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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Guest: How to Be a Great Owner to Your New Pet

How to Be a Great Owner to Your New Pet
By Jessica Brody

A new pet is a wonderful addition to any family, but fully committing your time and energy into making that pet a part of your life will change you both forever.  It might not be easy, but it will be time well spent.
Introducing Your Pet to Your Home
It will take a little time for your new pet to get comfortable in his new home.  It is most likely a completely foreign environment to him. Let your pet explore the safe areas of your house to get used to the different sights and smells.
Keep breakable items, or things your pet might eat or destroy, in higher areas out of reach of mischievous pets.  Also move pesticides, household cleaners, and other poisons to secure areas where pets can’t find them.
Be aware of foods from your kitchen that might be dangerous for your pet.  Try using child locks on cabinets and pantries to prevent pets from accessing foods that might make them sick.  Don’t forget that the trash can should be out of reach as well.
Check your home for any other hazards or furniture that could injure or trap your pet.  Doors and windows should close securely to prevent escape, and yard fences should be free from holes or gaps that could enable your pet to escape.
Set up some comfortable beds or zones for your pets to sleep in.  You can use cushions, blankets, or a pet crate to create a safe, comfy spot for your pet to sleep or relax in.  Your pet will go there when they need rest or privacy.
Keeping Your Pet Healthy
A healthy pet is a happy pet.  Schedule regular vet checkups to stay current on vaccinations and other general care.  Discuss food options for your pet and know that they can change with health issues or age.
Regular grooming can also keep your pet healthy.  Nails, teeth, and skin should be taken care of to prevent any issues.  They can also alert you to more serious health concerns.
As your pets age they may need more attention and care from you and your vet.  Issues like arthritis, heart or kidney problems, or failing eyesight can make it difficult for your pet to do the same things as his younger counterparts.  Some adjustments in your home, such as raising the levels of food bowls, can help your elderly pets do things more comfortably.
Bonding With Your Pet
Bonding with your pet is important, so make sure to set aside time every day to have fun with them.  Whether it’s playing with toys, taking walks, or running around outside in the yard, your pet will appreciate the time spent with you.
When you can’t be there, make sure your pet has toys or activities to keep them entertained.  They have a tendency to be less destructive if they don’t get hungry or bored while you are out of the house.  If you need to be away a longer period of time, find a daycare or pet sitter to take them on walks or check in with them to make sure they get fed and played with while you are gone.
With care and patience, you can be a great pet owner and earn the love and loyalty of your pet for a lifetime.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Guest: 5 Things that may be causing allergies...

Five Things In Your House That Might Be Causing Allergies (Even in Your Pets)
By Charlotte Meier

Photo via Pixabay by damita118

Many people suffer from allergies when spring rolls around and the landscape seems to be practically dripping with pollen, but even if you spend most of your time indoors, you might be affected by some common household items you haven’t thought about. In fact, your pets might be affected by some of these as well. Some of these items can cause cold-like symptoms year-round and can affect the lungs and sinuses. Unfortunately, constant exposure to these things can cause long-term damage to your health--and your pet’s health--so it’s important to suss them out as soon as you or your pet start exhibiting allergy symptoms.

Here are the five most common household items that could be making you sick.

Your ceiling fan

You might think you’re safe from pollen and ragweed if you don’t spend any time outdoors, but in the spring and summer, just having your windows open can bring them in, and if you have a ceiling fan running, it can pick up tiny spores and circulate them through your home. Clean the blades well several times a week if you have the fan on every day, and do the same to your air conditioner vents.

Your carpet

Carpeting can hold in all kinds of yucky stuff, and anytime you, your children, or your pets walk outside they bring in allergens on their shoes. Consider investing in a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which will keep all that dust and debris from being recirculated into the air, and have everyone remove their shoes when they come in.


If your home is especially damp, you may have mold lurking, and mold can lead to serious health problems. Basements with concrete floors, bathrooms, and any area where a leak has occurred should especially be checked for mold. Wash all bath mats, towels, and fabric shower curtains regularly. If you do find mold and it’s manageable, clean the area with a bleach/water mixture.


For many people, their pets are like members of the family. However, animal dander can wreak havoc on allergies. If you have a pet and think you might be allergic, don’t let him in your bed or on the furniture. Vacuum frequently and, if possible, invest in furniture that is easy to clean, such as leather.

Believe it or not, some pets can be allergic to others. A dog, for example can be allergic to cats. It’s not incredibly common, but it has been known to happen.


While most food allergies appear during childhood, more and more people are finding they have an allergy to gluten. Wheat products, strawberries, nuts, eggs, milk, and shellfish are some of the most common allergens, so be careful about what you snack on.

As far as your pets are concerned, stick with pet food, and avoid human food. If your pet seems to always be suffering from allergies or sickness, but you can’t determine the cause, check with your vet. It’s not out of the question that their diet is involved.