Dog Anxiety Symptoms That Should Not Be Ignored

Besides the love for horses, I also love the company of my wonderful dog, Boogey.  Caring for a dog is just like caring for a horse, you need to pay attention to many things that they go through.  One of the things that I found out is that dogs does have anxiety just like horses.  My neighbor has a very unique dog, husky pomeranian mix, which shows signs of anxiety all the time.  From that dog, here is what I have found out about dogs and anxiety.

 

What dog anxiety symptoms tell you is that your dog is uncomfortable with the current situation, whatever that situation might be. Intervention is advisable both from the standpoint of calming the dog’s fears and avoiding a situation where the feelings of anxiety could get out of hand. Some dogs will complain, others will cower, and still others may bite, not out of aggression, but out of fear.

 

In one sense, dog anxiety symptoms can be a good thing as they make you aware that something is bothering your pet. A dog can’t tell you it doesn’t like the sound of thunder, or that is annoyed or frightened by an unfamiliar noise, but it can certainly demonstrate it by its behavior. If a dog gives a warning such as growling, that warning needs to be respected. It’s a sign that if appropriate action is not taken, the growling could turn into something worse. If the dog is punished for growling, the next time a similar situation arises it may not bother to growl because it was previously punished for doing so. It may skip the growling and go straight to biting.

 

A Few Anxiety Symptoms to Watch For

 

There are a number of different ways a dog will tell you that it isn’t exactly comfortable with the way things are at the moment.

 

– Raised Paw – Dogs will sometimes raise a paw when they are watching something closely. That’s something may be a rabbit or a butterfly, but the dog is about to spring into action. A dog will also raise a paw when it is anxious about something. What it is watching here is not a rabbit but a type of situation, a situation that worries or frightens it. When a dog raises a front paw it is almost as if it has been frozen in its tracks. It is waiting for what comes next, and in the case of something that it is uncomfortable with, that waiting time is a fearful or worrisome one.

 

– Half-Moon Eye – A half-moon eye, also called a whale eye, is another sign that a dog is in distress. In this case you can see the white portion of the eye at the corners. This is usually a sign that the dog would rather be somewhere else, or simply wants to be left alone. When a dog wants to be left alone it is usually best to try to accommodate its wishes. The dog will be looking at someone, but with its head turned slightly to one side.

 

– Closed Mouth – A closed mouth can be a symptom. That is not to say that any time your dog has its mouth closed it is stressed. Most of the time when a dog is relaxed its lower jaw will hang slightly loose. If it hears a sharp noise, or there is some other distraction it will close its mouth. This is usually a very temporary situation. What it means is that the dog is momentarily waiting to see what is going to come next. If it keeps its mouth closed, as it will when it growls, it usually means it is stressed. You can usually tell if a dog is relaxed, even if it has its mouth closed, but it is nevertheless a sign to watch for. A closed mouth combined with breath-holding is sometimes a sign that a dog is ready to bite.

 

– Lip Licking – Lip licking is a sign of anxiety. This isn’t the type of lip licking a dog does when it’s just finished having something good to eat. This is a very quick series of movements were the tip of the tongue makes contact with the end of the nose. This behavior is common in dogs that are trying to adjust to a new situation, and is also common shelter dogs.

 

– Panting and Drooling – Panting and drooling are very common dog anxiety symptoms. These two symptoms in a dog  may be accompanied by other forms of anxious behavior such as constantly moving about, or wanting to be close to the its owner. These are symptoms commonly observed during thunderstorms or when there are fireworks exploding nearby. Panting and drooling are sometimes accompanied by shivering, which is an indication that a dog is quite stressed and even frightened.

 

When It’s All Over

 

Many times a dog will shake violently as if it had just been for a swim or had a bath. It is not wet but shakes as if it is. This usually signals a release of tension, and is a dog’s way of saying that it’s glad that whatever was troubling it is gone or done with. This is of course a good sign, but one you want to take note of so you can try to determine what it was that might have bothered your dog in the first place.

 

Not all dogs are alike. Some are extremely skittish and afraid of anything new or strange. Others could sleep through an artillery barrage. If you have one of the former types however it’s always best to take action early on. There are things that can be done. If you do nothing, the situation may only get worse, and you could be the one ending up showing symptoms of anxiety.

How To Avoid Bruising While Riding Horses

I love everything about horses. Sometimes when you are horse riding, you can get unexplained bruising. I am going to give you some advice and tips on how to stop friction saddle soars, horse riding saddle burns, rider saddle seat bone soars, saddle rubs, saddle chaffing, weaver’s bottom, rubbing, and bruising during horseback riding. Here are some of things you can try to avoid bruising while horse riding:

* Saddle fit – Look at your saddle and see what twist it has. It may hit you directly on your pubic bone. There is a way to determine what kind of saddle you need. You should put on a pair of jeans. The jeans need to have a center seam. Then sit in a flat wooden chair. Place your torso and legs into a riding position. You should be comfortable in a steeper rise saddle if you can fit a few fingers vertically between the center seam and the chair. If you cannot fit any of them while you are sitting on your center seam, you may need to get a shallower seat rise in the front. You may even want to get a saddle a size bigger as well. Be sure that you are sitting on your butt bones. Do not lean forward, because you can overload your pubic bone. You can also overload your pubic bone by bracing against the saddle pommel.

* Saddle leather – Make sure the saddle is not slippery, because you do not want to keep sliding back and forth. This can generate more chaffing. You can use a beeswax based product on your saddle. This makes the leather less slippery. Do not over apply it when you use it. It can generate a residue that can be cleaned easily with any saddle soap. There are also sticky saddle sprays that you can use to make your saddle sticky as well.

* Riding breeches – Look on inside the seam of your breeches. The seam should be folded out on both sides. They should not be stitched together. All four seams should not meet each other like a pair of jeans does. There are breeches known as Pikeur that have flat seams at the seat that do not rub. They spread out flat. You want to make sure that the seam is not like a pair of jeans, because they will rub. So try to search for breeches with smooth seams that will not rub.

* Ointments – You can buy an anti chaffing stick that protects against skin irritations, blisters, chaffing, and saddle sores.

These are some of things that you can try to avoid bruises while horseback riding.

 

Keeping Kids Busy During the Holidays

Many parents around the world dread the holidays. These are periods when they have to keep up with their kids and ensure they aren’t up to any mischief. It’s also a time of trying to figure out how to keep the kids busy. TV might be a good option but unfortunately, kids don’t learn much from TV nowadays. Sending them off to relatives might be a good option, but, kids also want to be around their parents. So what can be done? Planting flowers, drawing, and getting a new pet might be the right answer for you.

Keeping kids busy during holidays need not be a hard or expensive task. There are a couple of inexpensive ways of ensuring the kids learn and have fun at the same time. Here are some successful ideas I have applied on my kids.

Artwork

Children are naturally curious about their environment. In addition, they want to express their ideas and feelings. And which better way to do this than through art. Before my kids break for the holidays, I always ensure that there are art supplies waiting for them at home. They’re usually eager to use the crayons and paints I buy. Besides the fun part associated with creating art, my kids get to develop their cognitive and motor skills. Their drawings get better each day and, they are pretty find of the skylanders coloring pages and the new Disney’s Frozen coloring pages I have bought them in the past.

The reason why I love art as a way of keeping my kids busy during the holidays is that it doesn’t require that I keep an eye on my children. However, I always have to be around when they complete their art sessions and supervise the cleanup process.

Gardening

I love gardening and, enjoy the time spent with the kids around the garden. If you have enough space in your compound, gardening ca be a great way of keeping your kids busy. Children love getting their hands dirty. Gardening is a great learning opportunity for kids. Whether you want to plant a vegetable or flower garden, getting the kids to help out is the perfect way of ensuring they learn as well as spend some time with them.

Camping

Once in a while, I take my kids out camping. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive vacation abroad. There are many camping sites around the country. There are several reasons why camping is a great way to keep the kids busy during the holidays. First, getting away from home allows them to explore the world. Secondly, there’s no TV or the daily stuff they encounter daily. The kids get to know that there’s more to life than what they come across daily. It simply helps them develop their imagination. Third, camping allows me to unwind. I can simply forget about my daily hassles and enjoy the wild. Finally, alone time with the kids encourages them to open up. We can talk freely and have fun out in the wild.

Keeping kids busy during the holidays need not be a hard task. There are many ways to ensure that the kids have fun and still learn.

 

My Tiny Problem

Those pesky little critters are at it again. My body is itching all over. I have spent a good part of the day in the shed with my horses and now this.

Ever since I bought this farm I have been in love with my horses. I usually groom them every chance I got and often take strolls in nearby fields with them, enjoying nature.

Now that I have recently been separated with my wife of many years, I have been given more time with them. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be happy or sad but what I am sure of is that I will not spend my time sulking around thinking about things, instead I will devote my time and energy  with these magnificent creatures and everything about them.

But what I cannot stand is these pests that come with horses.

I think my horses have fleas.

I have a couple of dogs and cats lying around the farm. I don’t particularly know if they’ve got fleas or not but I usually make it a point to have them bathed and taken care of regularly. Maybe the horses got their fleas from them. I don’t know. Do horses get fleas?  It is my belief that with their thick skin, horses don’t get fleas. Sometimes there might be some on them just crawling around but they won’t survive because they have nothing to eat because of the thick skin which they would have a hard time penetrating into.  Maybe they got it while being around other animals in the farm. Maybe the fleas are just hitch hiking with the horses to get to a more suitable host like a dog or a cat. I have done several searches in the internet about horses and their parasites but never did I encounter fleas being one of them. Lice and ticks yes but never fleas.

Although some people might not want think so, fleas are almost next to impossible to eradicate completely. Getting fleas takes no more effort than bad luck. Sometimes just being in close with a person that has fleas gets you fleas. And with the fleas habit of multiplying quickly you soon get an unwanted infestation in a very short period of time. And often you don’t know it until you’re itching all over your body as I am experiencing right now. It’s hair-raising just thinking about fleas on human.

So what will I do now?

Some says the use of Ivory soap for bathing animals is effective and that it gets rid of the fleas faster than any flea killer could. Some say using citrus sprays or yeast helps fight off these pests. Pennyroyal oil is also recommended to discourage fleas. A neighbor of mine also suggested the use botanical dust mixed with boric acid to kill the fleas’ eggs and larvae. He says that the adult fleas typically lives just one week without blood from their hosts while the fleas’ eggs and larvae can live several months and that makes it important to kill the eggs first.

Armed with these suggestions of cures, I will fight the battle to save my beloved horses and myself from the dreaded itch critters. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it.

Low Carb Fruits, Vegetables and your Diet

Maintaining proper nutrition and exercise is the key to living a long life. It is inevitable that we will grow fatter as we age. That’s because nature dictates that our bodies will continue to loose muscle mass and store more fats as we grow older. Sadly, I am no exception to that rule. I have been feeling heavier these days. It is believed that every year after the age of 30, your body starts to lose about half a pound of muscles tissue, which is then replaced by a similar amount of fat in a process called sarcopenia. That led me to think of a way, which can be done, to at least, minimize age’s effect on my body. So besides exercising regularly, I have found out, that controlling my carbohydrate intake really do wonders in keeping my body stay trim and healthy.

We need carbohydrates to function properly. They are our body’s primary source of energy. But excess carbohydrates are converted into fats which are then stored by our bodies. It is then imperative that we choose the carbohydrates that we consume. A good source of carbohydrates is fruits and vegetables, but they too differ in the amounts of carbohydrates they contain, so we must also be watchful of them in our diets.

Knowing what the amount of carbohydrates is contained in fruits and vegetables can be classified from where part of the plant they came from. For Vegetables they are as follows:

  • Leaves ( least amount of carbohydrates )

–          Contains the greatest amount of fiber in the plant, also contains phytonutrients.

–          Examples of low carb vegetables are spinach, herbs and lettuce.

  • Stems and Flowers ( very low amount of carbohydrates )

–          Examples of these include artichokes, aubergene, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus.

  • Fruits ( moderate amount of carbohydrates )

–          The fruit of the plant is the part which harbors the seeds.

–          Examples of these are beans, squash, eggplants and okras

  • Roots ( very high in carbohydrates )

–          Contains the greatest amount of carbohydrates in the plant.

–          Examples root vegetables are yams, potatoes, cassava and taro.

For fruits, there is another way of classification on how much carbohydrates are contained in them:

  • Berries ( lowest carbohydrates )

–          Low carb fruits under berries also have the highest amount of antioxidants.

–          Examples of berries are blackberries, blueberries, cranberries and gooseberries.

  • Summer Fruits ( very low carbohydrates )

–          Examples of these are peaches, apricots and melons

  • Winter Fruits ( moderate carbohydrates )

–          Grapefruit, citron, pomelo and oranges are examples of citrus fruits.

  • Tropical Fruits ( high in carbohydrates )

–          Mangoes, durian, jackfruit, rambutan and bananas are fruits with high sugar contents.

So for a leaner, healthier body, choose your carbohydrates intelligently. The largest group of carbohydrates in our diet must always be vegetables. We must also limit foods with added fats and refined sugars, such as sodas and candies, which are packed with calories and carbohydrates but low in nutrition. Although it’s hard to strictly maintain such diets, the eventual result will be a body that is to die for, No, to live for.

Basic Steps in Tattooing

Ever wondered how the process of getting a tattoo is accomplished? Well I have been lucky enough to know several good tattoo artists during my travels, and have witnessed firsthand how it is being done. I seem to be gravitating towards them lately, maybe because I am really interested in tattoos in general and probably am also leaning to get one too, for myself.

From the ever popular chest tattoos for men, to the slowly becoming a fad side tattoos for girls, tattooing is relatively done the same way since way back when. The only things that had changes in them are probably the composition of the ink and what it is made from, and also the machine that is used to perform tattooing. Getting a tattoo done has only three general steps to it; preparation, tattooing and after-care, and I will try to explain a little bit of each, so that if ever you wanted to get one, you will know what to expect.

Preparation

For your part, the preparation involved before getting a tattoo mainly consists of finding the right image or text that you wanted to be tattooed on you, and also of choosing what colors to use on them. And for the tattoo artist’s part, if he is a good one that is, his preparation for tattooing is much more extensive. He has to make sure all his tools are working properly and thoroughly sterilized to lessen the risk of infection, and he also has to make sure he has the right kind, and enough quantity of ink to finish your session. He also has to explain to you the risks involved when having a tattoo and if you are really agreeable with them. If everything is okay, the tattooing process could start.

Tattoo Process

Tattooing could be done freehand if you and the artist are comfortable with it, or it could be done by, first, tracing the image you wanted to be tattooed on a tracing paper, then transferring it to whatever part of your body you were planning to have it on. That way you can be sure of its proper placement and also of the correctness of the image before inking. The tattoo artist will then proceed to dip his tattoo machine into whatever color of ink is needed for the image and trace the outlines of your soon to be tattoo, contact of the needles from the machine directly unto your skin begins. The process could last anywhere from thirty minutes to half a day depending on how large your tattoo is.

Aftercare

After the tattoo has been done, the tattoo artist will then apply some germicidal ointment on it, as it is a skin wound after all, and cover it with bandage or saran wrap to protect it against the elements. He will then give you the steps to take, on how to care for your healing tattoo, and provide answers to whatever questions you still have, regarding your new tattoo.

Although it looks fairly simple, Tattooing is a very much complicated form of art. You still have to factor in the pain and the blood that is sure to come out during the process, as well as the person’s sensitivity to the ink that you are using, as these pigments generally come from a variety of sources, namely animals, minerals as well as heavy metals which can be truly hazardous to anyone’s health. But in lieu of these things, having a tattoo is a truly transcendent experience you will never really forget anytime soon.

Domesticated Hedgehogs as Pets

Are you planning on having hedgehogs as pets? Read on.

First and foremost, you should really think if you are capable of having a pet. Having one comes with a lot of responsibility. It is like having a child which cannot live on its own, needs feeding and bathing and everything a living thing entails. Getting a pet on a whim or just for the sake of having one is irresponsible and cruel. So think carefully if you really want a pet before getting one.

Hedgehogs are mammals which have hollow keratin quills as their top hair and are five to eight inches long. They are characterized as being nocturnal and are omnivores, eats both animal and plants, in their native habitat. They are usually a solitary sort and communicate through what sounds like squeals and grunts.  Hedgehogs conventionally have lifespans of about 4-7 years.

Are you still with me? Okay. First, make sure you find a reputable pet dealer with a lot of experience with hedgehogs. When getting one, try to handle it first. Hedgehogs are not a violent sort but they can get mean and grumpy oftentimes. So pick one which is already tamed.

Before acquiring one, make sure you prepare its house first. A properly ventilated cage with a floor area of about 1 ½ feet X 2 feet minimum should be observed, as they are very active and likes moving around. Use wood shavings as bedding material. Also put in a small bowl to place food in and a water bottle or bowl where they can drink from. It is also important to install a place where they can hide in or sleep in, like a small cave or an upturned bowl, which serves as their safe zones, because being nocturnal by nature; they rest and like to spend time in the dark. You can also put in a small wheel with a flat base for them to exercise in.

Feeding them is simple. Domesticated hedgehogs are usually fed with high protein cat food. You can buy two kinds of cat food and mix them together, it will last them a long time. You can also give them a wide variety of human food which is readily available, from vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, squash and peas to meat items such as cooked chicken, pork and tuna. If ever a hedgehog does not eat these items, give them proper time to familiarize themselves with the food.

Caring for the hedgehogs require bathing on an as needed basis. Be sure to check their nails of any chipping from running on their exercise wheel. Also be reminded of cleaning their food and water bowl everyday as well changing their bedding weekly, or sooner, if the need arises. Don’t be surprised if ever your hedgehogs shed their quills. It is like babies losing their baby teeth in place of another set of teeth. The hedgehog usually shed their quills four times in their life, with the first around 4 weeks, then 6 weeks, 9 weeks and finally at 12 weeks old. You should make him as comfortable as you can during these times.

As with other pets, you should regularly spend time playing with them. Always handling them increases their familiarity with you and also strengthens the bond between the two of you. So are you really ready to get a hedgehog?

For Someone So Dear

It is very hard to see a member of the family suffer from terminal sickness. You kind of feel for her the way as if you want to change places if it is at all possible. You put up a brave face when you are near her, constantly reassuring her that there is still hope, even if everybody already knows that there is none left, and that time is the only thing left to be considered. You sit there beside her bed holding her hand, sometimes praying and sometimes, during lucid times, you talk about the past, of things done together and will still be doing.

You remember how she used to hold you in your arms, of how she made you stop crying even though the pain still rages in one of your silly bruise you got from playing all day. You remember her always telling you to eat your vegetables as they are good for you, and you remember the way she tucked you in to bed at night, told you stories and finally kissed you goodnight.

You remember talking back at her during your teenage years, and generally ignoring whatever it is that she is telling you. Reprimands usually go in one ear and out the other, never thinking what it was for or why she is telling you that. You just believed only in yourself, you are strong and invincible and you are the only one that mattered. But she was still there to meet you, the times you fell off your perch.

You remember going to college, leaving for great stretches, never really aware that somebody home misses you a lot. Calls were at a premium back then, but she always make it a point to make one every week, which was oftentimes greeted by bored indifference by you. You also remembered getting married, gotten old, had children, and generally let life just happen. Still she is always at the background guiding you, helping you, loving you.

Then it happened. She almost didn’t want you to know that she was sick and already suffering. You just know it was serious by the way the doctor talked about neutropenic precautions, and of how her body no longer has the ability to defend itself from sickness. And when the doctor eventually said that she’s better off at home, it finally hits you. Now you see what you have really been doing all this time. You suddenly realized what she really meant to your life. You then think of how you can make it up to her, even if just a little bit, with the little time she has left. But you know it is already too late for that. You are now lost.

You never really know the value of a thing until it is gone. No longer is there anybody that is always there for you, thinking about you if you’re okay or not, giving you love like no one else can. I will always remember all our time together, your time may be already through, but I’ll still have you here in my heart always. I always miss you. I love you very much.