Our Gentle Giants

The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes

July 31st, 2014

How to raise a puppy on a budget

By Tara


Right now, we are still paying off some credit card debt.

No, we don’t have credit card debt because we are irresponsible newlyweds. It’s because when we first got married, we had crappy, minimum wage jobs. But we had to still eat! So we lived on a budget (and continue to do so) so that we could live on as little as possible. Unfortunately, by the time we got better-paying jobs, we had racked up a few thousand dollars in debt.

We are happy to say that we are in the final stretch and almost 100% debt free!

According to our plan, we want a healthy savings account before we got our first gentle giant. Furthermore, we want to save up for the first few months of our puppy’s expenses.

To get closer to being able to adopt and raise our puppy, I want to lower the amount that we will need to save for our puppy’s expenses.

Here are the ways we will do that.


Toys: Puppies need toys, right? Roxie has a few toys, but since she doesn’t much care for toys, we don’t have a large collection. I know large breed dogs will need particularly durable toys since they have such powerful jaws, but as a puppy, I imagine they shouldn’t need more than what an average-sized adult dog would need.

Essentials: Puppies grow quickly and gentle giants even more so. In fact, my coworker’s Great Dane gave birth to Bullmastiff/Great Dane puppies last week and they literally doubled in size in less than week. Anyway, since a puppy grows so quickly, it breaks my heart to have to constantly buy bigger sizes of things (collars, elevated feeders, etc) every week, so I’ll DIY it for a while before their size stabilizes.

Here is a collage of things we can DIY for our giant’s puppyhood and links to the tutorials.


Don’t forget all of those DIY dog beds!


Dog collar: I would still use a store-bought harness on the pup to attach the leash to. I wouldn’t trust any DIY collar to stay strong enough for a big puppy pulling on a leash.

Elevated feeder: Get a small, cheap stepstool, a cheap thrift-store tray, and two dog bowls from the dollar store and bam! You’ve got an elevated feeder.

Ailment treatments: I will consult with the vet and read resources from professional sources before creating any concoction that is supposed to get rid of fleas, repel pests, etc.

Take advantage of sales

giant-dog-hol-ee-roller-diy-toy-2Assuming you have the room in your home, you may want to consider picking up essentials here and there before you get your pup. Just check the clearance section in any pet store once in a while and you are bound to get everything you need once the puppy arrives.

Another way to get discounted supplies is by checking your local animal shelter. I’m not sure if all shelters do this, but when we went to the Halifax Humane Society, there was a small section of clean, used toys and supplies they were selling. Not sure why they couldn’t use these supplies for their existing pets, but whatever. We got a few toys for Mia there on the cheap!

Christmas gifts

Last year, my family kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas and I had a hard time coming up with a wishlist. This year, I think I’ll ask for dog stuff!

Puppy shower

They have baby showers, why can’t they have FURbaby showers? Haha, just kidding… kind of.

Things we can get later on down the road

If this is your first dog, then you may not be able to do this, but since we have a small dog already, a lot of her things will work for a growing puppy, such as:

  • Nail trimmer
  • Brush
  • Kennel (Roxie will just run free in the house while we are gone)
  • Toys, as previously mentioned

Want more DIY dog stuff? Check out my awesome DIY Dog Stuff Pinterest board. Have you tried any of the DIY tutorials on my Pinterest board? Let me know how it went. I want to see pictures!

Oop. Mia just jumped on my chest and now I can’t type. Okay Cat…

  • Our Gentle Giants » Lake Baldwin Dog Park August 14, 2014 at 4:52 am

    […] had an hour and a half to kill. I thought back to my post about how to raise a puppy on a budget and decided to go hunting for clearance […]