DIY: Installing a Pet Door

If you have a pet, you probably know the little story called “In. Out. Repeat.” Want to stop playing doorman for your dog or cat? Maybe it’s time to consider installing a pet door in your home. Here are a few things to think about before taking on this pet project.

Start outside
Before you start doing any research on pet doors, you’ll first need to address what your pet will do with his new-found freedom. Does your dog or cat have a tendency to run away? Do you live on a busy street? Will your neighbors mind if your pet is outside unattended? Keep all of these things in mind before installing a free pass to the outdoors. Whether you opt for a physical fence or an invisible one, a barrier will give you piece of mind that your furry friend won’t get lost or hurt.

Choose the Right Door
Now that we know your pet will be safe once he gets outside, let’s discuss what kind of pet door is right for you. Just as there are many things to consider when choosing a front door for your home, there are plenty of elements to consider when selecting a pet door. A pet door can be installed in the wall, storm/screen door, garage door or sliding glass door. Cost of installation and complexity of the project varies with each, with storm door installation being the most cost-effective.

You’ll need to take your pet’s measurements before making your door selection. Consider that your pet will duck his head when entering and exiting, so you’ll want to find a door that is slightly taller than your pet’s shoulder height and at least two inches wider than his body. Creating a mock door out of cardboard is an easy way to test your measurements.

Ready to install? Hire a professional, or follow this step-by-step guide from Lowe’s.

Consider Resale
Most “tips for resale” lists recommend removing anything that says “a pet has lived here,” but according to the Humane Society, 62 percent of American households included at least one pet in 2012. Needless to say, there is a large population out there that may appreciate the upgrade. That said, if you don’t want to commit to a permanent pet door, consider opting to install the pet door in your storm door or screen door, so it can easily be removed or replaced should you no longer need it.

For me, home isn’t home without a furry friend. It appears many agree, just check out some of these other pet-centric home upgrades.

The post DIY: Installing a Pet Door appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

10 Cats Who Totally Rule Their Home

Cats are notorious for their sneaky but funny antics. In the war against doors, drawers, windows and more, it is clear they can’t be stopped. Here is a collection of cats that are totally dominating their homes.

“Oh that’s cute a baby gate. Hold on let me just hop over this.”

“I put the cat in cat burglar”

“Is there where my human hides my treats?”

“Actually I would prefer to be an indoor cat”

“Nice try but I guess you didn’t know I have the power to make my bones disappear”

“Well what did you expect with all those treats you have been feeding me?”

“Nothing like a good midnight snack. Whatcha got in there?

“I may seem lazy but I am actually a genius”

“Proof that Cats rule and Dogs Drool”

The post 10 Cats Who Totally Rule Their Home appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

10 Cats Who Totally Rule Their Home

Cats are notorious for their sneaky but funny antics. In the war against doors, drawers, windows and more, it is clear they can’t be stopped. Here is a collection of cats that are totally dominating their homes.

“Pfft you thought this simple drawer could stop me?”

“Oh that’s cute a baby gate. Hold on let me just hop over this.”

“I put the cat in cat burglar”

“Is there where my human hides my treats?”

“Actually I would prefer to be an indoor cat”

“Nice try but I guess you didn’t know I have the power to make my bones disappear”

“Well what did you expect with all those treats you have been feeding me?”

“Nothing like a good midnight snack. Whatcha got in there?

“I may seem lazy but I am actually a genius”

“Proof that Cats rule and Dogs Drool”

The post 10 Cats Who Totally Rule Their Home appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

Win $25,000 in the Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action YouTube Contest

What’s more entertaining than seeing kids and pets on video? America’s Funniest Videos has made a living off of it. Now what’s better than winning $25,000? Not much. So why not combine these two great things into one amazing contest? Well that’s exactly what we’ve done with the Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action YouTube contest.

From August 22, 2013 through September 22, 2013 you can submit a video to the Coldwell Banker YouTube channel (http://youtube.com/coldwellbanker). What we’re looking for is a tour of your home from the perspective of a child or pet or having them share what makes your house so special that it can be called home. Videos should be no longer than 2 minutes in length.

lifecameraaction Win $25,000 in the Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action YouTube Contest

When you submit a video you’ll then be able to vote for your video once a day, every day for the length of the contest. Share the videos with friends, relatives, and complete strangers to get as many votes as you can. On September 22nd when submissions close, the 10 videos with the most votes will be made finalists and have their videos reviewed by a panel of judges to determine who will be the $25,000 grand prize winner!

So dust off that camera or flip that smartphone on to video mode. Grab your kids, your dog, your fish or your ferret and start making a video. Who knows? It might just be worth $25,000.

For full contest details and to submit a video, go to youtube.com/coldwellbanker.

The post Win $25,000 in the Coldwell Banker Life, Camera, Action YouTube Contest appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

How to Keep Pets Cool and Safe at Home in the Summer

Can you imagine sitting in your house wearing a fur coat on a 90 degree day? Sounds horrible right?

As the temperatures rise it is important to keep your pet(s) comfortable and healthy. The summer sun can cause pets to become overheated, dehydrated and if left outside, sunburned.

Here are a few tips for protecting your pet from the summer heat.

Give Them A Summer Haircut

Pets that have thick, long fur should be trimmed (not shaved) during warmer months. If your pet is anything like mine, then sunbathing is a favorite afternoon past time. Unfortunately this could lead to heat stroke if they aren’t properly groomed, reports Yahoo.

Keep Them Inside

You may think  you are doing them a favor by leaving them outside to catch the summer breeze but this could be a fatal mistake. According to Petfinder, even in the shade, a pet exposed to extreme heat and humidity is at risk for heatstroke. In addition to heatstroke, animals with shorter hair are also at risk for sunburn when left out in the sun. If you are outside in the sun with your pet, consider buying them Pet Suncreen.

Provide Plenty of Water

Water is likely to vaporize on extra hot days so providing one bowl may not be sufficient. Consider adding additional bowls in cooler spots of the house to ensure your pet stays hydrated. You may also want to add ice cubes to the water before you leave for work to keep the temperature of the water down.

Keep it Cool

Leaving the air conditioning on is the best way to keep your home cool while you are away. I know…some may be thinking no way, my electric bill will be through the roof! Unless you can leave your pet in a cool/shady place for the entire day, you should consider leaving the air conditioner on at a reasonable temperature. If this just isn’t a feasible option, you can help reduce the temperature in the house by keeping the curtains and window shades closed. Another option is leaving a fan on that they can lay near.

Plan for Power Outages
If you leave your dog home alone with the air conditioning on (and all the windows closed) while you’re at work all day, and you live in an area where brownouts or rolling blackouts occur during peak times of power usage, make sure a neighbor who will be at home has your house key, suggests Today. That way your neighbor can check on your dog and open all the windows if the power goes out.

Supervise Swim Time

I don’t know of many cats who enjoy swimming in the pool but I do know of plenty of dogs. If you have a pool in  your yard and a pooch who likes to take an occasional dip, ensure that swim time is always supervised. Be sure to teach your dog how to exit the pool safely or an unsupervised dip could end in tragedy.

By taking these preventive steps both you and your pet can enjoy a safe and fun summer together.

Image via PetMD

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Home Gift Guide: The Animal Lover

Here at Coldwell Banker, we know that pets are an integral part of what makes a house a home. I’m betting there’s at least one dog lover, cat person or owner of a hamster hotel on your holiday list this year so here are a few home gift ideas for the Animal Lover.

The Dog Throw Pillow

 dog pillow Holiday Home Gift Guide: The Animal Lover

Go ahead. Try and resist those puppy dog eyes. This pillow has everything you love about your dog just without the excess fur and bad breath. Available at PlowHearth.com for $29.95.

A Horse Lamp

  Holiday Home Gift Guide: The Animal Lover

I know i’ve often said to myself, “You know what this room needs? A horse lamp.” And now you can get one for someone you truly love because it’s going to cost you about $8,000. Available from TheFancy.com.

Lobster Bowl

  Holiday Home Gift Guide: The Animal Lover

This bowl looks like it will crawl right off your table but we’re pretty sure it won’t….mostly sure it won’t. A great conversation piece while also requiring the host to serve lobster. Available from SF Foster for a mere $4,500.

Hanging Fish Pod

hanging fish pod thumb 300x250 343 Holiday Home Gift Guide: The Animal Lover

Why shouldn’t a pet be part of a home’s decor? Way better than an ordinary plastic bowl, let the Animal Lover show off their favorite fishy friend with this hanging fish pod. Seen on Uncrate.com for $30.

Luxury Pet Bed

 luxury pet bed Holiday Home Gift Guide: The Animal Lover

Instead of having a pet on the master bed, why not let them lounge on their own sleep number bed? Why stop there? Let’s get them a headboard, some end tables and make their sleeping arrangements worthy of a Ritz Carlton. You can get one for $1,575 on Etsy.

Here’s to Pets

Meet Thor and Jager

“Here’s to pets…and all the things that make a house a home.”

Meet our big Blue Weimaraner, Thor (Nordic God of Thunder, his name when adopted),  and our Shorthaired Pointer pup, Jager (“hunter” in German).   They are two in a long line of dogs in my life since I was two years old, and they are an integral part of the value of our home for my wife and me.

Pets, whether they’re dogs, cats, or other, are special to so many of us and we couldn’t imagine a life without them.   Their unconditional affection, eternal forgiveness (at least with dogs… I’m not so convinced about cats…sorry cat owners, but I’ve been there, too), and ability to make the day’s stress  melt away with the wag of their tails renders them incredible companions and quasi therapists.

Now there are plenty of renters out there today with pets, but based on a recent experience I can once again confirm that pets and homeownership go together best.   When moving from Florida to New Jersey 18 months ago, we originally intended to build, so we purchased a home site and went looking for a house to lease during construction.   In search after search, whether online or in print, we were all too often faced with disappointing restrictions on pets.  Periodically we’d find a landlord who would allow a “small” dog with a larger deposit down, but small doesn’t apply when you have two dogs with a combined weight just shy of 200 pounds.

Although we finally found a house to rent, I believe Thor and Jager knew something wasn’t right.  This was temporary.  This wasn’t home.   We’re all creatures of routine, and relish our independence and privacy.   We all prefer to set down roots and bask in the familiar.

And we could learn a thing or two from our pets.   You see, over these last few years, they didn’t become obsessed with the latest newspaper articles on prices or ponder daily fluctuations in household equity.   They were just concerned about whether dinner would be on time and which one of them would get the prime sleeping spot in front of a sun drenched window.   A long-term perspective will eventually show they were the wiser.

Ultimately, we decided not to build, but instead purchased a charming older home on several acres where Thor and Jager can while away the hours scouting for anything furry that moves.   And at the end of the day, they can curl up in front of the fireplace with the assurance of knowing they are finally home again.  So can their dad…..

Take a look at the Coldwell Banker TV spot titled “Pets.”

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