pets http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1036/all en-US What You Can Buy With $5,000 http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-can-buy-with-5000 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-can-buy-with-5000" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kitten_cash_000008767834.jpg" alt="Learning you can buy a kitten and more for $5,000" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>If I had a million dollars&hellip;</em></p> <p>So the song by Canadian alt rockers Barenaked Ladies goes. While it may be fun to imagine what you would spend a cool mill on, it's a lot more realistic to imagine that you may find yourself with $5K to dispose of as you wish. Maybe you got a big tax refund this year, or an unknown uncle left you a little something.</p> <p>Whatever the backstory, here are 11 fun and/or responsible things you could do with $5,000.</p> <h2>1. Pay Off Credit Card Debt</h2> <p>The average American household with credit card debt owes about $15,000. If this is you, making only the monthly minimum payment at a very typical 15% annual interest rate, it could take you seven years to pay off &mdash; and you'd end up wasting $8,000 to $9,000 on interest.</p> <p>Pay down $5,000 of that debt now, and you could finish paying the rest in half the time, for only about $3,000 total interest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso1&amp;utm_campaign=article">Use a Balance Transfer to Pay Off Debt Faste</a>r)</p> <h2>2. Get a Cat</h2> <p>Half leopard, half house cat, the Bengal is a beautiful animal and can be yours for <a href="http://adorablekittens.com/20-of-the-most-expensive-cat-breeds-in-the-world/18/">just about $5,000</a>.</p> <p>If being ignored by one feline doesn't cut it for you, you can get more cat for your cash by adopting. With an average fee of around $100, you could bring home <a href="http://www.thecatsite.com/a/how-much-does-it-cost-to-adopt-a-shelter-cat">50 felines for $5,000</a>. Then again, maybe you'll need to save some money for litter and food &mdash; and a really good vacuum cleaner.</p> <h2>3. Start a Business</h2> <p>There are a number of low-overhead businesses you could start with a $5,000 or smaller investment, many of them work-from-home gigs such as being a <a href="http://www.cheatsheet.com/business/15-businesses-you-can-start-with-5000-or-less-2.html/?a=viewall">virtual assistant</a> (expenses include computer, phone, Internet, and possibly training and marketing). You could also buy a small franchise, such as a <a href="http://www.thefranchisemall.com/franchises/details/13818-0-all_american_hot_dog_carts.htm">hot dog cart</a>, for $5,000 or less.</p> <h2>4. Take Your Inner Geek on a Vacation of a Lifetime</h2> <p>For about $5,000, you can take the <a href="http://www.firstlighttravel.com/group-tours/new-zealand-adventure-tours-new-zealand/new-zealands-lord-rings-location-tour">Lord of The Rings New Zealand Tour</a>. The trip includes staying at the adorable Hobbit Hotel &mdash; but second breakfasts and elevenses are on you.</p> <h2>5. Bank It</h2> <p>Interest rates are still low, but you can get <em>some</em> return on your money if you deposit it.</p> <p>EverBank currently pays 0.61% on its money market accounts and compounds interest daily, so after five years of compounding interest, you would have $5,154. So basically, after five years of saving, you'll have earned enough interest to buy a scooter or have your house cleaned once.</p> <h2>4. Give It to an Old Person: Future You</h2> <p>If you're not regularly depositing money in an IRA from your paycheck, you can meet almost the entire year's <a href="https://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Plan-Participant,-Employee/Retirement-Topics-IRA-Contribution-Limits">maximum deposit</a> with a $5,000 lump sum contribution.</p> <p>Because traditional IRAs grow tax-free, you might be amazed at how much your $5,000 deposit could blossom into by the time you retire. Assuming a 7% annual return, if you deposit $5,000 at age 20, you could have more than $50,000 by age 65. Not bad!</p> <h2>5. Indulge Yourself for a Year</h2> <p>For $5,000, you could get a one-year subscription to a <a href="https://www.caskers.com/clubs/whiskey/">whiskey club</a> ($600), a <a href="http://www.1-800-kobebeef.com/48ozkobestpe.html">Kobi beef of the month club</a> ($1,250), a <a href="http://thefreshlobstercompany.com/product-category/seafood-of-the-month-club/">seafood of the month club</a> (about $1,660), a <a href="http://www.sweetemotionscandy.com/">candy of the month club</a> (about $300), and order one <a href="https://www.soothe.com/sf?utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_campaign=san+francisco&amp;gclid=CjwKEAjw0pa5BRCLmoKIx_HTh1wSJABk5F_4CGfgwWvoqqotkCvC7pNOm8aG4rKMnxmebDmV5JZU7BoCyJDw_wcB">in-home massage</a> per month ($1,200). A great deal for xenophobes, freelance writers, or folks on house arrest!</p> <h2>6. Donate to Charity</h2> <p>It will make you feel great, and you can deduct your gift from your taxable income. Make sure your recipient is a qualified nonprofit &mdash; you can look it up on the <a href="https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/">IRS website</a> &mdash; and remember that you need a letter of verification from the charity for all donations over $250.</p> <h2>9. Eat a Burger</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.alux.com/most-expensive-burger-in-the-world/">Fleurburger 5000</a>, served at Hubert Keller's Fleur eatery in Las Vegas, is made with Wagyu beef, foie gras, shaved black truffles, and truffle oil. It comes with a bottle of fine wine &mdash; and fries.</p> <h2>10. Grill Your Own Burgers In an Outdoor Kitchen</h2> <p>While you can flip burgers on the most inexpensive hibachi, making your yard into a <a href="https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-much-does-outdoor-kitchen-cost.htm"><em>plein air</em> living space</a> where you can comfortably cook starts around $5,000 for a decent grill, an island with a built-in refrigerator, and a dining set.</p> <h2>11. Skip Waiting in Lines for a Year</h2> <p>Estimates for how much time Americans spend waiting in line in a lifetime vary from <a href="http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1657807,00.html">two to five years</a>. That boils down to hundreds of hours per year! You can pay line waiters about $25 per hour on TaskRabbit or through local services. So for $5,000, you can get out of 200 hours of line waiting. Pro tip: Don't blow it all on one phone.</p> <p><em>What would you do with $5000?</em></p> <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/what-you-can-buy-with-5000">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/8-free-things-that-arent">8 &quot;Free&quot; Things That Aren&#039;t</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/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</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/flower-power-a-guide-to-frugal-valentines-flowers">Flower Power - A Guide to Frugal Valentine&#039;s Flowers</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/6-ways-life-is-wonderful-when-youre-debt-free">6 Ways Life is Wonderful When You&#039;re Debt-Free</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-surprising-ways-to-save-money-during-your-pregnancy">5 Surprising Ways to Save Money During Your Pregnancy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping donating extra money Food Paying Off Debt pets savings Splurging windfalls Wed, 18 May 2016 09:30:22 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1703944 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Best Pets for Frugal Animal Lovers http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-pets-for-frugal-animal-lovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-best-pets-for-frugal-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/iStock_000020594867_Large.jpg" alt="a goldfish is a frugal pet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Contemplating becoming a pet parent? There are plenty of things to consider before taking the plunge &mdash; like making sure the animal is properly cared for and <em>loved</em> (it's not all about you, remember). But you also need to account for how much time and money it will cost to make a pet part of your life.</p> <p>If you're not ready to make a major commitment with a puppy or a kitten, however, you can still realize the joy of owning a pet with an animal that's a bit more self-sufficient. Here are a few suggestions that are good for pet-parent beginners, young and old alike. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets?ref=seealso">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</a>)</p> <h2>1. Hermit Crab</h2> <p>It's basically a rite of passage &mdash; if you live anywhere near a beach, anyway &mdash; to adopt a hermit crab as a kid. I grew up in the Mid-Atlantic, and everyone I knew had a hermit crab at one point or another during childhood, mostly because it was much easier to convince our parents to let us have this easy-to-maintain pet opposed to, say, a rabbit or an otter, or the pig I've always wanted. Hermit crabs cost about $8.</p> <p>Providing sustenance for a hermit crab is a cinch, it's no real fuss to keep a bowl of clean water and food in its habitat to access when necessary. Pelleted hermit crab food can be purchased from a pet store for around $10, but in addition, you also can feed it chopped apples, grapes, bananas, kale, and broccoli.</p> <p>Hermit crabs are nocturnal and social, so you may want to pick up a friend or two that it can jam out with when you go to bed at night. It's also recommended that you&nbsp;<a href="http://pets.petsmart.com/guides/hermit-crabs/caring-for-hermit.shtml">provide the habitat with a sea sponge</a> that the crab can climb on as well as bigger shells the crab can change into as it grows, and that'll cost you about $35.</p> <h2>2. Guinea Pig</h2> <p>If you're considering a small rodent, you have plenty of choices, and the most popular among them is arguably the hamster. Hamsters are cute, for sure, but in terms of ease of care and overall friendliness, a guinea pig could be the better fit for you. For starters, unlike hamsters, which are nocturnal, guinea pigs tend to nap, and are alert and friendly whenever you're ready to cuddle and play. Another plus &mdash; they're less likely to bite than other rodents, like hamsters and rabbits. Guinea pigs cost around $30.</p> <p>In terms of care, you should handle your pig regularly (and why wouldn't you &mdash; they're adorable!), and provide it with about four square feet of<a href="https://www.lovethatpet.com/small-pets/guinea-pig/"> habitat filled with creature comforts</a> like soft bedding, store-bought food, fruits, veggies, and water, which will set you back about $100 when all's said and done.</p> <h2>3. Gecko</h2> <p>Some people cringe at the thought of creepy-crawly pets like amphibians and reptiles, but geckos &mdash; a type of lizard (and also the Geico mascot) &mdash; are cute, quiet, clean, and very affordable at $20.</p> <p>All a gecko needs to live out its happy life is a terrarium outfitted with a few rocks and logs; a light bulb to keep it warm because it's cold-blooded (this part is very important so you don't freeze it to death at room temperature); and its favorite food: mealworms or crickets, which only cost a few cents a serving, and are available at any pet store. A complete equipment kit is $50, plus the cost of the actual homing structure, like an aquarium.</p> <h2>4. Freshwater Fish</h2> <p>Freshwater fish are one of the most, if not <em>the</em> most, inexpensive and low-maintenance pets to own. They're so cheap, in fact, that you can get goldfish &mdash; the reigning king of freshwater pet fish &mdash; for pennies. At PetSmart, for instance, goldfish cost about 14&ndash;29 cents. Including the bowl, water purification tablets, habitat features (like rocks), and food, you can walk away with the whole setup for less than $15.</p> <h2>5. Snake</h2> <p>You might notice somewhat of a trend on this list that most of the low-maintenance and low-cost pets are also low energy and make almost zero sound. Case in point, the snake, which for some will send shivers down their spines. But you can pick up a fancy corn snake for around $70, plus a complete habitat kit for $50. You'll also need a tank in which the snake can live, and that'll run you about $100 on the low end, but you can probably find one on Craigslist for cheaper. Mice, because the snake's got to eat, run about $13 for four frozen medium specimens, and you'll feed the snake one to two times a week.</p> <h2>6. Rat</h2> <p>I know, I know, it's a rat, but hear me out. Male fancy rats (it seems like everything at the pet store is called &quot;fancy,&quot; by the way, and I don't know why) are highly intelligent, and surprisingly cuddly. They're also only $11. A starter kit setup, which includes the cage, toys, and food, is $100. The love you'll have for your new scavenger friend, however, is priceless.</p> <h2>7. Ants</h2> <p>You can't handle or play with ants like you can many of the other animals on the list, but that might work for you, if you prefer to be a more hands-off pet owner. Amazon lists <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000IRUG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00000IRUG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TMF2L7M5O25MAWPO">Uncle Milton's Giant Ant Farm</a> for about $24 all in.</p> <h2>8. Pet Rock</h2> <p>Some people shouldn't be responsible for the life of another being. You know who you are. If you can't even keep a houseplant alive, pet ownership probably isn't for you &mdash; at least right now.</p> <p>In that case, do what a million and a half other suckers did in 1975 and buy a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A98BHK0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00A98BHK0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IKIBD44V4T4K6W4V">Pet Rock</a>. For about $13, you too can experience the sheer awesomeness of staring at a stone with zero responsibility to it whatsoever. On a side note, if this is up your alley, let's talk about a bridge I'd like to sell you.</p> <p><em>Do you have any low maintenance pets? Share with us 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-pets-for-frugal-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-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/5-affordable-alternatives-to-pet-boarding">5 Affordable Alternatives to Pet Boarding</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-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</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-pet-costs-you-dont-see-coming">5 Pet Costs You Don&#039;t See Coming</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/6-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-your-pets">6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets</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-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family adopt a pet animal lovers low maintenance pets pet owners pets Mon, 25 Apr 2016 10:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1695990 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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-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/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> 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 8 "Free" Things That Aren't http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-that-arent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-free-things-that-arent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_free_breakfast_000018935533.jpg" alt="Couple learning which free things aren&#039;t really free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Free has to be one of the most abused words in the English language. It's become so bad that we are always skeptical, and look for asterisks or legal copy to see what the catch is. But, even when there doesn't appear to be one, free is not always what it's cracked up to be.</p> <p>Here are eight instances when something free may end up costing you in the long run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free?ref=seealso">20 Ways to Entertain Your Kids for Free</a>)</p> <h2>1. Free Shipping</h2> <p>As an occasional eBay seller, I know the power of free shipping. In fact, one of the most popular ways to sort products on eBay is to click the box that says &quot;free shipping.&quot;</p> <p>When researching this, I discovered that it was better to charge $19.95 for a product and offer free shipping than it was to charge $14.95 and $3.95 shipping. As you can see, the latter is actually the better deal &mdash; but people don't see it that way. So the next time you are looking at deals online, do some comparison shopping &mdash; especially on eBay. You will find that on many occasions, identical products work out cheaper when you actually opt to pay separate shipping.</p> <h2>2. Free Checking</h2> <p>Many banks will lure you in with free checking, but don't sign on the dotted line until you really understand what's being offered. For instance, my &quot;free&quot; business checking account comes with a $15 monthly service charge if I don't pay at least three bills each month using the bill-pay service. That one was news to me.</p> <p>You can also find a whole host of fees that you will have to pay to handle your money, ranging from wire transfer fees and checkbook costs to ATM fees, minimum balance fees, and others. Oh, and the second you go into the red, expect to be hit with a whopping fee (usually around $35), even if it was only by a few bucks for a few hours.</p> <h2>3. Free Big Prizes</h2> <p>We're not talking about winning a couple of tickets to a show or an mp3 player. If you are lucky enough to win something <em>big</em>, like a home, fancy vacation, or a car, be prepared for the cost implications that will follow. The big problem being taxes.</p> <p>For instance, many people on the show Extreme Home Makeover were thrilled to see their old home become an extravagant mansion. But once the cameras had gone, they were left with massive property taxes, big energy bills, and steep insurance hikes. Their financial circumstances didn't change to cover those costs, and they either had to sell, take out a home equity loan, or in some cases, declare bankruptcy. If you win a big car, or dream vacation, you will have to declare this to the IRS. So, be careful before saying yes to anything like this. It may be a dream come true, but can you afford it?</p> <h2>4. Free Pets</h2> <p>You see them advertised on Craigslist, local ads, and even in the break room at work. Someone's pet has a litter, and they want the kittens or puppies gone quickly. Hey, a free puppy, that's great! Well... yes and no.</p> <p>Your new addition will need a lifetime of food, care, and veterinary visits. Right off the bat, you'll have to pay to have your &quot;free&quot; pet vaccinated and spayed or neutered. If you choose a puppy that will grow into a large breed, you can expect to pay hundreds each month for food. And if your pet gets sick, the vet bills can be insanely expensive. If you want to avoid that, pet insurance is another hefty monthly cost. The big question is, do you have the financial stability to accept a free pet?</p> <h2>5. Free Hotel Breakfasts</h2> <p>&quot;Hey look, it says here we get a complimentary breakfast every morning!&quot; Actually, you've already paid for it. No hotel would stay in business by giving away tens of thousands of dollars in food and beverages every single day.</p> <p>The simple fact is, the cost of that breakfast is incorporated into the price of your hotel room. For example, instead of charging you $135 per night, the hotel charges $150 per night and includes &quot;free&quot; breakfast. Of course, if you're smart and book the hotel with a price comparison website like Hotels.com, you may get the room for way less than the advertised price. In that case, the other guests are paying for your free breakfast.</p> <h2>6. Free Meals/Tickets for Listening to a Pitch</h2> <p>You know the saying, &quot;There's no such thing as a free lunch?&quot; Well, sometimes it's spot on. In this instance, you're asked to listen to a sales pitch in exchange for a free meal, tickets to a show, or even a free vacation. Sounds like a good deal, but it isn't.</p> <p>It turns out you have to spend at least 45 minutes of your time listening to a pitch about timeshares, or investment opportunities, or new baby products (yes, this happened to me once). And once the presentation is over, you will be given the hard sell &mdash; the <em>super</em> hard sell. These people don't like to give away free meals or show tickets without converting enough people into customers to make it worth their while. So ask yourself, is your time free? Because you are paying for your &quot;free&quot; gifts with it.</p> <h2>7. Free Extra Gadget &mdash; Just Pay Shipping and Handling</h2> <p>You can already see the conflict in that statement. Many times on TV you will see those very sales-y infomercial products. After being blasted for 90 seconds about all the amazing things it can do, you are suddenly surprised with the fact that the order will be doubled if you call now. And, very quickly, a voice says, &quot;Just pay shipping and handling.&quot;</p> <p>Well, guess what. You're actually paying for that extra gadget. In fact, the whole pricing model is based on the cost of selling two items to you, not just one. The additional shipping and handling fee is a nice little bonus on top, as the cost of shipping was already calculated in the original cost of the product. It's all smoke and mirrors, but it's a very effective way to get people to buy. And, if you want to test the theory, call and ask to buy just one of the product at half the cost. You won't get very far.</p> <h2>8. Free Stuff on Craigslist</h2> <p>Many people I know like to browse through the &quot;free&quot; section on Craigslist in the hope of snagging a real bargain. Most of the time, what's being offered are items that are either too difficult or too costly for the owners to dispose of themselves.</p> <p>From time to time, you will find something decent on there. But before you say yes, remember it's not actually free. You have to go and pick up the item, which means you're spending money on fuel, putting miles on your car, and of course, using your own time (which is valuable). You may also need to repair the item in question. A good example I saw recently was a movie projector. Offered free, because it needed a new bulb that cost almost $100. So, do your research, ask questions, and see if the free item is actually worth your time and money.</p> <p><em>What free things have you picked up only to regret the actual cost later?</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/8-free-things-that-arent">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/what-you-can-buy-with-5000">What You Can Buy With $5,000</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-surprising-things-you-can-have-delivered">12 Surprising Things You Can Have Delivered</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-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</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/16-everyday-things-you-shouldnt-be-paying-for">16 Everyday Things You Shouldn&#039;t Be Paying For</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-surprising-ways-to-save-money-during-your-pregnancy">5 Surprising Ways to Save Money During Your Pregnancy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping checking accounts craigslist freebies no such thing as a free lunch pets shipping Tue, 26 Jan 2016 18:00:03 +0000 Paul Michael 1642635 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things You Should Always Buy Used http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sale_sign_000062762852.jpg" alt="Woman learning which things she should always buy used" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sure, everyone loves the smell of a new car. And there's something appealing about the thought of a brand new home that hasn't suffered the wear-and-tear of past owners. But there are some purchases that you should never make new, no matter how tempting. Here are eight items that you're better off buying used. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-used?ref=seealso">10 Things You Should Never Buy Used</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cars</h2> <p>You've heard that a new car starts losing value as soon as you drive it off the lot. That's not a myth &mdash; it's a fact. Just as importantly, new cars cost thousands of dollars more than vehicles that are just one model year older.</p> <p>Here's an example: TRUECar says that dealers are offering the 2016 Subaru Forester SUV for about $25,000. The same website found a 2015 Subaru Forester for $23,000. You could save $2,000 just by buying a new car one model year older. If you're willing to go with an even older model, you'll save more. TRUECar listed a 2013 Forester for $18,556.</p> <h2>2. Homes</h2> <p>It might seem tempting to buy a new home. You won't have to worry about a 10-year-old water heater suddenly bursting, or a 15-year-old roof springing an unexpected leak. But new homes are also more expensive than existing ones.</p> <p>The National Association of Realtors reported that the median price for existing homes across the country stood at $221,900 in September. That's 6.1% higher than where this figure stood in September of last year, but it's still lower than the median sales price for a new home.</p> <p>According to the Federal Reserve Economic Data gathered by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the median sales price for new houses sold in the United States hit $296,900 in September of this year, more than $70,000 more than the median price for existing homes.</p> <h2>3. Textbooks</h2> <p>If you're a college student, you should know this already &mdash; but it rarely makes sense to buy textbooks new. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-to-buy-or-rent-textbooks?ref=seealso">20 Places to Buy Used or Rent Textbooks</a>)</p> <p>The College Board estimates that the average college student in the United States spends about $1,200 a year on textbooks and supplies, while the Government Accountability Office reported that from 2002 through 2013, the price of college textbooks jumped 82%. Then, when students sell these books back at the end of the year, they often receive just pennies on the dollar.</p> <p>The better move is to hunt for used versions of these textbooks. It can save you hundreds of dollars a semester.</p> <h2>4. Pets</h2> <p>It always makes financial sense to buy a &quot;used&quot; pet from your local humane society. It may not even cost anything to adopt your new companion from the shelter.</p> <p>Buying a pet from the humane society is also a good thing to do. The ASPCA says that about 2.7 million animals are euthanized each year &mdash; 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats. If you adopt from your local animal shelter, you'll do your part to reduce these numbers.</p> <h2>5. Baby Clothing</h2> <p>Here's a truth about baby clothes: Your infant will barely wear each of the fuzzy outfits you buy. That's because babies grow so fast that they're constantly &mdash; and rapidly &mdash; getting too big for their outfits.</p> <p>This is why it makes financial sense to purchase your baby clothes used. You can save a bundle when compared to buying new. And if you end up with some outfits that aren't your favorite? Don't worry, your baby will outgrow them quickly enough.</p> <h2>6. Furniture</h2> <p>Furnishing a new home or apartment can cost a small fortune. But you don't have to overspend on a couch, loveseat, or end table if you buy them used.</p> <p>There are plenty of sources for used furniture. You can find value-priced items at estate sales, antique stores, flea markets, and yard sales. Sure, you'll be sitting on a sofa that many others have sat on before, but think of how much fatter your wallet will be.</p> <h2>7. Tools</h2> <p>You don't need the latest year's screwdriver, do you? You don't need a shiny new hammer, either. Tools are one of the best items to buy used because there's little difference between a 10-year-old hammer and one manufactured yesterday.</p> <p>As with furniture, you can find plenty of used tools at garage and estate sales. You can also hunt sites such as Craigslist for deals. But you should draw the line at tools with motors and moving parts. You don't want to buy an old power tool that might malfunction and leave you with a few less fingers on your favorite hand.</p> <h2>8. Musical Instruments</h2> <p>Ask parents who've had to buy their children tubas, baritones, or saxophones for the elementary school band: Musical instruments are pricey.</p> <p>If you buy these instruments used, you can save a bundle. And many of the used trumpets, clarinets, and guitars that you buy will have been refurbished so that they feel like new. Many of these used instruments have rarely been played before hitting the resale market.</p> <p><em>What products do you like to buy second-hand?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">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/beware-of-pretty-things-4-reasons-im-keeping-my-ugly-old-stuff">Beware of Pretty Things: 4 Reasons I’m Keeping My Ugly, Old Stuff</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/what-you-can-buy-with-5000">What You Can Buy With $5,000</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/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</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-hidden-housing-costs-new-homeowners-dont-expect">10 Hidden Housing Costs New Homeowners Don&#039;t Expect</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/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Real Estate and Housing Shopping baby clothes furniture musical instruments pets secondhand textbooks used Fri, 11 Dec 2015 12:00:04 +0000 Dan Rafter 1619233 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Holiday Pet Dangers to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/11-holiday-pet-dangers-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-holiday-pet-dangers-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog_cat_christmas_000016283275.jpg" alt="Learning which holiday pet dangers to avoid this year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a million and one tasks we need to tend to near the end of the year, and it's easy to forget about our furry friends in the process. To help keep your pet-besties safe, healthy, and out of the hospital, avoid these common holiday dangers.</p> <h2>1. Small Christmas Decorations and Wrapping Essentials</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">Cats and dogs</a> love to play, and when they see shiny objects like ornaments and tinsel, it's game on. While tinsel &mdash; which is particularly attractive to cats &mdash; isn't toxic in itself, it can cause other problems in your pet's system, like getting tangled up in the intestines. Ornaments, on the other hand, can be swallowed whole, or the pieces could get gobbled up when broken. In this case, glass is especially dangerous as it can cause cuts in your pet's mouth, throat, and digestive system.</p> <p>&quot;Swallowing stuff that's not meant to be eaten can cause very serious problems and be extremely hard to diagnose,&quot; says Dr. Phil Baxter, chief veterinary officer at<a href="http://vetondemand.com/"> Vet on Demand</a>, a pet care app that allows you to FaceTime with a vet when a problem arises (a great resource when your normal vet is on his or her own vacay, by the way). &quot;Unless you see it being eaten, it's a tough diagnosis. Monitor yours pets that have a tendency to chew.&quot;</p> <p>To prevent these hazards, keep the tinsel to a minimum or forgo it altogether. As for ornaments, hanging them out of reach of pets is ideal, but that's not always practical. Instead, limit your use of glass ornaments and ornaments with toxic paints and embellishments. Wrapping essentials, like ribbons and bows, can be problematic as well. When you're done wrapping and decorating, clean the area, discard scraps, and put everything else out of the animal's reach.</p> <h2>2. Hazardous Holiday Plants</h2> <p>Similar to those fun, shiny ornaments, your pets may find your holiday plants interesting enough to investigate by chewing or eating. This is a big no-no, however, as some plants are poisonous or even deadly.</p> <p>&quot;If your pet is a plant chewer/eater, position the plants out of reach of your pet. Remember to pick up fallen leaves/needles, limbs, and berries,&quot; Dr. Baxter suggests.</p> <p>Veterinary Pet Insurance also details a few specific plant hazards:</p> <ul> <li>Pine needles from Christmas trees and around your property can result in oral irritation, vomiting, lethargy, trembling, and posterior weakness.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Holly plants and their sharp-edged leaves can cause intense vomiting, diarrhea, and depression if ingested.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Mistletoe can cause significant vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, erratic behavior, hallucinations, or even death.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Poinsettias, as pretty as they are, can irritate your pet's mouth and stomach and sometimes lead to vomiting.</li> </ul> <p>For more information on hazardous holiday plants, check out VPI's<a href="http://www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/education/pet-poisons-and-toxins/toxic-plants-for-pets.aspx"> toxic plant guide</a>.</p> <h2>3. All That Holiday Lighting</h2> <p>One of the most hilarious parts of everybody's favorite funny holiday flicks, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VBIGD6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000VBIGD6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LHZWGA7GDH5NKCFX">National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation</a>, is when the cat becomes a smoking, black cat-shaped spot on the carpet because it decided to make a meal out of the Christmas lights. While this gives us chuckles when we're cuddled up on movie night, it's a very real danger that could seriously injure or kill your pet. Before stringing lights, inspect the strands to ensure there are no frays or bite/chew marks, and use three-pronged extension cords for added safety.</p> <p>&quot;Electrocution and electrical burns do happen, so if you have a chewer, beware of any cords that might appear attractive to your pet,&quot; Dr. Baxter says.</p> <p>Make certain you pick up any loose bulbs, too. Those extra pieces are easy to lose, and your dog or cat won't think twice about swallowing them.</p> <h2>4. Candles and Open Flames</h2> <p>Animals typically stay away from fire, but pleasant scents may draw your pets to holiday candles, and they're dangerous for a couple reasons. First of all, obviously your pets can get burned if they get too close, but they also can burn themselves if they accidently spill the hot wax and get it on their paws and skin. This is especially important to remember with cats. The biggest hazard with pets and candles, though, is that they can knock them over and start a fire. Thus, it's important to practice common fire sense like never leaving an open flame unattended, and keeping them away from small hands and feet.</p> <h2>5. Revolving Doors That Lead Outside</h2> <p>If you'll have visitors coming and going this holiday season, you run the risk of your animal getting out of the house, which exposes them to many more dangers, including weather, traffic, capture, and other hazards. To prevent this, remember to take extra caution when opening and closing your home's exterior doors.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rover.com">Rover</a>, a service that helps match pet sitters with pet parents, offers several helpful tips:</p> <ul> <li>Ask someone to sit in a closed bedroom with your dog. If you can spare someone to bring a laptop into a bedroom and sit with your dog, we highly recommend it.&nbsp;Especially if the dog experiences anxiety, this will help keep them calm.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If your dog has a crate, let them chill in there. It'll help them feel comfortable while also keeping them safe.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Place a second barrier (like a baby gate) around doorways to the outside. Front door, back door, side door&hellip; all doors to the outside.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put a sign on the door that says, &quot;Escape artist inside. Please knock, and I'll come answer the door.&quot; Greet your guests at the door and make sure you close it behind you.</li> </ul> <h2>6. Prolonged Exposure to Winter Weather</h2> <p>It's important to remember not to keep your pets outdoors for long periods of time even when &quot;monitored,&quot; in the winter weather. Canine owners, especially, are used to letting the dog out back to play and relax for a while, but in cold weather &mdash; even if it's not freezing or below &mdash; dogs can become uncomfortable, cold, and even develop hypothermia.</p> <p>If you have a lot of things going on inside, it's easy to forget about your buddy outside. If you'd rather not have the pet around at that time, think about hiring a pet sitter, or put them in another room where they'll be comfortable.</p> <h2>7. Melting Salt During Snowstorms</h2> <p>The salt we throw down on ice and snow during winter-weather events is very painful to dogs' paw pads. You can buy plastic booties to cover their feet from your local pet store, but some dogs don't like them and/or have a hard time walking with them on. There are other preventative measures you can take, like<a href="https://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-grooming/winter-dog-paw-care/"> de-icing products and protective waxes</a>, according to Petfinder.</p> <h2>8. Stolen Food or Treats From Guests</h2> <p>Probably the most common holiday danger of them all to pets (and to humans) is food. There are an abundance of foods on the table this time of year that animals should not eat because they can pose digestive problems or choking hazards.</p> <p>&quot;As a practicing house call veterinarian for 20 years, I've noticed that my phone rings more often during the holiday season,&quot; says<a href="http://www.housecallvetnyc.com/"> Dr. Jeffrey Levy</a>, a holistic house call veterinarian in New York City. &quot;I'm frequently called to see pets with digestive upsets caused by both human foods commonly eaten during the holidays, and/or stress related to changes in routine at this time of year.&quot;</p> <p>The list of human foods that are truly toxic to pets is relatively short, but many more can cause digestive problems or pose choking hazards, according to Levy. Be vigilant in keeping away from your pet away from these foods:</p> <ul> <li>Garlic and onions, even in small amounts;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the higher the potential toxicity);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fat trimmings;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bones, especially those prone to splintering like chicken and pork;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Nuts, especially macadamia and moldy walnuts, which can be life-threatening;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Nutmeg, used in holiday baking, can be toxic to your pet;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Alcohol;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Raisins and grapes;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Dairy products (adult dogs are often lactose intolerant);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in vitamins and other human ingestibles, including sugar-free baked goods and gum.</li> </ul> <h2>9. Wobbly Christmas Trees</h2> <p>Anchor your Christmas and holiday trees that aren't firmly planted in soil. Cats and dogs like to play in that area &mdash; especially when there are presents! &mdash; and you want to avoid the tree toppling over and hurting your pet.</p> <h2>10. Toxic Snowglobes</h2> <p>Like candles, you'll want to keep snow globes out of reach and off the edge of tables to prevent them from being dropped on the floor and bursting open. Some of them contain water or glycerin, which isn't too harmful, but others may contain ethylene glycol, which is very toxic to pets, and people.</p> <h2>11. General Neglect</h2> <p>Listen, we all want to enjoy the holidays &mdash; and that goes for your pets, too. As a pet parent, it's your obligation to provide the best care you can, even when you're extremely busy. If you can't spend time doting on your dog or cat all day every day, that's okay. But if you're gone for extended periods of time, like shopping all day or going away to visit family for a few days, you need to provide proper care for your pet. Make sure your fish and reptiles are fed, your cats have clean litter boxes and water (and someone to stop in from time to time), and that your dogs are with someone you trust to love them while you're away as much as you do when you're home. Otherwise, take them with you, because they'll totally love that, and so will you.</p> <p><em>Have you experienced other holiday hazards regarding your pets? What are some of the issues you've come up against? How did you handle them? Let me know 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-holiday-pet-dangers-to-avoid">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/14-frugal-christmas-decorating-hacks">14 Frugal Christmas Decorating Hacks</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-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays</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/10-fun-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day-with-kids">10 Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine&#039;s Day With Kids</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/13-holiday-season-costs-everyone-always-forgets-about">13 Holiday-Season Costs Everyone Always Forgets About</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/3-ways-to-prevent-brown-lawn-spots-from-dog-urine">3 Ways to Prevent Brown Lawn Spots From Dog Urine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Home Christmas healthy pets Holidays pet dangers pets Mon, 07 Dec 2015 12:00:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1618544 at http://www.wisebread.com Pay Your Bills and 5 Other Things You Must Do Before You Leave on Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_luggage_000039949614.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter doing things before going on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You packed for the flight to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics">really cool location</a>, re-installed the smoke detector, and made sure the oven was off, but there's a lot more you can do to make your return home less stressful. Here are the six things to do before you leave on vacation.</p> <h2>1. Tell Your Bank</h2> <p>It happens to everyone at least once: You're enjoying a nice meal in a new city, you pay the bill, the server tells you the card doesn't work, and you panic. Prevent this by calling your bank several days before your trip to alert them that you're planning to use your card(s) on vacation. It's especially important if you're traveling to a faraway destination you've never been before.</p> <h2>2. Resolve Your Email Inbox</h2> <p>Any lingering emails still marked as &quot;unread&quot; at the top of the inbox? Now's a good time to respond with simple answers. Make coworkers and friends feel at ease and have a lot less to deal with when you return. Going away for longer than a long weekend? Definitely worth turning on the vacation auto-responder so your contacts don't feel neglected. When it comes to snail mail, it's worth setting up a vacation hold if no one's checking it for you.</p> <h2>3. Clean House</h2> <p>Who wants to come home to a dirty house? Get the sink clear of dishes, vacuum, and do a number on the shower you've been putting off cleaning. Also, take an afternoon to wash laundry, especially sheets &mdash; never underestimate the power of coming home to a fresh scented, freshly made bed. This will ensure coming home will be a stressless transition.</p> <h2>4. Secure a Pet Plan</h2> <p>Have pets and need to arrange for their care? Get your kennel or sitter lined up at least two weeks before a long trip. Plan for all the variables. Don't forget to stock up on extra pet food so someone else doesn't have to hit the store. Get extra keys made for your sitter if necessary. Get extra scat bags, toys, catnip, anything that may help your pets stay comfortable and alive while you're away.</p> <h2>5. Schedule Bill Payments</h2> <p>Going to be away for more than a week and don't want to stop the fun to pay your bills? Set up a bill pay system with your financial institution one billing cycle in advance so that you can be sure it works and the payments post. If timing is an issue, you can also try calling your credit card companies to let them know you are going to be away and payments might be a day or two late.</p> <h2>6. Turn Off Meters</h2> <p>Own a home? Those electric outlets still suck power. Leaks can happen anytime. Turning off your water, gas, and electric meters are a good way to save money while on longer trips and can prevent any kind of disasters that could happen from being worse. It's worth the extra few minutes.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare for a long trip?</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/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation">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/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives">Car Yoga and 9 Other Ways to Beat Long Drives</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/5-ways-to-avoid-expensive-phone-charges-when-traveling">5 Ways to Avoid Expensive Phone Charges When Traveling</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-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget">7 Fool-Proof Ways to Stay Within Your Travel Budget</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/are-all-inclusive-vacations-and-cruises-worth-the-money">Are All-Inclusive Vacations and Cruises Worth the 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-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Travel bills mail out of town pets planning vacation Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:00:30 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1524655 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Your Dog Is Ruining Your Credit Score http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-dog-is-ruining-your-credit-score <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-your-dog-is-ruining-your-credit-score" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_and_her_dog_000017761090.jpg" alt="Woman realizing how her dog ruins her credit score" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That puppy looks so cute. But be careful: Pets are also a big financial responsibility that can take a bite out of your credit score. According to data from the ASPCA, you can <a href="http://www.aspca.org/adopt/pet-care-costs">expect to pay</a> $580 every year to own a small dog, $695 annually for a medium dog, and $875 each year for a large dog. And the first year of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">owning a pet</a> comes with additional costs.</p> <p>&quot;It sounds harsh, but if you can't afford to support yourself you have no business getting a pet,&quot; says Bruce McClary, vice president of public relations and external affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based National Foundation for Credit Counseling. &quot;If you don't have room in your budget for caring for a pet, you are not just hurting yourself, you are hurting that pet. If you can't afford medical treatment or to properly care for and feed that pet, getting a pet is not the best decision to make.&quot;</p> <p>Here are three ways your new dog could send your credit score plummeting.</p> <h2>Big Medical Bills</h2> <p>Bringing your dog to the vet is a necessity. But it's not cheap. PetCareRx says that a <a href="http://www.petcarerx.com/article/the-annual-vet-visit-cost-what-to-expect/1276">basic office visit</a> can cost $45 to $55, while other basic services such as booster shots (an average of $18 to $25) and heartworm tests ($45 to $50) can add up.</p> <p>But it's the rarer type of medical treatments that are truly costly. PetCareRx says that it can cost up to $110 for the geriatric screenings that older dogs &mdash; typically seven years and up &mdash; require, while dental cleaning can run up to $400 for dogs.</p> <p>It's when it comes to more complicated procedures such as surgeries or cancer treatments that your dog's medical bills can soar. PetCareRx estimates that it can cost up to $10,000 to <a href="http://www.petcarerx.com/article/managing-costs-of-cancer-treatment-for-dogs/1232">treat your dog's cancer</a> through chemotherapy and the ASPCA estimates that it can cost up to $15,000 to give your dog a <a href="https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cutting-pet-care-costs">kidney transplant</a>.</p> <p>You can usually work out payment plans for these costs. Missing these payments won't show up on your credit report&hellip; initially. But if your vet sends a collection agency after you, that will be reported. McClary says that a negative judgment on your credit report &mdash; such as a bill being sent to collections &mdash; could cause your credit score to instantly drop by 150 points or more.</p> <h2>Pet Insurance</h2> <p>Because there are more treatment options available for dogs today, many pet owners are opting to purchase pet insurance to help cover the costs of cancer treatments and surgeries. These policies aren't free, with the ASPCA estimating that a <a href="https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cutting-pet-care-costs">typical pet insurance</a> policy costs from $300 to $400 a year.</p> <p>If you fall behind on these payments, your credit score won't initially take a hit. But if you fall behind enough, the provider of your insurance policy will send your account to a collection agency. Once that negative judgment is listed on your credit report, expect your three-digit credit score to tumble by 150 points or more.</p> <p>&quot;You'd be surprised at how quickly medical and insurance providers are sending accounts to collection today,&quot; McClary said. &quot;If you miss two payments, you might find yourself dealing with a third-party collection agency. And that will show up on your credit report.&quot;</p> <h2>Ouch! Dog Bites</h2> <p>Your beloved poodle doesn't like the mailman, and shows his displeasure by taking a chunk out of his leg. This simple bite can cost you a lot of money.</p> <p>The Insurance Information Institute found that while the number of <a href="http://www.iii.org/issue-update/dog-bite-liability">dog bite claims</a> across the United States fell 4.7% in 2014, the average cost of these claims jumped 15%. The institute found that the average cost dog owners paid out for dog bite claims stood at $32,072 last year, up from $27,862 in 2013.</p> <p>A dog bite can easily take a big chunk out of your household budget. If your finances are already tight, the added burden of paying out &mdash; or defending &mdash; a dog bite claim could cause you to fall behind on other monthly bills such as mortgage payments or credit cards. These late or missed payments will cause your credit score to fall.</p> <p>A pet can be a wonderful addition to your family &mdash; but it can also be a costly one. Make sure your finances are healthy enough to withstand the extra expenses.</p> <p><em>What unexpected costs has your pooch racked up?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-dog-is-ruining-your-credit-score">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/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</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/13-things-you-dont-know-about-your-credit-report-but-should">13 Things You Don&#039;t Know About Your Credit Report — But Should</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/4-credit-report-mistakes-that-could-be-costing-you-big">4 Credit Report Mistakes That Could Be Costing You Big</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/heres-why-credit-scores-and-reports-are-not-the-same">Here&#039;s Why Credit Scores and Reports Are Not the Same</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle credit history credit score dogs lawsuits pets vet bills Wed, 12 Aug 2015 13:00:22 +0000 Dan Rafter 1517122 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Have Pets? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-have-pets-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-have-pets-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_dog_000038752452.jpg" alt="Woman showing love for her pet dog" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-have-pets-0#comment-778934">Kristin</a>, Louly, and Betty for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>There are many great things about having pets: the companionship, the love, the exercise if yours are outdoor types. It also involves a lot of responsibility and expenditures, so pet ownership shouldn't be taken lightly.</p> <p><strong>Do you have pets?</strong> What kinds of animals are they? What has been the greatest cost of pet ownership for you? What do you enjoy most about having animal friends?</p> <p>Tell us about your pets and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rcwidget_gcyhsrsu" data-template="" data-theme="classic" data-raflid="79857dfa196" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa196/" class="rcptr">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, July 20th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 20th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us about your pets and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <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/ask-the-readers-do-you-have-pets-0">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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-would-you-ding-your-credit-to-get-out-of-debt">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: Would You Ding Your Credit to Get Out of Debt?</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/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-relieve-stress-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: How Do You Relieve Stress? (Chance to win $20!)</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/ask-the-readers-would-you-relocate-for-the-perfect-job-chance-to-win">Ask the Readers: Would You Relocate for the Perfect Job? (Chance to win!)</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/ask-the-readers-whats-in-your-wallet">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s In Your Wallet?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers pets Tue, 14 Jul 2015 15:00:13 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1486631 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Pet Costs You Don't See Coming http://www.wisebread.com/5-pet-costs-you-dont-see-coming <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-pet-costs-you-dont-see-coming" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_and_dog_000048163856.jpg" alt="Pet owner facing pet costs he didn&#039;t see coming" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few months ago, I brought home a ridiculously energetic black lab mix from the local humane society. While the other dogs quietly waited by the desk to have their adoption papers stamped, my new doggie friend strained at the end of his leash, barking and howling and jumping as my partner dragged him to the car.</p> <p>&quot;<em>That's</em> the dog you picked?&quot; an older man asked me with incredulity, as his dog sat stock still, panting at his side. What I'm getting at is that my dog &mdash; I call him Peanut &mdash; is quite a handful. But the joke's on you if you pick out a pet and think being its owner will be a piece of cake. If you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-care-for-your-pet-affordably">love your pet</a>, you will rush him to the vet in the middle of the afternoon when he gets a swollen paw. You will make him special food when he has a tummy ache. You will spend countless hours walking and entertaining him. And, when he steals a cinnamon bun off the counter and then &mdash; out of fear of being caught &mdash; loses all control of his bowels and leaves a smelly mess in the basement, you will clean it up without being too mad. And, finally, when he needs something, you will pay for it with lots and lots of your hard-earned money.</p> <p>Of course, when you bring a pet home, you probably assume that you'll have to buy it a few basic things. Food. Some toys. Treats. A bed. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent more than $55 billion on their pets in 2013. But for many pet owners, that's just the beginning. Here are a few unexpected expenses to budget for.</p> <h2>1. Stuff You Said You'd Never Buy</h2> <p>I always assumed I'd be one of those pet owners with a stiff upper lip. I wouldn't be spoiling <em>my</em> dog. Oh no. Not me. But suddenly, when you love your pet, you'll probably find yourself rationalizing all kinds of (highly overpriced) pet paraphernalia. If you're able to steer clear of the temptation while you're picking up your standard pet food, more power to you. The line at my local pet shop (and my own experience) suggests that most people cave.</p> <h2>2. Less Dirty/Damaged Versions of Things You Already Have</h2> <p>Whether you have a cat or a goldfish, pets have a way of making a terrible mess of your house. So far, Peanut has destroyed: one running shoe, a picnic chair, a garden hose, a sprinkler, a dog bed, and a Persian rug. And, while replacing those things posed a significant expense, I actually think I've gotten off quite lucky. I mean, have you ever seen&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dogshaming.com/">dog shaming</a>? Or&nbsp;<a href="http://shameyourpet.com/category/cats/">cat shaming</a>? When you get a pet, expect to replace a few things. It's a given.</p> <h2>3. Vet Bills &mdash; Big Ones</h2> <p>Perhaps before you had a pet, you thought you had limits. You thought if your pet required medical care to the tune of thousands of dollars, you'd decline. After all, it's just a pet, right? And then you met Mr. Fluffypants, the pet extraordinaire who kept you company when you were sick. Or made you laugh. Or helped you through tough times. Chances are when it's <em>your</em> pet, you'll be willing to shell out just about anything to save its life. If that means emergency care, medication, or surgery, that can get very, very expensive. According to the American Pet Products Association, surgical vet visits cost dog owners $621 and cat owners $382 on average in 2013. If you have an accident-prone pet or are really worried about unexpected pet expenses, consider getting pet insurance.</p> <h2>4. Vacation Costs</h2> <p>While a winter vacation in Hawaii might be really relaxing for you, most pets don't travel especially well. Airline travel is expensive for pets and can be very traumatizing and stressful. Plus, many hotels prefer that you leave your fluffy family members at home. When you get a pet, consider who will take care of it when you're away &mdash; and how much that'll cost you.</p> <h2>5. Your Time and Energy</h2> <p>If you have never owned a pet, you <em>will </em>drastically underestimate the amount of time caring for it will take out of your day. No matter what kind of pet you have, it'll need some combination of exercise, training, entertainment, care, and clean-up. If you have a dog, you will (or should) invest plenty of time in working on obedience. (Otherwise, you'll spend lots more time chasing after your dog and posting photos of half-eaten couches on dog-shaming sites.) And, just when you think you have things under control, your adorable fluffy will remind you just who exactly is in charge.</p> <p>You can reduce some of the potential expenses you might incur by ensuring that your pet is vaccinated, gets all the required preventative care, and is well cared for on a daily basis. But no matter how healthy your pet appears to be, you should always be prepared for the unexpected. Animals are full of surprises. Fortunately, many of them are the kind that make your day, rather than empty your bank account.</p> <p><em>How much more has your furry friend cost you than you ever expected?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pet-costs-you-dont-see-coming">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/the-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</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-8-best-pets-for-frugal-animal-lovers">The 8 Best Pets for Frugal Animal Lovers</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/is-pet-health-insurance-worth-it">Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?</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/10-smart-things-to-do-with-25">10 Smart Things to Do With $25</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living animals expenses pets vet bills Mon, 11 May 2015 11:00:24 +0000 Tara Struyk 1414193 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-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/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/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-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-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</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/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</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-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/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/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-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-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</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/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</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-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/10-ridiculously-overpriced-pet-products">10 Ridiculously Overpriced Pet Products</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/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/3-ways-your-dog-is-ruining-your-credit-score">3 Ways Your Dog Is Ruining Your Credit Score</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 23 Tips for Traveling With Pets http://www.wisebread.com/23-tips-for-traveling-with-pets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-tips-for-traveling-with-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-car-travel-104523329-small.jpg" alt="dog travel" title="dog travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don't want to leave your furry family members behind if you don't have to. So here are 23 tips for traveling with pets to help you navigate the world of sticky border regulations, pet-friendly accommodation hacks, flying with pets, gear to make the journey easier, and much more.</p> <h2>Before You Go</h2> <p>Before you take to the road with your pet, you'll want to cover the following basics.</p> <h3>1. Research Embassy Requirements</h3> <p>Lauren and Kenin Bassart of <a href="http://www.theconstantrambler.com/">TheConstantRambler</a> have been traveling the world full-time with their dog Zoe, a wiemaraner, since 2012. They find that traveling with a dog sometimes dictates where they can and can't go.</p> <p>&quot;Different countries have different requirements. Many countries require quarantine periods and we avoid those when taking Zoe. Most countries require shots for rabies, bordetella (kennel cough), and parvo. Call an embassy and do your research online to see what the country's requirements are, and make sure to have your paperwork handy when crossing the border.&quot;</p> <p>You can research various country requirements at <a href="http://www.pettravel.com/passportnew.cfm">PetTravel.com</a>.</p> <h3>2. When Entering or Leaving a Country, Your Itinerary Matters</h3> <p>In researching pet travel requirements, consider both where you're going and where you're coming from. Gigi Griffis has also been on the road since 2012 with Luna, her pint-sized schnauzer-yorkie mix, who has 11 passport stamps and counting. She has a section for dog travel tips on her website <a href="http://www.gigigriffis.com/category/luna/">Gigigriffis.com</a>.</p> <p>&quot;Countries (especially those with low incidence of or no incidence of rabies) have requirements that vary based on where you are coming from. If you are coming directly from the U.S. or Canada, the requirements are often as simple as a vet visit, some paperwork, and a stamp from the appropriate U.S. or Canadian authorities. If you are coming from South Africa or Thailand, the rules might be different.&quot;</p> <p>It's not just about your last destination either, Gigi says even layovers in certain countries can affect your pet's ability to cross borders. You can find US requirements on the <a href="http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth?1dmy&amp;urile=wcm:path:/aphis_content_library/sa_our_focus/sa_animal_health/sa_export_from_us/sa_live_animals/ct_iregs_animal_exports_home">APHIS website</a>.</p> <h3>3. Get a Health Certificate</h3> <p>Health certificates are required by airlines, border authorities, hotels, pet-care centers, and others. In many cases you need to get your health certificate within 10 days of starting your trip. Research the specific requirements of your itinerary before visiting the vet, so they can include everything necessary in the certificate.</p> <h3>4. Keep an Electronic Copy of Your Pet's Health Certificate</h3> <p>Many hotels, travel operators, pet care centers, airlines, and customs and immigration agencies require a printed record of your pet's veterinary certificate. Instead of printing off reams of copies for every possible instance, just print off a couple and keep an electronic copy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.twitter.com/myschatheriault">Myscha Theriault</a> is a best-selling author and internationally-syndicated travel columnist who travels full-time with her science journalist husband and giant Labrador retriever. With her electronic copy handy, she's always ready to produce her dog's health certificates as needed.</p> <p>&quot;The hotel's business center printer allows me to print a PDF copy of our Labrador's shot records as required, for example whenever we need to book an afternoon of daycare for her from the road. It keeps the paper clutter down day-to-day, while still remaining prepared for last-minute changes in our schedule.&quot;</p> <h3>5. Research Local Vets</h3> <p>Just in case something happens on the road, you don't want to be scrambling to find a reputable vet. Record the contact information for a few vets in the area you're visiting before you go.</p> <h3>6. Don't Carry Endless Amounts of Pet Food</h3> <p>Instead of worrying about finding a specific brand of pet food or carrying bags of food across borders, Gigi focuses on the ingredients.</p> <p>&quot;I usually carry enough food for a few days and then buy a bag of food when I arrive. Since different countries tend to have different brands, it's important that you know what ingredients are in your pet's food. Instead of trying to find your brand, look for a food that has the same basic structure. If you feed your pet something with chicken and grains (the majority of dog foods), look for chicken and grains. Even switching brands, I find that Luna's digestive system does fine if I stick with the right ingredients.&quot;</p> <h3>7. Bring a Pet First Aid Kit</h3> <p>You don't want to overdo it, but having a little kit to care for your pet can prevent you from scrambling for something at the last minute. Pawfriendly has some good suggestions for what to include in <a href="http://www.pawfriendly.com/community/pet-first-aid-kits">your pet's first aid kit</a>.</p> <h2>Flying With Pets</h2> <p>Flying with pets isn't particularly easy for either the pet or the owner, but it certainly isn't impossible. Here are some tips to make the process smooth.</p> <h3>8. Call the Airline</h3> <p>Airlines have differing regulations for traveling with pets, such as pet carrier dimensions, required health certificates, etc. Always check with the airline for their requirements before you book. You can view <a href="http://www.pettravel.com/airline_rules.cfm">various airline requirements here</a>, but you should still call the airline to confirm that their rules haven't changed.</p> <h3>9. Choose an Airline-Friendly Carrier</h3> <p>Petco, a company that features pet products (including these <a href="http://www.petco.com/N_4294955108/Airline-Travel-Shop.aspx">airline-travel-friendly pet carriers</a> and toys) suggests the following tips when selecting a carrier suitable for your pet and flying with them:</p> <ul> <li>Your pet should be able to stand freely, turn around, and fully lie down in the carrier.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cats, who are especially prone to stress when flying, can be calmed with special sprays designed to reduce feline anxiety. For dogs, there are supplements that do the same thing as well as prevent motion sickness.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put a familiar towel/blanket or toy in the carrier with your pet to provide them with comfort and a sense of home.</li> </ul> <h3>10. How and When to Crate Your Pet</h3> <p>Cesar Milan (the Dog Whisperer) has lots of <a href="http://www.cesarsway.com/tips/seasonal/cesars-travel-tips">pet-friendly travel tips</a> on his website. Among them, he has some good tips with regards to when and how to crate your pet.</p> <ul> <li>Don't leave anything in the crate (like leashes or loose collars) that can harm your pet.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't treat the crate like a prison, for example by using a sad voice and saying things like &quot;sorry&quot; when you crate them.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fast your pet for four to six hours prior to crating them to fly, so they don't have a full stomach/bladder.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Exercise your pet as close to departure time as possible.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Crate your pet before entering the airport, which can be a stressful environment.</li> </ul> <h3>11. If Traveling in the Hold</h3> <p>If your pooch needs to travel in the hold, try to book direct flights. Clip their nails so they don't get caught on anything, and make sure you spend a few weeks getting your pet used to their crate before traveling to reduce anxiety. Also, carry a picture of your pooch (in case they're misplaced &mdash; yes, it happens), and notify the flight attendants/captain that you have a pet in the hold. The Humane Society website has some other <a href="http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/traveling_tips_pets_ships_planes_trains.html">good tips for flying with a pet in the hold</a>, in addition to a variety of general pet travel tips.</p> <h2>Staying in Hotels</h2> <p>Hotels have varying services and restrictions when it comes to checking in with pets. Here are some hotel hacks from the experts:</p> <h3>12. Finding Pet-Friendly Hotels</h3> <p>Myscha says La Quinta and Red Roof Inn are chains that typically take pets without a nightly fee. When there isn't one around, Myscha turns to tourism boards for suggestions.</p> <p>&quot;We typically ask the local tourism board and visitor center for recommendations of the more unique spots. They are always way more in-the-know than even the most up to date [pet-hotel] website.&quot;</p> <h3>13. Ask Questions Before You Book</h3> <p>Pet policies differ dramatically by hotel. Ask the following questions to ensure you're getting a good fit for both you and your pet:</p> <ul> <li>Are there additional fees for checking in with pets?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do you have size restrictions?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are there any resident pets? (Depending on the pet, they could be problematic or a great playmate).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do you offer services for pets (anything from providing food/water bowls to pet-sitting services)?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What are the rules and restrictions (for example are there certain areas I can and can't go with my pet)?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do you have rooms with easy access to the outdoors?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are there nearby parks where I can exercise my pet?</li> </ul> <h3>14. Book a Hotel With an Outdoor Restaurant or Bar</h3> <p>&quot;Having a resort where there are bars with outdoor access and tables or tie-on poles is a great perk for us,&quot; says Myscha. Her pup doesn't do well in restaurants, but can handle hanging out in an outdoor establishment. &quot;Strolling downstairs when the venue isn't crowded enables us to at least have a drink outside of the room without having to book daycare for the dog.&quot;</p> <h3>15. Train Your Pet to be Rental-Friendly</h3> <p>Gigi stays mostly in apartments through vacation rental sites like AirBnB. Instead of focusing on finding pet-friendly rentals, she focuses on making her dog a rental-friendly pet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals?ref=seealso">How to Find and Book the Best Vacation Rentals</a>).</p> <p>&quot;I don't worry about whether the places are pet-friendly or not. Instead, I find four or five places I'd like to stay and reach out with a message that asks if they would be willing to make an exception for my dog explaining why she's an exception-worthy tenant. These reasons are that she is a non-shedding breed, small (about 12 lbs/6 kilos), therapy trained to work with kids in hospitals (and thus very well behaved), and has landlord references. For the most part, landlords and hotel owners are worried that pets will make noise, destroy something, leave hair all over the room, or bother other guests. If you can put these fears to rest, you have a chance of getting an exception.&quot;</p> <h3>16. Get &quot;Landlord&quot; References</h3> <p>For Gigi, the key to having a rental-friendly pet is in producing references. &quot;Almost nobody thinks about doing this, but it is endlessly helpful. Whenever you stay somewhere with your pet, ask the landlord or owner to mention the pet in their reference. It's a simple matter for the landlord and helps future landlords evaluate your exception request with confidence.&quot;</p> <h3>17. Request a Room on the First Floor</h3> <p>Many pet-friendly hotels will assign you a first floor room (or even better, one with direct outside access), but it's always good to ask. Myscha always specifically requests a first-floor room. &quot;Elevator or not, it's a pain in the neck to do midnight potty break runs with your pooch if you have to travel down several floors to do it.&quot;</p> <h3>18. Checking-In: What to do First</h3> <p>&quot;When you check into your hotel room make sure to bring your luggage, your pet's food, and their bedding in immediately. The smell is comforting and the pet will feel more at home in the hotel knowing that there are things in the room that smell familiar,&quot; says Lauren.</p> <p>Once initially settled in, Lauren and Kenin continue the integration process. &quot;We take a short stroll around the hotel and come back into the room 15-20 minutes later. This keeps separation anxiety at bay because they know we are not abandoning them. It also let's us know if they are going to bark or not when we leave for a longer period of time.&quot;</p> <h3>19. Have a Toy for Distraction While Checking In and Unpacking</h3> <p>Myscha uses the hotel mini-fridges to freeze a Kong full of peanut butter for times when they're tending to business and unable to pay attention to their dog. &quot;This keeps her distracted during lobby meetups, or while we are unpacking and organizing the room.&quot;</p> <h3>20. Continental Breakfast? Stock Up on Peanut Butter Packs</h3> <p>&quot;The [single-serve packets of peanut butter] at the morning continental breakfast bar are great for filling in when you've run out of your travel stash, and they can also be used for administering medication pills without fuss,&quot; says Myscha. She adds that grabbing a piece of bacon or sausage or even some cereal can come in handy when you've run out of treats and there's no convenience store in sight.</p> <h2>Road Trips With Pets</h2> <p>Going on a road trip? This is a much easier way of traveling with pets than flying, but there are still a few things to be aware of.</p> <h3>21. Limit Driving Times Each Day</h3> <p>Mary and Al Hone of <a href="http://www.talesfromthebackroad.com/">Tales From the Back Road</a> have been traveling full-time in their RV with their two dogs (Roxy and Torrey) for over two years. Despite traveling with all the comforts of home, they limit the amount of time spent on the road itself. &quot;We try to not travel more than five or six hours per day. It's tiring for us, and boring for the dogs. We make frequent stops at parks, or somewhere we can play fetch, or just somewhere we can walk.&quot;</p> <h3>22. Make it Comfortable, and Strap Them In</h3> <p>Lauren says preparing the car helps to make their pooch comfortable, and alleviates their worries while driving. &quot;She has a bed in the back of our VW with a blanket and her favorite toy. She is also harnessed and seat-belted so she is safe in case of emergency.&quot;</p> <p>Mary and Al are also sure to secure their dogs to keep everybody safe. &quot;Torrey has a seatbelt harness, and Roxy has a car seat to keep them both safe as we travel. This also keeps them from being a distraction to the driver.&quot;</p> <h3>23. Have Fresh Water and Treats On-Hand</h3> <p>&quot;We have a portable doggie water bottle and make frequent stops to let her stretch her legs and hydrate,&quot; says Lauren.</p> <p>Mary and Al also ensure they have some food on hand for wonky driving schedules. &quot;If we miss dinner time for the dogs, they know it and remind us. The treats keep them happy until we can stop and get them their dinner. They are also good for rewarding good behavior and patience.&quot;</p> <p><em>Have you tried traveling with pets? Leave your best tips and recommendations 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/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-tips-for-traveling-with-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/6-ways-to-save-on-baggage-fees">6 Ways to Save On Baggage Fees</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-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</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/5-affordable-alternatives-to-pet-boarding">5 Affordable Alternatives to Pet Boarding</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-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel dogs pets travel traveling with dogs Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:00:09 +0000 Nora Dunn 1256479 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Rich Walking Dogs in 9 Easy Steps http://www.wisebread.com/get-rich-walking-dogs-in-9-easy-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-rich-walking-dogs-in-9-easy-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-husky-dog-507032611-small.jpg" alt="man with dog" title="man with dog" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Pressed for cash? Have feet? Then you, my ambulatory friend, should read about how to set up a thriving dog-walking business in nine simple steps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-these-15-creative-side-gigs?ref=seealso">Earn Extra Income With These 15 Creative Side Gigs</a>)</p> <h2>1. Take a Training Class and Get Certified</h2> <p>It's always a good idea &mdash; if you don't know what you're doing &mdash; to start with the basics, and in the case of dog walking that's taking a training class that offers certain certifications. I know what you're thinking &mdash; &quot;but, Mikey, I walk my dog all the time. I know what I'm doing.&quot; Good try, but the reality is your dog is not every dog, and you need to be prepared for emergency situations so you don't accidentally kill somebody's pet. That's a bad day at work, dude.</p> <p>When you've decided to get serious, check out <a href="http://dogtec.org/dogwalkingacademy.php">Dogtec's Dog Walking Academy</a>, an intensive four-day workshop leading to professional dog-walking certification. Dates and locations vary, but the academy is held all over the United States</p> <h2>2. Brand Your Business</h2> <p>Like the title above says, this post is about how to get rich walking dogs &mdash; not how to make chump change. Which means that if you want to turn this new endeavor into a bonafide business, you need to brand it. Choose a clever, perhaps even cute name for your dog-walking business; legally register it; and hire someone to create a logo and website for you, if you don't know how to do it yourself.</p> <p>These steps &mdash; which should be followed in that order, by the way; you don't want to create a logo for a business name that's already taken &mdash; will help you get started and begin to establish a presence in your market.</p> <h2>3. Design a Flyer Advertising Your Services</h2> <p>When you're up and running, you'll need to market your services. You'll do this online, of course (which I'll discuss in the next steps), but traditional, paper advertising is also a valuable way to get the word out. Entrepreneur Kyle Boureston started a dog-walking business in posh Orange County, CA, and he says the flyer is the foundation of starting your business. Here are his personal tips:</p> <h3>1. Tell Them About You</h3> <p>Most dog owners love their pet almost as much as they love their own family. Since you take their dog on an unsupervised walk around the neighborhood, there's a good amount of trust involved. Owners will want to know a little bit about you before they give away their dog. Be sure to include:</p> <ul> <li>Your name<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your history with pets<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What street you live on &mdash; you don't need to give an exact address but saying that you live on a street that they're familiar with will make them a lot more comfortable.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A little about you. For example, &quot;I love running, cooking, and Sunday football.&quot;</li> </ul> <h3>2. Include a Photo of You and a Happy Dog</h3> <p>This is the most important part of your flyer. In the ideal photo, you would:</p> <ul> <li>Be crouched next to an obediently seated dog. This shows that you have experience with dogs and would keep the dog safe when you walk together.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have a big smile on your face. A picture is worth a thousand words, so smile. This is one of the easiest ways you can look friendly, normal, and, most importantly, not sketchy or creepy.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have your hand placed gently on the dogs back. Like I said above, dog owners truly love their pets. They want their dog to be with someone who also loves dogs, and this simple hand placement will subconsciously tell the owner that their pet is in good, loving hands.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Distribute Your Ads in Your Neighborhood</h2> <p>Old-fashioned hoofin' it around town is the best way to distribute your professional flyers by placing them in the mailboxes of people in the vicinity you want to serve. Put on a good pair of shoes and carve out a few hours to do the legwork it will require to let your neighbors know you're in business. It's not only good exercise in anticipation of your first four-legged client, but you never know who you'll meet along the way by being out there in person as the face of your new business.</p> <h2>5. List Your Service on Craigslist and Similar Sites</h2> <p>In addition to traditional advertising, you also should advertise on sites like Craigslist and similar portals that are popular with people hiring folks to do non-traditional jobs. I also would recommend joining <a href="https://nextdoor.com/">Nextdoor</a>, a website that specifically caters to your neighborhood; it's a great way to get to know your neighbors and promote your service. Use social media to build brand awareness by posting blogs, using Facebook and Twitter to make business shout-outs, and definitely engage Instagram so you can post all the aww-worthy photos of the dogs with which you'll spend the day.</p> <h2>6. Sign Up for Doggie-Specific Websites</h2> <p>Just like there are sites solely dedicated to connecting parents with responsible, vetted care providers who will watch their kids, there also are sites that will connect you to pet owners looking for a walker or sitter.<a href="http://www.care.com/pet-care-p1087-q25299341.html"> Care.com has a pet component to it</a>, but there are also dog-specific sites like <a href="http://friend.dogvacay.com/x/Pn0cSD">DogVacay</a> and <a href="http://refer.rover.com/v2/share/6080167420330944787">Rover</a> that you can use as resources. I'm personally listed on the latter two sites, by the way. I just discovered them a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be a cool way to have a play date with my own dog, Jaxon, while making a little extra money.</p> <h2>7. Take Excellent Care of the Your Clients' Pets</h2> <p>Any new business can pick up clients in the beginning, but the real test is keeping them. How do you do that? By being the best darn dog walker this side of wherever you live.</p> <p>As a small business owner myself, I know the importance of executing my job at the highest-level possible along with impeccable customer service. Think about it &mdash; how many times have you personally boycotted a business because someone at the establishment was rude to you? Sucks, doesn't it? Don't be that person. As a dog walker, you have a huge responsibility to take care of your clients' best friends, go above and beyond the call of duty (or is that doody?), and return their pets safe and happy. That's your JOB. If you're not doing that, why are you in business? The answer to that question is this: You won't be for long.</p> <h2>8. Send Updates to Your Clients on a Regular Basis</h2> <p>Because you're taking care of something so precious to your clients, it's a good idea to send them updates on how their dog is doing in your care. While you're sending pics or video that will bring smiles to their faces, it'll also remind them that you're an active walker who's taking great care of their pet &mdash; and it shows.</p> <h2>9. Ask for Referrals From Your Clients</h2> <p>You can't get rich with an venture if you don't continue to drive business. In this industry, because it's very localized, it's important to make connections by networking and also asking for referrals from clients with whom you have a great rapport. They may have a friend or colleague in need of your services, and if you're the kind of dog walker I've detailed in this post, your clients will be more than happy to spread the word about you. Proceed with caution, however. You really need to gauge the situation well and know how to read people. If you're not particularly close with your client, it may not be the best idea to ask for a referral outright; perhaps leaving a few business cards is better method in that case. Don't hound anybody either. You should ask your clients to refer you one time and one time only. If they want to spread the word they will; if they don't, they don't. Nothing you can do about that &mdash; that's business.</p> <p><em>Did you build a successful dog-walking business? Do you have any tips for us? 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/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-rich-walking-dogs-in-9-easy-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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