Podcast Episode 105: Thrifty Pets

Here’s Episode 105 – Thrifty Pets:

Ideas for saving money while still taking great care of your pets.

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Check out these topics mentioned in the podcast:

(Full disclosure:  We do have some Costco stock.  In our vast, vast holdings.  Oh yeah!)

DIY: Bed Crocheted From Sweaters Strips

Before you get rid those out-of-style sweaters you’ve been holding onto, consider making them into a snuggly bed for your pet.  One way is to make a pet bed by crocheting strips of old sweaters. Pick colors that look good together—that awful 1980’s mustard yellow should probably be avoided.  Visit a thrift store if you’re short on old sweaters.  Or if you only have ones that are mustard yellow.  No really.

DIY: Cardigan Dog Coat

After a little stutter of snow yesterday, it’s actually snowing with some conviction here in our corner of the Pacific NW.  So here’s a clever project that recycles an old, wool women’s cardigan into a cute coat for a smallish dog. A large men’s sweater would work for at least a mid-sized dog.  Make sure you use a wool sweater, otherwise it won’t felt.  Don’t have an old sweater around?  Get thee to your thrift store and find one for cheap.  Be sure it’s larger than your pup, because it will shrink when you felt it.

Felted knits handle more like fabric and are more durable.  (Here are a few tutorials on felting, in case you need them: this one covers both hand & machine felting, here is a printable one on machine felting, and another on hand felting.)

The tutorial has you fitting the sweater by pinning it while it’s on your dog.  This seems like A Very Bad Idea.  I think a better idea would be to mark the sweater where you have it pinched to take up the excess material.  It might not be as precise, but you also won’t risk poking holes in your dog or yourself, which sounds much more pleasant to me.  If you’re making one for a larger dog, I’d check the length of the sleeves before you cut them off.

So check out the tutorial and don’t miss the video that also shows how to make the cardigan dog coat. It can give you a better idea of how this project works.

Earth Day DIY Round-Up: Rethink, Repurpose, Recraft!

socksweater-copy

We can do more than just Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—we can help the environment and ourselves by “upcycling” things we can no longer reuse.  Plastic grocery bags with too many holes become crinkly stuffing for cat toys.  A sad, old pillow is transformed into a pet bed.  A funky, old candy dish on a pedestal becomes a fancy, raised water bowl.  Try using your imagination before you go out to buy new things for your pets.  You might already have something around the house that will work as well or better than something new.  Save money, help save the planet!

Some of my favorite DIY projects that Rethink, Repurpose, Recraft!

Beds & Furniture:

 

Clothing:

 

Poop:

Thrift Store Finds

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You can save some real money on pet supplies using thrift stores and garage sales.  Remember, don’t getting anything that’s broken or questionable.  Don’t save money at the expense of your pets.    Here are some of things I’ve spotted:

  1. pet crates (This is probably the best bargain you’ll find.  Crates can be pretty pricey ($20-150), but I see them in all sizes pretty regularly at my favorite thrift store.)
  2. bird cages
  3. glass aquariums
  4. ceramic or stainless steel pet bowls
  5. Habitrail components
  6. towels (for baths or bedding)
  7. kitty condos
  8. storage bins with lids (for storing toys or to make your own awesome litterbox)