Someone asked me recently if I actually use the things I post about in my blog and the answer is absolutely, yes! The things I post come from personal experience and research. I would never recommend doing or trying something that I wouldn't or haven't done to or for my own fur kids.
In an earlier post I highlighted some cost effective ways to prevent or get rid of fleas and one of those suggestions was Dawn dish soap.
There's a reason why Dawn always seems to have a picture of a baby duckling or other cuddly critter on their packaging; it's an AWESOME alternative to get rid of fleas and it's safe for even the most delicate surfaces. Not to mention it can also be used to remove grease or oil.
*It HAS to be brand name Dawn not a generic.*
This past Thanksgiving Tim and I were blessed with a teeny, tiny little ball of orange fluff. She was taken from a hoarders home and brought to our house on the Friday after Thanksgiving. My husband was at "deer camp," so flea duty was solely on my shoulders. She was much too tiny for traditional flea repellent and was most certainly, undoubtedly infested with the little buggers.
Besides being annoying and irritating, fleas can be dangerous for numerous reasons but anemia is a real concern, especially for kittens and puppies.
Having four dogs and two cats, bringing her inside to start the flea removal process was not an option, so we spent the night in the garage; her, being bathed with Dawn every few hours, combed and picked at with tweezers and me getting scratched and bitten to smithereens.
I set her up in an old dog crate stuffed with warm blankets, a carrier for hiding and of course food and water. I set my alarm for every 3 hours and give her another bath/combing/picking. By the end of the night both her and I were exhausted, but the flea comb was coming up empty and I wasn't seeing any flea dirt.
A quick dusting of Diatomaceous Earth (also discussed in my previous post) as a precaution and she was ready to venture into the house and meet her fur siblings.
The adventure of removing fleas off a barely 4 week old kitten was over, but the mess left to clean up was enormous. Not only had I succeeded at getting rid of Pumpkin's fleas, but I also was successful in creating a rather large pile of soiled blankets, towels and clothes... yes, clothes; I had to strip down outside each time I came back into the house to ensure I didn't track any fleas or eggs into the house. I also showered before sitting on furniture or going back to bed. It was a process, one I hope to never have to repeat (but I would if I had to).
After some debating I decided to just toss all the dirty blankets and towels. I could have drenched them with the garden hose and soaked them in Dawn, but with so many fur kids in the house, and knowing how difficult it can be to get rid of a flea infestation once it takes hold, I decided it wasn't worth the risk. As it was, everyone was going to get a coating of Diatomaceous Earth just to air on the side of caution.
Some may call me cheap, others frugal and some may think of me as thrifty. I am always looking for ways to save a dime or pinch a penny. The spender in this dynamic duo is most certainly my husband. I’ll stress and second guess a $20 purchase where he’ll leave home to run an errand in a Grand Cherokee and come home in a sky blue Mustang (true story).
Having (4) dogs and (3) cats could be a constant drain on income. Vet care, food (especially when you have fur kids with food sensitivities and special needs), toys, etc. can all lead to thousands of dollars a year spent keeping your fur kids happy and healthy. Thankfully, through my experience with rescue and my constant need to research and find ways to save I have stumbled upon a few really neat and handy ways to reuse and re-purpose household supplies into dog toys, clothes and edible treats!
Read on for cute and fun ways to keep your bank accounts full and your fur kids happy!
Water Bottle Sock Toy
Water bottle dog toys are all the rage now. Dogs love the noise and can spend hours driving you crazy with constant crinkling and popping. Not only is it stimulating for their knoggins but the fabric can help to clean their pearly whites! Problem is, they can be upwards of $15 in the store! Craziness!
What you will need:
*An empty water bottle - be sure to remove the lid
*An old sock (the thicker the better)
*Some ribbon or thread.
You can find cheap socks, the thread and scissors at your local Dollar Store or Dollar General!
What you'll need to do to:
Place the empty water bottle into the sock. Center it half way between the end of the sock and the opening. Use the thread and scissors to tie off the ends, it should look like a wrapped gift. If you want, you can even cut the edges to make them more frilly. Now you won't feel so bad if Fido spend 15 minutes ripping it apart. It took mere seconds to make and didn't break the bank!
Easy Peasy Doggy Sweater!
For those furkids who aren't so gung-ho with the cooler temps or snow this is a great post for an easy sweater using an old hooman sweater!
click HERE for the link courtesy of resweater.blogspot.com!
T-Shirt Tug/Toss Toy
Two of your pups favorite toys rolled into one. Find the quick and easy directions HERE courtesy of www.sheknows.com!
Old Sweater into a Dog Bed!
You will need:
*Needle and thread
*Bed pillow or couch pillow depending on the size of your sweater and dog/cat
*Polyfill or other stuffing like old fabric scraps (cut an old t-shirt into strips)
How to make the bed
1. Stuff sleeves and shoulder/collar area of sweatshirt (you might need to put in a few stitches(doesn't have to be pretty) to create a "pocket" in the body of the shirt.
2. Insert pillow through bottom of shirt.
3. Stitch sleeve ends together.
4. use an old sock neck to stitch the two sleeve ends together
Homemade, Non-Toxic Chicken Jerky
There have been a lot of recalls on not only dog food but dog treats as well. Making your own treats is one way to ensure your dogs are getting healthy and non-toxic treats!
Here's is the link to these delicious and easy Chicken Jerky strips.
Braided Rope Toys
These are super easy to make and believe it or not they are really durable!
What you will need:
*Old t-shirt or jeans (jeans hold up a bit longer & are a little more durable) You can also use old fleece from a ripped blanket or left over fabric.
*The ability to braid and tie knots!
How to make the rope toy:
Cut the t-shirt or jeans into long strips. Place (3) strips together and tie a basic knot close to the top.
You can either hold the group between your knees and braid towards you or I have been known to use my kitchen drawers to hold the group while I braid. Once you've reached the end tie another basic knot. For thicker braids use more than just (1) strip of fabric per braiding strand. You can tie two braided toys together to make a 4 way tug or leave them as single strips.
I know many of you probably have your own ideas and tricks for inexpensive toys and treats for your fur kids, I'd love to hear/see them!
With over 10 years of experience through ownership and rescue work, I hope to share my knowledge and insight to happier, healthier fur kids. Have a question, feel free to ask!