Do you enjoy having friends over for food, fun and good company but your pets don’t always feel quite so hospitable? As much as we love all the fun and excitement these get togethers bring, it can also be a very stressful time for your pet!
The sudden addition of new friends and familiar family, and all kinds of fun and interesting foods are a lot for a pet to cope with. Even the most relaxed and well-socialized pets can have difficulty adjusting, and if you have a new puppy, it can be doubly challenging to maintain discipline and training goals with so many new people around. Here are some entertaining tips to make sure both you and your pet have the most stress-free celebration.Signs of stress in dogs
If you have a nervous dog, you may already be familiar with the signs of stress in dogs, including these things to look out for:Increased licking or biting themselves, which is often a symptom of anxiety Diarrhea, vomiting, or other digestive issues can be a symptom of increased stress Trembling, tail tucking, reduced activity, or hiding and withdrawal can be a sign of fear Signs of stress in cats
These are all very similar to symptoms of stress and anxiety in cats as well. Of course, it’s difficult to relax and have fun at your gatherings when your pet is distressed, so it’s important to take some time and plan ahead to keep a nervous dog or cat as relaxed and comfortable as possible.Ways to keep your pets calm during parties
Confine your pets for a portion of the event. If possible, keep your pets away from the party and guests in a comfortable, familiar space. If you have an open plan house, you may want to use temporary pet gates to keep dogs in a separate part of the house. It can be easier and less stressful for them to be crated or contained at least until all the guests have arrived and there is less action at the front door, or until after food has been served to reduce the extra stimulation that food can provide. Allow the pets out when the party atmosphere has calmed a bit. Monitor their food intake. A lot of human food is unhealthy for pets, and if you are having potlucks, or have indulgent grandparents, it can be difficult to be sure your pets are eating healthy foods during a party. You may want to give your guests healthy pet treats to spoil your pets with, and discourage feeding human foods. Use technology to help lower your pet’s stress. In recent years, a number of pet-calming sprays have been developed, that use pheromones to calm cats and dogs. Not all of these products work on all pets, but they are a safe and natural way to calm stress, and have been shown to be effective. You could also use a pet-soothing playlist that may help to mask the unusual sounds of a gathering and provide a calming influence. There are a variety of dog and cat-soothing audio and video playlists available. Remain calm yourself. Believe it or not, your own stress is likely to be the most stressful thing for your pet. Making your party entertaining, relaxing and enjoyable for yourself is the best way to take care of them. We have compiled some great tips to keep your parties fun and enjoyable, without breaking the bank or stressing yourself out.
Remember that parties big and small are about celebrating togetherness and enjoying each other, not about picture-perfection. If you make your planning easy on yourself, you will naturally make it easier on your pets as well. May you and your pets have a happy, joyous, and stress-free event!
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From Source Article: moneypit.com
Are you dreaming of a new kitchen, but losing sleep over the costs associated with buying and installing brand new cabinets? Well, you can rest easy, for there’s another option: cabinet refacing. Kitchen cabinet refacing provides a quick and affordable way to completely transform the look of a kitchen without replacing a single cabinet. Refacing consists of installing all new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, but leaving the existing cabinets and drawer boxes intact. The face frames of the cabinets and any exposed ends are veneered or painted to match the finish on the new doors and drawer fronts. All the old knobs, pulls and hinges are replaced as well.
As you can imagine, cabinet refacing is a whole lot quicker and neater than ripping out your old cabinets and installing new ones. If you are ordering custom-made doors and drawers, you’ll need to allow a few weeks of manufacturing time beforehand. But while it usually takes six to eight days to replace cabinets in the average-size kitchen, installation for refacing only takes about three to five days. Plus, you can reface the cabinets without disturbing your existing countertops. However, not every kitchen is a candidate for refacing. Here’s how to determine if it’s a viable option for your kitchen.How to Evaluate Your Kitchen for Cabinet Refacing
The great thing about cabinet refacing is that it doesn’t matter how outdated, dingy or dilapidated the doors and drawer fronts are. What’s important is that the cabinets themselves, along with the drawer boxes, are in sound condition and good working order.Start by inspecting the inside of each cabinet to ensure there aren’t any obvious signs of structural damage, such as cracked side panels or loose bottoms. Gently poke around inside the cabinet with an awl or similar tool. If you discover any soft, spongy areas, that could be an indication of wood rot or water damage. Be sure that the upper cabinets are securely fastened to the walls and each other. Check base cabinets for water damage, too, especially under the sink. The bottom of the cabinets should be firm and flat, not warped, sagging or dislodged. The face frames, if any, must be firmly attached to the cabinets, and their edges and corners should be smooth and flat. Small cracks and holes can be filled with wood putty, but face frames that are split in two must be replaced. Make sure that all shelves are securely attached and not cracked, loose or warped.
With cabinet refacing, you gain new doors, drawers, hardware, slides and glides without having to uproot your whole kitchen. You can also choose to add new countertops or a backsplash during the refacing process.What’s the Difference: Kitchen Cabinet Refacing vs. Refinishing
Don’t confuse cabinet refacing with cabinet refinishing. While the terms are sometimes used synonymously, they have two separate meanings. As mentioned earlier, refacing includes the installation of brand new cabinet doors and drawer fronts. With cabinet refinishing, the old doors and drawer fronts are removed, refinished and reinstalled. Refinishing is a good option if you just want to freshen up the new look of the cabinets, but to completely transform your kitchen, consider refacing instead.The Cabinet Refacing Process Cabinet refacing includes the installation of all new hardware, including door hinges, and pulls and knobs for all doors and drawers.
Once you’ve determined that cabinet refacing is a viable option for your kitchen, you must decide whether to tackle the job yourself or hire a professional cabinet refacing contractor.
If you choose the DIY approach, start by measuring carefully to ensure that the new components will precisely fit the existing cabinets. You can order custom-made doors to fit your measurements, or buy prefinished, ready-to-install doors and drawer fronts. You’ll also need to purchase veneer and plywood for covering the face frames and exposed cabinet ends. You’ll also have to purchase all the necessary hardware, such as hinges, pulls and knobs. This is a large, time-consuming project to take on yourself, so consider this approach only if you’re an experienced DIYer.
While it may cost a bit more to hire a professional contractor for your kitchen cabinet refacing project than to do the work yourself, the upside is that the installation will be done faster and neater, and the quality of the work will be guaranteed by licensed professionals.
To find a suitable contractor, you could visit the kitchen showroom at a local home improvement center or schedule an in-home consultation, usually free of charge. A sales associate will explain the installation process and help you choose your new cabinet doors, drawer fronts and hardware.
Next, a professional will measure your kitchen cabinets, order the correct size and number of doors and drawer fronts, and schedule an installation date.
When the contractor arrives, he or she will start by removing all the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. The cabinet surfaces will then be prepped and the face frames veneered. Plywood panels will be attached to any exposed cabinet ends. The new doors and drawer fronts will be installed along with all new hinges, knobs and pulls. The contractor will then haul away debris and clean up the kitchen.
Therein lies the biggest benefit of cabinet refacing: Your dream kitchen can become a reality in just a few short days!
Editors Note: Joseph Truini is a carpenter with many years of experience advising homeowners on kitchen cabinets and other home storage solutions. He shares his expertise online for The Home Depot. To research cabinet refacing options, including those discussed by Joseph, you can visit The Home Depot’s website.
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From Source Article: moneypit.com