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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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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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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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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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Some trainers let you pay per class so you don't feel it all at once.
Tj max,home goods,marshals all have great deals on pet supplies- leashes,collars,beds,bowls, shampoo etc.
 

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when your pup is teething, rinsed juice bottles (Simply orange is best) are good for a day of crunching...and if you put kibble or treats in it first, even better.
Cardboard boxes, like the ones from Chewy's, are good for a day or two of teething. remove tape and always check for staples if you use larger shipping boxes.
Pinecones are great fun and pretty easy to sweep up once they are in little pieces all over the floor.
 

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On the socialization end: Strip malls are a phenomenal place to meet a variety of people. You can walk your puppy up and down the sidewalk in front when they've had enough shots but are at that age when they're still cute and fuzzy enough that everybody wants to meet the cute puppy. Kids, people from different backgrounds, likely people with disabilities (I call that out because someone recently commented how they appreciated that my girl doesn't fear a cane), older people.

And it's free exposure plus for a very young pup there's their walk.
 

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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!
I agree but if you do want something a little snazzier. LupinePet.com has a nice selection for a fair price and a guarantee that you can't beat. They will replace a leash or collar even if your dogs chews it to bits.
 

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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.
does the %25 apply to each order or just the first?
 

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Here are my tips:

1) buying non perishable items in bulk. My vet sells chlorhexidine shampoo in 8 oz bottles for $12. I can bet an entire gallon online for around $25 after shipping.

2) Don't be afraid of carbs in your dog food. Unless your dog has a health issue like allergies or chronic yeast. Most dogs do well with them. 1/2 cup of mashed sweet potatos is cheap and healthy and can stretch more expensive food stuffs out.

3.) DIY what you can. An old t shirt cut into strips and braided makes a good tug or lure for a flirt pole. A empty peanut butter jar with holes punched and treats popped inside is a free puzzle toy.

4.) An extension of number 3 - homemade treats are my BIGGEST money saver. I invested in a dehydrator and save so much money. I dehydrate chicken breast, beef tendons, chicken feet, pig ears, liver, sardines, sweet potatos and a bunch of other stuff. All of this is spendy in pet stores. Those dried tendon chews are over 2 bucks a piece. I get tendons at my grocery store and dehydrate myself. I worked it out and I ended up paying 0.68 per "large sized" tendon chew.
 

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4.) An extension of number 3 - homemade treats are my BIGGEST money saver. I invested in a dehydrator and save so much money. I dehydrate chicken breast, beef tendons, chicken feet, pig ears, liver, sardines, and a bunch of other stuff. All of this is spendy in pet stores. Those dried tendon chews are over 2 bucks a piece. I get tendons at my grocery store and dehydrate myself. I worked it out and I ended up paying 0.68 per "large sized" tendon chew.
I want to get one of these! I've heard it can save you a ton of money (plus I'm a nerd and sort of intrigued). I've heard that you can buy organs (like chicken hearts) in bulk and make your own training treats.
 

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Here are my tips:

4.) An extension of number 3 - homemade treats are my BIGGEST money saver. I invested in a dehydrator and save so much money. I dehydrate chicken breast, beef tendons, chicken feet, pig ears, liver, sardines, and a bunch of other stuff. All of this is spendy in pet stores. Those dried tendon chews are over 2 bucks a piece. I get tendons at my grocery store and dehydrate myself. I worked it out and I ended up paying 0.68 per "large sized" tendon chew.
.
I have a dehydrator that i use to make jerky but have been meaning to find some good use for it for my dog. Any good sites or recipes to use?
 

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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.

Now to find something similar for ticks and fleas...

Read up on heartworm a bit more here: Terrierman's Daily Dose: The Billion Dollar Heartworm Scam
 
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