How To: Spoil Your Pet Without Breaking The Bank

Let me start by saying that the dog was Sunshine’s idea. He snuck off one day when he was supposedly working and went to the rescue shelter and adopted our baby. Now that she’s here, there’s no way I’m giving her up. My puppy is my baby, and I love her very much; so, NO, you can’t have her. But now that she’s a part of the family, I had to learn how to spoil my pet without breaking the bank.

When your pet is part of the family, naturally you want to give the puppy/kitty/insert-animal-here all the things. Well, I do, anyway. I am constantly looking for little ways to give my puppy a special treat or luxury, but that gets expensive fast. Especially when your puppy is like mine – she lives to systematically destroy toys, leashes, and more toys and leashes.

This is how I’ve learned how to spoil my pet without breaking the bank.

I have discovered that Marshall’s, TJMaxx, and Ross are fabulous places to find nice pet stuffs and spoil my pet without breaking the bank.

I constantly buy my retractable leashes at these discount stores, because they offer them for a fraction of the price of similar items at pet stores. I’ve also gotten sweaters for my puppy there for far less than sweaters at the mega pet stores, and pennies on the dollar compared to the prices at pet boutiques. I occasionally find nice toys for my baby at these stores, and gourmet treats, and I even got a great deal on a couple of those poop-bag dispensers and little baggies to refill them.

I once got my doggie some shoes at one of these stores for about a quarter of what the pet mega-stores ask for them, which wound up being a good deal since my puppy hates the shoes. (I realize that it isn’t a deal if it doesn’t get used, but I can’t call it a waste of money when it is so entertaining to watch her try to walk in the puppy shoes.)

My favorite finds from these discounters include a luggage set (tote bag with traveling food bowl and water bottle) and the most adorable little doggie-bed THAT MY PUPPY ACTUALLY LOVES.

How To: Spoil Your Pet Without Breaking The Bank

Tell me that bed isn’t the most precious thing ever for my precious baby.

A little bed shaped like some sort of sea-shell/soup-bowl hybrid. That bed? Under $20 at Ross (I think $13.99 + tax, but I don’t remember), which is an amazing deal on something the dog actually uses as a bed instead of a toy-box or chew-toy.

(Yes, my dog has a doggie-bed that serves as a toy-box most days, until she decides she is enraged with it and drags it across the floor chewing on it and pulls on the broken zipper to get the foam out.)

Another great place to find doggie things? WalMart.

Normally, I hate The WalMart. It is just so big and so filled with stuffs, and as my hairdresser once said in the late 90′s, “How many canister sets with geese painted on them do people really fucking need?” However, with $5 sweaters and inexpensive little puppy-sized blankets and little doggie puffer vests with (faux) fur trimmed hoods, well, you can see why I would choose to buy puppy things from them. I also love their toy selection for dogs. I have found rope toys and squeaky stuffed toys for $1 each, 3-packs of tiny tennis balls for my tiny little girl for $1, and squeaky loofas for a few bucks.

When your dog is as systematic in her destruction of toys as mine is, $1 toys are the way to go.

Dollar stores of all kinds also carry inexpensive pet toys, which is another way I can give my puppy something new to destroy by simply digging the change out from under the car seats. Another great, yet inexpensive, toy found at dollar stores? Those little laser pointers. $1 each, and entertain the puppy (or kitty) for hours on end.

When my dog destroys a stuffed squeaky toy, I break out my cheap little sewing kit (needles, thread, needle threader, thimble, tiny scissors, all in a handy little case; only a couple of dollars at the WalMart or Dollar stores), poke the stuffing back through the hole, poke the squeaker back through the hole, and stitch it back up. My puppy doesn’t care if the thread doesn’t exactly match the color of the toy, so it doesn’t matter what color thread I use. This helps me get miles of use out of a simple $1-$3 toy. This trick is especially handy on those moments-of-weakness that are otherwise known as $15 toys purchased at the doggie-day-care boutique, because my dog destroys these expensive toys as quickly as she destroys the cheapie ones.

Because my dog is such a picky eater, when it comes time to buy treats I tend to stick to the ones I know she likes. I go online and search for coupons for these treats (I find them quite often, thank heaven), and grab them while I’m Krogering on the cheap.

One other place where coupons can help you get pet things on the cheap? Bed, Bath, and Beyond. My mom hoards those 20%-off-one-item coupons, because BB&B accepts them even after they’ve expired. I found a set of Puggs (puppy Uggs) on a clearance rack there for $9.99, and could have used the coupon on them, had my mom been willing to give me one of her coupons. She wouldn’t, because she said she would NOT participate in me torturing my puppy. However, this incident serves as a good example of how, sometimes, you can find great things for your pet in unexpected places.

This is how I spoil my pet without breaking the bank.

If any of you have more ideas, please share them with me, because I can’t stop shopping for my little doggie .

Hrms – I wonder if I can send him to Disney World…


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5 thoughts on “How To: Spoil Your Pet Without Breaking The Bank

  1. Idea : take any old t-shirt, towel, sheet or pants (that you were going to throw out anyway), make a few tight knots : instant free toy. Dog won’t know the difference and it’s just as fun and destructable as a plastic toy – but probably a lot less toxic :) and FREE !

    • This is actually a good idea. I usually make cleaning rags out of these items, but Sunshine goes through more jeans and tees than I can make cleaning rags out of. Making my own knotted/braided toys is a good use of those rags!

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