Why Electric Fireplaces Are Perfect For New York Apartments

Having a cozy and warm living space is everyone’s dream especially during the winter months when the outdoor temperature is very low. This is the time when you need to use an electric fireplace as it helps in making your indoor temperature warm and comfortable so that you will not have to worry about facing the harsh winter months. Adding a fireplace is an amazing way of dealing with the cold temperature and hence you should find out why electric fireplaces are perfect for your New York Apartments. This is especially important because the right kind of fireplace will offer you a comfortable level of heating as you can determine the temperature level that you want inside your home. Additionally, the thermostats present in the fireplace helps in maintaining the temperature so that you can determine the kind of indoor environment you want for a cozy interior space.

Electric fireplaces are the perfect option for your apartments because it does not create smoke as there are no flames in reality which make it the most appropriate option for your home. The realistic appearance of the flames is achieved as soon as you turn on the electric fireplace so that you will get the desired interior space. You will love the real feel and look of the fire even without the risk of inhaling the potentially toxic fumes of the fireplace. Hence, it can also be called the most versatile option for your home that is safe for the children, older adults, and pets as they will not have to inhale the dangerous smoke of burning fossil fuels. Additionally, it is the best way to eliminate the stress and mess created by the convectional fireplace so that you will get the benefits without the side effects. The winters in New York can become unbearable without the presence of a high-quality fireplace and hence you should select an option that will offer maximum benefits to you and your entire family. When you select an electric fireplace, you can rest assured that you are selecting a green alternative as compared to the burning of the raw materials or fossil fuels. The green energy from the sunlight, wind, or geothermal is the clean energy source that will not produce any harmful effects in your home as you will enjoy a large number of benefits.

An electric fireplace is also an energy-efficient option as it makes use of LED technology for minimizing the use of energy for heating your home so that you will have a lower electricity bill. Additionally, these fireplaces have lower maintenance costs because you can just plugin for getting a safer fire at an affordable price. You have many varieties of the fireplace and you have the option of considering the affordable models of these fireplaces so that you will get the style, color, and size that will suit your requirements. With minimum care and maintenance, these fireplaces will get sterling and attractive look as it is far more beneficial than its counterparts in terms of look, aesthetics, and costs.

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.

Get The Lead Out: Does Your New York City Apartment Need A Water Filter?

New York City is known for exceptionally clean drinking water. Over a billion gallons, most of it unfiltered, reaches over 8 million city inhabitant daily. Yet, despite one of the most comprehensive water treatment and testing regimens in the county, some remain concerned about their water quality after cities like Flint, Michigan made headlines with a series of water treatment errors that led to high levels of lead in the municipal drinking supply.

At present, New York City has a waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that allows most of its public drinking supply to go unfiltered as long it meets stringent safety criteria. Although the water isn’t filtered, it is disinfected and treated with orthophosphate, a lead inhibitor that coats pipes, and sodium hydroxide, a substance that decreases the natural acidity of water, discouraging corrosion in lead-containing plumbing fixtures.

In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed to protect the public by regulating public drinking water supplies, but while this legislation addresses potential contamination at the source, it doesn’t guarantee that holding tanks, pipes and fixture won’t introduce harmful contaminants. In fact, although New York City has an excellent reputation for protecting its public waters, enforcement of regulations for the cleaning of holding tanks has been questioned by water safety advocates, while it remains highly cost-prohibitive to retrofit old pipes and remove lead from existing plumbing fixtures.

Regulations are in place to reduce lead, but older buildings may still have pipes with lead solder and fixtures that contain lead if they were installed before 2014 when plumbing fixtures were allowed to have up to 8% lead. Today, even so-called lead-free models can still have up to 0.25% lead in the surfaces that come into contact with water.

Water quality monitoring that exceeds safety requirements is done daily in New York City and citizens can be comfortable with the overall integrity of their public water. But, once the water leaves the reservoir, what can residents do to ensure that their water is lead-free?

According to the EPA, several steps will reduce the amount of lead in drinking water. Since lead has no color, taste, or odor, testing is the only way to detect it. A certified lab can test water for as little as $20 and if lead is found, taking the following steps will improve water safety.

– Before drinking, flush pipes by running tap water it is noticeably colder.

– Clean the faucet aerator regularly.

– Install a whole home or faucet water filter. Check reviews of home water filtration systems to find a model that is as effective as possible at reducing lead and other concerning contaminants. Pitcher filters improve the taste of water, but won’t remove lead.

Lead is a powerful neurotoxin that can have severe and irreversible health effects. The best advice for residents of New York City is to enjoy their clean water, but take sensible precautions to protect themselves from harm by getting the lead out.

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.