Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wordless Wednesday-Skeptical Small Pet

Rhode Island Red

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 2015 Expenses

It's the end of the month., and I have calculated my expenses for the previous month. Some months the numbers are low, others are a bit much.  Previous posts about expenses can give one an idea about how much it costs to care for three large dogs in the Midwest.

I do these posts for a few reasons.  I have seen a few other bloggers do them, and it is a good way for me to keep track and be accountable for dog related expenses.  Also, it is a fairly accurate example of the costs associated with caring for three large dogs.  Some argue that raw is expensive, but in my opinion and experience, it is no more expensive than feeding a good quality kibble.

March 2015 Expenses



After last month, I am very pleased with this total.  We came in way under budget on food.  I ordered some beef heart, chunks, and green tripe from a supplier.  I purchased some chicken leg quarters at the grocery store, and a small bag of dehydrated I and Love and You raw at the grocery store.  Health expenses was the cost of Bruce's prescription, and of course the treat/toys' total goes to the PetBox.  I still haven't cancelled it, as apparently I have short term memory problems... 

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Rest of the Story

Last week, I posted this photo of Faolan for Wordless Wednesday.

Here's the story behind it.

He was leashed, I just (poorly) edited it out. 

The tree grows sideways, over the creek.

He jumped up there of his own will, and walked out onto it with my encouragement.

It was about a 10 foot drop down.

Getting back down proved a bit trickier for him.

I would never put my dogs in danger.  I am confident in his abilities, and I feel this both boosted his confidence, and was a way of him expressing his trust in me.  He is fun, and both fearful and fearless.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Black & White Sunday

This is Cassie, a sweet, deaf, one year old Siberian Husky.  I drove a transport leg for MUSH-MisUnderstood Siberian Husky Rescue yesterday, and snapped this photo of her just prior to passing her off for the next leg of her journey.  Happy Tails, sweet girl, and best wishes with your new life!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

7 Ways to Save Money on Prescription Medications for Pets

All three of my dogs have taken prescription medication at some point, and big boy Bruce will be on his medication for the rest of his life.  As with humans, prescription medications for dogs can be hard on the wallet.  However, there are ways to save some money on prescription medications for dogs.

Ask for a written prescription
I cannot stress this one enough.  Oftentimes, medications prescribed by veterinarians for dogs are human medications that are available at commercial pharmacies, particularly antibiotics.  Cephalexin  (Keflex) is a frequently prescribed antibiotic for dogs.  Both Neeko and Faolan have taken it for urinary tract infections.  Both times I purchased the antibiotics from the vet.  Both times I paid nearly $40 for a 7-10 course of antibiotics.  Guess what?  It is available at many commercial pharmacies for $4.00.  That is a 90% savings.

Dogs with hypothyroidism are prescribed soloxine, which is levothyroxine for dogs.  The levothyroxine for humans is the exact same medication, and widely available for $4.00 a month. Dogs are prescribed human steroids, such as prednisone. Dogs with congestive heart failure are sometimes prescribed furosemide (Lasix) and enalapril (Vasotech), which are both human medications...

Some dogs with behavioral issues are prescribed fluoxetine.  It's Prozac.  And the generic is cheap at human pharmacies.

If your dog is prescribed a human medication, depending on where you live you are not necessarily obligated to purchase it directly from the vet. 

Call around
So you've been given a written prescription for your dogs medication.  Don't just drop it off at the first pharmacy you see on your way home.  Call different pharmacies in your area, and ask what the cost of the medication is, without insurance.  You will need to know the medication name, dose, frequency (how many pills, and how many times per day) and amount of pills to be dispensed.

Bruce takes amitriptyline, twice a day.  It is the generic for the human drug Elavil.  The price for his medication each month varies from $8.00-$45.00 at three different pharmacies near me.  That is quite a wide range.

There's an app for that
It's called GoodRx.  It produces the same results as calling around, but is much quicker.  It uses your location to find the best prices on prescription medications at pharmacies near you.

Ask for them.  Ask the vet.  Ask the pharmacy.  Contact the drug manufacturer.  There are apps, such as the previously mentioned GoodRx, and Rx Savings! that offer coupons or discounts on many medications.

Veterinary medications
Some medications for dogs have human equivalents that are safe to give, others do not.  Obvious examples are heartworm preventatives and flea medications.  Rimadyl (carprofen) is another common example.  Compare the price at your vet's office to that of online pharmacies, such 1800petmeds or Drs. Foster & Smith.  Ask your vet if they would be willing to fax the prescription there, or sign off on the online pharmacy supplying your pet's medication.  Ask about coupons, rebate offers, or consider contacting the manufacturer directly.

Pill Splitting
If your pet is taking a medication twice a day or more frequently, ask the vet about splitting the pills.  Sometimes a higher dosage of a medication is the same price for the same amount of pills, and some medications are made to be safely cut in half.

For example, the cost for 30 tablets of a drug at 50 mg may be the same as the cost of 30 tablets of the same drug at 25 mg. If the medication is scored, and safe to be split in two, you could get double the amount of medication by asking your vet to write the prescription for the higher dose.

If all else fails
If you have exhausted all possible resources, and cannot afford a medication for your pet, you can ask the vet about equivalents or alternatives.  Sometimes different medications in the same class of drugs produce the same effect, but for a cheaper cost.

For example, enalapril is sometimes prescribed for dogs with heart problems.  Lisinopril is a medication is the same family of drugs that is also sometimes prescribed for dogs.  Lisinopril can be up to 60% less expensive, depending on location and pharmacy used.

For most, having a pet on prescription medication should not equate draining your bank account.  Be open with your vet, explain your desire to find a lower cost.  They should be willing to help and accommodate you.  If not, maybe it is time to shop around for a new vet.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Yeti Golden Nuggets Review

I am doing this post for two reasons-
        1.  We received some Yeti Golden Nuggets in our March BarkBox, and I am really a fan.
        2.  I am getting quite a bit of traffic from people searching for this term.

The original pieces.
Yeti Golden Nuggets are small pieces of Yeti Dog Chews.  Yeti Dog Chews are a long-lasting dog treat made from yak milk.  They are basically a very hard cheese. I have purchased them in the past, and out of curiosity (and for kicks and giggles) I licked one a few times prior to offering it to a dog.  It pretty much tasted like Parmesan.

The Golden Nuggets are smallish (approximately 1.5" cubes) pieces of the chews.  They are meant to be microwaved, which puffs them up into fairly substantial sized treats.  After microwaving for 60-90 seconds, they are crispy, easily consumed treats.

Yeti Golden Nuggets
After microwaving.
I initially microwaved them, on a microwave-safe plate, for 60 seconds, then decided to do another 30 seconds, per package instructions.  They had a very nice, cheesy smell whilst being nuked.  I then set them outside for several minutes (maybe 20?) to cool, prior to offering them to my crew.

The princess, checking it out.

Gimme that treat!

Oh Bruce...
These proved very successful with all three dogs.  They are a "natural", limited ingredient treat that I feel good about giving to them.  It is also a great way to use up a standard Yeti Dog Chew that has been well chewed, and is too small to safely offer the dog for fear of choking.  I will likely purchase more of these in the future.