Modern Tips & Tricks - Saving Money & Raising Great Dogs - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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@voodoolamb - Great point RE: dehydrators. They're fantastic, I love mine.

You can slice just about any meat thin - I agree with others who suggested that it's easiest to cut when it's partially frozen - and then it's a bit of trial and error, but most things I've made take between 6-8 hours to dry.

The expense of buying a dehydrator can also be justified by how much produce you can preserve and avoid wasting. Bananas getting soft? Dry 'em for later. Too many tomatoes in August? Dry 'em for later. I have this model:

I put the trays right in the dishwasher between batches, which is great when you go from a batch of lamb kidney chunks (urp) to a batch of dried cranberries for trailmix.
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post #22 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 01:31 PM
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Shoot, wish I'd had a dehydrator when my dogs found that dead moose the other day. Could have had moose jerky for months.
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post #23 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Muskeg View Post
Heartworm meds- you can save thousands (if you have multiple dogs like me) ordering sheep drench/ivermectin directly on line and dosing appropriately. Do your research, it's easy if you passed high school chemistry or even if you didn't.

I'm spending the summer in a heartworm area, and my vet would have charged about $50 a dog for heartworm testing (unnecessary since AK does not have heartworm, but protocol) plus I'd be spending roughly $40 a month on prescription pills ordered online, which adds up fast. This is a huge cost savings.
You can also easily overdose a dog on ivermectin. I've fostered a dog who was blinded (permanently) and neurologically damaged by an owner who overdosed the ivermectin. Most people don't realize it's measured in DROPS, not cc's for a dog. (A vet I know looked at some of the dosing recommended online and it was 1000 times the normal dose for HW prevention. Seriously.)

I would NEVER recommend an average person do the calculation or even trust the Internet to do the calculation, without a vet's guidance. The reason is because of the OD risk. Some vets will do the calculation for you -- farm vets routinely do this for their clients. The risk to the dog is irreversible, horrible damage -- if you screw it up, there's no fixing it!

If cost of HW meds is an issue, you can buy Iverheart pills from KV Supply for less than $5/month. (Iverheart is a generic analog for Heartguard.)

ETA: Administering ivermectin for livestock to a dog who may carry the MDR1 gene is also not safe. The commercial pills have extremely low doses of ivm so that they're supposed to be safe for MDR1 dogs. If you give a huge dose, you lose that margin of safety, and if you have not tested for the MDR1 gene, you could be in for a very sad surprise.
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Last edited by Magwart; 04-27-2016 at 08:50 PM.
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post #24 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 10:27 PM
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Magwart, true but if you do your research it isn't an issue. Concentrations of 0.05% for example, vs. 0.1% make a huge difference. I did my research and I know enough chemistry so I'm not concerned about overdosing.

It is something to consider, for most people with just one dog, for sure. But I know sled dog people with 30 dogs aren't paying $5 a pill each month or overdosing.

Agree, about the bad information available online. I found one person recommending .1 cc per pound body weight of the 0.1% concentration. That is way more than you should be dosing.

But I also found reliable sources with the correct dosage per concentrate and ran the numbers myself just to be sure. I am comfortable going this route, but it may not be for everyone.
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post #25 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 10:45 PM
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You can use your oven as a dehydrator. Lowest temp. Just need to pay attention.

Snitches get stitches.
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post #26 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 12:12 AM
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Caution purchasing heartworm preventatives online. Yes you can find them much cheaper than at your vet. However, if your dog should get heartworm or other parasites (roundworm, hookworm, etc.) that your chosen treatment is supposed to protect against and you did not purchase the treatment from a veterinary practice the manufacturer will NOT cover treatment and followup testing under their guarantee if your dog becomes infected.

I actually just had this happen with hookworm. Never missed a dose. Because I wanted to save a few dollars I bought Heartgard Plus online. Sanofi would not cover the treatment or the repeat fecal because I did not by from my vet. End of the day it cost me more in the long run. Lesson learned.

Better to buy online than not at all. Just make the informed decision.
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post #27 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 12:54 AM
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My dog beds are thrift store and Garage Sale blankets, folded and piled up. Bonus is that they are completely washable.

Trade stuff among dog friends: my friend needed a smaller crate to fit her new car. I needed a larger crate to fit my new dog: we swapped crates and got exactly what we needed for free.


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post #28 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 01:54 AM
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Dog beds: Sew the sides of old pillow cases together. 2 or 3 depending on how big of a bed you want. Insert inexpensive pillows...done. Washable.

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post #29 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 07:04 AM
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As others have mentioned, inexpensive toys can be made. I took several small cardboard boxes. put a treat under one of them, and let Newlie find it.

Sometimes, people will offer to lend you things. Newlie has had free run of the house for some time, but when I told a friend that he would have to be contained after surgery, she and her boyfriend lent me an (extremely) large crate for him to use. To buy the same thing, I am guessing, would have run maybe four, five hundred dollars.
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post #30 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-28-2016, 08:15 AM
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eBay and craigslist- I have seen agility equipment on Craigslist for a fair price kennel crates etc. so many homemade recipe treats. My dogs love the sweet potatoe chews - which are thinly sliced and slowly cooked in the oven until dehydrated. If your crafty lots ideas on Internet -My daughter uses strips of fleece to braid max's tug toy. She makes dog tags and training treat bags for me also.
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