Keep Your Kids (2 legged and 4) safe this holiday season with these 10 tips from Northstar Moving Company!
NorthStar Moving Co-Founder Laura McHolm
There is no ignoring it now. The twinkling trees, tinsel and….attractive trouble are all around. Whether you are singing “Feliz Navidad” or “Dradle Dradle Dradle,” we can all agree this is one of the greatest times of the year, BUT it’s also filled with hidden dangers for your children and pets. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous times of the year for your dog Dasher, your cat Blitzen and your two legged crawlers. So, don’t let all the sparkle distract you, be sure to keep an eye out for festive trouble.
That’s why I called upon two experts to guide us through all of the dangers our holiday décor and holiday foods can create for our little loved ones. First, the child safety experts at Boo Boo Busters talk Santa safety with five key tips to keep your children safe:
- The Christmas Tree: We are all conscious of hanging the fragile or sharp ornaments up top to keep them out of reach of those curious hands, but have you thought about where you place your tree? Positioning is always important, think: fire safety. Keep your tree more than 48 inches away from any open flame (that includes candles and the menorah.). When decorating your perfectly chosen greenery, it’s best to use plastic hooks instead of metal. Lastly, KEEP IT WATERED! A dry tree is a dangerous tree. Follow the instructions for watering the tree so it can last as long as your holiday season lasts. Also, consider buying a real live growing tree in a pot, it’s a greener earth-friendly solution and the tree can become part of your family traditions.
- Frosty’s Scarves : A strangulation hazard is anything that can be made into a loop and placed around a child’s neck, this includes scarves. Since your little elves need to stay warm, let’s take scarves off the strangulation list by making them safe by simply tucking the ends inside your child’s jacket. Oh so fashion forward and the scarf can’t get caught on anything. Whew, problem solved.
- Miniature Décor: Choking hazards are everywhere this time of year; they disguise themselves as decorations and holiday cheer. A good rule of thumb: a choking hazard is anything that can pass through a toilet paper roll holder unobstructed. Now is the time to scan the environment to see what’s around each and every corner. Remember, it’s not always just your house that needs your safety check. Visiting the grandparents, other family and friends who might be inadvertently unaware of what is or isn’t safe for your kids. Say Ho Ho NO! to decorations within your child’s reach. Snow villages, nativity scenes, and light up and display decorations with lots of small pieces, electrical cords and even batteries can easily be pulled out and end up in your cherub’s mouth. Lighted garland adorning the staircase or the mantle where the stockings will be hung with care, can also create dangerous scenarios. Bowls of candies, nuts and little yummy things are often put out for grazing. Even though they are edible, it doesn’t make it safe for a baby or small child. Place these delicious favorites higher than a child can reach. Lastly, although it may not be a choking hazard, put mistletoe on your priority watch list. This pretty little smooch maker may have fun motives but everything else about it says keep away. It’s about as toxic as a plant can get, berries, leaves and all. No one knows what your kids can get into better than you do. So, put your Grinch hat on before the kids see the decorations, then you can put the Santa hat on once the wide-eyed wonder-filled kiddos with busy little fingers enter the scene!
- All That Glows: We all have that part of us that wants to light the house up like Clark Griswald, but let’s try to keep those little admirers in mind when powering up. Secure lights in place with clips, not left dangling where a child can reach. Using staples to attach lights can also be dangerous: they can cut through the cord without you even knowing it and cause a short or spark leading to a potential fire. Take extra care when using extension cords to power up those giant blow-up dradles or reindeer dancing in the front yard. Secure them with stakes so they can’t create a potential tripping hazard. Put the lights on a timer so they turn on when you want them to and turn off around bedtime. Mother earth and your neighbors will both thank you. Nothing like a silent glow-free night.
- Ringing in the New Year: Last but not least, New Year’s Eve! Party favors, noisemakers and poppers are fun (and equally annoying) but can also be very dangerous. Check when purchasing noisemakers and party favors to see if they could be potential choking hazards. Poppers and silly string should be used with adult supervision. Poppers should never be popped in the vicinity of someone’s face and silly string should never be used near an open flame.
Next, Dr. Anthony George, doctor of veterinary medicine and certified veterinary acupuncturist, says to keep these five jolly activities away from your pooches or felines and they will be as merry as you are all holiday season:
- Holiday Foods: Many people like to include their furry friend in the festivities by giving them a ‘sample platter’ of the holiday’s bounty. This act, unfortunately, can introduce a variety of potential risks to pets. Eating fatty and rich foods can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. In some dogs, the elderly in particular, calorie dense foods can potentially lead to inflammation of the pancreas. Chocolate contains methylxanthine, which can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from stomach upset to tremors, hyperthermia and seizures. The darker the chocolate the more dangerous it can be. Grapes, raisins, onions and garlic are also extremely toxic to dogs. And, if you’re taking acetaminophen for pre and post celebratory aches and pains, bear in mind this medication can pose a tremendous risk to your pets. Commonly found in name brands such as Tylenol and Excedrin, along with many generic cold and allergy remedies, acetaminophen can change the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. If your pet ingests any of these substances, it’s always a good idea to contact your local veterinarian. So keep your pets safe by having them celebrate with their regular diets.
- Festive Plants: Plants and flowers transform any room into a holiday showcase, but also an unforeseen room of danger for curious pets. The usual suspects, poinsettiasand American mistletoe, have been considered potentially toxic to pets in the past. However, today it’s generally considered unlikely that either one would cause significant ill effects unless ingested in great quantity. Lilies, on the other hand, pose a significant risk to cats. These lovely flowers can dress up any holiday flower arrangement, but all parts of the plant are toxic to cats and can lead to kidney failure. Ingesting even a small amount of the leaves, petals, or even pollen can result in severe illness and possibly death. Warning signs include an increase in salivation, depression, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Stay clear of these beauties if you have a feline friend.
- Ribbon: If your dog or cat loves to help you wrap the presents or loves to un-wrap their own present, make sure they don’t run off with the ribbon. These colorful strands can wreak havoc if ingested. Once ingested, the intestines can bunch up on the ribbon in an attempt to pass it. If you should happen to see part of the ribbon ‘exiting’ from the hind end, never pull it out, as this can cause it to cut through the intestines. Absolutely, consult with your veterinarian to aid in its removal, whether it’s through endoscopy, surgically or manually.
- The Many Dangerous Layers of the Tree: The Christmas tree is the centerpiece of many holiday homes. However, if you have a cat you may want to lay off the tinsel as it poses the same threat as ribbon does. Electrical cords from the Christmas lights, as well as other holiday decorations, can be an enticing chew toy for a pup or cat. This playful act can lead to severe mouth burns. The electrical conduction of their heart can even be altered, resulting in the accumulation of fluid in the lungsand difficulty breathing. Take measures to prevent your pet from coming into contact with these electrical temptations. Many trees are also fitted with water containers to keep them fresh. This water could contain fertilizer or become stagnant over time. Prevent your pet from drinking from the tree to avoid potential complications.
- The Impulse Buy: Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles make sure the entire family actually wants a pet before you present one as a holiday present. Please make sure everyone understands that a pet is a gift for life not just for the holidays. Everyone must be ready for the full-time job of getting the pet acclimated to it’s new home. If you’re planning on adding a four legged family member: puppies and kittens aren’t the only way to go. Remember to rescue and adopt any age and/or any breed. Many lovable pets looking for a good home can be found on www.petfinder.com. Avoid adopting exotic pets, primates and reindeer. Make a pet’s life happy this holiday season too by finding it a forever home.
Keep your head above the twinkle and remember this simple checklist. Santa’s basic yule tide rule of thumb: if it looks like it could be trouble then put it on the naughty list and hide it away. Wishing you and your family a wonderful memorable holiday season and an amazing New Year full of safe and happy smiles!
Source: CB Blue Matter Blog
When Coldwell Banker and Adopt-a-Pet.com announced they would once again work together to help find homes for adoptable shelter dogs, the sales professionals at East Tennessee’s Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® knew they wanted to join in.
After participating in the “Homes for Dogs” project for the past couple of years, we wanted to do something really unique to help extend our mission of guiding the way home to deserving adoptable pets in our area.
First, we decided to continue our work to support the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, our local Adopt-a-Pet partner. We reached out to the HSTV staff to find out which adoptable shelter dogs might need a bit of extra love and promotion to find their forever homes. After putting out a call to our agents and our community, these posts were shared hundreds of times, reaching approximately 30,000 social media users.
So far for the month of September, the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley has posted “Gotcha Day” photos for more than 50 adopted dogs on their way to their new homes, including the ones we shared in our campaign!
Spreading the Love with Wish List Donations
The second part of our project with the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley was collecting items from the shelter’s wish list at each of our six area office locations. We placed special donation containers in our office lobbies and people were invited to drop off greatly appreciated items. Our agents also took part, spreading lots of love with donated items.
We were able to donate six large bins of much-needed items to the shelter, to add a little comfort for those adoptable shelter dogs and cats that haven’t yet found their fur-ever families.
Gone to the Dogs Event
As part of this project, real estate agents at our Farragut office went to the dogs, literally! They hosted a special event on Friday, September 8, complete with doggie costume contests, a puppy photo booth, and delicious snacks for both human and canine attendees.
They also collected items for the Humane Society’s wishlist and used this event to spread awareness about the “Homes for Dogs” initiative. This fun event was a huge hit and everyone was on their best behavior, including some of the more frisky pups.
Helping Show the Way Home
The final part of our project was a special “Homes for Dogs” Open House event. Finding homes for adoptable shelter dogs is a wonderful undertaking, but we’re also in the business of finding homes for people. Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® ran a featured ad in our local newspaper and held a number of properties open on September 10 as part of this special event.
We invited the public to visit any of our open houses that day where they were able to register to win one of six GPS pet trackers being given away. Our intent with this aspect of the project was to help a few beloved pets make sure they always find their way back home.
Our company is lucky to have called East Tennessee home since 1936 and since then, we’ve had the honor of helping thousands of neighbors find their Knoxville home. Many of our more than 350 sales professionals are passionate pet owners, and they were thrilled to take part in this campaign to help find loving homes for adoptable shelter dogs in our community.
Coldwell Banker and Adopt-a-Pet.com renewed their partnership in 2017. Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® held a San Antonio pet adoption event and raised thousands of dollars for hurricane relief.
Coldwell Banker and Adopt-a-Pet.com teamed up again this year. The “Homes for Dogs” project launched in 2015 with a goal reaching 20,000 adoptions and Coldwell Banker affiliated offices nationwide joined forces and exceeded the goal.
At Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® we had planned a San Antonio pet adoption to join our Gen Blue family across the country by hosting a local pet adoption event. Our office locations span nine locations in seven cities in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. We had teamed up with local shelters, gathered resources, and promoted the National Adopt-a-Pet weekend.
What none of us could have planned for was the storm on the horizon. Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the evening of August 25 near Rockport, Texas. Home to many of our sales agents, family, friends, and sister brokerage the Ron Brown Company. The Category 4 hurricane sent wind gusts upwards of 100 mph through the Texas Coastal Bend. This area is composed of numerous small towns.
An Action Plan
We watched helplessly as the torrential rains moved along the 300 miles of Texas coastline to Houston and farther north to Beaumont. This is not only a Texas story; the storm moved painfully slow over the course of a week bringing the flood waters into parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Without hesitation, Leesa Harper Rispoli rallied with the sales agents, employees, and partners here to formulate a plan of action. In step with our parent company, Realogy, who pledged to match up to $75,000 for Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief funds, we launched a fundraiser directly benefiting the American Red Cross. To date this fundraiser has raised over $5,300.
Leesa put together a special message and effective immediately, on August 30, we began collecting donations. We then planned for a Big Donation Event on September 7, just ahead of our Adopt-A-Pet event on September 9. We communicated directly with our fellow Coldwell Banker family members who sustained severe damage. We continue to encourage and support their respective fundraisers found here:
Texans Rally Together
Even in the midst of a gas shortage caused by panic here in San Antonio, our Big Donation Event unfolded with grand success. Allen Pozzi and Richard Davies, in true Texas fashion, brought in their barbecue pit and served up brisket, sausage, and fajita tacos. Each taco sold for $2 with the proceeds earmarked for relief efforts. Over $1,387.44 was raised in monetary donations. Checks were delivered directly to the San Antonio Food Bank, a hub of distribution for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Hurricane Harvey Relief Donations
Physical donations came in by the truckload until our entire trailer was filled with new goods, including cleaning supplies, food, and hygiene products. Some of our donations were even sent via Amazon from other locations across the country, like ones we received from Heather Ostrom at Coldwell Banker Roseville and Rocklin. We worked with a church who organized and delivered all the items collected. They put them directly into the hands of those affected and set up a team of volunteers who are assisting in the rebuilding process.
Helping Furry Friends
With our donations delivered on Friday, we pushed forward together to promote our Adopt-a-Pet event. It was no longer about only the San Antonio pet adoption. It became about relieving the shelters who were feeling the pressure as they received incoming pets displaced by the flooding.
Cat Lodge & Leesa Harper Rispoli
Our very own Cat Lodge appeared on SALiving with TV personality Shelly Miles to voice how adopting a dog can make all the difference. Already full shelters here in San Antonio were seeing a large influx of animals that had escaped the storm or lost their families. Seeing a need, our friends at Adopt-a-Pet.com announced the release of a unique peer-to-peer platform that helps displaced people find local citizens who can provide temporary foster homes for pets until they can be welcomed back home.
On Saturday, September 9 our offices joined together with God’s Dogs, SARocks, San Antonio Pets Alive, and Pet’s Barn to take part in the nation-wide Adopt-a-Pet weekend. In total, 28 dogs found new homes, which for us is a tremendous success! Below are photos from our event and they speak louder than any words we can share.
At the end of the day, we’re all Texans. What does it mean? It means we’re family — here to lift one another up. We rise only by lifting others. So if that means raising money, donating goods, or hosting a pet adoption — count us in. If there is one thing we are passionate about here at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®, it is changing lives by affecting real change where we can. Texas is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. If this tragedy has taught us anything, it is that we are Texas Strong. Stay on this journey with us as we continue down the path to recovery post-Hurricane Harvey . . . and Hurricane Irma. It is a long road home for some but we will reach the destination, together.
Wendy Holtorff and her family with their new pup! Congratulations!
Julie Brown and Donna Frye put in some serious “sign-holding” time — committed to pups and all things Adopt-a-Pet!
Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® is participating in the National Pet Adoption Weekend and the Homes for Dogs Project during September by promoting adoptable dogs and holding a special “Homes for Dogs” Open House event on Sept. 10th.
Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® has been showing East Tennessee the way home for more than 80 years, and we’re excited to once again extend our mission to help find homes for dogs in our area.
Dogs Make a House a Home
Since 2015, the Homes for Dogs partnership with Adopt-a-Pet.com has helped find homes for thousands of deserving shelter dogs.
But it’s not just the dogs who benefit from being part of a loving home. There is research that shows how dogs can positively impact our psychological as well as physical health. It isn’t a coincidence that you feel better coming home to your dog after a long stressful day. Studies have found that during heart rate and blood pressure testing, patients were calmer and had better test results when a dog was present.
Plus the exuberance dogs show when you start to put on a pair of sneakers is a great motivator for enjoying more active time spent together outdoors.
Helping Dogs in East Tennessee
Coldwell Banker’s Homes for Dogs project is now in its third year, and at Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® in East Tennessee, we are ‘doggone’ happy to be taking part again.
All across the nation, real estate agents are doing their part to participate in the National Pet Adoption Weekend September 9th and 10th, 2017.
In Knoxville, we will be working with our local Adopt-a-Pet partner, the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley. First, we’ll be promoting adoptable shelter dogs with our “10 Days of Dogs” campaign on social media. Beginning September 1st, a different shelter dog will be featured each day across all the company’s social media platforms. We hope that by helping to showcase some of these amazing furry friends, they will be that much closer to finding their forever homes.
We’re collecting items from the shelter’s wish list at each of our six area office locations. We have placed special donation containers in our office lobbies where consumers can drop off greatly appreciate items that we will deliver to the shelter. Click here to find a list of items needed by the shelter.
Finding Homes for All
Since we’re also in the business of finding homes for people, real estate agents at Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors® will be holding a number of properties open on September 10th as part of this special event. We invite the public to visit any of our open houses that day and register to win one of six GPS pet trackers being given away. We’re hoping to help a few beloved pets make sure they always find their way back home. Consumers may also bring donated items for the shelter to any of our open houses on Sept. 10th.
Our company has been fortunate to be part of the community in East Tennessee since 1936. It has been our great honor to help thousands of our neighbors find their Knoxville home for more than 80 years. Many of our more than 350 sales professionals are passionate pet owners, and they look forward to taking part in this campaign to help find homes for dogs, our favorite four-legged friends.
Source: Coldwell Banker Blue MatterBlog
Coldwell Banker and Adopt-a-Pet.com Host the Homes for Dogs National Adoption Weekend September 9-10, 2017
Su Amsden and Casey Lukowski with Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance in Long Beach, California, have always had a love for animals. So when Coldwell Banker launched a program to help find homes for adoptable dogs three years ago, they immediately got to work on hosting an adoption event in their own community.
“It was a no-brainer,” Amsden said. “There are thousands of shelter animals who need homes. Adoption gives them a second chance at life.”
On September 9-10, 2017, hundreds of Coldwell Banker Real Estate offices and animal shelters across the country are joining Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance for the Coldwell Banker Homes for Dogs National Adoption Weekend. The event is part of the “Homes for Dogs Project,” a program launched in 2015 by Coldwell Banker and Adopt-a-Pet.com, North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website.
In 2015 alone, the project helped facilitate more than 20,000 adoptions through a national adoption weekend and countless local events like the ones Su and Casey hosted. Coldwell Banker made the “Homes for Dogs Project” the centerpiece of its advertising campaign to raise additional awareness. This past spring, the real estate brokerage dedicated its March 2017 commercial “Somebody to Love,” to the program, which was was applauded by the New York Times and rated one of the highest ranking ads of all time by Ace Metrix.
“Coldwell Banker is a unique position to touch local communities because of the sheer scope and passion of our network,” said David Marine, senior vice president of marketing, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “The ‘Homes for Dogs Project’ is more than just a campaign. It’s a unified movement that we can all rally around and know we are making a difference.”
Amsden and Lukowski agree. “Our event brings awareness to the community and is a great morale booster for the volunteers, most of whom are agents who work hard at what they do. This really brings joy to everyone involved,” said Lukowski.
Want to participate in the Homes for Dogs National Adoption Weekend? Visit: http://www.adoptapet.com/homesfordogs.
Where would be without our PUPPIES!! They are family members too. Looking for a dog friendly neighborhood? Here’s how:
Look for these puppy-friendly factors before making your move.
With more than 36% of U.S. households including a dog (according to a 2012 survey from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation), it’s no surprise that finding a pet-friendly neighborhood is an important consideration for many homebuyers. But how can you tell which neighborhoods are truly welcoming to your four-legged friends? Here’s what to look for on the house hunt.
1. You see a lot of dogs out and about
An obvious sign of a pet-friendly neighborhood is one that has lots of dogs exploring with their humans. You want to make sure that people, neighbors, landlords, and business owners are going to welcome your pet, and the best indicator of that is if there are lots of other dogs around, says Janine Acquafredda, co-founder of Realtors 4 Rescues, a nonprofit that helps keep animals out of shelters. And where there are lots of dogs, there are lots of dog owners that care about animals, so your dog will be in a safer and happier environment. There’s more to this pet activity than just scoping out the canine social scene, though. A neighborhood with lots of dog activity is also much more likely to have dog-loving neighbors and those nearby dog-lovers are much more likely to help you find your pup if he ever gets loose or runs away.
2. There’s a nearby dog park and the dogs playing in it look happy and relaxed
Not all dog parks are created equal, and you want to be sure the one near your future home will be a pleasant experience for your pooch. Read: the big dogs aren’t picking on the little guys. (For a quick scan of nearby green spaces your dog might enjoy, check out Trulia Maps and the Places to Play layer.) Visit on a weekend morning, when the park is likely to be crowded, says Amy Robinson, a dog trainer and dog expert in Vero Beach, FL. Observe the owners too. Are they watching their charges or chatting and drinking coffee while their dog is a hundred yards away? How clean is the place? Are people picking up after their dogs? All of these answers will give you an idea of what type of dog and owner frequent the park, she says. Bonus: Hanging at the dog park can help you make friends in your new neighborhood.
3. You can easily find an animal shelter, veterinarian, and pet supply store
The existence of all three essentials shows that the community cares about the well being of animals, says Ashley Jacobs, CEO of Sitting For A Cause, a site that matches pet owners with local petsitters. When you have a community who cares about animals, keeping them healthy and controlling the pet population, that’s always a telltale sign that your dog will be welcome and loved, she says.
4. There are plenty of sidewalks and places to walk
We bought our house because of the size of the lot .98 acres for the dogs, says Peter Taylor, a photographer who has three dogs and lives in Mountainbrook, a neighborhood in Charlotte, NC. And the roads are wide, with very little through traffic, great for walking. After all, you’ll walk your dog often, so you’ll want a neighborhood that makes this accessible. In addition to sidewalks, are there trails or beaches to explore? Bonus points if the neighborhood provides waste bags or dog-accessible water bowls, which are a sure sign an area welcomes pooches, says Jacobs.
5. Places for people also welcome pets
If a neighborhood looks promising, call or stop by some of the local restaurants, stores, or coffeehouses and ask about their policy on pets. Look for dogs lounging on local restaurant patios while their human family members enjoy lunch or dinner nearby. Spotting dog treats on the counter at the neighborhood bakery or brewery is a good sign. These little extras will enhance the quality of life for you and your pet and make your new neighborhood feel like home.
Source: Trulia Blog