Most people don’t try to spend as much money on their dogs as possible. It just looks like this to anyone who sees a record of their purchases. There’s no denying that a dog can be challenging life on a budget. However, there are many ways you can save money without your dog missing out on anything. Here are some of my top tips for budget-friendly solutions for dog-related spending.
Create a toy for your filler separator. Dogs who love to shred toys can go through it so quickly that many people stop providing them for their dogs at all. Others end up spending an inordinate amount of money buying toys, which are essentially single-use items. That is wasteful both financially and ecologically. Another option is to create a replacement that can be used over and over again. Buy a hollow rubber honeycomb dog toy. Wrap some goodies in scraps of fleece or pieces of old T-shirts, place them in the toy, then cram extra scraps of fabric around the original packaging. How tightly you wrap the fabric and how hard you twist the pieces around each other will determine how difficult it is for the dog to pull out the strips of fabric to get to the treats. For safety, watch your dog as he enjoys the opportunity to remove a toy to make sure he is only chewing or swallowing the treats.
Make homemade treat bags for pills. Store-bought pill bags are an amazing invention that has helped countless dogs take their medication without the stress for them or their people. On the other hand, they aren’t cheap, which is why making your own pill pouches is a great budget alternative. The recipe is simple: combine 2 tablespoons of brown rice flour, 1 tablespoon of milk (you can use almond milk or coconut milk if you prefer instead of cow’s milk), and 1 tablespoon of smooth peanut butter. Make absolutely sure that the peanut butter does NOT contain xylitol as it is very dangerous for dogs to ingest it. Roll the dough into 9-10 small balls, then use a chopstick to make a hole in each one. They’ll last about a week in the refrigerator in a closed container or 3 months in the freezer. Sure, you can use the old standbys to deliver pills – peanut butter or scraps of cheese – but these pill pouches are less messy and easier to use.
Use walnuts to cover scratch marks. If you’ve never had scratch marks on your furniture or floor, you are probably not looking closely enough at your furniture or floor. Most of us with dogs (and cats, to be sure!) Have found that many of our pets don’t treat the house as gently as we’d like them to. Fortunately, there is a much cheaper option for scratch marks than replacing or reworking, and it’s even cheaper than wood-colored pens specially designed for this purpose. Just rub a pecan or walnut back and forth along the scratch, then rub your finger over the same area. It looks like you’re getting rid of the damage, but you’re actually filling it with oil and then heating it up so the wood can absorb it.