Dog owners say these weird but genius things saved them so much money

Curb canine costs with clever solutions.

ByChristina X. Wood
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

If you have a dog, you know something that everyone who wants a dog (but does not yet have one) might not know. Those little fur babies can cost you a tidy fortune. From vet bills to destruction to dentist visits and trips to the groomer, it can add up fast.

The trick to keeping the expenses under control is to be prepared with the tools, tricks, and prevention that help stop the destruction, can keep vet visits to a minimum, and empower you to handle the cleanup. Take it from those who know — dog owners say these weird but genius things saved them so much money.


This corn-shaped chew toy that’s actually a toothbrush

If your dog loves to play tug, introduce this teeth-cleaning chew toy that’s secretly a toothbrush, and make dental hygiene an integral part of playtime. The protrusions on the realistic-looking corn cobs are engineered to help clean incisors, fangs, and molars as your pup plays. Playing with an $11 toy is much more fun than a trip to the doggy dentist.

One reviewer said: “I love the multi uses of this toy. Can be thrown for fetch, cleans teeth and my Princess loves to just lay down and gnaw on it which is how she destroyed every other toy she’s had but not this one! It’s standing the test of time.” — sarah rankin


The bitter spray that can save your houseplants

Spray the plants, the couch, your favorite shoes, or whatever else your dog has shown an interest in chewing and it will help save your stuff from destruction between the chompers of a bored dog. The Bitter Apple no-chew spray is harmless to your fur baby but dogs don’t like the flavor so it works to keep your property safe.

One reviewer said: “It has saved us hundreds of dollars by saving our furniture, pillows, etc.” — William M McCafferty.


A shampoo made to treat itchy skin

Before you drop a lot of money on a trip to the vet for that itching, hot spot, or bad smell, try this dog shampoo and conditioner. Dogs with sensitive skin can sometimes chew at the itch caused by dryness and irritation. This shampoo numbs the skin slightly to stop that behavior while it treats the source of the irritation.

One reviewer said: “One of the best..... if not THE BEST dog shampoo. Over the years I have spent a small fortune on shampoos for my smelly but adorable little yorkie, nothing worked until I tried this ‘All natural Itchy dog shampoo’ now she smells lovely, no itching, coat looks in good condition. This is a product that lives up to its promises. Definitely worth the money.” — eloise


A treat-holding chew toy that occupies busy chompers

Jam some peanut butter, treats, bacon, or other tasty snacks into this treat-holding chew toy and give it to your dog when you leave the house. It presents an irresistible, hours-long chew activity that helps keep a destructive canine mind busy so your couch, rugs, and shoes survive, even when being home alone is boring.

One reviewer said: “I load this with chicken that I cook for my dog and it keeps her busy for at least a half an hour to 45 minutes. Don't have to buy the very expensive sticks that are not good for them and they go thru them in minutes.” — SP


The easier way to brush a dog’s teeth

Keeping a dog’s teeth clean and healthy is a great way to avoid costly trips to a canine dentist. But getting a toothbrush into a dog’s mouth is a challenge. This finger toothbrush is the hack you need. Put it on your finger and use the silicone bristles to massage your dog’s gums and clean those teeth easily. Your dog just may enjoy it. This is a pack of seven.

One reviewer said: “Really easy to use [—] Roxy didn't mind me using it at all and I have only just started to brush her teeth. 7 pack is excellent value for money and will last absolutely ages.” — Linn


This blacklight flashlight that tracks down mistakes

Are you sure your innocent pup hasn’t had a few “accidents” on the carpet? This UV blacklight flashlight is the forensics tool you need to find out for sure. It will light up stains that are invisible to you so you know exactly where to clean. Because if you don’t eliminate that smell — even if only your dog can smell it — that scent will create an irresistible temptation to return to the scene of the crime — and do it again. If that keeps up, you will have to replace the carpet.

One reviewer said: “[You] can scan large areas at one time. Very bright. Found more dog pee stains than I would have liked.” — BuffaDuo


An odor-eating spray for carpet messes

When the dog leaves a bad smell on your carpet, you don’t have to rent a carpet cleaner or hire a service to get rid of that mess. This stain and odor eliminator will take care of it quickly and safely. It is loaded with enzymes that feed on the ammonia in urine and vomit to help remove it completely.

One reviewer said: “Everything that comes from a pet whether it be the smell and odor or discoloration of them marking that area, the pee in general.. It cleans it all, including the walls [...] It saved my carpets, money down the road and definitely my peace of mind.” — Candie


The mat remover that can save you a trip to the groomer

Save yourself a pricey visit to the groomer. Deploy this mat remover at home instead. The sharp blades easily and gently cut through matted fur, removing burrs, sticky messes, and whatever is causing the mat, without pulling or hurting your pup. The handle is designed for your comfort, too. So this is an easy task instead of an expensive canine spa day.

One reviewer said: “I always wondered how [groomers] managed to get these mats out without just taking big chunks out of their hair. This is the how, and now I can stay on top of it myself and save myself so many trips to the groomers. This tool is going to pay for itself many times over.” — Karin


The ultra-strong chew bone you can fill with treats

Once you grasp the elemental canine truth — a bored dog can be a destructive dog — you will want to stock up on tools to keep that animal mind occupied. Chewing tasty things is a go-to activity for dogs and this Kong Extreme Goodie Bone is the easy way to make that available and interesting. Fill the hard, nearly indestructible rubber bone with something strong-smelling and tasty and it will keep your dog happy — and not destroying the house — for hours. It comes in two sizes.

One reviewer said: “After spending way too much money on worthless toys, I had to write a review to say I have finally found the toy that survived.” — Salvant


This fur remover that works without sticky sheets

You are busy — and if your pet leaves a trail of fur on your couch, pants, and carpet, it is time-consuming to remove it with fabric tape or a vacuum cleaner. This ChomChom pet hair roller is the solution to this dilemma. It quickly and efficiently removes all that fur. Stop buying expensive tape rollers. Don’t haul out the vacuum.

One reviewer said: “The best thing is it's reusable indefinitely. Anyone with a pet needs this, it's the best investment.” — Shalon


This dental cleaning powder you drop on the kibble

If those doggy kisses make you turn your head in disgust, you need to amp up your pet’s oral hygiene. You can’t make them feel guilty about not flossing but you can sprinkle a teaspoon of this dental powder onto the kibble and let it help prevent gum disease, halitosis, and tooth decay. It tastes great. And if the food is gone, you know your pup got that daily dose. Easy.

One reviewer said: “Does this stuff work? YES. The ingredients are fantastic [and] you notice a quick difference in breath smell. [...] I thought I had to take her to the vet for a cleaning, but then I found [this] and I don't have to worry about that anymore.” — Amazon Junkie


This decorative pee pad you can wash

Even the best dog will have the occasional accident — usually because your life got in the way of getting home in time for walkies. This washable pee pad will give you both an out. Set it somewhere convenient, teach your pup that it’s there for emergencies, and protect your good floors from a guilty dog's attempt at hiding the deed in the back of the closet. This is a two-pack so you have a backup when one is the wash. Also? No more disposables.

One reviewer said: “I hate to buy disposable [pee pads] because A. they're bad for the environment, B. I hate wasting money, and C. they're ugly. So I was overjoyed to see these reusable and WASHABLE pee pads in such an attractive design.” — Jeannie OConor


This seat cover so your car stays cleaner

If your car smells like a wet dog, is covered in fur, and is running the risk of ruin from dog vomit, poo, and whatever your dog needed to roll in it, this car seat cover will help keep one of your biggest investments clean — without a trip to an expensive detailer. It installs easily, washes easily, covers your entire backseat, keeps the dog in the back seat, and is completely waterproof.

One reviewer said: “It’s priceless. I only wish I bought this sooner. Looks great. Easy to put on and is saving my seats from so much damage.” — Ana


This tasty wishbone that can survive an aggressive chewer

Some dogs can chew through a bone so fast, they don’t seem worth the money. But this wishbone for aggressive chewers promises to survive. Choose your pet’s favorite flavor — peanut butter, bacon, or chicken — and hand it over.

One reviewer said: “I have an insane chewer where toys usually last us less than 24 hours. It has become almost impossible for us to keep up with toys because of how expensive it has become. This toy is not only insanely durable but she has not left it alone for the three days we’ve had it.” — Paul groth


The ultra-durable leash you can use multiple ways

Buy one leash and use it for years. This saves your home from clutter and your wallet from pet-related shopping sprees. This hands-free leash is the one to buy. It is strong, weatherproof, and lets you walk the pup hands-free by wearing it around your waist or in the traditional way. The handle can be set close to the dog or close to you, depending on what you are doing. The bungee feature saves you and your pup from hard yanks.

One reviewer said: “This leash is amazing!! [...] This leash seems to keep [my 60-lb dog] from pulling as hard and even when he was pulling, it was a lot easier on my body. It is also made of really strong, durable material so I have no worries about this ripping.” — Jennifer Loomis


These balls that way outlast tennis balls

If your playful pup tears through tennis balls so fast that you find yourself negotiating with the tennis pro for their leftovers, consider this Chuckit Ultra Ball, which is so durable it will outlast those tennis balls by far. This not only saves you money but can be safer for your dog, since swallowing tennis ball parts isn’t a healthy life choice.

One reviewer said: “I've had this ball for over a year now and it is still going on strong!! [...] It is highly durable and good for heavy chewers.” — Lonewolf


The wrinkle paste that helps keep pup faces clean & you out of the vet’s office

With a little prevention, you can easily avoid costly vet visits for hot spots, skin infections, and other common ailments that happen to dogs with face wrinkles and other issues caused by excess skin. This wrinkle paste is an effective tool for that. It’s formulated to clean those skin pockets, remove tear stains, and soothe itchiness.

One reviewer said: “This product works. It’s that simple. It has quickly cleared up the irritation in my bully’s fold. [...] Save yourself some grief, money and time in the long run and get some relief for your pup and invest in a tube of this.” — CMM


A pooper scooper that needs no bags

Upgrade your poop pickup tools and skip the step of stooping down to touch that doo with your bag-wrapped hand. This large pooper scooper lets you stand up straight and will save you money in the long run because you can stop buying all those bags. It grabs the offending matter, picks it up, and drops it into a waste bin at the pull of a trigger.

One reviewer said: “This is a must have for your yard. It saves hundreds of bags when you collect [...] Save the earth!” — Christian Z


This spray brush that’s so much cheaper than the groomer

For less than the price of one trip to the dog groomer, you can set up your own grooming station at home with this bath brush. It connects to either your shower or your hose to more easily give your dog a bath whenever you need to. The soft bristles on the brush help get water and suds into the fur and you can control the water right from a button in your palm so bath time is easy and water won’t go everywhere.

One reviewer said: “It's usually a big fiasco trying to get my pup to take a bath. He usually kicks and jumps out of the tub. But the first time I used the aquapaw bathing tool, he was calm and seemed to enjoy it! [...] It saved me time... and money (didn't have to take him to the groomers)!” — Esther


A nail grinder so you can do a pet pedicure with ease

Clipping your dog's nails does not have to be a terrifying experience or involve an expensive trip to the groomer. This electric nail grinder will handle the task gently and for very little money. Once it’s charged up, just slip the nail into the port that best fits. It comes with three sizes. Turn it on and let it gently — and quietly — grind the nail. It leaves the edges softer than clippers, won’t snip the quick, and is a calm activity your dog likely won’t mind.

One reviewer said: “I am proud owner of four animals. Taking care of them [is] not always easy [...] With Hertzko Nails Grinder I obtained one tool for all of my furry family members. I saved money, time and lot of energy.” — Julia


The camera that lets you stop doggy destruction from afar

How much damage could be prevented if you could drop in on your dog from wherever you are? Set up this security camera in your home and you can do just that. It recognizes motion and starts recording so you can see if your pup is barking or trying to break out, eat the couch, or dig through your shoe collection. And the built-in speaker lets you talk to your dog and tell them to drop those Birkenstocks before the damage is done.

One reviewer said: “Works great without putting out extra money for a [pet sitting] service.” — Sondra H.


This washable dog bed that will save your couch

Keep the couch free of fur and give your dog a bed in the corner of your room with this calming dog bed and couch protector. The soft fabric gives your dog a warm and safe place to sleep or chew a bone. The bolster acts as a pillow and makes the space feel contained. And the nonslip backing keeps it in one spot — on the couch when you aren’t home or in a safe corner when you are.

One reviewer said: “Really soft and luxurious little bed/pad for our dogs. I like that it helps protect the sofa and [is] so comfortable. [...] It's made well and very durable, I'm impressed that my dogs haven't been able to destroy it!” — Lacey P.


This trick for stopping the pup from chewing cords

Many dogs love to chew power, USB, and HDMI cords — it’s not good for them and very bad for those expensive cords. This cord pet protector will put an end to that. Just cut it to the length of the cord and snap it on. You can order it in 10, 20, and 50-foot lengths to cover just your expensive laptop cords or, if you have a persistent cord chewer, everything in the house.

One reviewer said: “Duct tape only gets you so far. PetCords has saved me money by not having to replace charger cords, alarm clocks, etc.” — Jamie Murray


This 2-in-1 grooming tool to tame their fur

You could swear never to let your dog on the couch again, or you could arm yourself with this de-shedding tool and undercoat rake. It’s made to handle all that relentless shedding. One side reaches into the fur and grabs all that loose shed fur so it doesn’t mess up your furniture. The other side detangles and removes mats.

One reviewer said: “This by far exceeds any pet deshedding comb I have used. It is less expensive and works better than the Furminator comb.” — Kendra Cox


The robot that feeds your dog for you

This automatic pet feeder puts you in control of the food situation and solves so many expensive dog issues. Instead of leaving you subject to the machinations of a manipulative canine, it delivers a precise amount of food on a schedule. You set it once, check the LCD panel to monitor the supply, and step away from the mealtime process. No more begging. No more weight gain. No more leaving work early to feed the dog. Your dog will be healthier and better behaved and you will be happier. You just may save on kibble, too.

One reviewer said: “Awesome problem solver and cheaper than a pet sitter!” — HFamily


A deodorant spray that can freshen smelly pups between baths

There is no doubt that a dog can bring with it a collection of less-than-savory odors. Keep your sensitive senses safe from that malodorous mutt with this deodorizing spray. Just spray your pet with it at the first ugly whiff. It will help you skip a trip to the spa and lets you put off a bath for another day.

One reviewer said: “I’ve used a ton of expensive shampoos to try & help [my dog] not smell [...] Took her to a bunch of fancy and EXPENSIVE dog groomers. Her stink still lingered in the air & now in my bank account. A friend recommended this but I figured if the pricey stuff didn’t work then this isn’t going to do anything. I was wrong. This stuff is incredible & you can’t beat it for the price.” — Gwyn Vela


The plush & comfy dog bed you can wash

Dog beds can be quite expensive, but this plush washable dog bed is very budget-friendly. Your dog will love the plush exterior and you will love that you can throw it in the wash. It comes in seven sizes to fit your dog and your space and the four colors are muted and soft. It’s designed to fit in a crate so you can use it to make canine containment as comfortable as possible.

One reviewer said: “These beds are very soft, the dogs took to them right away and they are easily machine washable. That will save me some money.” — Ferguson


The pet carrier for small, clingy canines

If your dog is only happy when you are carrying them, free up your arms and get your productivity back by tucking that fur baby into this reversible dog sling. It has a clip to prevent the dog from jumping out and can go right in the wash if it starts to smell like a dog. It makes it easy to bring the pup along when you go to town, too, which makes for a happy, not-bored pet. There is a zippered pocket for your gear.

One reviewer said: “Definitely an affordable alternative with great construction compared to those on the market. Buy with confidence.” — Corinne Putnick


This plaque & tartar prevention you add to water

Drop a teaspoon of this water additive into your dog’s water bowl to help keep plaque and tartar away so you can go to the annual vet appointment with no worries that the doc will want to do expensive teeth cleaning — or more. Canine dental care is expensive — this stuff is cheap, effective, and easy to use. It helps eliminate the bacteria as your dog drinks.

One reviewer said: “My dog's teeth weren't horrible, but they sure weren't great. Little-by-little, they have been improving. We are now on our second bottle of Dental Fresh, and my dog's teeth are almost plaque free. [...] this is not only going to save me huge amounts of money, it makes me so happy knowing her oral and overall health will be better.” — Human-At-Large


These bells that make it easy for your dog to ask to go out

Hang these puppy bells from your doorknob and, after a little training, your dog will be able to ask to go outside without scratching the door, barking, or going on the carpet. Not only does this make your life calmer but it can protect your doors and floors.

One reviewer said: “I bought this and within a week [my puppy] got the hang of nudging the bells with his nose to let me know he needs to go outside. I has helped our communication (lol) and he hasn't had an accident since! [...] It is worth it [...] so you're not cleaning up accidents and trying to doctor up your rugs!” — Got this recently