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Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween pet safety tipsThere’s no question that Halloween is an exciting time for kids—and even many adults. After all, it’s a day filled with free candy, awesome costumes, spooky decorations, and great parties, so what’s not to love?

But all of this extra activity can be very stressful for pets and could lead to some dangerous scenarios, which is why we urge you to take the following precautions for keeping your dog or cat safe this Halloween:

  • Make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag on at all times in case he manages to escape from the house or yard during the general commotion.
  • Keep all treats, especially those containing dark chocolate, baking chocolate, or the artificial sweetener xylitol, well out of reach of pets.
  • Consider keeping your pet crated or closed off in a separate room during peak trick-or-treat hours to lessen the anxiety caused by a constantly ringing doorbell and endless parade of strangers. You might also try turning on a TV or radio near the pet to mask all the noise from trick-or-treaters.
  • Never leave an unsupervised dog or cat alone in a room filled with Halloween decorations as the pet might knock over candles, choke on fake cobwebs and rubber spiders, or be tempted to chew through electrical cords.
  • If dressing your pet in a costume, make sure the garment fits properly and doesn’t impair vision, prohibit barking or meowing, or interfere with free movement.
  • Bring outdoor pets inside for the night (or at the very least, keep them in the garage) to minimize the chances of them being targeted by pranksters.
  • Look up the emergency vet’s contact information as well as the animal poison control helpline number, and keep them on hand just in case.

Don’t let worries about your pet’s health and safety get in the way of Halloween fun this year. Take these precautions into consideration and implement the ones that apply to your household so the whole family can enjoy this spookiest of days!

Prep Your Dorm Room for Winter

heated-mattress-pad_HTypical college dorm rooms and apartments rarely meet anyone’s idea of a cozy living space, especially in winter. Thanks to drafty windows, bare floors, and a glitchy heater that either runs way too hot or not at all, dorms can be downright miserable once outdoor temperatures begin to dip.

Fortunately, you don’t have to let things get to that point. With a few choice heated accessories and a little extra time, you can convert the room to a warm and inviting place that will be the hit of the entire building. Here’s how to do it:

  • Put a heated floor mat under the area rugs in the room to help keep your feet warm when you’re walking around.
  • Use a heated mattress pad (we even have extra-long twin sizes to accommodate most dorm beds) so you can sleep comfortably through the night without having to turn up the thermostat. This is a terrific option for green campuses or for anyone that wants to save some money on winter heating bills.
  • Cover drafty windows with insulating film or bubble wrap to block out cold air while keeping in warm air. Or if your budget allows, invest in some heavy curtains to achieve the same effect in a more decorative package.
  • Run a piece of weather-stripping tape along the bottom of all doors to further seal the room against cold drafts. If you’re crafty, you can try your hand at DIY draft stoppers.
  • Keep a heated electric throw at your desk, chair, or futon so you can stay nice and toasty while reading, studying, talking with friends, or watching a movie.
  • While it may not have an effect on the temperature, string lights or other holiday décor can be the perfect touch to give your dorm room that warm and cozy feeling.

Remember, winter break only gets you out of the dorm for a few short weeks. So to make the rest of the season tolerable, follow these tips for prepping your dorm room before the cold and nasty weather sets in.

Employers Can’t Afford to Ignore Winter Safety Hazards

cautionAlthough winter is still a couple of months away, it’s never too early for employers to begin making plans to deal with the safety hazards caused by the season’s abundance of ice and snow. Poor traction and slick surfaces in particular are two concerns that employers simply cannot afford to ignore, as these conditions are leading causes of slip-and-fall accidents that can negatively impact businesses. The average slip and fall injury costs a business $28,000, according to the Bureau of Labor. Costs due to these injuries can add up in the following ways:

  • Direct workers compensation payouts
  • Lost employee work days
  • Decreased on-the-job productivity for injured workers
  • Lower employee morale
  • Possible litigation and punitive damages
  • Legal fees and court costs
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Lost business if victim is a client, customer, or other visitor to the facility

All of the above can happen as the result of a single incident, which is why preventive measures must be taken well before the first snowstorm and why swift responses to inclement weather are required throughout the winter. Some of the most effective actions for avoiding potential slip-and-fall claims include:

  • Mandating the use of ice cleats for all employees that work outdoors
  • Making ice cleats or other traction devices available for office employees that must occasionally walk outside for considerable distances (e.g. across campus or through an airport parking lot)
  • Removing snow from walkways and sprinkling salt on exposed surfaces to melt ice
  • Eliminating uneven surfaces in parking lots and on sidewalks
  • Placing floor mats or carpeting inside doorways to absorb snow, ice, and debris from employees’ footwear

Providing safe winter walking gear for employees and visitors is clearly in everyone’s best interest, not only for avoiding all the detrimental outcomes listed here but also for preventing sprains, broken bones, and other serious injuries. So check out the variety of ice cleats and stabilizers we have on sale now at CozyWinters, and be sure to inquire about volume pricing deals for larger orders.

Early Prep for Ski Season

prepare for ski seasonAt most major ski resorts in the US, the official start of the season tends to fall somewhere in mid to late November—still a couple months away. But if you wait for Thanksgiving or the sight of snow on the ground to begin prepping for ski season, chances are you’ll find yourself scrambling to fix broken gear, buy new apparel or equipment, and book lift tickets and lodging before the choice dates sell out.

In that kind of rush something important invariably gets overlooked, which can lead to a miserable time on the slopes or even missing out entirely on prime skiing days. To prevent either of these fiascos from ruining what should be the best time of the year, here are 5 things you can do to prep for ski season right now:

  • Take your equipment out of storage and inspect it for fit, wear, and damage. Even if you took the time to store your skis, board, boots, goggles, and poles in accordance with manufacturer recommendations, some unforeseen mishap might have occurred in the past several months. Now is a good time to visually inspect your ski equipment, and repair or replace gear as necessary.
  • Try on your ski apparel to ensure everything still fits properly. Ski jackets and pants that felt fine last season might be too snug or too roomy if you’ve gained or lost weight in the past year. In addition, growing children will likely need new apparel, and discovering this early enough will allow you to take advantage of pre-season sales. You may also wish to upgrade from regular ski apparel to Gerbing Gyde heated jackets and gloves, available at CozyWinters.com, to help you stay warm even in the coldest conditions.
  • Get your fitness program going. Skiing is much more fun (not to mention bearable) when you’re physically fit enough to handle the challenges associated with spending a whole day on the slopes. If you’ve been letting your exercise program slide, get back on the ball by running, biking, performing squats and lunges, and doing planks and other moves targeting your lower body and core.
  • Sign up for a refresher lesson or two. If you’re still a novice or recreational skier, it’s probably a good idea to sign up for a couple of lessons before tackling the slopes on your own. This will help refresh your memory on form and technique, as well as give you the confidence you need to handle tougher mountains and trails.
  • Buy your lift tickets and lodging in advance. This tip applies primarily to folks intending to ski at the most popular resorts in the country or at smaller resorts during peak weekends. If you already know that you’ll be in Park City or Breckenridge on certain dates, or that your family will only be able to get away during Christmas break, then plan accordingly and try booking tickets and lodging as soon as the resort starts accepting reservations.

Even though it’s still September, ski season is getting closer by the day. Make sure you’re ready for it by getting a jump on the early prep work listed above.

Why Cats Love Sunlight & Heat

cat sunlight heated pet bedEvery cat owner is familiar with the way their feline companion craves heat. Whether it’s snoozing in a narrow beam of sunlight, curling up on a laptop keyboard, or nestling inside a cardboard box, your pet naturally gravitates toward the warmest spot in the room. As it turns out, there are specific biological reasons that explain why cats love sunlight and heat.

  • Cats have higher heat tolerance than humans. The average body temperature of a healthy cat is around 101 degrees, and they don’t begin to feel pain from heat until the temperature rises to 126 degrees. This greater tolerance for heat not only allows them to cope better when temperatures soar, but also prompts them to seek external warmth to maintain their 101-degree equilibrium.
  • Cats are predators. From stealthily stalking a bird or mouse to waiting patiently for just the right moment to pounce on unsuspecting prey, cats use their brains far more than their brawn. This brain activity consumes tons of energy; so any help cats get in the form of external heat is energy they can divert from simply warming the body to powering more complex functions.
  • Cats have turbo-charged metabolisms. Metabolic processes such as maintaining body temperature, digesting food, and preserving a healthy coat all require a constant influx of energy. Again, cats can conserve some of their energy expenditure by using external heat sources like sunlight and heated pet beds to help warm their bodies and keep their metabolism running more efficiently.

Now that you understand a bit more about why your cat seeks warmth, you can make its life a lot easier by placing heated cat pads or heated pet beds in strategic places throughout your home. Check out CozyWinters today to view our indoor and outdoor heated pet products that will help keep your cat warm and snug in every season.

8 Ways to Save on Your Utility Bills

save on utility bills water heating winterNow that summer is just about in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead to the cooler temperatures of fall and winter. While at first the change will feel like a welcome relief from the months of heat and humidity you’ve been suffering through, you’ll eventually find yourself seeking effective ways to warm up. In the past this might have meant spending a bunch of money to heat your home and water—but that doesn’t have to be the case going forward. Check out these eight terrific tips for trimming your utility bill in the colder months:

Saving on water bills

  • Lower the temperature setting of your water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees (or less, if you can stand it). This will warm the water sufficiently for showers and other uses while saving 10% or more on heating costs.
  • Take shorter showers. The math here is simple: the less time you spend in the shower, the less water you use and the less you pay, so get in, wash up, and get out.
  • Install a Warmrails heated towel rack in the bathroom. A heated towel rack thoroughly dries towels to keep them mold and mildew free, thereby eliminating the need for frequent, or daily laundering.
  • Run the clothes washer and dishwasher only when you have full loads, and use the cold or warm water settings (as opposed to hot) whenever possible.

Saving on heating bills

  • Use electric blankets or heated mattress pads to warm the bed at night. This will allow you to turn the thermostat way down or completely off and save money on overnight heating costs.
  • Switch your ceiling fans to the winter setting to make the blades rotate clockwise or reverse of their summer direction. The clockwise spin pushes warm air all the way up against the ceiling where it will then be forced to recirculate back down into the room.
  • Place heated floor mats under the area rugs in your home to provide targeted warmth in occupied rooms. Under area rug heated floor mats are a far more energy efficient warming method for the living room, media room, and home office than heating the entire house for the sake of one or two people.
  • Check the caulking and weather-stripping around doors and windows, and make sure the attic insulation is up to snuff. A poorly insulated home is extremely costly to heat because cold air is constantly coming in while warm air is always leaking out.

Check out the CozyWinters website to order the heated towel warming racks, electric blankets, heated mattress pads, and under area rug warming mats mentioned above and use the other money-saving ideas from this post to start prepping your home for the long winter to come.

5 Amazing Motorcycle Rides and Destinations in America

motorcycle tripWhile motorcycles can serve as a fun and economical form of daily transportation, that’s not why most people buy them. The real reason we buy them is so we can spend hours (or days or weeks) cruising along scenic highways featuring plenty of twists, turns, and natural beauty. Fortunately, the US is filled with amazing motorcycle rides and destinations, including the following five favorites:

  1. Pacific Coast Highway: Immortalized in countless films and TV shows, the PCH begins in Monterey and extends 123 miles to Morro Bay. Along the way, you’ll be treated to unbeatable views of looming cliffs and the Pacific Ocean, with the opportunity to stop at Big Sur, Hearst Castle, and other notable places.
  1. Beartooth Pass: This 68-mile stretch of highway spanning from Montana to Wyoming is situated atop the Northern Rockies at an altitude of 10,947 feet, allowing you to see alpine plateaus, glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, and dense forests as you maneuver around the numerous switchbacks that ultimately lead to Yellowstone. At this height, it would be smart to wear a heated motorcycle jacket and heated gloves to keep warm on the ride. CozyWinters now carries several styles of Gerbing Gyde lightweight jackets with multiple heat settings, as well as leather, cowhide, or premium twill gloves that offer supplemental heating without sacrificing dexterity. And if you choose the optional Thermogauge Bluetooth adapter, you can control the heat settings of all your Gerbing Gyde apparel through a single Smartphone app for unbeatable ease and convenience.
  1. Coastal Highway 1: Those with a hankering to explore quaint towns and shops, sample fresh-from-the-water seafood, and photograph lighthouses that date back to the 1790s must head all the way east to travel along the 170-mile expanse of Coastal Highway 1 from Kittery to Bucksport, ME.
  1. Blue Ridge Parkway: One of the slowest (45 mph speed limit), smoothest, and most relaxing rides on this list, the Blue Ridge Parkway winds through historic Civil War battlefields in Virginia on up to the dazzling heights of the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. Those riders feeling more adventurous can easily continue on to Deal’s Gap and the infamous Tail of the Dragon, with its heart-pumping 318 curves in just 11 miles of road.
  1. Route 66: Arguably the most iconic ride on this list, Route 66, which begins in Chicago, IL, and goes across eight states to Santa Monica, CA, is a dream for anyone interested in all things Americana. From kitschy museums and attractions such as the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ, or the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX, to ‘50s style diners and modern steakhouses, you’ll experience a road trip like no other as you make your way to the “end of the trail” at Santa Monica Pier.

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep (Even in Summer)

Outlast Temperature Regulating Sheet SetNumerous studies show that individuals have an ideal sleep temperature that allows them to fall asleep and stay asleep all night. For a majority of folks, the magic number is somewhere between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, but varies according to personal preferences and the seasons.

So wouldn’t it be great if your body temperature simply held steady all night long? That way, you could just choose a cooling gel pad or electric blanket and be assured of a comfortable sleep.

But that’s not the way temperature works in the real world. In many places, especially the southern states in late summer, outdoor temperatures fluctuate at night and impact your body temperature to the point where you might be sweating when you first hit the sheets, but shivering just a few hours later. Even attempts to control ambient temperature with the use of an air conditioner or heater may not be enough to ensure comfort. That’s where temperature regulating bedding can help.

Made of high-tech fabrics and utilizing phase change materials, temperature regulating bedding:

  • Proactively manages temperature
  • Helps prevent moisture (sweat) production before it begins
  • Cools you down by absorbing and storing body heat when you begin to get too hot
  • Warms you up by redistributing the stored heat when you begin to get too cold
  • Performs this function continuously throughout the night
  • Operates without batteries or electrical cords
  • Is perfect for year-round use

If you’re having trouble getting a good night’s sleep because you’re either too hot, too cold, or constantly shifting between the two extremes, it’s time to try temperature regulating bedding. Check out the wide selection of Outlast mattress pads, blankets, comforters, and pillows at CozyWinters today and enjoy the deep, restful sleep that the right temperature provides.

 

 

Think your industry’s employees don’t need ice cleats? Think again.

falling-on-iceFiguring out what kind of personal protective equipment employees need for a particular job is often a straightforward task. In fact, within most industries there’s very little guesswork involved. For example, hearing protection, safety glasses, steel-toed boots, and gloves are fairly standard issue for employees in manufacturing positions, while those in carpentry or construction jobs might also need a hardhat, high-visibility vest, and/or respiratory protection.

However, it can be a bit more difficult to determine which industry’s employees should be given ice cleats for the winter. That’s because we tend to think that only workers in outdoor jobs, such as mail or package delivery and landscaping, would benefit from the extra traction ice cleats provide.

But consider how frequently employees that have “desk jobs” are required to go outside in the winter as part of their ordinary duties. All of those offsite business meetings, trips to the post office, lunches and dinners with clients, and visits to trade shows and conferences put even corporate employees at risk for slip-and-fall accidents—leaving you, as the employer, potentially liable for workman’s compensation claims, increased insurance costs, and lost productivity.

To protect your employees and your business, we recommend ice cleats for the following types of workers:

  • Firefighters
  • Police officers and security guards
  • EMT personnel
  • Newspaper reporters and photographers
  • College and university staff (especially on large campuses located in areas that receive heavy snowfall)
  • Traveling salespeople
  • Frequent-flyer type executives

The goal here is to provide ice cleats for any employee that is required to leave the building and visit other locations during the workday. Since you can’t be sure that the other site has followed safety protocols in terms of shoveling snow and salting walkways to eliminate ice buildup, you’re better off giving your employees the means to protect themselves.

Now that you’re ready to purchase ice cleats for your employees, visit CozyWinters to check out all the different brands and styles we carry. We offer volume pricing on government and corporate orders, so get ready to stock up on winter footwear today.

Keep Indoor Cats Entertained

Aug 1 Keep indoor cats entertainedCats that are kept indoors must be provided with lots of stimulating activities to help them cope with the confinement. This stimulation not only wards off boredom and reduces stress, but also prevents undesirable behaviors such as excessive meowing, scratching at furniture, and urinating outside the litter box. So consider trying these ideas for keeping your feline friend entertained throughout the day:

  • Use our heated windowsill cat bed to create a comfy perch for your pet to sit on while gazing out at birds, passing cars, and pedestrians. This is a simple activity that will occupy your cat for hours all year round.
  • Leave the radio tuned to a classical music station or play a CD of nature sounds to soothe and comfort your pet when no one is home.
  • Satisfy your cat’s need to climb by creating safe pathways to the tops of bookshelves and other high places. You may also wish to buy a multistory cat furniture tree or activity center for the same purpose.
  • Indulge the natural hunting instincts in your cat by hiding treats or dry kibble around your home. Change the locations frequently to keep things interesting—but be sure to retrace your steps every now and then to clean up anything your cat might have missed.
  • Give your cat new items to sniff, play with, and explore. These might be anything from windup mice and other store bought toys to paper bags, cardboard boxes, or fallen bird feathers and tree leaves.
  • Teach your cat to walk on a leash or build a secure enclosure for the yard. This will enable your favorite feline to enjoy some of the perks of being outdoors without any of the attendant dangers.
  • Treat your cat to quality one-on-one playtime and cuddle time as often as possible.

Since every cat has its own distinct personality, it’s impossible to predict which of these entertainment ideas your pet will respond to and which will just be ignored. So why not try them all and then stick to the ones that work best!

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