Moving Across The Country Made Easy

There is a lot to do and think about when it comes time to move into a new house, especially if that new home is on the other side of the country. If you have a family that you need to bring with you, then the process becomes that much more complicated. The good news is that although it won’t always be fun, you can make a long-distance move with the family more manageable with proper planning, smart packing, and some great tips that we’ll discuss here today.

Proper Packing And Preparation Are Key

There is no way around it. Moving a family across the country will be an expensive endeavor. However, you can make many adjustments to cut unnecessary costs, so you aren’t so financially stressed. One big expense that you can cut is the cost of hiring professional movers and instead, pack and transport your belongings yourself. You can either rent a moving truck, a moving container, or a freight trainer to get your stuff from point A to B.

Packing your house can be a nightmare, so keep the process as organized as possible. Go room by room and start separating items that you want to keep from what you plan to donate or give away. This is a good chance to clear out unneeded clutter. If you are packing any of the belongings in your garage, then make sure to drain all of the fuel from the gas-powered equipment and bundle garden tools together for easy handling. That way, you will have everything together when you arrive at your destination.

Once the truck is loaded, you will want to start planning your trip. This is especially important if you have children that you know will get hungry or tired during the cross-country drive. Take the time to find affordable restaurants and hotels along the way that you can stay at to rest your eyes and wake up refreshed for another long day of driving. Also, consider making your hotel reservations ahead of time so you can just show up and get to your room with little fanfare.

Keep Your Kids And Pets At Bay

A road trip across the country may be fun at first, but as the drive goes on, your kids and pets may begin to get a bit restless. Since you will want to be cautious and responsible when driving, it is important that you ensure that your passengers are safe and entertained.

Safety is key during the drive. Before you leave for the trip, make an appointment to have your vehicle inspected so you can verify that you won’t have an accident along the way. Have them check the brakes, oil, tire pressure, and top off all of the fluids. Also, verify that all seat belts are in good working order before you leave and that kid’s car seats are properly attached.

If you have a dog along for the ride, then it is only a matter of time before it starts moving around, so you will want to help your pet get used to the car and provide them with a comfortable seat. If your pet has never been in a car before, then help them acclimate to the vehicle before you leave and never let them sit on your lap during the drive. It is also a good idea to give your pet a microchip or update your contact information on their tag before you leave so you can find them if they get lost.

When your kids inevitably get restless during the trip, keep them entertained by having them create a scrapbook of the move as you go about the journey and allow them to have their favorite toys, so you don’t have to dig through boxes to find them if the kids get crabby.

Other Tactics To Save Your Sanity

There are other strategies that you can use that can make an already stressful endeavor more tolerable. For instance, if you can afford to pay for hired help, then consider contacting professional movers as they can take a lot of stress off of your shoulders. Many moving companies will help you pack your house, transport the goods to the new location, and then help you unpack or at least put the boxes in the proper rooms when you arrive. Before you contact potential movers, look at online customer reviews to ensure that you are hiring a quality company.

It is very important that you practice self-care during the trip. You may be in a rush to get to your new home, but if you don’t take care of yourself, then you could do more harm than good. When you go to the hotels, get seven to nine hours of sleep, so you don’t get tired on the road. Also, eat a good breakfast and consider spending a few minutes in the hotel gym. Both of these activities will give you some natural energy for the trip.

Finally, although you likely want to make good time, don’t forget that this is an adventure for the entire family, so don’t be afraid to stop at some roadside pit stops where you can either see cool attractions or get a bite to eat at a unique restaurant. Plus, it will give everyone in the car a chance to stretch their legs.

So there you have it. Great tips to make your cross-country move fun, inexpensive, and relatively stress-free. Consider these tips, and you’ll be arriving and moving into your new home in no time.

Top 8 Ways To Take Care Of Your Pet At Home

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Owning a pet requires more than just giving your cat or dog love and affection. Becoming a pet parent is a responsibility that demands your complete attention. It shouldn’t be discounted as easy or cheap because you’ll have to invest both your time and money to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy.

However, doing so for your pet’s lifespan is one of the most fulfilling tasks you’ll ever take part in, as your pet will thrive and love you for this endless devotion. Here are the top eight ways to give your pet the best life.

1. Feed a Proper Diet

As a pet owner, you’re undoubtedly familiar with situations where your dog sits nearby and looks at you with those big puppy eyes while you’re eating. Those eyes are difficult to resist, so you probably end up giving your pooch some table scraps. While giving your dog human food is acceptable occasionally, the more frequently you do it, the more often your dog will expect it from you, which can lead to an unhealthy diet.

Try to stick with food made for pets, as your dog or cat needs particular vitamins and minerals. Also, giving your pets unhealthy alternatives can lead to obesity and other health issues. Research your pet type and find the best food options based on its age, breed, and activity level.

2. Let Your Pet Enjoy the Outdoors

Pets that go outside occasionally are actually healthier than those that stay inside 24/7. Cats and dogs benefit from fresh air, and nature’s sights, sounds, and smells are great for mental stimulation. Additionally, going outside is another outlet for them to get necessary exercise.

However, you shouldn’t let your pets roam free, as they may get injured or even stolen. Instead, consider outside cat enclosures for your feline friends or a fence for your dog. If you have a dog that’s an expert jumper, you may need to invest in a fence extender to ensure your pup stays safely on your side of the barrier.

If you don’t want to enclose your yard but still want your cats to be able to go outdoors, you can try a fully enclosed fence option or a catio. Make sure you add a cat staircase to ensure your cat can run up, down, back, and forth to chase bugs and get the best vantage points.

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3. Provide Access to Drinking Water

Just like humans, pets can become dehydrated quickly. You should always have at least one bowl of fresh water in a place your pet can easily access. However, having more water bowls available is better. Try to change the water a few times each day so your pet can get the coolest, most refreshing water any time it needs a drink.

4. Create a Safe Zone for Your Pet

Cats and dogs occasionally need some space to rest, relax, and enjoy solitude. Often, pets require a safe place to decompress when feeling stressed or anxious. You can easily create this area by setting up a room or closet to meet your pet’s needs. Include a pet bed, blankets, toys, treats or anything else your pet likes.

5. Clean Pet Areas

While dogs are generally housetrained, they sometimes have accidents. On the other hand, cats are easier to take care of because they use litter boxes. Wherever your pet uses the bathroom (purposely or accidentally), the area needs to be cleaned regularly.

Properly scrubbing or sanitizing these areas will keep bacteria from growing, which will protect your pet from becoming sick. If your dog smells the area it urinated in before, it’ll want to go there again, so you’ll need an enzyme cleaner to remove the odor. Alternatively, cats don’t like to use dirty litter boxes, so if you don’t take the time to scoop them regularly, your cat may decide to urinate or defecate elsewhere in your home.

6. Groom Your Pets

Grooming tasks, including trimming your pet’s toenails and brushing its fur, will keep it looking its best. More importantly, grooming allows you to closely inspect your pet’s fur and skin for issues such as dry patches, bald spots, or lumps, which you can address with your vet.

7. Visit the Vet Regularly

When you adopt a pet, you should visit the vet promptly, so your furry friend gets its appropriate vaccinations. This session also allows the vet to examine your cat or dog to ensure it’s healthy. After the initial visit, you should schedule regular appointments every year.

Unfortunately, many pet owners opt to call the vet only when their pets have issues. Without regular checkups, your pet may suffer silently from an ailment that could be easily cured if caught earlier.

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8. Show Your Love

Make sure you give your pet the attention it needs and deserves. Take time to play with your cat or dog and give them lots of cuddles and scratches. Dedicating time to your pet each day will strengthen the emotional bond between the two of you.

Having a pet is a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. By keeping your pet’s needs and desires in mind, you and your furry friend can live happily together for years to come.

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.