Integrity Tire March 2019

Are You Ready for Fido?

How to Decide if Your Family Can Care for a Pet

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO?

said, your home’s size and location may make it better suited for a smaller pet, as many larger animals require more square footage and plenty of outdoor space. IS YOUR FAMILY READY? Every family is different, and it’s important to have an honest discussion about the implications of owning a pet. If you have kids, consider how much they will be able to contribute to such a responsibility. Another factor to consider is how much free time you have to spend with your pet; some animals require more attention than others. To avoid major conflict down the road, discuss care and responsibility plans as a family before welcoming an animal into your home. Keeping a pet can be a source of joy for your family, but it can also be a source of stress. Before making any major choice, talk to your family members and consider what owning a pet would mean for all of you. While charities will have no choice but to throw unusable donations in the trash, there are services you can use to make your spring-cleaning eco-friendly, even for items you can’t donate. For example, if you have torn or stained blue jeans, reach out to Blue Jeans Go Green. This program keeps denim out of landfills by turning it into insulation. And while Goodwill can’t take your batteries or old flip phone, you can check out Call2Recycle.org to learn how to safely recycle your e-waste. spend over $1,000 a year on dumpster and trash removal fees for unusable donations.

Owning a pet can change your lifestyle. To start, you will have to consider the animal’s well-being when hosting events or taking vacations. You will also have to make room in your budget for pet-related expenses. Additionally, some animals can live for upward of two decades. Discuss how responsibilities will change as a pet ages and what your future will look like before making the commitment. DOES AN ANIMAL FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE? When choosing a pet for your family, gather research from animal experts and other pet owners. Calculate the cost of owning a pet, and evaluate how that animal will fit into your lifestyle. For example, dogs are one of the most high- maintenance and expensive animals to own, but they tend to be more involved in family life than a cat or a hamster. That

While we don’t know exactly why humans keep pets, one fact is certain: Millions of people love them. In fact, nearly 70 percent of households in the U.S. have a pet. But no matter what you see on your favorite dog Instagram accounts, keeping a pet isn’t endless playtime. Ask yourself the following questions before buying or adopting a furry companion.

The Right Way to Donate After Spring-Cleaning DONATE WITH CARE

Spring is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate with another round of spring- cleaning. Banish the clutter and make room in your life for something new! Many charities see a sharp increase in donations as spring-cleaning season starts. Donating your used books, kids’ toys, and gently worn clothing allows your old items to have a second life. However, when filling that donation box, make sure you’re donating each item because it can do good and not just because you feel bad about throwing it away. Charities have a big problem with well- meaning citizens dropping off items that are better left in the trash. There are many items charities simply cannot handle. Most charities will have lists of items they can and cannot accept on their websites. Some items that you should not donate include:

• • • • • • • • •

Expired medications

Old TVs

Cribs

Loose remote controls

Personal care items, like soap, shampoo, or makeup

Mattresses

Carpets

Tangled cords or phone chargers Any broken, damaged, or dirty items

Your donations can be a big help to local charities. Just don’t “donate” your garbage.

These items may be unsafe to sell, costly to ship, or impossible to refurbish effectively. When a charity regularly receives items they cannot use, they have to spend hours of manpower sorting through things that end up in the trash anyway. This process can be expensive for organizations with already- strained resources. Some local charities

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