If you are hiring out to have your home alarm installed, always use a licensed vendor to install, repair, or service an alarm system. While licenses do not guarantee honesty, it does indicate that the vendor has registered with the state, and has met the specified minimum criteria for your locale. In most cases, a license is predicated upon proof of adequate insurance and/or bonding, so you have that protection as well. Local alarm systems (those which sound only on the protected premises) are much less effective, especially when local ordinances limit the time for which the signal can sound to avoid nuisance disturbance of neighbors. If you invest in such an alarm, you are counting on conscientious neighbors to call the police to respond. Having the signals from your alarm system monitored by a licensed vendor better assures that you get the protection you pay for when you install an alarm system.


How To Keep Your Pets Stress Free

In this high-stress world, your pets can be stressed-out, too. Take care of your pets with these seven easy steps. 1.

Don't let your stress become contagious: Because stress is infectious, and your precious pal will reflect your stress. It's important to calm yourself down if you feel stressed or angry before you approach your pet, so either take a few deep breaths or go for a walk to become more calm. 2. Pay Attention: Pay attention to your pet's behavior or symptoms to recognize when your pet is feeling stressed. During your pet's next checkup, ask your veterinarian what to look for, and follow your vet's recommendations.

Ignoring stress symptoms can lead to expensive ailments down the road. Be proactive. 3. Be Loving: Because our society is moving so fast and so many of us feel overworked, just a few moments loving your pet and providing her more attentiveness can be such a boone.

Just as stress is contagious, so is affection. You'll have a less-stressed pet and a less stressed you. So take a few extra minutes each day to show your affection. 4. Play: Unwind from your stressful day with a few minutes spent just playing with your pet.

Combine your need to exercise with caring for your dog by taking your dog for short walks before and after work, or before and after taking your children to school or other activities. 5. Integrate: Don't think of your pet as just one more in a dozen of multi-tasking chores you face each day. Integrate pet care into your daily activities.

While you are preparing a healthy meal for you and your family or friends, prepare nutritious pet food and replace your pet's water dish with fresh water. Your pet is your friend, not an obligation. 6.

Delegate: Arrange for a trusted friend, family member or even pet sitter to care for your pet on days when you work late, have multiple activities or have to be away on a trip. Write down precise instructions that include emergency numbers for your veterinarian or a local pet care clinic with 24-hour availability. Anticipate stress events by preparing a to-do list if your pet becomes ill, becomes stressed or suffers from separation anxiety. Keep this data where you can get to it easily and find it easy to review and stick with.

7. Relax: There is no such thing as a "perfect" parent, and there is no such thing as the "perfect" pet owner. Don't aim to do everything; just strive to do your best. It's important to be forgiving if you haven't paid enough attention to your pet on a certain day due to your own restraints. Forgiving yourself out loud, in fact, is a wonderful stress reducer. Your pet will be less stressed with a relaxed owner, just as you will feel less stressed with a relaxed pet.

Ruth Klein, America's De-Stress Diva™, is owner of the award-winning firm The Marketing/Time Source. With a master's degree in clinical psychology, Klein, is the author of the best-selling Time Management Secrets for Working Women and five other books on business and lifestyle topics. Sign up to receive Ruth's 7 Part Mini-Course on Branding and Productivity.

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