Tips for Safe Tailgating

Today, September 7th is National Tailgating Day. Serving a meal around your vehicle at a sporting event is the primary purpose of tailgating. The fall season means football at every level. Attending a football game is a perfect chance to engage in tailgating. Remember, safety is a priority when tailgating with friends and family. 

  • Know the Rules: Before heading out to your local football field, research the rules and restrictions for tailgating. Check out the team’s website for proper protocol on tailgating. Some items may not be permitted.
  • Pack Cooler Correctly: When packing your cooler, remember to use lots of ice or cooling packs. Uncooked meat and other perishable food items need to be kept cold to avoid illness. Keeping things cold is a must. Do not leave food items out in the hot sun. 
  • Grill Responsibly: Watch your charcoal or gas grill at all times. Follow the directions. Pack the grill after cooling down. Grilling responsibly helps protect you, your friends, family, and others in the area. 
  • Know Your Limits: Tailgating is a fun, fall activity. Just remember staying out in the sun while drinking alcoholic beverages can be a bad mix. Use a highly rated sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and limit your alcoholic drinks to avoid sickness. 
  • Designate a Driver: Ask a member of your tailgating party to be the designated driver for a safe return home. 
  • Take Your Time: Allow yourself extra time to leave the parking lot. Leave early or late to avoid mass exit times. Watch for others in the parking, especially children or people who may have been drinking all day. 

With a few precautions, tailgating can be a fun-filled day at your sports stadium. 

 

Tips on Helping Your Dog Stay Calm During Fireworks

Fireworks are a normal part of the 4th of July celebration. Many communities host large scale firework displays. For firework goers, the loud noises are simply part of the night’s activities.  When the vibrant colors begin to light up the sky, does your dog get upset?

The booming noises are scary for some dogs (and cats). Dogs may bark, try to hide, or get sick over the continuous loud booms. Taking precautions before the start of the fireworks may help ease your pets’ nerves.

Tips on Keeping Your Dog Calm During Fireworks

Being prepared is the best way to help your dog through the firework celebrations. Check your community’s page on social media or website to learn about the time and dates of the fireworks in your area. Keep in mind, some communities host fireworks more than one night. Do not forget, your neighbors may host BBQs with added fireworks in the evening. Whistles and popping noises may be just as scary for your dog as the booming fireworks displays.

Consult Your Vet

If you are aware of the negative effects fireworks have on your dog, voice your concerns with your vet. Under some circumstances, your vet may prescribe a light sedative to help your dog get through the evening’s festivities. A sedative relaxes your dog. When prescribing medication, staying with your dog is essential.

Stay Home 

The 4th of July is a time for numerous activities and celebrations. When your pet gets upset over fireworks, staying home in a familiar environment may help. Plan to spend the night at home with your favorite furry companion.

  • Close any open windows.
  • Remember to secure doggy dog entrances
  • Lock doors to prevent running away.
  • Cuddle together on the sofa
  • Go to an area in your home where outdoor noises are muted.
  • Constantly reassure your dog that everything is good

Taking small precautions may ease your dog’s nerves.

Create a Safe Environment 

If you are away from home, keep your pet with you during the fireworks presentation. Being by your side reassures your dog that everything is fine. Offer your pet a special treat, bone, toy, or a blanket for additional comfort.

If you must leave your pet home alone, take steps to muffle the loud noises. For example turn on a radio or the television, leave a fan running. Familiar noises add comfort.  When putting your dog in the crate, add his or her favorite toy.

Go Outdoors Before the Fireworks Begin

Prior to the evening’s fireworks presentation, go outdoors. Go for an additional walk or spend extra time at the dog park. Exercising may reduce stress.

Be Sympathetic

Your dog may require extra attention on the 4th of July, be sympathetic. Fireworks are loud and scary for animals. Helping your dog get through the night should be your main priority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Hosting an Outdoor Party

Summer is the perfect time to host an outdoor party. Keep in mind, an outdoor party does not require an official event. Life is short; celebrate it. Yes, celebrating a birthday or special occasion outdoors would be the great way to spend a summer day. At the same time, gathering friends or family members over just to celebrate summer is another great way to spend an afternoon.

Tips to Host the Perfect Outdoor Party

1. Planning

Begin with preplanning to help reduce the stress of hosting a party. By taking the time to write down notes and ideas, you will find hosting an outdoor party an easier task. Consider purchasing a spiral bound notebook to hold all your party planning information. Notebooks are inexpensive. Keeping all the details in one location will be extremely helpful.

2. Guests

Planning the party should begin with a guest list. In your notebook, write down all the guests’ names. The number of people on your guest list will help determine the amount of food and beverages to purchase. The list will also provide you with a general idea of the size of your outdoor party.

3. Invites 

Sending out invitations is a vital component for hosting an outdoor party. In today’s technological era, you actually have options in sending out invites.

  • Traditional Invites: Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is on social media. Traditional invites may be sent through postal mail to guarantee the potential guest receives the invitations.
  • Create an Event Page: On Facebook, you have the option to create an event. The process is simple. You will be able to send out invites to multiple guests at one time. As you get closer to the day of the party, you will be able to use the Facebook event page to determine the number of people attending your outdoor party.
  • Text or Email: Sending a text or email with all the details is quick, easy way to invite guests

4. Menu and More

Planning a detailed menu is essential for hosting an outdoor party. Menu planning ensures your outdoor party has a variety of food.

  • Type of Food: Consider a themed or potluck approach to the menu. Often, your guests will be more than happy to bring a dish to pass.
  • Grilling: If you are grilling, ask a friend or family member to be in charge of the grill. Use safety precautions in handling raw meat to eliminate the chances of cross contamination.
  • Beverages: As you plan the food, remember to add the beverages to the list. Provide the basics including tea, lemonade, and water. If you want to serve alcoholic beverages, designate a responsible person to serve.

Along with the menu, plan other aspects of the party.

  • Games: Outdoor games are a great way to entertain guests.
  • Children Area: If you have children on your list, you may want to design an area just for them. Games, outdoor chalk, bubbles, art area, and other activities will entertain children.
  • Photographer: Hiring a photographer allows you the chance to enjoy your party. A photographer will be able to capture the memories. Under some circumstances, an amateur photographer will photograph the party at a discount to gain the experience.

Along with the menu, the party set up area needs planning.

  • Location: Where will you host your outdoor party? The location is important. If you are hosting at a local park, you may need to rent the pavilion in advance. Or if you are using your own backyard, you will need to prepare to accommodate your guests.
  • Table and Chairs: Where will your guest sit? Rental pavilions usually come with picnic tables. For your backyard, you will need to consider the seating arrangements in advance. Borrowing or renting picnic tables, tables, and chairs will ensure every guest has a place to sit at your party.
  • Food Area: Where are you going to serve the food? Warmer summer months mean food risks spoilage or contamination. As the host, the last thing you want is your guests becoming ill. Consider using children’s pools or other food holding containers to place colder items in. Pack lots of ice around the cold items to ensure the proper temperatures. If you are grilling, handle raw meat with care.

6. Have Fun

Hosting an outdoor party is supposed to be fun. Do not allow the stress of hosting ruin your day. Consider delegating friends or family members to help. Allow yourself plenty of time to mingle and chat with guests.

7. Cleanup

After the outdoor party is over, cleaning up is the last step. For easy cleanup, provide trash and recycling containers in the party area. Most individuals will abide by the rules and throw items away in the proper area.