Do-it-Yourself Pet Meds and More Reader Tips

I love to read my mail because so much of it contains great ideas and tips from my awesome EC readers. Take a look at this small sampling and tell me if this just doesn’t make you happy, too!

DIY pet meds. Trips to the veterinarian for puppy and booster shots can be very expensive. Most reliable pet stores and grooming shops sell the medications and offer instructions so you can inject your pets at home. It is easy and cheap. You can find instructional videos online that will teach you exactly how to inject your pet. Veterinarians in my area charge from $25 to $45 for each injection. The same shots from the same manufacturers purchased from grooming shops or pet stores can be more like $5 to $10 each. It is legal in most states to administer these medications to your pet. Be sure to check yours. Tracey H.

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Travel light and save. It may sound like mission impossible but if you learn to travel light with only your carry-on you will save a tremendous amount of time and money. You can ride the bus instead of hiring a cab. You won’t have to tip porters to carry all your suitcases. And if your flight is overbooked, you can volunteer to get bumped (you’ll get a voucher for a free ticket), and not worry about whether you will ever catch up with your checked luggage. Joe D.

Forget the dump method. Thankfully at my house we all help with the laundry. However I noticed that my boys used way too much detergent, filling the plastic cup enclosed in the box to overflowing. I read the box to determine the amount of detergent recommended, and noted that their plastic cup held almost twice that amount! When filled to overflowing the box would hardly wash half the number of loads indicated on the box. I replaced their cup with my own 1/3 cup dry measuring cup and now we get twice as many loads per box of detergent as before. Pat W.

Turn the hanger around. When hanging suit jackets or blazers on a commercial wooden hanger that has a curved shape, place the hanger backwards with the curved side toward you. Then hang the suit jacket or blazer facing you. Placing the hanger backwards keeps the shape of the shoulders in a sturdier tighter position and that means fewer professional pressings required. Judy G. 

Tennie tune-up. I have a 2-year-old daughter who is very hard on tennis shoes. Whenever her shoes start looking a little ragged I use 1 tablespoon of Soft Scrub cleaner on a clean smooth rag and wipe the scuff marks, chewing gum, play dough and dirt from the smooth parts of shoes. (This also works well for white cloth shoes, but not colored shoes because there is a small amount of bleach in the Soft Scrub.) I add a new pair of shoelaces and that extends the useful life of her shoes I might otherwise have discarded because they looked so shabby. Sharai K.

Quick fix for static cling. In the winter season static cling is always a problem. Keep a dryer sheet in your purse (half a sheet is plenty). When your hair gets static cling lightly stroke the ends of your hair with the dryer sheet. No more cling! Works great for skirts and trousers too. Simple run that sheet across your legs and the problem will be solved. One sheet lasts for many uses, it also smells great! Nancy M.

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12 replies
  1. jan jones
    jan jones says:

    Another way to save on pet meds is with the flea medicine such as Frontline. You can buy the medicine size for extra large dogs, then get yourself a syringe (without needle) and draw up the recommended amount for your smaller dogs. There are charts online that tell how much to put on your dog, by weight. This saves money because the smaller dog packets are a lot more expensive per “serving” than the ones for large dogs. You will have enough for several months. Just place the leftover medicine in a small container (I use an old pill bottle with screw top lid that is spillproof). Also,you can use the one for dogs for cats as well on some brands, Just check to make sure the one you use is compatible with cats. The ones that include tick medicine are toxic to cats.

    Reply
    • blessedmomat42
      blessedmomat42 says:

      I also am a Licensed Veterinary Technician and there is one other problems with vaccinating you own pet that owners should be aware of. Cats can develop Lymphsacomas from vaccines. This is a very aggressive type of cancer. The proper placement of the vaccine is very important. The videos on line show the shoulder area. Veterinarians no longer vaccinate in that area since you can’t remove the entire tumor if it develops. It has to be in area that can be amputated if a tumor develops. While I will agree that you can save money on the vaccines, you really have to know the brands of vaccines. At some Vet hospitals you can purchase the vaccine and give it yourself. The vaccines you get at the Veterinarian are researched and known to produce high titers to develop immunity. Not all vaccines are the same! It’s definitely not a money issue here. It’s more about being educated on what is good and what is not. You may save a little on the vaccine, but if it’s not good quality or given improperly or stored improperly you can spend much more money trying to save you pets life.

      Reply
  2. Cyndi
    Cyndi says:

    Be careful about doing your own vaccines. 1. It is almost universally required that a vet administer a rabies vaccine (or under a vet’s supervision). This is to protect the human population from a very deadly disease. Doing your own rabies vaccine will not stand up legally. 2. I have seen (as a vet) improperly stored vaccines administered to pets by their owners. The result is that the vaccine is ineffective causing a disease that takes hundreds to thousands of dollars to treat (usually parvo or lepto). Not much savings there.

    Reply
  3. Gellen
    Gellen says:

    Since I work in a vet clinic – I see lots of folks that want to DIY and all the problems that entails. An exam from a veterinarian is ciritical for new puppies – hernias, parvo, dew claws, ear/skin/heart problems etc etc that are not discovered early. And RABIES can only be given by a vet!! The products at local stores are often NOT the same quality as from the vet – and a waste of $ and time!! In fact the last person that came in for Heartworm medicine – it was MORE expensive at PetMed than our price!! ha!! Get to know your local vet – he/she cares for you and your pet!!

    Reply
  4. oma june
    oma june says:

    If you have a dog from a breed know for skin allergies and accompanying paw=licking, scratching, diariha etc. like a West Highland Terrier, and have tried all sorts of different food and expensive vet treatments & medications, go to the CA Westie rescue site and read about the “Westie Diet”. You will have to puy supplements and cook hamburger to mix up food for one day at a time, but the results are short of miraculous.
    PS some of these DIY shot suggestions make me want more expert information. Like from a reputable cat or dog breeder who already gives shots to their own animals. And the last person to ask is someone who works at a vet clinic- sorry, but they are running a competitive business with a bottom line and interested in making a profit from each & every patient.
    I know, I can hear the responses already…
    Realistic, but loving owner of rescued cats & dogs for over 50 years.

    Reply
    • cyndi
      cyndi says:

      so, a breeder isn’t trying to make money? seriously? breeders don’t have the training they think they do, and they ARE in the business to make money. go to a vet. they are trained and not in it just for the money. if they were, believe me, they’d be doing something else.

      Reply
  5. Peggy Sheffer
    Peggy Sheffer says:

    Honestly, I can’t believe you published a post advising people to give their pets shots. You are not a veterinarian and shouldn’t be advising ways to cut necessary veterinary costs. Veterinary examinations are extremely important for the health of your pets. Further, purchasing medicines from a store or groomer will not guarantee that those meds are even viable. You cannot know if personnel stored the medicine correctly, how long it sat in a warehouse before it made it to a fridge, etc. Further, if people do not correctly administer a shot, they could seriously injure or kill their pets. And finally, if breeders can’t afford to take care of their litters safely and appropriately by a licensed veterinarian, they shouldn’t be breeding! Yikes.

    Reply
  6. blessedmomat42
    blessedmomat42 says:

    I also am a Licensed Veterinary Technician and there is one other problems with vaccinating you own pet that owners should be aware of. Cats can develop Lymphsacomas from vaccines. This is a very aggressive type of cancer. The proper placement of the vaccine is very important. The videos on line show the shoulder area. Veterinarians no longer vaccinate in that area since you can’t remove the entire tumor if it develops. It has to be in area that can be amputated if a tumor develops. While I will agree that you can save money on the vaccines you really have to know the brands of vaccines. At some Vet hospitals you can purchase the vaccine and give it yourself. The vaccines you get at the Veterinarian are researched and known to produce high titers to develop immunity. Not all vaccines are the same! It’s definitely not a money issue here. It’s more about being educated on what is good and what is not. You may save a little on the vaccine, but if it’s not good quality or given improperly or stored improperly you can spend much more money trying to save you pets life.

    Reply
  7. Linda
    Linda says:

    The money you are paying to a veterinarian isn’t just for a vaccine- it’s for a health exam too. I can’t tell you how many times people have brought their pets in to our clinic with a life threatening disease because they have been giving their vaccines at home and “well he looked healthy to me”. Plus, pets often have vaccine reactions and certain vaccines are not usually given to some pets. Do you want to take a chance with your pet’s life? Would the average pet owner know what to give and the proper placement? Would you vaccinate your child at home? Please stick to tips that are beneficial and not dangerous!

    Reply

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