About · Press · Contact · Write For Us · Top Personal Finance Blogs
Featured In:

5 Benefits of Having & Owning a Dog – Can It Save You Money and Your Health?

By Casey Slide

dog money in mouthMy husband and I were joking around the other day that we could save money on our water bill by letting our dogs lick our plates clean when we were done eating. While I certainly do not want my dogs finishing my dinner, it got me thinking about the many ways that our dogs do save us money.

I can’t say that we definitely save more than we spend, because dogs are expensive (although there are still ways to save money on pets). For instance, there’s the cost of buying or adopting a pet, feeding healthy dog food, grooming, toys and health care fees at the vet, just for starters. However, the potential for savings is more than meets the eye.

Here are 5 ways that owning a dog can save you money:

1. Your Physical Health
Owning a dog could potentially save you thousands of dollars on gym classes and medical bills – it could even save your life. Depending on breed, your dog probably requires a good amount of exercise, and who better to exercise with than you? Even the tiniest of dogs need to be walked, but you can also take your dog with you when you go running, hiking, swimming or biking. This will allow you to get in better shape, lose weight fast, and lower your blood pressure. I have two dogs that love to play with each other, but they also love to play with my husband and me. I get worn out just chasing them around the backyard!

2. Your Emotional Health
In addition to improving your physical health, dogs and other pets have been shown to be great for stress management and relief, which in turn reduces medical expenses for stress-related illnesses and even extends lifespan. Owning an animal can also decrease your level of loneliness, especially if you live by yourself or are home alone often. When I first quit my job to become a stay-at-home mom, I loved having my dogs around because I never felt all alone with the baby. Somehow it made me feel more comfortable. There is also something uplifting about an animal that loves you unconditionally. Having a dog can greatly improve your mood and alleviate symptoms of seasonal affective disorder or depression, if you are a sufferer.

3. Home Security
I don’t think that anyone would ever rob my house because my dogs sound so vicious. They are actually very sweet and loving, but they get very excited and protective if a stranger comes to the door. Studies have shown that potential burglars are put off by barking dogs. Home security systems can cost thousands of dollars to install plus monthly fees. Using your dogs as your home security system can be a great savings, and help prevent home burglary and break ins.

4. Entertainment
Dogs are a lot of fun. I think my husband and I have more laughs because of our dogs than anything else. My baby is amused and occupied more by the dogs than his toys. There are also so many (free) activities that you can do with your dog or because you have a dog. One of our favorite places to go on the weekends is to the dog park. It is something we can do as a family and meet up with our other friends who have dogs. Learning how to train dogs is also a fun, challenging and very rewarding activity.

5. Learning Responsibility
You never know what you can learn from owning a dog or pet, but one of the most valuable lessons is responsibility. Dogs require a lot of care; they need to be fed, walked, played with and trained. It takes discipline and self-motivation, life skills that have applications in all areas of life, including money management. The lessons that you learn from a dog are priceless, and you never know, they might just help you succeed in life and in your career!

How has owning a dog saved you money and added to your life? How much do you think you’ve saved as a result?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Casey Slide
Casey Slide lives with her husband and baby in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for a prominent hospital in Atlanta. With the birth of Casey’s son in February 2010, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Casey’s interests include reading, running, living green, and saving money.

Related Articles

  • http://www.prairieecothrifter.com Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter

    Great post. I totally agree…pets can be a literal life saver and add so much to your life. Great job on outlining their benefits, besides being a great friend.

    • Casey Slide

      Thanks! I couldn’t imagine my life without my two dogs.

  • http://www.moneycrashers.com Kira

    Totally agree on entertainment – I have been to the park many more times with the dog than I ever would have without, even though we used to live literally two blocks away – it’s just weird going to the park and walking around alone. Because now I am a girl walking a dog, instead of a crazy lady skulking around the park by herself.

    Our dog also scared off a burglar as well, so she earns her premium kibble.

    • Casey Slide

      Sounds like you have a great dog! :) I go to the park so much now with my dogs too.

  • Danielle

    I think you could also include with your ‘entertainment’ section, that often times when people have dogs or pets they don’t go out to eat after work daily or for long vacations without planning who is going to take care of their dog/kennel it. So it forces people to not make spontaneous eating out plans and often can help them to budget for vacations.

    • Casey Slide

      That is SO TRUE!! Thanks for adding that, Danielle!

  • Mykaylastahl

    casey do you mind if i ask who you are

  • ashley

    who are you i might ask??????

    • Casey Slide

      My bio is right about the comments.

  • Kochway

    We have had several dogs over the years, I have hated each one they caused nothing but stress, dogs are smelly even after they bathe they crap way too much,they are obnoxious and annoying,I will never understand how anybody would want one,my biggest regret in life was definitely being stuck with a dog we adopted three years ago, knowing I am stuck with it for many more years puppies are sweet and cute but as they age they are nothing but a disgusting nuisance

    • Casey Slide

      I am sorry to hear that you had such a negative experience.

      • amr

        You are sorry that they had a negative experience? Please! The ONLY ones I feel sorry for are the poor dogs who have to live in that selfish hateful household.

    • Cweb61

      Why do you get dog if you hate them? That is like a person that hates kids and then resents them and treats them like crap. If you are not a fan of dogs do not get one. Dogs like kids need special treatment. If you are not willing to spend the time don’t waste the having either because you will cause more problems for yourself and others.

  • ResearchEssay

    When was this article written if I may ask? Or an estimate

    • Casey Slide

      2011

  • Salary226

    This article is very informative. Thanks Casey i used it in my writing piece for school.

    • Casey Slide

      Awesome! I’m glad to hear it was helpful!

  • Emily

    Wow this is really infomative! I’ll be using these information for my essay on owning pets thank you!

    • Chrissy Arizona

      Me too(:

  • Naomi

    When was this published

The content on MoneyCrashers.com is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.
Close