Dogs Don't Have to be Expensive

By Louisa Hallett on July 9, 2017

Dogs. They’re all over your facebook feed, twitter feed, any social media you probably own. If you are reading this article, you are probably either heavily considering buying a dog or you are the proud new parent of a furry friend! Dogs are so wonderful and there are so many studies that they not only provide emotional benefits, but can be incredibly valuable to individuals with mental and physical disorders. Even though the pros weigh out the cons, dogs are very expensive, and the purchase of a furry friend should be thoroughly thought through and only done if the time and the financial ability to adequately provide for a dog is all lined up.

As a college student, I have seen many individuals purchase a puppy or dog on an impulse buy just because they couldn’t resist their little face – only to have to surrender the adorable pet in about two weeks because they didn’t have the financial means or the time and patience for a new dog. They are a huge commitment, both emotionally and physically, but if you are the right person for a furry friend – they are so worth it.

As mentioned earlier, dogs are a tremendous financial responsibility. Of course dogs aren’t just a one purchase type of deal: there are vet costs (about 1,000 per year), grooming costs (monthly if you have a long haired dog), and if your pup ends up getting sick, medications can be even more expensive than anything including vet visits if the medication becomes permanent for a healthy pup. However, there are a few alternatives to finding cheaper and good quality dog supplies that are necessary when bringing home a dog.

Through some research, I have decided to compare and contrast prices from three different stores, Petsmart, Target, and Walmart, for the most obvious pet supplies: Bed, Crate, Food bowls, Collars, and Leash.

Now if you are still just looking into getting a dog, not only do I highly recommend an animal shelter, you should also keep in mind that when it comes to basic pet supplies – the smaller the dog the cheaper the supplies. But of course, you can’t pick who you fall in love with, whether breeder or rescue. So for the sake of price comparisons, I decided to compare them all at one common size, medium, and to as close to the same product as possible.


So for the bed I decided to compare and contrast a common orthopedic pillow bed that can be found at Target, Petsmart, and Walmart. These beds are usually recommended not just because of their obvious softness, but as with humans – its ability to conform with the shape of the dog itself.

Target: $24.95 Petmaker Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow

Petsmart: $47.99 TopPaw Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow

Walmart: $18.95 Oxgord Ultra Plush Deluxe Ortho Pet Bed


For the crates, I decided to compare and contrast a simple wire kennel. These are most commonly used for house training purposes or when you don’t want to let your dog roam around the house while you are away. For my dog at home, we had a dog bed in the crate and some toys to make it more comfortable for the dog and it helps make the crate feel more like a safe haven then a wired confining cage.

Target: $47.99 Prevue Pet Products Home On-The-Go Single Door Dog Crate

Petsmart: $55.64 Midwest Lifestages Single Door Folding Dog Crate

Walmart: $59.95 Oxgord 48” Heavy Duty Foldable Double Door Dog Crate

Food bowls:

Now with a medium sized or larger dog, it is recommended that you have a base on the food bowls so that they are higher up from the ground. This is to prevent any discomfort in the neck when the dog is trying to eat and the food bowl is all the way on the floor. With this in mind and because I am basing these prices off of a medium sized dog, I have decided to compare and contrast the prices of elevated food bowls.

Target: $13.99 Double Dinner Dog Bowls (in variety of colors)

Petsmart: $27.99 TopPaw Elevated Double Dog Feeder (11 in)

Walmart: $12.89 Loving Pets Black Label Layton Double Diner


I selected to compare harness prices over simple collar prices, mainly because they are supposed to be better for the dog while walking them – not just for training purposes, but also if the dog is a “puller” it is easier on their neck.

Target: $13.99 Meshpet Harness

Petsmart: $22.92 Puppia Ritefit Dog Harness

Walmart: $5.00 Furhaven Pet NAP Mesh Dog Harness


I tried to get the leashes to match up in type as close as possible. Unfortunately, Target did not have a reliable collection of leashes. So I decided to substitute the desired variety of leash with one as close as possible to it. I decided to compare and contrast “train leash” prices – even if you rescue an older dog, they may still have some habits that can be trained out, such as how to walk properly.

Target: $9.99 Reflective Leash Boots and Barkley

Petsmart: $19.99 TopPaw Training Dog Leash

Walmart: $9.88 Sporn Large Black Training Leash

Happy Shopping!

"History is important for the future. For without the study of the past, we have no future." -Me I love political science and history. I believe the study of written and oral rhetoric enables the reality of exceptional and efficient communication.

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