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Ideas to Manage Pet Expenses

If you’re on social media last week, you likely noticed the barrage of dog pics that were shared out on National Dog Day. You may have even shared a snap of your own furry friend. This got me thinking it’s a great time to talk about managing pet expenses, especially for those who have experienced a change in income due to COVID-19. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your time with your best furry friend:

Free Dog Parks

Although the rising trend of dog bars and paid memberships is certainly appealing, did you know there are a number of free off-leash dog parks in KC? Shawnee Mission Park, the Wayside Waifs Bark Park, Swope Park, and several other locations across town offer a fun way for your dog to get some exercise and social time in without breaking your budget. Just be sure to check for any changes to standard access due to COVID-19 before visiting. In fact, one of the reasons we purchased our home where we did is the that we are within walking distance of Stoll Park’s off-leash park.

Grooming at Home

Having a groomer you love, especially if you have a pup with fur that requires shaping, is a wonderful luxury. However, it can also eat into your budget if you’re going frequently. You don’t need fancy supplies to groom at home, just a hose and shampoo, a trimmer or fur reducer, and a fur drain trap for your bath in the colder months. Although this did does require some time and clean-up, it will save you loads in the end. Of course, we love supporting small businesses in KC too, so if you’re needing to cut funds, consider reducing your visits or taking advantage or packages.

Dog Toys

BarkBox and other fun subscription services give your pup (and you) something fun to look forward to each month. As an alternative, I just discovered some Dollar Stores and Dollar Trees sell dog toys. If you want to surprise your dog with a few new toys each month, consider safely swinging by a store for a few new ones, or you can order bulk online.

For dog lovers, National Dog Day is every day. But that doesn’t mean enjoying your furry friend has to break the bank. I hope these tips help you enjoy the best of both worlds!


Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, follow us on Twitter @CommunityAmerCU.

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