10 Places to Buy Pet Supplies On A Budget

When buying supplies for your pets, there are many places to go and the most obvious one are your local pet stores and big chains. However, if you’re on a budget or just trying to cut down on the number of places you need to drive to when running errands take a moment the next time you’re in your pharmacy, grocery store, or online to see what pet supplies are available. The choices might limited but the quality can be the same and sometimes the price is cheaper.

Here are 10 best places for budget pet supplies:

1: Amazon

Amazon has a substantial selection and has, in my experience the best prices across the board for just about everything. Combine that with free 2-day shipping and a great selection of other items, it is no wonder they are the largest online retailer.

2: Other internet shopping sites

Besides Amazon sites such as Craigslist, Ebay, Freecycle, and other sites offer great bargains on pet supplies. Do not ever buy medications from individuals or un-reputable companies but dog crates, cat carriers, cat trees, dog beds, accessories, and costumes can often be found for your pet at discount prices.

3: Pharmacy

Aside from being able to buy shampoo, cough syrups, and pick up your prescriptions, many drugs stores also sell dog and cat food, toys, brushes, leashes, and beds. The prices are often lower than pet retail stores because of membership club cards and specials.

4: Membership clubs

Places like Costco and Sam’s Club have deep discounts on many things from bulk food to clothing and books. They also often have pet supplies like beds, carriers, and toys.

5: Thrift stores

Want to get your cat a scratching post but don’t want to pay a lot? Hunt around the thrift store next time you’re looking for those vintage jeans or steampunk outfit and see what pet supplies people have donated. You can find some slightly used but in great condition beds, car seats, and cat trees.

6: Hardware store

Some hardware stores have a housewares department where they sell some general cleaning supplies and other things for your house. Some will have a pet section with cleaning, grooming, and food.

7: Dollar store

Your local 99 cent store sells pet supplies and toys. Save a few bucks and get that new leash and collar set, bowl, or squeaky toy that your dog deserves.

8: Consignment stores

a number of consignment stores have a pet section where you can find gently used toys, bedding, crates, and more. The prices can range from being a great deal to being so so but you can find great quality items for your pet.

9: Local animal shelters

Humane societies and animal shelters often have a pet supply section for new parents to purchase supplies. Their prices are comparable to pet stores but sometimes they offer sales and discounts plus the money benefits the shelter.

10. Feed stores

If you live near the outskirts of town, in the country or even in further out suburbs, you might have a feed store nearby. These can be great sources for pet supplies and have good deals because they generally focus on moving larger quantities of products so what they have may be a better deal.

Have other ideas?

Let us hear about them in the comments below!

Thanksgiving Pet Tips

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and for pet owners that means in addition to thinking about how we’ll handle our own excesses over the holiday we need to be aware of how our pets will deal with it, too. This can be a really hectic time, with more people in the house than usual, so it’s important to think about this stuff beforehand – that way you don’t end up cleaning up unexpected messes or emergency trips to the vet when you’d rather be sleeping off your oversized meal in front of the big-screen TV!

Here are some tips to make sure your Thanksgiving is pet safe.

1. Be careful about any turkey you give your pet

If you decide to give your pet a little bit of the big ol’ bird, make sure it is completely cooked and has no bones. Do not offer raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella. If your pet is on a diet or has food allergies, avoid giving any “people” food to him and keep him on his regular feeding schedule.

2. Know what’s not safe for your pet to eat

Just because it’s okay for you to eat doesn’t mean it’s okay for your pet. For instance, onions, garlic, sage, and grapes aren’t good for pets; uncooked bread dough can expand in the stomach and cause abdominal pain; and things like corn and bread are difficult for them to digest. Ask your vet for lists of what foods your pet can and can’t have, and when in doubt – don’t let them have it. If you feel bad about depriving them of a treat, have extra pet-friendly treats on hand.

3. Avoid giving out bones to your pet

Turkey bones may seem like the ideal dog treats, but those bones can break easily, which means they could be a choking hazard or even cause internal damage by cutting your pet’s stomach or intestines.

4. Take out the trash frequently

Determined pets can – and will – go digging through the trash to get hold of those yummy-tasting scraps, especially if you’re being careful about not giving them any. Take the trash out on a regular basis throughout the day, and make your in-kitchen garbage can difficult for them to access or get into.

5. Keep candles and pets away from each other

We often light candles at the Thanksgiving table, which may be one of only a few times each year that we have candles going. Pets are excited enough about all the heady food smells and extra company, so they’re even less likely to notice if (for example) their tail catches fire when they brush by a lit candle. Make sure you’ve extinguished candles when you’re leaving the table, and don’t leave lit candles unattended.

6. Be conscious of the issues when mixing guests with pets

Not everyone loves animals as much as we do, and some of your guests may not want to have a dog or cat roaming around the dining room during the Thanksgiving meal. Not only that, even if your pet isn’t a beggar, that won’t stop your cousin’s youngest kid from handing out scraps under the table (which may include things that are unsafe for your pet to eat). It’s probably best for everyone if pets are kept out of the dining room during the meal.

7. Consider keeping your pet in a separate part of the house for the whole day

It may not be enough to just keep your pet in another room during the meal – you might want to do that for the whole day. Your pets are likely to be more excitable during the holidays, so even if you’ve usually got an exceptionally well-behaved dog or cat he or she may not obey commands once the house is full of new people. If you can sequester your pet in another part of the house during the busy part of the day, that might be a good idea – especially if your pet tends to get stressed out with too much change. You might consider boarding your pet for the day, too – you’ll know what’s best for your pet.

8. Make sure your pet has proper identification

It may sound strange, but remember that anytime you’ve got a house full of guests that means the door is being opened numerous times – including times when you’re not paying attention. If your pet isn’t locked in a different part of the house when Uncle Carl steps outside to get something from the car (leaving the door open because it’s “just going to be a second”), you may not notice he or she is missing until much later. Making sure your pet has ID tags and is microchipped means a better chance you’ll get reunited quickly.

9. Have extra treats on hand for your pets

You’ll be focused on making sure you and your guests have a good time, but don’t forget your pets! Have some special pet-friendly treats on hand to let them know it’s a special day for them, too – dole them out throughout the day, or as a reward for good behavior at the end of a hectic Thanksgiving.

All of us at PetsWelcome hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

4 Mistakes To Avoid When Feeding Your Dog

Every year we hear about watching our dog’s weight and what to do to keep them fit and trim. But it can be tricky to do because not every dog has the same metabolism or the same level of energy. Not every home is equipped to provide the perfect plan and ratio of diet and exercise. But, there are some mistakes to avoid when trying to find solutions to keep our dogs from overweight.

Don’t cut back too much on the calories
Of course when we think of losing weight, the first thing that comes to mind is cutting back on food and calories. But don’t cut back too much or too fast. Definitely try feeding less and cutting back on treats but too much can lead to other problems. Talk to your vet about how much to feed your dog and ask about the best low-calorie foods.

Supplements aren’t always needed
If your dog has a good diet, there usually isn’t a need for supplements. Sure, some fish oil can help but you may not need to give it everyday. Vitamin supplements may not be needed at all if the food contains the recommended amounts. If your dog has some medical needs, your vet can talk to you about what supplements may be beneficial for your pet but a good diet does not often require supplements.

Switching to the raw food diet
There’s been a lot of hype about raw food as the ideal diet for pets. However, there is not definitive proof that this type of diet is superior overall. In fact, there might some health risks due to bacteria contamination that can make the people in your house sick. While this diet often contains little to no preservatives and other additives, make sure the raw food packets have gone under high pressure pasteurization to decrease the risk of bacteria.

Cut down and cut out people food
This isn’t to say that fruits and vegetables aren’t treats for your dog, depending on the type, but cut back on the bad people food like table scraps from dinner. No more pieces of bread, no more last few bites of a hamburger with cheese, and no more begging at the table. Cut up carrots, sweet potato treats, and other good people food will make your pup happy and be low in calories and fat.

What other tips do you have? Let us know!

Image from dogobedienceinsider.com

Keep Your Pet Trim

Most of us know that too many treats or over feeding at meals can cause our pets to get chubby. We know that but it’s hard to deny a dog with sad eyes a small piece of bacon or an extra cookie. My cats stare at me if I have a turkey sandwich with this look… it’s like they’re saying, “We’re starving.” But all those little treats and extras add up and eventually our pet might be a little more jiggly than they should be. There are ways to avoid this.

3 Ways to Keep Your Pet Trim

Fruits and Vegetables
Instead of the tasty pet treats from the store, try using carrot sticks and dried pumpkin snacks. Dogs like these just as well as that beef flavored whatever thing. Cut up apples, a few blueberries, and peas can serve as great treats for training or just for being a good pup.

Low-calorie treats
If you don’t have time to prep some homemade treats, you can find low-calorie treats at your local pet store. These often come in flavors that cats and dogs like such as fish, chicken, beef, and turkey.

Pets, like us, need to exercise. A long walk can be great but sometimes that’s not enough. Pets should have a little cardio added to their routines. So a game of fetch in the yard or a few cats toys that make your kitty run should do the trick. If you’re a jogger your dog could become your new running partner!

Home Safety Tips For Pets

Did you get a new pet recently? Or maybe you moved and your pet is suddenly inspecting everything? Aside from good food, exercise, and love, pets need a safe place to live. While we normally do pet proof our homes by keeping chemicals and other hazards in cabinets and out of reach of pets, sometimes our pets can be crafty and get into things. This morning one of my cats opened a kitchen drawer and trying to check out what was in it. He’s never done that before. The only stuff in there is sponges, ziplock bags, and saran wrap but still… what if he had opened the cabinet under the sink where the cleaning supplies are and licked a bottle? So, now I’m rethinking where and how I need to store and pet proof my apartment.

Cabinet Locks
Cats and dogs can be nosy and want to check out what’s behind every door. If your cabinets swing closed but don’t latch, you may want to buy a child safety latch to prevent access to areas that are off limits. Keep doors to the basement, garage, and storage sheds closed too.

Garbage Cans
We know that dogs may try to knock over the garbage can if there might be something yummy in it. Pets trying to get into the garbage can be messy and make them vulnerable to something toxic. A garbage can with a lid or lock can prevent this from happening. You may also need to replace the can and go for the kind that can be placed under the kitchen sink area… along with a door latch.

Keep all medication in a cabinet where your pet cannot reach them. If you use a day of the week pill holder, close all the compartments tightly. If a pill drops on the floor, try to pick that up as soon as possible.

Screens in the window can become loose. A cat may lean against it while sitting on the windowsill or scale it. Make sure the screen are secure and install a guard if necessary to prevent your cat or dog from pushing the screen out. You don’t want your pet falling or getting out of the house.

It is nearly impossible to keep all the wires away from pets but you can buy covers that bundle all of them together. Zip ties can also be used to hold a bundle of wires together behind the entertainment center or under the computer. A kitten or dog can become tangled in the wires and panic. Tucking the wires or keeping them as one line can alleviate this problem.

What other tips do you recommend? Tell us!

Benefits of Dog Daycare

When you work all day and then have to take care of the house, family, and other things, it can be hard to make sure that your dog isn’t neglected. It’s great to play in the yard, but some dogs need more. The weekends can be a time when long walks, hikes, and other activities can take place but weekends are also the time when laundry, groceries, and socializing happen. Most of us work Mon through Fri, which means our dogs are alone for at least 40 hours a week. This amount of alone time can sometimes be a contributing factor to behavior issues.

What Can You Do?

If your dog likes playing with other dogs, the best solution is to enroll your dog into dog daycare. Your dog will get to interact with dogs of all ages, sizes, and energy levels. It will improve her socialization and can be vital in terms of curbing behavioral problems. Younger dogs can learn how to play properly, learn body language of other dogs, and learn pack integration making them better canine citizens.

Also, for the time your dog is at the daycare, she will be asked to sit, stay, and have other commands reinforced. She will be called by her name to “come” and learn what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior. If you have been working on teaching your dog to not jump up on people and let the daycare know, they will tell your dog to not jump with the command you use. Many daycares are very open to trying to help reinforce and positively reward behavior with praise, touch, and fun.

It also means year round play time in a large play area. Some dog daycares have indoor play areas and others have outdoor fenced areas. Before signing your dog up, you can usually tour the facility and ask about the safety measures the daycare employs.

Dog daycare is obviously more expensive than leaving your dog on its own but it is worth every penny. A tired dog is a happy dog. A tired dog is also a well-behaved dog. A tired dog also means that when you come home tired, you’ll be winding down together and have a great evening.

Image from Wagville

Back To School Blues: Pets and Change

For some of us, school has started. The summer routine of day camps and small weekend getaways are over and your dog is again alone for 8 to 9 hours a day. With the hustle and bustle of getting kids ready for school your pup knows something is up and can sense the change of schedules.

Maybe you’ve noticed your dog is whining more, pacing, or staring at you with a slightly worried look.
This is normal. Just make sure your pup still has walks, play time, and plenty of pets.

Keep an eye on your pup for the following signs of loneliness and boredom:

Depression and anxiety – dogs experience these feelings and show signs of it by being listless, not eating as much, hiding, and not wanting to play. Some dogs show their anxiety in excessive barking, pawing at the doors, windows, and fences to get out, chewing on things they normally don’t touch, and being overly excited when you come home.

Relieve the chances of depression and anxiety

If this is your dog’s first time experiencing the kids going back to school, it will take some time for your dog to adjust. It is important to make sure your dog is given the time and attention needed to alleviate stress.

Morning – Exercise in the morning before everyone runs off to school and work can help your dog burn off some energy. After breakfast and a potty break, your dog may nap while everyone is gone. Meaning your house will be in one piece when you come home.

When it’s time to go – Try to not make a big deal of saying goodbye. A pat on the head and if you crate your dog, a simple, “see you later” will do. If your dog does have some anxiety, leaving a radio or tv on can help. Talk to your vet if your dog has extreme displays of anxiety and talk to a trainer or think about enrolling your pet in doggie daycare.

Home again – When you come home, walk in and put down your bags and take off your coat. Don’t make a big deal and baby talk your dog to death. You may even need to ignore your dog for a few minutes. Calmly greet your dog and take her/him out for a bathroom break and walk or romp in the yard.

After dinner – Once everyone has had their dinner, including your pup, it is time for another session of exercise. 20 minutes of playtime or a walk will help your dog burn off some energy and have time to bond with you.

Encourage the children to play everyday with the dog – between video games, homework, and friends, your kids need to be reminded that the dog also needs time with them. Try to get them to all play for a little bit when they come home with the dog. A game of fetch or tag with the family dog will make everyone happy.

It’s so easy to get caught up in things and our pets sometimes a little neglected. Of course we will never forget to feed them or clean up after them but we may forget to make the time needed to keep them happy as well as us. Having routines is important for us just like them.

Plus, the pet time when you aren’t dragged around between work, family, and other tasks can also be your “break.”

Good luck!

Be Safe: Water Safety Pet Tips

Before hitting the water with your pet, it’s important to plan ahead. Boating with your pet can be a wonderful and bonding experience.

Be sure to take these necessary precautions to ensure that your pet’s boating experience is fun and safe:

• Identification tag: Make sure your pet has a collar with an identification tag.

• Familiarization with the boat: It is best to gradually introduce your pet to your boat and the water. Let your pet explore the boat while it is docked before going out on the water. Turn on the engine and let them get used to its sound, smell, and feel while the boat is docked. Finally, take your pet out on small cruises and gradually build up to longer cruise.

• Safe and easy boat access: Provide a pet ramp for your pet to get on and off the boat. This not only includes from the dock to the boat but also from the water to the boat. Pets weigh more wet than dry and it can be very difficult to lift them back into your boat after a swim.

• Flotation device: A pet life jacket can also ensure safety while on the water. Even if your pet is a good swimmer, getting tossed overboard can put any animal into a panic. Having your pet equipped with a flotation device with a lifting handle makes retrieving your pet much easier and safer.

• Proper hydration and staying cool: Protect pets from heat by providing some shade on the boat, providing plenty of water and keeping the deck cool to protect paw pads. Bring along a pet travel bowl and fresh water. It is critical to hydrate pets before they get into the water. Otherwise, they will drink the sea water and may get sick.

• Going potty: A big challenge of boating with your pet is making provisions so that they can go to the bathroom. If your boat trip does not allow for regular land stops for your dog to do their business, then provisions must be made so that they can relieve themselves on the boat. A portable dog potty that simulates grass is an excellent solution.

• Health records: If your boating destination is a marina or place that you’re not familiar with, be sure to bring along a copy of vaccination and health records. Some places may require proof of immunization before letting pets explore on land.

• Call ahead: While most marinas and parks welcome pets, there are some that aren’t pet friendly. Be sure to call ahead before arriving on shore. Wishing you and your pet safe and happy travels on the water this season!

Image from Waggle.com

Is rosemary good for your pet?

Recently, we’ve seen many pet foods and pet products that include the herb, rosemary in their pet food formulations and skin care remedies. Not only does it smell great, but it’s been used throughout history for everything from general healing to improving memory.

Rosemary (and also Sage) has a high concentration of carnosicacid. It’s believed that carnosicacid has a many benefits, like protecting the brain from oxidative free radical damage. It may also be helpful in breaking down fats in the body, which can aid in weight loss for pets and people.

So, how can rosemary benefit our pets?

Rosemary acts as a natural pest repellent and can help fight off fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
Camphor is found in rosemary
Camphor is often used to reduce itching and relieve pain. It’s been thought that camphor can even treat fungal infections. Since it occurs naturally in rosemary, it’s added benefits are obvious.

Caffeic acid helps boost energy

Caffeic Acid is found in many plants, including rosemary. Caffeic Acid helps boost athletic performance and reduce fatigue, so it can very beneficial to all who take it – particularly athletic dogs.

Ursolic acid helps build muscles

Ursolic acid can help improve and support muscle growth, particularly skeletal muscle. Interestingly enough, this acid also helps resist obesity and can reduce fatty liver disease as well as glucose intolerance.

Betulinic Acid acts as anti-inflammatory

This is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid, a fancy way of saying it has a unique chemical makeup. It’s been proven to be a natural antimalarial and it contains anti-inflammatory properties. Recently, it’s been considered as a possible way to prevent against cancer.

Rosamanol are antioxidants

Rosamanol, which is the most polar phytochemical compound in rosemary, are antioxidants that can assist your pet in fighting off cancer. It can also aid in helping your pet make a faster recovery when they have been ill.

Rosemary as a natural pest control

Not only does rosemary offer many healing qualities, it also acts as a repellent. Like all essential oils and natural products, you must be careful in giving it to your pets. Some animals have no tolerance for it, others do incredibly well with it. You should always discuss the best options for your pets with a veterinarian.

Image from Petmeds.com

Pet Dental Care

One of the most common diagnosed problems with our pets is their teeth. Dental disease, tartar, and other problems with their teeth occur at higher incidences than any other disease or disorder.

Dental care for pets wasn’t always well known and many of our pets lived great, long lives, and didn’t seem to suffer from any major dental problems. However, as medical advances in pet medicine have improved, it’s been shown that dental problems can be indicators of other problems. In addition to feeding treats that may help scrape off plaque and tartar, trying to brush your pet’s teeth may be something to add to their grooming routine.

Common Dental Problems

The tartar that builds up on your pet’s teeth can cause other problems. It’s important to take care of the teeth because tartar can lead to periodontal disease. Tartar that ends up below the gum line where it can’t be seen can cause infections, rotting of the tooth, and pain.

Bad breath
The bad breath isn’t just old food stuck in their teeth. The tartar and gingivitis build up can lead to bone and jaw infections. When the bone is infected, it can begin to deteriorate and cause teeth to loosen and fall out. The bacteria in the mouth can also end up in the blood stream and spread to other parts of the body. Our pet’s bad breath might be a sign that there is some periodontal disease or other problems that we can’t easily see.

Other problems
It’s been shown that dental disease that is left untreated can lead to problems such as liver and kidney infections, heart murmurs, diabetes, and other problems. Regular checkups, regular cleanings, and if you can, brushing your pet’s teeth can reduce these health risks as well as keep their breath smelling good and their teeth white and in great shape.

If you haven’t yet, make an appointment with your vet to have your pet’s teeth checked. Since it is Pet Dental Month, many places are offering specials and discounts for dental checkups. Check with your trusted vet to see if your pup or kitty needs a little extra TLC.