There are many ways to reduce our costs and still provide our pets with a comfortable life.
Here are some hints that may be helpful for you:
Puppy Potty Pads – Substitute human pads for incontinence. They are thicker, larger and cheaper than the puppy pads. You can find them in the pharmacy/beauty areas of Walmart, Target and the like.
Glucosamine Tablets – Instead of the pricy tablets you purchase at the vet, you can use the Glucosamine tabs for humans. These can be found at discount stores (Walmart, etc) for about $10 per bottle, that is just a fraction of the cost of Synovi.
Expensive dog beds – You can use large pillows, old quilts and sleeping bags.
|1) Old Quilts - You can find them at Flea Markets, Garage Sales or even at Thrift Stores like Good Will or the Salvation Army. These are great for larger dogs. If you're not much into sewing, you can do this… first fold them in half, use the iron on stitching called "Edging" (comes in rolls) to seal the edges together. Then fold it in half again and do the same. They make great beds and end up very thick and fluffy! These are big enough for those long legs to stretch out on or to curl up on.
2) Children's Sleeping Bags - These too, can be found at Flea Markets, garage sales or second hand. Similar to the quilt idea but these you really don't need to do much with. Just zip them up and fold in half. Pets love to lounge on these or to even burrow into them.
Toys – Some toys can be obtained inexpensively at stores such as Dollar Tree or Deals. Often these toys are not good for large breeds or excessive chewers as the vinyl toys are thin and easily eaten. For small to medium breeds though they are great. If your pet adores stuffed animals, go to garage sales especially late morning when people are ready to just unload stuff and you can pick up stuffed animals for next to nothing. We went to a garage sale about noon one morning and picked up a box loaded with stuffed animals for a quarter! The people were just glad to unload it instead of having to store it. We rationed the stuffed critters over a 2 year period!
Collars/Leashes – Can be found at discount stores and dollar stores inexpensively. These things wear out so easily and it's great to have one on hand when you need it. Many of these types will work for most breeds but probably not for your strong powerful breed types.
Shampoos/Conditioners - Can be found at the Dollar Stores and many times even carry products for sensitive pets. Be sure to read the labels!
Water and Food Bowls – The dollar stores carry a large selection of food and water dishes at inexpensive prices.
Bones/Treats - Butcher Shops normally have raw bones they sell for very cheap. If you are embarrassed to ask for some for your dogs, ask for "Soup Bones" instead. Walmart carries the large 18' Femur bones for about $10. You can pick up boxed treats at the Dollar stores but avoid the rawhides (if too big of a piece is torn off it can cause intestinal blockage and need surgery to remove as rawhide is NOT digestible). Feed stores also carry a treat selection and those can be bought by the pound. Make treats at home… many recipes are available on the net.
Crates/Dog Pens. Misc - Check out the “Freecycle” groups on the net, garages sales and swap meets. You can often find or request certain items. You can also pick up old towels for bath time or for wiping paws on rainy days.
Use your imagination and you can come up with some great finds! Plus, best of all, you're recycling what is old into something new and treasured, at least, usable again.