Top 10 Pain Medications for Dogs

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Have you been looking for the answer to: “Can I give my dog pain medicine?” or “What kind of pain medicine can I give my dog?” Well, look no further. We’ve spent countless hours researching the top 10 pain medications for dogs in order to help dog owners everywhere. Nothing breaks a pet parent’s heart more than seeing their fur baby in pain. Pain can stop your dog in its tracks, keeping them from enjoying the activities they love the most. Help your dog feel better faster with these pain medicines.

Note: The advice in this blog should not be substituted for the sound medical advice of a veterinarian. If you notice that your dog is in pain and you’re unsure of the cause, call your vet as soon as possible so that they can determine the seriousness of the ailment.  Avoid long term use of pain medication unless otherwise instructed to do so by your veterinarian. While medicating your dog, closely monitor their behavior and health and call your vet if your dog isn’t improving.

Top 10 Pain Medications for Dogs

tabl of contents of top 10 pain medications for dogs

1. Vet’s Best Aches + Pains
According to the label, this medication is formulated to relieve “discomfort associated with regular exercise and normal activity.” The active ingredients include glucosamine, bromelain, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), white willow bark extract, and yucca root, which are great anti-inflammatories that promote joint health. A 50-count bottle is available for $6.79 on Amazon.

Vet's Best Aches + Pains

2. Nutramax Cosequin DS Maximum Strength
Cosequin DS is one of the highest rated and reviewed joint health medications on the market. In fact, it’s the #1 veterinarian recommended retail joint health supplement brand. It helps with dogs who suffer from arthritis or joint pain due to age or weight. If your dog doesn’t like taking pills, then you’re in luck because it’s also available in a soft chew. A 132-count bottle is available for $34.95 on Amazon.

Cosequin DS dog pain medicine

3. Nutri-Vet® K-9 Aspirin
According to its label, Nutri-Vet K-9 aspirin is for the “temporary relief of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and joint problems.” The aspirin is available in 300 mg tablets for medium and large dogs and 120 mg tablets for small dogs. The active ingredient is aspirin. A 75-count, 300 mg bottle retails for $11.49 on Amazon.

NutriVet Aspirin for dog pain

4. Amazing Turmeric for Dogs Curcumin Pet Antioxidant
In case it wasn’t obvious by the title, the active ingredient in this medication is turmeric. Curcumin, which is the primary compound in turmeric, is known for being a potent anti-inflammatory. Its low risk for side effects and hypoallergenic composition make it a great option for dogs prone to allergies. Turmeric Chews is available on Amazon for $21.97.

Turmeric dog pain medication

5. VETiONX Promaxol
According to VetiONX, this “fuss-free liquid formula can be added undetected to your pet’s water.” This is a plus if your dog is a picky eater or trickster when it comes to taking medications. A bottle of Promaxol retails for $39.00 on Amazon.

liquid dog pain medication

6. Ricky Litchfield Topical Gel
Named after the World War II canine war hero, this gel works to relieve hotspot, arthritis, and muscle pain through its use of buchu oil. Buchu oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, making it an ideal ingredient for pain relief. Ricky Litchfield Topical Gel is available for $19.95.

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7. Excel Aspirin for Dogs
According to the label, Excel Aspirin for Dogs “relieves minor aches and pains and inflammation associated with arthritis and joint problems.” The enteric coated pills make it easy on your dog’s digestive system, helping to prevent ulcers. Excel aspirin is available for $5.68 on Amazon.

dog aspirin

8. K9 Nature Supplements Nature’s Aches Away
These soft chews are formulated with fish oil, cat’s claw root extract, willow bark extract, and other natural ingredients. The three active ingredients are known to relieve joint pain and arthritis. These chews are an excellent choice if you want to give your dog all natural medicine. You can purchase Nature’s Aches Away for $29.77 on Amazon.

natural dog pain medication

9. NaturVet Senior Aches & Discomfort
This particular medication is engineered specifically for senior dogs. The glucosamine in the tablets works to naturally restore joint health by improving joint lubrication and anti-inflammation. Because it has rare side effects, glucosamine is a safer option for sick or sensitive pets. NaturVet Senior Aches and Discomfort is available for $10.75 on Amazon.

glucosamine as dog pain medication

10. Bayer Low Dose Aspirin, 81mg
Last, but not least, is plain old aspirin. As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the only human pain medicine that is safe to administer to your dog is baby aspirin, also known as a low dose aspirin. Even though low dose aspirin is safe for dogs, you should follow these guidelines to avoid over-medicating your pet. Bayer, the #1 bestseller in aspirin, is available for $10.87 on Amazon.

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Further Information
Knowing the cause of your dog’s pain can help when buying pain medication. The active ingredients in the medication are what’s most important and helpful in relieving discomfort. The most common active ingredients in dog pain medication are glucosamine, chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), turmeric, bromelain, and aspirin.

Glucosamine is naturally found in the body and when taken as a supplement appears as either a hydrochloride or sulfate. Glucosamine helps alleviate pain by improving the health of the cartilage found in your dog’s joints. Chondroitin is also found in the body naturally and is frequently paired with glucosamine in order to improve joint health and mobility. MSM is an anti-inflammatory used to treat arthritis and other joint inflammation. The sulfur found in MSM is a key component in the composition of joints, cartilage, and skin. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it ideal for dogs suffering from swelling and stiffness. Similarly, bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples that works against inflammation, especially in the sinus area, which makes it a good choice for dogs with seasonal allergies.

If you’re looking for something to treat a more generalized medication, you may want to consider aspirin but be extremely cautious when using low dose aspirin. Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat general pain caused by over exercise. The FDA has approved the following NSAIDs for use in treating dog pain: carprofen, deracoxib, firocoxib, and meloxicam. If you do choose to give your dog medication, we have some tips on how to give your dog medication.

Additional Help
Dealing with a sick pet is no fun, but you don’t have to standby and feel helpless while your dog languishes away in a corner. When used appropriately, pain medication can help your pup feel better faster. That way your little furballs can get back to chasing squirrels, jumping on the couch, doing other things they love. If you’re still not sure which pain medication is right for your dog, call TalkLocal and we’ll connect you with a veterinarian who can help.

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Top 10 Things to Make Prom Great

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Outside of graduation, prom is the most important event in a teenager’s life. If you’re trying to make your prom night iconic, you’ll need more than just a boutonniere or corsage. You need glitz, glamour, and sensibility. That description seems a little vague so in order to help make things easier, we’ve curated a list of our top ten favorite items to take your prom from good to great!

Top 10 Things to Make Prom Great

table of contents of top 10 things to buy for prom

1) Photo Props – I ‘mustache’ you a question: Are you ready to party? Have some fun at prom with these cool photo props. You can use them during your pre-prom photoshoot to capture your friends’ sillier sides. Keep the fun going by taking them along for the limo ride afterwards. You can buy a set on Amazon for under $10, including free two-day shipping with a Prime membership, as of May 10, 2016.

photo props


2) Glow Sticks – Light up the night with these cool glow stick necklaces and bracelets! These glow sticks can add a dramatic flare to your dance moves, making you the life of the party. This is especially true if you color coordinate the glow sticks to your clothing. Matching with your friends or date can be a good way for you all to find each other if you all get separated in the dark. Buy best-selling glow sticks for as low as $6.99 on Amazon with a Prime membership as of May 10, 2016.

glow sticks for prom


3) Strobe Light – Strobe lights are a necessity when it comes to the prom turn up. The party doesn’t have to start when you get to the dance; you can have your own mini pregame while getting ready with friends. This particular strobe light is small enough to easily carry, so you can bring it to the after party and keep the party going.  You can purchase best-selling strobe lights for as low as $8.98 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

strobe light


4) Portable Ballet Flats – Ladies, it is in your best interest to invest in a pair of foldable ballet flats that can fit into your clutch. While heels look great in pictures and give you that extra oomph you need to strut like a runway model, they do a number on the feet. Don’t spend the night in pain or worse – sitting on the sidelines. You can purchase foldable ballet flats for as low as $7.99 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

nude portable ballet flats


5) Glitter – Amp up your prom night with glitter! Sprinkle a little here and there to add a bit of sparkle to your night. Sprinkle a small amount on tables, corsages, boutonnieres, and anything else that may need some sparkle. Remember to be careful because a little goes a long way. Use too much and it’ll turn everything into a disco ball. Buy glitter for as low as $3.67 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

glitter for prom


6) Tissue Paper Decorations – How about some tissue paper pom poms to add a little romance to the ambiance? If you’re not interested in creating a romantic atmosphere, that’s okay. They also make a great background for those pre-prom photos, adding a bit of quirk and fun. You can also take them with you in the limo and play a lively game of keepaway. You can get a 10pc. set of these adorable pom poms for only $7.99 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

tissue paper pom poms


7) Group Shirts – Group t-shirts are an unsung hero and underutilized resource for prom night. Your group can wear the shirts during dinner to avoid staining dresses or tuxedo rentals before the dance. You all can also use them for the prom after party so you all can be comfortable while hardcore partying. It also makes it easier to find your friends in a crowd. You can buy funny t-shirts like this one for as low as $5.00 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

funny group shirt for prom


8) Polaroid Camera – “Shake it like a Polaroid picture!” Polaroid cameras are a great way to document prom night. Snap pictures with your favorite teachers and friends. You can use the photos to later make a scrapbook that you can bring with you to college. The Instax Mini is available for as low as $53.84 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.



9) Portable Bluetooth Speaker – Good speakers are a must for any party, especially prom. A small, portable speaker like this is perfect for a pregame, private dinner, or limo ride. You don’t want to rely on the driver or worse –  the radio to be your DJ; take control and come prepared with your own bluetooth-enabled speakers. You can buy portable speakers for as low as $4.10 on Amazon as of May 10, 2016.

portable bluetooth speaker


10) Selfie Stick – Nothing memorializes prom more than a group shot with your friends! Capture all of your favorite people in one frame with a selfie. It’s especially useful in documenting the epic dance battle that’s sure to happen at prom. You can purchases selfie sticks from Amazon for as low as $2.58 with Prime as of May 10, 2016.

black selfie stick


Additional Help

With these top 10 things to make prom great, you’re sure to have the night of your life at prom. Have more ideas about things that can make prom great? Leave them below in the comments. If you or your friends are still finalizing plans and need of a limo, call TalkLocal and we’ll connect you with a local limo rental company in no time.

The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or

What Finding Local Pros in a Small Town Is Like: 5 Common Problems

Monday, May 9th, 2016

By Dallea Caldwell 

As a city girl living in a small town world, I had to get used to a sad reality: the hipper the business, the sooner it goes under. Towns that are too small to draw crowds to trendy new places leave a trail of well-designed websites and hugely popular Facebook pages behind like empty shells washed ashore.

Once, I saw a sign advertising belly dancing. Belly dancing! Searched Facebook and saw a post only a week old promoting Thursday night lessons. I called and heard a voicemail greeting for the company. I showed up the very next Thursday only to loiter in front of an empty, locked door that would never open. I should have known that it was too cool to last.

Worse, even the essentials like available plumbers, handymen, and electricians are hard to find online. These are the 4 extremely frustrating problems I face whenever I look for a local pro online.

In a small town, business social media pages are ancient:

local pros facebook pages

In the city, social media might be a good place to find info on a company. But, you’re in the boonies. So, while it’s nice that Joe’s Mechanic did a great job  fixing someone’s brand new Model T Ford at the turn of the century, it takes current info to reassure you. Instead, you’re looking at a social media page that could easily be a time capsule to the early 90’s.

In a small town, a rave review is one that exists.

amazoncardAfter looking up business after business and seeing empty reviews, you promise yourself that when you finally book a pro, you will come back and post a review.  Funny how the same neighbors who join Neighborhood Watch to catch a robber, won’t leave a review when an inflated estimate robs them and soon, their neighbors.

In a small town, your heart isn’t the only thing broken when you visit that website you saw in a local directory.

local pros broken websitesSure, you live in a small town where small businesses aren’t even aware of half the places where they’re listed online. So, you don’t blame them for forgetting to update all 50 million online directories. But, boy…visiting a website or calling a number you found on a trusted online listing only to find it broken or disconnected really burns your biscuits.

But then, you finally find  guy and guess what:

local pros sorry we're booked

They’re booked, of course.

It seems like the handful of small town businesses that make themselves visible are always booked.

And why not? It’s not like they have any real competition. And you never know whether to assume other businesses simply don’t exist or that they’re in the witness protection program. Your town, after all, is the type of place they send you when they need you off the grid.

But finding local pros doesn’t have to be such a hassle, not even in a small town.

Luckily, I have my TalkLocal app. It scours the web to find an available pro, even if local businesses don’t have a “fancy-pants online presence like those big-shot city fellers!” Plus, it converts online searches to phone calls to area businesses; you know, for all of those old school pros who still think phones are more for talking. The national average for the time it takes TalkLocal to get consumers talking to the right, available local pro is about 4 minutes, that includes small towns like ours. TalkLocal, available at, is free to use and free for download on iPhone and Android. Check it out!

Feed Your Body Right: 7 Ways for 7 Days

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Feed Your Body Right: 7 Ways for 7 Days - Seva Call

If you haven’t been eating healthy this winter, we’ve got good news and bad news. First, the good news: it looks like you may have a few extra weeks to trim up the beach bod, assuming recent weather patterns are any indication. Now for the bad news: you haven’t been eating healthy and your body hates you, no matter what size it is. Fortunately, Mother Earth (in its infinite wisdom) has provided a plethora of ways to satisfy both your body and your taste buds. Here are 7 tasty treats that should be hitting your table and belly, so ten-hut!

1. Carrots

Bod boost: Carrots contain vitamin A which lowers blood pressure.

Belly bonus: Grated carrot salad with raisins, pineapple, and topped with yogurt is super delish.

2. Peanuts

Bod boost: Peanuts are a great source of protein.

Belly bonus: Homemade granola is a sweet crunch scoop of heaven. Check out this Honey Peanut Granola recipe.

3. Leafy Greens

Bod boost: A great source of fiber, vitamins/minerals, and helpful in heart disease and diabetes prevention.

Belly bonus: Try this Red and Green Lettuce with Cranberry Vinaigrette as a side to a healthy meal.

4. Raspberries:

Bod boost: Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Belly bonus: Just dump washed raspberries in a pitcher and fill with water. In three days, you’ll have a healthy punch that’s lower in sugar than most store-bought juice. Plus, it’s pretty; so use a glass pitcher!

5. Avocados:

Bod boost: Glutathione is an antioxidant that even slows the aging process.

Belly bonus: Avocados taste great sliced with olive oil, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil drizzled on top.

6. Snap Peas:

Bod boost: Super low-cal with folate for heart health and lowered cholesterol.

Belly bonus: Add a dollop of hummus for a healthy dose of flavor.

7. Whole Grain

Bod boost: Fiber-infused to fight digestion problems.

Belly bonus: Whole wheat crackers are a great choice for a light midday meal when paired with any meat or cheese.

The first step to looking good is feeling good. So, fill your body with what it needs to be its best. And, if you need help getting that fuel and kicking your fitness routine into overdrive, visit TalkLocal to talk to one of your local personal trainers.

How to Give a Prenatal Massage

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

how to give a prenatal massage

As a woman gets further along in her pregnancy, her body begins to change – increasing belly size, swelling of ankles and legs, sensitivity to smell, frequent bathroom visits, etc. Most women become increasingly uncomfortable as their due date approaches. A prenatal massage can relieve a great deal of the aches, pains, stresses, and anxieties associated with pregnancy. Before receiving a prenatal massage, here are some benefits, tips, warnings, and other information you should know.

Note: Because there is some risk involved in prenatal massages, you should consult with your doctor and/or midwife before scheduling a prenatal massage. This guide is solely intended for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for the advice of a trained medical professional. Use your own discretion when deciding to receive a prenatal massage.


A prenatal massage is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a massage specifically for pregnant women that helps relieve pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy. The most common massages and techniques used for prenatal massages include Swedish massages, reflexology, circulatory work, and cranial sacral therapy. One of the most popular massages, a Swedish massage, uses “smooth, long strokes and kneading to loosen any tension.” Reflexology focuses on the feet, hands, and ears. Other areas are affected when pressure is applied to certain spots on these particular body parts. Circulatory work is a combination of different massage techniques that focus on increasing the flow of blood within the body. Cranial sacral therapy focuses on massaging the skull and spinal column. A prenatal massage session usually lasts anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes and focuses on the upper body as well as the spinal column because of the added pressure and strain. Prenatal massage therapists usually choose not to focus on the legs, only doing light massages, because of the increased risk of blood clots.


Prenatal massages can improve both the mind and body. They can lower anxiety, stress hormones, swelling, sciatic nerve pain, headaches, and migraines. This is due to the fact that it increases “feel good” hormones, such as serotonin. Serotonin increases your mood, lowers your chance of depression, and lessens mood swings. Basically, it puts you in a better mood, which allows you to spend more time on time important things, such as preparing for the baby. A prenatal massage can also increase your blood oxygen level by 10-15%, strengthening the immune system. A strong immune system is important for both mommy and baby in the time leading up to and after birth. It also increases the circulation of lymphatic fluid, which in turn, reduces edema. After a massage session, many women experience decreased joint and back pain as well as reduced muscle tension, resulting in improved sleep. If you or someone you love has benefited from a prenatal massage, then comment and let us know.

How to Give a Prenatal Massage

The key to giving a prenatal massage is not to give a prenatal massage unless, of course, you’re a certified prenatal massage therapist. One thing that you can do is read and share the information in this blog with an expectant mother, so that she can decide whether or not she would like to receive a massage by a qualified individual. If she does decide to have a prenatal massage after consulting her doctor, you can offer to schedule, pay, and accompany her to the session.


1) Ensure that your massage therapist is a registered prenatal massage therapist. Ask them about their certification process, how much experience they have with prenatal massages, and if they’re up-to-date on the latest techniques and safety guidelines.

2) Do not consume a full meal or large beverage amount before your prenatal massage. Doing so may result in (even more) frequent trips to the restroom, disrupting the flow and atmosphere of the massage. With that said, go the restroom right before your appointment so you can have an empty bladder.

3) Although aromatherapy is a popular pastime for those looking to relax, it should be avoided during pregnancy. Inform your massage therapist ahead of time if certain scents trigger nausea. If you are especially sensitive to smell during pregnancy, it’s best to avoid aromatherapy altogether to prevent unnecessary discomfort.

4) If and when available, have a consultation with your massage therapist before your first visit. Inform them of how far along you are in your pregnancy, what your goals and expectations are for your session, and any allergies you may to lotions or oils. If your session is at a spa, ask for a small tour of the back so you can make sure you’re comfortable. If you’re having a private, at-home session, ask your therapist about the size and type of the table they use as well and if there are any special preparations you need to make.

5) Relax and enjoy your massage. After all, you have a tiny human growing inside of you; you deserve to be pampered.


1) Prenatal massages are not safe for women who are in their first trimester due to their increased risk of experiencing a miscarriage.

2) Do not lay flat on your back. Doing so causes your uterus and baby to put pressure on your vena cava – the primary vein that carries blood back to your heart – lowering your blood pressure.

3) Your session should not include a deep massage or strong pressure on the legs because of your increased blood volume and coagulants. This could cause a blood clot to loosen and travel to your heart, resulting in a life-threatening situation.

4) If you feel ill before your appointment, including experiencing nausea, vomiting, and/or morning sickness, call your massage therapist to cancel. You don’t want to aggravate your symptoms more with a massage.

5) If you feel pain or discomfort at any point during your prenatal massage session, tell your massage therapist immediately so they can stop and address the issue. Remember your massage should be comfortable and relaxing not painful and tense.


So the safest way for you to give a prenatal massage is for you to be a certified prenatal massage therapist, and since the majority of the world’s population doesn’t hold that title, the next best thing for you to do is to schedule a massage therapy session. Make sure you talk to the mom-to-be well in advance so that she has time to consult with her doctor before the appointment. When you’re ready, give TalkLocal a call and we’ll connect you with the right massage therapist, so you can get back to doing more important things, like preparing for baby.

Designing a Suave Bachelor Pad

Monday, April 25th, 2016

modern neutral bedroom in bachelor pad

Designing a Suave Bachelor Pad
Have you recently moved into your very own pad? You can turn your new apartment into a masculine oasis that looks high-end without breaking the bank to do so. Take these design tips into consideration when you’re planning out your new bachelor pad and transform your home into the space of your dreams.

Use Paint to Your Advantage
If you purchased your home, there’s no reason you shouldn’t paint your walls. Few things can change the entire atmosphere of a space like a fresh coat of paint. If you’re renting your bachelor pad, check with the landlord first. If they give the go ahead, you’re in the clear. If they say no, consider whether it’s worth it to take a hit in your security deposit so that you can make your space exactly the way you want it to. In most cases, it’s completely worth it. Call TalkLocal and within minutes we’ll connect you with a local pro that’s able to paint your new pad.

Think Modern
You may not have the bank account to throw a small fortune into your design, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your place look expensive, without it actually being, well, expensive. An easy way to do this is stick to modern décor options. Clean lines and modern materials combine for a high-end look your visitors will definitely be impressed by. Modern looks lend themselves to minimalism, which is great for guys looking to carve a clean, clear space that encompasses the best of the 21st century. If you’re unsure what can be categorized as modern, use websites dedicated to modern objects, gadgets, and decorations like One of the easiest ways to make an impression without going overboard? Statement art. Banksy-style pieces are sure to draw the eye, and minimalist paintings will give you an air of sophistication with ease. If you don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on a canvas painting, consider purchasing a few large art prints from Society6. You can hang up multiple or rotate through to keep your décor feeling lively all year long. One final note: make sure you frame it; this isn’t college and unframed posters have no business being taped or nailed to the wall.

Maintain Your Space
Keep your space clean. Nothing is less impressive than a space that’s cluttered with décor and littered with trash. If you can’t find the fortitude to clean up after yourself, invest in a cleaning service to come each week. Keeping a clean space is good for both your physical and mental health. Clutter leads to higher rates of stress and depression, so do yourself a favor and make the commitment to keeping your new pad looking its best. Besides, with a clean place, you’ll never have to worry about quickly picking up for an unexpected guest.

A Source of Entertainment
If you want your bachelor pad to be the go-to spot for the big game or Friday night get-togethers, make sure your entertainment center is up to par. If you’ve got some money to work with, an in-home theater system is the way to go. Complete with a Blu-ray player and speakers that you can hide throughout your living room for the biggest effect, your movies and music will come through with the best audio in the apartment complex (don’t be surprised if you get a few noise complaints). While you probably want to include a television, game consoles, and speaker systems in your space, one thing that will kill the look of your space is the presence of tangled cords. Install a concealing channel and thread your wires through, or use a BlueLounge Cable Box to get rid of unsightly brambles of cord. If you need help hanging and installing your latest gadgets, call TalkLocal for a local handyman.

An At-Home Bar
What could be more debonair than your very own personal bar? If you plan on doing any type of entertaining, it’s worth it to invest in some quality barware. From cocktail shakers to tumblers for your whiskey, you likely have many of the bar accoutrements you need already. One thing you might not have? A bar cart. Check out this simple but refined option from Room & Board. A little out of your price range? This version from Target is under a hundred dollars, and you can always spray paint it to make it match your home’s color scheme.

The Clauses Every Landlord Should Include on Their Lease

Thursday, April 21st, 2016


More and more Americans are choosing to rent instead of own, making for a competitive renter’s market that leaves landlords with the pick of the litter when it comes time to place a tenant. As you have more leeway in the selection process, make sure your lease is up to par with all the provisions you need to keep yourself and your personal assets safe. If you are drafting your first lease agreement, or just looking to make some smart additions, consider the following lease provisions that are often overlooked.

Renter’s Insurance
It’s becoming more and more commonplace to require renters to purchase their own individual insurance. Should any natural disasters or accidents happen, you may find yourself paying extensive deductible fees to cover repairs on damages. If your tenant were to have something like Allstate renter’s insurance, their coverage would likely cover the cost of your deductible. This provision is ideal for both renter and landlord, as both their personal possessions and your personal assets are covered in case the worst happens. Make sure you have a clear understanding of just what is covered under your tenant’s plan before signing off on the lease.

A Set Number of Tenants
This may seem obvious, but make sure you put a provision stipulating the exact number of people that can live in your home. You may find the perfect tenant, and realize months down the line their boyfriend or girlfriend and four kids have moved in. It’s a common occurrence, so make sure you stipulate verbally and in writing that only the signed tenants can reside in the home. Forgoing this important step means potentially allowing un-vetted individuals to live in your home.

Decide on Subleasing
If you don’t include a clause on subleasing, be fully prepared for your tenants to take advantage of the situation and look to make a little money off of your property. Most common in communities with college students who will leave for the summer months, subleasing can be an essential part of your rental agreement, but it comes with its fair share of challenges and potential consequences. The problem with unregulated subleasing is that it allows new tenants to reside in your home that haven’t been checked for criminal pasts or eviction histories. If you do decide to allow for subleasing, make sure you require your tenants to submit applications for the subleasees to be vetted through a service like MySmartMove. It will give your long-term tenants the flexibility they need, and ensure your home isn’t vulnerable to the damage of strangers you haven’t approved.

A Pest Provision
You might not have thought to put pest control on your lease, but it can be an important part of the rental process. If you have a pre-existing problem, laws require you to take care of it for the tenants. However, if poor hygiene or living habits on the part of your tenant is the main cause of pests, you don’t want to be responsible for paying for pest control and cleanup.

Charging a Late Fee
If you’re using a general template for your lease, you might not already have a clause including late fees based on rent checks that arrive late. Varying states and localities have different regulations in place about how much of a late fee you can charge, so be sure to check with legal counsel before you try to enforce this rule. Not only do you need to get your late fee charges in writing, but you also need to remain firm in your practice. Letting it slide once means letting it slide every time, and you need to remember that your rental property is a business, and your tenant is not your friend.

Whether you’re renting out your home for the first time or you’ve been a landlord for years, it’s always a good idea to review your lease provisions before allowing a tenant to reside within your personal property. Run through this checklist of clauses and ensure you lease protects you and your personal assets from the vulnerabilities that come along with being a landlord. If you find your current lease agreement less than sufficient, call TalkLocal and we’ll connect you with a lawyer that can help.

Unique, Affordable Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016


one of many unique, affordable ways to celebrate your anniversary

There’s never a bad time to be grateful for and celebrate the love you’ve found with another, and at no other time is it more important than on your anniversary. If you’re looking for ways that you and your special someone can celebrate six months, a year, or even 25 years together without breaking the budget, read on.

Channel Your Inner Ghost
No, I don’t mean you should get spooky. Think “Ghost” as in Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, the movie where they have a romantic (if supernatural) date over pottery clay. Head out on a date and get in the artistic state of mind with a pottery throwing class or go to a ceramics studio like Color Me Mine and paint some pre-thrown glassware or pottery together. You’ll have fun exploring your artistic sides together and come home with mementos of your fun anniversary date.

Play Hooky from Work
If your anniversary falls on a weekday, why not play hooky and spend a day frolicking together? Not only is it a great way to spend some quality time alone with each other, but it also is reported to have great mental benefits. Choose a day when you both know you can get time off, and plan to do whatever your hearts’ desire—as long as it’s not work or other life responsibilities. You’ll need to make a commitment to sticking to the plan; regardless of whether that plan is to stay in bed all day and order delivery food, or to head to your local beach and soak up some rays while the rest of your poor colleagues are stuck in the office.

A Handwritten Letter
Use your personal words to explain to your sweetheart just how much they mean to you in a handwritten letter. This is romantic to its core, and harkens back to the romantic poets and playwrights of the olden days. This is a tangible piece of your love, something that can’t be bought, and something that can’t be recreated. Sweet and personal, any guy or gal is sure to appreciate the effort and heartfelt sentimental behind this gift and will definitely treasure it for years to come.

Make Delicacies Yourself
If the budget is tight but you still want to indulge, try your hand at some culinary delicacies in your own kitchen. While the grocery trip might be more expensive than your weekly shopping list, buying and cooking your own filet mignon is going to be a lot cheaper than heading to a four-star restaurant and paying for the service on top of the steak. Sit together and plan out your dream meal, then start looking up recipes and techniques to make your favorites. This will give you both something exciting to look forward to, and makes your date into a more interactive experience that will transport you both back to the days of the exciting unknown that was the beginning of your relationship. You can set the atmosphere in your home by spreading out a tablecloth (hint, hint: a pressed white sheet works in a pinch), lighting some candles, and putting on a little bit of mood music. All the allure of a fancy restaurant, without the exorbitant price tag. Make sure you both still dress up for the occasion, and try to avoid seeing each other before you’re both ready. It’ll provide a little more nervous anticipation to the evening.

A Weeklong Event
Make your anniversary into a weeklong affair and start rolling out small presents or surprises early. Surprise him with a delivery of his favorite meal on Monday, send him with a special note in his pocket Tuesday, make his favorite dinner Wednesday, send a racy text on Thursday, and finish up the week with a sweet anniversary gift of your choosing. Showering your attention all over your special someone for an entire week is sure to improve the romance in your relationship and make for a wonderful anniversary celebration.

If you have an anniversary coming up, make the occasion special without depleting your bank account. Incorporate these unique and inexpensive celebratory ideas into your occasion. If you do decide you want to  splurge on a limo rental or professional massage, let TalkLocal help connect you to a local pro.

Five Scams to Watch Out for During Tax Season

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016


Getting your tax information sorted and filed conjures up enough stress in itself, and when you add the potential of being scammed by opportunistic thieves, tax season becomes even more daunting. Awareness is key; take a look at the most common scams thieves use during the tax season and protect yourself and your family from the efforts of opportunistic con artists.

1. Identity Theft
Let’s start with the largest threat—identity theft. You might hate filing your taxes, but a scammer would love to get ahold of your information and file them for you, then reap the rewards of your tax return. By filing early, you can better avoid this issue. Within this scam, con artists will steal your personal information, like your social security number, then file a tax return under your name. Most people affected by this scam don’t realize what has happened until after they actually file and the IRS lets them know one has already been filed. In 2013 alone, the IRS claims to have thwarted 14.6 million attempts at fraudulent returns, resulting in an excess of $15 billion in refunds. Protect your social security number, and don’t give out any sensitive information unless you’re using a professional tax preparer or registered tax filing system.

2. A Shady Email
The IRS won’t email you, let’s just get that out there right away. Very few cases see IRS agents sending important information to your personal email account, so any message received claiming to be from the government agency should be regarded with suspicion. Recent scams that capitalize on email captures have asked taxpayers to update sensitive information on their tax portal—a fake but convincing feature on a website of the scammer’s making. Always make sure any website regarding IRS dealings begins with Scammers may use variations in order to make their site seem more legitimate, so tread carefully.

3. A Call from the IRS
An unexpected call from the IRS can have you shaking in your boots, but the government agency warns that these calls can’t always be taken at their word. In recent years, the IRS has noted an increasing trend of scam phone calls looking to swindle taxpayers out of their sensitive information. These scammers can convincingly pose as IRS agents; some skilled scammers have been able to hack the phone number so that it looks as if the call is coming from a registered IRS number. These so-called agents will ask for multitudes of sensitive information—if an individual isn’t easy to sway, they may be slapped with threats of audits, tax levies, and even jail time. These scams are usually highly sophisticated, and it can be tough to determine whether the caller is a scam artist or actual government agent. Should this situation happen to you, call the IRS and get confirmation of the agent who has been calling you.

4. Miracle Return Offers
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is—especially when it comes to lofty promises of inflated tax returns. If someone offers to help you file in order to gain you a higher return, and they don’t ask to see your records, run away as quickly as possible. Never sign a blank tax form—this is a clear indication the individual in question is attempting to scam you. Use a certified and trusted tax filing service or the help of a professional from a company like CTax to ensure your information stays safe and you do everything by the book with the IRS—no one wants to land in hot water with the government.

5. A Charity Scam
It’s a sad fact, but those looking for donations to nonprofit organizations and charities don’t always have well-meaning intentions. If you’re approached by a nonprofit or similar charitable organization, especially during tax season, make sure you do your research. These scammers are cunning; the websites may look completely legitimate. For an easy safeguard against these types of scams, always be sure the charity is listed as a 501(c)(3) before donating. There are many scammers prepared to target hardworking taxpayers, and if you want to keep your personal information and assets protected, it’s essential to remain aware of the potential for scams.

If you need help filing your taxes before the April 15th deadline, let TalkLocal help you find a local tax professional.

Employee Appreciation: Company Culture, Productivity, And Employee Satisfaction

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Wake up. Push yourself out of bed. Shower, dress, stumble to the kitchen, get coffee. Find something to eat. 7:30AM – drag feet to the car, drag yourself into work, drag your way through the day. It’s like a vending machine: insert hours, receive dollars. Take your earnings and drag yourself home…just in time to get some sleep and start over the next day.

Chances are we’ve all experienced this grind; it’s the hallmark of a dissatisfying workplace. Even one burned-out employee can suck the joy out of the room and drag everyone down, hurting productivity. Meanwhile, Creating the Best Workplace on Earth authors Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones tell us a few benefits to highly-engaged workforces compared to the not-so-engaged:

–        50% more likely to exceed performance expectations

–        54% higher employee retention

–        89% higher customer satisfaction

–        400% more revenue growth

Take Google, for example. Some argue that their meteoritic rise from ten guys in a Palo Alto garage to the giant it is today is the product of good company culture. At TalkLocal, these three strategies have showed us that, when it comes to company culture, a little effort goes a long way:


Employees will inevitably slide into “The Grind” if they lose sight of their value to the company; reminding them that they’re more than a number of hours is crucial. By holding weekly meetings where company goals are articulated in terms of how each employee fits into the picture helps instill a feeling of investment in their position. Educating employees on their roles can also improve their performance; only clear goals can be pursued.

Combining this approach with compliments and recognition of performance improvements will bring genuine positivity and an attitude of focus to your company culture.


This mentality can tear a business apart. We’re always at our best when enjoying ourselves, so find ways to bring a little fun into your team. It can be as easy as a game of cards for a smaller group or as big as a bowling night; take a vote on it. The other night, the TalkLocal team went bowling, scheduled right after we hired new interns – put briefly, relationships were built.

It’s no surprise that, the next morning, the TalkLocal interns were talking to their teammates. Not only did having fun increase our team’s productivity through facilitating collaboration, it contributed to the relaxed, positive atmosphere that defines a good company culture.


To company managers and owners: understand that to your audience and employees, you embody the company. Capitalize on this through the intimacy of a small business by keeping in frequent and meaningful contact with employees, especially new ones. Enrich your employees by allowing them to make recommendations and educating them about the business model; questions are a sign of investment, so make sure to invite them.

Overall, a positive company culture is defined by recognizing that your team is the sum of real people. Don’t wait to make them feel that way, because you’ll lose out on the most productive and satisfied force you’ve seen yet. If clock-in is starting to feel like a funeral death knell, then turn a new page on your workplace and enliven the office by showing everyone their value and your appreciation.

Of course, if getting more and higher quality jobs is the best way to lift up your team’s spirits, then check out TalkLocal; it lets you preview jobs for free by phone and opt into a live conversation with the customer you want to do business with. No more paying for leads you’ll never use. Click here to claim your profile.