Shop Safely with Curbside Pickup for Father’s Day Gifts and Pet Supplies

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We all know that shopping online is the safest way to maintain social distancing during the current coronavirus outbreak, but that isn’t always possible. Maybe your dog’s brand of pet food is sold out online or there is a shipping delay. Or perhaps you just want to pick up some last minute birthday gifts or supplies for your favorite fur kid. And if you’ve waited til now to shop for Father’s Day gifts, then this is also a great solution.

Whatever the reason, the next best thing to online shopping for pet supplies and gifts right now is curbside-pickup. That’s where you order online from a local store near you and then go pick it up when you receive the email or text that lets you know your order is ready. When you arrive, you stay in your car and just pop the trunk while someone from the store brings your order out to you. It allows you to safely get what you need the same day as you order. It also helps keep store employees safer as well by reducing the amount of people inside the store, and you can take your dog for a car ride as a bonus!

Two really easy shopping options for curbside pickup are Petco and Target.

Here’s the scoop + current deals:

  • Use this link for Petco to order online for Curbside Pickup and get 10% OFF your order.
  • (photo note: we recommend dogs only ride in back seat for safety of pets and people)

Tips for Online Shopping During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Even savvy shoppers might be struggling with shopping for essential items during the current Coronavirus situation. Supplies are running low. Some products are difficult or impossible to find, making it very frustrating for many of us. With social distancing and the recommendation to stay home when possible, online shopping is the first line of defense for reducing the hassle and risks of going to the store in search of groceries and important household items.

Since I usually do most of our shopping online and will continue as we head into hurricane season, I thought I’d share some helpful tips and tricks for online shopping during the coronavirus outbreak. Many of these tips are applicable all the time, not just during a pandemic!

These are my observations and recommendations based on my own experiences–your mileage may vary. Also, buying a few extra is okay, but please do not hoard or stockpile beyond a reasonable supply for your family. This could lead to even more shortages for everyone.

Why shopping online is better during Coronavirus

Although it may not always be possible to shop from home, it’s the safer option because it minimizes your exposure to people, air and surfaces that may be contagious or spread the virus. If you must shop in person, just be safe and follow all the recommendations from the experts as well as any local orders. #masksforall has some very helpful information about wearing masks for safety during the coronavirus outbreak. Keep in mind that many places we usually shop are closed or have limited hours and lines to get in, so sometimes online shopping is the only option.

Besides the safety factor, shopping online from home makes it easier to know what’s in stock and what sold out by searching many stores without the hassles and frustrations of wasting time and gas hunting for what you need. It’s also easier to compare prices and to buy large quantities without having to lug them home yourself. It also makes it easier to be organized and thoughtful about what you’re buying. Many friends have said that going into stores, seeing empty shelves and people with full carts, has led to panic buying things they didn’t originally intend to buy. Avoid all that when you can and just shop from home when practical.

If you do need stuff ASAP, you can often order online and use curbside picking so you don’t have to leave your car. Petco.com and Target.com both have this feature on their websites, as do many major retailers.

Tips for safe online shopping during any disaster or emergency

Avoid fraud and scams by using reputable websites that you know and trust or that friends and family have used themselves. Look for the padlock on the left in the address bar of the browser window because that means that the website you’re shopping on is using secure encryption methods. Try to always use a credit card instead of a debit card or other payment methods for extra protection in case you have to dispute a charge later.

Be skeptical and cautious of emails that you receive or ads that you see on social media. Identity theft is always an increased concern during an uncertain time like this.  Even when shopping on big sites like Amazon or Walmart, it’s important to look and make sure you’re buying directly from the website itself because many allow 3rd party sellers who can charge whatever they want, and there’s no real way to know the quality or whether the products they are selling are even authentic. Price gouging and the selling of inferior and counterfeit products are on the rise during any crisis, so just be aware of who you are buying from and what you’re buying.

Tips for meeting minimum requirements for free shipping

Most sites offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount. It is always better to buy a few extra items than to pay for shipping. Before shopping online, make a list of all the items you want to stock up on or that your family uses on a regular basis. These items can be used to add to cart to meet the minimum required for free shipping even if you hadn’t originally intended to buy them this time. Certain popular products like hand sanitizer and toilet paper may have a limit on the quantity you can purchase ,making it harder to meet the free shipping minimum.

This is when it really comes in handy to have some ideas of everyday items that you’ll use written down ahead of time so that you can fill your cart with smart purchases and avoid paying shipping charges. Some examples of great filler items include aluminum foil, condiments like mayo, ketchup, mustard, pantry items like salt, sugar, flour, light bulbs, batteries, dog treats, laundry detergent, dish soap, dryer sheets, Q-tips, deodorant, contact lens solution, make up removing wipes. Basically anything that you use on a regular basis makes a great filler item to raise your cart’s total to qualify for free shipping, if you need to add something to get there. Some sites also offer promo codes for free shipping, so look for those on Google if you don’t want to spend the minimum.

Tips for finding popular and scarce items

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This Hot Car Sunshade Could Save a Dog’s Life

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UPDATE: This Sunshade for dog lovers is currently unavailable. I’ll post a new link when it’s for sale again!

By now, everyone should know never to leave a dog in the car even if it doesn’t seem that hot out. You can help spread the word to those who are still uninformed, and maybe help save a dog’s life!

This Hot Car Sunshade from Animal Legal Defense Fund would make a cool Father’s Day gift, and right now when you buy one for $20 you get one FREE!

Keep your car cool while making a bold statement. You can protect dogs from the dangers of hot cars by displaying this message wherever you park.

The text warns anyone in view that leaving a dog in a hot car can be deadly, and urges anyone who sees a trapped dog to call 911.

Fits almost any windshield. FREE US shipping.

 

July 1st is ID Your Pet Day + More Summer Pet Safety Tips

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July 4th is just around the corner, and we wanted to remind pet parents that more time spent outdoors poses an added risk of pets escaping or getting lost. July 1st is ID Your Pet Day, which is timely since more pets go missing due to fireworks during the 4th of July celebrations than during any other time of the year.

ASPCA has provided us with some key safety tips to help you safeguard your pet this summer.

Samsung SmartCam HD Pro Review #SmartCamWoof #Giveaway

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Pet parents know that the fur kids are part of the family, so when you’re at work or away and they’re home alone, you naturally want to check up on them. We’ve been testing out the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro, which allows pets and their people to stay connected.

It’s got super easy setup and a free app for Android or iOS, that lets you monitor your home and pets from any location. Advanced features for keeping an eye on your furry friends include 128 degree ultra-wide angle security coverage, 1080p full HD live video streaming, advanced motion detection, night vision and more.

With all these features, Samsung has really covered what most people need in a home WiFi camera. The price is nice, at $159, with lots of customer reviews and ratings at both BestBuy.com and Amazon. We love the two-way talk feature, although Daisy hasn’t figured out how to talk back yet! You can also use it to check-in with your human kiddos after school.

Everything you need is in the box, and I was able to get the camera up and running in about 10 minutes (it did a software security update once I connected it to WiFi). If you want, you can also get a 64GB Micro SD Memory Card which will allow you to record your video locally for long-term storage. You do need to have an existing home WiFi network set up already, which I’m guessing most of you do.

The SmartCam HD Pro also works with Samsung SmartThings and with other devices including the Amazon Echo. We got ourselves an Echo for Christmas and are loving it, but haven’t utilized it’s full capabilities yet. Anyway, here’s what’s in the box…totally not scary, and super easy to run the wireless setup using the app and your smartphone!

Samsung SmartCam HD Pro Giveaway

Because we want you to stay connected to your fur kids too, we’re giving our readers the chance to WIN a Samsung SmartCam HD Pro WiFi Camera. The giveaway is open to US residents , age 18+ and ends at 11:59pm ET on 2/28/17. Enter using the Rafflecopter contest widget below to record your entries. There are plenty of ways to enter, so do them all or just choose the ones you like. All entries will be verified. Good luck everybody!

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