This Hack Stack is devoted to pets! Save your bucks and still keep Fido happy. All these are tried and true with the same warranty I give with all my other posts.
1. Frugal Pet Bed
I'm shocked to find so many people spending the big bucks on pet beds. First of all, every pet in the world will lay down and snooze with out a designated bed. They're not furniture fixated and they won't report you to any specific agency (unless they are a poodle...then all bets are off). As the human in the room, I'm the one that prefers she has her own bed, even if it is placed in a chair.
Recycle your old pillows! Everyone has a pillow that has seen better days and I don't think you can wash it in enough hot water to totallly remove the scent of you - dog noses are phenomenal. Cover that pillow with a discount store pillow case and whip stitch the opening (that part is optional). Hand it off to Fido. Added bonus: it's a lot easier to keep clean. Just swap out the pillow case to get more mileage between washings.
Want to get fancy? Buy coordinated fabric or recycle an old sheet and make your own cover to match your room.
Don't be persuaded to buy tempra-pedic, memory foam, or bolster beds. Yes, there is such a thing for dogs and it is a waste. Your dog will love the bed that he (or she) associates with you. You're his (or her) pack, whether you like it or not. Use that money for dog toys.
Warning: If you have a dog that will eat bedding, take special consideration of what materials you use.
2. Make your own dog treats
One of my favorites comes from Cesar Millan's website, Cesar's Way. You'll need a dehydrator for this, but let me tell you - everyone needs a dehydrator, anyhow.
If you have a dog that has food allergies or sensitivities, this is the way to go.
Vegetables (no onions)
Fruit (no grapes or raisins)
Easy Baked Dog Treats
2 cups 100% organic flour (like whole wheat, spelt, or rolled oats, or a mixture of these, etc.)
8 oz. of pureed baby food - meat, fruit, sweet potato, etc. Avoid those with onion or onion powder (check the ingredients!)
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Mix together to form a stiff dough and feel free to tweak, if necessary (more or less flour, etc.). You can't mess it up.
3. Flour a surface and roll out dough - about a 1/4 inch thick. Cut into squares or use a small glass to make circles. Want to get fancy? Use a cookie cuter. Amazingly, it's pretty easy to find a dog bone cookie cutter.
4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, place cutouts about 1/2 inch apart.
5. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Cool and store in a paper bag.
|Wild geese make Coco want to escape!|
3. Don't take pet ownership lightly (not a "hack," but it is an important tip).
When Coco went missing last year, I visited every local shelter on a every other day rotation for six weeks. I was amazed at the number of dogs I saw day after day; purebreds, mixed breeds, all sizes. On a clipboard at the front of the dog's cage there was always a sentence or two that told how the dog came to be at the shelter. There were way too many "surrenders." Losing a dog is bad, but having a dog in your home, as a member of the family, and then dropping it off at a shelter is just cruel.
Know your dog breeds and their characteristics. If you don't want to exercise a dog daily, don't get a herding breed for example. On the other hand, if you do like to walk daily and go for a run, a Basset Hound is not for you. That dog is a couch potato in the making.
Be realistic about your expectations. You're making an 8-20 year commitment, seriously. The dog I had before Coco was named Cleo; she was a rescue that lived 18 1/2 years with us.
Be the kind of pet lover who is excited to make a frugal dog bed or bake treats.