Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Barkonomics Gets a High 5
from All Things Dog Blog

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
(c) DogTipper.com
As I fly home from an overseas vacation, my thoughts are naturally turning to saving money in the New Year. With that thought in mind, I packed my autographed copy of Barkonomics in my carry on and enjoyed a useful read on my trip home.

I've learned so many new strategies for saving money that my new biggest question to myself is how to convey it to you. Since it is not possible to share it all, I'll highlight a few of my favorite sections and specific tips. If you, like most Americans, would like to find new ways to save money on your pet care, we recommend you pick up your own copy at Dogtipper.com or through our Amazon ad at the bottom of this post. It's well worth the very reasonable price tag.

A while back I got an idea for a homemade tug toy from another dog owner in agility class. Paris and John offered another one that is faster and easier than my earlier one, even if not as colorful. Dogs love the noise that water bottles make when squeezed; by placing a capless water bottle in an athletic sock you make the bottle safer, while also being easy to replace.

My favorite idea in the whole book was an incredibly simple one--reflavoring a bag of dog food to make it more palatable, so you don't end up pitching it when Fido doesn't like it. This can be accomplished so many ways--by mixing foods or adding a small amount of kitchen leftovers to a bowl--broth, veggies, meat scraps from last night's dinner or a few shavings of cheese. Even a dollop of canned dog food or peanut butter will change the flavor of a dog food that your dog just can't get excited about. I found that stirring it in well made this super-flavoring technique even more effective.

Another favorite tip was the info on an online vet med resource at Merckvetmanual.com. This is an amazing resource--almost as good as our own Dr. Pat!

Barkonomics recommends looking into titer testing, as did Dr. Pat in a recent post, to minimize vaccinations. I can tell you from personal experience that you may have to shop around; prices for this service vary considerably, so take time to do your homework. In addition to this money saving tip, another budget minded idea was seeking teaching hospitals that offer low cost care.

The editors of Barkonomics have tons of ideas to get help with paying for medical costs through assistance plans and insurance, for those who qualify. If you are a senior citizen on a fixed income, or are in a lower income bracket, the tips in these sections will have you singing all the way to the bank, as you realize your savings quickly.

Finally, I was pleased as punch to see that Paris and John were thorough enough to include some tips of a more proactive nature, to prevent accidents, dog attacks, poisonings and more. They even recommended one of my favorite methods--using green cleaners that don't leave toxic residues on your floors that pets end up licking off their feet. The same goes for pest control and lawn care. If you have a natural option, give it a shot. You'll be investing in your own health, as well as Fido's. 

Need an additional reason to pick up this budget-fixing book? Twenty percent of the book's proceeds are to be donated to pet non-profits. You'll be helping rescue animals and other pet charities when you fork over your ten bucks; it's a feel good thing to do, for sure!

Without regurgitating the entire book, I've tried to give you a sneak peek into some tips you may find useful. The book includes hundreds more. Yup, so don't wait. Pick up your copy now and let the savings begin!

Tanner seems quite thrilled about this information. He's got it in his head that because I'm saving more on his dog stuff, I should be feeding him more, and buy more toys. You can read his commentary at 5 Minutes for Fido, where my dogs blog. I think he needs a lesson in economics from Paris over at Dogtipper. Help!

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L7 said...

Good Informative blog thanks for share..

Dog Walker Los Angeles

Kristine said...

Thanks for reviewing this book. These days who isn't looking for a way to save cash? I know I spend more on my dog than anyone or anything else. It's just how we roll. So if I can find a way to be more creative, my bank account would probably appreciate it!

Dawn said...

I like Tanner's perspective. It sounds like something Sephi would think - especially the food part!

katie said...

Roxy and Molly would think like Tanner, Molly would think more food, and Roxy would be thinking more toys and treats

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