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Money saving tips for multi-pet households
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#1 FiveAus

Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:08 PM

I have a lot of pets and their general care costs quite a bit of money. I noticed there are quite a few here in this community who have multiple pets too. How do you save on costs?

I use a farm animal product (Avenge sheep drench) as a flea treatment for my dogs. It contains the exact same ingredients as one of the better known spot ons, and it's way, way cheaper.

Diet food for dogs is half their normal ration of kibble mixed with chopped celery, chopped parsley and a spoonful of plain yoghurt. It means I don't have to buy a separate bag of kibble for the fat one, and it's working. She eats it, and she's losing weight.





#2 Oriental lily

Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:18 PM

A vet years ago gave me a tip about spot ons.

If you have small dogs get a large breed spot on pack.empty  it in to a container and syringe half out and spread it between two dogs.

So a 4 treatment pack becomes 8

Saves money!

#3 The Old Feral

Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:33 PM

I've not had more than 2 at a time but only large breeds so we get through the food.

Daily diet is chicken carcasses for breakie which are 5 for a dollar from the chicken shop at my local market, cheaper by the box but I rarely have the freezer space.  Then the kibble for dinner is padded out with leftover meat/veg/rice or home brand sardines at about 70c a tin.

So we're feeding for less than 10 bucks a week including bones.

I'm keen to see what other tips you get!

#4 FiveAus

Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:09 PM

QUOTE (Oriental lily @ 18/12/2012, 10:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A vet years ago gave me a tip about spot ons.

If you have small dogs get a large breed spot on pack.empty  it in to a container and syringe half out and spread it between two dogs.

So a 4 treatment pack becomes 8

Saves money!


Yes I used to do that when I had two dogs but now I have 5 its still expensive. And they aren't small dogs so there's not much of a saving. Avenge is the same as Advantage. It's also the same as Confidor Concentrate (a garden insecticide) and Merit, a turf insecticide. There are a few other brands too. The Avenge (1 litre) costs around the same as one months treatment for 5 dogs but it will last the rest of my life! I told my daughter in law, she used to be a vet nurse and she already knew about it. Said the vets know, they just don't tell people. My vet knew about it too.

#5 gina70

Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:36 PM

I have 3 cats all on different diets!  I am finding City Farmers well priced for food, there is always a special or free item with the food.  My 19 year old cat is on perscription food from the vet, but I still shopped around for the best price.

I buy litter whenever it is on special too, in bulk.

I am also starting a 'pet jar' were I will put a certain amount in each week to help pay for vet visits.  ($10-$20)

Anyone have any other cat budget tips?

#6 FiveAus

Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:44 PM

We buy our cat litter (Breeders Choice) from a stock supply place. They are much cheaper than the supermarket and stock the 30kg bags. They are also cheaper for brands of dog food such as Supercoat, Bonnie, Coprice etc.

#7 FiveAus

Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:48 PM

This is my favourite place to waste money on dogs. They always have items that ship free worldwide and they change them often. A few weeks ago they had loads of awesome toys........Kong stuff is SO much cheaper in the US......and I got rather a lot for the dogs. And cool coats for the show dogs. No shipping on any of it.

http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm


Make sure you click on the What Ships Free link.

#8 Mousky

Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:06 PM

We mix our prescribed dental dog kibble with a cheeper brand, so the vet prescribed lasts twice as long. We also mix a super premium and supermarket brand cat kibble together.

As we have little fluffy dogs, they are groomed every two months. The groomer uses a flea shampoo, so we no longer flea the dogs. Actually I've never seen a flea on them.

We buy our fav litter in bulk from Big W where its $5 cheeper.

Collars are purchased on the internet. We buy very good quality leather ones that last years and they're only slightly more expensive than the pu leather ones in shops.

Found a pet supplies place that sells crickets for $3 cheeper than most places, you just don't get the Gut Load, and since my beardie is a good weight already, he doesn't need it.

P.s love Clean Run, our obedience and agility toys come from there.

Edited by Mousky, 19 December 2012 - 09:08 PM.


#9 password123

Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:09 PM

Be careful with the use of off-label medications (ie avenge instead of advantage). If something goes awry you will have no recourse with the company or the government regulator.
I work for the relevant authority and the number of reports of issues relating to off label use of product is astounding. I would absolutely not condone the use of home garden products on your pets as they will not have been assessed for animal efficacy and safety. There are other chemicals in them besides the actives.
One real problem is people buying the large dog flea and tick product, and then dividing it up to treat dogs and their cats. Note this product is toxic to cats and clearly says so on the pack. When the cat is dead, the complaints about lack of labelling roll in. Can't get much clearer than a picture of a cat with a cross through it. When I was a vet and I questioned owners about this, they'd say "but that's just marketing so you buy another product for the cat". Hmm.
Sorry for that but it's close to my heart.



#10 FiveAus

Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:14 PM

I tried mixing cheaper kibble with the brand I normally use as I was running low and wouldn't be able to get to a dog show to get some before I ran out altogether. And one fussy bugger went through his bowl and spat each piece of Optimum kibble onto the floor next to his bowl.

#11 kpingitquiet

Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:43 PM

I only have two dogs, now, but we had 9 for awhile biggrin.gif (Mama dog birthed 8 pups shortly after adoption, we kept one). So, I made their food and it worked out much cheaper. No kibble, just meat, veggies, and some healthy grains. We bought bulk bones at the Pet Meat store for dental health, and kong toys too. ONLY kong toys as we were growing broke on all the cheaper toys they devoured.

My favorite dog food recipe was:

60% Ground turkey or roo
30% Pumpkin, spinach, celery, carrot, lentils, green beans
10% Usually rice, occasionally oats.

Depending on needs of the dog I might throw in a dollop of yogurt, some mint, or a sliced hardboiled egg.

Occasional treats were mostly seasonal fruits, like banana, apples, pears, or whatever they nabbed from our fruit trees! biggrin.gif I also baked up a good batch of crunchy biscuits every couple weeks where I added washed/crushed eggshell.

Strangely, with two full-sized dogs, it just doesn't work out cheaper to make the food. I am planning to start baking their treats again, though.

#12 *CalamityJane*

Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:59 PM

Unfortunately my dog is on a prescription diet (pancreatitis).  He's also large so he goes through a lot of it.  I shopped around but can't find it any cheaper than my vet.  I used to get kibble at cost (and sometimes broken bags for free  cool.gif) through a friend who wholesales, but he can't get the prescription lines in.  I've looked at brands with a similar fat content, but more than one vet has warned me off swapping brands as his pancreatitis seems to be on a hair trigger and any change sets him off.  If anyone finds a cheap supplier for Hills i/d, let me know LOL.  I have saved money on his other meds by getting the vet to write a prescription and purchasing at a human chemist.  One of them costs 1/3 of the price that way!

My other dog is cheap LOL.  Happily eats cost price kibble and has no meds, apart from chlorsig occasionally (dry eyes = infections).  Luckily I have an ophthalmologist friend who supplies me that for free original.gif.

Oh and before he went on a prescription diet special needs dog used to save us money by pinching dog treats from the display counter at the vet, and the vet nurses loved him so much they let him get away with it  biggrin.gif .

#13 FiveAus

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:47 AM

QUOTE (kpingitquiet @ 19/12/2012, 10:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I only have two dogs, now, but we had 9 for awhile biggrin.gif (Mama dog birthed 8 pups shortly after adoption, we kept one). So, I made their food and it worked out much cheaper. No kibble, just meat, veggies, and some healthy grains. We bought bulk bones at the Pet Meat store for dental health, and kong toys too. ONLY kong toys as we were growing broke on all the cheaper toys they devoured.

My favorite dog food recipe was:

60% Ground turkey or roo
30% Pumpkin, spinach, celery, carrot, lentils, green beans
10% Usually rice, occasionally oats.

Depending on needs of the dog I might throw in a dollop of yogurt, some mint, or a sliced hardboiled egg.

Occasional treats were mostly seasonal fruits, like banana, apples, pears, or whatever they nabbed from our fruit trees! biggrin.gif I also baked up a good batch of crunchy biscuits every couple weeks where I added washed/crushed eggshell.

Strangely, with two full-sized dogs, it just doesn't work out cheaper to make the food. I am planning to start baking their treats again, though.



I used to make up a similar mix when I had one or two dogs but it's a lot of work and would be very expensive with five.

#14 MrsLexiK

Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:30 AM

I've only got one pooch. But if I am running low on funds I make him his meals. I can grab pet mince from the butcher for $1 a kg. I chuck in some veg (either whatever I have that is about to go bad or what's in the freezer - I brought up 2 kgs of carrots a few months back for less then a $1 so have used these. Or a grab a home brand bag of 1 kg veg.), chuck in 1/2 packet of maccoroni, or shells (home brand), a cup of rice white, 2 raw eggs stired through. If I am doing it out if love I buy normal mince and roo mince. I just made him batch as I haven't been able to get to the store to grab him another bag of kibble and have been going through so much because I can't carry the big bag at the moment. So his food has cost me $0 for the next week or so.

#15 whale-woman

Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:55 AM

I get our budgie seed in 20kg bags from a stockfeed store along with 10 kg bunny food bags. Bunny gets fresh grass picked for him most days too. The birds will get greens picked for then too from the garden or out and about if we go for a walk. A surfer friend collects cuttlefish for me to give to the birds. Anything overgrown/seeding in the vege patch will tends to go to the birds.

I get bags of wheat free from my parents farm for the chooks. Otherwise they eat all the food scraps.
I should be more organised about the cats food, but just buy the brands he eats at the supermarket when it goes on sale and pile it in the pantry. occasionally I get him fresh cat meat when it's on sale and freeze it.

Eta I get ivermectin that my brother has for his sheep and use a drop to treat the budgies for worms/mites. Old sump oil from the car is used for any mites the chooks might get on their legs.

Edited by whale-woman, 21 December 2012 - 05:24 PM.


#16 FERALfoxgirls

Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:58 AM

I get worming treatment from pet stock. it's super cheap if you ask for the generic brand. our dogs eat a lot of whole rabbits caught fresh (not an option for everyone  wink.gif  ) and all their bedding comes from the op shop.


#17 FiveAus

Posted 20 December 2012 - 03:45 PM

Some of the cheaper worming treatments contain ivermectin or related drugs, and the breed I own can be sensitive to it ( as in it can kill them). Mine haven't been DNA tested so I just don't know, so I err on the side of caution and simply avoid those brands. I'm almost certain my blue merle girl would be affected and possibly my blue boy as well.
If they could safely have ivermectin, I'd just a horse wormer and work out the correct dosage by weight.

Edited by FiveAus, 20 December 2012 - 03:47 PM.


#18 JBH

Posted 20 December 2012 - 03:56 PM

Instead of cat litter we use cheap chicken food (layer pellets). A tip from the vet.

#19 password123

Posted 20 December 2012 - 03:58 PM

It's the collie breeds that tend to react to the ivermectins.
Ivermectins will do almost nothing for intestinal worms, it's better for heart worm prevention. You really need a praziquantel/pyrantel for intestinal worms.
Never give your dog the new flea control tablets (spinosad) if they get any form of ivermectin - they interact badly and this gas only recently been discovered.

Arthritic dogs - you are better off buying some green lipped mussell capsules and fish oil than the "specialty"  joint formulas.


#20 FiveAus

Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:38 PM

QUOTE (Mrs_Snorks @ 20/12/2012, 04:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's the collie breeds that tend to react to the ivermectins.
Ivermectins will do almost nothing for intestinal worms, it's better for heart worm prevention. You really need a praziquantel/pyrantel for intestinal worms.
Never give your dog the new flea control tablets (spinosad) if they get any form of ivermectin - they interact badly and this gas only recently been discovered.

Arthritic dogs - you are better off buying some green lipped mussell capsules and fish oil than the "specialty"  joint formulas.



Some of the all-wormers contain ivermectin related drugs, and so far I can't find a horse wormer that doesn't contain it. I avoid anything ending in "mectin" just in case.
My dogs are Australian Shepherds, so yes, a collie breed. It's surprising the amount of vets that don't know this......I've had a number of them hand me samples of heart worm meds. I just give them back and explain why the dogs can't have them.


#21 FiveAus

Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:57 PM

A tip for using dog shampoos......dilute them in a bottle of warm water.....about 1 tablespoon to 500 ml of water, turn the bottle until it dissolves and use as normal. It gets the dog just as clean and your expensive bottle of shampoo lasts a LOT longer.
Do the same with conditioners.
If your dog is white or has white markings, use Sard Wonder Soap to rub into stains and to get the whites nice and sparkling.

Before I bought a hydrobath (best invention ever!), I had trouble getting my dogs wet through in the bath.....bucketed water would just run straight off and I couldn't get enough pressure from the tap for the water to get into their undercoats.
So I came up with a cobbled-together pseudo hydrobath. A submersible pump (available from Bunnings, sometimes Aldi have them too), a short length of garden hose attached to the outlet on the pump with a joiner, and a spray nozzle the same as what you'd water the garden or wash the car with.
The pump sits in the bath water, and works to give good water pressure through the hose with the spray nozzle on the end. It recycles the soapy bath water so the shampoo does it's job super-well, and once the dog is washed and the water replaced with clean, it gets the clean water right through the coat to rinse it thoroughly. The whole contraption cost me less than $100, and while I still had to kneel down to wash the dogs, it made the job so much easier and faster! My show dogs got bathed at least once a fortnight using my home-made contraption and they always looked sparkling clean.

#22 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:11 AM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 18/12/2012, 11:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes I used to do that when I had two dogs but now I have 5 its still expensive. And they aren't small dogs so there's not much of a saving. Avenge is the same as Advantage. It's also the same as Confidor Concentrate (a garden insecticide) and Merit, a turf insecticide. There are a few other brands too. The Avenge (1 litre) costs around the same as one months treatment for 5 dogs but it will last the rest of my life! I told my daughter in law, she used to be a vet nurse and she already knew about it. Said the vets know, they just don't tell people. My vet knew about it too.

Interesting! I need a cheap wormer for cats! Also for our dogs too!

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 19/12/2012, 09:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We buy our cat litter (Breeders Choice) from a stock supply place. They are much cheaper than the supermarket and stock the 30kg bags. They are also cheaper for brands of dog food such as Supercoat, Bonnie, Coprice etc.

How much is the 30kg bag? With 5 cats we go through a lot wink.gif

We are really happy with the Costco dog and cat food! The dog doesn't fart on it or if she doesn't it doesn't gas us LOL! The cats all seem to like the Costco food, not sure what we will do when we move away from a Costco! We will have to find another food. Will have to see what the rural supply store has.

#23 Country (deci)Mel

Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:18 AM

My friends who are breeders (usually have at least 6 big dogs at home, plus puppies, former puppies who are boarding etc)

Their 'trick' is to go to the saleyards and buy the end of day unwanted cattle or sheep very cheaply, fatten them up for a while on their property and then get the mobile butcher in to fill the freezers with good meat.

Obviously NOT an option for those in the suburbs!

#24 Guest_3Keiki_*

Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:27 AM

I will be harking back to childhood days and shooting the odd roo on the farm and butcher for the dogs.
FiveAus I am loving your tip re the drench

#25 FiveAus

Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:40 AM

We have a sheep, his name is Sherlock. Tonight we are picking up another one, a little brown Dorper named Baaartholomew. We won't be letting the dogs eat them, they have jobs as lawn mowers.
I'm terrible with animals. I like them too much and get too attached to be able to slaughter them to eat. I have no qualms about buying or eating meat, I just block my mind to how it got that way.

Edited by FiveAus, 21 December 2012 - 11:59 AM.





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