A variety of common items can be used to keep your pet safe, healthy and comfortable. And best of all, a lot
of them are free or very inexpensive.
A hairbrush with rounded bristles makes a good grooming tool,
especially for short-haired
Potential savings: $5 per brush
* A teaspoonful of SMOOTH peanut butter every couple of weeks works great as a hairball preventative.
* Turn a narrow belt into a cat harness.
Loop it into a figure 8, with the buckle at the bottom of the larger, bottom loop. Place the smaller loop over your cat’s
head and adjust for a snug, comfortable fit. Anchor the middle section, where the straps cross, above her shoulders. Attach
a loop where you can attach a leash later. Loop the open ends down your cat’s sides, and buckle the belt under her belly,
again snugly and comfortable. Trim off excess strap to suit. This device is especially good for large cats.
Potential savings: $10 to $20
* Giving your cat its own scratching post will save a lot of wear on your furniture.
Sisal twine wrapped closely around a piece of 2x4 makes a fun scratching post. Or give your pet a spare piece of carpet
to sharpen his claws instead of your couch.
Potential savings: $15 for a scratching toy to $800 for a new couch
* Two plastic laundry baskets, one upside down and tied to the rim of the other, make a good temporary cat crate
for a trip to the vet.
Potential savings: $40 for a crate and not having to find a place to store it between uses
* Cat litter alternatives - Newspaper cut into ¼ inch strips, sand or wood pellets can be used. Or try
ground corn or fine sawdust. Mix in baking soda to keep odours down.
* Growing a pot with catnip, sprouting oats or cereal grass will give your cat something of her own to nibble without
destroying your other plants.
Catnip is also a natural insect repellent, with its juice proven many more times effective than DEET for warding off bugs.
Placing a pot of the plant in your favourite outdoor seating areas will go a long way to helping keep your patio mosquito-free.
* Make inexpensive dog beds from blankets, sleeping bags, chair cushions or carpet remnants.
One of the most important features is to give your dog a corner of his own to relax.
Potential savings: $20 to $200 for fancier dog beds
* Choose play toys for your dog that cannot fit entirely in his mouth.
An excited dog can easily swallow a tennis ball or a fragment of a stick in the excitement of a game of fetch, potentially
causing him to choke. Sturdy rope toys, Frisbees or partially inflated soccer or basketballs are great alternatives.
* Your child’s outgrown teething rings make good chew toys for puppies.
Potential savings: $5 per item
* Recycle a sweatshirt into some welcome cold weather dog clothing
by cutting the sleeves off and widening the collar so it easily slips over his head. Your dog will welcome the extra protection
on your morning or evening walks.
Potential savings: $5 to $40
* Some dogs enjoy fresh carrots as snacks. They are a refreshing, inexpensive way to help clean his
teeth and get necessary vitamins. Make sure to supervise him while he chomps away to ensure he doesn't choke on a large piece
in his excitement.
* A hairbrush with round tip bristles makes a good grooming tool, especially for short-haired pets.
Potential savings: $5 to $10
Old kitchen and bathroom towels, washcloths, saddle pads and wraps make good rags and towels for around the barn.
Empty condiment and spray bottles make great containers for hoof creams, lotions, soaps, and sprays.
Paper feed bags can be used as garbage bags, as poultice wraps, to soak up spills, or they can be shredded and added
Damaged buckets can become storage containers, trash bins, or grooming buckets.
A broom handle can be recruited to become a sturdy blanket rack.
Consider using vegetable oil rather than Showsheen on your horse's coat.
Palmolive dish detergent is a gentle alternative to shampoo.