Modern Tips & Tricks - Saving Money & Raising Great Dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Modern Tips & Tricks - Saving Money & Raising Great Dogs

A thread to collect ideas on how save some cash, while raising a healthy, sound dog in modern times.

A few of my favorite methods, to kick things off....

1. Bartering. The barter system is alive and well, if you are creative, motivated, and willing to ask. While this won't work at your local Petco, many independent owners and trainers may be happy to accept goods or services in exchange for their own products or time. There's a man I trained with for a long time that paid the instructor with 1/4 sides of beef (he was a farmer). Another person does photography for trials, and receives lesson time in exchange. I've exchanged vegetables, plants, design work (logos, graphics) and all kinds of other things for dog related stuff. Everyone wins. Maybe you mow lawns, maybe you're an ace at baking birthday cakes, whatever it is, don't be shy - just ask if trade is an option.

2. The Incredible Edible Egg. My favorite food treat - nutritious and so inexpensive. Hardboil and stuff them into Kongs, or hardboil, wrap in foil, and take along on a hike, or just crack them raw over dinner, so easy. If you can find someone that raises pastured poultry, wonderful. Offer to take any "mystery age" eggs off their hands. If their birds free range, it's pretty much guaranteed that unexpected eggs are found here and there outside the nestboxes. Offer to buy (or trade for!) duck eggs, turkey eggs, they're all edible, and people are sometimes unwilling to buy them because they're big/speckled/oblong. Don't be grossed out if you find some blood spots or development in the eggs occasionally, just throw them out if it bothers you. Or, take the plunge and raise your own chickens, if you have the space and time.

3. E-Mail Lists = COUPONS. Fromm, Nature's Variety, and others send coupons to their e-list subscribers every few months or so. It doesn't make the good quality food cheap, but every $5.00 off is $5.00 back in your pocket for something else. When you pair that with independent stores' Buy XX-Get-1-Free program, it adds up.

4. Freeze Freebies for Later Use. Save bones from your own meals in a ziplock bag, when you have enough, make a batch of bone broth. Nutritious, a tasty topping for dog meals, and it doesn't cost a penny more. You'd still have eaten the turkey leg anyway, right? Ask friends or family that hunt to save you the less desirable parts of animals, cook/freeze/serve as appropriate, however you wish. It often goes to waste otherwise.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:17 AM
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Will trade Engineering design work for raw food lol
All jokes aside Bartering is a really great idea! Although i wish i could find someone to give me raw food in exchange for anything really
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:19 AM
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Buy your meds online.

Flea meds,heartworm meds at heavily discounted prices are available from PetBucket and CanadaVet.Ear and eye meds are available online also for treating minor infections.
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:24 AM
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Lacrosse balls make awesome cheap heavy duty dog balls. Ive drilled an old one out and put a rope in it too. Cheap and works just like a more expensive gappay ball
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WIBackpacker View Post
3. E-Mail Lists = COUPONS. Fromm, Nature's Variety, and others send coupons to their e-list subscribers every few months or so. It doesn't make the good quality food cheap, but every $5.00 off is $5.00 back in your pocket for something else. When you pair that with independent stores' Buy XX-Get-1-Free program, it adds up.
I'd like to second #3 - I get a dividend every quarter from my local pet store. I didn't even realize this until I got the first one! But I signed up as a "Friend of Chuck" (Chuck and Don's, for anyone in Minnesota, Colorado, or Hudson, WI). They do a "buy ten bags, get one free" program, so we get all of our cat food there. Plus and I get coupons in a monthly newsletter and a dividend quarterly. The last one was substantial - over $30. It's based on stuff I'm buying anyway, so might as well make the expenditures work for me.

And with that, I would also suggest a good, fee-free cash back credit card. Every single item or service I purchase for my dog is put on a credit card with cash back rewards, and I pay it to zero monthly so I'm not carrying a big balance. I would spend money on her anyway - I can make said money work for me to the tune of 1.5-5% cash back depending on the card and category.

If you want to do raw and you're short on time but don't want to pay for commercial raw, ask your butcher about doing dog food. Mine does my meat base for $2.75-2.99 a pound. It's a little more expensive because I pay for the convenience of having him procure and incorporate the right amount of organ meat, but it would be $1.99/lb if I did that work myself. I could probably search around and get it for less if I didn't like that butcher. But when I wanted something specific, I asked, and the price they quoted was really reasonable.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:28 AM
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I agree with buying pet meds online, but always with a vet's RX (so your vet knows what you're buying), and in the U.S., I would only buy from a Vet-VIPPS accredited online pharmacy -- absolutely no grey-market/foreign-imported meds, as far as I'm concerned (that's where big risks come in -- ordering from abroad, you might get what you ordered, or you might get a counterfeit/non-FDA approved variant, and if you are scammed, there's no recourse).

In the U.S., KVsupply.com and Valleyvet.com are excellent low-cost pet pharmacies, and both are Vet-VIPPS accredited. Their prices are within a few bucks of the foreign/grey-market sites, and you have a lot more peace of mind.

For antibiotics and other prescriptions that are from the human pharmaceutical world being used on pets, fill them at a human pharmacy using GoodRX.com to shop for the best pricing. I often cut the cost of prescriptions in half this way.

For toys, leather leads, and other odds and ends: DogSupplies.com sells close to wholesale.

Last edited by Magwart; 04-27-2016 at 11:32 AM.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:42 AM
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Invest in a good quality leather collar and leather leash - not the ones you get at pet stores, but the ones available from internet sites that sell equipment for bite-sport training and police dogs - it will last you a lifetime!

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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:44 AM
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Made this a sticky!

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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:48 AM
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I think this is a wonderful thread!

I have found that sometimes when you buy a block of services, it is less expensive than for the same number of things that are paid for individually. Newlie's trainer does that, 8 sessions bought at one time are less expensive than 8 bought individually. Also, this was true when I took Newlie to doggie day care several years ago.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 04-27-2016, 11:50 AM
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Set up autoship through chewy.com, or petflow.com for 20-25% off first order. You can always cancel autoship after you get your order, but getting premium food 25% off is a big discount.
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