6 December, 2011
Pets can Shoestring, too!
As budgets tighten, pet owners have had to face the harsh reality that our furry friends are also an additional drain on the wallet. Gone are the days when canines take what they can get from dinner’s leftovers: as they’ve gained status as members of the family, many pet owners go to great expense finding them just the right food and care. On the extreme end, I see otherwise frugal families send enormous amounts of dough on grooming appointments, puppysitters, specialized toys, and often better healthcare than they offer their children. The truth is, keeping pets is expensive, and comes with grave responsibility to protect and nurture our non-human dependents.
But there are many ways to keep the bills at bay. Treats, for instance, may seem like a small thing, but if I weren’t paying attention, I could easily spend $10 a week on snacks for my single 23-pound pug, Schmuggles. But with a little experimentation, you can significantly reduce your treat budget while providing healthy, delicious snacks for your pooch, with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. (They also make very special gifts for the pet lovers in your life!)
These earthy little bites of love are full of herbs to help keep my 11-year-old buddy in good shape, and it’s no concession — he loves his custom cookies so much that he’ll drop other enticements to careen around the corner if he hears the sound of the biscuit tin opening. (Just for the record, the same tin doesn’t get the same response when it’s filled with store-bought treats. Of course, Schmuggles has an exceptionally well-tuned palate.)
Starting with the excellent recipe for Fresh Breath Dog Cookies we found online, we’ve adapted it to his particular needs by adding a few extra ingredients. The end result is a custom cookie for about half the price and twice the joy over what’s available in stores. Our daily morning ritual of Vulture Puppy on the Pillow is much more pleasant, too, where he acts as the best alarm clock available by sitting by my head and breathing directly into my face until I feed him… it’s very effective!
Click here for our recipe. Enjoy!