Shannon Nealey | Clearwater Real Estate, Largo Real Estate, Seminole Real Estate


Statistics vary, but according to two credible sources, 44% of Americans own a dog. That means that if you don't own a dog, there's a strong chance one or both of your next door neighbors do!

Why are dogs such a permanent fixture in so many households? Unconditional love is probably the number one reason most people bring a dog into their lives, but enhanced health, home security, and companionship are others.

Health benefits: If you have a dog in your family, you probably already know the power of the "w" word. From a dog's perspective, there are few experiences that outrank the joy of going for a walk with their master! It not only provides a daily bonding experience for both dog and owner, but it's also an opportunity to introduce a moderate amount of exercise into your life -- assuming your doctor approves! While running, athletics, or weight training is not up everyone's alley (or even medically advisable), taking a leisurely stroll in the neighborhood can be a great way to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and enjoy bonding moments with your four-legged companion! It's also a proven fact that petting or playing with a dog (or cat) can help lower your blood pressure and distract you from the cares and worries of everyday life.

Teaching moments: Not only do most kids love playing with pets, but they can also benefit from learning pet responsibility, kindness, and compassion.

Home security: While it's not an infallible method of burglarproofing your house, having a dog almost always serves as a deterrent. Most dogs are inherently protective of their territory (and loved ones) and will generally bark if they sense an intruder on the property or at the front door. Since one of the last things burglars want to do is call attention to themselves, a barking dog can definitely help keep the bad guys away!

Companionship: Dogs aren't the greatest conversationalists in the world, but they can be a very comforting presence when you're reading a book, watching TV, or relaxing at home. Many also love to join you for a ride in the car, a walk in the neighborhood, or a run in the park.

While dog ownership is not for everyone, more than 40% of us could not imagine life without our canine companion(s)! They do require a lot of attention, patience, and training, but the rewards are usually well worth the effort.

If you're considering getting a dog, you can gather a lot of helpful information about dog breeds, barking tendencies, temperament, shedding, how much exercise different breeds require, and other characteristics from the American Kennel Association. To help ensure a mutually satisfying relationship between you and your dog, it also pays to sign up for a dog obedience class and go online to learn about dog behavior, crate training, and health maintenance.


Moving can be fun, stressful, or both. If you and your family are moving soon, your mind might be racing with all of the preparations you need to make before the big day.

The best course of action is to start organizing and planning now so that you can rest easy the night before your move knowing that everything is accounted for.

In this article, we’ll show you how to do just that. We’ll talk about how to get the whole family involved in moving day, what to do with pets, and how to ensure the smoothest move possible so your family can look back on their first day in their new home with fond memories.

Getting organized

There are two key resources that you’ll need to make and refer back to as you prepare for moving day. You’ll need a calendar and a well-organised to-do list.

If you’re prone to depending on your smartphone, then it could be a good idea to add these items to your existing calendars and to-do list apps and sync them with your spouse and children. Most apps have this capability, making it easy to all stay on the same page.

Alternatively, you can use a physical calendar that it hung up in a highly visible area, such as on the refrigerator. Keep your to-do list next to it so you can cross off tasks as they’re accomplished.

On the calendar will be dates like calling your moving company for an appointment, closing on your new home, inspections, and confirming appointments with the movers and real estate agents. You’ll also want to pick a day close to your move to call and set up an appointment for utilities to be installed at your new home.

Getting the family involved

Every team needs a leader. If you’re leading your family through the moving process, it’s your responsibility to keep them in the loop. There may seem like an overwhelming number of tasks to achieve, but your family is there to help. Pick days to have your kids help you make boxes and pack the non-necessities.

You can make moving fun by “camping” inside your home for the last few nights. Since most of your belongings will be in boxes, it’s a fun excuse to set up a tent in the living room and take out the flashlights.

During the last day in your old house, make sure everyone has a survival kit filled with the items they’ll need when arriving at the new house. This includes toothbrushes, medication, phones and chargers, and other essentials.

Moving with pets

Moving can be even scarier for our pets than it is for us. There’s no way to explain to them what’s going on, and they’ll be looking to you for cues that everything is okay.

If you have a friend or relative who can take your pet to their home during the move it will make the moving process much easier--keeping track of a pet while you’re trying to carry boxes is no easy feat.

To ease your pet into their new home, take them to visit before the move if possible. Put some of their favorite toys or their bed and blanket in the new home so they’ll have some comforts for their first impression.


If you follow these tips you’ll be on your way to a fun, and mostly stress-free move into your new home with your family.