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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 12th Sep 06, 2:22 PM
    • 8,111Posts
    • 42,248Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Great Feed, House and Keep Your Pets Hunt
    • #1
    • 12th Sep 06, 2:22 PM
    Great Feed, House and Keep Your Pets Hunt 12th Sep 06 at 2:22 PM
    What's it about?

    Whether your best friend is a dalmation or a dormouse keeping them fed, watered and generally healthy can take a large chunk out of your hard-earned wage. Of course if you have a pet you'd never be without it so the alternative is to cut the cost.

    What to do?

    I'd like to tap pet-owning MoneySavers' wealth of knowledge to find top tips, ideas and sources of cheap food, bedding, toys; anything that will keep your moggy or doggy happy and healthy without making your wallet less wealthy.

    PS Also read Pet Insurance Cost Cutting article

    Click reply to give your tips.

    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 06-08-2008 at 3:40 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
Page 1
    • Hello
    • By Hello 12th Sep 06, 2:37 PM
    • 354 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    Hello
    • #2
    • 12th Sep 06, 2:37 PM
    I keep my cats happy by drinking wine!!
    • #2
    • 12th Sep 06, 2:37 PM
    My cats love corks. No idea why, forget the shop-bought toys, corks do it for them! (And keeping them supplied with corks is no hardship!! )

    Big bags of catnip (I get ours from either one of those cheap sell everything places or the garden centre's pet department). Use and old rolled up sock with catnip in it and happy drugged up cat happy for weeks and can be refreshed just by keeping it in the same drawer as the catnip! I tried growing it once, but it didn't last long enough.

    Ours also love boxes to sleep in, not purpose bought beds and especially a wicker 'hamper' given to us at Christmas with goodies in.

    Basically, I don't bother with buying them anything from the shop except food and catnip.

    I am very annoyed that supermarkets have stopped selling individual cans of food, I once counted 14 varieties (more variation than I get!) but now they only do the 6 or 12 packs and the flavours are all the same. Our cats tend to off flavours for a while and it is difficult finding alternatives. Does anyone know where I can get individual cans with a variety of flavours? Whiskas and Kitekat, they won't touch Felix since the 'new improvement'.

    Cheers

    Hello
    Ciggie free 2am 21/09/06. Debt free 25/06/09.

    'It was such a lovely day I thought 'it's a pity to get up'' W. Somerset Maugham.
    • billieboy
    • By billieboy 12th Sep 06, 2:45 PM
    • 1,355 Posts
    • 2,495 Thanks
    billieboy
    • #3
    • 12th Sep 06, 2:45 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Sep 06, 2:45 PM
    I am very annoyed that supermarkets have stopped selling individual cans of food, I once counted 14 varieties (more variation than I get!) but now they only do the 6 or 12 packs and the flavours are all the same. Our cats tend to off flavours for a while and it is difficult finding alternatives. Does anyone know where I can get individual cans with a variety of flavours? Whiskas and Kitekat, they won't touch Felix since the 'new improvement'.

    Cheers

    Hello
    by Hello
    I know that Waitrose does individual flavours for dog food but not sure about cat food.

    I used to buy Vitalin dog food www.vitalinpetfood.co.uk until my dog went off it. It was about £11 for a 15kg bag. I thought it was very good value at the time. Shame he went off it really! He does have a sensitive tummy though.
  • Jay-Jay
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 06, 3:06 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 06, 3:06 PM
    I think the best moneysaving tip I can offer is to get your pet insured. It only takes a car coming around the corner too fast to have you lumbered with thousands of pounds in vets bills. There are threads on the insurance boards about pet insurance so I won't go into it on here .... but please do consider it.

    Just run, run and keep on running!

  • ailuro2
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 06, 3:12 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 06, 3:12 PM
    I only just made a cat scratching toy from leftover carpet,some tacks and a bit of MDF yesterday-I did have to buy the MDF as I had no scraps lying around- 3.29 from Wickes. Two pieces completely covered and set in a roof shape attached to a top only covered base.Tall enough so she can still use it when she's fully grown.

    Add one length of string to encourage her to climb it....the kitten's happy to attack it,and our sofas are saved.

    The kitten was a stray that had taken up residence on a neighbour's garage roof, so was free apart from a roll of sellotape and paper to put up notices to find her owners(none came forward)
    Free kitten care packs are available from Felix website www.catslikefelix.co.uk

    Inside, you’ll find everything you need to give your kitten a happy, healthy start in life. Inside you’ll find:
    A handy advice booklet and wallchart with helpful, down-to-earth advice on kitten care, to see you through the first few months with your new arrival

    3 FREE delicious and nutritionally balanced Felix Kitten food pouches, just the thing for tiny taste buds

    a fun Felix mouse toy to enjoy together

    money-off coupons, worth £1.50 so you can treat your new little friend to delicious Felix Kitten food


    We also got a free pack of food and info from the vet, but any tips on how to reduce vaccination charges would be welcomed!

    BTW...Anyone know how much it costs to get a cat chipped?
    Member of the first Mortgage Free in 3 challenge, no.19
    Balance 19th April '07 = minus £27,640
    Balance 1st November '09 = mortgage paid off with £1903 left over. Title deeds are now ours.
    • thriftmonster
    • By thriftmonster 12th Sep 06, 3:31 PM
    • 1,631 Posts
    • 7,822 Thanks
    thriftmonster
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 06, 3:31 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 06, 3:31 PM
    It is much cheaper to get your dog microchipped at the Dogs Trust roadshows than to pay the vet to do it.
    • Fleago
    • By Fleago 12th Sep 06, 3:47 PM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 1,541 Thanks
    Fleago
    • #7
    • 12th Sep 06, 3:47 PM
    Tip for boosters
    • #7
    • 12th Sep 06, 3:47 PM
    If you have annual boosters for your dogs, you may not be aware that you have up to a month after the year is up in which you can still have the booster done without having to do the entire vaccination course again. If you wait this period every year, the next one will be due 12 months from the date it was actually done, so if the dog lives 12+ years then the cost of one year's boosters will be saved Not much if you only have one dog at a time, but a bigger saving if you have multiple dogs in your household

    Also, animal feed suppliers or country stores often stock a wide variety of brands of dry dog food and tend to be cheaper than pet supermarkets or normal supermarkets. They may also give a good discount if you bulk buy, useful if you have the space to store several bags.

    For soft toys for dogs to play with, it is often cheaper to buy them from charity shops but be careful to ensure there are no eyes etc that the dog could pull off.
    • patchwork cat
    • By patchwork cat 12th Sep 06, 4:17 PM
    • 5,666 Posts
    • 8,762 Thanks
    patchwork cat
    • #8
    • 12th Sep 06, 4:17 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Sep 06, 4:17 PM
    Cat microchipping is about £15. I really don't bother with beds - they prefer ours! Our cats that go out don't have toys - they find their own! Yuk. ( they would do no matter what I do, think, feel etc.)
    A complete dry cat food costs very little from supermarket and is better for them apart from the dry aspect. Some chippies do fish trimmings for cats for free ( they are charged to dispose of it) , they are quite boney, but my cats don't worry about that. Poach it in some milk and it also acts as a vehicle for extra liquid.
    Wood based cat litter from Wilkinsons is v. good value, but if you live near the cost sand that has blown off the beach makes great cat litter. _ you may need to double box it - or the sand gets everywhere! Don't take it off the beach though.
  • tigs78
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 06, 5:46 PM
    Medication, flea & worm treatments - don't buy from the vet - buy online
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 06, 5:46 PM
    If your pet needs regular medication and is not insured you can get a prescription from your vet (he/she cannot charge for this) and then order from a pet pharmacy website.

    I have found the best to be www.vetuk.co.uk I literally pay half the price that my vet charges, the service is excellent and I normally get my cats' tablets within 48 hours of ordering - it's free delivery on non food items too.

    I've also used www.bestpetpharmacy.co.uk and they were excellent too, vetuk beat them on price for the particular tablets that my cat needs.

    You can also get flea and worm treatments that aren't available in pet shops or supermarkets and are normally bought at extortionate prices from the vets. Frontline no longer requires a prescription, some others do but remember your vet can no longer charge for issuing one.
    Last edited by tigs78; 20-09-2006 at 10:11 PM.
    • patchwork cat
    • By patchwork cat 12th Sep 06, 6:36 PM
    • 5,666 Posts
    • 8,762 Thanks
    patchwork cat
    Also some insurance policies allow for worm and tick treatments.
    • Andybez38
    • By Andybez38 12th Sep 06, 6:42 PM
    • 1,676 Posts
    • 1,130 Thanks
    Andybez38
    I have a very large python and theres plenty of free food for him if i catch it "out there"

    He loves cats, dogs rabbits etc.

    Why did i say that? i dont even have a python. :confused:
  • ditzymuppet
    hmmm
    Small AnimalsGoing to a carpet shop will get your little fluffies some long tubes to run through and play in.

    Rats/Hamsters/Small fluffies can have hammocks attached to their cages by getting a square of material, and securing the corners to the tops/sides of cages with 4 paper clips.... regular washing will keep these clean and your little fluffies very happy and entertained...

    Dogs
    Our dog doesn't like hard toys so we recycle our teddies with her! She doesn't chew the soft and cuddlies so they are suitable for her...however if you have a pooch that eats toys that's not a good idea..

    And as the previous poster said... PET INSURANCE!!! Well worth it My doggy recommends it and so do my parents!!

    ~ditzy x
    Love hugs and glitterbugs
  • flis21
    I have a house rabbit and he just loves cardboard boxes. Used to buy him expensive toys to chew, now he just gets the boxes from any deliveries we get. He loves hopping in and out of them and chewing them to bits and I don't care how quickly he chews them as I am not worried about how much they cost.
    Sorting my life out to give a better life to my
    2 gorgeous boys
    • mentaljessie
    • By mentaljessie 13th Sep 06, 12:08 AM
    • 385 Posts
    • 288 Thanks
    mentaljessie
    House Cats love feathers, when I'm on a cig break at work my colleagues think I'm mad when I say oh look there's a feather and run off to collect it. Milk carton lids seem to be a hit too.
    • Becles
    • By Becles 13th Sep 06, 7:38 AM
    • 12,864 Posts
    • 26,180 Thanks
    Becles
    Instead of buying expensive dog beds, make your own!

    Make a big pillow case from an old curtain, duvet cover etc. Stuff it with old pillows or fold up an old duvet, and tuck the open edge underneath when you put it down for the dog.

    The top cover can be taken off easily for a weekly wash to prevent it stinking, and the insides can be washed periodically when they get smelly or if the dog has a sick/toilet accident in bed.

    Even if you don't have old curtains and bedding, buying Asda Smartprice or Tesco Value stuff to make one works out cheaper than a cushion from Pets at Home etc.
    Here I go again on my own....
  • Frances144
    Puppies like empty cardboard loo rolls alot with string on it.

    Also, I don't feed my two dogs any commercial dog food. Pasta/rice/potatoes(always good deals on these at supermarkets), leftovers, veg trimmings, apples going off in the fruit bowl and the cheapest raw beef mince works out much cheaper than dog food. I also boil up the Sunday joint and give them the meat./fat/grissle on that plus the stock. Some tins of dog food are more expensive than fillet steak.

    My dogs are very happy. Dog food (and cat) has a lot of rubbish in it as well as sugar. Not very good for animals.
  • nicola7
    I found a brilliant site explaining how to make an indoor cage for a guinea pig! You buy utility cube wire shelving from Argos- £7.99, and get some corrogated plastic (coroplast, correx) and make a tray out of that, then set up the wire panels around it. Google C & C cages for more info!!! Beats £100 pounds and up at the pet shops!!
  • gkhej
    My vet has recently started a 'scheme called 'three for life' (I think). Basically, I have paid the equivalent of 3 years injections (£120 for the dog) and will receive f.o.c. boosters for the rest of her life. Obviously taking the gamble that she lives for at least 3 years and it ties us to the same vet for her injections but I thought it was a good scheme. It's open to all animals and I beleive quite a few vets are using the scheme - worth asking about maybe!
    • LizD
    • By LizD 13th Sep 06, 10:45 AM
    • 1,482 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    LizD
    I found a brilliant site explaining how to make an indoor cage for a guinea pig! You buy utility cube wire shelving from Argos- £7.99, and get some corrogated plastic (coroplast, correx) and make a tray out of that, then set up the wire panels around it. Google C & C cages for more info!!! Beats £100 pounds and up at the pet shops!!
    by nicola7
    My GPs have one of those, cost about £30 pounds to set up and much bigger than a conventional cage. I mainly did this because I was worried they wouldn't have enough room, but the cost was a bonus!

    You can buy bedding in huge bags from horse feed suppliers, but watch out for chunks of wood that havn't been chopped small enough. Alternatively, Aubiose is made from hemp and is safe for small furries (as far as I know), costs about £7 for a big bag.

    Loo/kitchen roll tubes make great toys too.
  • bulchy
    Not for everyone, I know, but we feed our dogs BARF (Bones and raw food diet) Very cheap, and feeding a more natural diet has cut down on vet fees, one of my dogs constantly had upset stomachs when he was fed commercial dog food, but hes never had a problem since changing his diet. I wont bore you with the details, but if anyone wants to look into this, I'm no expert but I can point you in the right direction regarding websites,books etc.
    Sue
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