cats http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1035/all en-US 7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/This_is_not_a_chew_toy.jpg" alt="This isn&#039;t a chew toy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you need pet insurance? That depends. It can mean life or death for your pet if they experience a major medical issue &mdash; especially an expensive one that requires hospitalization or emergency surgery &mdash; but it can seem like an unnecessary monthly expense if you're paying into the plan and not using it. To make a decision whether pet insurance is right for you, here are a few things you should know. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>1. There are three types of pet health coverage</h2> <p>Most pet insurance companies break down coverage into three categories. The lowest tier is an accident-only plan, which only covers accidents and emergencies, like if your dog gets hurt by another dog at the park. This coverage does not include any hereditary issues or serious health conditions. Conversely, there's a wellness plan, which doesn't include anything that the accident-only plan includes, but rather focuses on wellness and routine care, like annual exams, dental cleanings, and routine medications, like heartworm and flea-and-tick prevention.</p> <p>Two plans that don't overlap anywhere kind of force pet parents into the all-encompassing third option, and that's where the more expensive, major medical plans come in.</p> <p>More than 90 percent of all pet insurance plans purchased are in this category, according to PetInsuranceQuotes.com, which helps users compare coverage and prices among leading providers. It's likely major medical plans are so popular because they cover everything <em>except</em> wellness and routine care. Accidents, illnesses, cancer, orthopedic issues, hereditary conditions, and prescription meds are under the veil of these plans, the price of which is mostly determined by the breed of pet you have.</p> <h2>2. Pet insurance can help you avoid major debt</h2> <p>For many pet parents, putting an animal down when an expensive health issue strikes just isn't an option. They'll use any means possible to come up with the money to keep their pet alive. Using money from your emergency fund if it's readily available is one thing, but putting the bill on a credit card when money is already tight just isn't smart.</p> <p>Pet insurance, however, can eliminate that issue altogether. You'll pay a small amount each month so you don't have to experience even greater stress about your finances when your pet is in the hospital. The premium is probably worth the peace of mind. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pet-costs-you-dont-see-coming?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Pet Costs You Don't See Coming</a>)</p> <h2>3. Having coverage could mean saving your pet's life</h2> <p>When I first moved to Manhattan, barely able to pay my bills, my husband wanted a dog. I was dead-set against it, but his continued pleas caused me to cave, and before I knew it, we had a rambunctious puppy.</p> <p>Fast forward to a year-and-a-half later, still struggling to make ends meet, and our dog Jaxon is rushed to the hospital with a respiratory infection that cost about $8,000. There was a brief period of time when we weren't sure if our pet insurance would cover the cost of treatment &mdash; or how much we would have to spend out-of-pocket &mdash; and we had to make a tough decision. It was a quick decision. We could afford up to $3,000 in out-of-pocket expenses and nothing more; otherwise we would have to say our goodbyes. Thankfully we didn't have to, because the little bugger is still my best bud. Pet insurance saved Jaxon's life that day, and it could very well save your pet's life, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a>)</p> <h2>4. Age plays an important part in the coverage you'll get</h2> <p>It's important to enroll your pet while they're young and healthy enough to get the best coverage at the lowest price. No pet insurance provider will cover pre-existing conditions, which makes getting coverage as the pet ages tougher and more expensive, if possible at all.</p> <p>&quot;If your pet is a senior and/or has pre-existing conditions, you may want to consider the accident-only plan,&quot; says Chris Middleton, president of Pets Best, a leading pet insurance provider. &quot;Or get the accident-only plan and add routine care to it.&quot;</p> <p>I decided to end major medical coverage on Jaxon because he doesn't go anywhere that he'll get hurt and he hasn't had any major medical issues for years; that level of insurance was becoming an expense that wasn't worth it. He's also getting up there in age, and at some point I have to let nature take its course. For now, he's happy, healthy, and we're enjoying life together.</p> <h2>5. Your pet's breed will influence coverage and cost</h2> <p>Some pet breeds are more prone to hereditary conditions and medical issues than others, which will affect the price you'll pay for pet insurance right off the bat. For example, you can expect to pay an average of $45 a month for a Labrador retriever versus $53 a month for an English bulldog, according to PetInsuranceQuotes.com. Both of these breeds come with their own set of hereditary issues that can be expensive to treat, which affect prices. If you know you want pet insurance but haven't found the perfect pet yet, it's worth researching insurance premiums based on breed; it may inform your decision on what breeds to focus on and which to avoid. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a>)</p> <h2>6. Find the coverage that works best for your pet and your wallet</h2> <p>To get the most for your pet insurance price, look for a provider that covers the largest portion of your veterinary bill, coverage for congenital and hereditary conditions, and has no limits to the amount they will pay out.</p> <p>&quot;Choose a deductible that fits your budget and how they are applied,&quot; adds pet insurance provider Trupanion. &quot;Deductibles can help you control your premiums while making sure you see coverage before you hit your budget limit.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Pet insurance usually works on a reimbursement model</h2> <p>Pet insurance is a reimbursement model, meaning the pet owner pays their bill at the veterinarian (and often you must pay it in full before your pet is allowed to leave the facility), then submit the proof of payment to the provider for reimbursement. You should research the company's options for submitting claims before choosing a provider, advises Middleton.</p> <p>&quot;Since pet insurance is a reimbursement model, getting your money back quickly is one of the most important features,&quot; Middleton says. &quot;It's also important to look at how they will reimburse you. Some companies will only cut a check to pay your claim; so you have to factor in the time to cut the check, get it mailed to you, then deposit it.&quot;</p> <p>Direct-deposit reimbursement also is available at some providers.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Things%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520About%2520Pet%2520Insurance.jpg&amp;description=7%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Pet%20Insurance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Pet%20Insurance.jpg" alt="7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now">5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Health and Beauty cats dogs health care pet care pet insurance pet owner pets vet bills veterinary bills Fri, 15 Sep 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 2020340 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-522185081.jpg" alt="don&#039;t skip these pet care expenses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For some of us, our pets are the only children we're going to have (sorry, mom) &mdash; and like any good parent, we want to take care of our babies as best we can. But in the world of pet care, how do we know what's worth it and what isn't &mdash; especially when we examine the price tags associated with such expenses? You and your favorite cuddle buddy can live without a lot of what's out there, but here are the pet care costs you should never skip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a>)</p> <h2>1. Vaccinations</h2> <p>Vaccines do an incredible amount of good versus whatever rogue side effects have been suggested, largely by the nonscientific community. This goes for your pets, too.</p> <p>There's been some controversy on whether cats actually need annual shots, and the general consensus &mdash; among some, but not all vets &mdash; is that if your cat is strictly indoors and doesn't come into contact with other cats that may have feline leukemia, you can probably skip a year or two on vaccinations.</p> <p>Pet-care author, Kelly Meister-Yetter, affectionately known as the Critter Lady, says she has four indoor-only cats and she doesn't have them vaccinated every year. If your cat is to be boarded, however, virtually every establishment will require updated shots.</p> <p>Dogs, however, are a different story. &quot;You should never skip dog vaccinations, especially the rabies update shot every year,&quot; Meister-Yetter says. And some rabies vaccinations are good for three years. &quot;Dogs can get into all manner of mischief, and it's always best to keep them safe.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Consistent veterinary care from infancy</h2> <p>A pet parent should never skimp on vet care, which should include a yearly physical exam. Not only does the examination allow your veterinarian to assess the overall health of your pet, it also creates a health care team for you, the pet parent.</p> <p>&quot;When the pet is sick or injured, they will be worked in right away with someone who knows the pet and has its medical history, known medications and allergies, everything,&quot; according to Kathryn Primm, resident veterinarian at pet wellness site IHeartDogs.com.</p> <p>Vet care shouldn't be used as an emergency resource, but rather an established method of preventive care, from the moment you adopt or decide to bring a pet into your family.</p> <p>House Call Vet NYC Dr. Jeff Levy, whose practice specializes in holistic pet care, says regular checkups combined with a reasonable vaccination protocol can prevent unforeseen and costly medical problems throughout your pet's life. This preventive care can save you a substantial amount of money by addressing potential problems before they reach a stage that you may not be able to afford.</p> <h2>3. Pet insurance</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it" target="_blank">Pet insurance</a>, though it may seem costly over the span of your pet's life, will spare you money and heartbreak in emergency situations that can cost thousands.</p> <p>My own dog had a respiratory issue very early on, the surgery for which crept upwards of $10,000. It's horrible to say, but if I didn't have pet insurance for him, we wouldn't have spent the past seven years post-procedure enjoying each other's company. Pet insurance saved his life.</p> <p>Jamie Thomas, executive director of Motley Zoo Animal Rescue in Washington State, says she experiences the consequences of uninsured pets on a regular basis.</p> <p>&quot;We routinely see animals surrendered for something as simple as a broken leg &mdash; [which costs a pet parent] about $1,500 to $2,000 [to mend],&quot; she says. &quot;This is really avoidable and it breaks our hearts. All it takes is one accident where your cat gets out the door and hit by a car, or your dog gets injured by another, and you might be facing euthanization rather than care and treatment, simply due to expenses.&quot;</p> <p>Outside of pet insurance, it's also a good idea to have a small emergency fund set up for your pet, just in case. And as your pet ages, certainly you can reconsider your insurance coverage. You may decide that your pet doesn't need a high level of coverage or coverage at all as it enters its final stages of life, but that's a personal decision you'll have to make.</p> <h2>4. Good food and nutrition</h2> <p>Be mindful of your pet's diet, and don't skimp on their food. This doesn't mean following the latest fads or advertising. Consider your veterinarian's professional opinion and conduct your own research using authoritative sources.</p> <p>&quot;You cannot underestimate the value of good food and what this can do for your animal's long-term health and well-being,&quot; explains Thomas. &quot;The ingredients and fillers in cheap pet food can actually cost you more in vet bills, trying to figure out why your pet's coat is really dry, coarse, or why your pet is super itchy or has skin issues. Ingredients like chicken and grains are the biggest culprits causing pet allergies, including skin and ear infections.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-most-useful-pet-food-websites?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Most Useful Pet Food Websites</a>)</p> <h2>5. Exercise and socialization</h2> <p>I'm a pretty lucky pet parent because there are plenty of dog parks, beaches, and even dog-friendly happy hours where I live that my best fur-buddy and I can go to socialize and get regular exercise, and it's all free (except for the beers, of course). This is probably the case for you as well (a quick search will find all the dog-friendly places in your vicinity), and it's important to utilize these community assets so your pet can make friends and play.</p> <p>&quot;While cats are often solitary animals, dogs thrive on social interaction; invest your time, effort, and resources into enriching your pet's daily life,&quot; Dr. Levy advises. &quot;Both species need exercise to keep their bodies healthy. For cats, invest in toys and dedicate time to daily play. Dogs should not stay home alone while you are at work, so pony up for a walker or daycare.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Dog training, if needed</h2> <p>A lot of pet parents manage to raise friendly, gentle, loving dogs without the assistance of trainers. The problem is, you never really know how your pet will turn out as an adult based on your specific combination of nature and nurture, which makes it a good idea to invest in formal training.</p> <p>Thomas says, &quot;Many people rely on the breed of dog &mdash; 'good family dogs' &mdash; and think they don't need training, or think that hanging out with the family is actually socializing their dog. But investing in a better understanding of what training entails and how to communicate effectively with your dog, as well as how to truly socialize your dog, will be a priceless experience and can truly be the difference between keeping your dog or not. If people invested as much time and attention into these factors as they do researching a dog breed that will be perfect for them, they'd be more successful &mdash; and find many more dogs that would actually work for them.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Pet%2520Expenses%2520You%2520Should%2520Never%2520Skip.jpg&amp;description=6%20Pet%20Expenses%20You%20Should%20Never%20Skip"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Pet%20Expenses%20You%20Should%20Never%20Skip.jpg" alt="6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-pet-expenses-that-arent-worth-it">4 Pet Expenses That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Health and Beauty cats dogs pet care pet expenses pet insurance pet owner pets veterinary costs Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 2016057 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-507275074.jpg" alt="Learning ways to lower your vet bills" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Taking your dog or cat to the vet can cause a big hit to your bank account, and if your pet has a medical emergency, you can easily expect to spend more than $500. This can take a toll on any family's finances, which is why we've found some easy ways to save money at the vet, without compromising your pet's health.</p> <h2>1. Take advantage of preventive care</h2> <p>If your vet suggests preventive care services, such as heartworm prevention medication for example, consider how much you'll save with this affordable service, as opposed to what you would spend treating heartworm disease.</p> <p>Maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, grooming, proper food portions, teeth brushing, and overall care. Severe dental issues can cost more than $1,000 to treat, so it's a preventive measure that shouldn't be skipped.</p> <h2>2. Prevent parasites</h2> <p>Get your animal on a flea and tick prevention program to keep fleas, ticks, lice, and worms at bay. These typically come in the form of a monthly pill, and many of these provide protection against several parasites at once. Along with saving you money on future treatments, this will also keep your pet healthy, happy, and comfortable.</p> <h2>3. Take advantage of free exams</h2> <p>Some veterinary offices or hospitals offer discounts or even free exams, to encourage owners to bring their pets in to treat for issues before they become hard to treat. Make inquiries with your local veterinary offices to see what they offer.</p> <h2>4. Compare prices</h2> <p>Compare service and prescription prices in your area before committing to one veterinary practice. Use online rating sites like Yelp to find a highly-reviewed vet that won't break the bank. Inquire about whether the office offers new pet or wellness care packages that can bundle exams and vaccines at a discount. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unexpected-dog-costs-you-should-prepare-for-now?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Unexpected Dog Costs You Should Prepare for Now</a>)</p> <h2>5. Keep your pet's weight in check</h2> <p>According to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, about 59 percent of cats and 54 percent of dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Excess weight can lead to a host of health problems for animals. Keep your pet fit and active for a healthier lifestyle and fewer vet visits. Also, be aware of the ingredients in your pet's food. If you're trying to cut out processed food from your own diet, you should do the same for them. Look for food that promotes overall health for your pet's breed and dietary needs, and do not overfeed them.</p> <p>And just because they adorably dance for treats doesn't mean you should keep handing them out!</p> <h2>6. Ask about financing</h2> <p>Many veterinary offices will offer financing, payment plans, or even discounts if you are upfront with them about any financial hardships you're facing. They might also work with a credit lender (like CareCredit), which allows you to pay the fees over the course of several months with no interest, upon credit approval. You can also look into private veterinary discount plans like PetAssure.</p> <h2>7. Get pet insurance immediately</h2> <p>Pet health insurance can save you a huge amount of money if your pet has costly medical expenses in the future. Keep in mind that pre-existing conditions and inherited disorders will not be covered, so it's important to get pet insurance as early as possible. Many policies will also limit coverage to one treatment per illness, so do your research to determine if it's right for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>8. Request an estimate before services are rendered</h2> <p>A written estimate will let you know how much you can expect to spend. Don't feel shy about saying &quot;no&quot; to a service or asking for a detailed explanation of the recommended services. If you think that a service is unnecessary or too expensive, visit another vet with your estimate in hand.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-pet-expenses-that-arent-worth-it">4 Pet Expenses That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Health and Beauty cats dogs family members pet care pet health pet insurance pet owners pets vet bills veterinarian Mon, 08 May 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1940414 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000024530979_Large.jpg" alt="making extra money as a pet sitter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a pet sitter since the age of 10, I've taken care of everything from dogs to cats to gerbils to guinea pigs, and have pet sat at many gorgeous homes with fabulous amenities. One client I worked with even lived right down the street from Oprah! Not a bad way to earn some extra cash, am I right? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-side-jobs-for-introverts?ref=seealso">10 Great Side Jobs for Introverts</a>)</p> <p>Here are six steps to making $400+ a week in your spare time as a pet sitter.</p> <h2>1. Set Your Services and Prices</h2> <p>Pet sitters can offer a variety of services, from dog walking to daycare, daily check-ins, baths, overnight services, and more. When determining which services you will offer, think about your what kinds of pets you are comfortable with as well as how much time you have to spend pet sitting. You won't want to offer dog walking services if you aren't comfortable walking large dogs, and you won't want to offer daycare services if you have a full-time job.</p> <p>You'll also need to research how much pet sitters in your area charge for the same services you want to offer in order to figure out how much you should charge. Don't price yourself too high or too low. Be competitive for your city! For example, in Newport Beach, CA, I priced my services at $60 per night for overnight sitting and $20 per day for daily check-ins. One week of overnight sitting earns me $420, and if I'm able to add in a drop-in client or two, I can earn upwards of $560 per week.</p> <h2>2. Advertise</h2> <p>If this is your first time pet sitting, start with your family and friends. Offer to watch their pets for a discounted fee so that you can build up your portfolio and reference list. Be sure to ask them for referrals as well!</p> <p>Another option to find clients is the Internet. A site like <a href="http://www.sittingforacause.com/">Sitting for a Cause</a> (which, full disclosure, I own and operate) can help pet parents in your area find you and learn about the services you offer. You can also create your own website or make a Facebook page to help people find you.</p> <p>Additionally, you can make business cards and leave them under people's doormats or post fliers at local dog parks, shelters, or pet supply stores. Leaving your information where pet owners will see it can help you grow your business.</p> <h2>3. Meet Clients in Person</h2> <p>When a prospective client contacts you, find out the details of the job including the type of service they need, the dates of service, and information about their pets. If the job sounds like something that will fit into your schedule, set up a meet and greet!</p> <p>A meet and greet is your opportunity to meet the client and pets as well as learn more about what would be expected of you while the client is away. Along with the basic information like feeding schedules, exercise and bathroom needs, medical history, and location of all pet supplies, be sure to find out:</p> <ul> <li>How well trained the pet is and any commands he or she knows;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If the pet is good with other animals;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Behaviors you should reward for and bad behaviors you should watch out for;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Information about people who will be coming and going from the house (i.e. housekeepers, gardeners, and pool cleaners);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you need to water plants, pick up newspapers, or bring in mail;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>How to arm and disarm any alarm systems.</li> </ul> <p>If you feel confident a job is a good fit and you can handle all the responsibilities that come with it, accept it! If not, it's always okay to turn down a job.</p> <h2>4. Take Awesome Care of Their Pets</h2> <p>This one is simple: just do everything that is asked of you. Feed pets when they are supposed to be fed the exact amount they are supposed to be fed, keep water bowls filled, make sure pets get the exercise they need, scoop litter boxes daily, clean cages as required, pick up poop from the yard, give treats as suggested, bring in the mail and newspapers, water plants as needed, and follow any other instructions from the client.</p> <p>And, obviously, spend lots of time playing and cuddling with their pets. You were hired to be a surrogate parent while your client is gone, so enjoy your temporary parenthood!</p> <h2>5. Go Above and Beyond</h2> <p>During your job, do more than just the basics. Here are some ideas to help you go the extra mile to make your clients happy:</p> <ul> <li>Send updates and pictures;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Notify them if their food supply seems low and offer to run to the store to pick some up;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If a favorite pet toy looks like it's falling apart, get a replacement;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If your client is celebrating a special occasion, leave some pet-safe flowers and a nice note;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Leave the house in cleaner condition than it was when you arrived on your first day.</li> </ul> <p>When you go above and beyond, don't expect or ask for reimbursement from clients on items you purchased for them. Going above and beyond is an investment in your client and will keep them hiring you for years to come.</p> <h2>6. Follow Up</h2> <p>On the final day of the job, if you leave a client's house before they return, call or send them a text a few hours after they were supposed to return (or if they returned late, the next morning) to ensure they are home with their pets. They will appreciate knowing you care enough to check in.</p> <p>It's also nice to check in with clients from time to time. A quick email every so often asking how their pets are doing or sending a Christmas card is always a nice gesture that will keep you at the top of their list of people to call the next time they need a sitter. It also increases the odds they will refer their family and friends to you!</p> <p><em>Are you an animal lover? Would you ever try pet sitting? Leave a comment and let us know! </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-festive-ways-to-make-extra-money-for-the-holidays">16 Festive Ways to Make Extra Money for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-smart-way-to-budget-on-a-freelance-income">The Smart Way to Budget on a Freelance Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-rich-walking-dogs-in-9-easy-steps">Get Rich Walking Dogs in 9 Easy Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-you-can-earn-18-to-25-an-hour-with-amazon-flex">How You Can Earn $18 to $25 an Hour With Amazon Flex</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-part-time-jobs-to-do-while-your-kids-are-at-school">17 Part-Time Jobs to Do While Your Kids Are at School</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income cats dogs extra money pet sitter pet sitting pets side hustle side job Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1689532 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Your Pets http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-halloween-costumes-for-your-pets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-diy-halloween-costumes-for-your-pets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog_halloween_costume_000076280051.jpg" alt="Dog wearing DIY Halloween costume made by owner" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don&rsquo;t leave your favorite furry friend out of the Halloween fun this year! You can make a cute costume for your pet in just minutes. Most of these comfortable getups work for either dogs or cats, so gather your crafting supplies and check out these 13 spook-tacular tutorials.</p> <h2>1. Piñata</h2> <p>My heart skipped a beat when I found this <a href="http://www.studiodiy.com/2012/10/22/haunted-housewarming-our-costumes/">DIY piñata</a> costume. You'll need a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;fst=as%3Aoff&amp;keywords=dog%20sweater&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1445350976&amp;rh=n%3A2619533011%2Cn%3A3024176011%2Ck%3Adog%20sweater&amp;rnid=2619534011&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AMYI34SSSATT5VGK">dog sweater</a>, crepe paper, hot glue, and some time. Just cut the paper into fringe and glue it to the sweater. Throw in a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=dog%20sombrero&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=GK2SS5ME4TY33I3J">pet-sized sombrero</a> to finish the look.</p> <h2>2. Beanie Baby</h2> <p>Strapped for time? You can whip up this <a href="http://www.doodlekisses.com/photo/enzo-ready-for-halloween?context=latest">Beanie Baby</a> costume in a few minutes. Grab a piece of white card stock, a pencil, a red marker, and a hole punch. Draw a heart on your piece of paper, cut it out, and then lightly outline the TY logo with pencil. Color the tag red, punch a hole, and attach to your four-legged friend.</p> <h2>3. Ballerina</h2> <p>Give your pooch the night of her dreams with this whimsical <a href="http://pitlandia.blogspot.ca/2012/09/diy-dog-tutu.html">ballerina tutu</a> costume. You&rsquo;ll need a wide elastic band, tulle, and piece of cardboard. Once you&rsquo;ve looped the elastic, just wrap the tulle around your cardboard form, cut, and then tie to the band. Poof it out and slip it onto your pet.</p> <h2>4. Angel</h2> <p>A little paper and glue can go a long way. Dress your cat in this divine <a href="http://petdiys.com/diy-cat-angel-costume/">DIY angel</a> costume. Twist together some white pipe cleaners to make a halo. Then cut wings out of paper and use elastic to wrap them around your cat. Done!</p> <h2>5. Elsa From <em>Frozen</em></h2> <p>You don&rsquo;t need kids to jump in on the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=frozen&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Afrozen&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=YLRTYHXCK2J2XBU6">Frozen</a> trend. Doll up your pup in this <a href="http://jaderbomb.com/2014/10/15/homemade-halloween-costume-for-dogs/">Elsa snow queen</a> costume &mdash; complete with a wig. Use blue tulle to fashion a flowing skirt made for a princess. And the wig is just white yarn hot glued onto some felt.</p> <h2>6. Teddy Bear</h2> <p>Who doesn&rsquo;t love a cuddly stuffed animal? Turn your pet into a <a href="http://www.i-heart-pets.com/munchkin-the-shih-tzu/">Teddy bear</a> with this nifty tutorial. Find an old stuffed bear, cut its face out, and cut open the back of the toy. Leave stuffing in the arms. Then attach using some Velcro or string.</p> <h2>7. Lion</h2> <p>Maybe your pet wants to feel like the king of the jungle. Try this <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Lion-Dog-Costume/?ALLSTEPS">lion costume</a> on for size. It&rsquo;s especially perfect for larger dogs and requires a bit of sewing knowledge. You&rsquo;ll start by measuring your pet&rsquo;s head and neck so you can sew a simple base layer. After that, you&rsquo;ll pin fur to the base and then sew it into place. Don&rsquo;t forget the ears!</p> <h2>8. Candy Corn</h2> <p>This <a href="http://diymaven.com/2009/09/09/crochet-a-candy-corn-pet-sweater/">crochet candy corn</a> sweater will look cool and keep your kitty warm. You&rsquo;ll need orange, yellow, and white yarn. The project is completed in just 16 rows of various stitches. Definitely a great project for beginners looking to learn a new craft.</p> <h2>9. Bat</h2> <p>Martha Stewart&rsquo;s team came up with this <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/852545/bat-wings-harness-costume">bat wing harness costume</a>, and it&rsquo;s a winner. You&rsquo;ll print out a wing template, cut the shape from three pieces of felt, and then stitch them together. Then cut a small rectangle of felt to secure to your pet&rsquo;s harness. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-pieces-of-homemaking-advice-from-martha-stewart?ref=seealso">The 7 Best Pieces of Homemaking Advice From Martha Stewart</a>)</p> <h2>10. Spider</h2> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pwsuWyZM9O4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwsuWyZM9O4">DIY spider</a> costume that's creepy and crawly. The best part? Your pet won&rsquo;t mind wearing it. All you need are <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001VG5KPM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001VG5KPM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MZW442XVXRWZC5JS">pipe cleaners</a> and a dog (or cat) collar. Twist pipe cleaners until you get a nice, thick leg that&rsquo;s around 15 inches long. Then tie the legs to the collar, four on each side. Use the giant pipe cleaners for more drama.</p> <h2>11. Construction Worker</h2> <p>If you have an hour, you have enough time to make this <a href="http://chasethestar.net/2015/10/diy-pet-costume.html">construction worker</a> costume for your animal. Take two squares of orange felt and cover it with a strip of metallic silver duct tape and yellow felt. Cut a small hole into this new vest and loop elastic through for a custom fit. Finish off with a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00567GDAI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00567GDAI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AMVNNLCNC7A6XKE3">foam construction hat</a>.</p> <h2>12. Painted Pet</h2> <p>Do you have, like, zero crafting skills? Check out <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=pet%20paint&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Apet%20paint&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=2JQC5MLQO5RB5TA6">pet paint</a>, a veterinarian-approved pigment spray that washes off your pet with mild shampoo. You can safely spray a costume &mdash; like this <a href="http://www.mypawsitivelypets.com/2013/10/i-painted-my-dog-to-look-like-tiger.html">tiger dog</a> &mdash; in no time at all. You can even get <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=pet%20paint%20stencil&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Apet%20paint%20stencil&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=SGQQ7TD2V6OHLPWT">pet stencils</a> to make the process easier. Rinse and repeat for another event.</p> <h2>13. Ghost</h2> <p>Or go with this <a href="https://instagram.com/p/e79EeZMW6d/">classic ghost</a> costume. It&rsquo;s so easy, a kid could make it. You&rsquo;ll need a small white sheet or piece of fabric. (It looks like the author may have used a white t-shirt.) Cut holes large enough for your pet&rsquo;s eyes and snout. Slip it on and spook your friends.</p> <p><em>Are your pets dressing up for Halloween? Share their costumes in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-halloween-costumes-for-your-pets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-halloween-treats-you-can-make-in-an-instant-pot">9 Halloween Treats You Can Make in an Instant Pot</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-festive-and-easy-diy-holiday-decorations">14 Festive and Easy DIY Holiday Decorations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY cats crafts dogs Halloween Holidays pet costumes Fri, 23 Oct 2015 17:16:47 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1597936 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ridiculously Overpriced Pet Products http://www.wisebread.com/10-ridiculously-overpriced-pet-products <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ridiculously-overpriced-pet-products" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chihuahua-dog-bed-fancy-accessories-Dollarphotoclub_36470129.jpg" alt="chihuahua fancy" title="chihuahua fancy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans love their pets. In fact, the estimated amount we <a href="http://www.petfoodindustry.com/Pet_spending_estimated_at_US$58_5_billion_for_2014.html">spent on our pets</a> in 2014 was almost $60 billion. That's a whole lot of dog treats and cat toys. However, while a lot of those purchases were worth the money, some were a little exorbitant to say the least. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought?ref=seealso">7 Homemade Pet Toys That Are Cheaper and Better Than Storebought</a>)</p> <p>With money being tight for so many of us these days, we have to make the best financial choices for ourselves, whilst keeping the wellbeing of our pets top of mind. With that being said, the following 10 products should be avoided. Not only are they insanely overpriced, they're also wasted on animals that really don't care if they eat prime rib or &quot;prime cuts&quot; of mystery meat in jelly.</p> <h2>1. Persian Lamb and Mink Dog Coat &mdash; $995</h2> <p>Here's the thing about dogs; they already have a coat. Nature provided them with a way of keeping warm, and they can shed the volume of this coat in the warmer months to stay a little cooler. So providing a dog with a coat, well, that's like wearing a jacket on top of your jacket. Admittedly, sometimes in extreme weather, you may want to cover your pooch with a dog jacket. That's often more for your own peace of mind than the dog's safety. But if you do, avoid a <a href="http://www.bonanza.com/listings/Black-Persian-Lamb-With-Sheared-Mink-Collar-Dog-Coat/89709521">$1000 coat</a> made from lamb's wool and mink. It looks ridiculous, it costs an arm and a leg, and the dog won't care!</p> <h2>2. Ebano Intreccio Scolpito Dog Collar &mdash; $420</h2> <p>The translation means &quot;carved ebony.&quot; That's a tad confusing when you look at the actual collar and realize that it's just a leather collar. Oh, but not just any leather collar. This&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bottegaveneta.com/us/pet-accessory_cod51118599xp.html">collar costs $420</a>. The description says that it is &quot;sculpted to perfection&quot; and is &quot;extremely strong, resistant, and beautiful.&quot; For $420, it should walk the dog while you sit back and enjoy a coffee and a donut.</p> <h2>3. The Louis XV Pet Pavilion Dog Bed &mdash; $23,995</h2> <p>Styled after an 18th Century French commode (which is actually a chest of drawers, not a toilet), this&nbsp;<a href="http://styletipsy.com/accessories/louis-xv-pet-pavilion/">lavish dog bed</a> will set you back the price of a new 2015 Ford Escape. However, unlike the SUV, this beautifully carved dog bed does&hellip; well, nothing. It just sits there, looking pretty (if you like that sort of thing) and is a shining example that you have money to burn. Only for the very rich, and very stupid.</p> <h2>4. Sexy Beast Dog Perfume &mdash; $65</h2> <p>You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to waste money. This purchase will set you back just $65, but you may as well flush your money down the toilet. Touted as a &quot;<a href="http://www.sexybeastperfume.com/">unisex pet fragrance</a>,&quot; Sexy Beast is available in 1.7 ounce and 3.4 ounce sizes. It is a blend of &quot;bergamot and vanilla-infused musk, combined with natural patchouli, mandarin, and nutmeg oils.&quot; What a waste of time. Give your dog a bath. Or if they really hum and that doesn't work, you'd be better off spraying them with a little air freshener or Febreze. Save your money for fragrances humans can wear.</p> <h2>5. Swarovski Crystal Cat Flap &mdash; $1,650</h2> <p>If you own a cat or two, you know that cat flaps are not exactly the height of design elegance. They're functional, as they should be. They serve the purpose of letting the cat come in and out of the room or house without having to keep the door open. Ideally, they go unnoticed. Unless, however, you shell out a small fortune for one of these&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1158909/The-1-000-Swarovski-crystal-encrusted-cat-flap-creates-purrrfect-pet-entrance.html">hideous things</a>. Not only does it look like it cost a few bucks from a discount store, it doesn't even hide the full cat flap!</p> <h2>6. The 8' x 10' Luxury Dog House Kit &mdash; $3,399</h2> <p>The most insulting thing about that dog house is the word &quot;kit.&quot; For that kind of money, you should have it delivered to your dog fully assembled, and be treated to dinner at a five-star restaurant. But no, you have to build this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.doowaggle.com/8-x-10-luxury-dog-house-kit-cape-cod-model/">luxury pooch palace</a>&nbsp;yourself. It's not even painted! It features wood wall framing, wood trusses, and an adult entrance door to check in on your pampered best friend.</p> <h2>7. The Cat Cabin &mdash; $1,400</h2> <p>Handmade with wood and liana (a kind of vine) this <a href="http://www.homebasic.de/index.php?show=sturm%20und%20drang&amp;product=5">cosy cat cabin</a>&nbsp;features a dirt repellent pillow and multiple entrance and exit points. It is made by HomeBasic, a German company, and as it is woven by German artisans, you know the cost is going towards construction and not raw materials. After all, it's basically wicker and rattan.</p> <h2>8. Designer Poodle Tiara &mdash; $4.2 million</h2> <p>This kind of extravagant spending is obscene. When you consider the amount of people in this world who are poor and hungry, throwing away millions of dollars on an <a href="http://www.bornrich.com/42-million-designer-tiara-for-pampered-poochie.html">ornament for a dog</a> makes absolutely no sense. The dog has no idea what it's wearing, or why. It's simply a way for the owners to say &quot;Look how much money we have.&quot; With any luck, the dog will bury it somewhere in the back garden and make the owners go digging.</p> <h2>9. Versace Barocco Pet Bowl &mdash; $754</h2> <p>What is more important? The food you give your pet, or the dish you serve it in? If you answered with the latter, congratulations&hellip; you've got more money than sense. Feed your pet a healthy diet and serve it in a dish that costs $20 or less. Something sturdy. Not a <a href="http://www.pawnation.com/2013/09/17/pamper-your-cat-edition/5">dish inlaid with gold</a>. The write-up even says &quot;Your cat may not know the difference, but you will, right?&quot; Yes, you should know better.</p> <h2>10. Pet Resorts &mdash; $1,000 and Up</h2> <p>If you're off on vacation but can't bring your dog or cat with you, why not send them on their own holiday? Why not? Because it's insane. Places like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI62VAc1Y5s">Paradise Ranch</a> take away that guilty feeling by pampering your pet for days, or even weeks, with the highest of care. Services like &quot;human companionship while they sleep&quot; and &quot;full service spas&quot; ensure that your dog will have a confusing but comfortable time while you're away. Remember&hellip; pets are not people; you don't treat them the way you want to be treated, you treat them the way they need to be cared for. Boogie board lessons are not fun; they're strange and harrowing.</p> <p><em>What's the most you've ever spent on stuff for a pup or a kitty?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ridiculously-overpriced-pet-products">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-pet-expenses-that-arent-worth-it">4 Pet Expenses That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cats dogs money wastes pet care pet toys pets Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1289846 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Pet Expenses That Aren't Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/4-pet-expenses-that-arent-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-pet-expenses-that-arent-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/labrador-puppy-chew-toy-Dollarphotoclub_74327010.jpg" alt="puppy chew toy" title="puppy chew toy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Pets give us so much: fun, cuddles, love. But they are also very expensive. There are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">lots of ways</a> to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-yank-the-leash-on-pet-expenses">curb your pet expenses</a>, but here are the four pet expenses that are really just not worth it.</p> <h2>Pet Insurance</h2> <p>A health <a href="http://www.petinsurance.com/">insurance plan</a> for your dog, cat, bird, snake, or any other pet, might sound like a good idea, especially if you have a purebred animal prone to health issues late in life. However, the insurance deal for pets is not exactly as great as the kind we humans get.</p> <p>First, the premiums are high considering how few issues will likely arise. The basic plans are around $11 per month, and comprehensive care is up to $40 per month. Over the course of a pets life, let's say 10 years, you will have spent up to $4800. That's the cost of a resort vacation or a used car!</p> <p>Second, problems requiring a specialist will still cost you an arm and leg. If you have a big issue, like a <a href="http://consumerist.com/2013/04/09/getting-health-insurance-for-my-pet-was-a-bad-deal-heres-why/">dog enduring heart failure</a>, one can find that with each visit, the reimbursements get smaller and smaller. Considering the vet costs and the type of pet, you might be better off paying for expenses as they arise.</p> <h2>Obedience Classes</h2> <p>Even post-Cesar Milan, we are still in a dog training craze. Many folks adopting rescue pets might believe they need to buy discipline courses or &quot;boot camps.&quot; But these classes are a high risk for an uncertain reward: Group classes cost up to $125 on average, private classes cost up to $500 on average, and boarding school training can cost $1800 on average; and there's little guarantee the results will last.</p> <p>So how can you train a pet without classes? It's simple: As the owner of a pet (specifically dogs), you are the alpha. That means the obedience training should come from you. There are lots of resources on how to spend time and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/training-your-dog-9-hazardous-habits-and-how-to-break-them">training pets yourself</a>. Home training not only ensures that you spend quality time with your pet and that the results are working, but you'll save tons of money.</p> <h2>Too Many Toys</h2> <p>Toys are such an easy way to entertain (or appease) our animal friends. Pet stores will successfully sell us on wacky and cute toys for almost every kind of pet &mdash; because who doesn't want to see their pet play and have fun?</p> <p>Pet toys are pricey, though. They also have high turnover. A toy lasts for a few months until it's completely torn apart, and then you need to replace it. Try saving money by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-diy-dog-toys-you-can-make-for-pennies">making your own toys</a> or recycling toys. If you have a cat? A coat hanger with a string on it, or a little piece of trash on the floor will always suffice.</p> <h2>Fresh Prepared Pet Food</h2> <p>Dog and cat bakeries, artisanal fresh foods delivered to you, farmer's market carts just for pets, there are so many ways to waste money on your pet with indulgent treats. A lot of these food options are positioned as the only &quot;healthy&quot; choice for your pet's health.</p> <p>How many times have we gone to Whole Foods for kale, but left with salted caramel ice cream? It's the same with these specialty dog food brands. Dogs do not need popsicles, nor we should never entertain the idea. The 10 bucks here, 20 bucks there add up to an insane meals and entertainment budget for your pet. Want to try fresh, raw pet food? <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-dog-food-recipe-and-cost">Try making it yourself</a> without the markup.</p> <p><em>What pet expenses do you consider a waste? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-pet-expenses-that-arent-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ridiculously-overpriced-pet-products">10 Ridiculously Overpriced Pet Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cats dogs pet care pets Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:00:13 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1270233 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-couple-dogs-Dollarphotoclub_74155837.jpg" alt="young couple pets" title="young couple pets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The pet industry is big business &mdash; <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/americans-spent-a-record-56-billion-on-pets-last-year/">$56 billion</a> in 2013 to be exact. And while you want your pet to be happy and healthy, you don't need to contribute any more to that $56 billion than is necessary. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-diy-dog-toys-you-can-make-for-pennies?ref=seealso">10 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make for Pennies</a>)</p> <p>So check out this set of personal finance tips that will help you care for your furry best friends without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>1. Perfect Your Grooming Skills</h2> <p>I've never taken any of my pets to a professional groomer for their coats. You can easily buy salon-quality products and gadgets that make taking care of your pet's fur an inexpensive and even fun task. I make sure my pup gets a bath every week (with conditioner) and a brushing every day to keep his coat and skin healthy. Once a month I have his nails clipped and every six months I have his teeth cleaned by professionals. This regular maintenance and preventative care, the majority of which I do at home in my bathtub, keeps him looking and feeling his best.</p> <h2>2. Maintain Proper Diet and Exercise</h2> <p>Being overweight is one of the main causes of premature death and illness among pets. To keep your pet healthy and to keep your vet bills low, make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise and eats just the right amount of food. Also, avoid table scraps. While your pet may love them, their systems are not attuned to the human diet and can cause severe digestive issues.</p> <h2>3. Get Training</h2> <p>Training will save you from the expense of having your house and/or yard torn apart, and it will keep your pet safe from harm as well. There are a variety of options when it comes to training. When I first adopted my dog, I read every Cesar Millan book and followed his advice to the letter. Because my pup had terrible separation anxiety, I found tremendous value in Nicole Wilde's book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0981722733/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0981722733&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GVRPI2RWW7NEE6AX">Don't Leave Me!</a> You can also enroll your pet in group classes or get private sessions with a trainer.</p> <h2>4. Get Pet Insurance</h2> <p>When I adopted my dog, I immediately got pet insurance. Though he's only five, that insurance has more than paid for itself and given me tremendous peace of mind. Veterinary care is expensive. It will undoubtedly get more expensive as my little guy gets older because he will develop health issues through the natural process of aging.</p> <p>I have an excellent plan through <a href="http://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/">Healthy Paws</a>. I pay a low monthly fee, a $50 annual deductible, and then they pick up 90% of the tab beyond the basic doctor visit cost. It's important to note that you must get insurance while your pet is still young because pre-existing conditions are often not covered and most plans won't start coverage if your pet is beyond a certain age.</p> <h2>5. Shop Around for Care</h2> <p>Speaking of veterinary care, make sure to shop around to get a feel for average pricing. When I first adopted my dog, I just went to the closest vet because I assumed they were all pretty much the same. Not so. There are huge variations in the level of care as well as the cost. There is also a wide spread on quality and cost of care when it comes to dog grooming, walking, daycare, and boarding. Do your homework online and in-person to get the best value and quality for your dollar.</p> <h2>6. Visit Clinics for Simple Stuff</h2> <p>Even once you find a high-quality, good value vet, there are other options for certain types of pet care. I used to happily take my dog to my vet for his vaccines. Then I discovered <a href="http://www.luvmypet.com/">LuvMyPet</a>, a mobile unit that makes stops at my local Petco every weekend. LuvMyPet's vaccines are exactly the same as the ones from my vet, but they're literally half the price.</p> <h2>7. Shop Around Online for Supplies</h2> <p>Do not buy medicine, food, or supplies from your vet or a brick-and-mortar retailer unless it's an emergency. These establishments generally have a huge markup. You can get a much better deal online from <a href="http://amazon.com">Amazon</a>, <a href="http://www.1800petmeds.com/">1800PetMeds</a>, and <a href="http://wag.com">Wag.com</a>.</p> <p><em>What cost-effective ways have you found to take care of your pets?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ridiculously-overpriced-pet-products">10 Ridiculously Overpriced Pet Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-pet-expenses-that-arent-worth-it">4 Pet Expenses That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance cats dogs pet care pet insurance pets veterinarian Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:00:07 +0000 Christa Avampato 1268205 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/20140304_125546.jpg" alt="dog" title="dog" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We love our pets. So much so that in 2013, Americans spent a whopping <a href="http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp">$55 billion</a> on their furry friends. Almost $14 billion of that went to pet supplies and over the counter (OTC) medicines. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-use-your-credit-card-to-pay-for-these-10-things?ref=seealso">10 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make For Pennies</a>)</p> <p>But here's the thing: While recently browsing my local pet supply stores, I found that quite a few of the products contained ingredients that are less than healthy for my dog and the price tag was often pretty steep. I decided to do some price and quality comparisons and found I could make the following products healthier and cheaper than comparable products I could buy at retailers:</p> <h2>1. Toys</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-toy-453747615-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>There are dozens of DIY toy ideas online. My pup loves to solve puzzles, especially when treats are involved. These puzzle toys usually involve hiding a treat inside a compartment that my dog has to figure out how to open. <a href="http://www.shop.nina-ottosson.com/all-products/dogtornado-plastic-level-2.html">Nina Ottosson</a> has a great line of puzzle toys for dogs and I have a few of them that cost me about $40 each. But I could have made this <a href="http://www.babble.com/pets/10-brain-games-to-challenge-and-entertain-your-pet/">similar toy</a> for my pup using a muffin tin and tennis balls for $5, and he also would have had the tennis balls to bounce around the house!</p> <h2>2. Bedding</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-suitcase-506978391-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Have you seen the price of dog beds lately? I recently went to my local Target to get my little guy a new cozy nap space, and small dog beds (of rather boring design and fairly low quality) cost about $25. Instead, I picked up a small vintage suitcase at my local thrift store that is in great shape and lined it with a plush towel and squishy pillow for less than $10. Try these inspiring <a href="http://www.zippypaws.com/blog/?p=321">designs for suitcase pet bedding</a>.</p> <h2>3. Wet Wipes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-wipes-178831582-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>In between his baths, I like to wipe down my pup with wet wipes, particularly after a long walk in the park or a stroll around the streets of New York. Most commercial wipes have chemicals in them that I'd rather not put on my pup's skin (particularly if he's likely to lick his paws!), so I looked into organic wipes that typically cost about $10. Instead, I followed Southern Wag's DIY recipe and made a better quality, healthier wipes for less than $3.</p> <h2>4. Shampoo</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-bath-178807773-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>My dog has dry skin and it causes him to become very itchy and uncomfortable. My vet recommended a prescription shampoo that cost (brace yourself!) $21 for an 8 ounce bottle. However, I didn't want my little guy to be uncomfortable, so I bought it for him. Unfortunately it didn't do much good and it also had a medicine-like scent. I started poking around online and found this <a href="http://soapdelinews.com/2014/05/diy-natural-homemade-dog-shampoo-recipe-neem-oil.html">recipe for dog shampoo</a> by Rebecca Dillon. Total cost for the same 8 ounces was $12, it worked like a charm, and it smelled so much better!</p> <h2>5. Treats</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-treats-164932166-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Quite a few commercially-sold pet treat products are made in China and after <a href="http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/productsafetyinformation/ucm295445.htm">the contamination issues</a> earlier this year, I started to investigate other options I could make at home. I found a recipe for these <a href="http://www.spoonforkbacon.com/2011/09/bacon-bark-sticks/">bacon bark sticks</a> that are a snap to make and cost only $3 for two dozen tasty treats.</p> <h2>6. Surface Cleaner</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-cleaner-464898385-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Just like humans, pets get sick from time to time. I wanted a cleaner to clean up after my pet that is non-toxic and safe on home surfaces. I could buy <a href="http://www.drugstore.com/method-all-purpose-surface-cleaner-pink-grapefruit/qxp83527?catid=184283">a cleaner by Method</a> for $4 per bottle. I found this <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Homemade-Pet-Stain-Cleaner-30885507">recipe for a petsafe surface cleaner</a> online that costs less than $1 to make from items I already have in my home and it did the trick!</p> <h2>7. Tummy Remedy</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dog-sleeping-484404711-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Dogs have very acidic digestive systems. It's a holdover from their wolf ancestors who needed to break down the food they caught in the wild. The build-up of acid overnight caused my pup's tummy to often be upset first thing in the morning. My vet wanted to put him on an antacid medicine that would cost $10 month. While I would have been happy to spend that, I wanted to check out natural remedies that might help. After a little investigation, I discovered that a teaspoon of mashed sweet potato once a day calmed his stomach and eliminated the problem for a grand total of $1.50 per month at my local grocery store. I buy the sweet potatoes, boil them, and mash them myself.</p> <p>While I love to make DIY items as much as possible, there are some pet Items that I do buy commercially, and you should too. For example, flea and tick medicine are essential to your pet's health and to your home's health as well. Once you have a flea or tick issue in your home, it is very difficult to remedy. While I've tried all-natural flea and tick medicines for my dog, they've never worked that well, so I stick with commercial brands. I also have a professional groomer do his nail clipping and teeth brushing to ensure that they're done properly.</p> <p>Because you can't put a price on pup beauty.</p> <p><em>(Please note that you should never give human medicine to your pet; always consult your veterinarian before giving any medication to your pet.)</em></p> <p><em>Please share your favorite DIY pet products in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle animals cats DIY dogs Homemade pet food pet supplies pets Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Christa Avampato 1190936 at http://www.wisebread.com How Much Does It Cost to Keep a Cat? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-keep-a-cat <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-does-it-cost-to-keep-a-cat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wisebread.jpg" alt="cat" title="The expense of cat care can range widely." class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When my family acquired a pair of kittens from a local shelter, it felt like a frugal move. We had been unsuccessful in ridding our old house of mice using traps, and we weren't willing to use poison or pay for a monthly pest control service or other expensive measures. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-yank-the-leash-on-pet-expenses">5 Ways to Yank the Leash on&nbsp;Pet Expenses</a>)</p> <p>And for the first few months, it worked out that way. Sure, we had to pay an adoption fee that covered spaying and their first round of shots, and the first vet appointment was pricey, but after that, feeding them cost under $1 a day, even when we bought the good cat food. The mice in our house didn't turn out to be free cat food, but they did provide our new pets with hours of entertainment until they wisely decided to vacate the premises.</p> <p>Then Acorn Ranger happened.</p> <p>I was asleep at my parents' Wisconsin cabin one morning when my niece shoved something scrawny and matted in my face. &quot;Look what we found!&quot; she said.</p> <p>What they found was the tiniest little stray kitten, with adorably huge, hairy ears, prominent ribs and runny eyes. We named him Acorn Ranger, and when it was time to drive home, we brought the kitten along. We already had a couple of cats, what difference could one more make?</p> <p>A couple thousand dollars worth of difference, it turned out.</p> <p>First of all, when we brought Acorn Ranger into our house, even though we sequestered him to a bathroom pending a medical checkup, our other cats (now about a year old) freaked out. One of them started peeing on the carpet. Every day.</p> <p>Then we brought Acorn Ranger to the vet, thinking we'd pay for shots and neutering, and get what appeared to be an eye infection cleared up. Instead, we learned that the vet needed to test him for FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) and feline leukemia. She also prescribed an antibiotic eye drop, an oral antibiotic for a cough we hadn't noticed, and treated him for a wound on his stomach that we hadn't even seen under his matted fur. The initial bill was about $400 &mdash; and he hadn't even gotten his vaccinations yet.</p> <p>Meanwhile, one of our other cats ended up at the vet with a bladder infection. The vet explained that some cats are prone to these infections when they feel stressed &mdash; like when a strange new cat comes to live in their house. The bill was mounting.</p> <p>Acorn Ranger's blood test came back positive for FIV. This meant that he might have the communicable disease, so he couldn't live with our cats. Luckily, we were able to find him a new home where no other cats lived. But even after Acorn Ranger departed, our expenses were not over. One of our original cats continued peeing on the carpet. Eventually we pulled out the carpet and hired a handyman to remove the remaining staples. She started peeing on the bare floor in the same old spot. We had to have the wood floor refinished at the cost of over $1,000. (The wood under the carpet was ugly and would have needed refinishing eventually anyway, but if it hadn't been for the darn cat we never would have found that out because it would have remained hidden under carpeting.)</p> <p>All these events serve to illustrate how unpredictable pet expenses can be. We had hoped our cats would only cost us a few hundred dollars per year, but instead the cost of one year topped $2,000. The next year went much more smoothly &mdash; but you never know what may happen next.</p> <p>So how much can you expect to spend keeping a cat? <a href="http://www.petside.com/article/real-cost-owning-cat">Petside.com estimates</a> that you will spend $900-$1,500 in the first year, including an adoption fee, spaying/neutering, initial vaccinations, and supplies. Subsequent years, the site predicts, will cost $600-$900.</p> <p>Here are the typical things you spend money on with cats.</p> <h2>Food</h2> <p><a href="http://catcentric.org/nutrition-and-food/raw-feeding/how-much-does-it-cost-to-feed-my-cat-or-i-can-afford-to-feed-commercial-raw/">CatCentric</a> estimates that you can spend anything from 22 cents a day (Cat Chow kibble) to $5.48 a day (Royal Canin Instinctive canned) to feed a 10-pound kitty. Interestingly, commercially available raw foods &mdash; usually more richer in nutrients than canned or dry &mdash; fall in between kibble and canned food cost-wise, at about $1 per day, according to an analysis by <a href="http://catcentric.org/nutrition-and-food/raw-feeding/how-much-does-it-cost-to-feed-my-cat-or-i-can-afford-to-feed-commercial-raw/">CFA and cat-rescuer Laurie D. Goldstein</a>. Making homemade cat food can cost even less and be healthier than what you buy in the store &mdash; according to <a href="http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood#Cost">CatInfo.org by veterinarian Lisa A. Pierson</a>, nutritionally balanced cat food can be made at home for 87 cents per day, per cat.</p> <h2>Litter</h2> <p>I usually pay 30-50 cents a pound for litter, and a quick check of <a href="http://www.petco.com/shop/searchresults.aspx?Ntt=litter&amp;x=0&amp;y=0">Petco.com</a> shows several varieties available for that price. How long it lasts depends on how finicky you and your cats are. I probably use about five pounds of litter a week, at a cost of about $1.50. If you use a litter box liner, this adds about 50 cents a week.</p> <h2>Maintenance Vet Care</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/cat-care-aging.aspx">ASPCA advises</a> you get your cat an annual checkup &mdash; my most recent vet recommended twice a year. The cost of this routine visit will vary by geography and fanciness of waiting room;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aikenanimalhospital.com/index-6.html">Aiken Animal Hospital</a> in South Carolina lists a cost of $93 for an annual checkup. Vaccination costs can vary widely too, since not all vets recommend you get the full complement of shots every year. Pierson, of CatInfo.org,&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; ">does not recommend annual vaccines other than for rabies as required by local laws.</span></p> <h2>Vet Treatment</h2> <p>If something goes wrong, the cost of treatment comes down to how much you are willing or able to pay before considering euthanization or just living with the problem. The <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/us/new-treatments-to-save-a-pet-but-questions-about-the-costs.html?pagewanted=all">New York Times recently reported on pet owners</a> &mdash; mostly those with dogs &mdash; spending as much as $10,000 on advanced medical treatments. A full course of radiation treatment for cancer can cost $6,000. This <a href="http://money.msn.com/insurance/should-you-buy-pet-insurance-weston.aspx">MSN article lists the most expensive common cat ailments</a> as foreign body ingestions ($1,629) and urinary tract reconstruction ($1,399).</p> <h2>Insurance</h2> <p>I don't have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it">health insurance for our cats</a> because my husband and I have agreed that we will not provide extraordinary treatments for them. But if you are more attached to your cat than I am and feel you must provide any treatment needed, despite the cost, insurance may be worth looking into. Premium costs vary, but this <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2010/12/29/pet-insurance-is-it-worth-the-cost/">Get Rich Slowly post pegs the cost at about $1 a day</a>. Sierra Black, author of that post, determined that for her, the right answer was to set aside money for cat care instead of buying insurance.</p> <h2>Frills</h2> <p>To me, commercially produced cat toys, grooming, and Halloween costumes are all frills. We have occasionally spent $3 on a laser pointer or a cat dancer, but my kids have also fabricated teasers that entertain the cats almost as well. Our cats' grooming is limited to my daughters' attempts to bathe them, the occasional brushing (also by the kids), and the work of their own tongues.</p> <p>In a year without a medical disaster or feline damage to my home, I spend approximately $450 on each of my cats per year, for food, litter and medical check-ups/shots &mdash; plus random extras like the carriers we had to buy to move our cats across the country. But just one health problem or fit of property destruction can turn an average year into an expensive year.</p> <p>Here are some of the tricks I use to keep costs down:</p> <ul> <li>Measure cats' food and don't overfeed. This not only saves on food purchase, but it also saves on medical costs by preventing obesity.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Supplement commercial food with meat. I don't formulate my own pet food, but after getting the go-ahead from my vet, I occasionally supplement my cats' commercial food with meat left over from human meals or on-sale canned tuna packed in water. Sometimes regular meat costs less than a can of cat food &mdash; and the cats usually love it. A caveat &mdash; because commercial foods are formulated to meet a cat's full nutritional needs for the day, vets warn that you shouldn't add more than 10-15% plain meat, or you risk unbalancing the diet.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When needed, get a prescription from the vet and fill it elsewhere, such as <a href="http://www.discountpetmedicines.com/">DiscountPetMedicines</a>. In my experience, vets fill prescriptions in the office without consulting me &mdash; if you plan to shop around, you'll need to let the vet know upfront.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>On a similar note, don't be shy about telling the vet what you can afford. <a href="http://sensetosave.com/2008/03/15/how-to-reduce-the-costs-of-pet-ownership/">Sense to Save</a> posted about this issue, advising, &quot;When your vet enters the exam room, say, 'Before you do something, please tell me how much it will cost.'&quot;</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-keep-a-cat">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation">6 Ways to Feel Better About Your Financial Situation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-monthly-expenses-we-dont-realize-we-dont-need">7 Monthly Expenses We Don&#039;t Realize We Don&#039;t Need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle cats cheap pets pet care Wed, 25 Jul 2012 09:48:39 +0000 Carrie Kirby 944071 at http://www.wisebread.com What to pack for a road trip with Rover http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-pack-for-a-road-trip-with-rover <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-pack-for-a-road-trip-with-rover" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/roadtripdoggie.jpg" alt="dog in car" title="dog in car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="224" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our friends at <a href="http://www.itchmo.com/">Itchmo.com</a> recently posted some helpful hints about what to pack when you go road tripping with your four-legged friends. It might seem like a bit much, but planning ahead and having everything you need on hand is the best money saver for road trips. That, and <em>never stopping at a gas station even when all your children really need to pee and haven't eaten since the day before</em> (you know who you are, Dad).</p> <p>So, what to pack for your little critters? Besides water and food, Itchmo suggests:</p> <ul> <li>LOTS of plastic bags</li> <li>Baby wipes</li> <li>Extra leashes</li> <li>Sunscreen</li> <li>Flea and tick treatment</li> <li>Favorite toy &amp; blanket</li> <li>Tags and vaccine papers (especially for cross-border travel)</li> <li>Your veterinarian's phone number</li> </ul> <p>A more <a href="http://www.itchmo.com/read/what-goes-in-a-travel-bag-for-my-dog_20070722">complete list is available on Itchmo's site</a>.</p> <p>Because I'm a freak about the state of the car I'm traveling in, I would also pack:</p> <ul> <li>Lint roller</li> <li>Benadryl and/or Pepto Bismol</li> <li>List of pet-friendly destinations</li> <li>Air freshener and roll of quarters for gas station vacuum</li> <li>Old towels</li> <li>First aid kit (yeah, this should already be in my car)</li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-to-pack-for-a-road-trip-with-rover&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%20to%20pack%20for%20a%20road%20trip%20with%20Rover.jpg&amp;description=What%20to%20pack%20for%20a%20road%20trip%20with%20Rover" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20to%20pack%20for%20a%20road%20trip%20with%20Rover.jpg" alt="What to pack for a road trip with Rover" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-pack-for-a-road-trip-with-rover">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to">10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Travel cats dogs driving road trip Mon, 30 Jul 2007 21:27:14 +0000 Andrea Karim 929 at http://www.wisebread.com Pet Peeves Part 3: Vet Visits http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-3-vet-visits <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/kitten.jpg" alt="http://www.morguefile.com/forum/profile.php?username=seabreeze&amp;MORGUEFILE=90pv7lqva2471egn0hve7sbbl0" title="by Simon Jackson" width="283" height="188" /></p> <p>My animals are a pricey bunch. Cute, and sweet, but medically challenged. Between facial fold issues, allergies to grass (seriously, what kind of dog is allergic to <em>grass</em>?), and a cat with apparent manic depression, we&#39;ve spent a lot of time at the vet&#39;s office, at a few hundred bucks a pop. </p> <p>The last thing that my dog managed to come down with was a grass seed between his toes. He never gave any sign of distress, and I only noticed it when the other dog started sniffing at the wound. Apparently this is common, and you probably won&#39;t see it until it swells up and starts bleeding.</p> <p>The thing is, most of my animals&#39; health issues are annoying and probably painful, but not deadly. And they always occur on a Saturday night, meaning that I have to wait until Monday morning to get them seen by a vet, unless I want to take the to the emergency hospital, which is twice the price of the regular vet.</p> <p>I&#39;ve stopped going to the emergency hospital because I&#39;ve learned to combat pet problems, at least the ones that send us to the emergency room, by being prepared.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Ounce of prevention, pound of cure </strong></p> <p>Here&#39;s a list of things that I keep on hand to keep my animals out of the vet&#39;s office:</p> <ul> <li>A solid pair of <strong>rubber gloves</strong>, especially if you have to peform some first aid on a cat. Cats don&#39;t like you trying to fix them. Actually, cats just don&#39;t like you. Nothing personal. They&#39;re cats.</li> <p> <li>A regular <strong>first aid kit</strong> can do wonders, if you don&#39;t want to go to the trouble of buying gauze and butterfly bandages separately.</li> <p> <li>Good pair of <strong>tweezers</strong>, for removing ticks, pulling out splinters, etc.</li> <p> <li>One of those <strong>head-cones</strong>. You never know when you&#39;re going to have to stop your dog from chewing on his butt or licking a wound. Yes, he will look stupid running around the house with one of those things on. Too damn bad.</li> <p> <li><strong>Baby wipes</strong>. I think anyone who is alive should keep these onhand, pets or no pets. They are incredibly handy.</li> <p> <li><strong>Neosporin</strong>, for small scrapes and scratches.</li> <p> <li><strong>Skin-cooling spray</strong> or cream. Hydrocortisone is good, or you can use something with soothing chamomile. Scalpicin works fine, too.</li> <p> <li><strong>Hydorgen peroxide</strong>, for cleaning small wounds, such as the ones caused by an exiting grass seed.</li> <p> <li>A damn good pair of <strong>electric clippers</strong>, for trimming the hair around a wounded area.</li> <p> <li><strong>Pepto-Bismol tablets</strong>, for diarrhea. I give two to each dog almost anytime they get runny. Also, egg yolks and yogurt, which are eaten by adventurers the world over to combat traveler&#39;s diarrhea, are a great way to plug up a pooch that has a slight stomach upset, as long as you feel that the source of the upset isn&#39;t dangerous. For instance, switching (non-contaminated) food brands. Don&#39;t get the idea that you can give your pets <a href="http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=0&amp;cat=2041&amp;articleid=3473">any kind of human medication</a>, because you can&#39;t. </li> <p> <li>Particularly flatulent mutts can be treated with <strong>sweet potatoes</strong>, according to <a href="http://www.itchmo.com/read/home-remedies-for-your-pets_20070330">this home remedy</a> from Itchmo.</li> <p> <li><strong>Flea shampoo</strong> and flea treatments. I don&#39;t use these as regularly as some people do, but I keep them around, just in case an infestation occurs. It&#39;s very rare for us, but good to be ready if it happens.</li> <p> <li><strong>Pet meds</strong>. If your pet regularly takes medication, don&#39;t fall behind in providing them. It can mean the difference between happy and healthy, and sitting at the pet hospital at 3AM and <a href="/canadians-try-to-kill-your-pets-pet-food-recall#comment-11224">getting angry at bloggers</a>. [Not that I&#39;m suggesting the Kirk wasn&#39;t giving his dog his meds or anything.]</li> <p> <li>My vet recommends <strong>Benadryl</strong> for the times when my shih tzu has a massive allergy attack. Most human meds aren&#39;t good for dogs, and you should obviously check with yours before giving anything to your dog. Benadryl seems to be widely accepted for allergy treatments, however.</li> <p> <li><strong>Treats</strong>. Dogs (and some cats) will forgive you for popping a huge cyst on their foot if a treat immediately follows.</li> <p> <li>Lots and lots of <strong>towels</strong>. You can never have too many towels.</li> </ul> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Pet Insurance</strong></p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/animal_kingdom_harmony.jpg" alt=" " width="299" height="197" /></p> <p>The discussion over pet insurance is a long and tedious one, and I can&#39;t crunch the numbers for anyone else. Since pet insurance doesn&#39;t cover any pre-existing conditions, I haven&#39;t seen any reason to buy it (for my two pups, it would cost me roughly $100 a month with zero coverage of their current problems). I know that very serious diseases can be a problem later on, but I&#39;ve already decided that I&#39;m not going to let me dogs suffer through harsh treatments for something like cancer. That&#39;s my personal decision, and I don&#39;t expect anyone to agree with it.</p> <p><em>Kitten picture by </em><a href="http://www.morguefile.com/forum/profile.php?username=seabreeze&amp;MORGUEFILE=90pv7lqva2471egn0hve7sbbl0"><em>Simon Jackson</em></a><em>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-3-vet-visits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-1-couture-critters-are-expensive">Pet Peeves Part 1: Couture Critters Are Expensive!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pet-expenses-you-should-never-skip">6 Pet Expenses You Should Never Skip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-lower-your-vet-bills">8 Ways to Lower Your Vet Bills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Allergies bladder canine cats common problems dogs feline hospital ill pets sick sickness vet veterinary Wed, 04 Apr 2007 17:36:18 +0000 Andrea Karim 450 at http://www.wisebread.com Pet Peeves Part 2: Good Grooming http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-2-good-grooming <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pet-peeves-part-2-good-grooming" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-482078794.jpg" alt="diy pet grooming" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dogs are by far the most expensive pets to groom. Cats need a good brushing and maybe the occasional bath, birds clean themselves (as do rodents), and fish LIVE in a bath. So, dog grooming is where a lot of pet owners drop a wad of cash. It doesn't have to be that way.</p> <p>I used to take my dogs to PetSmart for a good all-over grooming &mdash; bath, trim, nails, ears, tooth brushing. PetSmart grooming fees differ depending on the breed you have, not the type of grooming that is performed. Because I have two small dogs that might be considered high-maintenance breeds (a Shih Tzu and a Pekingese), my fees run about $50 per dog, plus taxes. I always thought that this was a bit unfair. I can see charging $50 each if I wanted the dogs to have long, silky hair that was brushed out and swooped up in bows, but I have my dogs clipped short all over. That doesn't matter to PetSmart.</p> <p>All in all, I used to spend over $119 every three weeks to have my dogs groomed (nearly $2,070 per year).</p> <p>Once I calculated that total, I realized that grooming my own dogs was going to be key to saving myself some moo-lah. After a bad experience with $30 Costco dog clippers, I found that although an initial investment in grooming supplies might cost me more than a couple of groom sessions, the purchase would pay for itself within the first four months of ownership.</p> <p>DIY pet grooming isn't nearly as difficult as it sounds. If you just set aside a little bit of time each month, you can save a bundle and still have happy, clean pets.</p> <h2>The First Cut Is the Priciest</h2> <p>First, clippers. The groomers at PetSmart were happy to tell me which clippers they used in the doggie salon, which were conveniently sold at PetSmart for roughly $220. I wrote down the model number and found them on eBay for $160, less than the cost of two grooming sessions. These clippers do require maintenance and replacement blades, but they are still much cheaper than having someone else trim my dogs. Also, I can give my Shih Tzu a mohawk whenever the whim strikes me.</p> <p>Now, I'm not claiming that I do as good a job trimming my dogs as the people at PetSmart. But my dogs aren't that vain, and they look good enough that so far, no one has laughed openly at them.</p> <h2>Rub-a-Dub-Dub</h2> <p>Next, bathing. I had tried unsuccessfully to bathe my dogs by setting them in the bathtub and shampooing them while pouring pots of water over their heads. My little guys are small, but absolutely determined to be nowhere near the water flowing out of the faucet. Turning on the shower did no good because the spray was too dispersed and difficult to aim at such a small target. And they were just too big (and gross) to wash in the kitchen sink. Because I had to do so much fighting, I ended up wasting a lot of water, and I'd usually run out of hot water halfway through bathing the second dog, so that one of them was guaranteed to be shivering and miserable when I was finished (as opposed to just miserable).</p> <p>Thus, I was delighted when my sister gave me a <a href="http://amzn.to/2hcqoVl">Rinse Ace Indoor Pet Sprayer</a>, which she had started using on her large dog after it got too cold to simply hose him off outside one winter. An ingenious little device, the Rinse Ace is a hose with a showerhead that you can plug into your current showerhead. The hose is long enough to reach into the tub for bathing small dogs, and you hold down a little switch to the turn the water on. When you let go, the water stops, thus saving dozens of gallons every bath. Having to hold the button down does cause some hand fatigue, but it's better than using all the hot water, and struggling to keep the dog in the tub while pouring water over its head.</p> <p>I also like using this when I occasionally have to bathe the cat. Since we got her when she was a kitten, she's easier to bathe than a cat that has never been in the water. I have to wear rubber gloves and long sleeves for the process, but it significantly cuts down on her shedding and my allergies.</p> <p>As far as canine beauty products go, I really like the <a href="http://amzn.to/2hcocgw">Lavender and Mint Buddy Wash</a> shampoos and conditioners by Cloud Star. They cost between $9&ndash;$13 per bottle, but they are concentrated so that they last a long time, and leave my dogs smelling great. And, one of my dogs has terrible allergies that cause him to chew and scratch, but the Buddy Wash Conditioner soothes his dry skin and keeps him from scratching.</p> <p>Towels. Never fall for the ruse that your dogs need special towels. Just use your old ones.</p> <h2>Grin and Brush It</h2> <p>Tooth care: This aspect of pet care is often overlooked, but you should brush your dog's teeth at least once a week, if not <a href="http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2089&amp;aid=384">every day</a>. If the process is followed by praise and treats, your pooch with probably endure it. You don't need to get an Oral B Extra Sonic Ultra Laser Boom Brush like the one that you use &mdash; a simple doggie toothbrush and some dog-happy toothpaste is enough.</p> <h2>I Am Canine, Hear Me Bark</h2> <p>Cleaning your dog's ears is actually easier than it sounds. Simply take some tweezers and pluck out most of the small hairs that crowd your dogs' inner ears (not inner-inner &mdash; you're not plucking out their eardrums or anything). Pulling the hairs out is remarkably painless for most dogs. Then swab the inside of the ear with a soft cloth (or Q-Tip, if you have good aim and your dog has small ears). An ear cleanser should be relatively inexpensive and <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_2209_clean-dogs-ears.html">free from alcohol</a>.</p> <h2>Putting Their Best Feet Forward</h2> <p>Nail trimming is my least favorite part of caring for my dogs, and I will occasionally take them to PetSmart with me when I go to pick up their special, hypoallergenic prescription diet, and pay $5 to have someone trim their nails. Remember, if you do it yourself, that it is uncomfortable for dogs, as they have nerve endings in their claws that we don't in our fingernails. Be gentle and patient, but firm.</p> <h2>Flea Market</h2> <p>When I went to PetSmart grooming, I often paid extra for anti-flea treatments, in addition to using Advantage flea-treatment capsules (I use Advantage rather than the better-known Advantix &mdash; it's cheaper and safer around cats). The combination of a flea bath AND flea medication is not necessary. Stick with whatever your vet gives you (Advantage, Advantix, whatever) and forgo anything else. You will need to wait about a week after bathing your dog before using any flea treatments. And all dogs should be protected against fleas, unless you want to deal with worms some day. You don't, trust me. Grossest thing ever.</p> <h2>Smells Like Wasted Money</h2> <p>Perfumes? Bunk. Unless your carry your precious poochie in your handbag, or unless your dog is exceptionally stinky, and your vet has told you that it's not a medical problem and you just have a stinky dog, dog perfumes are simply a waste of money. They can cause skin irritation, and probably cause your dog immense embarrassment around other dogs.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-2-good-grooming">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-1-couture-critters-are-expensive">Pet Peeves Part 1: Couture Critters Are Expensive!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/blood-gore-and-hairy-warts-a-diy-halloween-makeup-guide">Blood, gore and hairy warts; a DIY Halloween makeup guide.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-smart-new-uses-for-hair-clips">15 Smart New Uses for Hair Clips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-your-dog-can-save-you-money">5 Surprising Ways Your Dog Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks bathing cats clippers conditioner cost-saving DIY dogs ear grooming nails paws shampoo solution trimming Mon, 26 Feb 2007 21:45:14 +0000 Andrea Karim 299 at http://www.wisebread.com Pet Peeves Part 1: Couture Critters Are Expensive! http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-1-couture-critters-are-expensive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pet-peeves-part-1-couture-critters-are-expensive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525497677.jpg" alt="it&#039;s expensive to spoil your pets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>All totaled, my dogs cost me $600 every month last year.</p> <p>Between vet visits, allergy meds, their special diet, grooming, the dog walker, new bedding, a bark collar, and having to replace my entire first floor carpet because of one doggie's explosive bowels, I spent more on my dogs each month than I did on my own health and beauty needs.</p> <h2>Doggie Vogue</h2> <p>Just so you don't think that I'm one of those curmudgeons who refuses to dress her dog up for Halloween, I would just like you to remember this: I contemplated paying over $1,000 to give my dog a facelift. And for the record, <a href="http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/216274_dogfacelift17.html">it's not that unusual</a>.</p> <p>My current home, Seattle, has more dogs per household than children. I don't think that this is a bad thing &mdash; we're just a dog-lovin' town. Although most Seattle dog owners are probably the fleece-wearing, kayak-owning, large-dog caregiving types, we are no stranger to the coddled cutesy canine. We're home to several excellent boutiques, some of which sell outrageously-priced but fantastic doggie paraphernalia.</p> <p>There are also no shortage of online shops in which you can blow tons of money on unnecessary bling for your little things (for the record, my shih tzu is named Little Thing, as in &quot;You're such a cute little thing!&quot;). Even Target carries a frighteningly adorable array of <a href="http://www.target.com/c/apparel-dog-supplies-pet-care/-/N-5xt3s#?=lnk_snav_rd_dog_clothes">fashion for Fido</a>.</p> <p>Pets get everything these days. Pet therapists will tell you what weighs on your critter's mind. Dogs get massages.</p> <p>I don't get massages myself, but if I heard that I needed one for my dog, I would consider it.</p> <h2>Resistance Is Not Futile</h2> <p>But we must resist! Or if not resist, then definitely evaluate. Childless dog owners like me often have a misplaced parental necessity to dress up and coo over our little precious puppies, but to what end?</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/kim-n-zero.jpg" alt=" " width="336" height="370" /></p> <p>Some dogs love to dress up (my sister's dog, a Lab-Sharpei-Chow mix pictured here with my sis), likes to strut around in my brother-in-law's t-shirts. You've never seen a dog with prouder body language than Zero once you put a t-shirt over his giant head. But of my own dogs, only one tolerates his rain slicker; the other throws himself bodily against any available surface in an attempt to remove any stitch of clothing on his long, fat little body.</p> <p>Neither of them particularly likes being dressed up as a pumpkin, as much as I want to subject them to it. Believe me, I love the idea of getting them dolled up and photographed.</p> <p>But I also think it's important to figure out what is best for your pet. Take the rain coat example &mdash; I finally determined that it simply wasn't going to work with one of the dogs. He doesn't mind getting rained on, and it only takes me a minute to towel him off, so now I know not to waste my money on buying clothes for him.</p> <p>A local Seattle blogger named Ben Huh (whose family moniker has officially eclipsed Momofuku as Best Last Name Ever) runs a cutey-petooty site called Itchmo that tracks Seattle pet happenings, and he posted a helpful article about saving money on pet food that I found useful. It was because of Ben's site that I decided to start a five-part series of posts on the <a href="http://www.queercents.com/2007/01/16/the-high-cost-of-pet-care/">cost of pet ownership</a>, and include some tips on how to reduce those costs. Well, that, and finding out <a href="/balancing-act-the-perils-of-budgeting">what our Sarah spends</a> on her turtle every month.</p> <p>I've gone from spending hundreds on my dogs every month to spending maybe $100 a month, including vet care. I've learned a thing or two about caring for the fussiest creatures, and I'll be sharing that with Wise Bread readers.</p> <p>So, starting next week, I'll offer some how-to's on saving money while still providing the best care for your pets. Food, grooming, vet bills and insurance, and boarding will all be covered over the course of next week. I've interviewed friends, family, and vets on the best ways to trim your pet spending without depriving your cat of her condo or your Chihuahua of her leopard-print cape. After all, your pet's happiness matters, and if Lola can't be without her rhinestone-studded collar, then we have to find a way to keep her in it.</p> <p>Next up: Saving money on pet food.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-1-couture-critters-are-expensive">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-2-good-grooming">Pet Peeves Part 2: Good Grooming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-your-dog-can-save-you-money">5 Surprising Ways Your Dog Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-pet-expenses-that-arent-worth-it">4 Pet Expenses That Aren&#039;t Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ridiculously-overpriced-pet-products">10 Ridiculously Overpriced Pet Products</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks bedding birds budget care cats daycare dogs Food grooming nails pampered Petco pets turtle Fri, 23 Feb 2007 22:35:37 +0000 Andrea Karim 294 at http://www.wisebread.com