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Please share your top cost saving tips when keeping a hunting dog.

Vet bills are more than expected even for just routine plus two other visits in a year.

What are your top cost saving tips for dogs, I buy feed at IFA, is that the best prices I will find?

Are there better places for buying medications?
 

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I have had hunting dogs for three years and I now own 3 dogs. My dogs have only been to the vet to get their rabies shot and one got neutered. I go to cal ranch or really any animal health store and buy my vaccines. Give puppies the 5 way vaccine at 6 wks and 9 wks then the 7 way at 12 wks and 16 wks. After that give them a 7 way booster in year one and every two or three years after that. I always have a topical wound treatment on hand, I swear by vetericyn and have used it to treat everything from small cuts to full on skin tears the size of a cantaloupe. It is amazing stuff.

I feed the best food possible, I love diamond naturals extreme athlete dog food. It's pricey but my dogs run hard and that is the only way to keep weight on them in the winter. The costco chicken and rice stuff is ok summer feed but their stools are looser and harder to clean up.

Best quality leather collars for the money are from gun dog supply, they even come with a built on name plate.

Dogs don't need huge crates for transportation, medium sized will fit a 50 lbs dog just fine.

I occasionally give my dogs raw beef bones from the butcher, at 40 cents a pound it is a cheap and healthy treat that keeps their teeth clean. Give them the bones frozen to keep bacteria down. Mine will eat the bones before they thaw.

Keep their water fresh, keep their kennels clean, give them a quality dog house with plenty of insulation. Give them tons of exercise, hunt the heck out of them and they are worth every penny. Hunting dogs are like snow mobiles or boats; they are only worth it if you use them thirty days a years, otherwise it's better to rent or pay an outfitter.
 

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Airborne- except my 2 boys spend their evenings inside- I would say we have basically the same thing right down to the food- except one of my boys can not have the Diamond extreme athlete and does very well on the Sams lamb and rice Simply Right Exceed. Others the medication that you can give yourself is your savings and keeping your dog in shape will save you money in vet bills.
 

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Been thinking about this for awhile- except for giving your own shots not sure there are many cost savings. Maybe a dollar here or there- Maybe buying used e-collars or something along that line.
But cutting corners on items that are critical to the well being of the animal is foolish and costly in the end game. I want the best athlete on the field in the game I'm playing and that means providing them with quality food- good training. exercise and medical attention if needed.
Over the years you learn what you can do effectively and don't have to see a vet though I hope I don't have to use that surgical staple gun again.
 
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