How The Victorian Era Changed The Way We Look At Our Pets Today

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It’s hard to imagine a world without pets. Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend. Cats are cute and cuddly companions. Even more unconventional pets like mice, lizards, and Guinea pigs have become major parts of American homes.

But, it wasn’t always that way.

While owning animals for different purposes has been practiced for centuries, the Victorian era changed the way we look at pets. Up until the 19th century, it wasn’t common to have an animal in the home with no real purpose other than companionship. People certainly weren’t researching how to care for kittens or spending money on dog toys the way they do today.

So, what is the history of pets, and how did that change during the Victorian era? If you’re a pet owner today, you can probably thank the 19th century for changing the way we look at our furry friends. Let’s dig deeper into those changes, and why they matter so much in terms of the dog or cat you might have by your side while you’re reading this.

The Early History of Pets

Research has shown that humans have likely kept animals as some form of entertainment for centuries. It’s believed that dogs were the first domesticated animals, as research has been published showing wolves were domesticated in Europe 16,000 years ago, and in Asia about 14,000 years ago.

These animals weren’t really considered “pets.” Rather, they were more like property, kept around for entertainment purposes or to do a specific job. That didn’t mean those animals weren’t enjoyed by their owners, but it was a far cry from the companionship and praise of household pets we’re used to today.

The real rise of pet domestication in the U.S. began in the early 1700s with the catching and taming of wild animals – including squirrels! Most squirrels were trapped by children who caught them in their nests and attempted to domesticate them. The trapping and taming of wild animals didn’t stop there and carried on into the Victorian era, though it combined with a view on pets that was starting to become a bit more exclusive.

What Changed in the Victorian Era?

As the Victorian era rolled in, pets were already well-established for some people. It was their purpose, however, that started to change. It was during the 19th century that it started to become more acceptable for animals to be companions. That included letting them into the home and allowing them to be a part of the family. Many people started to see pets as a way to add moral value to a family and build character for children.

During the Victorian era, people became more interested in a domestic lifestyle, and having a pet seemed to naturally fit. Pets were especially encouraged for young boys, as they were thought to develop a sense of responsibility.

But, the pets of this era were slightly different than the cat curled up next to you or the dog at your feet right now. Poor and working-class families essentially had to trap their own pets. Many of them captured wild birds to keep in cages or rabbits to keep in hutches. Middle- and upper-class families popularized pedigree dog breeding. It was seen as a sign of status and wealth, and something that is still practiced today.

With the rise of pet popularity in the Victorian era, people became interested in keeping more unusual or exotic animals. There were even manuals on how to care for such wild pets, including:

  • Squirrels
  • Monkeys
  • Badgers
  • Owls
  • Ravens

While the types of pets people have may have changed, pet owners of today owe a lot to this era for changing the narrative of what domesticated animals can be.

Today’s Pets are Parts of the Family

Today, 67% of households in the U.S. have some type of pet. Many of those furry (and sometimes not so furry!) friends are considered to be part of the family. The pet industry is booming, reaching $99 billion in 2020. Needless to say, we’ve come a long way in how pets are perceived and what they’re used for. The 21st century has even seen a rise in animal rights, with several notable court cases featuring animals as plaintiffs.

There are still “working animals,” of course. Working dogs are extremely common in farming, police work, search and rescue, and even for therapeutic purposes. But, many pets are simply constant companions within a household. People now take the time to pet-proof their homes and provide things like:

  • A bed
  • Toys
  • Food and water bowls
  • A litter box/training pads
  • Training treats

People care for their pets so much today that many even take out pet insurance to help cover veterinary bills. In centuries past, the medical care of domesticated animals was rarely a concern. Today, pet insurance can cover everything from diagnostic testing to emergency care.

It shouldn’t be surprising to see how far the role of the household pet has come throughout history. Centuries ago, people couldn’t stay away from the idea of domesticating animals. While the purposes have changed, the desire for companionship hasn’t, and we owe a lot of how pets are viewed and treated today to some of the changes that took place in the Victorian era.

Buying a Home as a Single Person: What You Need to Know

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Buying a Home as a Single Person: What You Need to Know

Buying a home used to be associated with getting married or starting a family. But, that isn’t the case anymore. Marriage rates are declining in the U.S. and people are choosing to stay single longer. So, you certainly don’t have to be in a relationship to buy a home. Homeownership has long been a part of the American dream, whether you’re a couple or not.

You can obtain that dream on your own, and make a solid investment while you’re at it.

That being said, buying a home on your own can feel a bit intimidating, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. How do you know if you’re ready? What does the market look like? What should you know before you even make an offer?

Let’s cover a few things you should know before you buy a home as a single person. The more informed you are about the process and what to expect, the easier it will be. If you find that it’s the right option for you, you’ll be moving into a place of your own in no time.

Are You Ready to Own?

It’s not uncommon for single individuals to choose to rent over buying a house, and it has its benefits. You don’t have maintenance issues to worry about on your own, and you’re not “tied down” to one place. But, there are so many additional benefits to owning your own home that often outweigh the pros of renting. Some of those benefits include:

  • It’s a good long-term investment
  • You’ll build equity
  • Tax perks
  • More privacy
  • Greater stability

You can also put more into a home you buy, making upgrades that could increase its value if you ever decide to sell.

Once you’ve decided that you want to buy, your next question should be if you’re truly ready. Take a look at your financial situation. Crunch the numbers and be realistic about your budget. If buying a home is something you truly want, you might have to cut back elsewhere (including that morning coffee run for a $5 latte). In addition to thinning out your expenses, consider getting a roommate while you save up, or even moving back home with your parents for a few months, if possible.

In addition to knowing if you can afford it, it’s also important to know whether you can handle the everyday responsibilities of a home. If there are any maintenance issues, they fall on you. Emergency repairs? That’s on you, too. You can be as prepared as possible, and the unexpected can still occur at any time. Make sure you’re ready for that before you commit to anything.

Getting What You Need

You’re officially ready to start house hunting and eventually make an offer. But, do you have everything you need to get started? Even if you know your budget and how much you’re willing to spend, there are a few things you’ll need to move the process along:

  • A real estate agent
  • A lender
  • Insurance
  • A real estate lawyer

It’s also important to make sure you qualify for a loan. Having a good lender to work with will help, but you can figure things out ahead of time and make life easier on yourself. Conventional down payments on a home are 20%. If you’ve figured out your budget and don’t have that kind of money, don’t stress. You may qualify for an FHA loan if you have a decent credit score and you can verify that you’ve been consecutively employed over the last two years.

Getting organized before you start the process will make things less complicated for you. In the end, when you finally make an offer and finalize the buying process, you’ll be more prepared to deal with the pile of paperwork that follows because you’ve done so much leg work already.

Don’t Buy “Too Much House”

Some people say single people should look for homes that are attractive to married couples and families. Why? Well, you might decide to start one of your own someday. Beyond that, though, family-style homes are usually more desirable. You may be able to eventually sell your house for a profit.

But, a larger home may not be within your budget right now, and that’s okay. There are some risks to buying “too much house.” You won’t have much equity, your payment could be eating up too much of your income, and you might not be able to afford to keep up with general maintenance. If that’s the case, it’s unlikely the house will ever be in good enough shape to upsell anyway.

Buying a house you can afford is crucial. While staying within your current budget is smart, you can always choose to take on a side gig to earn extra money. You can earn money freelancing through sites like Upwork, Elance, or SimplyHired and work as much or as little as you want to bring in extra income every month. Freelancing has its risks, of course, since there’s no way to determine how much you’ll make. But, if you have a “dream home” in mind and are willing to work harder to afford it, a side hustle is a great way to do it.

Don’t let the concerns over buying a home for the first time consume you. It can be a lot of work, but it’s well worth it, in the end. Keep these ideas and tips in mind as you go through the process, and you can be confident in every step of the buying process.

Child Proof Cabinets With Zip Ties

Becoming a grand parent brings up some problems around the house. The biggest being that our house is not child proof. Haven’t had to worry about that in many many years. I want our home to be safe when they come for a visit but at the same time they are not here all the time so I don’t want to invest a lot of money or install anything permanent. That’s where I found the best idea. Using a zip tie to tie two handles together. It can keep the babies out of cabinets with breakables or cabinets filled with dangerous chemicals. A simple a cheap fix that can be eliminated when they leave.

Drain Clog Fixed With A Zip Tie

We all have problems with drains every once in awhile. Most of us have zip ties or they are now very cheap to get. Its easy to use a zip tie to clean out a drain by cutting little notches in a zip tie as shown in the picture above. Then take the zip tie and push in and out of the drain. This helps bring up hair and other items that get lodged as it goes down the sink. You can also use a zip tie to scrape the sides of your drain and eliminate buildup.

Artisan Home Decor Tips for First Time Homeowners

Artisan Home Decor Tips for First Time Homeowners

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Becoming a homeowner is a huge deal. So, first of all, congrats on your exciting purchase! The real fun comes when you’re able to decorate your space. Having interior decorating skills isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. Adding artisan goods in your room sets your place apart from conventional design aesthetics. When you seek out artisan designs, you’re seeking out one-of-a-kind pieces that make your home truly interesting and dimensional. Making things by hand is a true skill and one worth learning, or at the very least, investing in. Read on to learn tips and tricks on how to effortlessly transform your new home into everything you have ever dreamed of with artisan home decor.

Support Local Artists

A fantastic place to start when you’re on the hunt for decor for your first-time home is shopping local! Rather than getting on the web and browsing, make it an adventure and shop locally. We can’t recommend supporting your local community enough when it comes to finding pieces for your new space. Locate a nearby gallery and find a painting or another piece of artisan home decor that speaks to you. It can be a rewarding process to build a room out based on a specific piece. Use that unique, one-of-a-kind piece to set the tone for the design of your room. This form of synchronicity makes decorating a new home a blast! Keep your eyes and mind open!

Stay Away from “Big Box” Stores

Staying away from the big box stores should seem obvious if you’re going for an artisan aesthetic in your new home. Stores like Walmart and Target, and even wholesale furniture companies run rampant on the web. They all carry mass-produced (and often poorly made) furniture and home goods. Stray away from these stores if you are on the hunt for unique and well-made items for your home.

The Right Light

Lighting is everything when it comes to achieving a desired aesthetic for your space. Once you become more familiar with your new home, pay attention to the natural light coming in from your windows. If you have an abundance of natural light, you won’t need to overdo it with lighting. Finding designer lighting that works in your home can be a real treat once the install process is finished. This is an area where a splurge can be justified. Depending on the space, you’ll want to choose between both overheads and floor and table lamps. Don’t look at what everyone else is doing. Be present in the room in question and be on the lookout for a piece that will complement the space beautifully.

Add a Beautiful Rug to the Mix

There is no question that a gorgeous rug can effortlessly and instantly transform a space. This is another must-have artisan purchase. You will really set your home decor status on an entirely new level if you go with a handmade rug. Although these can be expensive in nature, investing in a one-of-a-kind artisan rug will make your room stand out in an extraordinary way. You can bring added warmth, texture, and dimension to your space with the right rug purchase. This is one of those areas we don’t think you should cut corners on.

Mirror, Mirror

Mirrors can do wonders to opening up space in your new home. Give the illusion of extra space with the proper placement of a gorgeous artisan mirror. Try your luck at a nearby vintage store and bring a mirror with tons of character into your new home. Mirrors allow you to amplify the gorgeousness of your space. Proud of what you’ve done in a specific room? Throw a mirror into the mix and multiply the aesthetic in a natural way that doesn’t overwhelm but humbly exists in stylized brilliance.

Good Use of Your Space

Because your backyard is an extension of your house, make sure you pay attention to that area of your home as well when it comes to decorating. Plant lovely flowers and find interesting outdoor furniture that allows you to host in your backyard during the warmer months. We always suggest looking for antiques to fill your outdoor and indoor needs before buying something brand new.

Artisan home decor promises you an individualized style to be celebrated in your new home, rather than mass-produced pieces you could easily find in hundreds of other homes. Artisan can really be translated to design integrity. Individuality is key when it comes to decorating a place. There’s more joy in locating one-of-a-kind pieces that an artist has put their entire heart and soul into. You want to aim to fill your beautiful new home with good energy and beautiful art. Never stop being inspired by beautiful art and the opportunity to bring it into your home.



Author bio:
Carolyn Mitchell is a freelance writer and content strategist with a passion for home décor and maintenance. She can often be found re-painting and updating the furnishings in her home, and she is also a dedicated cat mom to two adorable kitties.