
If you find yourself in need of items that are a little more costly – mobility aids like ramps, limitation devices like baby gates, or pet strollers, look in to used, open box, and warehouse deal products. eBay and Amazon are both great resources for this. Just be sure that you are purchasing items that can be cleaned thoroughly to prevent the spread of disease and NEVER buy opened edible items.
Not sure about the difference? Used products are usually customer returns or items being sold by customers after being used. Open box items are usually floor or display models or items that have been returned immediately by customers. Open box may also be products that are new but not in original manufacturer packaging or have damage to the original packaging. Warehouse deals are usually overstocked items, items that are previous models, or items that are limited in number and no longer going to be stocked.
9. Contact Companies About Products
If there is a particular product that may help your senior dog, for example, a harness, but it is out of your budget, contact the company that manufactures the product. Ask if they have any current discounts or coupons, any slightly defective items, customer returns, or used items that they could offer you at a discounted price. I did this quite a few times for Jet when it came to larger supplies that he needed and ended up saving quite a bit on a variety of products.
EVERYBODY has something to offer and sometimes you can use what you have to offer to your advantage by bartering. Depending on what you are looking for, there is always a chance that you can work out a bartering deal with the provider of that product or service. You may need to cover some of the cost of a product or service depending on what it is, but bartering can eliminate labor costs or sometimes cut out cost all together!
Not sure what you can barter? The possibilities are endless…
- If you work in advertising or marketing, offer to create a campaign for a product or service
- If you are a web designer, offer to create a logo or website
- If you own a cleaning business or are just a good cleaner, offer office or kennel cleaning services
- If you’re an accountant, offer your services
- If you create handcrafted products, offer to exchange your product for theirs
- If you are a social media pro, create a social media marketing plan
- If you’re a dog trainer, offer to give clients discounts or free classes
- If you work in security or technology, offer to install a security system
- If you’re a painter or window cleaner, offer your services
- If you’re a farmer, offer fresh produce
- If you’re a contractor, offer to do contracting work
- If you’re a handyman or woman, offer your services for odd jobs
There is ALWAYS something you can offer to help to reduce your expenses. Many people don’t do this because they’re ashamed or embarrassed to ask, but you have nothing to lose by asking. You have the potential of saving yourself money and providing the other person with a product or service that they are in need of. Never underestimate what you have to offer!
What money saving tips do you have for senior dog parents out there? Leave a comment and let us know!