Tag: Penny Martin

And the other guest post!

This time from Penny Martin.

Penny wanted me to post this guest post from her a little earlier than the ‘chosen’ date. So, I am publishing it today!

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Tips and Tricks for Multistate Living with a Pet

As a senior, you get the best of both worlds by spending half the year in one state and half in another.  But sometimes, things can get a little hectic along the way, especially when you own two homes in independent living communities and a pet on top of it. There may be days when your stress levels rise as you try to cope with everything. That’s why Learning from Dogs has assembled some handy tips and tricks to smooth out multistate living for you and your pet.

Saving Money

One of your first considerations may be to save some money as you switch from one home to the other. You might, for instance, register your cars and purchase auto insurance in a state that is less expensive. Do the same for health insurance and even pet insurance to save extra money. You might also stock up on nonperishable and freezer items for each house when your budget allows so that you’ll have supplies on hand when you transfer between homes. Finally, consider replacing double cable services with streaming options. This way, you can watch all your favorite shows whenever and wherever you want without paying for access in two states.

Staying Organized

It can be quite difficult to stay organized when you’re splitting your time between two different homes, but you can if you get in the habit of making lists. Keep a running tab of your possessions and current supplies, like food and cleaning products, at both homes. This way, you’ll know what you have and what you need to bring with you. If you find yourself overwhelmed by clutter, don’t be afraid to use a storage unit. There are plenty of self-storage options in San Diego, and you can check prices and reviews in advance.

When it comes to your pet’s needs, you might do well to have a set of care items like harnesses, crates, cat trees, and litter boxes at both homes. This way, you won’t have to drag things back and forth. When you’re shopping for pet supplies, be sure to read online reviews from customers but also from veterinarians and other animal experts so that you can ensure the quality of the products and the health and safety of your pet. 

Keeping Your Pet Healthy

Dividing time between two homes in two different states can be stressful for your pet, so make sure you take care of your pet’s health. Find a trustworthy veterinarian in both locations, and take your pet for frequent checkups each time you settle into a new place. Make sure your pet has proper flea and tick prevention for both environments, and find a good pet sitter in both locations, too. 

Also, consider pet insurance to help defray vet costs. One state may actually offer less expensive pet insurance policies than another — although you may find it more expensive in many ways — so shop around for the best policy. Research coverage options, prices, deductibles, limitations, and provider reputations before choosing a policy that is right for you and your pet. 

Living Well in Two States

Multistate living can be a challenge, but it can also be a delightful experience for you and your pet. Use the tips above to save money, stay organized, keep your pet healthy, and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Learning from Dogs serves as a reminder of the values of life and the power of unconditional love – as so many, many dogs prove each and every day. Click here to get involved!

Image via Pexels

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It was exceedingly kind of Penny to promote this blog and I am grateful for the links.

It is a very useful guest post and I hope that many people find it of value. It would be nice to hear from people who have read Penny’s post.

That’s all from me!

Volunteering at animal shelters.

Another great post from Penny Martin.

Once again I am delighted to publish another post from Penny. This is a relatively short post but nevertheless of supreme importance.

With no more ado from me, here it is:

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Protecting Our Pets: Resources for Volunteering at Animal Shelters

By Penny Martin

August 10th, 2022

If animal welfare is close to your heart, you might want to consider helping out at a pet shelter for abandoned or unwanted animals. There are always a number of charities in the USA and beyond looking for eager volunteers. 

Before You Apply

Animal welfare work can be challenging for an individual, even if you’re just volunteering. It’s important to take precautions before you commit to your decision.

  • Read about the experience of working at a shelter to better understand the challenges and obstacles you might encounter.
  • Often, volunteers need to undergo training, orientation, and background checks before they’re allowed to contribute.
  • Connect with your local shelters on social media to see the kind of work they do and whether there are opportunities to volunteer.

Organizations

Shelters for abandoned and neglected pets are frequently found throughout the country. If you want to do your part, the logical first step is to locate one close to you.

  • Institutions like Guide Star have been established to hold animal rescue services accountable and ensure they are being maintained properly.
  • Take some time to learn about the listed charities in your area.
  • If you find an abandoned pet and you’re not aware of shelters in your area, try reaching out to American Humane.

Ways to Help

If you’re unable to volunteer in person, there are still plenty of ways to get involved and do your part.

  • There’s good work to be done online via social media and you can help out by engaging in discussion and sharing posts about missing or unwanted pets.
  • If you have any spare supplies that you’re willing to donate, these can make a profound impact on the lives of animals. 
  • If you’re purchasing supplies to donate, read expert reviews to choose the highest-quality products.
  • If the existing organizations don’t meet your concerns, you could try forming your own nonprofit.
  • You can create Facebook ads for free to secure donations and get the word out about your nonprofit. 

Unfortunately, across the USA and beyond, there are a great many pets in need of our help but even small acts of kindness can take us a significant way towards eradicating the problem altogether. Reach out to your local shelter and see how you can help.

Read the Learning from Dogs book for a reminder of the unconditional love dogs give us every day. 

Image by Pexels

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Once again, a big thank you to Penny and also my thanks for the link to Learning from Dogs.

For those of you that are considering helping out then Penny’s post might offer the advice you require.

Keeping your dog safe and happy.

Without breaking the bank!

Another very useful guest post from Penny Martin who is becoming a very regular contributor to this place. This time Penny writes about being on a budget, aren’t we all, but still keeping your dog safe and happy.

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Image: Pexels

Six Ways to Make Your Home and Yard Dog-Friendly on a Budget

By Penny Martin.

Dogs add many wonderful things to their owners’ lives; however, owning a dog can be a drain on your bank account. According to statistics, the average American dog owner spends $1,480 per year on dog expenses. These tips can help you make your home and yard more dog-friendly without breaking the bank.

1. Add a Fence

Dogs need exercise, a place to go to the bathroom and a chance to sniff around and be a dog. However, if you don’t have a yard with a secure fence, it isn’t safe to allow your dog outside without a leash. Even a well-trained dog may run off to chase a squirrel, greet a strange dog or go exploring. This puts your dog at risk of being hit by a car, getting in a fight with another dog or animal or becoming lost. Adding a fence to your yard allows you to enjoy time with your pet off leash without risking your pet’s safety.

2. Add a Backyard Pool

Not every dog loves to swim, but many do. You can give your dog a place to cool off and have some fun without spending a lot of money by purchasing a wading pool or a small stock tank. If you think your dog would enjoy more than splashing around, search for a dog-friendly place in your area where you can inexpensively take your dog to swim. However, don’t just toss your pup into the deep end. Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Many facilities that have pools for dogs offer swimming lessons.

3. Create Shady Spots

Dogs love to run and play and on hot days they can easily overheat. Help your dogs stay cool by making sure they have plenty of shady spots to hang out. One inexpensive way to do this is to purchase a portable awning. You can set the awning up anywhere in your yard and put it away when you no longer need it. Trees are also a good source of shade, but it is important to keep your trees maintained.

4. Remove Dead Trees and Branches

Dead trees create a safety hazard and provide a home for pests. Have a professional local tree service remove any dead trees and branches in your yard before they cause an injury or accident. Do not try to remove the tree yourself. Professionals have the right gear, tools and safety training to remove the tree safely and without damaging your property. Read online reviews before you reach out to contractors. Get at least three estimates and make sure to ask whether stump grinding and disposal are included in the price.

5. Buy Trash Cans With Lids

Trash cans are smelly, full of tasty food and plenty of stuff to shred. It is no wonder that most dogs love to root through them. However, spoiled food, sharp objects or toxic materials can injure or sicken your dog. Avoid this problem by purchasing trash cans with lids that lock. 

6. Remove Dangerous Plants

Many plants can be harmful to dogs who ingest them. Research the plants in your yard and remove any that could cause a problem.

Owning dogs is not a cheap endeavor. However, you can make your home safe and comfortable for them without spending all your savings by adding a fence and pool, creating shady spots, removing dead trees, purchasing garbage cans with lockable lids, and getting rid of poisonous plants.

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Here at home, because we live in a rural location, dead trees and branches are an ever-present problem. Luckily our dogs don’t seem to be drawn to them but the issue of pests is a different matter. We have thirteen acres of which half is forest and it is all too much for a contractor. Correction: It is all too expensive for us!

For the wider audience of readers this, I am sure, offers very good advice and is another great post from Penny.

How to balance your working life with your dog.

Yet another great guest post from Penny Martin.

Penny writes about starting your own business but in my experience any person who is devoted to their job, be it self-employed or not, should read what Penny has to say.

(Apologies for forgetting a post last Tuesday)

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Five Recommendations for Balancing Time With a New Pet While Starting a Business

Whether your new pet purrs, barks, neighs, squawks or something in between, welcoming a new animal into your home brings a little more love into your life. However, extra chores come hand-in-hand with a new pet. Add in the fact that you are starting a business and all the to-do lists can feel daunting. To ensure you have time to grow your company and bond with your pet, follow these five tips.

1. Stock Up on Supplies

Time is extremely valuable when getting a company off the ground; the last thing you want chipping away at your precious time is numerous trips to the stores for your animal. To prevent this, set aside time each week to make a list of the food, toys, treats, bedding, and any other items your pet requires.

Note which stores you need to visit for all the supplies. Take a few hours to go to each shop to make sure your pet has everything he or she needs for the week. 

2. Revamp Your Space

Starting a company comes with lots of stress; turning your home into a fresh and vibrant space helps relieve this tension. A clean home makes it easier to be effective at work and relax during off-hours. Plus, revamping your rooms gives you the opportunity to create a special space for your animal to feel safe and cozy.

Create a productive and positive atmosphere by cleaning and decluttering your house. Open windows to let in fresh air and sunlight. According to one study, nearly every participant felt less anxiety and depression and had better focus when exposed to sunlight. So scrub those windows and let in some light!

3. Remove Distractions

During your room makeovers, remove as many distractions from your office space as possible. TVs, video games, social media, and music can all be distracting when trying to work and waste valuable time that could be spent bonding with your new pet.

Do not put a TV or game console in the office. If you like background noise but find it tends to interrupt your workflow, put on a calming playlist, such as instrumental songs or sounds of nature.

While you probably need your phone during office hours, do your best to resist games and social media during this time. Update your phone’s layout so the tempting apps are not visible, or download an app, such as Forest, that encourages you to focus during work hours. 

4. Save Time With Invoicing Software

Invoicing software can be a lifesaver for busy small business owners. Rather than spending hours creating invoices by hand, by choosing invoicing software, you can simply enter your customers’ information into the software and let it do the rest. The software will generate professional-looking invoices that you can send to your customers electronically. Not only does this save you time, but it also allows you to get paid faster. In addition, most invoicing software comes with built-in accounting features that make it easy to track your expenses and keep tabs on your profitability. If you’re not using invoicing software, you’re needlessly wasting valuable time that could be better spent growing your business and spending more time with your new pet.

5. Schedule Time for Important Tasks

Having important tasks scheduled in your planner makes certain you have time to get them done. Perhaps your fuzzy, furry, or fluffy friend needs weekly grooming. Instead of doing it “when you have time,” schedule a specific period during the week to wash and clean your pet.

When it comes to your company and your pet, you do not have to choose one over the other. Make time for both by grabbing all the supplies you need, refreshing your home, removing distractions, utilizing invoicing software, and making time for crucial tasks. 

Image via Pexels

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This is good advice from Penny and I would applaud her.

If I was to pick out one piece of advice above all others it has to be the one about scheduling, or planning as I prefer to call it. When you are really busy the only way to stay on top of everything, and that includes time with your dog, is to plan.

Finally, I asked Penny to tell me a little more about herself. This is what she said:“Penny Martin is an advocate for rescue dogs. Her goal is to inform people of what to expect and how to react to their dog so that the relationship always retains love. She created fureverfriend.info to help new owners prepare themselves for new furry friends

Splendid!

Downsizing one’s life with a pet.

Another very useful post from Penny Martin.

So today is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere; here we are halfway through 2022! But somethings are constant and, hopefully, will never change.

That’s what I feel towards the group of people that write posts for me. Included in that special set is Penny Martin. Here is her latest about how to go to a smaller home when you have a pet. (We listened to the BBC’s You and Yours yesterday morning about rental housing. This article from Penny could be highly relevant.)

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How to Downsize the Stress-Free Way With a Pet

By Penny Martin

June 15th, 2022

If you’re tired of your current home and you need to move for work or personal reasons, or you just want a change of scenery, downsizing might be a good choice. Downsizing can be a great way to save money, especially if you don’t need all of the space you’re using. However, downsizing when you have a pet can become complicated because your pet needs ample space to live comfortably. Keep reading for some tips, courtesy of Learning from Dogs.

Finding a New Home

Wherever you move, you’ll need to make sure that it offers a suitable amount of space for your pet. If you own a dog or a cat, it can be a big adjustment for them to have less room to move around and live. Downsizing will also affect larger pets more than smaller ones since they’ll feel the effects of having less room more noticeably. If you can place your pet with a friend, family member, or boarding service during the move, that might be a good choice to reduce the stress involved and make the process simpler. 

If your pets live in a cage or a tank, you’ll have to make sure you have a secure place to put their home. Also, consider how the lighting and noise in their immediate environment will affect their sleep patterns and anxiety.

When you purchase a new home, you’ll likely need a mortgage. Inquire with more than one mortgage broker to compare the rates they offer you and choose the best deal. Visit a lender’s website to get an idea about the current rates available. If you’re a veteran, consider applying for a VA loan, which can save you significant amounts of money on the downpayment and the interest rate. If not, an FHA or conventional loan might be the way to go. 

Before moving your pet into your new home, it’s crucial that you pet-proof both indoors and outdoors. Check your yard for any poisonous plants and consider installing a fence to prevent your pup from escaping. 

Preparing Your Home for Sale

If you own your home, you’ll have to prepare it for sale. How well you do this will be a big factor in how fast it sells. You’ll need to clean and organize the home and look into storage for your belongings if there’s going to be a gap between residences, plus you’ll have to make any repairs or upgrades so prospective buyers are more likely to find the property appealing.

Give special attention to curb appeal as well. A neat and well-kept yard will make a great impression on buyers. If your outdoor area could use some beautification, a lawn care company offers mowing, trimming, and debris removal services. Only hire experienced and insured contractors.

Consider hiring a real estate agent to help you prepare the home for sale and guide you through any difficulties or processes you might not understand. Having an agent to show the house and represent you in negotiations can also make the process easier and protect you from losing money.

Do What’s Best for You and Your Pet

Moving into a smaller home is a big decision, and you’ll need to make sure that you’re fully prepared and able to make your pet amply comfortable both during and after the move. Selling a home can be a complicated and financially stressful process, and buying a new one may require a mortgage, so do thorough research to avoid wasting time or losing money. When selling your home, clean and declutter, make repairs, and hire lawn care professionals to boost your curb appeal. Most importantly, be empathetic to what your pet is experiencing during a change in their environment.

Image via Unsplash

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Reading this great advice from Penny reminds me that moving home with a pet or two can be a major upheaval and her tips are valuable. However, when it comes to Jean and me we just have too many pets and we are too old to think of moving, plus we really love where we live (but I don’t want to think about what happens if I can no longer drive!)

Good article!

Starting your own pet business.

Another guest post from Penny Martin.

Well I am preparing this post on Saturday, the 14th. The operation for the hernia on the 10th went smoothly enough but I did not reckon on the discomfort that would follow. Indeed, I was talking to a good friend on Thursday and he said that the pain would more or less last for two weeks. My son gave me the good advice to take regular doses of an over-the-shelf painkiller rather than the stronger tablets the hospital gave me because those prohibited driving! I returned to a small amount of driving last Friday.

Now on with the show!

Penny Martin first wrote a guest post for me in February, Fostering or adopting a dog, and I am delighted to present her second post. Over to her!

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Why Now Is a Great Time for a Pet Business and How to Start Your Own

By Penny Martin.

If you are an animal lover who wants to spend your days scrolling through cute dog pictures and surrounded by furry clients, now is a great time to consider starting your own pet business. Here, you can learn more about which relevant business areas experiencing growth and tips to get started on the right foot. 

Reasons Why It’s a Great Time for Pet Businesses

A growing number of families include animals. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association data, more than half of American households have a pet. That number appears to be growing, too, representing an increased need for care services. 

Pets are not just more abundant; they are also becoming full-fledged family members. As a result, spending on them is also increasing. Despite rapid growth in many care service areas, there are not enough providers to meet this increased demand. 

Animal-Related Businesses That Are Thriving

If you are curious about what type of business to start, look no further than pet care providers. There are several types of jobs you can get involved in:

  • Training and behavioral services: Training isn’t just for puppies. Dogs of all ages can benefit from learning household rules and appropriate behaviors when they are out and about. 
  • Dog walking and pet sitting: This is usually based out of the client’s home, where you pick them up for a walk or provide companionship for short periods.
  • Boarding: This is an excellent option for individuals who would rather welcome dogs and cats to their own home or care facility. Many boarding companies also provide daycare services. 
  • Grooming: You will need to learn how to groom different types of pets to master the skills for a successful grooming career. However, if you enjoy helping dogs look their best, this is an excellent high-demand field. 

Business Strategies to Help You Succeed

Economic conditions are excellent for small pet-focused companies to thrive. However, as an entrepreneur, you need to follow some basic business principles to succeed.

Start by choosing an appropriate legal structure. Research the most popular setup for businesses like yours to find one that fits your needs. Then, file with the appropriate offices to make it official. Next, take time to develop a comprehensive business plan. This document will do more than get you up and running; it will also serve as a reference as you continue to grow. Be sure to conduct market research to identify your target customers.  

Implement a structured invoicing process to set clear payment terms for clients and ensure you get paid on time, especially if you send invoices immediately after performing a service. Accepting several forms of payment is also helpful for clients. Use an invoice maker, free online usually, to streamline the process. Simply add your logo and business information, and you are ready to go. 

Use bookkeeping software to track your income and expenses and gain insight into your cash flow. This is a great way to organize and store receipts, ensuring compliance with regulatory agencies. It also makes tax filing easier at the end of the year and helps you find the most deductions.

A growing number of households with pets and increased spending make now a great time to start an animal-related business. Care and service providers are excellent fields to consider, with high demand for groomers, trainers, and dog walkers. However, no matter what type of company you start, sound business strategies can keep it running smoothly.

Image via Pixels

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Excellent!

As an ex-entrepreneur, who fundamentally was a salesman, I can also add the following to that post.

It starts and ends with the customer. A business plan is vital and so too is market research. But unless you have a clear vision of how you are to sell your services and what’s the difference that makes the difference you must not proceed. Selling is all about: Need; Feature; Benefit.

  • Open-ended questions to establish the need. (Those are questions that cannot be answered with a yes or a no.)
  • Keep on asking, and establishing a relationship, until you and the potential customer are clear that there is a need.
  • Then speak about the features of what you are selling that matches the need/s. Do not progress until the prospective customer understands and agrees.
  • For every agreed feature be clear what the benefit is for the customer; of that particular feature.
  • Try closing the deal. If there is hesitation then understand why. Resolve it. Try closing the deal again.

The very best of luck to those that want to run with this.

Fostering or adopting a dog!

A guest post from a very patient Penny Martin.

Penny first contacted me towards the end of January, 2022. I was going to publish her post not long after. But Penny didn’t realise that I had changed my email address so there was a resend involved. Then I forgot that I had her guest article waiting to be published. Then last Wednesday, the 9th Feb., I got myself ready to publish it the following Thursday, and discovered that it was in Windows format and I was a Mac user.

So that is why I nominated her as Patient Penny!

Here is her post.

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Must-Have Resources and Tips for Fostering or Adopting a Pup

If you want to relieve some of the tension you’ve been feeling over the last year, now may be the perfect time to add a new pet to your life! Here, Learning From Dogs shares some helpful resources to ensure you’re ready to provide health and happiness for your new buddy.

Should You Foster or Adopt?

This is the first question to ask yourself before you welcome a furry companion into your home. Each has its own perks, so read through these tips to decide whether you would prefer to foster a new pet or add a permanent member to your family.

Setting Up Your Home for a Pet

Whether you foster or adopt, you want to be sure your home is safe and comfortable for your new buddy. These supplies, tips, and resources can help.

Caring for Your Pet

If you are thinking of fostering or adopting a dog, here’s some info on keeping them safe and healthy.

Fostering or adopting a dog during this time of stress and anxiety can be a perfect way to calm those feelings and keep your home from feeling so lonely. As long as you can provide care, food, a few snuggles, and the essentials mentioned above, you should be able to keep your new friend perfectly safe, sound, and happy. So, what are you waiting for? Consider adopting a pup today!

Photo Credit: Unsplash

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That is a very useful guest article.

I hope there will be others.