Unplanned Road Trip Planning To Colorado and Utah Part 1

Unplanned Road Trip Planning As A Freelancer With Dogs 2Does the title of this post make any sense? We are making a road trip to colorado that is unplanned, but I’m trying to do some planning haha!

Let me explain our road trip to Colorado to you a little further.

We haven’t gone on our honeymoon yet (that happens in July). On Wednesday, I woke up and Wes said that we should just pack up our bags, take the dogs, and leave immediately to go on a road trip to wherever.

However, I’m not really the spontaneous type who just drives to places in hopes of finding a place to sleep.

I am the type of person who needs to plan every last minute.

I love reading travel guides online and I can read these just like how others read books – I just can’t stop! I like to know everything and anything about where I am going to travel to. [Read more…]

What Is Your Pet Worth? How much would you spend on a sick pet?

What Is Your Pet Worth? - How much would you spend on a sick pet?

One of Michelle’s dogs…

Today’s post asking “what is your pet worth” was written by my awesome staff writer Jordann. Enjoy!

This is, a bit of a sticky conversation, but one that I think is worth having.

A few weeks ago, my cat, Mia, got sick. She’s four years old and has been remarkably healthy so far in her life, requiring almost no vet care other than spaying her at six months of age. So when she started puking, me being the responsible pet owner I am, I dutifully took her to the vet. You can read about the whole saga here.

Mia is back home, safe and healthy now, but the whole experience set me back around $600. No big deal, that’s what the emergency fund is for.

Now that the whole thing is over with, I’ve started thinking about the what ifs.

What if the worst had happened?

What if she’d really been sick?

What if it had been a lot more expensive?

How much would I be willing to spend on my pets in order to bring them back to health? [Read more…]

Easy Ways to Keep Your Pet Secure

Easy Ways to Keep Your Pet Secure

Michelle’s dogs

Lauren from L Bee and the Money Tree wrote recently about how her dog, Murray, decided to take a little jaunt around the neighbourhood at 11pm in the middle of the rain storm, leaving her a nervous wreck until she found him.

While this story ends well, it’s one we’ll all familiar with. I’ve been a victim of it myself. My dog Molly pulled the same trick on me last summer, except she was a full half mile away when she was found.

Dogs and cats disappear every day. Some estimate that 10 million are reported missing every year. If you own a pet, odds are, it’s going to give you the slip at some point in its life, and go missing. Hopefully your story will have the same happy ending mine and Lauren’s did, but to improve those odds, here are some ways you can keep your pet keep your pet from escaping, and help ensure it’s found quickly.

Secure Your Parameter

Many, many dogs will take any opportunity to go exploring their neighbourhood, and an open backyard gate the perfect temptation. To help protect against this possibility, install an automatic closing device on your gates to ensure that if they are left open for any reason, they’ll close on their own.

In addition to this, consider installing an underground electric fence, which will deter against fence digging and wandering out of an open gate. I have one installed around the parameter of my property, and my dog Molly has rarely wandered off. The cost of one of these fences can be as low as a few hundred dollars, and is money well spent. There are even options available for cats! [Read more…]

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

 

Happy Wednesday everyone! I had a great weekend and I hope you all did as well. Here’s to a great 2013!

The other day I received an e-mail from a reader who was wondering about pet insurance. I don’t have pet insurance, but it is something that I wonder about.

I’m writing this post more as a way to ask all of you: do you have pet insurance? What do you think of it? And also, how much does it cost?

I noticed that a vet near my house offers a “wellness plan.” It’s not exactly insurance but if your dogs are sick, then you are able to bring them in as many times in a year as you would like, and it also covers other things such as checkups and vaccinations.

The cost was around $300 per year I believe. At what point would this be worthwhile and when would it not be? Also, this is not insurance, so would you buy both or just have one of the other?

I love my pets and will spend whatever is necessary in order to ensure that they are in the best of health. One of our dogs is a French Bulldog and also a runt, so we do know that he has a TON of expected medical bills in the future.

I do see my dogs as a part of my family. I don’t care how many of you say that I am crazy. If pet insurance is truly worth it and the monthly costs are not excessive (in which just saving myself would be better) then I definitely plan on signing up. Sometimes procedures can cost thousands of dollars, and in the case that happens I would like insurance to lessen the burden.

Do you have pet insurance? What do you think of it?

And of course, how much do you spend each month on it?

Top Pet Products Not to Skimp On

pet me...I first adopted my dog Molly, I was so excited. She was the first dog in the first kennel at the SPCA, and the only dog in the group not barking. My fiance and I were instantly drawn to her.

We continued down the row of kennels, looking into the cages and seeing dogs of all different shapes, sizes and energy levels, but none of them got our attention like the little black and white dog in the first kennel.

After walking her around outside of her kennel for a few minutes, it became even more clear that this was the pup for us. She wasn’t spayed, and the shelter wouldn’t release her until she was, so we shut her back into her cage, and put our name down for her with the office staff. She’d be ready to pick up in a few days, but in the mean time, we were off to get her supplies.

That was six months ago, and since then, I’ve learned a lot about the huge industry that is pet products. For every genuinely useful or essential product, there are ten poorly constructed or downright pointless products sitting right next to it on your shelf or screen. So, today I’m going to go through some of the pet products I think are completely worth spending money on, and, just for fun, some that aren’t a good investment.

A Strong Collar

Our first stop when picking up Molly’s supplies was to Walmart, where I picked up a typical collar with a plastic buckle. Within one week, the flimsy buckle was snapping loose. So back we went, to replace the cheap-o collar with one with a strong metal clasp.

Tartar Busting Bones

Poor dental hygiene can lead to costly teeth cleanings and other nasty diseases if left untreated. To combat this, invest in some tartar busting bones. The rough surfaces naturally clean a dog’s teeth when chewed on, and keeping tartar at bay early on means cheaper long term dental care (better breath too).

High Quality Dog Food

Now, I’m not saying you need to go out and buy the $30 bag of organic, free range, human grade dog food. But in the arena of nutrition, dogs aren’t that different from people. Poor quality food contributes to poor quality health, and an unhealthy dog is an expensive dog. High quality food also contributes to better breath, a shinier and softer coat, and less…erm…waste.

A Dremel Nail Grinder

Unless you want your floors, couches and skin all scratched to hell, you need to clip your dog’s nails. With some care and positive training, nail clipping can easily be done at home, without any need for a trip to the groomer. I bought a pair of cheap nail clippers, and their dull edges means I have proceed with nail clipping very carefully in order not to hurt Molly’s little paws. To make the project easier yet still save hundreds at the groomer, consider investing in a Dremel Nail Grinder instead.

The Furminator

Pets shed. A ton. I have a long haired cat and a short haired dog in four hundred square feet of living space. To cut down on the crazy amount of hair that can accumulate ridiculously quickly, good quality brushes are a must. The furminator is great for that.

Things That Aren’t a Good Investment

This, this, this, oh and this (although that one is kinda cute).

Not everything that is put out by the pet industry is a worthwhile investment, or even remotely useful. In fact, most of it is probably crap just released because pet crazy people love to spoil their animals. To make your dollar go further, make sure to invest in high quality items that will keep your pet healthy, and help you save money over the long term.

What’s your number one indispensable pet item? I want to know!