With the current state of the economy, and foreclosures and layoffs abound, saving money becomes more critical with each passing day. Your pooch deserves the best and you want to give it to him. But how do you do that without breaking the bank?
Instead of paying top dollar for name brand dog treats, start making your own at home. Making your own dog treats will cost a fraction of the price of those fancy commercial treats and more often than not, they are healthier for your pooch. Homemade dog treats don’t take hours either. Here is my favorite quick and easy, low cost, HEALTHY dog treat recipe (from Bullwrinkle.com).
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375’F. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk, then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Bake for 20 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown. Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container. — This is the original recipe, but I have found the cookies burn easily.
Dogs need an outlet for chewing. But chew bones such as compressed rawhide, bully sticks and nylabones can cost you a fortune. Not to mention, some of the chew bones at pet stores aren’t all that great for your pooch. Instead of buying high priced, unhealthy chew bones from the pet store, visit your local butcher or the meat department at your grocery store. You can purchase raw meaty bones for a fraction of the cost of the pet store chew bones. Opt for beef or pork neck bones or beef marrow bones. The bones should cost you only a dollar or two each and they are an amazing, healthy treat for your pooch. Feed them raw so your pooch gets the most nutrients from them, or if you can’t stomach it, boil and then feed. Be sure to always supervise dogs when they eat any kind of chew bone. And with any new treat, feed a small amount the first time around to ensure your pooch doesn’t get an upset tummy.
If you need some training for your pooch, and want the best but can’t afford it, many trainers are now offering workshops and seminars as opposed to group obedience classes. In these seminars, you can learn everything you need to know about training your dog at home yourself for around a tenth of the cost of group obedience lessons. Alternatively, ask your favorite trainer if they can refer you to any online videos to watch on training your pooch. YouTube has become a quickly expanding reference for learning to do just about anything and many trainers are taking advantage of this tool. If you search for dog training videos, make sure to watch only those videos pertaining to reputable trainers you know and trust. Keep in mind that everyone and anyone can upload a video on how to train a dog but not everyone can train a dog the right way. Ask your trainer or behaviorist for recommendations.
Just remember with any training program, you are responsible for putting your new found knowledge to work so make sure you take the tools from the class or video and use them! In any kind of training, you are your pooch’s key to success so make sure to practice often and stay consistent! And there is no subsitute for a the advice of a behaviorist if you are dealing with severe behavioral issues. If money is an issue, be honest and up front so they can help you to the best of their ability.
For San Diego residents, The Collared Scholar’s Animal Rescue Outreach Center offers low cost training workshops and seminars on topics such as housebreaking, excessive barking, separation anxiety, teaching new commands and much more. Located in Poway, this center offers a great resource for dog owners who have the time to commit to training but want to save some money!