Hi all, I've been struggling with veterinary issues for a while and I've finally had enough and I really need some help! My fiance and I have 3 dogs which we had signed up for Banfield wellnes plans for since we got them (fyi-BAD IDEA). Well, now that we know better we decided to cancel our wellness plans and look for something else. The problem is, we haven't found a single thing we like; and I've searched high and low. Ultimately, paying $75+ per dog per month is not something we can really afford. Lately, our budget has been tightened dramatically so we had to switch our dogs over from royal canin ($40) to kirkland adult lamb&rice (about $25 at costco) and we had to stop using advantix. Not to mention less treats for the dogs!
Then, due to a family emergency, we had to move in temporarily with my fiance's brother who has 3 dogs of his own (all of our dogs and his are adopted, btw). SO now we have 6 dogs in one small house and I am worried about fleas, vaccines, worms and general health. I am comfortable with feeding them kirkland's food but I hate using drugstore flea medicine and the thought of having to take all 6 dogs to the vet makes my wallet run and hide.
I know that many people vet their own dogs and I was hoping to get some good advice and tips. I am capable enough to administer routine shots, etc; and I want to buy vaccines and flea treatments in bulk. I don't know where or how as of yet. I really don't want to have to give up any of our dogs so we need to pinch our pennies wherever we can, any advice or resources will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
I've always thought pet insurance was a big expense for most pet owners. Put what you can in a savings account and don't touch it-add to it every month. My four dogs have had no serious illnesses and thinking of all the money I would have spent on insurance makes me wonder.
Other than that not a lot of advise. I don't give yearly shots so that is not an expense. I don't take the dog in except for heartworm test/pills and if there is an odd bump or something similar.
As far as the food I think kirklands is comparable to royal canin- At least it used to be. I quit feeding the taste of the wild and switched back to kirklands because two of my dogs really didn't do that great on it and it wasn't worth the cost for the other two when they were just fine on the kirklands.
I'm not sure about cheaper flea treatments-I've never tried the mail order places. If it is cold were you are treat the house and dogs a couple times and hopefully you won't have to continue to all winter.
Preventative things are whats going to help you most. with six dogs in the house there is a big potential for a dog fight-even little snaps can cause big damage-especially when you don't have the money for it! So keep everyone separated)your 3 and his 3) and everyone is fixed right? That is the one thing banfileds ins is good for.
If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons -James Thurber
If you want a natural treatment for fleas, I would try diatomaceous earth. It is safe, natural, and is good for use on your pet, on your carpets if you have any, and also out in your yard. There are also herbal treatments for worms as well. You can buy most vaccines at feed stores, but you have to have a vet's prescription, the same if you buy them on line. If your dogs are all full grown, you don't need a whole bunch of vaccinations anyway, of course it's different if you have pups. I would be extremely careful about administering vaccines at home. My personal opinion is that if you are not a breeder, and don't have experience with vaccinating your dog, I would suggest staggering their vet visits, and just take one at a time, or find a vet who will give you a discount for 6 dogs. The Shelters sometimes have vaccination clinics as well, for a lower price than a regular vet visit. They also offer spay/neuter clinics as well. I would cut out all bought treats, and cook or dry some liver,(very cheap) and cut into small pieces, and use that for one treat. Many dogs like carrot sticks, slices of apple, and other veggies and fruit. (no grapes or raisins, they are poisonous to dogs)If you want to, there are various recipes for dog treats you can make yourself, on the net. If you happen to live in a rural area, maybe your husband is a hunter. Wild meat would also be a good food source for the dogs, and cut down on your bought food. If you have any local butcher shops you can get raw meaty bones for the dogs. They are a good food source, and also good for the teeth. I hope all your dogs stay healthy and fit, because that is one area you just can't be thrifty about, unless you can find a vet who will take payments, and there are some out there. Good luck with it all, and I'm sorry you're in a tight spot, as I imagine many people are, by the looks of the economy.