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By the author of What School Should Have Taught You
We’ve been talking a bit of late here about how a 3D printer can really be a fun, Frugalite-friendly means of printing out gifts for family members at Christmas time. But a 3D printer can do so much more than just print out cool toys for kids. They can also save you a bit of money on your pets. Need proof? Here are a few 3D prints for your pets that will help you to save a couple of bucks.
Let’s say you either have a dog with no hind legs, or he recently had one of his hind legs get injured. You could easily print out a wheelchair for him. There are a number of designs for these available at Thingiverse, but here’s one that would work pretty well with the little guys.
You strap it up to him similarly to the way a horse would be strapped to a carriage, and he’s good to go.
Poop bags are the things that everybody with a pet needs, but nobody ever has. If you routinely find yourself taking Leonardo (only fancy dog names around here, please) on walks but are tired of having to figure out what to do with the big ol’ dump he just did on the sidewalk when you were looking at your phone (I normally just put it in my pocket), here’s a handy way to make sure that you always have poop bags at the ready.
This would be a great toy for cats. Like most cat toys, this is just something that’s fun for them to slap around as they try to get the wobbly little ball that seems like it’s always just out of reach. I will give the caution that I don’t think it’s a good idea to make 3D print toys for dogs, though.
Dogs chew, and I can easily see how this could end up being a choking hazard for a dog. Some cats chew too, but overall, it’s not as large of an issue as it is for dogs. Let that be a general caution when printing. Don’t give your animal something it could eat/choke on.
That all being said, there are different types of filaments with different purposes, and you may be able to find one out there that you’re more comfortable using for a cat toy rather than PLA or PETG.
Cleaning up after cats absolutely sucks, but you can save yourself a bit of money by printing what you’ll need rather than going to the store and buying it. Here’s a cat litter shovel that will help you to remove the poop while leaving the litter in the box and the dough in your wallet.
If your dog keeps eating all your cat’s food, this may be an idea worth considering. Personally, my dog would probably eat this whole thing, so I will add the caveat that you need to be careful of something that your dog could chew on. If your dog is well-behaved and isn’t a chewer, this may be a good idea.
The way it works is by giving little gaps that cats can get their paws in to remove food from but that dogs cannot. It’s a pretty ingenious idea, I think, and you can get a glimpse of the whole print in action here.
It always amazes me how much pet stores can get away with charging for additions to a reptile cage. Fake logs, trees, stumps, and rocks are all plastered with exorbitant prices at the pet store. So why not print your own? If you have a pet lizard, snake, or frog, here’s an inexpensive way to add a fake log to their exhibit.
I think this would likely be best for cats. You screw a 2L bottle full of water onto this thing, and it self-fills itself as your cat drinks out of it. The only thing I do wonder about here is whether you would need to brace the whole thing somehow so that the cat doesn’t tip it over, and then you end up with two liters of water all over your floor.
This little plastic dish attaches to the side of the type of cage that people commonly use for ferrets. As far as I know, ferrets aren’t much of a chewer like a rodent, so I would think this would be fine. I can easily see how a hamster, guinea pig, or gerbil would nibble away at this, but those little rat variants pretty much eat anything too.
3D prints for your pets put paper in your pocket.*
I hope that I’ve helped to further demonstrate the ways that a 3D printer can really help you to save money around the house. Pets are a lot of fun, but they can also be expensive, and given a world with rampant inflation, you have to find ways to cut costs where you can.
If you have a 3D printer, then why not use it to do just that? But what are your thoughts on all of this? Are there other 3D prints for your pets you think people should know about? Let us know in the comment section below.
*Shoutout to Colette
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.