Swap Products for Lower-Priced Alternatives: Gives the Same Results

Can you clean your dog's teeth at home?

I’m always searching for lower priced alternatives that offer the same results but I ensure I purchase from reputable online retailers. I’ve also found ways for cash incentives, reward points, free products and product testing, which I’ve listed in the same category as this article.

Wherever animals are, they need food, maybe medication, so read on for products I’ve switched to and are more affordable pet supplies.

Table of Contents:

Complementary feed: Aktivait vs RenewMe

“While aging is inevitable, it doesn’t mean that your pet can’t continue to enjoy a high quality of life into their senior years – they may just need a little help! Maintaining normal brain function is key to avoiding distressing behaviours caused by aging …”

Aktivait complementary feed for cats and dogs with pet memory loss
Originally I bought Aktivait for my senior cat Albert

When is your pet considered a senior?

  • Cat from 8 to 10 years old
  • Small / Medium dogs 7 to 9 years old
  • Large / Giant dogs 6 to 7 years old


Title: Excellent Product – “Wish I was told about this sooner! Since the loss of his mate, our cat (aged 14) started howling and crying during the day. This became more frequent and so bad we couldn’t sleep at night. One of the vets at the practice eventually mentioned this and it was a life saver. A lot less crying, a happy, playful old cat.”


Aktivait is available for cats and dogs. The complementary feed aims to provide all important nutrients to help the brain function. Age-related behavioural changes happen in senior cats and dogs, so it is important to begin Aktivait as soon as you detect signs of dementia (cognitive dysfunction).

My 16-year-old foster cat Albert had early dementia, and his vet introduced me to the product. Albert ate but his brain shut down and he walked away from his food bowl. This resulted in weight loss. Soon after starting Aktivait, the complementary feed supported brain function and his eating pattern changed. Within days, Albert tucked into his food and eventually gained weight. Admittedly, I watched over him and when he paused eating, I moved the food bowl out of sight for two seconds and placed the bowl back in front of him. Tapping the bowl he resumed eating. Albert never walked away from his food during his time taking Akitvait.

Aktivait states it will be 3 to 4 weeks before you notice an improvement in your pet but the complementary feed helped Albert within days. I bought Aktivait as a pack of 60 back in 2016 / 2017 and it cost me £27.

Ingredients per tablet:

  • DHA
  • Lecithin (source of phosphatidylserine)
  • Curcuma Longs / lecithin
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic Acode / Vitamin B9
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin D3
  • Selenomethionine


  • Cat = 1 capsule daily
  • A dog weighing up to 10kg = 1 capsule daily (small breed)
  • A dog weighing between 10kg to 20kg = 1 capsule daily (medium / large breed)
  • A dog weighing between 20kg to 40kg = 2 capsules daily (medium / large breed)
  • A dog weighing 40kg+ = 3 capsules daily (medium / large breed)

The product is available at VioVet. However, if the order total is under £29, then carriage applies. If you have Prime, then Amazon is often the cheaper option. You will find an evidence graph showing how much Aktivait has helped pets.

Watch my video: Pet Cognitive Dysfunction (dementia): Is Your Furry Friend Affected and How Can You Help Your Pet?

Related articles:

Swap with: RenewMe

Title: Improved Cognitive – “It really works well but sadly my lovely Westie Jenny passed away from lung cancer Sauturday 7th January. She was 16 years and 7 months. The product really helped whilst giving it to her and lifted her mood.”


RenewMe costs less, and its powder capsule formula is for cats and dogs and is sold in the same tub. This is an own brand product and promises to support brain function, and memory, protect and preserve and help alertness.

If you watched my video in the Aktivait section, you would note I mixed the powder with cat sauce. The sauce is available for dogs too, or you can mix it with food. VioVet suggests giving RenewMe when your pet reaches senior years to help ‘inhibit the development of cognitive decline with age, or as soon as signs are first noticed.’

It’s now December 2023, and a pot of RenewMe was delivered yesterday for Tabitha, my 17-year-old cat. I’ll update this article with her progress and make a video, so please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Ingredients per tablet:

  • Omega 3
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Ginseng
  • Choline
  • L-Cartinine CoQ10
  • Vitamins B12, B6, B5
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine
  • Selenium


  • Cat or dog weighing up to 10kg = 1 capsule every other day
  • A dog weighing between 10kg to 20kg = 1 capsule daily
  • A dog weighing between 20kg to 40kg = 2 capsules daily
  • A dog weighing more than 40kg+ = 3 capsules daily

The ingredients differ slightly compared to Aktivait and give an example of dosage up to 10kg in body weight as 1 capsule every 2 days, for 20p per day. Therefore, a pot of 60 capsules will last 120 days.

Available at VioVet

Prices for Aktivait and RenewMe

Pet typeWeight Price **average price for 60 capsules
Cat onlyAktivait £37.99
Small dogs onlyAktivait£30.82
Medium to large dogs onlyAktivait£53.49
Cat & all dog sizesRenewMe£23.99 to £29.99

January 2023 prices

**Please read the instructions to verify the dosage.

Dental care: Self-cleaning vs a paste and finger brush

“Keeping your dog’s teeth clean is important, as ignoring it can lead to plaque build-up and dental problems. To avoid expensive costs, check and clean your dog’s teeth as part of there regular grooming routine.”


Your vet is trained to identify any problems with your pet’s teeth, and may suggest extractions, especially if your pet is in pain. Teddy is eleven and at 60kg in weight, we were quoted £350 (September 2022) for a scale and polish, and whilst under anaesthetic, teeth would be assessed for extractions. I recommend getting a written quotation including X-rays, the operation, and any anti-inflammatories and antibiotics post-op. But be aware that the final cost may increase during the operation.

Can you clean your dog's teeth at home?
Purchased for our dog

Teeth are never covered by insurance, but you can benefit from 10% off any dental treatment if registered with the Pet Health Care service. You could also take advantage of the 6-monthly free check-up and get your pet’s teeth checked.

Some vets may recommend teeth cleaning at home from puppyhood, or if your pet’s teeth are at the stage where they would benefit from daily cleaning. Before purchasing teeth cleaning equipment, I suggest an initial check-up with your vet to identify any issues. Alternatively, you could opt for a scale and polish with the vet then continue with home cleaning – I opted for this with my adult cats, Tabitha and Joey.

Another reason why it is important to chat with your vet before attempting home cleaning is that some breeds have problematic jaw alignments – chihuahuas and flat-faced breeds, for example.

“… eight out of ten cats over the age of three have some form of tooth and gum problem. Keeping your cat’s pearly whites clean and healthy can help prevent gingivitis and potentially serious health issues that may arise from bacterial infections in the mouth. Professional dental cleanings are just a part of your pet’s dental health management. Without a good home dental regimen, your kitty will likely require more frequent visits to the vet for dental cleaning and procedures, or else any periodontal disease that is present may progress and become more complicated.”


From puppyhood and kittenhood, start teeth cleaning at home. If either resists, at any age, either could be in pain, so veterinary intervention is next. Be patient as it may take time for your pet to become accustomed to procedures around and in their mouth, and the sensation against teeth.

In multi-pet households, each pet must have its own toothbrush.

Teeth cleaning for dogs: paste & finger brush vs granules in food

Title: Oral (Fresh) Hygiene Paste – “Dogs love the taste and very easily rubbed on to teeth and gums. Can see big improvement just after 2 weeks, plaque softer and easier to remove.”


OraFresh Hygiene paste can be used with a finger brush or Orafresh Dental Granules can be sprinkled into food. the granules will move around the mouth and clean the teeth.

Product TypePriceAbout
Swap to: **100ml OraFresh Hygiene paste for cats & dogs from VioVetVet’s Own Brand £7.49Reduces bacteria that cause bad breath, breaks down and removes plaque. Contains mild abrasive beads.
***5pk Vet’s+Best silicone dental finger brush from VioVet£5.99Easy to use – slip onto your finger and use the brush side against your dog’s teeth
Swap to: 60g OraFresh Dental Granules for cats & dogs from VioVetVet’s Own Brand£8.49Contains seaweed and brewer’s Yeast. Reduces oral bacteria and bad breath that causes plaque build-up. Promotes fresh breath.
60g, 180g, 420g Natural Food Supplement: ProDen PlaqueOff powder for dogs from VioVet£11.01 to £52.32Discourages the build-up of tartar and plaque.
Prices correct January 2023

**Amount given depends on the weight of your cat or dog. The manufacturer suggests your pet’s teeth should be cleaned and polished before use.

***My veterinary practice sells finger brushes for 99p.

Clean your puppy or dog's teeth with a finger brush. Easy way to clean your dog's teeth
Teddy’s finger brush

I recently purchased OraFresh and tried it on Teddy’s teeth; he likes the poultry taste. As an abused rescue dog, he didn’t mind me brushing his teeth.

Did it work? Teddy is from Romania, and there is a video of him in a British rescue. His teeth look clean, but since being rehomed and fed conventional pet foods, plaque and tartar have built up. I think starting teeth brushing needs to be from puppyhood or if teeth are healthy. Teddy’s teeth require professional cleaning. We can then continue maintenance with OraFresh.

Since writing this article, I published another on dental health for dogs and discovered quite a bit as I researched. HWL Supplies also sent me a liquid product which is added to water. Read more in my article Essential Dog Dental Care. A rescue dog is testing this product and the results will be published in January, along with a video.

Title: Bought (PlaqueOff) for Cat with Gingivitis – “Easy to use. Just sprinkle on food each day. Cat seems unbothered by it. Not sure if working as cat won’t let me that close to his teeth but he is waiting dental treatment and this was advised by vets so hopefully works!”


Teeth cleaning products for cats:

Product TypePrice About
**40g Natural Food Supplement: ProDen PlaqueOff granules for cats from VioVet
£11.99Use 1 scoop daily mixing with food. Reduces plaque, tartar and bad breath. Lasts 4 months. Dosage between 0.5 to 3 scoops daily.
Swap to: 60g OraFresh Natural Food Dental granules for cats & dogs from VioVetVet’s Own Brand£8.49Contains seaweed and brewer’s Yeast. Reduces oral bacteria and bad breath that causes plaque build-up. Promotes fresh breath. Dosage lasts 53 to 159 days depending on your pet’s weight
Prices correct January 2023

**Do not use with cats and dogs with hyperthyroidism.

Watch the video: ProDen Plaque-off for cats

As mentioned, my cats, Joey and Tabitha, both had a scale and polish. Tabitha had extractions and under veterinary advice, I used PlaqueOff, which kept their teeth in top condition. Years later, Tabitha had more extractions – whether it was because I stopped using PlaqueOff or if she was prone to teeth issues, I am unsure. According to a veterinary nurse, some animals can be genetically prone to bad teeth.

Diagnosed Cystitis: At the vet vs complementary feed at home

Cats with cystitis can feel better taking feliway cystease
Helps cats with cystitis

This section is from my experience of a cat with cystitis and a product I purchased after a veterinary professional diagnosed cystitis. If you notice your cat straining when peeing, crying in pain, or trying to pee outside the litter tray, get your kitty assessed by a vet in case it is anything serious. For example, a urinary blockage.

Watch the Video: Feliway Cystease – easing cystitis

Stress can cause cystitis and is a condition that can be helped but can resurface if kitty becomes stressed. Identifying and removing the cause of stress is one way to stop future occurrences. The first time Tabitha suffered from cystitis was during the first lockdown in 2020. I lived alone and didn’t cope too well and that’s when Tabitha developed cystitis.

Your vet can express urine from your cat’s bladder, but if this does not work, your vet may use a syringe to get urine and test for cystitis. On one occasion, Tabitha had the syringe, and hearing her cry from the waiting room was heartbreaking. From that point, I decided to research how to help her myself.

Feliway Cystease stopped Tabitha’s cystitis within days, and the last time she needed it was in November 2022 when we moved home. Tabitha is nearly blind from high blood pressure and is deaf.

Product / Service TypePriceAbout
Veterinary practiceInitial test: £84**A vet can express your cat’s bladder by expressing the bladder or using a syringe
30 or ***300 capsules Feliway Cystease from VioVet£9.25 to £78.60Initially, administer 1 capsule a day for two weeks. Timescale may vary
Cystaid for Cats from VioVet£65.95Pack of 120 with 2 capsules daily for the first 3 to 4 weeks then 1 capsule
Cystaid for Dogs from VioVet£80.64Pack of 180 with 1 capsule per 10kg bodyweight
Prices correct December 2023

**2020 price

***Unless the purchase is for a rescue centre with multiple cats with cystitis, I recommend buying a tub of 30 capsules. All cats are different, but it is possible you won’t need all capsules at any one bout of cystitis, and the brand has an expiry date.

Related articles:

Diet is important too but never give your cat or dog specialist urinary food without consulting your vet first.

Urine Collection: Expressed by a vet vs DIY collection at home

You are probably thinking about how disgusting or hard it is to collect a urine sample from your cat or dog. My experience is collecting urine from cats, and it is easy. Collecting urine at home or on a walk is a stress-free way forward if you have a pet that suffers from nerves or hates veterinary trips.

KatKor - collect cat urine
Crystal litter will not absorb urine

Your vet will tell you the best time for the collection. Cats are stubborn, never urinate when you want them to, or refuse to urinate in the new litter. Both my cats, Molly and Tabitha, used KatKor without any issues. Joey preferred and only used, one type of litter, so I added a tiny sprinkle of his absorbent litter into the non-absorbent litter. It worked. But you run the risk of contamination – this was my mistake, and I had to collect urine again. Lesson learned.

Method for a cat:

1: Remove all other cat litter

2: Empty a pack of KatKor or Catrine non-absorbent crystals into the litter tray

3: Wait until your cat urinates in the litter tray

4: Using the syringe, collect your cat’s urine

5: Put the full syringe into the provided bottle and release

6: Screw the lid tightly, label it and take it to your vet as soon as possible

Watch the video: How to Use KatKor Urine Collection Kit

Method for a dog:

You can collect a urine sample from your dog when walking or in the garden. I’ve never had to collect urine but will explain how.

1: Wash a sturdy Tupperware box and lid with soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly (The Tupperware must not be contaminated)

2: Take your dog on a walk (I think it would be easier with a second person helping)

3: Wear disposable gloves

4: As your dog urinates, catch the liquid in the Tupperware box

5: Either seal the Tupperware with the lid, lay it level in a plastic bag and empty it into the pot provided by your vet when you get home. Or, if walking with someone, pour the liquid from the Tupperware into the pot – don’t forget to screw the lid on tightly!

6: Label the pot and take it to your vet for testing

If you are a member of the Pet Health Club, you get a free annual urine test and a pack of KatKor. But there will be costs if a vet expresses your pet’s bladder. Your pet may need urine testing for hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, diabetes, Cushing disease, and blood tests for dogs only.

Whichever option you choose, your vet needs to test your pet’s urine for anomalies. Unless under the Pet Health Club scheme, you must pay to have urine tested but may cost less because you are collecting urine at home.

Product TypePrice
1pk KatKor Urine Collection Kit for cats£3.49 + p&p
6pk KatKor Urine Collection Kit for cats£14.99 + p&p
1 pk Catrine Urine Collection Kit for cats£3.60 + p&p
Alternative way: Urine collection for dogs£13.99
Prices correct January 2023

Home Food Delivery: Monthly subscription or bulk buy

cat subscription boxes or mega boxes
Bulk buy online

Pet food prices in supermarkets, with online retailers or subscription packages, are increasing as much as our food. Opting for monthly subscription food does offer flexibility if you are worried about money each month – see below.

dog food delivery UK. how does tails work and is tails suitable for puppies
Teddy loved the kibble

Watch the Video: Get Free Food From Republic of Cats

Spring 2024 offer from Republic of Catsusing my referral link, you get your Taster Box FREE.

Watch the Video: Republic of Cats Taster Box

Watch the Video: Get Free Food from Zooplus & Republic of Cats

Comparing the cost of purchasing from supermarkets versus periodic bulk buying from online retailers is recommended. Buying in bulk can be cheaper per can or pouch but it depends if affordable in one hit. I use cashback and money from unwanted home items to contribute towards cost.

Cats: Available from Republic of CatsMonthly costs depend on your wet food type and if your chosen bundle includes dry biscuits. An example of Tabitha’s bundle: £26 to £37 per month for 30 days of food
Monthly subscription food box for cats only. You have complete control and using your online account, can pause, cancel or continue with monthly deliveries. Food choices can be changed month-by-month too
Dogs: Available from Tails.com
Hypollergenic available
Initially, you’ll receive 50% off your first order. Afterwards it depends on wet and dry food choices. Teddy won a bag of kibble and loved it!Tails is the same company as Republic of Cats, operating the same system – monthly deliveries, change choices, pause deliveries or cancel.
Either: Gourmet Mega Box is available from ZooplusOffers and box sizes are available for different brands (Purina, Whiskas, Felix). Tabitha’s 3-monthly Gourmet pate bundle depends on offers at the time: £41.99 to £44.99Buying bulk can save money and has free delivery for orders over £39. You aren’t tied in. I recommend subscribing so you receive notifications of any brand offers. You will likely find a cheaper deal by ordering as and when.
Dogs: Ceasar Saver Pack is available from Zooplus48 tubs for £36.79
96 tubs for £71.99
You aren’t tied in. Read the Feeding Guide as your dog may need more than 1 tub per day
Prices correct January 2023 – example of options available

Related articles:

Diagnosed with Allergies: Brand awareness

Royal Canin Anallergenic

Hypoallergenic dog or cat food can be bought at retailers such as Jolleyes or Pets at Home, at your veterinary practice (brands may vary), or online retailers as shown below. Before purchasing, your vet decides whether your cat or dog would benefit from a diet designed for allergies. It is worth noting that foods for sensitivities differ from foods for allergies.

If your pet is registered under the Pet Health Club, one perk is a discount on food from your veterinary practice but it depends on the brands they stock. For example, in 2018 I paid £5 for a 4kg bag of Royal Canin (renal) because I had a new member £10 voucher. Dry food than on after was £15 per 4kg bag.

Royal Canin hypoallergenic, anallergenic and Purina hypoallergenic are the brands I purchased for Tabitha, but others are available. To ensure you aren’t out of pocket, buy a 400g bag before you buy the larger one. I had to sell two 4kg bags and lost money because Tabitha didn’t like the biscuits.

Discount for Royal Canin wet and dry food

Title: Zooplus are looking out for our customers -“Dear customers, the manufacturer Royal Canin has communicated a price increase for its brands, which in our opinion is excessive. We do not want to pass on this price increase to you and your pet. Because of this we will have difficulty sourcing their full portfolio and likely start experiencing higher out of stock on Royal Canin products. Therefore, we can only offer Royal Canin products in our shop on a limited basis until further notice. In order to give as many customers as possible the chance to order the available Royal Canin products from our inventory, we have temporarily reduced the normal household quantity per purchase for Royal Canin products.” Use BRANDS10 for 10% on alternative brands.


Related articles:

Hypoallergenic dry biscuits for cats:

The following are an example of brands and prices. Dry and wet food bags are available.

Product TypeWeightPrice
Royal Canin – Anallergenic
Available at Zooplus
Concept for Life – Hypoallergenic. Available from Zooplus3kg£24.99
Monster Pets – Hypoallergenic. Available from Monster Pet Supplies6kg£23.89 – £35.59
Purina – Hypoallergenic.
Available from Monster Pet Supplies
Prices correct January 2023 – different bag sizes and wet food available for all

A selection of hypoallergenic wet food is available from Monster Pet Supplies.

Hypoallergenic dry & wet food for dogs:

The following are an example of brands and prices. Dry and wet food bags are available.

Product TypeWeightPrice
Green Pet Food – Insect Hypoallergenic. Available from Zooplus10kg£49.99
Rocco Diet Care – Hypoallergenic wet food. Available from ZooplusSaver Pack
24 x 400g
Canine Choice Dry Biscuits –
Available from Paws **company now closed
Prices correct January 2023 – different bag sizes and wet food available for all

Diagnosed with Renal: Brand awareness

Only buy renal pet food if your vet has diagnosed renal failure and has advised you to feed your cat or dog with food to support renal function. Please ask your vet which stage of renal food you need to buy. Again, if registered with the Pet Health Club, you will receive a pet food discount from your veterinary pet shop but the brands stocked may differ with each practice.

Renal wet & Dry food for cats:

The following are an example of brands and prices. Dry and wet food bags are available.

VetXX Specific (all stages of renal failure). Available from VioVet 400g£5.50
Hills K/D (support cats with kidney conditions). Available from VioVet400g£7.49
Smilla Renal wet food (chronic). Available at Zooplus8 x 100g trays£5.69
Prices correct January 2023 – different bag sizes and wet food available

Renal wet & dry food for dogs:

The following are an example of brands and prices. Dry and wet food bags are available.

Integra Protect Dog (renal failure, less phosphorus and protein). Available from Zooplus6 x 400g£10.29
Purina Pro Plan Renal.
Available at Paws **company now closed
Hills K/D. Available on VioVet1.5kg£20.50
Calibra Wet Food. Available at VioVet6 x 400g £16.88
Prices correct January 2023 – different size bags and cans are available

There are lots of companies out there who want your business and offer competitive prices and deals. Browse through my category about Cash, Freebies and Product Testing to find something that helps you and your pets.

Poppy’s Pets has a column in the Withernsea District & Community News


The reason I write and make YouTube videos is to help you and your pets from my experiences, and to take you through a journey of Green Living from worm composting and bokashi.

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