Costly mistakes dog owners make

Published: Jun. 2, 2016 at 9:41 AM EDT
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Pet owners know, it's easy to rack up big bills or get overwhelmed by all of the products available for your dog.

But, it doesn't have to be that way. Some local experts say think ahead, and you can have a healthy dog and a happy wallet too.

Cori Cole has been grooming dogs for almost 30 years. She says if you're considering a certain breed, think about the cost of grooming.

"Because of their size and their type of coat, the golden doodles especially they, they are really expensive," says Cole, owner of the Elegant Pooch Pet Salon in Lansing.

The groomer says it is worth it to buy a quality shampoo and conditioner for at-home grooming.

"A lot of people think, 'oh I use a really good shampoo for myself, I will just use that on my dog,'" she says, "but, we have a different ph than dogs do."

Bad at-home grooming can leave your dog's hair matted, which can end up costing you big time in the long run. Always blow dry your dog if it has long hair or fur.

With temperatures rising, you may be tempted to shave your dog to cool him off, think again.

"It does the opposite," says Cole.

Local trainer Hector Hernandez says people often rack up high bills at the vet because dogs like labs are prone to tearing their ACLs, some smart thinking can hopefully avoid that.

"If you throw a frisbee with a lab, not a good idea, or a German shepherd, no, because they are not flexible," says Hernandez, owner of First Class Dog Training.

Research your dog's breed and learn what sort of injuries they are vulnerable for.

Don't spend your money on treats. He says just use dog food instead. Plus, there's no need to buy a ton of toys, a few will do.

Invest instead in quality dog food.

"You really got to do good research on what good foods are out there for the dog that you have," says Hernandez.

He says check out the FDA's website, read ingredients and talk to other dog owners to make your choice.

If you have a calm dog, Hernandez says you can just train your pet at home, no need for puppy schools.

"I've had people come to my class, and I'm like, 'you don't need my training, your dog is fine,'" says Hernandez.

It comes down to thinking ahead. The breed of your dog is very important. Breed will determine how you should play with them, terriers try fetch and tug of war, labs love water.

"It's a relationship that you have to spend a lot of time in," says Hernandez.

For more tips and tricks, click on the link in this story.