Tag: High Style Life magazine

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!

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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.

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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:

https://caninecupcakes.com/the-essential-guide-to-going-green-with-your-dogs-diet-this-spring/
http://tinpaw.com/everything-need-know-preventing-heartworm-cat/

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,

Zara

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!

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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?

Eggs
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.

Grain
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.
Soy
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.

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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!!