The Perks Of Moving Outside The City

New Yorkers absolutely love New York, there’s no question. There’s something to be said for being able to survive in one of the toughest cities to live in across the world. Maybe it’s pride, maybe it’s plain hard-headed stupidity, but we love braving the strenuous and often laughable conditions and just making ends meet.

There comes a day in every New Yorker’s lifestyle where the thought pops into our heads. What if we moved to a nice neighborhood outside the city? You know, had a family, a comfortable place to live, maybe take a step back from the daily hustle and grind?

It’s a tempting thought, and it’s certainly not without it’s perks. While we won’t be living in the heart and soul of the greatest city on earth (don’t judge our opinion!) we can still be close enough that we can go to work there, visit on the weekends, and have general accessibility to the conveniences and luxury of the city. More importantly, by moving out of the city we can get more out of our hard-earned dollars and live a more relaxed lifestyle that’s a bit more heavy-handed on comfort.

Look, it’s not for all of us. Some of us are just too die-hard. There are benefits to consider though. Here are some of the big ones:

You Can Actually Have A Yard

It’s so cliche, but there’s a reason that cliches exist. There’s something to be said for having a white picket fence and a nicely groomed lawn where your kids can run freely, play games, and enjoy the open outdoors. This is something you simply can’t achieve in the City, both because it’s financially nearly impossible and also because there are simply space limitations that severely inhibits the amount of undeveloped space within the city limits. Pretty much every available square foot is built up as much as is allowed. By moving out of the city you’ll have a place to host barbecues, sit out in the sun, and maybe even have your very own pool. It may not be the motivating factor for you but let’s face it, it’s a motivating factor for many.

You Can Have Your Own Garage

In New York City you basically have two options for parking. You can either pay an exorbitant rate to rent a parking spot (what most people do) or you can seriously duke it out with the world every time you need to leave your car. We’re talking all out brutal, cut-throat war. At a certain point your bound to ask yourself, is it really worth it?

By moving out of the city you can find a place with your very own garage. Better yet, can even have a garage door opener so all you have to do is drive up, watch your garage open, and drive on in. According to BGDOR this is simply a luxury you cannot live without. No more dealing with snow and hoping your car doesn’t get crashed, broken, or stolen.

Your Neighbors Won’t Live On The Other Side Of Every Single Wall

If you’ve been living in New York for a while – or in the more extreme case, if you’ve been living there your entire life – you may not even realize how just noisy it is to live in an apartment surrounded other tenants. You grow to drown out the noises of their lifestyle into the background because if you didn’t you simply wouldn’t be able to sleep.

Have you ever taken a trip to a remote destination and realized how deafeningly quiet it is? I hate to say it, but this silence can be healthy. If can help you live a less anxious and distracted lifestyle. There’s even some science behind the many ways that noise pollution can have a negative impact on your life. It’s worth looking into because it sure seems like a real thing.

Considering all this, should you pack up your bags and embrace the suburban life? That’s going to be up to you. If you absolutely love New York City and you can’t imagine living a boring and dull life in the suburbs, I wouldn’t recommend packing up your bags and relocating. If all of this sounds appealing to you, you might be the kind of person who could benefit from it most. Kick the idea around in your mind a bit, it may just be the next move in your playbook.

How To Potty Train A Puppy in Your Apartment (Even An Older Dog)

Housebreaking is one of the most intimidating parts of adopting a new puppy. Potty training a puppy in a high rise apartment can be an even bigger logistical nightmare. Accidents can occur not just in the apartment, but in the hallway, the elevator, and all the way through the lobby. 

Getting Started

Raising a puppy in an apartment is a lifelong commitment. The first thing to do is decide on how you want to housetrain. Some dog owners in apartments opt not to take the dog outside at all, and others do. Each approach offers something to consider.

dog running

Outside, or not?

For some parents of a new puppy, especially of small breeds, the thought of taking their baby out into the busy city is simply too stressful. City etiquette usually dictates that you teach your dog to urinate in the gutter, but it can be frightening to have your little pup step down off the sidewalk. 

Other owners believe that teaching your dog to potty outside just makes more sense. After all, it can be complicated to teach your dog that going inside doesn’t mean going anywhere inside.

Indoor Options

You’ve decided that a strict indoor plan is for you. First things first, set up a “puppy area” for your dog to play. A new puppy doesn’t need unlimited freedom to wander your whole place, and it just makes it harder to keep a watchful eye on them. Puppy playpens, or even just baby gates, will contain your furry bundle of joy for the early stages. 

Paper Training

Puppies piddling on newspapers is so common it’s almost a stereotype. Simply line the bottom of the play area with a few layers of old newspaper. 

At first, the puppy will just stop and go anywhere. After a few days remove the newspapers closest to puppy’s food and water bowls. Dogs have an instinct not to soil their food or water source, so they’ll naturally gravitate away from there. A couple of days later reduce the papers a little more. Always be traveling further away from the eating area.

By the time this method is complete, there should only be a small section of the puppy zone left papered. Over time your dog will become accustomed to going there and will be reluctant to toilet anywhere else. 

Remember to change the papers often. A newspaper isn’t very durable by nature, so you will need to change the soiled sections after every potty break. Leaving a mess will set your dog’s progress back.

Training Pads

A very similar method to paper training is using puppy pads. This technique works exactly the same by gradually reducing the number of pads laid down. Many pet parents prefer pads, though, because they are more absorbent. Some brands of pads also have scents in the fibers that will naturally draw your dog’s attention, making it easier for them to learn. 

Puppy Boxes

I know what you’re thinking. A litter box? For a dog? Well, it’s not as weird as it sounds. Puppy boxes have a top layer of synthetic grass and a bottom layer of litter. After your pup does their business just rinse off the grass and change the litter. 

You can even make your own puppy box. A roll of sod and a plastic litter box will do the same job as a fancy storebought unit.  

These are both great strategies for those who might want to transition to an outdoor plan at a later stage. If your dog is already used to pottying on grass then going outside will be much easier.

Outdoor strategies

You’ve decided that dogs don’t go in the house, and are prepared for the trek down the high rise. Here are some things to consider. 

Timing is everything

Waiting for your pup to start whining and scratching may not give you enough time. You have to get your dog out of your apartment, down the hall, wait for the elevator, and then get them safely outside with no issues. Easier said than done.

Young pups should be going outside constantly. Plan for at least every hour, but be prepared for more often if your fur baby has an especially small bladder. Puppies should be carried out at first. It’s just faster and more practice until you can trust them to walk all the way outside without incident when they’re a little older. 

Pavlov’s Bell

Ivan Pavlov famously trained dogs to the sound of ringing bells. You don’t have to be a world-renowned physiologist to utilize a similar method. Teaching your pup to ring a bell when they need to go out can be helpful when you can’t constantly keep eyes on them. 

First, introduce your dog to the bell. Choose a command word. You might have to use a favorite treat (like peanut butter) on the bell itself until your dog is comfortable. 

When it’s time for your scheduled potty run, employ the command word until the dog rings the bell. It’s important to associate the bell only with potty time. If you take them out and they don’t do their thing after a few minutes, immediately come back inside with no praise. 

One word of caution about this method. Your dog will ring the bell every time they need to go out. Every time. Even in the middle of the night.

Bag it, don’t leave it

Part of being a responsible puppy parent is cleaning up after them. If you’re going to be potty training outdoors, be aware of your locality’s ordinances. Leaving a mess behind isn’t just rude, in some places it’s actually illegal. Always bring proper doggy bags, gloves, towels, and anything else you’ll need to leave no traces behind.  

dog lying on floor

The process

Now that you know your options a little more, let’s get into how it actually works. 

Success depends on YOU

The most important thing to remember is that your dog is a dog. They won’t know how to do anything until you teach it to them. Any training plan will require consistency, repetition, and positive reinforcement. 

Routine

The only way to learn is by doing, but that means doing things right. When you start training, make sure you’re always doing things the same way. If you have multiple exits from your apartment only choose one, and always use that one. Taking the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator? Always take the stairs. 

Did you box train your dog instead? Then the box needs to be the same kind, in the same place every day. Whatever it is you choose to do, do it how you always do it. Keeping things as streamlined as possible will make everything easier for you and your pup. 

Food AND potty breaks

Create a schedule for feeding and training. A dog only needs a few minutes after eating until they’re ready to go. Keep that in mind. Having an hourly potty break timer is great, but the system will break down if you don’t take mealtimes into account. 

Crate training

Some little guys have trouble holding it overnight. Crate training a puppy in an apartment is one way to avoid waking up to a war zone. (The Pampered Pup provides reviews and guidelines on choosing the right crate)

We’ve already mentioned how dogs are averse to eliminating in the same space where they eat. The same goes for where they sleep. Containing them in a smaller area than their play zone overnight can help them learn to hold it. Just make sure the crate is the right size. One that’s too big will give a small puppy plenty of space to make a mess in one half, and sleep in the other.  

For the first few weeks of their life, a puppy will not be able to hold it overnight. Not even in a crate. Be sure to manage expectations accordingly.

Praise and Treats

Dogs learn better when they’re having fun, just like people do. Make potty time a celebration. Reward your dog for performing with plenty of pats and kind words. Once they associate the praise with potty time they will commit much better. 

Keep Notes

It can be helpful at first to keep a log of your pup’s behavior throughout the day. How do they respond to going out? Using the pad? Do they have an accident at the same time each day? Jot down any strange things you notice, how they react to the schedule, anything you can think of.

If something isn’t working it’s up to you to fix it. Having a handy sheet of data you can pull out can really help.

Punishment doesn’t work

Now it’s time for something that might be controversial: punishment doesn’t work. 

For all that we love our pets like children, they aren’t actually capable of complex human thought. A dog doesn’t know why you’re rubbing their nose in pee. All they know is you’re upset, and they’re afraid. 

Smacking them with anything is the same. A negative link is formed in the dog’s mind between your tone and the punishment, and whatever you were trying to teach them is lost. 

Reward the good, ignore the bad

Science tends to show us that creating positive associations in the pup’s mind works much better than anything else. Effusively praise the dog when they succeed, and simply withhold the praise when they fail. This will let them know they need to do something different without breeding fear or resentment.

Clean it properly

Even the sweetest angel puppy will have accidents. What matters is ensuring they happen as infrequently as you can. A major factor in repeat offenders is odor. Dogs have a much more sensitive nose than humans, and they can smell urine even after a mess is cleaned up.

Using the proper cleaner is essential. Ammonia is a major component that gives dog pee its unmistakable odor. An ammonia-based cleaner might actually make the problem worse. Look for products that are specifically marketed for pet owners, and check the label. They should have special chemicals to break down the mess fully, leaving no scent markers behind.

a dog inside crate

What about adult dogs?

So far we’ve been mostly focused on puppies, but what if your new dog is more esteemed in years? 

An hourly schedule is the best for older dogs at first, too, just like puppies. You should start completely over, from the basics. Get on a consistent schedule, and help your dog adhere to it. 

Rescue Dogs

Sadly, the main reason for grown dogs to lack potty training is because they’ve never had a family that cared enough to show them. They could be dogs from a mill, an abusive owner, or even rescued from the fights. These special cases will require even more love and patience than a puppy. Unlearning old behavior is much, much harder than learning something new. 

Handsfree leash

An expert way to retrain an adult dog is referred to as the “umbilical cord” method. Basically, you attach a leash between yourself and your dog at all times. 

There are some leashes designed for this that wrap around your waist, or you can tie a regular one to your belt loops. Just make sure you’re working with at least six feet in slack or you’ll both be constantly tripping over each other.

Being attached at the hip will give you a way to keep eyes on the dog at all times. They literally cannot get more than a few feet away from you. If you have to detach, either make a play space for your adult dog or use a crate. Then be sure to get back together as quickly as possible.

Don’t give up

Regardless of the age of your puppy pal, apartment training a dog doesn’t have to be a nightmare. All training regimens take time and discipline–on your part. Be patient, be loving, and your pet will want to be the best they can for you. Make sure that you’re doing your best for them, too.

The Encroaching Storm: Choosing A Snow Blower For Extreme New York Winters

Whether we want to admit or not, winter is coming. With it, comes a seemingly endless supply of snow and ice. For those who live in New York, you understand all too well the harsh winters that can form. In some cases, the state of winter can even reach post-apocalyptic levels with houses and cars buried. To survive this onslaught, every New Yorker should be equipped with a snow blower. It’s the weapon of choice. After all, if you even try to take a shovel to the ridiculous piles of snow, you’re probably going to end up throwing your back out and laying comatose in your house until spring. Or worse, you’ll spend hours digging into the snow only to find that in the passing night another storm picked up and cast down a brand new heap of snow for you to clear once again.

To make it easier on yourself, invest in a snowblower. This article will discuss what snowblower is best for you, so you can not only escape your home but perhaps actually enjoy the winter. If such a thing is possible.

1. The Electric

As its name might suggest, the electric snowblower is powered by electricity. With an extension cord, you can plug it into a socket and blow that snow to high heaven. For those who live in an apartment or have a smaller area to clear of snow, then the electric is likely all that you need. It’s smaller than the other form of snowblowers out there and lightweight. So, for those who don’t have the incredible amount of strength required for the heavier duty snowblowers, then this should serve your purposes.

The electric snowblower is best used for snowfall that goes up to 12 inches. As such, if it’s a winter that just doesn’t seem to quit, you’ll probably have to get out there more often with this snowblower than one that is used to clear heavier snowfall. That being said, this snowblower is also best used for snow that is considered to be fluffy. The cleaning width is 12-21 inches and it throws snow up to 30 feet. It works best on paved surfaces and doesn’t have a hilly drive, so the smoother the surface, the better.

2. The Single-Stage

Similar to the electric snowblower, the single-stage snowblower is best used on paved surfaces. It can also clear snowfall up to 13 inches but is best used for snowfall no higher than 12 inches. Its name means that it throws snow once as it passes through the chute. The blower actually makes contact with the ground, too, so you have to be careful about where you drive this snowblower as you could accidentally throw gravel or small stones if you’re not careful.

It can clear widths of 18-22 inches and throws snow up to 35 feet. It’s gas powered, so if you require a bit more distance than an extension cord can give an electric snowblower, then the single-stage snowblower might be the choice for you. However, due to the fact that it can only easily clear out 12 inches of snow, you may want to opt for the next snowblower instead.

3. The Two-Stage

Unlike the Single-Stage, the Two-Stage snowblower throws snow twice. This is because it also breaks through the ice and tosses that out first. This powerful snowblower can clear widths of 20-45 inches. Snowfall of up to 23.5 inches can be cleared with this form of a snowblower. As such, it can clear wet or heavy snow and be used on paved or gravel surfaces. It does come with a hilly drive as well, so it can be pushed up hills as needed.

4. The Three-Stage

This is a heavy-duty snowblower for those who see the worst of snow. It can clear snowfall of up to 21 inches and deal with wet or heavy snow. It can also be used on paved or gravel surfaces and has a hilly drive. This is best for snow that is layered with ice. It can cut through with ease and leave your driveway or sidewalk clear and safe.

A Comfortable Bed Essential for Apartment Life in New York City

Whether you are about to go off to college, visiting friends and family, or moving, you will want it to be as hassle free as possible. Believe it or not, getting good sleep and being comfortable are a huge part of making the most important things to be less stressful. Below, you will read more on mattress toppers/pads, and why they are absolutely essential to apartment life in New York City.

What is the definition of a mattress topper/pad?

(First, let’s clarify that there is a different between a mattress topper, a mattress pad, and a mattress protector. Think of toppers and pads as twins, whereas the protector is their cousin. They all belong to the same family, and all of them extend the duration of your mattress.)

A mattress pad is simply that extra layer of comfort for your bed. It fits similar to that of a fitted sheet, except it’s pure elastic wrapping around the bed rather than cotton and elastic. Mattress pads are great for comfort, but they are even better for older mattresses. If you have an old bed that’s not in the greatest shape, a mattress pad is definitely cheaper than buying a brand new mattress. Maybe the mattress you have is just too firm for your taste, and you just need it to be a little softer. It’s also an alternative for a mattress protector.

Mattress toppers are similar to a mattress pad, except they are much thicker. It is also for the purpose of comfort on your mattress. Some toppers have straps to ensure it stays on your mattress, but others usually just lay there and are held down by the fitted sheet. Toppers can have various types of filler for maximum comfort. Some include latex, gel memory foam, and cotton just to name a few.

Mattress protectors are an entirely different story, but still similar. Not necessarily used for the purpose of comfort, a protector is what helps keep your mattress from aging quickly. Most mattresses come with protectors, because a bed is where we lay every night. It wards off bacteria, allergens and irritants, like dandruff, mold, and bedbugs. (Many use protectors solely for the fact of keeping ugly stains off the bed.) You can clean mattresses yourself but without a protector at the very least, your mattress is susceptible to any kind of bodily fluids. It puts your mattress at immediate risk.

All of these are highly recommended when moving to and/or visiting New York City, or any large city. Comfort is a huge factor, if not the only factor, that most consider purchasing a mattress pad/topper/protector. When you live in a large city like New York, chances are you’re in an apartment complex. By not properly caring for your mattress, you’re not only putting your entire apartment at risk for bacteria and fungi, but you’re putting anyone else in your complex at risk for same said bacteria and fungi. Think of how many people live in big cities, especially New York City. Remind yourself that when it comes to personal hygiene and cleanliness, there are more people who don’t care for themselves very well than anyone would like to admit. Somebody on the bus next you could have bedbugs and you’d never guess it. Problems like bedbugs spread very quickly. While comfort and support are great things to have, preventing health hazards and basic hygiene safety is just as important.

Electric Skateboards Making Way Into New York Life

The loud crowds, the constant hustle and bustle found in the streets of New York City, to visitors this might seem like a new and enchanted world. However, to those who hold jobs and are not just in the Big Apple for fun find the crowds and often times the transportation difficult to get through when in a hurry to get to work, a meeting, a party etc. With the new and innovative electric skateboards, New York City has become even more easy to navigate and travel around.

The first electric skateboard was created in 1997 by Louie Finkle but did not reach wide audiences until 2013 and now today,the electric skateboard can be seen just about anywhere with a wide variety of people finding incredible uses for it. In a city such as New York, the electric skateboard has become especially popular.

The electric skateboard is powered by a battery and is controlled by a remote or an app can occasionally be downloaded to control it from a phone as well (check out www.bestelectricskateboard.review for more details). This innovative board can travel from twelve to fifteen miles per hour. That speed is triple of what the average 3.1 miles walked per hour. In the Big Apple, where everything is traveled to by taxi, subway, or foot, it is easy to see why these have been such a big hit. The rate and the ease of traveling has reached new heights.

Not only is the electric skateboard easy to ride and travel on, but it saves money. It’s common knowledge that no subway or taxi ride is free, and after time it can add up, and for those few people who own their own car in New York City, things can add up quickly not only with money, but also time.

The New York City 30-day unlimited metro pass cost about $1,452 per year. While the electric skateboard might seem like a big chunk of money at first, with boards on the high-end being about $500, the total energy cost and cost of the board comes to about $543 per year. Riding the metro everyday costs you almost three times as much. Not to mention the time spend traveling or the pain of hailing a taxi.

Understanding the convenience, ease, and savings in time and money, make it clear why these electric skateboards have become a big source of transportation as well as recreational activity. These boards can not only make the commute to work easier, but allow you to enjoy central park and other places of exploration more relaxing. It’s hard to go wrong with the electric skateboard.