Category: Pets

A Comprehensive Guide to Taking Care of a Puppy on a Budget

Did you know that having a puppy can lower blood pressure? Puppies are truly a man’s best friend.

However, taking care of a puppy is a huge responsibility, especially if you’re on a budget. Do you find yourself worrying about how you are going to make ends meet? Not to worry! We are going to show you how to care for your beloved pup.

Keep reading to learn more!

Taking Care of a Puppy: Groom Them Yourselves

Taking your pup to a groomer can be expensive. Especially if you have a type of dog that needs grooming once a month to keep the hair from matting or tangling. Instead, learn how to groom your dog yourself.

Check your pet’s paws, and the next time you’re at the vet ask them to show you how to trim their nails. Brush your dog’s fur often to keep it smooth and untangled. Check on his or her ears and clean if needed.

Preventing Accidents and Injuries

Some dogs like to run out into the street or tear down the road if they get loose. This could result in an accident occurring. Try and keep your dog inside and supervise them if they need to go outside.

Use a leash and keep an eye on them. This will help prevent any injuries and keep your four-legged loved one out of trouble.

Shopping Around for Supplies

When you go and buy dog food, the price tag can be a bit alarming. Instead of purchasing right away, write down the price and go check out a few other stores that sell dog food.

This will help you make sure you’re getting the lowest price possible.

Get Quality Dog Food

Getting poor quality dog food will only harm your dog in the long run. Invest in good food and keep your pup on a healthy diet. This will keep your dog in good health and save you some money on vet bills in the future.

Sometimes stores discount their dog food every once in a while. This occurs when a store discontinues a brand. Keep an eye out for this. It could be huge savings for you.

Did you know that some food pantries carry dog food? Inquire at your local one. Some local shelters even have dog food to give out to people in need.

You could also make your own dog food! Your pet will be healthier and you will save money.

Playing with Your Pet

Did you know that an active life leads to a healthier one? Playing with your pet, going out for regular walks, and buying dog toys will help your pup stay healthy and happy.

This will also help you too! Sticking to a walking routine will have many health benefits for you both. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Check out new hiking spots or beaches with your puppy.

Dog Sitting Services

If you are looking at going away but need to bring your dog to the kennel, it could get costly. Find out if a friend or family member might be willing to watch your dog for the weekend. Write down when and how much your dog eats.

You could offer to do something else for them in return for dog sitting. If you have a special skill, you could offer to clean their house or fix their car in exchange.

This will help you save on costly boarding services. Also, the person who watches your dog will feel appreciated.

Medications for Pets

Don’t forget to get your pet vaccinated. This will help prevent any more significant health problems down the road. This allows the vet to watch your pet’s health and catch any conditions.

Try and compare pharmacy prices with what your local vet is charging.

If you can’t afford a pet visit at the moment, have your pet vaccinated instead. Many places offer low-cost vaccinations.

Some shelters also have special days where they provide discounted vaccinations. Pick up your phone and call a shelter to find out more information. They may have some leads.

Saving for Emergencies

Like anything in life, emergencies pop up when least expected. Parents tell their young adults when they first get settled into a new home to try and save for an emergency fund.

This is for anything unexpected like their car breaking down or dryer dying. It’s the same with pets.

Try and save a little fund for emergencies. Set it aside and forget about it. There are other options as well if saving isn’t an option at the moment.

Some vets allow you to pay with a payment plan. Talk to your local vet and find out the options available.

Buying Pet Supplies

Your furry companion will need a bed down the road. You’re going to want to find the perfect bed that is cost-efficient and durable. Check out these dog beds to learn about the different types available.

Local thrift stores have pets sections. You can find collars, leashes, food and water dishes, as well as harnesses.

You can save money but also make sure your pet has everything he or she needs to keep them comfortable and healthy.

Reduced Vet-Care

There are services available for folks who are low-income. Some veterinarians offer reduced services, or they may even be free services available.

Find out what shelters or vet office offers for those in need. Your shelter will be able to help you out with finding a budget-effective vet. As mentioned before, some places might allow you to pay with a payment plan.

Want to Learn More?

We hope you found this article helpful in taking care of a puppy on a budget! Four-legged fur babies mean so much to people and you want to make sure you are giving them the best life possible.

Want to learn more about money and savvy spending tricks? Check out this article we wrote about money saving tips for pet owners.

6 Tips for a Healthy and Happy Hamster

happy hamster

More people are renting than any time since 1965. This means low-impact pets like hamsters and other smaller critters are becoming the ideal companion animal. But ensuring you have a healthy, happy hamster is just as important as taking care of any other pet.

Whether it’s your first pet or your fiftieth, hamsters are a cute, friendly addition to any family. As well as being small and inexpensive, they’re also easy to maintain and care for, provided you know what you’re doing.

Here are 6 hamster care tips to ensure your little ball of fur is living its best life.

1. Healthy Eating

Happy hamsters are well-fed hamsters, but quality is just as important as quantity!

Hamsters are much like kids, they’ll always go for the tasty, fatty foods first. But just because all the sunflower seeds disappear first doesn’t mean they should be eating nothing but them. It’d be a bit like feeding a child nothing but chocolate because they go for that first.

Hamsters should be fed a well-balanced diet. That includes fruits and vegetables.

Fresh vegetables like carrots, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, squash are ideal because they’re similar to what they might eat in the wild.

Fresh fruits like apples, bananas, pears, grapes, and most berries are great as treats. Just remember never to give your hamster citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, or limes. Citrus fruits are too acidic for hamsters and will hurt them.

Whole-grain breads and cereals should be included as part of a balanced hamster diet. Protein is also a must.

Moderation and variety are the main things to keep in mind when feeding your hamster.

2. Proper Bedding

Quality bedding is essential for keeping your hamster healthy and your own nose happy.

Cedar bedding should be avoided as it can cause skin irritation in your hamster. You also shouldn’t use pine, newspaper, cat litter, or corn cob bedding. Any bedding that’s overly fluffy or scented should also be avoided.

The best hamster beddings are non-toxic and made from natural fibers. One of the few types of wood that’s safe for use as hamster bedding is aspen. Aspen shavings are generally cheaper than specialty hamster bedding but it’s often not as soft or absorbent as hamster-specific bedding.

You should clean your hamster’s cage and replace bedding on a weekly basis. An unclean cage can cause buildups of bacteria that can make your hamster sick. It’s also a one-stop-shop to a stinky cage.

3. Spacious Cage

Picking the right cage for your hamster is all-important for their health and happiness.

Hamsters require spacious cages. Large hamster cages should measure 12 inches wide by 18 inches long by 12 inches high at the very least, but bigger is always better.

Hamsters are known to chew, so most hamster cages come with either wire or plastic bars. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the bars of your hamster’s cage to make sure they’re not wearing down. If your hamster escapes then they could get lost or hurt so it’s much better to catch any escape acts before they happen.

If your hamster is prone to chewing through their cage then you can choose an aquarium-style enclosure. Just make sure to monitor the aquarium for fluctuations in temperature as they can heat up easily.

4. Cage Location

Hamsters don’t deal well with temperature extremes so the location of your cage is just as important as the cage itself.

Keep their cage out of direct sunlight to avoid high temperatures during the day. Their cage should also be out of the way of heaters or air conditioners to avoid the temperature extremes of both.

If you choose an aquarium style enclosure for your hamster then make sure it’s out of the sun and isn’t heating up too much during the day.

It’s also a good idea to keep your hamster’s cage up off the ground. This will ensure accidental kicks or jostling are kept to a minimum. If your family includes small children this will also keep them up out of the way of small prying hands.

5. Excercise

Hamsters are naturally active animals and need a lot of exercise to keep them healthy. A happy hamster is an energetic hamster.

Make sure your hamster has a wheel to help them stay active. Even if their cage is particularly large, a wheel is still essential.

If you want to give your hamster a little more variety and it’s safe to do so, then investing in a hamster ball so they can run around outside their cage is also a great idea.

As well as a hamster wheel, your hamster should also have plenty of toys. Plastic ladders and tubes encourage climbing and exploring which will keep your hamster’s body and mind active.

Other small toys for chewing will also help keep your hamster from turning their sights to the bars of their enclosure.

6. Careful Companionship

If you’re wanting more than one hamster then it’s best to get them both at the same time. Hamsters aren’t very social creatures, particularly if their companions are introduced later in life.

If you do add a new hamster to the family, spend several days introducing them to each other. Keep them in separate cages where they can see each other from a distance to let them acclimatize. Once they’ve upgraded to sharing a cage, keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t fight.

Make sure the hamsters you’re introducing are the same sex! Unless you want 3 to 18 babies every 30 days, you don’t want a pair able to breed.

A Happy Hamster Is a Healthy Hamster

Hamsters are the ideal pet for apartment dwellers. Not only are they cheap and easy to maintain, they’re also suited to smaller spaces and quieter lifestyles.

By feeding your hamster a balanced diet, ensuring they have the right environment, and introducing new companions carefully, your hamster will be living its best life. And a happy hamster is the best sort of companion.

Looking to immortalize your best friend with a pet portrait? Read about how pet photography is all about loving your pet.

7 Tips for Making Your Own Dog Food

making your own dog food

Want to save money and keep your pet healthier? Then you’ll want to start making your own dog food.

Making your own dog food at home is an easy, affordable way to make sure your pet is getting the best. Instead of paying for overpriced brand names full of additives, you can provide food at a much lower cost.

This is a great choice for dogs with dietary restrictions, picky eaters, or any beloved pet whose diet you’re concerned about. Making your own dog food is easier than you might think, too.

Keep reading for everything you need to get started.

Why Start Making Your Own Dog Food?

You may be wondering if it’s really worth it to cook for your dog. There are actually a lot of compelling reasons to make the change away from commercial dog food.

It’s tempting to think that the bags of pet food you find at stores are healthy, good choices. However, the reality is that pet food isn’t regulated the way human food is.

There are a few rules and standards, thanks to the FDA and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). But these rules for pet food aren’t very strict, and they also aren’t very well enforced.

Because of this oversight, companies can put just about whatever they want into your pet’s food.

Have you heard about pet food recalls? These happen often because companies use ingredients that aren’t good for pets. Then they’re forced to recall the products later when problems start.

When you make your pet’s food at home, you can add more nutrients while avoiding the preservatives in store-bought food. You can tailor the mix to your dog’s needs. And yes, you can even save money.

This is a great choice for dogs with allergies, IBS, or other common issues affected by diet. It’s also ideal for dogs that have responsibilities they’ll need to be alert, focused and healthy for.

Today, our dogs may be more than just companions. Many people keep dogs who help them in their day-to-day life. Someone who lives alone in the city might keep a dog for protection, while other people may have an emotional support animal (to get your dog certified, check out Certapet for ESAs).

All dogs need healthy, high-quality food, but these dogs may benefit from it even more than others. Now, let’s get into how to start making your own dog food.

How to Make Dog Food at Home

In order to successfully make your dog’s food, you’ll just need to follow a few basic rules.

Some dogs may need extra-special diets, such as a grain-free diet. However, if your pup doesn’t have any restrictions on their diet, a good ratio to keep in mind is 50 percent protein, 25 percent vegetables, and 25 percent grain.

Another ratio that also works is 40-60 percent protein or raw meat, 20-30 percent starches (cooked), and 20-30 percent raw fruits and vegetables.

You’ll need to check which foods are safe for dogs to eat before getting started. Most of us know that dogs can’t eat chocolate, but you may be surprised to learn about the other ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as onions.

Finally, you should add certain supplements to the mix, since food on its own doesn’t always have everything a dog needs to stay healthy.

Tips for Making Your Dog’s Food

Now, here are our top tips for making your own dog food.

1. Use a Great Recipe

Your dog’s food is only as good as the recipe you use. Follow the ratios above to get a good blend, and make sure you choose high-quality, nutritious ingredients.

Make sure each recipe you choose has protein, fats, calcium, essential fatty acids, and carbs in it. The best recipes will come from professional animal nutritionists or veterinarians. Remember: just because your dog likes it doesn’t mean it’s good for them.

2. Follow the Recipe

When you good for yourself, you may love to substitute other ingredients and make various adjustments. However, when you cook for your dog, you shouldn’t improvise. Instead, follow the recipe exactly as it’s written.

Making even small changes to the recipe can have effects you don’t want. For example, removing the skin from a chicken before cooking it can change its nutritional value.

Substituting ingredients can also throw off the nutritional balance. Find reliable recipes, and then follow them perfectly every time.

3. Get a Food Scale

To get the ratios right, you’ll need to accurately measure the food you use. A food scale is the most reliable way to do this.

Measuring cups aren’t always accurate, especially for certain ingredients like meat. A food scale is the best way to make sure you’re actually feeding the proper amount each time.

4. Cook Foods Thoroughly

Some foods, such as certain meats and vegetables, can be fed raw.

However, for those foods that need to be cooked, you should be sure to cook them all the way. If you don’t, harmful bacteria could make your dog sick.

5. Add Supplements

To provide the proper nutritional balance, you’ll need to add some extra supplements to your dog’s meals. No matter how good the recipe is, it will probably still lack a few essential nutrients.

Calcium is an example of something dogs need that isn’t often found in their food in high quantities. A pet nutritionist can help you decide what supplements you’ll need.

6. Don’t Add Too Many Carbs

Excess carbs can cause your dog to gain weight or even develop allergies. Some experts don’t think that carbs are necessary for a dog’s diet at all.

Consult with a veterinarian or nutritionist to decide what’s best for your dog.

7. Check the Results

After making your own dog food for a few weeks, schedule a vet visit to make sure the diet is working well.

Watch your dog’s behavior and weight for any changes.

Ready to Start Making Your Own Dog Food?

If you follow these tips, you can easily change your pup’s diet for the better.

Interested in other ways to save money by making things at home? Check out our DIY tips here.

These 6 Luxury Pet Beds Will Make You Wish You Were a Pet

luxury pet bedsAre you one of the over 43 million Americans who own a dog?

Do you want to upgrade the over 16 hours of sleep that your beloved kitty cat gets every day (we know, we’re jealous, too)?

If you’re like most people, you already spoil your pets rotten. They probably eat better than you do, dress impeccably, and you’re on their schedule, not vice versa.

Your pet may not be a celebrity (not yet, anyways) but that doesn’t mean they can’t sleep like one!

In this post, we’re sharing just a few of our favorite luxury pet beds, so that your furry friend can dream of chasing mice and squirrels in a fabulous setting!

1. The Felix Chien Toile Dog Bed

Toile isn’t just for wallpaper anymore!

First up on our list of luxury pet beds? This elegant offering from Felix Chien, which depicts a lovely country scene and lots of wildlife to entertain your pet.

You can choose from four different sizes to ensure that your pet has all of the space they need. If you’re crate training your dog, you also have the option to purchase a crate cover and mattress in the same Toile print.

The bed is machine washable for easy cleaning and has a 100% cotton cover to keep your pet comfy in any room in the house.

2. The Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed

Does your pet sometimes struggle with walking? Do they have back or hip problems? Have you just noticed that their fur has a nice salt-and-pepper sheen to it now that they’re getting older?

If so, then this orthopedic dog bed is likely the right choice. Featured on Pawcastle’s guide to choosing the best beds for dogs, it’s expert and pet-approved.

It comes with three foam layers for added comfort that, like a memory foam human mattress, remembers and conforms to your dog’s shape. But don’t worry — the bed doesn’t get “sunken in” after a few weeks.

In fact, it’s been proven to hold almost all of the original shape for nearly 10 years. Even better? It’s cover quickly zips off, so you can toss it in the washing machine when it’s completely covered in fur.

Choose from burgundy, chocolate brown, or khaki brown to fit with your decor and your pet’s personal preference.

3. Beasley’s Couch Pet Bed

Next on our list of luxury pet beds?

This incredible, couch-shaped bed from Beasley. Especially if you’ve been trying (with limited success) to get your furry friend off of your sofa, this bed is exactly what you need to hammer the message home.

We love that it has an overstuffed bolster to support even larger breeds of cats and dogs, and is made from recycled fibers to minimize your impact on the environment.

Additionally, the bed doesn’t shift or mat up, which means that even if your pet is on the more rambunctious side, there won’t be any issues. If you have a larger breed, we highly recommend this option.

4. The Snuggle Sofa Bed From Enchanted Home Pet

Another one of our favorite luxury pet beds is this amazing option from Enchanted Home Pets.

It’s essentially a miniaturized version of a human couch, complete with legs and an elegant backrest!

The legs don’t only elevate the look of the bed. It will also help to keep your pet warm, especially if your home tends to get a bit drafty during the winter months.

We also love the minimalist white and gray pattern of this bed, which is essentially a take on the “hygge” trend for animals.

To clean it, use a damp rag with all-natural cleaning solution — or simply soap and water.

All you need to do is toss their favorite toy on the couch, and they’ll be sleeping peacefully for hours.

5. The Outdoor Chaise Bed From The Refined Canine

Do you have an animal that loves to spend just as much time outdoors as it does indoors?

If so, we think that this curved wicker bed from The Refined Canine is a perfect choice. Especially if you have a larger dog that’s between 55-75 pounds, they’ll enjoy the spacious look and feel of this bed.

Concerned about keeping the bed outside in the wind and the rain? There’s no reason to be. It’s been specially designed to stand up to the elements, and is even waterproof!

The pillow can be washed by machine, and for best results, we recommend letting it dry naturally in the sun to help it keep its shape.

We think it makes a great addition to any outdoor deck or porch.

6. The Haute House Isabella Pet Bed

Let’s be honest — if you’re shopping at Neiman Marcus for items for your pet, then you’re living life the right way.

We just can’t get enough of the final offering on our list of luxury pet beds, the Isabelle bed from Haute House, retailed at Neiman Marcus. It’s available in stark white (for those whose animals find muddy paws unbecoming) or blush pink for the millennial pet in your life.

It’s been designed with an elegant Alder wood frame and even comes with nailhead trim adorned with jewels. So, for pets who know that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, this is simply the only choice.

At 50 pounds, it’s on the heavier side, which is why we suggest that the bed take up a more permanent residence in your home.

Haute House also has several other offerings, including a Hollywood Regency-style circular pet bed that matches perfectly with the human-sized furniture the brand also designs.

Pamper Your Pet With These Luxury Pet Beds

Your pet can now live in the lap of luxury — but instead of falling asleep on your lap, they’ll snooze in one of these luxury pet beds.

Looking for more pet inspiration from your favorite celebrities? Need to find pet-friendly hotels for your next vacation? Can’t resist browsing through the latest trends in dog fashion?

We get it — and we’re here to help.

Spend some time on our website and blog to ensure that your pet is the envy of the park!

8 Barktastic Dog Travel Tips Guaranteed To Make Your Doggo Happy

dog travelYour dog is apart of your family; therefore, you want your dog to join you for all of your adventures.

Exploring a new city? What better companion to have than your dog. Maybe you’re moving to a new home and your dog is high on your moving priorities.

If you plan on traveling with your dog, you need to plan carefully. Traveling with a dog means keeping their safety in mind and traveling under acceptable conditions.

In certain cases, traveling with a dog is more expensive than boarding up your dog or hiring a dog sitter.

Read these 8 tips on dog travel before doggo joins you on your next excursion.

1. Visit the Vet

Make sure you bring the dog in for a check-up before you embark on dog travel. Inform the vet you’re going on vacation and are planning on bringing your dog.

Here’s what the vet will look for:

  • Making sure your dog is up-to-date with all vaccinations
  • Deliver a health certification (is required for air travel)
  • Check their medical records and any medications prescribed

Even though the health certification is the only required document, bring their shot records and prescriptions to be safe. All airlines are different and they have different requirements for bringing pets on planes.

And always bring food and water. Feed your dog regularly with similar feeding times and duration that you do while at home.

2. Choose the Right Crate

A crate is the safest method of dog travel.

A crate also comes in handy when you stay in someone’s home or have to be in a hotel. You can buy a crate from almost any pet store; however, you have to be sure you’re choosing the right crate.

Here are some pointers when buying a crate:

  • The dog should be able to stand, sit, and lie down in the crate
  • Make sure it’s made of a strong material and there are handles on the crate
  • Check if the bottom is leak-proof
  • The crate is fully ventilated
  • Place ‘live animal’ marking on the crate plus your name, address, and phone number.

You should also add some of their favorite stuff inside of the crate. These include a favorite blanket and a favorite toy. Find a way to always have water for the dog to drink, such as a water bottle.

3. Identification Tag

When you’re in unfamiliar territory, the chances of your dog running away increase.

In case this happens, make sure your dog can always be properly identified.

The best way is an ID tag hanging from its collar. On this tag, write your name, address, and phone number. You should also write the dog’s name and try to include proof of rabies shot.

If you want to increase your chances of finding your dog, implant a microchip before you leave.

Always have a picture of your dog on you. This way, you can show strangers or make ‘missing dog’ posters.

4. Travel By Car Instead of Air

Your dog is already used to the car. You know how excited your dog gets when you drive it to the park, the beach, or the dog bar. When you travel by car, your dog will be far happier instead of traveling on a plane.

Traveling by plane can be scary for a dog. They’re locked in a crate. They’re away from you and aren’t familiar with their surroundings. And there are extra costs associated with air dog travel.

Just remember: if you’re on the interstate or a major road, leave the dog in a crate or keep the windows rolled up.

And always stop to let your dog go to the bathroom and drink water.

Feel free to walk your dog when you stop for gas or food. Last but certainly not least, never leave your dog unattended in the car with the windows rolled up. If you’re traveling over the summer, doing this can be life-threatening.

5. Look for a Dog-Friendly Hotel

If you’re on a long road trip or backpacking, you’ll want to stay at a hotel. Always be sure the hotel is dog-friendly.

When you find a dog-friendly hotel, be sure to respect the property and other guests. Make sure the dog isn’t barking a lot and they don’t have an accident inside of the room. If the dog makes a mess, clean it so the staff doesn’t have to.

Try to be with the dog as much as possible. If left alone, they could become anxious and destroy the room.

Are you not 100% sure you can trust your dog in a hotel room? Ty the Dog Guy offers training and coaching.

6. Take Your Dog on a Cruise

There are dog-friendly cruise lines. Some even provide special accommodations for dogs, such as a lounge and free dog food. But before bringing your dog on any cruise ship, make sure you read the guidelines before boarding the ship.

7. Always Keep Your Dog Calm

Traveling can be excited — some dogs enjoy the thrill of being somewhere new, but others can easily become scared or uncomfortable. Even if your dog is more adventurous, always bring a little token of home.

A blanket and their favorite toy are great travel entertainment for your dog.
Is your dog still stressed out? Give your dog some love. Regularly pet your dog to reassure it. As long as you’re there, your dog will be fine.

8. How to Explore New Surroundings with a Dog

Traveling is exciting but can be overwhelming. You feel out of comfort zone, and so does your dog.

But exploration could also be good for your dog; they love seeing new surroundings, sniffing new items, and hearing the different commotion.

While you’re taking your adventure in, don’t forget about your dog.

Make sure they’re not eating foreign objects and aren’t terrorizing anyone. If your dog seems stressed, take the dog back to the hotel or car.

Have Fun with Dog Travel

Your next vacation will be so much more fun with your dog companion at your side. Understand your dog is more vulnerable to a lot of different issues when away from home. Always keep your dog comfortable and happy.

You want to have a fun trip, and you should make the trip equally fun for your dog.

If you want more advice for your pets and children, read our blog.

6 Genius Ways to Save Money on Puppy Grooming

puppy groomingAh, the joys of being a puppy parent. Cuddling up to a sweet pooch is priceless, but the cost of having a dog can add up.

For example, getting a dog groomed can cost between $30 – $80.

Don’t spend a fortune on grooming when you can do it for less. Here’s how you can save money on puppy grooming:

1. Do All of It Yourself

Who knows? You might have a knack for puppy grooming! You can save money by rolling up your sleeves to groom your pup yourself.

Try watching some videos on YouTube or taking a class to learn the ropes. If your dog has a simpler cut, it won’t be too hard

The biggest perk? You get to see how adorable your puppy looks while it’s drenched in shampoo!

2. Do Some of It Yourself

If the idea of razors scares you, start small. If you just give your dog a bath at home, you can save money at the grooming salon. You can also do other small things like clipping their nails in advance

Cut out any tangles or mats in their fur before you send them in. Some grooming salons charge by the hour.

Do as much as you can, only use the professionals for the things that you can’t do yourself.

3. Get a Deal

Sometimes, you have to pay to get your dog professionally groomed. The key is not paying full price! Browse discount websites to look for puppy grooming discounts or deals.

Sign up for loyalty programs at local salons, they might send coupons via email that can save you some bucks.

4. Find a Student Groomer

Dog groomers have to start somewhere! Student groomers who are looking to build portfolios are always looking for new dogs to work on.

You could save major cash by letting a student groomer or hobbyist groom your dog. You can find them on sites like Craigslist or local animal care schools.

You can also ask around for other owners’ recommendations. Word of mouth is the best way to find someone you can trust.

5. Get Simple Cuts

If you have a high-maintenance dog, consider getting simpler cuts. Fido doesn’t always have to get the most fabulous cut.

Save the expensive cuts for special occasions. Get an inexpensive, low cut for every day.

Every now and then, treat your pup to the glam special. But for most grooming appointments, less is more.

6. Visit Less Frequently

Next time you go to the grooming salon, consider getting a shorter cut than usual. This will buy you more time between visits.

A pair of dog clippers will go a long way. Shave a half of an inch of fur between appointments. A little work along the way will save you more work later on.

In colder months, you want to be careful not to let your pooch sleep outside. Dry, cold air can dry out their skin. This means more visits (and money) to the salon.

So, where can my dog sleep?

Bring them inside to cozy up during cold weather!

Puppy Grooming for Any Budget

Using these tips is just one of the things pet owners can do to cut back on spending.

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t afford to spoil your dog. Pamper your pup without the extra perks. Your wallet will thank you later.

Learn more ways to save money on pets.

The Ultimate Guide to Owning Saltwater Fish

saltwater fishOwning a fish tank is one thing, but fish owners interested in taking it up a notch should consider keeping saltwater fish.

Keeping a saltwater fish tank is a bigger challenge than freshwater, but the benefits are immeasurable.

For instance, saltwater tanks replicate actual ocean water and give access to some beautiful reefs and exotic tropical fish. With that said, fish owners will get back what they put into the aquarium — so it’s important to make some sound decisions.

Start by using the tips below in order to build the most attractive saltwater tanks and to keep fish that are healthy and long living.

Understand The Different Types of Saltwater Fish

Researching fish is the first step of setting up an exquisite saltwater fish tank.

Some popular types of saltwater fish include clownfish, blue devil damselfish, angelfish, and gramma. When looking up the different types of fish, it’s crucial to learn what food they eat, their stages of development, breeding information and other important info.

The different attributes that each species has will inform the best ways to take care of these fish. Using that information will strike the right balance in the tank chemistry.

Buy the Right Aquarium

When buying a saltwater fish tank, it’s important to start by choosing the right size. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to buy a tank that is slightly than the buyer thinks they need.

It’s important to leave room both for natural fish growth and to add new fish. A 50-gallon tank is a great aquarium to start with.

On top of buying the aquarium itself, fish owners will need to buy a quality heating mechanism, thermometer, and filters that are efficient and long lasting. This will keep the water clean and comfortable for the fish and will keep them alive.

Get the Accessories That Bring it To Life

A saltwater tank is every bit as much a lifestyle statement as it is a hobby. It adds life and pizazz to home interior in the same way that garden marquees add to the landscape.

Keeping a tank filled with exotic fish is a cool conversation starter any time company is over.

Because of this, many fish tank owners go above and beyond to add the most beautiful reefs, rocks, decorations and other fixtures.

Adding live plant life to saltwater tanks makes the fish more healthy and the tank more attractive. Some examples of live plants that are great for any saltwater aquarium include java moss, pygmy chain sword, anubias nana, and different types of ferns.

Keep the Aquarium Clean

Cleanliness is essential when keeping a saltwater tank. Saltwater leaves more deposits, so must be cleaned more frequently than freshwater tanks.

Always get rid of fish food that isn’t eaten, and swap out the water every week or so. Keep the filters clean and always maintain lighting in order to see when the tank is accumulating too much dirt, waste and algae.

Contemplate these points and start looking for some thrifty DIY ideas that will make the aquarium a beautiful centerpiece in any home.

Share Your Tips

Do you own saltwater fish? Maybe you have a specific type of saltwater fish that you enjoy breeding more than others. Let us know in the comments!