Lynn D'Avolio
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 12/5/2017

The realization that a family dog or cat has gone missing can be a scary, if not panic-inducing moment. While some cats seem able to fend for themselves in the outside world, if they're gone for more than a day, it's only natural to assume the worst. It goes without saying that cats kept indoors stand the best chance of staying safe and living a long life. However, many cats are determined to explore the outside world regardless of your good intentions, and trying to prevent them from doing so may ultimately be an exercise in futility. To further complicate matters, many cats and dogs are quite resourceful when it comes to spotting and taking advantage of open doors and unlocked backyard gates.

Once they're outside, cats can easily jump over fences, and dogs -- especially puppies -- have a knack for finding and escaping through small openings in the fence (often at the bottom) that you may not have noticed. There are a lot of different possible causes for the disappearance of a pet, but the sense of loss families experience when a beloved pet doesn't return is universal. Since prevention only goes so far with adventurous cats and dogs, it can also be helpful to have a quick response plan ready. Making sure your pet is either micro-chipped or wearing a collar with up-to-date ID tags can increase your chances of getting a lost pet returned to you quickly.

One vital resource to be aware of and connected with is neighborhood social media sites. By finding out if there are any active ones in your area, you can be in a better position to quickly alert your neighbors, in the event your pet suddenly disappears. Since many people are pet owners, they'll be very sympathetic and responsive to an online post of a missing dog or cat. The bottom line is this: Your prospects of a speedy reunion will often improve in direct proportion to how many neighbors know about your missing animal friend and how to contact you.

There's also the relatively old-fashioned, but often effective method of printing out and posting "lost pet" flyers. In addition to posting them in various locations, such as dog parks, neighborhood stores, and pet-oriented businesses, you can also hand them out to neighbors you see when conducting your initial search. For maximum effectiveness, the flyer should say "Lost Cat" or "Lost Dog" at the top of the flyer, and include a good photo of your pet, as well as your phone number and information about when and where they were last seen. Other features, such as breed, color, markings, age, weight, gender, your pet's name, and any unique characteristics should also be included in the flyer to help neighbors identify your pet. Additional tactics and tools for recovering a lost pet are also available through the ASPCA.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 1/31/2017

Your pets adore you, rushing to greet †you as soon as you walk through the door. Theyíre cuddly, cute and incredibly affectionate. The way that your pets respond to you can blind you to bad habits that your pets engage in, habits that damage your property value. What about those nasty pet hairs? After several months, we can get used to the smell, allergens and pests that our pets bring indoors, allowing hard odors and contaminants to fester in our furniture and especially in carpet fibers. Buyers with allergies pick up the scent of pet hairs and turn away. Other home buyers may request that their realtor not show them houses where pets live. But, that doesn't mean that you don't have options. To reduce pet dander, preventing pet hairs and scents from getting embedded in your home, regularly wash and brush your petís hair. Feed your pet a healthy, protein rich diet. Use flea repellants as needed and keep veterinary appointments. To keep furniture and rugs free of pet hair, pick up stray hairs as soon as you spot them. The longer pet hair is left on the floor and on furniture, the deeper it can sink into carpet and furniture fibers. Hardware stores have plastic covers that you can place on furniture which is another solution to reducing pet hairs. When you vacuum, use vacuum extensions to clean furniture fibers. Consider using pet carpet shampoos for a deep clean. Training yields lots of rewards If your pet isnít properly trained, you could deal with more challenges. For example, your cat or dog might go to the bathroom behind decorative plants, the sofa or a chair thatís placed in a room corner. When dogs and cats feel anxious, they could chew on furniture or claw at the bottom of doors. Some pets have clawed holes into carpet as they anxiously tried to work their way inside a room or out of the house. Outside your house, pets may regularly splash mud and dirt along your home's bottom trim, creating hard to remove stains. Get in the habit of washing your house, especially areas where pets linger, to keep the curb appeal of your home at peak levels. Pets could also dig holes in the yard, a natural instinctive habit for dogs. Let these poor pet habits go and you could end up needing to re-sod your entire back yard several years later. Hunger, smelling scents under the ground and hearing sounds are some reasons why dogs dig. Workarounds include taking your four-legged pets to the vet to ensure that their diet is adequate and taking pets for walks and runs. Exercise can help eliminate the buildup of stress in your pet. To prevent pets from digging holes in the yard, you could also place large rocks near base of the fence and place chicken wire under the ground near the fence. Reward your pet for positive behaviors. Massage can help to calm an anxious pet. So too can relaxing yourself and speaking in a calm voice to your pet. Monitor the results. Taking action now could save you hours of washing and scrubbing or a hefty professional cleaning bill to get your house in good condition should you decide to move.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 12/27/2016

Pets are a part of the family. When we welcome a new dog into the home, we often expect them to meet our standards of behavior without much guidance. Dogs, like children, require consistent training from all members of the family. They need positive reinforcement and clear signals from you to teach them what behavior is acceptable.

In this article, weíre going to cover some important house training tips for you and your canine companion. Weíll look at some of the common mistakes that new pet owners make, and talk about ways to curb undesirable behavior like chewing shoes or furniture or barking at windows.


Traits vs. behaviors

One common mistake new pet owners make is to attempt to place character traits on their dog. Words like pushy, protective, mischievous, etc. are all adjectives that we often use to describe our dogs.

However, as dog owners and home owners, our energy is better spent on recognizing and correcting behaviors. If your dog tears at a carpet or chews the corner of your sofa, it isnít very helpful sitting around thinking of adjectives to describe your dog (like restless or anxious). Rather, we should think about the behavior itself and how to replace it.

Letís jump right into some household behaviors and ways to replace them with desirable alternatives.

Chewing

Chewing is an important part of a dogís life. Chewing itself is not a negative behavior, but when your dog starts demolishing furniture or eating your homework, itís time to take steps to curb this behavior.

First, make sure your dog is eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise. Dogs who arenít eating a fat and protein rich food or who are overeating are prone to having excessive energy. If theyíre trapped indoors and have nothing to focus that energy on, theyíll turn to chewing things they arenít supposed to.

To focus your dogís energy on positive behaviors, take your dog for a walk, jog, or play with them. If you notice your dog attempting to chew things they shouldnít be, draw their attention away and provide them with a better alternative.

Barking

Just like chewing, barking is not in itself a negative behavior. Itís when your dog barks excessively and inappropriately that it becomes problematic.

Dogs bark for several reasons: to get you to play, to show that theyíre stressed or bored, and so on. If your dog spends a lot of time monitoring doors and windows and barking at passersby, there are a few things you can do to curb the behavior.

First, take away the trigger. In this case, that could be closing the curtains or restricting your dogís access to the room. If your dog is worried about strangers passing by the house, they are likely already too tense to begin training an alternative behavior to barking. If itís noises that alarm your dog, try playing soft music to mask the noises for a day or two.

Once youíre ready to start training, have someone walk past outside where your dog can see from the window or make a noticeable noise outside. Reward your dog with treats when they do not react until they become more comfortable with the outside distractions.




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