October, Adopt a Shelter Dog month, is a great time to add a dog to your family. Be careful which breed you adopt, though. Insurance companies use data from insurance claims and public health studies to create a high risk dog breed list, and your homeowners insurance premiums can increase based on the type of dog you adopt. You can save money when you choose a dog that's not on the high risk list.
Working Breed Dogs
Agile, powerful and intelligent, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers and Siberian Huskies are also fiercely protective. If they're not trained properly, these breeds could be potentially dangerous, especially to young children and small pets.
Loyal and protective, American Pitbull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers have been bred to hunt. These traits mean they can become aggressive and tenacious if they're cornered or frightened by one of your family members or guests.
Police departments, military personnel and ranch hands appreciate this breed because the dogs are intelligent, hard-working and powerful. They're also suspicious of strangers and won't back down, which makes them a challenging breed for inexperienced owners to handle.
Independent and strong Chow Chows are often kept as companions. These fluffy dogs can be aloof and stubborn, though, and should only be adopted by experienced dog owners.
Wolf Hybrid and Presa Canarios dogs exhibit strength and protective characteristics. However, they can also be unpredictable and quick to attack, making them potentially dangerous breeds. Friendly and docile Great Danes are listed on the high risk list, too, because of their size.
A dog adds fun and companionship to your home and family, and adopting a shelter dog is socially responsible. Before you choose a new pet, though, consider whether or not it will increase your homeowners insurance cost. If so, you may choose a different breed or reduce your home insurance premiums by installing a dog fence or raising your deductible.
Whether you drive a vehicle that's hot off the assembly line or one that's old enough to be an antique, you want your car to last a long time. A fall tune-up helps you achieve your goal. It also maximizes fuel efficiency, prevents expensive repairs and ensures your vehicle runs properly all winter.
Read the Owner's Manual
In the back of your vehicle's owner's manual, you'll find a tune-up checklist. Follow it carefully as you ensure you repair and inspect all the essential areas of your vehicle this fall.
Fix the Brakes
Your mechanic should inspect the brakes for wear and ensure the brake lights on your vehicle work properly.
Change the Oil
Your vehicle's engine requires engine oil as it operates smoothly. Top off the oil this fall or invest in a complete oil change, especially if you've driven 15,000 miles since your last oil change.
Check the Battery
Wipe off the terminals and make sure the battery is attached correctly. If it's older than four years, replace it so that you're not left stranded.
Soft, leaky or loose hoses seem like a small detail, but they're important for proper engine performance. Inspect all your engine's hoses to ensure they're attached properly and replace any that aren't in good working order.
Top Off Fluids
Low transmission fluid and coolant affect your vehicle's performance and could damage the engine. Top off these fluids this fall. You'll also want to fill your windshield washer fluid and the antifreeze reservoir.
Inflate the Tires
You'll experience a smoother ride and enjoy increased traction when you inflate the tires to the proper level. Find the recommended tire pressure on your vehicle's door sticker.
Now that your car is tuned up, update your auto insurance, too. Make sure you have adequate coverage to handle any repairs or liability that may occur during a winter storm or after an accident. With these tune-up tips, you prolong the life of your vehicle this winter and into next year.