Here’s Episode 105 – Thrifty Pets:
Ideas for saving money while still taking great care of your pets.
Click below to play.
Check out these topics mentioned in the podcast:
- Alex the African Grey Parrot
- DIY Litterbox
- Flea & Tick Product Safety
- Plastic T-Shirt Bags
- Buddy Wash Shampoo
- Thrift Store Finds
- DIY Cat Bed From Sweater
(Full disclosure: We do have some Costco stock. In our vast, vast holdings. Oh yeah!)
Update April 19, 2011: I’ve recently gotten a few questions about this post, so I thought I’d repost it for those of you who may have missed it. This is such a great idea for an Earth Day project! Let me know if you make one yourself.
Last week I wrote about an environmentally friendly way to dispose of your dog’s poop using a waste digester—the Doggie Dooley or the Staywell Eco Clean. They work like a miniature septic tank. They can also cost a pretty penny and depending on how many dogs you have, may not be able to handle all your poop problems.
Happily you can make your own pet waste digester for dirt cheap. You’ll need:
- a large plastic garbage can with a lid hat fits tightly
- a drill to make holes in the side of the can
- something to cut the bottom out of the can
- a shovel
- a hole dug with that shovel
- gravel or small rocks
- septic tank enzyme available at hardware stores (Septonic, Septo-Bac, Roebic Septic Treatment, Drain Out, Rid-X)
Don’t locate your waste digester anywhere near edible plants. And don’t put one of these too close to water, like a river bank, or anywhere where the water table is high. Waste digesters won’t work properly in very clayey soil and digestive activity stops below 40°F, but picks up again when the weather warms up. If you live in a cool area, try to locate your digester in a sunnier part of your yard. Also, too much chlorine in the water you add to the digester may slow digestive activity.
Check out the detailed slide show for a DIY waste digester and make your own.
The video tells you how it works and how to maintain you DIY Doggie Dooley.
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.
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.