6 Tips for Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions

Every year, you may identify the goals that you want to accomplish in the upcoming year on New Year’s. While you may find yourself sticking to these goals for the first few weeks or even the first month, life can sometimes get in the way and throw you off. However, there are some tricks you can use to keep you on path to accomplishing your goals.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting attainable goals is one of the most important things when it comes to identifying the resolutions you would like to make. If the goals are not realistic, you may lose the confidence and motivation to make positive changes to your life simply because there is no way that you will reach your goal. For example, setting the resolution to never eat a certain food that you love again is likely setting yourself up to failing. Reducing the amount of times you eat that food is a more attainable goal.

Keep Your Goals Small

Large, grand-sweeping goals are often harder to attain simply because these goals can take a large amount of time to come to fruition. In many cases, you may lose the motivation simply because the goal appears to be no more attainable than it was when you first made the goal. Keeping each of your goals achievable can help you make the progress that you want. For example, the goal of living a healthier lifestyle can be harder to achieve than making the goal go to the gym three times a week. Identifying the smaller goal of going to the gym a certain amount of times is more achievable as the guidelines are clearer.

Track Your Progress

If you are someone who stays motivated by watching your progress, keeping a journal or planner can keep you actively working towards your goal. This can also help you break up your large goals into groups of smaller goals that are faster to attain. If losing a certain amount of weight is the goal, for example, breaking the total amount you want to lose into smaller monthly amounts will feel more rewarding.

Get Back on Track

Life can get busy. You may find yourself missing out on going to the gym and back to eating take-out or forgetting to do whatever it is you need to do to reach your goal. If this happens and you find yourself off track from accomplishing your goal, do not fret. If your goals are small and attainable, simply get back to doing what you need to do. The occasional slip will not stop you from attaining your goal; however, failing to start up again after getting off-track will.

Focus on Turning Goals into Habits

According to the experts, it takes about 21 days before a new activity becomes habit. After about six months, the habit should be on the way to becoming more permanent. Starting a new activity and sticking with it for the first month is the hardest part when it comes to working towards a goal. Try to stick with it and reward yourself when you reach the 21-day mark and the sixth month mark. Even if your goal has not yet been met at this time, you may already find yourself feeling better and happier.

Always Keep Trying

Achieving or attaining a goal is always a good a thing, especially when that goal is to become a healthier and happier version of you. However, not meeting your goal in the specific time-frame that you set is not the end of the world. Simply making the goal and taking steps towards it are putting you on the path to become a better person. Keep trying, keep resetting those goals and keep working towards the person you want to be.

 

4 Signs Your Roof Needs Repairs

When you come home every day, you probably do not give too much thought to your roof. However, it is one of the most important components of your home. Not only does it keep you safe by keeping the elements out, but it can also save you money by keeping certain things, like your conditioned air in the summer and your heat in the winter, in.

In order to do its job well, your roof needs to be maintained and, depending on the type of roof you have, replaced when the amount of work it needs is just too much. Determining when your roof needs some work done can be difficult, so make sure you keep an eye out for these specific signs.

1) The Age of Your Roof

A typical asphalt shingle roof should around 20 years. However, your roof’s potential lifespan depends on a variety of factors, including how many layers of shingles are on your roof and if the roof is properly ventilated. If you have poor ventilation and two layers of shingles, you will likely need to replace your roof sooner. You should have a roofer check your roof once every three years or so to keep an eye on its condition.

2) Shingle Condition

Even if your roof is on the newer side, you still want to be on the lookout for missing shingles, broken shingles or curling shingles. This can be a major indication that you have water leaks or poor ventilation. In some cases, you may see damaged shingles after a major storm. While the roof structure itself may be fine, you should get a roofer out to replace those shingles. Otherwise, problems can occur later on and result in more damage.

3) Damaged Flashing

Flashing is a piece of metal that is installed around an opening in the roof, such as around a chimney or in roof valleys. This component prevents water from going into the roof and protects areas that are particularly susceptible to water leaks. Over time, flashing can corrode or form holes, preventing it from doing its job correctly. If you start to notice discoloration on your flashing, call in an expert to replace it before it becomes a bigger problem.

4) No Snow on Your Roof in the Winter

This sign can seem odd because, when you first think about it, you may not want snow on your roof. Snow can be heavy and, if the roof is old and weak, it can cause a collapse. In order for that snow to melt, however, there needs to be a heat source. If that heat is not coming from the sun, then it is coming from below. This means that all of that expensive heat you are paying for is escaping from your living space and out your roof. In some cases, your roof may form ice dams, or walls of ice that prevent the snow from leaving your roof. This can result in serious water damage if not fixed.

While this can be frustrating, this may not necessarily be a problem with your roof per se. It could be an issue with the barrier between your living space and the attic. Still, your trusted roofer can help you find a solution to the problem.

If you leave roof repairs to the last minute, you may end up with more problems and expenses than if you take care of them as they are needed. By keeping your roof in tip-top shape, you can rest assured that you are fully protected and ready to endure the elements.

 

What is a Carbon Footprint?

Within the last few decades, awareness regarding climate change around the world has continued to increase as more people become aware of their impact on global warming and climate change. Although studies have shown that we are quickly reaching the crisis point for our environment, making major lifestyle changes can be daunting when you have no idea how you and your family actually impact the environment.
This is where the carbon footprint comes in. By understanding your carbon footprint, you can find ways to reduce your impact on the environment by targeting specific activities and lifestyle choices.

What is a Carbon Footprint?

Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases you produce directly or indirectly. In this case, greenhouse gases are usually expressed in tons of carbon dioxide, or CO2. While other greenhouse gases are certainly involved in climate change, they are usually converted into CO2 to make understanding impact a bit easier. You produce a certain amount of greenhouse gases or carbon dioxide every time you drive your car, take a trip, heat or cool your home, buy food and purchase electronics and other items.

What is Global Warming?

Global warming is a phenomenon where the average temperature of the planet rises. As the temperatures rise, the additional heat causes the Earth’s delicate ecosystem to change. For example, the glaciers and polar ice melts, affecting sea levels. Rising temperatures also have an impact on the weather, causing abnormal weather patterns and increasing the number of extreme weather events, including droughts, floods and tornadoes.

How Does Your Carbon Footprint Contribute to Global Warming?

Greenhouse gases, such as CO2, capture heat that comes from the sun. As the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase, more heat is trapped, causing the Earth’s temperature to rise. The more CO2 and other greenhouse gases you create, the more you contribute to global warming. While it is true that your carbon footprint is much smaller when compared to major polluting businesses, reducing the amount of CO2 in your daily life can actually result in a healthier lifestyle for you and your family.

How Can You Calculate Your Carbon Footprint?

One of the easiest ways to get an estimate of your carbon footprint is to simply use a carbon footprint calculator. You can find a free calculator at Carbon Independent. The calculator allows you to input your electricity use or get a quick estimate if you do not have your bills on hand. All you will need to do is enter your household data, your personal lifestyle choices and travel choices.

Carbon Footprints around the World

The world average for CO2 production is 4 tons per household per year. The U.S. average is a staggering 20 tons of CO2 per household per year, far more than China and India, which produce 3.2 tons and 1.2 tons per household per year, respectively. It is argued that the estimated sustainable figure is 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions per household per year. For those of us living in the U.S., our high CO2 production averages may be due to the reliance on personal vehicles as transportation and our general consumption habits as a nation.

Is There a Way to Slow Down or Prevent Global Warming?

Every person has an impact on the environment and contributes to global warming. Anything you consume produces CO2 and other greenhouse gases. As such, reducing your carbon footprint is done by either consuming less or making changes to what and how you consume.

 

Considerations to Make before Adopting a Dog


There are many people who decide to purchase a dog through a breeder or a pet store. Whether this is due to the convenience of seeing a cute puppy and being able to bring it home immediately or the aversion to choosing an animal that may have a mysterious history, there are better options out there. Shelters and breed-specific rescues are a great place to find your new family member, especially if you want to avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders. However, before you go to a shelter and pick your pooch, there are some considerations you will need to take into account.

Healthcare and Costs

Although the adoption fee and cost of dog food may not seem like much, there are other costs that future dog owners need to take into account. Certain dog breeds are more likely to have health complications as they age while others simply have bad luck when it comes to their health. If the dog does have health problems, medical expenses can rise quickly. To offset this, dog owners should consider getting pet health insurance.

If you live in an apartment or rent a home, there may also be an increase in the cost of your rent. Some landlords require an additional pet deposit and a small increase in monthly rent, which quickly adds up.

Energy and Responsibility

You should never adopt a dog that has a higher energy level than you can handle. For example, if you a low-stress person, you may want to look at dogs that have lower energy levels. Older dogs, certain calmer dog breeds and dogs that have special needs may be a good option. If you have kids or other family members who are all ready to take on the responsibility of a high-energy dog, go for a dog that loves to run and be active.

Considering Other Family Members

Adopting a new dog is an exciting event; however, make sure to consider your other pets, especially if you have cats, and vulnerable family members, like young kids. Shelters are generally very good when determining if a particular dog gets along with cats, other dogs and small children. so allow staff to help you find your new pal if you need something specific.

One way to avoid having to take a dog that does not work out back to shelter is to consider fostering. In some cases, you can work with a shelter to bring a dog home and try things out before making a commitment. This benefits both you and the dog as you get to determine if that particular dog can be integrated into the existing family or not and the dog is more likely to ultimately get adopted, even if you end up not being the adopter.

Avoid Making Emotional Decisions

Adopting a shelter dog is a rewarding experience. However, you and your family members should understand that the process can also be difficult, especially because you simply cannot adopt all of the dogs you may fall in love with. You can make the process easier by determining what you are looking for before you go to the shelter. This includes the relative age of the dogs, breeds you may or may not be interested in and temperament. This way, you are more likely to find a dog who fits in with your family from the get-go.

Enjoy Your New Family Member

Getting to choose your new family member can be fun, exciting and even a bit exhausting. When your new dog is finally home, however, you will not be able to remember your life without it.

 

How to Start a Compost Pile

 

Those who are interested in green living may be interested in starting a compost pile. Composting, or the process of recycling organic materials into a nutrient-rich soil, has distinct advantages. Not only does composting help you reduce the amount of waste you personally add to your local landfills, but a successful compost pile can also make your garden healthier. Starting a compost pile is a very easy task.

What You Need to Start a Compost Pile

Before you start setting up your compost pile, you will need to pick out the perfect site. The area should have adequate drainage and be somewhat protected against freezing winds during the winter. If you intent to compost your kitchen scraps, it is recommended that you put your compost pile somewhere that is easily accessed and near the back door. If you have neighbors who live nearby, you may also want to find a spot that is discrete and will not allow those nearby to smell the compost.

It is easiest to start your compost pile on bare earth. This allows earth worms and other organisms to access your composting materials. It is recommended that your composting site be about 3 feet long by 3 feet wide. You will want to lay down a layer or straw or twigs. This helps aerate your compost pile and allows water to drain out. If you prefer, you can utilize a composting bin instead of creating an open-air pile.

When you add your first round of composting materials, make sure to alternate between wet and dry compost. Food scraps are considered to be wet materials while wood ashes, sawdust pellets and leaves are dry materials. Cover the pile with a tarp to keep just the right amount of moisture in. If you are using a bin, make sure to keep the top on. Every few weeks, the compost should be turned with a shovel or pitchfork. This adds oxygen into the pile. Adding manure can speed up the process as it contains organisms and nitrogen sources.

Once the compost pile has been established, you can mix in new materials. The compost must be turned in order to keep the compost progressing into nutrient-rich soil.

Composting in an Apartment

While composting is much easier if you have a large backyard, you can compost if you live in an apartment or in a home that does not have much outdoor space. As long as you make sure to manage your compost pile properly, you can even prevent weird smells and pests.

You can either purchase a pre-made worm bin or cut holes along the bottom and top of a plastic bin. An additional lid should be placed underneath the bin for water drainage. Soak shredded newspapers in water and wring them out. Put half of the soaked newspaper in a crisscross pattern along the bottom. Add your worms and some soil. Once they have burrowed into the soil, you can add your food scraps and the rest of the newspaper.

The bin should be placed in a cool spot that does not experience a lot of sunshine. Continue to add your organic kitchen scraps to the compost bin until the majority of the scraps have turned to soil. The bin will then need to sit until it has fully composted. Once your compost is ready, you can use it to increase the health of your indoor plants.

Enjoy a Greener Life

While you cannot compost everything, you can reduce the amount of waste you produce. In fact, you can even use your compost pile to help you get started down a path of greener living.

 

4 Tips for Planning a Summer Road Trip

Road trips allow you to enjoy the journey and not just the destination. However, planning for a road trip can be a daunting task, especially if you have never been on one yourself. With these four tips, you can make your road trip go smoothly while enjoying your vacation.
1. Plan Your Route and Stops Before You Start Your Trip

When you take a road trip, you will be spending a large amount of time in your car no matter how far you are going. Some people are able to spend eight or more hours in the car each day while others, especially children, may not have that sort of stamina. As such, knowing your main route and where you will be spending the night can help prevent stress, keep you on track and ensure that everyone can make it through the trip while enjoying themselves.

If you are using GPS-enabled devices, it is recommended that you bring two. GPS services can sometimes be inaccurate and can leave you in a lurch. Further, even though we live in the age of technology, bringing along an up-to-date paper map can be a life-saver if you find yourself lost without cell service or battery power. If you or your friends or family members do not know how to read a map, this is a great chance to learn.

2. Know Your Budget

Budgeting for a road trip is incredibly important. On top of budgeting for hotels, food, fun and souvenirs, you should also ensure that you have budgeted some emergency money in the event that something goes wrong with your car. You do not want a blown tire to be the end of your trip.

There are also a few ways you can save some money. Some phone apps and GPS devices can help you find the gas stations with the cheapest prices. Also, gas stations that are located at exits with multiple fast food restaurants often have lower prices due to the competition. When it comes to food, packing some snacks can help keep your food costs down. Visiting a fast-food restaurant or diner every time you are hungry can get expensive quickly.

3. Schedule Some Exploring Time

The best part about road trips is that you get to travel on roads you never would have traveled on otherwise. This means that you may come across national gems that you never knew existed. Depending on where you are going, some roadside attractions, like gem mines, living farms and specialty museums can take a few hours to visit.

Having some extra time in your schedule also allows for the unexpected. For example, you could encounter road construction, accidents and even unclear directions while you travel. Since you have the extra time available, you will not have to stress too much about getting behind schedule.

4. Get Some In-Vehicle Entertainment

Spending several days on the road can get boring pretty quickly, especially if you have little ones with you. While movies and video games are probably the easiest to throw in the car, kids can miss out on the sights. Bringing along books, non-messy supplies, like paper and colored pencils, and non-electronic games can help some of the time go by. Road trip bingo games are perfect for this, as it gets them interested in their surroundings while still occupying them.

Summer road trips are a fantastic way to experience more of the world first-hand. By using these tips, you can get a strong plan together that will allow you to remember your first road trip fondly.

 

Will Buying an Electric Vehicle Save You Money?

With the Tesla Model 3 release day looming and with the Chevy Bolt already available to the public, interest in purchasing and owning an electric vehicle is picking up. These vehicles have a number of exciting advantages over traditional gas cars, with the main ones being no more gas and no more major impact on the environment. However, both the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt start in the $35K range, so while they are certainly more affordable than other electric cars, they still cost a pretty penny. In order for these types of cars to be viable for many, they have to save people money.

For example, Tesla claims that the Model 3 will save you anywhere from an average of $6,000 to $9,000. If this is true, the Model 3 could potentially save a person money. Likewise, giving up gas with the Chevy Bolt should also provide some sort of savings for drivers.

In Reality, Calculating Savings Can Be Tricky

Using the Model 3 as an example, it is important to note that the starting cost may include estimated savings you may get as a result of tax credits and other incentives. Tax credits, rebates and other applicable incentives can vary state by state, so it important to consider this. However, tax credits and rebates do run out, meaning the cost of the vehicle will go up for those who wait to purchase.

When it comes to fuel savings, the actual amount of savings will depend on how far the vehicle is driven and the cost of electricity. For example, driving a similar gas vehicle 15,000 miles every year with an average of 25 miles an hour and with gas prices at $2.50 will cost approximately $1,500 per year. A Tesla driver who drives 15,000 miles per year could see a rise in their electric bill by about $600 annually. While this still results in about $900 in net savings, buyers looking to purchase a new vehicle will have to determine if these savings make the initial cost of the vehicle worth it.

Some drivers may also see savings in a weird place: insurance. California and Illinois have some of the lowest insurance rates for Tesla owners. To get the full amount of savings from insurance, be sure to compare rates as you may find additional savings.

How Much Will You Save?

Ultimately, the amount of money that you may or may not save if you decide to reserve a Model 3 or purchase a Chevy Bolt depends on where you live and your unique situation. If savings are the most important factor in purchasing a new car, opting for a less expensive vehicle is going to save you the most. If a $35,000 vehicle is exactly what you are looking for, then a Model 3 or a Chevy Bolt may be something to consider as you will save on gas at the very least.

Is it Worth Reserving a Model 3?

As of June 2017, almost 400,000 people have reserved a Model 3. If you have not reserved your Model 3 yet, you may be waiting until mid- to late-2018 to get your vehicle. By that time, the incentives may no longer be available. If savings are your main priority but you want to get an electric vehicle, the Chevy Bolt may be your best bet. It is important to note, however, that the real goal of the Model 3, the Chevy Bolt and the more luxurious EVs are not to save you money. Instead, the goal is to provide an eco-friendly option for those who wish to reduce their carbon footprint. If this is something that you are passionate about, reserving a Tesla Model 3 or purchasing a Chevy Bolt will be worth it.

Beat Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration by Staying Cool This Summer

There is no better way to enjoy the summer season than by spending your free time outside in the sun with your family. However, your summer fun could end in catastrophe if you and your loved ones are not careful when spending the day out in the heat.

Identifying Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when someone becomes dehydrated and ill due to heat. Some of the symptoms include headaches, vomiting, dizziness, muscle cramps, excessive sweating and fatigue, among others. If not treated, heat exhaustion can escalate to heat stroke, which is a potentially fatal medical emergency that can result in a coma or seizures.

If you suspect that someone is suffering from heat exhaustion, there are several steps that can be taken to cool the individual down:

  • The person should be moved to a shady place or indoors where air conditioning is available.
  • Any excess clothing should be removed to help the person feel more comfortable.
  • You can pour old water over the person from heat exhaustion. You can also pack icepacks around them if they are available.
  • If their symptoms persist or you cannot get them cooled down, it is essential to contact emergency services.

Identifying Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when someone’s body does not have enough water or electrolytes to function properly. Most of the body’s water is lost through sweating on hot days. Someone who is experiencing dehydration may have a number of symptoms, including sudden headaches, nausea, dizziness and even shortness of breath. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening and needs immediate medical attention. Symptoms for severe dehydration include extreme thirst, unconsciousness, fever, low blood pressure, rapid breathing and an inability to sweat or urinate.

There are simple treatments for mild dehydration:

  • Water intake should be increased by frequently drinking small amounts. Drinking a large amount of water or other fluids all at once could lead to illness and vomiting.
  • Sucking on ice chips can ensure that fluids are going back into the body slowly.
  • Eating ice pops can help balance electrolytes. Popular sports drinks also have electrolytes, but they also contain a high amount of sugar. Therefore, these should be avoided by young children or individuals suffering from diarrhea.

For severe dehydration, the person may require an IV to replace fluids at a hospital or in an emergency room.

Tips for Staying Cool

Drinking water and staying indoors in the air conditioning are easy ways to beat the heat. However, everyone wants to enjoy the summer while it lasts. You don’t need to suffer episodes of dehydration and heat exhaustion to enjoy the great outdoors.

While keeping yourself hydrated is a must, here are several additional ways to stay cool when temperatures skyrocket:

  • Make Your Own Popsicles: One of the easiest ways to stay cool is to eat something cold. By making your own popsicles, you can even get the kids involved. Experiment with different healthy fruit juices and fruit pieces to create a tasty snack that will get everyone to sit down and take a break to cool off.
  • Stick with Cold Foods and Drinks: Keep your meals light and full of chilled fruits and vegetables. Eat small amounts during the day rather than one big meal. Digestion generates body heat and eating less more frequently will keep you cooler.
  • Leave the Kitchen Appliances Off: The oven generates quite a bit of heat. Avoid cooking foods that require the oven during the hottest parts of the day to give your air conditioner a break. Use a slow cooker for your big meals.
  • Use a Cold Cloth: If you find yourself outside working in your yard or garden, placing a cold cloth on the back of your neck will cool you down. You can also soak a cloth headband in ice water and wrap it around your head.
  • Use Ice with Your Fans: If you use floor fans, placing ice behind the fan will cool the air that is being blown into the room.

By staying cool, you and your family will be sure to have an enjoyable and memorable summer this year.

 

Preparing Your Air Conditioner for Summer

With the summer heat quickly approaching, it is time to get your air conditioner ready to take the heat. However, if you want your air conditioner to be reliable throughout the summer season, you will want to ensure that you provide it with the maintenance and care it needs to run efficiently even when the temperatures soar.
Set Up an Air Conditioner Checkup

While it may seem like overkill to have a professional like us come check out your air conditioner, now is the time to do it. Not only will a professional be able to do on-the-spot repairs and maintenance now so that you know your unit will turn on when you need it, but you will also see advantages in the long run. Air conditioning units that are regularly maintained generally last longer than those that do not. This means that your air conditioner will be more reliable for longer. Click on the link above to request an appointment.

However, if you need your air conditioner before you have a chance to get a professional out to give it a checkup, you can do a quick inspection of your cooling equipment yourself. Keep in mind that you will still want to have a professional come out to give your cooling unit the maintenance it deserves.

Inspecting Your Air Conditioner

Before you turn your cooling unit on, you should conduct a visual inspection of all of the equipment. Start with any exposed ductwork that your home has. Look for wear, like holes or thinning pieces of metal. Worn ductwork can make it more difficult for your air conditioner to keep your home at the desired temperature as cooled air may be lost before it reaches you. The harder your air conditioner has to work, the faster it will wear itself out.

Second, go through your home and check all of the vents. Remove anything that may be blocking them. If you have pets, you may want to remove the vent and vacuum around the opening of the duct. This will prevent pet hair and dander from being blown about your home when you first turn your cooling unit on.

If you have an outdoor unit, ensure that the condenser unit is not blocked by any items, twigs and other foliage. Blockages of any sort can have a drastic effect on the unit’s ability to cool your home. This is something that is easily done when you do your spring yard cleanup.

Finally, check the refrigerant lines and electrical wiring. If you see wear on the refrigerant lines or electrical wiring, do not attempt to fix them yourself. Just be sure to make a note and avoid turning your air conditioner on until a professional comes out to do maintenance. Refrigerant is flammable and faulty wiring could cause a fire, so it is best just to avoid those potential hazards altogether.

Consider Upgrading

If you have had your air conditioner for years and it is just not keeping up with your family’s needs, it may be time to upgrade. The cost for R-22 refrigerant has risen dramatically in the last couple of years and will soon be obsolete. Repairing old systems can be impractical because of cost. Click on the link above to view our current a/c sales price.

Replace your old air conditioning system with new R410a this Spring and save! Many newer systems are designed to work efficiently as save energy, which gets passed on to you in the form of saving money on your electricity bills.

Enjoy Your Summer without Suffering

Once you have checked your equipment and you have ensured that everything looks to be in good shape, it is time to turn your air conditioner on. Set your thermostat to your desired temperature, turn your air conditioner on and go outside. Listen to the fan on the condenser to make sure that it sounds like it is running normally. Within 10 to 15 minutes, your home should begin to feel cool and comfortable.

 

Adding a New Dog to the Family

Have you been thinking about getting a dog but just haven’t pulled the trigger? While walking into a pet store and picking out a dog based on its breed and coloring may be an easy option, consider looking at a shelter or rescue group for your new family member.

Adopting from a Shelter

There are plenty of great reasons to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group versus buying a pet from a pet store or independent breeder. First, adoption costs are much lower than purchasing a dog. In fact, buying a pet can easily cost upwards of $500 or more, especially if you are looking for a specific dog breed. Although you are more likely to find mixed breeds at shelters and rescue groups, these dogs generally live longer and have lower vet costs over the course of their lives.

When you adopt from a shelter, you may not know the dog’s full history. However, when you purchase from a pet store, you may also not know where the dog came from. It could have been a puppy mill dog, meaning you may find your new pet to be inbred, leading to increased vet bills. Finally, shelters and rescue groups often have resources available to help you with your pet since they are more dedicated to finding the animal a forever home.

Choosing the Right Dog for Your Lifestyle

Different breeds and individual dogs can have very different personalities. In some cases, dogs may not show their full personality until after they have been brought home and have a chance to open up. While it is always fun to see shelter dogs come out of their shells as they become part of the family, it can make it more difficult to find the right dog for you.

When you are in the process of picking a shelter dog, it is fine to be picky. If you pick too fast without doing your research and seeing what else is available, you may end up with a miserable dog and family or a dog that will need to be taken back to the shelter in the future. This is not good for you and your family and certainly not good for the dog.

Picking the right dog starts with knowing what you want. Avoid choosing your new dog based on its breed. Focus more on the dog’s energy level and sociability. Check to make sure the dog has been tested to see if they are kid-safe if you have children. Second, when you actually get a chance to look at the dogs, you will want to watch their body language. Take some time to learn about dog language before you go so that you know what to look for and identify the language that you are seeing.

Finally, take care when picking the shelter. Open-intake shelters often take in so many animals that they are unable to get to fully know each one. Limited-intake shelters only take in a certain number, so rescuers generally get to learn a little more about the animals they rescue. If you have specific needs, such as a kid-friendly pet, limited-intake shelters may be a better bet.

Enjoying Your New Dog

Once you have made your decision and finish up with the adoption process, you are ready to begin enjoying your new family member. Whether your new family member is quiet and loves long walks in the park or energetic and is happy to go on long excursions, you will wonder how you ever got along without them.