Adult Hedgehog Lover Gift Ideas

Hedgehog lovers gift guide - gift ideas for teens and adults who love hedgehogs or porcupines

 

 

1. DuoLe Square Hedgehog Throw Pillow

Hedgehog throw pillow case

2. hedgehog dryer balls
Kikkerland Hedgehog Dryer Balls

3. hedgehog kitchen timer

Hedgehog Kitchen Timer

4. Hedgehog figurine
Hedgehog Figurine

5. women's hedgehog slippers
Women’s hedgehog slippers

6. hedgehog cheese grater
Hedgehog cheese grater

7. hedgehog masking washi tape

blue hedgehog Washi Masking Tape

8.hedgehog dangling earrings
Sienna Sky Hedgehog Earrings

9. adult hedgehog hat
Adult Herman the Hedgehog Hat

10. bath & body works mr hedgehog pocketbac

Bath & body works Mr. Hedgehog Pocketbac

11. nerdy hedgehog purse
Nerdy Hedgehog Shoulder Bag

12. Hedgehog bangle bracelet

Hedgehog bangle bracelet

13. Hedgehog pencil holder

 

Hedgehog pencil holder 

14. Hedgehog coin purse

 

Hedgehog coin purse 

15. Hedgehog natural figurine

Natural hedgehog figurine 

16.  bamboo hedgehog earrings

Bamboo hedgehog earrings

 

My second epileptic seizure

I’ve decided that a very necessary part of my series on seizures/epilepsy will be about emotions. That will be coming up at some point in the future.

I’ve been putting off this blog post for quite a while. Part of why I have put is off has been because I don’t want to re-hash the situation in my mind. Another reason is the fact that my memory of the whole 10 day period from about a day before my first seizure until 7-ish days after my second seizure are such a blur in my memory. If I start talking about any part of what happened, it’s common for my boyfriend to jump in saying oh no you’re thinking of the first seizure, not the second (or vise versa). It’s possible that part of what I said for part 1 (my first adult epileptic seizure) actually happened after part 2. Anyway, my biggest reason for this delay has been that I don’t want to go back and read that first blog post, but without reading it I can’t know what I have already said. So I’m going to take the easy way out and basically give you my boyfriends explanation of what the second seizure was like and then discuss my hospital stay.

Ryan has said that my second seizure wasn’t as long or “dramatic” as the first. He estimates that it was only a couple of minutes long. However, I bit my tongue pretty significantly. He had been told to roll me onto my side if I were to have seizures, but I was facing a wall (while laying on my side) when it started so he rolled me over towards him when he first suspected that I was convulsing. I didn’t scream like I did before the first one. He said I was making a gagging, light growling or choking type of noise. He realized that I was in fact having another seizure so he rolled me back onto my side which allowed my mouth to open up and some blood and spit/saliva came out. He called 9-1-1 again and this time we opted to go to a hospital that was further away but that has a great reputation for quality of care.

Since this was my second seizure, the doctors decided that I should start medication. I was started on Keppra, 500 MG twice a day. They ran bloodwork and my CPK level was around 800. They ordered tests like an EEG, MRI and cat scan. All of the tests were read as normal. The hospital stay was 5.5 days in total, but I could have left after day two or three (once the tests were finished) except my CPK level kept rising and they wanted it to start trending downward before they released me. My CPK peaked at day 4 at 6000. I remember the nurses kept asking me if I was in pain or wanted/needed any medication I was having some headaches so occasionally I’d say yes to tylenol. At some point a nurse asked me if I needed pain medication and I said no thanks, my headache is gone and she said “I’m just so surprised that you aren’t in pain. Most people with a CPK significantly lower than 6000 experience body aches, cramps or just general body pain.” I left the hospital without ever having body pains.

Once I got home we made an appointment with my family doctor to discuss my seizures and to get a neurology referral. She said that for the most part she wouldn’t really be treating me for my seizures because that would be left up to my neurologists judgement for the most part. She said that my neurologist may want to run additional tests, but that it’s common for people who have seizures to never find a cause and just be labeled as having epilepsy (which isn’t really a specific condition but is instead just a label for a tendency to have seizures).

After we got back from that appointment I remember hanging up my coat on our coat rack while saying “So I guess I should mentally prepare for a neurologist to tell me that I simply have epilepsy and that there is no apparent reason why these seizures happened but they may happen again. I may have to be on seizure medication for the rest of my life.”

Looking back at it, I can’t really understand why I felt this way. But when I said this I was feeling a bit disappointed or frustrated with my doctor, thinking she was being lazy. I guess I had it in my mind that there had to be some cause because I wasn’t drinking, my brain shows no physical abnormalities, etc.

When I turned around from hanging up my coat Ryan had this almost frozen expression on his face. His eyebrows and forehead were a little creased with some sadness mixed with concern, but most of his face also showed this shock or surprise. I immediately felt this heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach because I could tell exactly what he was thinking and feeling. He was surprised that I had just “woken up” to the fact that something was probably “wrong “with my brain. & that if something was wrong with my brain two different days in the past week, the odds of it still being wrong (or at least occasionally “getting out of whack” in the future is probably high.

I consider us both to be really practical people. We are both “prepare for the worst, but hope for the best” type people. We try to avoid sugarcoating things too much, and we both believe in living life in reality instead of in denial or avoidance. It’s very unlike me to take a week after a traumatic event to accept the reality of something. Yet, when I had said it I wasn’t even accepting it yet – it had just then even OCCURRED to me that that was a possibility.

It’s still bizarre to me how much the seizures really messed with my ability to use logic and reason. While they did make me live in la-la land for a while, I’m somewhat thankful that they also seemed to make me a little numb to life. I’m a pretty anxious person in general, so I’m still surprised that I wasn’t having panic attacks during this whole journey. I’ll go into all of that more in my “the feelings that come as a result of seizures”  which will come later.

 

 

Influenster Bella VoxBox Review

*Influenster provided me with a Bella VoxBox. All opinions are my own.

I’ve been a member of influenster for over a year now. You don’t have to be a blogger to sign up, you just have to have social media accounts. You can apply for various “VoxBox” offers. If you get approved they’ll send you a box with some products to try out – completely free. The boxes usually have a theme, and once you test out the items you’ll be able to unlock badges for tweeting, reviewing or otherwise promoting the brands included in the box. Some of the requested acts to unlock the badges are a lot (like review a sample size product in a youtube video) which in my opinion isn’t worth the effort. Others are simple tweets or facebook posts, and it’s up to you what actions you choose to do and which ones you choose not to. The only true requirements are that you let them know when your box has arrived and that you take a survey at the end. Though I assume that doing the tasks like tweeting or making a youtube video will help your chances of being accepted for future boxes.

Influenster Bella voxbox review

Anyway, my Bella VoxBox had six physical items in it, plus two electric offers or coupons.

EcoTools Perk influenster voxbox

The EcoTools Complexion Collection mattifying finish brush has a suggested value of $8.99. It can be used with loose or fresh powder and the bristles are made with cruelty-free fibers. The aluminum that attaches the brush-head to the bamboo handle is made out of recycled aluminum.

InfluensterDove

DOVE fruit are real fruit pieces that are covered in dark chocolate. We were sent the blueberry variety. I don’t like blueberries or chocolate (yeah I’m weird). Ryan likes blueberries and milk chocolate, but not usually dark chocolate. He really enjoyed them, though. They are also available in cranberry and cherry varieties. They have a suggested retail price of $1.88 to $2.69.

not your mother's style extender

I have used (and enjoyed) other Not Your Mother’s brand products so I was happy that my box included the Not Your Mother’s Deja Vu ‘Do Style Extender. It has a similar purpose to dry shampoo in that it lets you go longer between washes without your hair getting greasy or dirty. However, you use it after you wash your hair instead of once it starts getting greasy (which is when you would use dry shampoo). I haven’t tested this product yet but I plan to soon. I’ve always been an every-other-day hair washer but I have been considering dyeing my hair an unnatural color. The downside of using unnaturally colored hair dye is the color fades with each wash, so its’ recommended that you don’t wash more than once or twice a week. If I were to do that, I’d definitely need a style extender to prevent it from looking and feeling disgusting. The full size has a retail value of $9 but the box included a sample size.

Rimmel Lashes

Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara by kate moss, with a retail value of $6.99. It has a really unique broken-heart shaped brush that is designed to give voluminous lift to enhance your lashes without creating lumps. I haven’t tested this mascara yet.

rimmel lipstick

The second Rimmel product was the Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in 28 Rosetto which is also by Kate Moss. The color I was sent is VERY pink and is not a shade I would wear. However, it has a $5.49 suggested retail value and claims to last up to 8 hours.

Influenster sally hansen legs

The last physical item was Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. I have to confess that i’ve never used something like this before. It’s designed to give you gorgeous, healthy looking skin and is available in five shades to match any skintone. I was sent medium which is just a hair darker than my arms are right now, but significantly darker than my legs currently are. I decided to try it on my arms to see how it would blend and I was really happy with it. It didn’t feel greasy or oily, a tiny bit goes a LONG ways and it created a slightly-tanned look that wasn’t streaky so it’s better than any sunless-tanning products I have used (even though it wasn’t created for that purpose). Suggested retail value is $13.99.

The electronic offers included a physical coupon for $1.00 off any EcoTools brush, a $25 ebay gift card and a coupon for a bottle of wine from Club W. The $25 ebay gift card can only be “won” after you write two ebay guides which are basically two blog posts. The coupon for the bottle of wine is only good if you purchase two bottles (so basically buy one get one free).

Influenster Bella VoxBox review

Have you tried Influenster? Which product was your favorite?

 

Guide For Moving Into An Apartment Or Rental House

When you’re considering moving into an apartment or rental house, whether its your first apartment or if you’re a renting pro, there are several aspects of moving that you could consider. I’ve separated them into three main categories – budgeting, red flags and to-dos.

Apartment Guide: Tips and advice for moving into an apartment, dorm or rental house.

Budgeting:

Making sure that you can afford the apartment is important. Many budgeting experts suggest having your rent or mortgage payment be 30% or less of your monthly budget. So if your monthly take home pay is 3,000, you should look to find a place that is $1000 a month or less. However, this is just a general guideline, as your bills in combination with your rent will determine if you can really afford it or not. Seeing two apartments listed at the same price in a newspaper or on craigslist doesn’t mean they will both cost you the same out of pocket, as one might include your water bill, snow removal and garbage removal while the other does not. Of course, leaning on the cheaper side is always a safer bet.

Be sure to pay attention to whether or not the following bills/fees are included in your rent or not:

  • Heat
  • Electric
  • Snow removal
  • Lawn care/mowing
  • Water bill
  • Garbage removal
  • Recycling
  • Pet fees
  • Laundry (if there is laundry on-site, is it free or coin operated?)
  • Parking/Car port

To-dos and questions to ask:

  • Read the lease line-for-line. If you negotiate any terms, make sure that your landlord reprints (or at least writes the edit on your lease and signs it).
  • Is there a late fee if your rent is late? How much is it?
  • What appliances come with your apartment? If they break, will they be repaired or replaced for free or will that be your responsibility?
  • How long does the least last? After the lease period is over, will it switch to month-to-month or will you need to renew the lease?
  • What will happen if you need to break the lease before it is finished?
  • If your life situation changes such as you date someone new, can someone else move in later?
  • If you have a roommate or housemate, ask what will happen if one roommate leaves but the other does not.
  • Make sure have extra money saved up prior to moving. Most rentals require a deposit that is the same size as first months rent, plus the first months rent upfront. For example, if rent is $600, you’ll need $1200 to move in.
  • Also look into activation fees for utilities or other expenses such as internet, phone, etc.
  • Most landlords will give you a print off where you can write down any damage or imperfections that exist in the apartment before you move in. Be very diligent to include every scratch and ding that you see. Anything that you don’t write down could potentially be blamed on you and the cost of replacing or repairing that item can be kept form your deposit. If your landlord doesn’t give you one to fill out, make your own (two copies) and staple one to your copy of the lease and the second to your landlords copy of the lease.

Red flags

  • When touring the kitchen and bathroom, sniff near the toilet and sinks. If you can smell a mold or mildew smell there is likely a water problem.
  • When touring an apartment, keep an eye on the ceilings to see if there are any water stains/damage.
  • Sit and make a list of ALL of your monthly expenses and one-off expenses (such as Christmas, license renewal fees, etc). Having a budget that leaves you with $0 remaining is a red flag because unexpected expenses will pop up sooner or later. Make sure to set up your budget so that you have a certain amount of “left over” that you can put into savings each month to pad you against expenses.
  • If you have a roommate, have a conversation with them about how household chores or duties will be divided. Also discuss how finances will be divided. If this conversation is a struggle, it is probably a red flag that you don’t have good enough communication with this person to navigate living with them. Having a happy roommate relationship requires a high level of communication and negotiation.

What factors do you consider when moving into an apartment? If you’ve had negative experiences with apartments in the past, please share your experiences below so we can all benefit. Were there any red flags that you missed?

 

 

$17 for 26 Dog Chews – Petflow.com Haul & Review

*There is an affiliate link in this blog post.

When I adopted my two pugs about two years ago, they were used to getting rawhide chews. I researched online and quickly learned that rawhide chews are dangerous for dogs because they aren’t easy for dogs to digest. If dogs don’t chew their rawhide into tiny pieces before swallowing, the larger pieces can cause blockages in their digestive track and require surgery. So, I started researching alternatives. You can see my Types Of Dog Chews Comparrison blog post on my other blog to see all the types we’ve tried.

One of my favorite places to order chews from is Petflow.com. Local pet stores and supermarkets charge an arm and a leg for chews – My local meijer charges $7 and change for two SUPER skinny bully sticks – that my dogs would consume in 20 minutes or less.

Petflow.com always has 6″ bully sticks for .99, sometimes from more than one brand. They also often run cheap deals on chews to get you to try them – I’ve even gotten chews for just .01 each in the past, though those super-bargains are usually limited to two or three per household.

I recently placed a Petflow order and thought I’d share with you guys the details of what we got.

PetFlow.com Shopping Haul - $17 for 26 long lasting dog chews (a bone, ears and bully sticks) including the cost of shipping! Plus coupon for $10 off a $40 order.

Petflow requires that your order is $17 or more, which is the biggest downside to the site. Shipping is usually 4.95 but at least a couple of times per month they offer free shipping on all orders. On Easter they offered free shipping so I ordered just above the $17 minimum and got free shipping.

My order included:

Petflow $17 haul including 26 dog chews!

20 Bingo Free Range Buffalo Ears for Dogs  at .59 each, total = 11.80

Bingo Smoked Buffalo Ears Dog Treats at .59 each = 1.18.

3 canine caviar Gourmet Natural Bully Sticks, .99 each = 2.97 total

Butchers Block Butcher Bone The Tail Wagger Dog Bone 1.49 

Total order: 17.44 with free shipping.

 

Petflow .59 free range buffalo ears

 

petflow cheap buffalo ears

 

petflow BIG cheap buffalo ears

The original buffalo ears are really thin on the 3 main edges (though thicker on the portion where it would connect to the head) but REALLY big – bigger than my hand. I had ordered these before and was happy with how long they last my dogs (30+ minutes of chewing) for the price.

Bingo Smoked Buffalo Ears Dog Treats Bingo Smoked Buffalo Ears Dog Treats thickness

I expected the smoked buffalo ears to basically be the same but with a smoked flavor. I was surprised that they are quite a bit thicker (though roughly the same size). They seem to be “puffed” a little, they kind of reminded me of the puffed pig ears that Merrick offers in their chew variety bags, except thinner.

canine caviar bully sticks .99 petflowcanine caviar bully sticks thickness

I had ordered the .99 bully sticks from Petflow before, and I loved how they were pretty stanard in thickness but they weren’t very stinky and my dogs didn’t get as excited about them as they do bully sticks in other brands. So this time I ordered 3 canine caviar bully sticks becuase they were .99 each. Two that we got were really similar in thickness to the non-branded petflow bully sticks, and the regular bestbullysticks.com bully sticks in thickness, but the third one was only about 1/2 as thick as the others. I hope that the thin one was just a fluke but it’s hard to know with a sample size of 3 bully sticks.

Butchers block rib bone 8-10 inches tail wagger

I also ordered a rib bone that was 1.49. My dogs recently have taken to bones where in the past they’d chew the meat/marrow off and then would show no interest. The reviews said the rib bones were really meaty so I decided to give them a try. I haven’t given the bone to my dogs yet but it does have a lot of meat/skin on the outside so even if it only lasts for a single chew session it won’t be a bad deal at $1.50.

If you decide to give Petflow a try please click on my link here before you order. If your first order is $40 or more, this link will give you $10 off your order AND it will give me a $10 credit to use the next time I place an order, so we both benefit.

Gift Guide: Pug Lover Gift Ideas

Gift guide: pug lover gift ideas

If you know a pug lover (or even someone with a pug obsession) there are tons of unique pug-themed gifts out there, if you know how to search them out. I am pug obsessed myself so I’ve been keeping track of pug stuff that I want to someday own and decided I’d compile a list of gift ideas for anyone out there who might need some gift ideas for pug lovers.

Pug mug

1. Spinning Hat Pug Tea and Coffee Mug

pug knee high socks

2. Knee high pug socks

pug mom car decal

3. Pug Mom Vinyl Window Decal Dog Sticker

pug mini figurine

4. Schleich Male Pug Toy Figure
pug slippers

5. Pug Slippers

pug sculpture

6. Pug garden sculpture
adjustable pug bracelet

7. Pug Adjustable Wire Bangle Bracelet

pug backpack

8. Adorable Pug Puppy Canvas Backpack
pug birthday hat earrings

9. Pug birthday hat earrings

personalized pug wall art

10. Personalized pug wall art

Pug yoga pants

11. Pug yoga pants

personalized pug mug

12. Personalized pug mug

personalized pug keychain

13. Personalized pug keychain

pug wallet

14. Pug wallet 

pug neck heating pad

15. Neck heating pad in pug print

Are you a pug lover? What items are on your wish list?

Geneticist Diagnosis For Ehlers Danlos Syndrome – What To Expect

Think you may have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS)? Click through to find out what to expect at your geneticist diagnosis appointment

A few years ago I heard that my half-sister had been diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Snydrome, which is a genetic condition. She believed that it came from our father’s side of the family instead of her mother’s. I did a quick google search and saw that it included symptoms that I had such as “double jointed” fingers and stretchy skin.

I wondered if it was possible that I had the condition, but I was healthy overall and my stretchy skin and “double jointed” hands didn’t cause me any problems so I didn’t seek out a diagnosis.

Back in October I had two tonic clonic seizures (previously called grand mal) and since then I’ve had a handful of different doctors and have been asked more questions about my health than ever before. At some point it was brought up that my sister has been diagnosed with Ehlers danlos syndrome (EDS) and that I showed symptoms. My primary care doctor said she had heard of EDS but couldn’t recall the details of it offhand so she had me set up an appointment for a few days later so she could research it.

When I went in for that appointment she had me run through the Beightson scale test and she thought I was an 8 out of 9 so she referred me to a geneticist at the university of Michigan in Ann Arbor. My appointment was with Dr. Stern.

I had no idea what to expect from the EDS geneticist appointment. I read online that it would mainly be about diagnosing me and not treating. I was mailed a big questionnaire packet that asked about my health history and details about my family members’ health conditions as well.

 

During my appointment with Dr Stern he started off by showing me a family tree that included health conditions that I listed for each member. He mainly had me verify that everything listed was accurate and he asked a few questions as well. For example, my grandma had cervical cancer and lung cancer and he was curious if the lung cancer resulted after the cervical cancer or if they were separate from each other. He asked if I knew details about the type of EDS that my sister had (I didn’t really know anything other than she was diagnosed with EDS by a geneticist).

After we went over the family details he asked me about my own health history including asking about my pain level, whether I had experienced dislocations or subluxations, how my body handles bruises and scaring.

Once that was over he gave me a hospital gown to put on. When he came back into the room he thumped around on my back, felt my chest, looked over my legs, teeth, mouth and tongue. He turned the lights off and looked into my eyes with a light. He gave me a blanket to put over my legs, and then asked me to raise the hospital gown up under my chest to bare my stomach while he pushed on various spots. Then he went through the beighton scale “test” with me – having me bend back each pinky, put each thumb to my wrist, hold my arms out straight, stand up (to check my knees) and then he had me bend over and touch the floor with my hands flat on the floor. When I bent over he also checked my back for signs of scoliosis.

Once he was finished he had me change back into my regular clothes. When he came back in he explained that I scored a 5/9 (one point for each pinky, one for each thumb and one for putting my hands flat on the ground without bending my knees). Based on the 5/9 score he said he believed I had EDS and because I didn’t show any signs of classical or vascular types that he felt it was type 3 or hypermobile type.

He gave me some papers with recommended books and websites to check out with more information about EDS and the appointment was over.

I didn’t get any referrals or recommended for any additional testing, though I’ve read that most people are told to have heart-related tests done. Most days I am pain free which is rare for EDS so I assume that is the main reason why I wasn’t referred elsewhere.

I’m sure other geneticists may do things slightly differently, and Dr Stern may have had me do other things if I had other symptoms, but I thought I would share my experience because I wanted to know what to expect at my EDS geneticist appointment before I went and wasn’t able to find very many detailed experiences on the net.

If you’ve seen a geneticist for EDS testing let me know in the comments below how yours was similar or different from my visit.

 

How Much Work Is A Pet Hedgehog?

If you are considering getting a hedgehog it’s important to know how much work hedgehogs are and what their day-to-day care needs are. There are several items mentioned below that you may be unfamiliar with. If that’s the case, I recommend checking out my Must Have Products For Pet Hedgehogs blog post first.

Are hedgehogs low maintenence pets? How to care for a pet hedgehog - including tasks that need to be done daily, weekly or monthly.

Daily needs:

1. Feed & water & clean water & food dishes.

2. Hold for at least 20 minutes (to keep them friendly with you and humans in general).

3. Check cage temperature to make sure thermometer and heater are working properly.

4. Many hedgehog owners recommend weighing your hedgehog daily. Watching their weight will let you know if your hedgehog is losing which is usually the first symptom of an illness.

Every few  (2-4 days) days:

1. Clean cage (replace pee-pad or cage liner, lean litter pan if litter trained, wipe down wheel).

2. Put cuddlesack/bed through washer and dryer.

As needed:

1. Give your hedgehog a bath. I did this about every 4 weeks when my hedgehog was a baby but after he hit puberty he got a lot stinkier so I would bathe him more like every 2 weeks.  I did this by filling a bathroom or kitchen sink, putting a hand towel or thick dishcloth on the bottom (so he could walk without slipping around) and then dropping a little bit of Aveeno oatmeal body wash into the water to moisturize him a little bit and prevent his skin from getting dried out.

2. Take your hedgehog to the vet anytime he’s acting lethargic, not eating or otherwise behaving oddly.

Do you have a pet hedgehog? Does it require more or less care than you originally anticipated? 

 

Saving Money On Dog Ownership & Care

*There are affiliate links in this blog post.

If you’re working on living on a budget, paying off debt or living a frugal lifestyle it’s unlikely that your dog care costs will come to mind early on when thinking about your budget. I know that I spoil my dogs more than some families, but I didn’t realize how much the costs really add up until I sat down and wrote it all down – and that’s with neither of my dogs needing surgery or having an injury in the almost-2 years that i’ve had them.

Budgeting tips for saving money on dog ownership and care

We’re really trying to pinch pennies to pay off some debt and I’ve come up with several ways to cut back on the amount of money I spend on my dogs without reducing their quality of life.

How to save money on dog ownership and care:

1. Buying “chews” or bones online instead of in-store. Bully sticks at my local supermarket are $7 for a pack of two and they are literally as thin as a pencil! At Petflow.com they the bully sticks are easily twice as thick and are just $.99 each. I order trachea, pig ears, etc online as well and save at least 50% over petstore or supermarket costs.

2. Buy a used dog crate. I browse Craigslist and facebook groups for buying/selling items in my local town and county regularly and see even extra-large size dog crates for under $50 in like-new condition.

3. Buy a personalized collar instead of a collar and a tag. I love my pugs’ collars from HotDogCollars – they were about $13 each and they include their names and my phone number so I don’t need to pay for an ID tag.

4. Buy dog toys based on online reviews. Whenever I purchase a random dog toy from a pet store or supermarket, my dogs shred it to pieces in just a few rounds of play. When I shop on amazon or other online stores I look for toys that have higher overall ratings and read reviews to make sure people are saying it was a long-lasting toy. While supermarket plush dog toys may only cost $3, I have purchased plush toys in the $5-$8 range on Amazon that have lasted 6+ months so its a better deal in the long run.

5. Once you’ve found a high quality pet food that you & your dog are happy with, buy the bigger bags. Buying a 40 or 50lb bag costs you less per pound than the smaller bags.

6. Measure your dogs food. If you read online articles about dog care, it may seem obvious to you that you would measure your dogs food out each day. Yet, most people I know just leave a full bowl out for their dog(s) at all times. Most people recommend limiting portion size to prevent obesity in your dog but it has the added benefit of saving you money if your dog isn’t overeating.

7. Trim your dogs nails at home. Dog nail trimmers can be purchased for $8-$9 or you can pick up a Dog Nail Dremelfor around $25. My vet charges us $15 per dog to trim their nails so even with a dremel you save money on a single visit if you have two dogs.

8. Follow dog blogs and enter giveaways. Dog blogs regularly have giveaways for treats, toys or even pet store gift cards. Last summer I won a $100 pet store gift card that bought me two 40lb bags of my dogs food with a little left over so we didn’t have to pay for food out of pocket for about 4 months. Score!

9. Use a piece or two of kibble as a treat. When I adopted my pugs it was obvious from how excited they got upon coming inside from going potty that they were used to getting a treat each time. I quickly learned to break treats in half to make them go farther (and to reduce the amount of calories the pups were getting via treats each day). However, I later realized that if I hold a single piece of kibble, my dogs get REALLY excited for it just like it was a treat. So we now give them a piece of kibble upon coming inside and they don’t seem disappointed at all. Much cheaper than buying dog treats!

10. Have an “emergency” fund savings. If you’re trying to live on a budget it’s great to have an emergency cost for any unexpected costs. If you have a pet, you should increase your emergency fund a little bit more than non-pet owners because you have the added risk of a pet getting hurt, needing surgery, etc. My local 24 hour emergency vet hospital charges $300 as a flat fee per appointment and it of course goes up from there based on any scans, tests, etc.

Do you have any other tricks for saving money on pet care? I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

 

Must-Have Products For Your Pet Hedgehog

*There are affiliate links in this blog post.

Do you want a pygmy hedgehog? Here are 10 items you NEED to have before you bring your pet hedgie home!

Hedgehogs are a fairly low-maintenance pet. However, if you’re getting a hedgehog for the first time you’ll need to acquire a few things before bringing home your new hedgehog friend.

hedgehog cage size

1. A cage that is at least 18″ by 24″ in size. Yes, this seems large compared to how small hedgehogs are. The reason they need a large cage is to make room for the items below and to give them room to walk around. In nature, hedgehogs travel a large distance each day so putting them in a tiny cage would be unnatural for their exercise needs and unhealthy for them. Henry had the Super Pet My First Home in size large which is currently $42.95 on Amazon.

hedgehog exercise wheel
2. An exercise wheel. As I mentioned above, hedgehogs are used to traveling a large distance on a daily basis. As a result, an exercise wheel is an absolute must for hedgies. I had a hamster with a wheel as a child and only saw it run on the wheel once. My hedgehog ran on his wheel every single day – for several hours straight. A wheel with a 11″ or greater diameter is recommended (smaller wheels will cause your hedgies back to bend backwards when they run which isn’t healthy for their spine). If the cage isn’t in a bedroom, a wheel with a solid surface is best (such as the Kaytee 12-Inch Giant Silent Spinner Exercise Wheel is best). Despite its “silent spinner” name I found this wheel to be EXTREMELY loud – I couldn’t sleep with Henry running on his silent spinner in another room. So I eventually switched to the Super Pet Run-Around Giant Exercise Wheel, 11-Inch) instead. This wheel was truly silent but it isn’t as safe for hedgehogs because it has tiny holes in it that they can catch their nails/feet in and get hurt. Henry used it for 4 years without an issue but it’s a risk.

3. Food dish. Of course, your hedgehog will need a bowl to hold his food in. Even as a full grown hedgehog, their mouth will only be slightly more than an inch from the bottom of the cage so it needs to be very shallow. My hedgehog liked to push lightweight items around his cage and would spill his food all out with the first few food dishes that we purchased. So we tried a few bowls without much success until I was throwing out a scentsy warmer and realized the top of it was very shallow but VERY heavy. So I cleaned it thoroughly and then used it as a food dish which was perfect. Of course, most people don’t have a scentsy warmer top laying around so I would recommend going to a pet store and picking up a variety of hamster, mice, rat or guinea pig food dishes and buying the heaviest one you can find.

hedgehog heavy water dish solution - no more spilling their water everyday!

4. Water dish or bottle. Some people like to use water bottles (similar to a hamster or rabbit water bottle) for hedgehogs. My hedgehog would chew on the edge so I quickly got rid of it. Hedgehogs do NOT have an endless ‘supply’ of teeth so if they break or lose their teeth they will not regrow so its important to prevent your hedgehog from damaging his teeth. Like the food dish problem, I tried several varieties before finally finding the Petmate Pet Cafe Pet Waterer in the 1/4 gallon size wich is a gravity waterer like you often see for cats or dogs but it only holds 1/4 of a gallon of water so its small enough to fit in a hedgehog cage. The bowl portion is shallow enough for hedgehogs to reach. The 1/4 galon of water is heavy enough to hold it into place. See my full Petmate Cafe Waterer review for more info.

hedgehog cage lined with dog pee pads

5. Liner, pee pads or bedding. To keep the cage clean you’ll need some sort of protection for the bottom of your hedgehog’s cage. Some people use wood shavings (like hamster bedding) but it’s important to avoid brands that are dusty because hedgehogs have sensitive lungs. It’s also important to avoid cedar-based shavings because cedar shavings contain toxins that are bad for hedgehogs. Most people I see on hedgehog forums use fleece liners which are sewn rectangles of fleece that are made to the cage size. Most people buy a couple and then rotate them when the other is in the wash. These can be found on Etsy or handmade (Be sure to check for any loose strings before putting in the cage to prevent a foot getting tangled in the strings. I personally opted to use doggy pee pads. Some people warn against these because some hedgehogs will try to chew/eat the pads which isn’t safe. In the 3.5 years that I had my hedgehog before he passed, he never once tried to chew the pads but it’s something to be aware of.

6. Food. Hedgehogs can eat cat food but only certain varieties. It’s important to research which cat food varieties have been approved for hedgehogs. We used Blue BuffaloWeight Control Dry Cat Food. The 3lb bag is around $12 at my local pet store and lasted over 6 months (maybe closer to 8?) per bag.

7.  A moisturizing lotion or body wash with oatmeal. Several months after getting my hegehog, he started scratching CONSTANTLY. My first worry was that he had fleas or mites or something, but I quickly learned that he simply had dry skin (it was winter). To prevent dry skin in hedgehogs, use a natural oatmeal-based mositurizer in their bath water. I saw Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion recommended in hedgehog forums so that’s what I used. I put it in the water itself instead of directly on him and it stopped the itching.

8. Ceramic heat emitter. Pet hedgehogs are not designed for typical US climates. They are comfortable at temperatures much higher than we are and they can try to hibernate if left at a typical room temperature of 68-72 degrees. To keep them warm you’ll need a heat emitter that does not shine light (they are nocturnal and need the darkness) but instead just produces heat. Ideal cage temperature for a hedgehog is about 75-80 degrees. We used the Zoo Med Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter 100 Watts.

9. Thermometer and Thermostat for the heat lamp. Hedgehogs can overheat if their cage reaches roughly 82 degrees or higher. To prevent the heat lamp from letting the cage get too hot, you’ll need a thermometer such as the Zoo Med Digital Terrarium Thermometer to keep track of the cage’s temperature. You’ll also need a thermostat such as the Zoo Med ReptiTemp 500R Remote Sensor Thermostat to regulate the heat emitter with.

hedgehog in a tiny tent

10. A bed or igloo. Hedgehogs are nocturnal and they sleep a lot. They will want to cover up and hide to go to sleep so they need somewhere to hide. Many hedgehog owners use a plastic igloo such as the Kaytee Guinea Pig Igloo Hide-Out, Large for their hedgehogs. I tried an igloo at first but my hedgehog would try to crawl under his cage liner to sleep instead. So next I tried an etsy cuddle sack which is just a sewn fleece ‘bag’. My hedgehog wasn’t smart enough to use his nose to seperate the two layers of fleece and crawl inside. Next I fell in love with the hedgehog tents from Laurel’s Zoo because they were super adorable. My hedgehog would go inside while awake sometimes, but wouldn’t sleep in it. I think it was because it felt too exposed as a result of the opening. So I went back to Laurel’s Zoo on etsy for her stay-open sleepsacks and thos ewere a huge hit. I wound up with two fleece sacks and one cotton one and my hedgehog always preferred the fleece ones. I am not sure if this was because of the fabric or if it was because the fleece sack would stay 100% open and untangled, where as the cotton one would occasionally have the two layers of fabric catch on each other where I would have to put my hand inside to straighten it back out. Either way, I highly recommend the Laurel’s Zoo sleep sacks as we used ours for 2+ years before my hedgehog passed away so it was washed dozens of times but held up great. See my full Laurel’s Zoo review for more info.