We have a new baby! After discussing getting a dog for literally years, we suddenly found a litter of puppies we liked and went for it. So, meet Archie the Shoestring puppy, a champagne coloured cocker poo. He is a blonde bombshell and totally adorable!
He is also a little naughty and prone to nipping your fingers and toes. He even made a hole in my slipper whilst I was wearing it! We are going to need to seriously puppy proof our house to stop our new arrival chewing it up.
We decided on a puppy rather than a rescue dog finally, because we thought something small would be easier for our two cats to cope with.
So far one of them, Lola, has been pretty cool, watching him with some curiosity but from a safe height.
Dora, on the other hand, is very put out. She is terrified of him and does her best puffed up hissing lunatic cat pose whenever she sees him. However, she is getting slightly better. We are letting things take their course. Hopefully, she will adjust in time.
Not very frugal
As I said on Instagram, a new puppy cannot be described as one of this week’s five frugal things!
However, we are taking steps to keep costs down where we can. I won’t scrimp too much with our animals, though. They are beloved members of the family, which means regular worming, flea treatments, vaccinations, pet insurance and decent quality food.
These all come at a cost, of course, but if you take on the responsibility of a pet you need to make sure you can afford to do it properly.
Having said that, here are some things we have done to save some pennies on our Shoestring puppy.
Mr S got a free puppy crate from a friend a while back so that is cleaned and ready. He hasn’t had to go in it for very long yet. Just as well, as he yaps a lot when he is in it.
We need a stair gate and think we will get this from a family member (he has to work through his garage to see if he can find it!). If not, I will be looking on Facebook Marketplace or Freecycle.
2# Cheaper vet costs
We have also heard about a pop up vet that comes to a supermarket car park twice a week and is half the price of a standard vet. I am going to try to book him in for his next lot of vaccinations there.
We use the vet within Pets at Home for the cats, who are pretty reasonable and open long hours. This was useful when I worked full time, but isn’t so essential now that I work from home.
3# Shoestring puppy supplies
We went to B&M for a dog bed and some puppy chewy toys. They are good value and much cheaper than a pet shop.
The first lot of food came from the Coop as they didn’t have anything suitable for a puppy in B&M. Looking around, it seems that supermarkets and places like Home Bargains are the best places to get decent dog food at a reasonable price. That’s where we get the car food from anyway.
4# Cleaning up
I have cut up an old towel to wipe up the many little accidents that Archie is having. These are also good to wipe his paws when he comes in from the patio.
We are taking him out often as part of his toilet training. It’s been very hit and miss so far, but it is early days and I know we will get there.
5# Made some lemon cleaner
There were some lemons at the back of the fridge looking a bit sad. I decided to use them so I started a new batch of my lemon cleaning spray. It is really easy to make and cleans all the surfaces and even glass.
I use vinegar based cleaning products a lot. However, having the puppy and his frequent weeing and occasionally pooing on the floor made me wonder if the lemon cleaning spray with its base of vinegar will be good enough to kill germs and bacteria.
I have been reading up on this and came across this article which says that vinegar is effective at killing germs and this one, which says vinegar is effective at neutralising urine smells (along with bicarb of soda). Brilliant!
It’s early days for our new arrival, Archie. As I said earlier, keeping pets doesn’t come cheap. However, if we can save money in some small ways it will all help.
We are loving being puppy parents! Watch this space and I will let you know how we get along.