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Moving can be stressful for people, so just imagine how anxious it can make your pets. They can easily get stressed out when there’s unexpected activity in their home or when they’re introduced to a new environment. I’ve moved with four cats and a fish, and it’s not an easy task. These challenges don’t come with a formula solution, but here are some tips that should make the experience a bit calmer for your beloved companion(s):
1. Prepare an easily-accessible ‘overnight kit’ that has enough dog food, kitty litter, toys and grooming tools to sustain your pet and keep them comfortable during the first few days of unpacking.
2. If you’re moving out of the area, inform your vet so you can take records and any prescription medications with you. See if they can recommend another vet in your new neighborhood.
3. During the move itself, the best way to reduce stress on an animal is to keep them in the quietest area possible. If you don’t want to leave them with a friend or a kennel for the day (which is recommended), at least remove them from the action. This could mean emptying a bedroom on another floor and closing the door, or putting them in their carrier or kennel in the garage or car (take proper caution to ensure they’ll be at a safe temperature and that they have water and food if they will be there for some time). Make sure you check in on them regularly, and try to feed or walk them at the time you usually would; having some sense of a routine in the midst of all the changes will help a lot.
4. Take the pet to the new house in your own vehicle. Cats and small dogs can be put in a carrier in the back seat, which can then be secured with a seatbelt. A bigger dog can be moved in a kennel in the back of the car; you may need to put seats down if possible. Some animals feel more comfortable if you throw a blanket over their carrier during the car ride so they can’t see the environment changing outside.
5. Be careful when transporting the animal to your new neighborhood because if they get out they can easily get lost. Once they’re in the car, it’s important to not open the kennel until the pet is in the new home, even if the pet is usually well-behaved or docile. Give them a few days in the new home to adjust. Tip for cat owners: more and more people are keeping their cats indoors for safety reasons, and a move is a good opportunity to get them used to being inside as they won’t be used to being allowed out in the new home. Use this transition to your advantage.
6. Move the house before you move the pet. Set up as much as you can, even just in a room, before you introduce the animal to the new home. Confine them to a section of the house while they slowly adjust to their surroundings. Give your pet lots of attention and introduce familiar objects like toys or blankets as soon as possible. Make them feel as at home as you do!
7. After you move, make sure you update their tags or microchip information to the new address and phone number.
8. Are you planning on moving with fish? Fish respond strongly to stress and a move can be traumatizing, if not fatal. It isn’t ideal, but you can transport them short distances in bags filled with their old tank water (check with your local aquarium store for supplies and more details). If you have a long distance to travel it’s best to give them a new home with a friend, empty the tank, and buy new fish after you unpack.
9. Guinea Pigs also are known to suffer from change or being jostled around. Their hearts are particularly susceptible so please take care with guinea pigs and make sure they are transported in a warm, comfortable, small carrier.
10. Finally, more than one feathered friend has been known to fly the coop on moving day. Many people proudly announce that their bird has never flown off the shoulder, and sadly regret the complacency. Birds, like most pets, are very jittery about change. So even when the smartest parrot balks at the idea of being put in a cage, please do it on moving day.
Swimming Season Is Under Way, Are You Covered?
Backyard swimming pools are a great place to spend time with friends and family during the hot summer months. And nothing helps beat the heat like taking a swim in your own backyard. But pool ownership also comes with responsibility. If the unexpected strikes, do you have the necessary insurance in place? Whether it’s damage to the physical structure of the pool or your own liability, you’ll likely want to have certain safeguards in place. You may want to start by considering the following questions.
Is a Pool Covered By My Homeowners Policy?
If you have a pool or you’re planning to install one, it’s a good idea to let your insurer know, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says. Pools are typically covered by homeowners insurance policies, but you’ll probably want to review your coverage to make sure you have the right amount of protection in place.
Property coverage. The property component of your homeowners policy likely extends to your backyard swimming pool, so if a tree falls on your pool, your coverage may help pay to remove the tree and cover repairs to your pool, up to the limits included in your policy. Your agent can help you determine whether you should consider increasing your policy’s property coverage limits based on the value of your pool and any accessories, such as a deck or water slide.
Keep in mind that most homeowners policies exclude coverage for damages caused if water freezes in your pool, so you’ll want to be sure you drain it at the end of each season.
Liability coverage. You’ll also want to take your liability coverage into consideration. Thousands of people go to the emergency room each year with pool-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If someone suffers an injury at your pool, you could potentially incur medical or legal expenses that stem from the incident. Liability protection is a standard part of a typical homeowners policy, but because a pool can increase your liability risk, says the III, you may want to consider increasing your coverage.
A homeowners policy typically provides $100,000 in base liability coverage. The III recommends increasing those limits to $300,000 or $500,000 if you have a backyard pool.
Do I Need More Protection?
To add an extra layer of protection, the III says pool owners should consider purchasing a personal umbrella policy (PUP). A PUP provides liability coverage above the limits of your homeowners policy — generally up to $1 million. PUP protection begins when you’ve exhausted the required underlying insurance amount of your homeowners policy. Your agent can help you determine whether you have appropriate protection in place on your underlying policy to help prevent a gap in your coverage.
What Other Precautions Can I Take?
By taking a few safety precautions, you can help reduce the risk of accidents at your pool. The CPSC recommends installing a fence at least 4 feet tall around the pool along with gates that are both self-closing and self-latching. Some states or municipalities have laws in regard to pool fences, so it’s a good idea to find out what might be required in your area.
Children should be supervised around the pool as well as taught water safety skills, CPSC’s Pool Safely program says. In addition, the program says parents should learn how to swim and make sure their children also know how to swim.
By being proactive with both safety measures and insurance protection, you can gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re prepared — and spend pool time enjoying your backyard swims.
Unless you want to do a lot of sawing, the likely candidate for this project will have an extending mechanism to accommodate a leaf. (Hint: Any damage or wear — a missing corner block, a major crack — drastically reduces table prices at flea markets.)
- Simply unscrew the extension mechanism from the bottom of the table, sand the table, then prime and paint it.
- Nail or screw a 2-by-2-inch piece of wood to the wall at the height of the tabletop, so that the edge of the table rests on the wood support.
- For extra stability, screw through the top of the table to the wood support; fill the holes with wood filler, and paint over them.
- At last, you’ll have a place for your keys.