Tag: High Style Life magazine

Summer crawlies …

…. and what they mean for our beloved dogs!

As frequently happens, recently I was sent an email from someone I hadn’t previously been in contact with. It was Sienna Penfold and this is what she wrote:

Hello Paul,
My name is Sienna, and I’m a full-time mom and a regular contributor to highstylife.com. Proud owner of two beautiful dogs (Coco & Hulk) and beautiful cat adopted from a shelter.
Since I’m equally passionate about my pets and my job I’ve decided to share my knowledge and experiences. I love the combination of sharing information and learning from others. Stories I like to write are mostly connected to pets and lifestyle.

You all know me well enough to know what my response was!!

So here is Sienna’s guest post.


Be Prepared! Tips to Protect Your Dog and Your Family from Dangerous Parasites

by Sienna Penfold, August 21st., 2018

Every year during spring, summer, and most of fall, every pet parent becomes painfully aware of all the crawlies that enjoy the nice weather as much as our furry buddies do. From annoying fleas, which can also carry various diseases, all the way to worms, and ticks, the sunny days of the warm season come with a slew of responsibilities for every family – because, unfortunately, all these insects also pose a risk for us and our kids as well, not just for our pets.

Even if you do your best to prevent any type of an infection, you should also stay alert for any early signs of a flea infestation, and any presence of ticks and other parasites that can wreak havoc on your pooch’s as well as your own health. Let’s go through some of the key symptoms, preventative measures, and possible treatments to make your summers all the more comfortable and worry-free!
Keep an eye on your furball

Fleas and ticks are the most common external parasites that your pooch may have, and while it’s always best to focus on prevention, some dogs are more prone to having these pests and thus need more attention from you. Keep in mind that there are almost 2,000 species of fleas out there, and you may find some to be more resilient than others. The following are some of the simplest symptoms your dog will exhibit in case they have fleas:

  • Frequent scratching and skin irritations such as psoriasis, redness, and hair loss
  • Flea droppings in your dog’s coat (which you can check when grooming them and examining their hair against a contrasting surface such as a white piece of paper)
  • Excessive licking and biting
  • Pale gums

On the other hand, ticks are the next most common parasite found in nature, and its many species carry a wide range of diseases that can endanger your dog’s health or even life. These are the symptoms to keep an eye on:

  • Skin irritation and itchiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of energy

A potential internal parasite infection, coming from a wide range of worms, heartworm included, may cause all of the above symptoms as well as the following issues:

  • Scooting, or dragging their rears against the floor
  • Coughing
  • A rounded belly
  • Visible parasites in fecal matter

The most effective preventative measures

Depending on your furry friend’s health and specific conditions (if any are present), you can mix and match several useful solutions to prevent any parasite issues. For example, regular grooming, including twice-a-day combing, regular baths with suitable shampoos, and even natural remedies as a part of their diet, such as a smidgen of garlic, and spraying apple cider vinegar mixed with water, can help.

Topical solutions come in various forms, from repellant collars to topicals, and are applied once a month, mostly on a dog’s back. However, you should keep in mind that not every form of protection is all-encompassing, meaning that they sometimes don’t include heartworm protection, which are transferred through mosquito bites.

A great option is a monthly spot-on topical such as Advocate dog flea treatment which also keeps your pooch safe against heartworms, and worms. Remember to weigh your pooch beforehand, because all of these treatments are used in different doses depending on how heavy your dog is.

Protecting your environment

Even though you cannot possibly keep your dog away from all risky spots, especially if you take them to natural spots such as rivers, mountains, and meadows, you can still decrease their risk with the right hygiene rules.

If your pooch lives indoors, make sure you vacuum and clean your home every day, or at least every other day, to remove any potential flea eggs. Removing carpets is one of the best ways to prevent an infestation, although your furniture still leaves plenty of room for them to bask in.

Using flea and tick-repellent substances such as apple cider vinegar in your homemade cleaning supplies, can also help you protect your rooms. Make sure to wash your own linens as well as your dog’s bedding on a regular basis, with items such as the Seventh Generation detergent with predominantly plant ingredients, which are perfectly pet and kids-safe. If you dress your dog, you can use the same detergent to wash their sweaters, and make sure they don’t harbor any unwanted pests!

Since all of these parasites transmit many diseases that can also come with all of the listed as well as with more severe symptoms, it’s best to check your dogs from head to toe, especially in those hidden nooks such as between their toes, behind and inside their ears and around their tails. However, it’s always a good idea to have your vet check with you on a regular basis, and make sure that whatever may be causing those symptoms is not a parasite, but a harmless issue, such as an upset stomach.


Don’t know about you but we found that a very informative guest post!

Want some more?? Please let me know!

As always, I have no commercial interest in or knowledge of any the products and companies mentioned by Sienna.

Real Learning from Dogs – for our Children!

Another wonderful guest post from Zara Lewis.

Back on March 13th, Zara published her first guest post in this place. It was called Dogs and allergies and was very well received by many if not most of you.

So what a pleasure it was to receive a further email and material from Zara last Friday.

Here it is for all you good people!


How Your Family Pooch Can Teach Your Youngsters Responsibility

by Zara Lewis, March 30th 2018

It’s easy to confuse pure obedience with true responsibility, simply because the former serves as the stepping stone, while the latter is a mindset that takes years to build. We as parents make choices every day that affect how well this mindset develops in our kids, but one of the best, most seamless ways for them to succeed is by nurturing their relationship with your family doggo.

With a four-legged friend by their side, kids tend to assume the role of a leader, a friend, and a caregiver with greater ease. Although it comes with its own set of parenting challenges, teaching your kids responsibility with your little fuzzy buddy is a rewarding experience that will enrich your kids’ childhood and help you be a better parent, as well!

Building healthy habits

From regular vet check-ups, vaccines, feeding on a schedule, and taking them for walks every day, your kids will quickly realize that only a healthy dog will be a happy dog. I know that some kids will be eager to split their chocolate cake with their furry pal, but when you explain to them that such a diet can be very harmful, they will be much more careful when choosing the right dog food.
When they’re young, they won’t perceive those walks and frisbee throws as exercise, but if they start embracing this lifestyle so early, they will be much more likely to stay active throughout their adulthood, too.

Learning about boundaries
No matter how in love your youngsters may be with their pet, they often don’t understand that dogs have moods, too. That means they won’t always be in the mood to be hugged, or that dogs won’t put up with having their tail pulled all the time.

The sooner they understand to respect the needs and wants of their pets, your kids will appreciate the meaning of personal preferences even in life. They will learn how to recognize certain body language signals that they are about to cross a line and transfer that knowledge to their hooman friends as well.


Mastering discipline

Just like that birthday cake is almost too irresistible not to be shared with your pooch, it’s no surprise that many kids want to take their dogs everywhere and share absolutely everything with them. My own little boy wanted to share his bed with our dog, Joey, and even though this is perfectly fine from time to time, making it into a habit wasn’t the best option for either of them.

So, we got a Snooza bed for Joey and placed it in our son’s bedroom and explained that it’s best for each of them to have their own space, since they both grow very fast. Plus, once I told my son that the cleaning of his room will be much more difficult if his bed was filled with dog hair, he immediately changed his mind!


Handling suitable tasks

Overburdening your kids with too many difficult chores is as bad as not giving them enough opportunities to be responsible. It’s best to discern how much your youngsters can handle depending on their age. For example, toddlers can tell you if their water bowl is empty or if they caught the little rascal in the potty act.

Older kids can share the entire feeding, grooming, and walking routine with you, depending on their school responsibilities and other chores. In fact, older kids can even help you train the dog by teaching them various tricks, and playing sessions are beneficial both for your kids and the dog, as they’ll help them grow stronger, and build their bond over time.

Fostering independence

Sometimes the homework will pile up and perhaps the flu season will kick in, so you’ll feel the need to spare your kids the trouble of caring for your pet. Even though it’s perfectly fine to help them manage their chores and take over a portion until they are well enough, they shouldn’t suddenly let you take over for good.
Moreover, encourage your kids to pitch in, no matter how little, with their birthday savings or their pocket money when buying dog food, or getting new chew toys. This is yet another way of sharing and learning to become more autonomous even financially with their pets.

The cycle of learning and teaching
While we’re on the subject of sharing, some kids perceive their pooch as another toy at first, or even as a chore you’ve added to their “unwanted” list. This is especially common among very young kids, and it becomes essential for parents to help them cope with these responsibilities by gradually introducing new ones.
Talk to them, see if they would actually like to take charge of a particular activity such as feeding or walking, while you share other responsibilities with them. Explain why these actions are important for keeping your pooch happy and healthy, and they will be much more likely to take on more responsibilities over time.

Finally, don’t forget to be a true role model while your kids are still in the learning stages of caring for your family pet. They will make mistakes, but they should look up to you for better behavioral patterns, and it’s your duty to be the caregiver you’d want your kids to become for your pooch.


You do know if Zara carries on like this I shall hang up my keyboard and just savour Zara’s writings!!

Dogs and allergies

Again and again I feel so privileged to be writing this blog!

For so many reasons! But the top reasons are that I feel part of an enormous family of dog lovers and that so frequently I am approached by a person who has valuable information to share with me and you.

Such as it was when back last September in came an email from Zara Lewis.

Hi Paul,
As you probably already know, all the pet stories you are sharing are super interesting and, most importantly, super useful to the entire community of us, pet parents.
Professionally, I am a regular contributor at highstylife.com magazine, while personally I am very interested in pet topics, as I am a proud mom of two + one. I say “+one” because I can hardly separate my foster dog from my children 😀

I have no book to publish, but I was wondering if you are willing to add guest content to your blog. Here you can check my style and previous posts:


Here are some topic suggestions that I believe can be useful for your community:

-Teaching your child responsibility with animals
-The Latest Trends in Pet Care
Looking forward to your response.
Regards from me & furry Joey,


You will not be surprised to hear me say that I replied to Zara saying that I would be delighted to receive an essay from her.

The weeks slipped by, as they do, but on the 6th March Zara sent the following.

It’s a wonderful essay!


Dog Allergies 101: What Are the Most Common Ones & What to Do About Them

by Zara Lewis, March 6th, 2018.

Allergies are a very common ailment, so it’s not unusual for your dog to have one. Even though people have the ability to describe the symptoms to the last detail, dogs tend to show different ones, so it’s very important for us to know and recognize them. Unless you have some kind of a super dog breed, your four-legged friend might start developing certain allergies. This mostly happens because their bodies mistakenly believe a certain type of food is bad for them, or they use it too much or too often, so their immune system responds by releasing antibodies that can cause serious problems. Take a look at the most common symptoms and allergens:

What could the symptoms be?

So before starting with the most common allergens, it’s very important to know what the most common symptoms of food allergies in dogs are. So, if you happen to notice that your dog is experiencing one of the following, make sure to get them checked by a vet as it’s very probable they have a certain food allergy:

  • Itching
  • Poor fur quality
  • Nausea
  • Obsessive Licking
  • Vomiting
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Chronic gas
  • Chronic ear inflammation

What are the most common allergens?

It’s a well-known fact that eggs (more specifically egg yolks) are very rich in protein, so your dog can easily become allergic to them. On the positive side, avoiding eggs is not difficult; just make sure to check dog food labels to see if there’s any danger for your four-legged friend. Even though one of the most common symptoms of this type of allergy in your dog is the appearance of bald spots, egg allergy can manifest in other ways as well.

Beef, chicken and lamb
Beef is also known to have high amounts of protein, which means that your dog can become intolerant to this kind of meat as well. This usually happens if you’ve been feeding your dog a certain type of food for a very long time, so your dog becomes intolerant or allergic to that specific food. Due to this reason, beef allergies are very common, as most dog foods contain this type of meat. The same rule applies to chicken as well. Dog foods are most commonly made of beef and chicken, so it would be best to feed your dog with all possible meats – beef, pork, chicken and lamb, and rotate them as much as you can. On the other hand, lamb is very often regarded as a ‘safe haven’ for dogs with meat allergies. However, if you don’t pay attention to rotating your dog’s diet, your dog can also become allergic to lamb.

Another thing that most types of dog food contain is grains, which means that this is also one of the most common allergens. If you happen to notice itchy and dry skin or hair loss, make sure to check if your dog is allergic to grain. Mind that finding completely grain-free food can be quite tricky, so there might be a chance you have to cook everything by yourself. Luckily, for all those who don’t have the time to do this daily, there are certain products that can help with that, such as the grain-free line of Ivory Coat dog food. Always check your dog – if they’re allergic to grain, the sooner you discover it, the better.

Dairy products

It’s not only people who can be lactose intolerant – dogs can be as well. This means they are not allowed to eat or drink any dairy products, such as cheese or milk. Otherwise, they’ll end up with gas problems, diarrhoea and vomiting. As far as dairy products are concerned, there is one tricky thing you need to pay attention to – a dog can actually develop an allergy towards them, so it’s crucial for you to be able to tell the allergy apart from the intolerance. If you notice itchiness or redness on your dog, make sure to have it checked by the vet as soon as possible. If it’s only diarrhoea or vomiting, it’s probably only intolerance, but a check-up won’t hurt.
There’s an ongoing debate whether soy is good for your dog or not, but it’s definitely true that soy food is very common. Soy can cause many health problems that can be more serious than simple allergies, including reproductive and growth problems, and diseases of the liver. Furthermore, soy is the second most genetically modified crop that is grown, so it would be the most advisable to avoid this product.

It’s not for nothing that they say dogs are people’s best friends. And we treat our best friends nicely, don’t we? This is why we should all (especially if we’re the owners) make sure to treat them the best we can. The first step is making sure our little furry friends are not allergic to anything, and discovering this quickly won’t make only our lives easier, but those of our dogs as well.


Great email from Zara! Great guest essay with great pictures and loads and loads of valuable advice, and great links to other websites.

You see why I like running this blog!!