Out here in the country, life revolves a little differently than it does in the city. We put hard, long hours into making our homestead a self sufficient haven for our families. Homestead Hints will be a series following things that we’ve learned over the last several years on how to make our homestead living a little better. Welcome to the Little Homestead on the Prairie…
Even though we only live about 10 miles from our vet we just don’t get there very often. It’s an extra trip to town and you can’t really do anything else because then you have the animals with you. Growing up I learned that there is alot of “vet work” that you can do on your own, no special skills required! There are some shots and meds that you cannot get in the store however so it’s not a “fix-all” type of solution but it might save you some trips to town.
1. Get the basic 3 in 1 shots at your local farm store. In most farm stores (Ours is Runnings) there is a small refridgerator located somewhere in the store. It contains quite a few different shots and meds. One of those meds is a 3 in 1 shot that you give to cats when they are little and then once every few years. You can pick one up for only around $5. It’s not as hard as you think it is to administer a shot either, escpecially on a cat. Make sure you put on gloves and you have a helper that also is wearing gloves. Have your helper hold the cat, then pull up the loose skin around the back of the cats neck and stick the shot in. Make sure you read any other instructions on the shot also when you get it. (I think it might have to be a certain temperature before administered.)
2. Don’t pay to take the animal to the vet when they have worms. They are easy to treat at home. But don’t by the medicine that you see in Walmart or various other retailers. Those meds are usually for heartworm or roundworm. You need to get a med for tapeworm. 1-800-PetMeds sells tapeworm meds for Cats and Dogs. (And you can even get $5 off your order when you enter the coupon code WEBC5) You will end up paying around $8 – $9 per pill, however it only takes one pill to treat them and they do work. If you have a good calm kitty you can get them to swallow the pill by opening their mouth and placing it it the back, then just stroke the kitty’s throat until she swallows. If she won’t do that, we use wet canned cat food as a treat and grind up the pill in her food. It will still work the same. Either method will also work on dogs as well.
3. Flea and tick care. You could spend a fortune on flea and tick meds when the season rolls out, or shop smart and watch for clearance in the fall. I rarely pay more than $1 for a flea and tick collar and last year I found a whole bunch of the month long flea and tick liquid care for $0.99 per box (which had 3 months worth of treatments!) Watch your local surplus stores, Walgreens, or retail stores for clearance. Personally we’ve also found that even if the product is slightly out of date, it still works just fine.
Those are just a few ways to treat basic pet problems at home. Remember I’m not a vet, these are just ways that we’ve tried and they work for us. Our pets still get the care they need and we save money and time by doing it ourselves.
Looking for more money saving pet tips?
What do you do for your pets at home that you might otherwise have to take them to the vet?