Besides helping cats stay clean, litter boxes maintain a hygienic home environment. So much so that often, when a cat urinates outside its litter box, it could indicate a health condition. So, cat parents should consult a veterinarian to rule out such issues. However, this change could also mean the cat is not comfortable using the box. In such cases, here are some litter box mistakes one may want to avoid:
1. Not considering the cat’s preferences
A cat is typically uncomfortable in a litter box if it is not to its liking. While animals cannot express their tastes and preferences, a trial-and-error method can help cat parents identify what their feline friends like or detest in their litter boxes. For example, some cats may not be comfortable with specific textures, while others may steer clear of certain fragrances. These aspects should be carefully observed until one discovers exactly what their cat likes in its litter.
2. Placing the box in noisy spots
Just like humans, cats prefer quiet, peaceful surroundings. Placing the litter box in a noisy environment can make the cat leave the box often. So, one should find a quiet place for the litter. This spot should be away from the kitchen as the noise emitted by cookers, blenders, and other appliances could bother cats. Further, spots close to the washing machine may be too noisy for cats. It also helps to place the litter box in a place that dogs and children do not frequent.
3. Choosing an inaccessible location
Cats may find it rather distressing to walk or climb a lot to reach their litter boxes. This is particularly true in multi-story homes, as cats may get frustrated if there is only one litter box in the home. The best move here would be to place multiple litter boxes throughout the home, preferably at least one on every floor, so that cats can easily access a litter box wherever they wander.
4. Skipping regular cleanup
Cats love being neat and tidy and are often particular about the cleanliness of their surroundings. So, an unclean litter box is bound to repel them, making them pee outside the box or use it less often. This is why it is important to clean out the litter pan daily. Moreover, cat parents should empty the box of all its contents at least once a week, scrub it thoroughly, and refill it with fresh litter. A great method to clean a litter box is to empty its contents, pour in a solution of hot water and unscented dish soap, and let it rest for a few minutes before draining the water and washing the box.
5. Changing the type of litter suddenly
As cats have specific litter preferences, changing the type of litter all of a sudden may make them avoid it altogether. The best way to introduce new litter is to do it gradually. After buying a new litter box, one can place it close to the cat’s usual one, slowly adding new litter to the box. If the cat ventures to explore the new box over the next few days, it implies that it likes the new litter.
One crucial aspect of safeguarding a pet’s health is pet insurance. It is a financial safety net that ensures pets receive the best possible veterinary care without the parents being burdened by exorbitant costs. In the intricate tapestry of pet care, unforeseen circumstances and health challenges can arise, demanding immediate attention and expert intervention. This is where the significance of avoiding common pet insurance mistakes comes into play.
Waiting until it’s too late
One prevalent mistake is procrastinating on getting pet insurance. Waiting until a pet develops a health issue or reaches a certain age can lead to limited coverage or exclusions for pre-existing conditions. To maximize the benefits of pet insurance, it’s advisable to enroll pets at a young age when they are healthy, ensuring comprehensive coverage throughout their lives.
Overlooking policy exclusions
Pet insurance policies often include exclusions, detailing specific conditions, treatments, or situations that are not covered. Common exclusions may include pre-existing conditions, elective procedures, and breed-specific hereditary conditions. It’s essential for pet owners to carefully review and understand these exclusions to avoid surprises when making a claim.
Neglecting to compare plans
Not all pet insurance plans are curated equal. Another mistake is neglecting to compare different plans, considering factors such as coverage limits, deductibles, reimbursement percentages, and waiting periods. Each pet is unique, and finding a plan that aligns with the pet’s breed, age, and health needs is crucial for optimal coverage.
Opting for the cheapest option
While budget considerations are valid, opting for the cheapest pet insurance without checking the coverage details can be a costly mistake in the long run. Some inexpensive plans may offer limited coverage, higher deductibles, or lower reimbursement percentages, resulting in exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses when veterinary care is needed.
Disregarding wellness coverage
Many pet insurance plans offer optional wellness or routine care coverage for preventive services like vaccinations, dental cleanings, and annual check-ups. Neglecting wellness coverage is a common oversight, as preventive care can contribute to a pet’s overall health and well-being. Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of adding wellness coverage is essential for a holistic approach to pet healthcare.
Not understanding reimbursement methods
Pet insurance providers commonly use different reimbursement methods, such as actual costs, benefit schedules, or customary charges. Understanding how reimbursement is calculated is crucial for managing expectations and avoiding surprises when filing claims. Some plans reimburse a percentage of the actual veterinary bill, while others follow a set schedule or customary charges for specific procedures.
Ignoring customer reviews and ratings
Neglecting to research and consider customer reviews and ratings for pet insurance providers is a mistake that can lead to dissatisfaction with the chosen plan. Real-life experiences from other pet owners can offer valuable insights into the provider’s customer service, claims process, and overall satisfaction levels.
Not reevaluating coverage over time
As a pet ages or experiences changes in health, their insurance needs may evolve. Failing to reevaluate coverage over time is a common mistake. Regularly assessing a pet’s health and adjusting coverage accordingly ensures that the insurance plan continues to meet the pet’s healthcare requirements.
Assuming all pets require the same coverage
In households with multiple pets, assuming that all pets require the same coverage can be a mistake. Each pet comes with unique health considerations. Tailoring coverage to each pet’s specific needs ensures they receive the appropriate level of protection without overpaying for unnecessary coverage.
Dogs have a digestive system that is much different from that of humans. That is why what is delectable and nutritious for humans may not be suitable for canines. There are human foods that are deemed unsafe for dogs to consume, with some of them even being fatal. Therefore, pet owners must be cautious while feeding some foods to their canines. Here are some common human foods to avoid feeding your pet pooch:
Mushrooms are a delicious and nutritious food, but they can be harmful to dogs due to the presence of certain fatal elements. Not all mushrooms contain these harmful elements, but identifying the “bad” mushrooms from the good ones can be tricky, even for experienced botanists. So, to ensure your dog’s safety, it’s best to avoid adding mushrooms to their daily meals.
It’s important to remember that chocolate can be harmful to dogs as it contains high doses of caffeine and theobromine. These elements are complex for dogs to digest and metabolize and can cause various issues such as diarrhea, dehydration, stomach pain, and vomiting. Dark chocolate is especially dangerous for dogs, and they should not be given any kind of chocolate as a treat. Repeated exposure to chocolate can lead to serious health complications such as internal bleeding, heart attacks, muscle tremors, and seizures, which can ultimately result in fatality. Therefore, it is crucial to keep chocolate and other harmful substances out of reach of dogs to ensure their safety and well-being.
Caffeine is a debilitative element for a canine’s digestive system and overall health. Caffeine is present in tea, cocoa, guarana, and especially in large doses in coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant that helps one stay awake and feel invigorated during work or study. If a pet owner gives their dog a cup of coffee, the beverage will speed up the heart rate and stimulate the nervous system. Doing so can lead to a range of problems, including restlessness, anxiety, excessive thirst, vomiting, a loss of bladder control, and diarrhea in canines.
Too much caffeine consumption even leads to problems such as lung failure and abnormal heartbeat rhythms. Therefore, as much as one may be tempted to, giving dogs coffee is a bad idea and must be avoided.
Grapes and raisins
Grapes and raisins can be extremely dangerous for dogs and can cause kidney failure even with small amounts consumed. Symptoms may include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, increased urination, decreased appetite, and dehydration. If these symptoms are not treated promptly, they could become life-threatening for canines. It is essential to keep these foods away from dogs to prevent mishaps.
Salted foods such as popcorn, chips, and pretzels can cause water deprivation (a condition known as salt poisoning) in canines. Furthermore, salt can cause vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and a host of neurological issues like cerebral edema, depression, tremors, and seizures. If not treated promptly, these conditions can take a fatal turn for dogs as well. Therefore, dogs should not only be kept away from salt but also given plenty of water to drink regularly.
Flea and tick infestations are a common problem for dogs. Fleas and ticks can cause a lot of discomfort in the form of itching and lead to several health issues in dogs. So, those with pets should regularly examine the coats or fur of dogs to check for pests. Upon detecting an infestation, one can seek treatment and at-home remedies for getting rid of fleas and ticks. Here are a few tips to consider:
1. Give dogs regular baths
One of the most effective ways to prevent and manage tick infestations in dogs is by ensuring proper pet hygiene, which includes giving them regular baths. Upon finding fleas and ticks at home or on the dog’s coat, one can use an anti-flea or anti-tick shampoo when bathing their pet. These shampoos kill the little pests while cleaning the dogs’ coats. Along with controlling infestations, regular baths also contribute to pets’ overall health and well-being.
2. Examine pet coats after outdoor visits
Dog owners should regularly examine their pet’s coats, especially after outdoor visits. Fleas and ticks can be sneaky pets that choose specific spots on the dog’s coat that help them stay undetected. Key spots to examine include the area under the dog’s collar, behind its ears, under the front legs and elbows, between the toes, and the base of its tail. By conducting such regular examinations, dog owners can detect potential infestations early and take prompt action. Early detection of infestations is also crucial to limit their spread and prevent health complications in dogs.
3. Use a flea comb
Regularly grooming dogs’ is also an effective way to detect and manage flea and tick infestations. Here, one can use a flea comb, which has fine teeth that are specially designed to remove hidden pests from a pet’s coat. This is also a great way to gauge the extent of infestation.
4. Keep the surroundings clean
Along with grooming and bathing the dogs to keep them free from dirt and pests, it is also essential to keep pets’ surroundings clean. So, one must regularly vacuum to get rid of dirt from all surfaces, including furniture and carpets. The vacuum cleaner can also suck in fleas and ticks hiding in corners. Additionally, dog beds and bedding need to be cleaned as well. For additional protection, one can dust some anti-tick and anti-flea powder on the bedding. Further, one should trim tall grass and bushes in their yard to minimize the risk of infestations. Such measures can help create a more comfortable environment for the dogs and keep pests at bay.
5. Consult a vet
If one notices that their pet dog has been scratching an itch persistently and suspects an infestation, they must consult a veterinarian. Prolonged infestations can lead to severe health issues, making it important to seek early treatment. Vets can provide expert guidance and recommend the most suitable flea and tick treatments and measures for preventing future infestations. They can also diagnose any potential health issues that may have arisen from the infestation and ensure that the dog receives appropriate care.
A home cooked meal is a great way to ensure that the pets are well fed with proper nutrition. Moreover, there are many pet food brands available that are a convenient option if cooking at home is not possible. However, one should always be aware of the ingredients that are safe and unsafe for the pet to consume. Here are some toxic foods that should not be part of the pet’s meal plan.
While delicious, chocolate is a toxic food for pets, which is usually a known fact for many. But it is important to know why it is not okay to feed dogs or cats chocolate and it needs a visit to the emergency room if ingested. The problem is the theobromine component in chocolate. It is found in both milk and dark chocolate, so both the varieties are a big no for pets. Moreover, the unsweetened baking chocolate is the most toxic as it contains the highest amount of theobromine. Eating this can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and other serious issues like seizures, tremors, and heart problems in pets. It can even be fatal in some cases if the right treatment is not administered quickly.
An otherwise sweet and snackable fruit, grapes are toxic to most pets. Grapes as well as raisins cause kidney issues in dogs and can even lead to kidney failure if treatment is not done in time. If one’s pet has eaten grapes or raisins accidently or willingly, they may show signs of distress like frequent vomiting, weakness, sluggishness, inactivity and in general low energy. Even small amounts of grapes can lead to these issues and need immediate attention.
While it adds a lot of flavor to the food, too much salt is toxic for pets. When there is too much salt in the pet’s meals, they may end up with complications like sodium poisoning. Some of the symptoms of this type of illness include seizures, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea and even high temperature. Some dogs may also feel low in energy due to the imbalance in nutrients in the body. In extreme cases, salt intake can also be fatal. Also, when there is excessive salt in meals, the pets tend to get more thirsty and over-hydrate or do not hydrate enough to manage the thirst leading to complications.
This is again a big no for pets. It is observed that eating onions may be related to lowered red blood cells in the body. This can lead to a condition called anemia, which may cause other complications. Weakness, vomiting, and even breathing issues are some of the symptoms of onion toxicity in pets, so always avoid onions in pet foods.
They make for a great protein source but eggs should always be given when cooked thoroughly. Raw food items contain a bacteria called salmonella or E.coli. This may cause health issues in the pets and can be toxic to them. There are some vets who encourage a raw meal plan for some dogs, however, a thorough research and discussion is needed if one’s pet requires this kind of food.
Any pet parents who may sometimes give treats should make sure that they do not have any of these ingredients that may cause any toxicity.
A pet’s overall well-being is every pet parent’s ultimate desire and objective. However, life is unpredictable, and despite one’s best efforts, a pet may require healthcare assistance for health conditions, accidents, and injuries. Pet insurance helps pet owners alleviate the financial repercussions of such untoward events through financial compensation. It is advisable to opt for pet insurance from a reputed insurance company. Here are some common mistakes to avoid while securing pet insurance:
Assuming that all healthcare services are covered
A common mistake by pet parents is to assume that an insurance policy covers all healthcare services and requirements. For example, some insurance policies may not cover pet pregnancy-related complications, while some may exclude dental checkups and procedures. Thus, it is important for pet parents to browse the list of healthcare services a pet insurance policy includes under its hood and zero in on a policy based on this factor.
Only considering the premium
Although paying a high premium may burn a hole in one’s pocket, insurance policies with low premiums may sometimes not cover all the essential healthcare expenses. In such cases, one may end up spending a much higher amount at the veterinary hospital in case of a health emergency that the policy does not cover. Therefore, one should not opt for pet insurance plans with low premiums but less services covered. The best bet is to compare the prices and services of insurance policies by different companies and pick the one that perfectly balances price with coverage.
Not considering add-ons
Any pet insurance policy typically offers certain add-ons. For example, many pet insurance policies do not directly cover preventative care and routine checkup expenses – they are generally a part of the policy’s add-ons, which require pet owners to pay a certain additional amount. Thus, one should check out these add-ons and consider buying the potentially useful ones while opting for a pet insurance policy.
Not checking the inclusions (list of hospitals)
Some policies may leave out premium veterinary hospitals, which may offer specialized services by veterinary experts. Consequently, during times of need, one may not be able to receive financial reimbursement for seeking treatment at these clinics and hospitals. To avoid such consequences, pet owners should go through the list of hospitals and clinics included in the chosen policy based on potential healthcare requirements.
Not buying pet insurance early on
Many pet owners delay buying pet insurance, assuming their pets are young and healthy and may not undergo treatments soon. However, even young pets require regular checkups by veterinarians to ensure good health. Also, they need to be vaccinated regularly and treated in case of any infections, allergies, accidents, etc. In such cases, pet insurance can help one save large amounts of money, which can be utilized fruitfully for various other purposes. Moreover, the longer one waits, the higher the premium amount. Hence, it is best to opt for a pet insurance policy as soon as one gets a pet home.
Not disclosing existing health conditions
While buying a pet insurance policy, it is important for pet owners to be honest and upfront about existing health problems their pet may be suffering from. Failing to do so may cause repercussions like claim denials and policy cancellations.
Parenting pets, such as dogs, is a wonderful experience. However, tick and flea infestations could become every owner’s and canine’s nightmare. Luckily, there are ways to eliminate and prevent such critters. You could visit a vet to seek prescriptions, flea collars, or for other treatments to rid your dog of these infestations. You could also consult with the vet about using these six kitchen ingredients to reduce ticks and fleas.
Apple cider vinegar
The combination of apple cider vinegar and salt is the most common kitchen ingredient to ward off ticks and fleas. Using a diluted solution of this combo could help balance your pet’s pH levels to make it optimal for their health while making it unsuitable for fleas. To create the solution, mix six cups of apple cider vinegar with four cups of water. Next, add a dash of sea salt, then spray directly onto your dog’s coat. But ensure that you avoid contact with your pet’s eyes.
This ingredient does not need to be applied to your pet’s fur; instead, sprinkle it onto the carpet. Once you do this, sweep it from side to side so the powder settles deep within the fibers, which could keep fleas away. The properties of baking soda dehydrate fleas and their eggs, which helps in eliminating them and preventing the recurrence of such infestations. Leave the baking soda on the carpet overnight so that the formula can take proper effect, and vacuum it to ensure the carpet is free of such tiny critters.
Lemon juice isn’t just a great addition to meals and drinks but also works as a preventive method for ticks and fleas. You need to boil a thinly sliced lemon in water and let the mixture cool down overnight. The next morning, fill a spray bottle with the mixture and lightly dampen the carpet and other furnishings with it. You could also apply the lemon juice directly as a rub for your pets. But ensure your pet does not ingest the juice because it contains limonene – a property that may cause skin irritation and even damage their liver.
Lavender oil is one of the most common kitchen ingredients to prevent ticks and fleas in dogs. You must add a few drops of the solution to water and put it in the spray bottle. Shake the mixture and apply it to the pet’s coat for an easy and natural flea spray. Apart from bringing down the number of ticks, the essential oil solution could also help keep your pets cool and refreshed and give them a lovely fragrance.
The oil derived from almonds contain sulfur, which has natural tick-repellent properties. You must put some oil on your palms and massage it directly into your dog’s skin and coat. Doing so could help to keep the annoying tiny critters away. Furthermore, almond oil could also help moisturize, condition, and reduce skin inflammation in pets.
Brewer’s yeast is highly acidic, which makes it suitable against fleas and ticks. The ingredient also contains vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, B vitamins, and antioxidants. While you could include brewer’s yeast in your pet’s meals, you must avoid adding excessive amounts as it could cause gas. About one tablespoon per day for a 50lb dog is recommended.
For dog parents, there’s perhaps nothing more important than the well-being of their four-legged babies. From selecting the most nutritious pet foods to ensuring regular exercise and grooming, pet parents go all out to fulfill their responsibilities. However, certain unlikely foods and products may prove fatal to these adorable creatures, and pet parents must keep themselves up to date about these threats. Here’s a look at some plants that are toxic to dogs.
While aloe vera may have healing properties for humans, its consumption may be toxic to dogs. Some side effects dogs may suffer upon ingesting aloe vera are vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even comatose in some instances. Therefore, it’s crucial to place aloe vera plants away from them.
If eaten, these mesmerizing spring flowers can cause several health issues among dogs, including low blood pressure, intestinal spasms, diarrhea, and, in some cases, cardiac arrhythmia.
This plant resembles a miniature palm tree and is popularly grown indoors as well as outdoors. However, sago palms can lead to seizures, diarrhea, liver failure, and other life-threatening conditions if ingested by a dog. While their leaves and barks are also harmful, their nuts and seeds are more toxic to our canine friends.
Eucalyptus oil can be highly toxic to dogs, leading to drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. Other tree oils like wintergreen and peppermint can also have similar effects. So, pet parents must avoid exposing their pets to these tree oils.
While all parts of the tulip plant are harmful, the bulb particularly has several adverse effects on smaller dogs and puppies. Tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are just some of the consequences.
The garlic plant, in all its forms, is toxic. It typically irritates a dog’s gastrointestinal tract, harms its red blood cells, and may cause effects like vomiting and diarrhea.
Like garlic, the entire onion plant is harmful. It can irritate a dog’s intestinal tract and wreak havoc on its digestive system.
This dark-green indoor plant with broad leaves is aesthetically pleasing but should be kept away from pets. The Alocasia plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can lead to severe irritation inside and outside the body. Dogs who have eaten this plant should be taken to the vet immediately.
Certain citrus fruits may benefit a dog’s health, but specific parts of the plant can prove detrimental. For example, orange and lemon peels, stems, and leaves can be dangerous to dogs and should be avoided.
Ripe tomatoes are safe for dogs and are incorporated into many pet foods. However, raw tomatoes and other parts of the tomato plant can prove toxic. An upset stomach, pupil dilation, arrhythmia, and weakness are some signs of tomato poisoning in dogs.
This appealing house plant can be toxic to dogs, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, gagging, drooling, and coughing. Dogs may experience these symptoms even upon coming into contact with the plant. So, pet parents must avoid purchasing this plant for their homes.
With the critter season just around the corner, it is natural for pet parents to grow cautious. We do all we can to prevent the infestation of ticks, fleas, heartworm, and other disease-causing parasites. One of the best ways to avoid any of the blood-sucking parasites being home guests is to opt for regular vet appointments. However, there are some natural remedies that can be implemented while waiting for the appointment date to arrive.
Fleas cause excessive itching, scratching, and overall annoyance once they latch on to a dog’s fur. If left unresolved, they start laying eggs all around the house, causing a greater nuisance to every resident. Here are certain natural ways to control a flea infestation.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar sprays and baths work to repel fleas by balancing the pet’s pH levels. This helps make the environment unsustainable for fleas and healthier for our furry friends.
Essential oils like tea tree, eucalyptus, citronella, rosemary, and peppermint are all capable of repelling fleas. Diluting a few drops of one of these essential oils in water and regularly spraying it onto the pet’s coat is a convenient way of avoiding any flea infestations.
Ticks are small parasitic creatures that can find a home in the fur of our pets. Their ability to cause diseases is something that should not be taken lightly.
There are numerous products in the market that help prevent and get rid of the existing ticks on pets. Topical insecticides in the form of creams, ointments, and sprays are easy to use and highly effective. There are a variety of products that the vet can help choose from.
Products like tick shampoos and bath gels are designed to eliminate the parasites effectively with minimal or no irritation in the pets. Regular use of these products, especially during the tick season, can come in handy in preventing infestation. Therefore, looking for products that have a long-lasting effect between uses is ideal for achieving the desired results.
Heartworm are parasitic worms that can grow and live in the heart, blood vessels, and lungs of our pets. They can cause severe damage to these organs, leading to heart failure, lung diseases, and even proving fatal.
Give them garlic
As strange as it sounds, adding garlic to your pet’s food helps prevent heartworm and subsequent infections. This natural prevention tip works well against parasitic invasion. However, it is prudent to consult the vet before starting regular garlic intake. They might even be able to help you out with the right amount of garlic that needs to be used.
Use preventive treatments
You can try to avoid heartworm in pets is by using preventive treatments. Albeit obvious, it is also an underused tip. Consulting the vet for appropriate options based on the pet’s age and size is the right way to go about it.
One of the surest ways of ensuring your pets aren’t infected with any diseases caused by fleas, ticks, and heartworm is by taking them for monthly vet visits. Younger pets might need more frequent visits for vaccinations. After that, it is crucial to follow the doctor’s suggestions. Some commonly prescribed treatments for fleas, ticks, and heartworm include Nexgard® and Heartgard®. Heartgard® prevents heartworms and other intestinal worm infections in pets. It can be safely used in dogs aged six weeks and above. Nexgard® is a beef-flavored chewable that comes in handy in the treatments of three types of ticks.
Being a pet parent is not easy. You must pay close attention to what your dog eats and customize a menu depending on their breed, age, and other factors. Thankfully, various dog food brands have healthy and tasty options, making your job easier. But, loading up on pet food can be expensive, so make the most of the upcoming Black Friday sale. Here are five deals to expect in 2022.
BLUE Wilderness Chicken with Grains for Puppies
This recipe from Blue Buffalo has chicken, oats, and barley. It also has fruits and vegetables that supply energy to match a pup’s curiosity and playfulness. The meal helps build immunity and supplies the necessary nourishment for development. Expect to get it for up to 30% off during the Black Friday sale.
IAMS Proactive Health Adult Small and Medium Breed Dry Dog Food
It is ideal for small and medium dogs over a year old. The recipe has quality ingredients that support a healthy coat, digestion, and teeth growth. This IAMS dog food also helps build strong bones and muscles. A 1kg pack currently costs around $35, but you may get it for up to 20% off on Black Friday.
Royal Canin Urban Life Adult
A pet dog living in an urban city or busy setting is most likely exposed to pollution. This Royal Canin wet food has fish as the first ingredient and contains antioxidants that can reduce the stress they face from noise and crowds. Customers may get it for up to 30% off during the holiday sale.
Purina Beyond Simply Farm-raised Chicken & Whole Barley Dry Dog Food
Farm-raised chicken is the primary ingredient in this recipe. It is a limited-ingredient recipe that contains fiber-rich grains, vitamins, and nutrients. It is also high in protein and amino acids that help strengthen muscles and keep dogs energetic. Expect up to 20% off in the coming months!
Instinct Raw Frozen Chicken Patties
Instinct specializes in raw food with minimal processing to retain the freshness of the meat. Its chicken patties are burger-sized patties made with real chicken, fruits, and vegetables that build immunity, improve gut health, and maintain healthy skin and coat. You may get a whopping 61% off on this one.
Nature’s Variety Selected Norwegian Salmon
This recipe has deboned Norwegian salmon as its primary ingredient. The fish is fresh and has nutrients crucial for a dog’s muscle and bone growth. Its other ingredients include fruits, vegetables, and specific other superfoods. You may get it for up to 34% off.
ORIJEN Amazing Grains Six Fish Recipe
It uses fishes like mackerel, herring, monkfish, Acadian redfish, flounder, and hake as primary ingredients. Plus, there are grains like oats and quinoa, so your dog gets enough fiber. This dog food has prebiotics and probiotics to regulate gut health and prevent indigestion. Get this ORIJEN product for around 25% off this Black Friday.
Taste of the Wild Ancient Mountain Canine Recipe with Roasted Lamb
This recipe combines pasture-raised lamb and traditional grains like sorghum, millet, chia, and quinoa. It is rich in both protein and antioxidants. In addition, it has probiotics for healthy digestion and omega fatty acids for building immunity. Expect up to 35% off during the sale.
Castor & Pollux PRISTINE Grass-Fed Beef & Oatmeal Recipe
Grass-fed beef is the first ingredient in this recipe, combined with healthy grains. The product does not contain artificial preservatives, colors, or fillers like chickpeas or potatoes. Pet parents may see this recipe go on sale for up to 40% off its original price.
Merrick Chicken Sweet Potato Recipe
Merrick has several grain-free recipes with meats like chicken, lamb, duck, or buffalo as the first ingredient. This chicken and sweet potato recipe is enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fats for your pet dog’s overall growth and immunity. You may get it for up to 35% off.
Donating to charities is a meaningful way for individuals to contribute to society and gain personal benefits. Unbeknownst to many, charitable contributions made in the country make an individual eligible for tax advantages, creating a win-win scenario. Contributions like cash donations, non-cash donations like clothing or household items, stocks, etc., can lead to tax benefits. Explore some tax-deductible charitable gifts and donations below to understand how to make a positive impact while enjoying financial advantages.
Cash donations are one of the simplest ways to contribute to charitable causes and get tax benefits. Cash donations can be made in various ways, including checks, credit cards, or through payroll deductions made by one’s employer. If one is donating cash to qualified public charities, it allows them a tax deduction of up to 60% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) in a year. Furthermore, making cash donations to private foundations allows individuals a tax deduction of up to 30% of their AGI. To claim tax deductions, one must keep records of their donations, such as bank statements, canceled checks, or receipts and acknowledgment letters from the charity.
Besides cash, donating goods such as clothing, furniture, or household items can also yield tax benefits. When donating these, one must ensure the items are in good condition. It is also necessary to obtain a receipt from the charity specifying the donated items. One can also find estimated donation values for such in-kind donations on various websites to get an idea about the tax-deductible amounts for each.
One can also donate stocks or other appreciated assets to charities and get tax deductions. If one has stocks that have grown in value, donating them directly to a qualified charity allows them to avoid capital gains tax. The IRS allows them to deduct the fair market value of the donated stocks. However, the deductible amount differs for public charities and private foundations. For donating to public charities, one can get a tax deduction of up to 30% of their AGI, and for donating to private foundations, one can get a tax deduction of up to 20% of their AGI.
Donating real estate or other capital assets to charities also has significant tax advantages. This category includes land, buildings, machinery, and closely held securities that one has owned for at least one year. By donating these assets to a qualified charity, one can support a cause close to their heart and benefit from a substantial tax deduction.
Individuals aged 70.5 years or older have a unique opportunity to contribute to charitable causes while enjoying tax benefits through Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Instead of taking required minimum distributions (RMDs), one can direct those funds, up to $100,000, directly to eligible charities. This fulfills their RMD and keeps the distributed amount out of their taxable income. QCDs provide a tax-efficient way for retired individuals to support charitable causes.
Going on a cruise is one of the best experiences one can have at any age—childhood or adulthood. However, not all cruises are ideal for everyone. Some cruise lines offer special packages that meet all the needs of seniors, ranging from arranging flights, finding restaurants, booking excursions, and even checking in and out of hotels. Keep reading to know more about some of the best senior-friendly cruises and their features.
Popular companies like Viking offer ships that can cater to approximately 930+ passengers on the sea. However, these cruises do not allow anyone under 18 on board. Further, the ships are designed to serve passengers aged 50 and above. Viking cruises are ideal for seniors, as they offer informative lectures and destination-specific entertainment on board. Further, Viking cruises focus on getting seniors to key attractions and UNESCO world heritage sites all over the world. In most cases, everyday shore excursions are included in the cruise fare. These include voyages such as the Mediterranean odyssey and the Atlanta crossing, to name a few.
Among the top river cruise lines around the world, AmaWaterways has a total of 24 ships with extraordinary itineraries aimed at seniors. The cruise packages here usually offer exploring ports across Europe but just a few trips to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In most cases, their range of shore excursions meets everybody’s interests and abilities. These excursions include guided hikes, bike rides, and cooking demonstrations. In addition to the above, the cruise line also offers seniors concierge services, hotel reservations, and flight transfers as a part of the packages.
This cruise line offers trips as short as four to five days. So, if one is going on a cruise for the first time, they can book Avalon Waterways packages to test the waters. Further, Avalon Waterways offers its senior customers several options to travel across Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. Its long cruises also provide passengers with special entertainment activities such as the Storyteller series, which may include popular authors like Candace Bushnell onboard. Additionally, the cruises may also have off-shore activities such as picnics and kayaking. One feature that sets this senior-friendly cruise apart is the availability of open-air balconies in the cabin, providing the seniors with a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the view.
This cruise line offers ships that can carry up to 700 passengers and is one of the niche companies that cater to all the needs of well-traveled seniors. Additionally, Azamara is one of the best cruises for seniors that do not wish to splurge but still want top-notch service, ambiance, and amenities. Usually, cruises offered by Azamara involve trips to Europe. However, some packages may offer overnight stays at key destinations, making these cruises ideal for passengers who wish to travel on their own.
Usually, the cost of cruises depends on the length, time of the year, and extent of luxury. However, the average price for a seven-night cruise may be anywhere between $1,000 to $2,000. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned cruise lines can offer special deals and discounts for seniors.