July2011

3 Easy Ways to Save Money on Pets

These days we are all on tighter budgets. We are spending less and saving more. We are constantly on the lookout for great deals, various ways to not overspend and counting our pennies. One area that can get quite expensive are our pets. Beyond the initial fees for a pet, including shots and all that jazz, the cost of a pet can add up pretty fast. It seems like there are a million things they need: food, toys, dishes, bedding, litter boxes, trips to the vet, dog walkers, the whole nine yards and then some.

Fortunately, we don’t have to get rid of our furry friends to save. Instead, we can cut back in a few different ways to keep our wallets from shrinking. Here are some basic tips and tricks to staying within budget with your pet(s):

1. Get rid of the dog walker: If you are paying someone to walk your dog because you may not have time, forget it. It is not worth the price. Instead, carve a few extra minutes into your day (which is probably more possible than you think) to take your dog on those necessary walks. Not only are you saving money, but it allows you to spend quality time with your pet, while getting some fresh air and exercise for yourself. Grab the leash, your tennis shoes and get going. Or better yet, assign your kids the responsibility of walking the dog. If you are going out of town, don’t leave your pet at the kennel; it can get pricey. Ask a family member or trusted neighbor to watch them. If your neighbor has a pet, make a pet exchange rather than money. You can watch their pet while your neighbor is on vacation and vice-versa.

2. Trips to the Vet: While there are trips to the vet that are necessary, when it comes to additional visits, consider the human model: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Just like humans, we can avoid having those extra visits to the vet by staying healthy. Regular exercise and healthy eating go a long way with your furry friends. There are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise into your furry friend’s lifestyle – whether that is a trip to the dog park to play a game of fetch, long walks or playtime with the family.  For cats, you can even make them home-made toys, saving money. And always look for the healthier choice in pet food. While at first it may be a bit more expensive, it will pay off in the long run. In addition, don’t overload your pet’s dish. A lot of the food will most likely go to waste, requiring you to buy food more frequently than necessary.

3. As always, when you are shopping for dog food, toys, etc., be on the constant lookout for deals. Make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck. When you purchase pet food and similar items, buying in bulk will save you more money long term. This reduces the number of purchases you have to make over time. For grooming, Petdoc.com suggests to “take on the grooming” yourself. Instead of having the vet or a dog salon pamper your pooch, invest a certain amount of money into a quality pair of nail trimmers, brush, shampoo, etc. Follow this guide on how to easily and cheaply groom your dog. Again, this will allow you to save more money over a period of time (similar to making your own coffee at home, instead of spending four bucks a day on a latte).

These are just a few simple ideas to help you save. All in all, you can keep your pet happy and healthy without blowing your budget.

Allow your Bird to Enjoy the Outdoors with a Harness

Premier FTHL Feather Tether includes harness and leashPremier FTHL Feather Tether includes harness and leashPremier FTHL Feather Tether includes harness and leash

Feel like taking your feathered friend on an outdoor excursion but don’t want to risk him flying away? Use a handy Feather Tether® bird harness from Premier.

With it, your pet bird can enjoy time outside safely within your care. Whether you are traveling with your bird or you just want to take him for a walk, this tether is perfect. Developed with your avian friend’s comfort and safety in mind, it’s lightweight, which makes it easy for your bird to move. Plus, the leash can be adjusted so your bird can either perch or walk alongside you. These harnesses also come in a variety of sizes, so it’s suitable for virtually all pet birds, including parrots, Macaws, Amazons, Cockatiels, Hahns and other species.

So the next time you feel like taking a stroll with your bird, you don’t have to stress about a possible flyaway. Simply latch a tether onto your feathered pet and you’re set for a fun outing.

 

Minimizing Hairballs

It’s summer, which means it’s hairball cleanup season for cat owners. It’s never fun having to dispose of your cat’s puke, so funny kittenwhat can you do to minimize this?

1. Brush your cat often. Especially if you have a long-haired cat, it’s imperative that you brush him at least daily. You may even have to brush him multiple times a day if he’s a serious shedder. Make sure you have a quality brush, comb or shedding blade. The more times you brush your cat, the less often he will throw up hairballs, which means less work for you.

2. Give your cat a bath. Even though many cats despise getting wet, it can be worthwhile to bathe your cat every couple of weeks in the summer because it helps get rid of loose fur. For maximum results, use a shed control shampoo. It significantly reduces excess pet hair, which in turn cuts down on shedding.

3. Feed your cat supplements. There are some effective supplements you can feed to your cat that enable him to digest and pass hairballs, instead of vomiting them. Just chuck them into a food dish along with your cat’s regular food.

It’s impossible to completely prevent hairballs, but implementing these tips and products will help minimize the messy inconvenience hairballs often cause.

Perfect Pet Snakes

When choosing a pet, there are always suggestions as to what animal would make an ideal pet. This is the case with cats, dogs, birds and even snakes.

There are a wide array of snakes that you can own but choosing the right type may not only be important for the owner but may also be important for the health and well-being of the snake. The website Reptile Knowledge provides a checklist of criteria for snake ownership as well as some suggestions for types of snakes ideal for home ownership.

 

When looking for a snake ideal for you, Reptile Knowledge says four things should be considered:

  1. Average Adult Size: a snake should be able to stretch out at least two-thirds its body size. When buying a snake, you need to be sure you have space for a cage that can accommodate a snake’s body size and allow the snake to stretch out.
  2. Temperament/Behavior: consider the snakes listed below. These snakes are cautious about biting and are easy to tame.
  3. Feeding Habits: Reptile Knowledge suggests finding snakes that eat frozen/thawed foods. Frozen and thawed foods are easier to store and are usually available in bulk.
  4. Health in Captivity/Hardiness: be sure to choose a snake species that is comfortable with living in captivity. The four snakes listed below are able to live as pets if the proper needs are met.

Reptile Knowledge’s list of best pet snakes:

  1. The Corn Snake: They rarely grow over six feet long, have good temperaments, are able to be tamed within a short amount of time and they generally live long if their needs are properly met.
  2. The Kingsnake: Reptile Knowledge says that kingsnakes are the most common type of snakes owned because they meet all four criteria outlined above. They come in a wide variety but the most common type is the California Kingsnake.
  3. The Gopher Snake: Easy to tend to, tame and maintain, the Gopher Snake is an ideal snake for both first time snake owners and experienced owners.
  4. The Ball Python: Reptile Knowledge says that although Ball Pythons make great pets, they can be picky when it comes to diets. They also live for quite some time (in some cases past 20 years). So make sure you’re committed to owning a snake for a long time before buying a ball python.

As with any animal, the proper temperature, living conditions, fresh water and proper feeding and diet are crucial to providing an ideal environment for life as a pet.

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Happy and Healthy

Puppy _ 3Keeping your pooch healthy is an important and vital task that leads to the happy and healthy pet mentality we all love to see in our furry friends. There are a few basic items that can help maintain your pup’s health:

1. Proper Food: An overall nutritious diet is a great foundation for the health of your dog. We offer a larger selection of dog food to find what you are looking for in maintaining a healthy and hearty diet. We even carry low fat and weight management options for the pooches watching their weight. Dry food, canned food, puppy specific and for adults – we have got it all covered.

2. Exercise: Just like us, pets need a proper amount of daily, active exercise to stay healthy. Walking/jogging with your pet are great ways for both of you to get some fresh air and exercise. We offer a wide variety of collars and leashes for safe outdoor activity. Fetch and other games involving toys can also create a good amount of physical movement for your dog. Fortunately, we have a great line of toys to keep your fuzz ball on the move.

3. Hygiene: In maintaining your dog’s overall health, it is equally important to consider their hygiene. We offer a wide range of shampoos, brushes, nail care, shedding blades and rakes, and scissors and clippers, to put together the ideal grooming kit for your pup. In addition, we carry a health care line including the following products: aroma dog therapy, dental care, de-wormers, ear care, eye care, first aid, flea and tick, skin care, supplements and vitamins, odor control and protective collar products.

These are just three of the basic foundations for maintaining the health and happiness of your furry friend. For additional items and products for your pet, please be sure to browse properpet.com.

How to Annihilate Hairballs

If cat owners can rely on one thing during the summer, it’s those pesky hairballs. No matter how much you brush your furry feline pal, it always seems like you find a few hairballs on your floor—or worse, in the carpet—before the summer ends. Even though completely eradicating hairballs is virtually impossible, there are ways to make cleaning them up easy and simple.

For hard surfaces:

Clean it up as soon as you notice it. A wet hairball left on hard surface can dry, harden and make it more difficult to clean. So take care if it immediately. Spray some all-purpose cleaner over it and wipe it dry immediately. If a hairball has hardened on the floor, use a plastic brush to loosen it. Be careful when you scrub;  scrubbing too hard can damage the floor surface. Use even, gentle pressure to brush in a circular motion until most of the hairball is lifted, and remove the residue. For those remaining pieces that are stuck, liberally wet a paper towel and rub over it. Keep repeating with more wet paper towels until the rest of the hairball is loose.

If the hairball is really stuck, you may have to leave some wet paper towels over it for awhile. Let them sit on the stain for 15 to 20 minutes so the water can loosen those hardened bits. Then wipe it away. Depending on the type of floor (hardwood, tile, etc.), it’s a good idea to apply some oil, wood cleaner spray or some other all purpose cleaner to polish the spot.

For carpet:

Wait a few minutes so it can solidify a bit. This makes it easier to clean. Most people want to clean a hairball immediately, but wiping a wet hairball in carpet can cause it to seep into the fibers as you wipe, making cleanup more difficult. So wait a few minutes, then pick it up from the carpet with a paper towel or wipes.

Spray some carpet cleaner over the spot. You don’t need a crazy strong, industrial-strength cleaner to take of it. Just a few squirts of standard carpet stain cleanser should work. Allow it to sit for a few minutes so it can infiltrate the spot, then dab it with more paper towels. Be careful not to rub too vigorously. Doing so can further embed cat hair and liquid into the carpet. Instead, dab the area several times.

Pour a bit of water over the clean spot, let it sit and then dab it with paper towels. This will help rinse the spot of any excess carpet cleaner. It’s important to do this so your cat doesn’t come in contact with any chemicals from the cleaning spray. Once the spot is completely dry, it’s also a good idea to vacuum over it.

If you want to minimize the number of times you have to clean what your cat has hacked up, remember to regularly brush your cat. It doesn’t prevent hairballs, but the more you brush him, the less fur he will have to throw up. If you’re brave enough to bathe your feline, use shed control shampoo, which helps reduce excessive shedding. Also, there are supplements you can feed your cat that help him digest and pass hairballs, instead of vomiting them. So will you ever be free of hairballs? Not as long as you own a cat. But following these simple tips and methods makes cleaning up hairballs a little more manageable.

By Sarah Smith

Pamper your Pooch

Cute Tibetan TerrierHumans are not the only ones that like to get pampered and fussed over–so do pets. Your furry friends give you so much love, be sure to return the favor. We have a great group of products to give your pup the royal treatment. So make the effort to pamper your pooch once in a while.

We offer a wide variety of Le Salon shampoos to suit each of your dog’s specific needs, including gentle and shine shampoo. We even carry White Lites, Golden Lites and Dark Lites Shampoo to bring out your dog’s beautiful natural color without the use of artificial dyes.

Do you live in the city? We have a shampoo for that. Urban shampoo is great for furry city dwellers that often come in contact with dust, contaminants and pollution.

To keep your pup clean between baths, be sure to check out the Waterless Shampoo for dogs. It can also be used as an alternative to the traditional bath for dogs who may be sick, older or just flat out hate baths.

After their bath, treat your pup to soothing brush strokes with Le Salon’s Essentials Rubber Slicker Brush or a variety of other options. To complete the grooming process, pick up a pair of nail trimmers and face trimming scissors, to finish off their fabulous and refreshed look.

Be sure to check out these great products and more for taking care of your pet.

Turn Your Dog into a Good Houseguest

If you’re traveling with your dog this summer and staying at a friend’s or family member’s place, don’t be that kind of pet owner. You know, the kind who brings their dog over and leaves a mess. If you do this, chances are both you and your pooch won’t be asked to stay again. But there are simple things you can do to keep your host and dog happy.

Talk to your host before you arrive, and make sure it’s okay to bring your dog. Never assume that your friends or relatives won’t mind if your dog shows up unannounced. It’s often a huge inconvenience, especially if your hosts have allergies, a busy household or if they just don’t like pets. Making arrangements before you arrive will make your visit smoother because your hosts will have time to prepare their home for your and your furry travel pal.

Designate a specific area for your dog to stay. If the person you’re staying with loves dogs and doesn’t mind him running around, great. But a lot of people prefer to keep a visiting pet in a certain area or room of the house. That way, your host is happy knowing that the dog is in a specific place. This helps keeps things calm and organized, which is helpful if your host isn’t accustomed to having pets.

Be sure you have plenty of food, treats and toys to keep your dog occupied. Remember to feed your dog on the schedule that he is used to, and play with him regularly. Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean you don’t have to walk or play with him as usual. Besides, if you leave your dog without any stimulation, it can cause him to be nervous and agitated. He may go nuts around your host’s house and damage it. So make it a point to walk and play with him as much as possible to keep him happy and calm.

It’s also a good idea to bring along absorbent pads if your dog is staying indoors during a visit. Being in a different house for a few days may throw him off a bit, which could lead to accidents. That’s never a pleasant surprise to leave your host. Have a few extra pads on hand to contain any messes. If you run out, use old towels or a few layers of newspaper.

Most importantly, obey your host’s wishes. If they are gracious enough to open their home to you and your dog, show that you appreciate their kindness by obeying their rules. If they prefer to keep your dog in a certain room even though you allow your dog to roam around your house, just deal with it for a few days. If you let your dog lounge on the couch at home but your friends or relatives don’t want pets on the furniture, listen to them. It’s their house, so it’s their rules as long as you stay with them.

Also, pay attention to your pet during your stay. It seems like a no-brainer, but some pet owners think it’s okay to bring their dog to a person’s home and just ignore him. It’s not your host’s job to care for your pet, so keep on top of things. If your pooch seems a bit anxious, walk, pet or play with him. If he has an accident, clean it up immediately. Feed him on time and frequently take him outside for bathroom breaks. Do your best to make it seem like having a dog visit is no extra work for your host. If you remember this and follow the tips above, your host will be more than happy to have you and your canine pal over for repeat visits.

Fun in the Sun

As the summer sun heats up this season, don’t forget about your pooch. Be sure you have a few key items so he can enjoy the sun while staying protected and safe.

  • Hats: Just like people, dogs need shade and eye protection from the bright rays of the golden, high-in-the-sky sun. A hat is a stylish yet protective choice that shields your dog from potentially harmful sun exposure.
  • Life Vests: If your furry friend likes to doggy paddle his way through the water to keep cool, it is imperative you keep him safe with a life vest. We carry a variety of vests that are available in different colors and sizes to suit your pup’s needs.
  • Backpack: Planning on taking a hike this summer with your canine pal? A Dog Worn Backpack is a great way to help your dog carry his load on the trail. Don’t forget to put some scrumptious treats in there for breaks along the way. In addition to the backpack, pick up a set of portable dishes for easy transportation of food and water.
  • Bags: Don’t have enough room in your pack for the outdoor supplies your pup needs? Designate a separate bag for him. Something like a slobber bag is super convenient: it’s big enough to hold all of your pooch’s extra items, like toys, food, water and dishes that will keep him happy and hydrated during a summer outing. Plus, it’s in a completely different bag from your belongings, so you don’t have to worry about dog germs tainting your gear.
  • Treat Bags: Don’t forget to keep your dog fed when you’re outside playing with him in the summer. Simply being in the heat can be quite draining, so keep food and treats handy with a treat bag so your dog can periodically refuel.
  • Waste Clean-Up Products: Also be sure to carry a stash of clean-up bags to use after your dog’s bathroom breaks in the great outdoors.

So whatever your summer plans are for you and your fuzzball, always be prepared for warm weather conditions with these products.

Arthur