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I really enjoyed reading the recent "thinking of switching to Pro Plan" discussion! It seems that in this economy, more and more people are looking for ways to save money while still taking good care of their dogs. I'm interested to read about what people are doing, not doing, or have somehow changed in their dog care routine to save money. My techniques are as follows:

1) Switched from Eagle Holistic Select to Eagle Super Premium food. I can already hear the gasps! :D Honestly, I notice no difference. My dog's skin and coat still look great. To be fair, I do mix two big bags of Healthwise and Eagle together, and supplement with fish oil and vitamin E capsules, but I used these same supplements with Eagle Holistic Select, too. The bottom line is, my dog looks great, is getting quality nutrition, and I'm saving money. Due to my disability, I order food from Petfood Direct, so there are shipping charges, but I wait for the 20% off coupon. Recently, I bought 73 lbs. of Eagle and Healthwise for about $86.00, including shipping!

2) Use human-grade vitamin E, fish oil, and glucosamine from Costco

3) Bought a good quality leather leash and webbed flat collar three years ago, and have not replaced them. I do not intend to do so until they need to be

4) Buy medication online whenever possible

5) Hardly ever (like maybe every two years) buy new toys. Those that my dog has are quality ones, and I make sure he's careful with them. In general, he's perfectly happy with a tug, a Nylabone or two, a Kong, tennis balls, and a few good quality stuffed animals. I bought these at a yard sale for $1.00 each and they were brand new, with the original tags still on!


I don't skimp on vet care, but try to handle minor things at home when I'm able. Thankfully, my dog hasn't been seriously ill in the three years I've had him! (He's a CCI service dog, and I credit much of this to good breeding and him being relatively young).

I try to remember that dogs have needs... we create the wants. I'm anxious for your input. Thanks!
 

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I've started using Ivamec for heartworm preventative. I also just bought the biggest dog version of Frontline to split between my two.

I've stopped going to the groomer...am learning to do it myself.

Also, we're walking in our neighborhood, rather than driving to parks.

Seriously considering changing food.
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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I have always been money conscious so it's not new to me!


My boys each have a nice leather leash they have used since they outgrew their puppy leash (which I still have ) They have had the same collars their whole lives which are still very nice.

I get their bones at Sam's Club and I do buy Nature's Variety which is expensive in my book but I get it where I can get the lowest price. I also mix it with green beans and a dollop of plain yogurt to fill them up and it makes their food go farther and they are losing alittle weight!

I buy glucosamine and chondroitin at Walgreen's. I use the same one they do. I bathe and groom them myself so save that way. I do buy Heartgard from the vet: it's the same price as Petmeds. Frontline, I also buy the big one at Petco and split it.

We took obedience classes through our local obedience club which uses trained volunteers so is pretty inexpensive. Since my boys are older, I work with them myself now. We belong to Golden Retriever Rescue where I donate more time than money.

I buy the boys' toys at garage sales. They don't eat their toys so they have a giant basket of stuffed animals that will last their whole lives.

Our vet is expensive but good and we are now budgeting for Gunner's eye/hypothyoid treatment and meds. I am willing to give up a few things so they have the care they need. They are my babies.
 

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hello & welcome!

our big money savers include: doing all our own grooming, mixing the premium shampoo in a squirt bottle with water (not only saves shampoo, but also time & rinse water), i buy frontline online, am constantly sewing up toys, make our own treats & have a great relationship with our vet. (he allows us to pick up items needed for simple ailments & never charges me the $34 vet fee)
 

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All of my dogs had the same collars/leads all their lives once they switched from the puppy collars, the same with their dishes etc.

As for food, apart from the last couple of years when they had to go on special diets, they were fed what is a relatively cheap dog food - but their coats were always good, no stomach upsets and they always did well on it. Sometimes more expensive is not always the best
 

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Angel Gage's Grandma
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The biggest money saver for me is getting the dogs vaccinated (every 3 years, not annually) at a low-cost vaccination clinic rather than at my vet's. Saves a bunch of money. I also take the dogs to a do-it-yourself dog wash place. Costs $15/dog, and includes use of a tub, shampoo, towels and dryer. And I'm taking Julia and Tia to a dog training class sponsored by our local parks and recreation department; it's tons cheaper than going to a class with the dog training club (which is miles from us).
 

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Good topic...I don't buy anymore doggy toys cus Tucker just takes my daughter's toys whenever someone walks in the house....he has a basket of old toys but plays with them very little...

Food, thinking of switching off Chicken Soup as it gives him bad breath...not sure what I'll switch to but it's not that spendy either...

I use Frontline every 3-4 months and only in the spring/summer/fall months. He got one in May and I'll do another in Sept and be done with it as it's only good one month for ticks and fall is when we do our hiking in tick central...otherwise we don't have ticks in our yard.

I've been using the same flexi for the last 9 years when Tanner was just a puppy.

I am guilty of buying halloween outfits for the dog though. Hee hee...

We don't buy a ton of treats. I just get some decent biscuits for him and sometimes rawhides if I can find them cheap enough but finding them NOT made in China or Mexico is almost impossible.
 

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I haven't changed anything I do or buy for the dogs so far. I've cancelled a short trip and I've had to cut back in other areas of our lives.
 

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We're moving my grandmother-in-law (for the millionth time in a few years), so we were given a bunch of her dog's toys that her dog doesn't play with.

I'm also planning on dehydrating some deer meat I have frozen from last deer season for treats for the girl.

Groom her myself.
 

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Chantilly Goldens
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I am very close with the owners of the local pet foods store so I recieve 20% off of all my foods, cans, treats, supplies, bowls etc on top of the breeders program offered by the brand of food I use. My vet also offers a breeders program with 15% off. I do all my own grooming, worming, shots (exept rabies). My dogs are horrible with stuffed toys so we don't buy them (just for the pups). They have balls, bumpers, kongs, bones, and chewies which generally last. I get all my frozen beef bones from the local butcher they are $4 for a 10 lbs bag. Using good diluted shampoos, mixing my own conditioners save some. Also, I don't supplement unless they are pups or showing all I use is yogurt or an egg here and there for the others. Although, with show/working/breeding dogs I have a TON of expenses the regular pet owner does not have LOL I could go on forever. So while I try to balance and save everyday costs as I have those specialty ones are the costly ones.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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Make my own training treats & biscuits - the cost of store bought training treats and biscuits is INSANE!
 

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Park, Cam and Ty Rule!
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I haven't really cut down on too much..... a bit on things we really don't need like leashes and toys. They still get toys, but only when they need them... not when I think they need them. (which is two entirely different things) I only buy them online now, and when things are on sale. I usually look for cheap leashes and collars online too, if I'm in the mood for something new. I got a cute one for only $3.00 not too long ago. I've found that the majority of the things I buy for them are more for me.
 

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I haven't really cut down on too much..... a bit on things we really don't need like leashes and toys. They still get toys, but only when they need them... not when I think they need them. (which is two entirely different things) I only buy them online now, and when things are on sale. I usually look for cheap leashes and collars online too, if I'm in the mood for something new. I got a cute one for only $3.00 not too long ago. I've found that the majority of the things I buy for them are more for me.
sounds like me!

we have 2 wire crates, 2 soft crates, 2 airline crates, 15 nice collar/leash sets, 4 beds, & only 2 dogs!

they are never crated, don't wear collars-when they must be leashed they always wear fine slip collars with leather leads, and would rather sleep on the floor...it's a sickness-DH won't let me train at SuperPets anymore!
 

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Park, Cam and Ty Rule!
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:D LoveisGolden, holy crap I think we're related! We also have 2 soft crates, 2 wire crates, 2 airline crates.... an entire wall full of collars and leashes, two buckets full of toys.... and yes... only two dogs of our own. They don't have dog beds... but I did buy them a futon mattress to sleep on though... :doh:

I know the boys don't care if they only have one collar or if their leash doesn't match.... and yes, they would be perfectly fine sleeping on the floor all the time.

It really is a sickness... :bowl:. I think you're right. I should start attending meetings or something. I am getting better though... I really am.

Fostering seems to help me justify to DH why we have so much stuff. Maybe you should try that!
 

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& Murphy's Mom too!
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Hello my name is Sam and I have a collar problem. Yeah- I'm guilty. Murphy has been wearing the same collar that the shelter gave us and today I finally bought him a new Chicago Cubs collar even though he's going to grow out of it right away.

However, there are tons of toys I would love to buy for him but since I still have a ton of Libby's puppy toys that she never played with, he's enjoying those and that's saving me money. I also haven't bought many leashes in a while and I used to always buy matching sets.

We always bathe the dogs ourselves but I won't even attempt to groom them. I can't even imagine what they would look like! Yikes!

And we are looking to switch them both to the same food if I can find a good All Life Stages for both of them.
 

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I feed coprice chicken & rice, plus supermarket canned food cassrole style this cost about $50 a fornight, They also get an egg once a week and bones every day to every second day. My dogs do not miss out of vetinary care at all, They also get frontlined once a month, and wormed when needed. They get plenty of toys the rubber squeeky toys i buy from the pet store the soft plush toys i go to the op shops and get some for 50 cents each. If i do come accross a nice plush toy from the pet store i will buy it.
 

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It's just an illusion ...
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Benydrel??? -- are the generic brands (at Costco, etc) OK for our Goldies? that'd be a saver
REGARDING MEDS IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/showthread.php?t=41913


REGARDING SAVING ...
IT'S NOT SOMETHING I'M VERY GOOD AT ...
I THANK THE STARS I CAN PRETTY MUCH AFFORD TO SPOIL MY LOVED ONES ( DON'T TELL MY BOSS I SAID THAT ... $$$ lol )
SO THE DOGS HAVE LIKE A ZILLION TOYS, LEASHES, TREATS, ETC ...
I WOULDN'T SAY I'M WASTING $ ... MAYBE JUST MAKING UP FOR LOST TIMES CAUSE I WASN'T VERY SPOILED ... AT ALL ... AS A CHILD. I SEEM TO SPEND MORE $ ON OTHERS THAN I DO ON MYSELF ... WHEN SHOPPING I DO BARGAIN A LOT & IT WORKS ! WHEN IT COMES TO NATURAL RESSOURCES, ENERGY, WATER, I'M #1 AND RECYCLING IS A MUST.
 

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Caleb gets claritin daily because of allergies. We just found out the pharmacy near our house sells the Kirkland band for super cheap (300 tablets for $22). We also buy bully sticks and pigs ears at costco.

For toys, his favorite toys are the ones that were cheap as free. He loves finding popped balls at the park and bringing them home. You'd think he won the lottery the way he prances around with them in his mouth. :D Also, I made him a fleece tug toy (three strips of fleece, braided and knotted at the ends) that is his new favorite toy. I think the material cost me about a buck.

We bathe him at home and trim his nails and toe fluff ourselves. But I think we're going to have to bite the bullet soon and have a professional groomer trim around his ears and bum.
 

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For our prescription medications our vet allows us to price match with online US-based websites. We do our research online, print it and the vet will match the price (plus shipping unless that is free as well). I generally save 50% and more on all medications this way. For example, our vet charges $27.50 for neo/poly/dex eye drops. With Wal-mart's $4 generic plan, we get the same dosage and bottle for only $4. One of our guys is on chloraphenamarine antihistamine tablets. It's about $25 a bottle for 100 at the vets, but I can get a 100 tablet bottle at Walmart, over the counter, for $2.96.
For treats, we use a different flavor of kibble and they love it. We watch their weight and this way we are able to give them lots of treats in small doses.
Another cost-saving idea--actually measure your kibble rather than eye-ball it.
In lieu of the Rapid Bath--we use a Miracle Gro sprayer (purchased new from Home Depot) to mix the shampoo and water. It works!
We launder the tennis balls--ours get pretty dirty. Our youngest guy tends to find toys and tennis balls on the street during our walks. Who knew there were so many homeless tennis balls? We let him take them home and then into the laundry they go. He's found a brand new dog tug in the middle of a street intersection, and countless balls, an Air Kong and miscellaneous dog toys. Sure beats the road kill!
Target sometimes puts some great dog toys in the $1 bin. I've gotten tug ropes for $1 that cost $10 at Petsmart. Yesterday I picked up portable dog dishes (for a doggie disaster kit) for $1.
One thing we spend the $$ on is medical care for the dogs--acupuncture for our allergy/hip dog has worked wonders. He also gets twice monthly anal sac expressions because his are so difficult to express.
When possible (except during the heat of the summer), we walk our dogs to and from the vet, saving gas money. We only live one mile away fortunately.
Our youngest Golden destroyed most of our dog beds during his puppy year(s)--we think he's still in his puppyhood at age 4--so now he shares the foot of the bed with us and we got a very nice heavy and durable bed for $30 at Costco for our older guy.
For pooper-scoopers we use the plastic covers that come with our morning paper, and our neighbors save them for us as well.
 
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