Saving money on pets?
I've lurked on this forum for a while, some fun threads & great ideas!
When I got my last puppy three years ago, I remember spending about $80.00 on puppy chewies and toys in anticipation of his arrival, only to have him ignore most of them. The things he liked best were mostly free. Well, and furniture legs & shoes, but that was manageable!
Only one of my dogs really seems to prefer soft dog beds over just lying on the floor (the other two will lie NEXT to a dog bed, perhaps just using it as a pillow.)
I have two dog crates - one was $5.00 at a garage sale (this particular one is about $90.00 new.) The other is a folding one for travelling; I bought it new but heavily discounted on eBay.
Toys they like:
An old bicycle tire, great as a tug toy!
An old wheelbarrow tire.
An old tire I have hung from a tree, two of them love that.
Big plastic pop bottles.
Clean lids from 5 gallon buckets for frisbees.
A bowling ball I bought for a quarter at a garage sale.
I find baseballs in left behind at a local park, tennis balls too.
Stuffed toys can be found for pennies at garage sales, plus they don't have squeakers, which my dogs will eat; this can be quite dangerous!
It's funny - pet stores sell small fake tires, doggie tennis balls, plush toys, large balls etc for astonishingly high prices. And most of us already have the real deal at home!
Free beef shank bones from the butcher. As long as they have those, they couldn't care less about $10.00+ chew things from the pet store.
Also turnips, believe it or not. Many dogs love those, and they're wonderful for cleaning teeth.
For teething puppies - ice cubes, or larger pieces of ice made from weak boullion instead of plain water, eases gum pain.
I don't think they need treats anyhow, except for training. But nuts, carrot or apple pieces, popcorn, cheerios, cheap hot dog bits, cheap cuts of meat baked so they're dried out (you can bag them up & freeze.) All much cheaper & better for them than those dumb fake steak or bacon strip things you can buy for pets. Which are also really expensive - more expensive per pound than actual real steak or bacon.
Old blankets or quilts, carpet scraps. A friend made some beautiful dog beds sewing old quilts & filling them with foam. You can also buy clean childrens' mattresses at thrift stores for under $10.00. Check dog bed prices - they're really pricey! The cat sleeps in a cardboard box with an old holey sweater; he loves it.
I don't scrimp at all on food or vet care, though. A good diet & proper vet care pays off over time. I vaccinate rarely (check my vaccinating thread on the Pet forum.) They all get heartworm preventative, and I get a CBC (complete blood panel) done annually - this can alert you to health problems in the early stages, which can save big bucks in the long run.
I've got tons more critter $saving tips, but this is probably long enough as it is!