Tag: Indiana Lee

Educational Support Animals

Today and tomorrow there are guest posts for you. I must say that I really appreciate these guest articles. So without any more delay, here is today’s post.

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A guest post by Indiana Lee.

How To Effectively Discuss Your ESA With Your Employer

If you have — or want to obtain — an emotional support animal (ESA), it’s natural that you may want to bring it to work. If this is the case, you need to discuss your ESA with your employer. Yet, doing so is often easier said than done.

For some people, bringing an ESA to work may seem problematic. Your ESA helps you feel and perform your best. However, you may be concerned that your emotional support animal will be a distraction. Even worse, you may be worried that your ESA may disrupt your relationship with your employer.

When it comes to ESAs at work, it is important to keep in mind that you and your employer share a common goal: to achieve the best-possible results at work. If you know how to discuss your needs with your employer, you can highlight the benefits for all parties involved. 

Now, let’s look at five tips to help you effectively bring up an ESA with your employer. 

1. Have a Face-to-face Conversation With Your Employer

Schedule a date and time to meet with your employer to discuss your ESA. Once you set up the meeting, plan accordingly.

Consider how you will deliver your message to your employer. It can be beneficial to illustrate the health benefits of having a pet for emotional support. You can also provide details about how you’ll manage the animal while you work and ensure it does not hamper your and your colleagues’ productivity. 

2. Respond to Your Employer’s Concerns and Questions About Your ESA

Give your employer plenty of time to share their concerns and questions about your emotional support animal. If your employer has concerns or questions about why you need an animal at work, you should be ready to address them. 

The most common emotional support animals are dogs. Complete any paperwork required by your employer so you can take a dog or other type of emotional support animal to work. They will perhaps already have a policy on bringing dogs to work, but if it is a cat or other type of pet, you should make this clear in the meeting. 

Employers are also allowed to request medical documentation if you want to bring an ESA to work due to a disability. You can meet with a medical professional to get this documentation.

3. Let Your Employer Share Your ESA’s Story

Encourage your employer to use your ESA to promote its workplace culture. This can help your employer attract top talent and keep its staff happy. 

For instance, your employer can share the story of your ESA with job candidates and employees. This can show job candidates that your employer is committed to do what it can to accommodate its workers. Giving the background of the pet and how it has helped you be a productive, happy employee can be heartwarming and aid in their search for top performers.

Meanwhile, your coworkers can see that your employer wants them to feel comfortable. This can lead to a positive work culture in which all employees are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. After all, workplace efficiency is improved when employees feel valued and comfortable in the work environment.

4. Keep Your Employer Up to Date About Your ESA

Communicate with your employer about your ESA. If any problems arise that involve the animal, you can share them with your employer immediately. That way, you and your employer can address any issues before they escalate. For example, if your emotional support dog contracts an infectious disease, let your employer know. You can make accommodations to work from home or not bring the animal during that period to keep others safe.

5. Explore Alternatives to Bringing Your ESA to Work

If your employer will not allow you to bring your ESA to work, try not to stress about it. Rather, continue to work with your employer to explore alternatives. For example, your employer may let you work remotely so you can have your ESA by your side while you work. Or, your employer may allow you to work a flexible schedule. If this isn’t possible, it’s entirely okay to look for a job that accommodates your needs.

Don’t Wait To Discuss Your ESA With Your Employer 

An emotional support animal can provide a great source of comfort and companionship. If you feel having an ESA at work would be beneficial, you should discuss this topic with your employer right away.

Many employers are more willing than ever before to let their employees have an ESA at work. By discussing the topic with your employer, you can find out what it can offer. From here, you and your employer can work together to ensure you receive the support you need to thrive at work.

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That is very good advice and I am grateful to Indiana for writing it and then offering it to Learning from Dogs. Thank you, Indiana.

Second go for Indiana’s guest post.

Yours truly missed a section out.

Indiana sends me a ‘doc’ file with his guest post and I convert it to ‘Mac OS’ by using the software Pages. This time I missed the last section as it was on another page.

So here we go again!

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Image Source: Unsplash

Three Simple Ways to Prioritize Your Dog’s Mental Health

Dogs provide unconditional love, companionship, and so much more. They can even improve your physical and mental well-being with their presence alone. For many people, dogs are more than just pets – they’re members of the family. 

There’s actually more truth to that thought than you may realize. According to contemporary science, dogs go through similar chemical and hormonal changes as humans when they’re experiencing emotions. Simply put, dogs have feelings just like we do.


Dogs can experience stress, anxiety, depression, grief, and more. Because they depend on us for care, it’s important to make sure you’re prioritizing their mental well-being as well as their physical health. Your dog can’t ask you for help when they’re feeling stressed or depressed. It’s up to you to recognize some of the common signs and understand what you can do to help. 

So, how can you prioritize your dog’s mental well-being? Let’s cover a few tips that can make a difference for your four-legged friend.

1. Recognize Signs of Distress

If someone in your family is feeling anxious or depressed, they can talk to you about it. They can reach out for help when it’s needed. You might even have an easier time picking up on some of the common signs, including a sense of hopelessness or social isolation. 

While your dog can’t ask for help when they’re feeling stressed or depressed, there are still signs you should look out for. According to the American Kennel Club, some of the most common symptoms of depression in dogs include

  • Clingy behavior
  • Loss of interest in things they typically love
  • Withdrawing from people

You know your dog better than anyone. If it seems like their demeanor has changed and they look sadder or seem lethargic, don’t ignore it. Depression can be brought on by everything from grief to chronic pain. Rule out any medical issues that could be causing those changes by working with your dog’s vet. If they’re otherwise healthy, it’s fairly safe to assume their mental health is suffering and they need help. 

2. Keep Them Active

Like humans, dogs need regular exercise. It benefits their physical health, but it also promotes mental wellness. Different breeds need different amounts of physical activity. However, a good rule of thumb is anywhere from 30-45 minutes each day

A sedentary lifestyle isn’t just harmful to your dog’s physical health. It can fuel symptoms of depression. How would you feel if you had to lay around all day with no mental or physical stimulation? It might be fine for a while, but it would be easy to fall into a “funk” without something to look forward to. 

Taking your dog for a walk each day, going to the local park to let them run around, or even hiking with your four-legged friend can improve their mental health as well as yours. Exercising together will also strengthen your bond and provide your dog with the mental stimulation they need to reduce stress and feel calmer. 

You’ve probably heard the saying that a tired dog is a well-behaved dog. However, a dog that’s tired from an hour or so of exercise is also likely to be a happier dog!

3. Learn What They Love

Dogs often get stereotyped as being happy or excited all the time. While there’s no better feeling than seeing your furry friend wag their tail when you get home each day, it’s important to understand that they can have interests and hobbies they enjoy more than others. 

Finding out what your dog loves to do can make it easier to improve their mental well-being. 

When you live in a pet-friendly city, it’s easy to cater to your dog’s likes. These locations offer things like

  • Pet-friendly parks
  • Opportunities for socialization
  • Restaurants that allow you to bring your dog

You’ll boost your own social connections (and mental health) in pet-friendly environments by meeting like-minded people and getting more support. You can also quickly learn more about your dog’s interests, simply through exploration. Maybe they prefer long nature hikes as opposed to walking in the city. Maybe they get really excited when they’re around other dogs, so you can spend more time at local parks or pet-friendly restaurants. 

Don’t be afraid to try new things with your canine companion. Even bringing them to work with you can help to improve your bond and keep them from feeling lonely all day. 

The most important thing you can do for your dog’s mental health is to pay attention. Look for any changes in their behavior, and get to the bottom of it as soon as possible. Your dog depends on you for everything, and it’s not fair to assume that their mental health can’t change and fluctuate as much as anyone else’s. 

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(That’s better this time)

Right on! Dogs sleep a great deal more than we humans but they still need their exercise. Just as we humans need it, exercise is key. Key to their physical fitness but also key to their mental fitness as well. This is a great post from Indiana and I shall conclude with this video:

Dogs suffer mentally just as we humans do.

But not all dogs do just as not all humans do!

The list of ways in which dogs exhibit the same qualities as we humans continues to grow.

Indiana Lee presents another guest post that explores the mental issues with dogs.

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Image Source: Unsplash

Three Simple Ways to Prioritize Your Dog’s Mental Health

Dogs provide unconditional love, companionship, and so much more. They can even improve your physical and mental well-being with their presence alone. For many people, dogs are more than just pets – they’re members of the family. 

There’s actually more truth to that thought than you may realize. According to contemporary science, dogs go through similar chemical and hormonal changes as humans when they’re experiencing emotions. Simply put, dogs have feelings just like we do.


Dogs can experience stress, anxiety, depression, grief, and more. Because they depend on us for care, it’s important to make sure you’re prioritizing their mental well-being as well as their physical health. Your dog can’t ask you for help when they’re feeling stressed or depressed. It’s up to you to recognize some of the common signs and understand what you can do to help. 

So, how can you prioritize your dog’s mental well-being? Let’s cover a few tips that can make a difference for your four-legged friend.

1. Recognize Signs of Distress

If someone in your family is feeling anxious or depressed, they can talk to you about it. They can reach out for help when it’s needed. You might even have an easier time picking up on some of the common signs, including a sense of hopelessness or social isolation. 

While your dog can’t ask for help when they’re feeling stressed or depressed, there are still signs you should look out for. According to the American Kennel Club, some of the most common symptoms of depression in dogs include

  • Clingy behavior
  • Loss of interest in things they typically love
  • Withdrawing from people

You know your dog better than anyone. If it seems like their demeanor has changed and they look sadder or seem lethargic, don’t ignore it. Depression can be brought on by everything from grief to chronic pain. Rule out any medical issues that could be causing those changes by working with your dog’s vet. If they’re otherwise healthy, it’s fairly safe to assume their mental health is suffering and they need help. 

2. Keep Them Active

Like humans, dogs need regular exercise. It benefits their physical health, but it also promotes mental wellness. Different breeds need different amounts of physical activity. However, a good rule of thumb is anywhere from 30-45 minutes each day

A sedentary lifestyle isn’t just harmful to your dog’s physical health. It can fuel symptoms of depression. How would you feel if you had to lay around all day with no mental or physical stimulation? It might be fine for a while, but it would be easy to fall into a “funk” without something to look forward to. 

Taking your dog for a walk each day, going to the local park to let them run around, or even hiking with your four-legged friend can improve their mental health as well as yours. Exercising together will also strengthen your bond and provide your dog with the mental stimulation they need to reduce stress and feel calmer. 

You’ve probably heard the saying that a tired dog is a well-behaved dog. However, a dog that’s tired from an hour or so of exercise is also likely to be a happier dog!

ooOOoo

Right on! Dogs sleep a great deal more than we humans but they still need their exercise. Just as we humans need it, exercise is key. Key to their physical fitness but also key to their mental fitness as well. This is a great post from Indiana and I shall conclude with this video:

Happiness!

Two events, by chance, lead me to today’s post.

The first was the closing paragraph in that guest post by Indiana Lee last Thursday. Let me quote him:

It’s already been said, but it’s worth saying again. A happy dog leads to a happy owner. That isn’t just a cute saying, either. People are literally known to live longer and have good mental health if they have a dog in their lives.

The second was a talk at our local (Grants Pass) Freethinker’s meeting, held on Saturday. Jerry had sent out an introduction a few days before and included in that were three videos that we were encouraged to watch.

One, in particular, was excellent. It is a talk by Robert Waldinger, and it is reproduced below.

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.

YouTube

It is just under thirteen minutes long; please watch it!

Keeping your dog happy!

A lovely and very useful guest post from Indi!

I am afraid I was too busy to prepare a post for last Tuesday but no-one seemed to notice!

Today’s post is another one of the gorgeous guest posts from Indiana Lee. It is perfect!

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How to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy

Courtesy of Pixabay

A happy dog typically equates to a happy dog owner. With 1.5 million U.S. households owning at least one pet and nearly a third of all pet owners hailing from the younger millennial generation, it goes without saying that many Americans want their dogs to be happy.

If a member of your family has four legs and some fur, you probably count yourselves amongst the ranks of pet owners looking to raise a happy pup. Here are some basic tips to make sure that you’re helping your canine get everything they need to live a comfortable, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Cover the Basics

Before you start thinking too outside of the box, it’s worth putting a little effort into ensuring that your pup has all of the basic elements required for daily life. This generally centers around three primary areas:

  • Water: Your dog should always have access to water. Often dogs won’t drink unless they want to. Whenever they decide it’s time to lap up some H2O, they should have water easily accessible.
  • Food: Dog food is an obvious purchase, but you may want to do a little extra homework. Look for food with quality ingredients and as few fillers as possible. In addition, create a list of approved human foods, like carrots and cucumbers, that you can feed your pooch as a nice treat.
  • Exercise: Every dog needs consistent exercise. The specific amount depends on your dog’s breed and age. Make sure to schedule in time for your pet to stay fit.
  • Visit the vet: Finally, make sure you’ve set up regular vet visits. It’s wise to also find a good pet insurance option to help you handle any additional expenses that might crop up during a check-up.

Once you’ve covered these basics, you can start to consider additional ways to cultivate health and happiness in your dog.

Provide Outside Access

One of the simplest-yet-most-impactful pleasures that you can give a dog is allowing them access to the outside on a regular basis. Some dogs will only want to take in Mother Nature for short stints at a time. Others will spend hours at a time outdoors, especially when the weather is nice.

If you can let your dog out regularly, plan on doing so. If you have a contained yard where they can wander without supervision, consider giving them a doggy door sized for them to comfortably fit through, too. That way they can control the number of times they head outside.

Designate Spaces

Along with outside access, make sure your dog has their own indoor space. Chances are, your happy pup will want to spend plenty of time in your company. However, just like humans, there are occasions when a dog needs some alone time.

The best way to facilitate this is to give them their own designated space. This could be the corner of a room. If you have more space, set up an entire pet room for them to occupy when they want to. This can give them the perfect retreat if they’re tired from a long day or even overwhelmed during a social gathering or a similar event hosted at your house.

Cultivating a Happy Dog and a Happy Home

It’s already been said, but it’s worth saying again. A happy dog leads to a happy owner. That isn’t just a cute saying, either. People are literally known to live longer and have good mental health if they have a dog in their lives.

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What a very useful article and that last paragraph is spot on. Jean and I have never been happier. Yes, we are not as young as we were (and that’s saying something) but having our dogs is perfect. So to Brandy, Pede, Cleo, Oliver and Sheena (and all the dogs that went before them) thank you!

Finally, thank you again to Indi.

Correction! This is Indiana’s latest post.

Getting my ducks in a row!

I apologise but this is the next guest post from Indiana Lee not the one I published yesterday.

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Courtesy of Unsplash

Maximizing the Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Dog Ownership

Dogs do so much for us and our health. They help us overcome depression, prompt us to move more often, and give us joy through their play and cuddles — sometimes it feels as though they’re the ones looking after us! 

But, not everyone who owns a dog maximizes the health benefits that our canine companions can bring. Oftentimes, owners get lazy and fall out of a regular walking schedule, or use their dog as an excuse to stay home and avoid travel or social events. 

Finding ways to take advantage of the health benefits that dogs can bring is crucial for owners. So, here are a few tips to help you get the most from your relationship with your pup. 

Dogs and Mental Health

The positive impact that dogs have on our mental health is gaining recognition amongst researchers and healthcare providers. There are a few different theories as to why dogs are so good for our mental health, but the leading idea involves the chemical oxytocin. 

Ann Robinson, writing for the Guardian, calls Oxytocin “the so-called ‘hug’, ‘love’ or ‘cuddle’ hormone”, and is the chemical that is present when we form deep, meaningful relationships. This chemical is present when we form relationships with our parents or children, but is also at play in the pet-owner relationship. 

While the research on oxytocin and mental health is still in its infancy, we do know that dogs help us combat stressors and mental health conditions. It should come as no surprise that service dogs can help folks who suffer from PTSD or anxiety manage their conditions. But, dogs can also help anyone who is struggling with stress from day-to-day sources. 

Dogs and Physical Health

Dog owners spend about 200 more minutes a week walking than folks who don’t own a dog. This has a range of welcome health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular function, more effective immune systems, and a stronger muscle-skeletal system. 

But, thousands of dog owners do not take their dogs out for a walk or to a local dog-play park. This may be for perfectly valid reasons like a disability, but if you can walk your dog, yet choose not to, then both you and your dog are missing out on the incredible health benefits of being outdoors. 

You don’t need to start hiking mountains to enjoy the physical health benefits of dog walking. Start slow, with a walk that lasts about 15 minutes. This will ensure that neither you nor your dog will be “over walked”, which can lead to conditions like arthritis and joint pain. Preferably, aim to walk on grass or soft surfaces as these will be easier for your pup to walk on because they won’t burn their paws. 

Modifying Your Home

You might not realize it, but the design and structure of your home significantly impact the health and wellbeing of your dog. By making design choices that improve your dog’s quality of life, you can expect to have a healthier, happier dog who will reward you with plenty of affection and attention. 

First and foremost, you need to make sure your home is pup-proof. This means you need to remove any hazards like hanging objects or harmful substances like human food and cleaning chemicals. Following this, you should maintain a clean home, where your dog won’t choke or fall ill by eating something you’ve left lying around. 

Once you’ve taken care of the basics, you can get a little more creative about what you choose to include in your house. You can, for example, include pest repellant plants that are also safe for your pup that will keep mosquitoes and other pests away from both you and your dog. Small changes like buying a dog bed for your office can also make a big difference to your dog’s quality of life. 

By taking the time to keep your home clean and dog-safe, you can live with peace of mind knowing that your dog is happy, healthy, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. 

Travel With Dogs

Many folks mistakenly believe that they can’t take their dogs with them when they travel, or that their pet will put a wrench in their travel plans. This couldn’t be further from the truth — bringing your dog with you on your travels is a great way to stimulate them, and will only improve the connection you have with your canine pal. 

The key to ensuring you have a good time on the road is all about choosing the right mode of transportation. If you’re planning to travel with your dog in the car, then you might want to consider investing in dog cages for cars and make use of factory-installed barriers which keep everyone safe in the event of an accident. 

You can also take your dog with you via other methods like trains or via planes. Nowadays, many airlines allow you to keep your dog with you while you fly, rather than having to place them in the hold. Trains are much the same, as many dog owners choose to travel with their pets via a good old locomotive.

Traveling with dogs is also great in the winter, as many dogs are well suited to colder climates, and love nothing more than playing in the snow and cold weather camping. This can help you beat the winter blues, and improve your overall health and wellness. Just be sure to follow winter-safety travel considerations that are designed to keep you and your four-legged friend safe. 

Conclusion

Maximizing the mental and physical health benefits of owning a dog is tricky. If it’s been a while since your last walk, then it can be daunting to get out on the road again. Likewise, the idea of traveling with a canine pal is overwhelming for many folks. But, by planning ahead, and creating an environment your dog will enjoy, you can be sure to get the most from the special relationship you have with your four-legged friend.

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Dogs are the most amazing and wonderful animals ever. As has been said on this blog many times before dogs offer us unconditional love and that love presents itself in many ways.

I have written before about our Oliver.

Oliver’s eyes are to die for! His ability to read the smallest indications of an emotion on our human face is incredible.

Then there is Brandy. What a love!

Then we have Cleo who came as a puppy to be with Pharaoh.

June, 2007

Again the eyes! We still miss him.

The first day that Pharaoh was passed across to me. Devon, June 2003.

We are now down to five dogs: Pedi, Sheena, Oliver, Cleo and Brandy.

However all the dogs that we have had the greatest pleasure to love are still in our hearts.

Welcome back, and another guest post!

From Indiana Lee.

It has seemed like ages and ages but I am back in business.

To get us going here is another guest post from Indiana.

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Image from Unsplash

Winter Travel Considerations for You and Your Pup

When you’re traveling in the winter, it’s always important to take some extra precautions. If you live in a location that experiences a lot of snow, ice, or cold temperatures, keeping yourself safe should be your top priority. 

But, when you’re traveling with your four-legged friend, making sure you’re even more prepared is crucial. Extra considerations should always be taken when you’re on the road with your dog. While no one wants to think about getting stranded or getting into an accident, things like that can (and do) happen. Being prepared, even if you’re only taking a short trip, will make all the difference when it comes to your own health and wellness as well as your pup’s well-being. 

So, what can you do to prepare properly and make sure both you and your dog stay healthy and safe while traveling this winter

Stay Safe on the Road

Winter travel can be dangerous depending on weather and road conditions. Planning should always be the first thing you do before heading out with your dog. Check your local forecast as well as what the weather is like where you’ll be traveling. If possible, avoid going anywhere when the road conditions are icy or snowy. 

If you have to travel or you pick a clear day, it’s still important to make sure your drive is as safe as possible. Always adapt to the conditions you’re going through, and remember to drive slowly and cautiously on icy roads. 

You should always have a few extra supplies in your car for your pup, but in the winter it’s even more crucial for their safety – as well as yours. Some of the basic items you should have packed include: 

  • A first aid kit
  • An extra blanket
  • Extra clothes/gloves
  • Handwarmers
  • Extra food/water
  • A compact snow shovel

For your canine companion, having an additional blanket, plenty of water for them, and a toy or treat to keep them occupied will make a big difference. 

If you get “stranded” anywhere for a while, don’t leave your dog in the car while you go look for help. While most pet owners understand the risks of leaving a dog in a hot car, leaving them in a cold vehicle can cause frostbite or hypothermia in a very short time. Stay with them until help arrives. Having your car stocked with the right items will keep you both safe and warm. 

Make the Most of Your Travels

Traveling with your pup is a great way to break away from the potential “winter blues” that many people face. Whether you want to head somewhere warm or just embrace the season as is, getting out can actually improve your overall health and well-being. Spending time outdoors can reduce your stress levels, give you more energy, improve your mood, and even boost your testosterone levels. You don’t even have to chop down a tree to get that last benefit, so it’s really a win-win. 

No matter where you’re going, make the most of your travels by sticking to your health and wellness goals. Dogs need exercise just as much as people, so bring your furry friend with you on snowy hikes, or take them cold-weather camping to enjoy nights beneath the stars together. Just make sure to stay hydrated, dress appropriately, and moisturize your skin if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Dry, cracked skin can be painful and unsightly. Don’t forget your pup’s paw pads, too! 

With a bit of planning, preparing, and packing, you and your dog can enjoy plenty of travels together this winter. They’ll love being able to spend that extra time with you, and you’ll both be able to get as much out of the season as possible. 

ooOOoo

That is a very good and relevant post to start me up again. Here in Merlin we have had very cold temperatures at night, -5 deg C (23 deg F.) during the night of the 22nd and predicted to be even colder tonight (the 23rd).

So going out with your dog for a winter trip does seem like an excellent idea!

But, please, stay safe. Both you and your dog!

Winter travels with one’s dog.

Indiana Lee offers some good advice.

I promised Indiana that I would publish this excellent post on the 27th January but then my ancient brain forgot to do that.

But here it is!

ooOOoo

Image Source: Unsplash

Winter Travel Considerations for You and Your Pup

When you’re traveling in the winter, it’s always important to take some extra precautions. If you live in a location that experiences a lot of snow, ice, or cold temperatures, keeping yourself safe should be your top priority. 

But, when you’re traveling with your four-legged friend, making sure you’re even more prepared is crucial. Extra considerations should always be taken when you’re on the road with your dog. While no one wants to think about getting stranded or getting into an accident, things like that can (and do) happen. Being prepared, even if you’re only taking a short trip, will make all the difference when it comes to your own health and wellness as well as your pup’s well-being. 

So, what can you do to prepare properly and make sure both you and your dog stay healthy and safe while traveling this winter

Stay Safe on the Road

Winter travel can be dangerous depending on weather and road conditions. Planning should always be the first thing you do before heading out with your dog. Check your local forecast as well as what the weather is like where you’ll be traveling. If possible, avoid going anywhere when the road conditions are icy or snowy. 

If you have to travel or you pick a clear day, it’s still important to make sure your drive is as safe as possible. Always adapt to the conditions you’re going through, and remember to drive slowly and cautiously on icy roads. 

You should always have a few extra supplies in your car for your pup, but in the winter it’s even more crucial for their safety – as well as yours. Some of the basic items you should have packed include: 

  • A first aid kit
  • An extra blanket
  • Extra clothes/gloves
  • Handwarmers
  • Extra food/water
  • A compact snow shovel

For your canine companion, having an additional blanket, plenty of water for them, and a toy or treat to keep them occupied will make a big difference. 

If you get “stranded” anywhere for a while, don’t leave your dog in the car while you go look for help. While most pet owners understand the risks of leaving a dog in a hot car, leaving them in a cold vehicle can cause frostbite or hypothermia in a very short time. Stay with them until help arrives. Having your car stocked with the right items will keep you both safe and warm. 

Make the Most of Your Travels

Traveling with your pup is a great way to break away from the potential “winter blues” that many people face. Whether you want to head somewhere warm or just embrace the season as is, getting out can actually improve your overall health and well-being. Spending time outdoors can reduce your stress levels, give you more energy, improve your mood, and even boost your testosterone levels. You don’t even have to chop down a tree to get that last benefit, so it’s really a win-win. 

No matter where you’re going, make the most of your travels by sticking to your health and wellness goals. Dogs need exercise just as much as people, so bring your furry friend with you on snowy hikes, or take them cold-weather camping to enjoy nights beneath the stars together. Just make sure to stay hydrated, dress appropriately, and moisturize your skin if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Dry, cracked skin can be painful and unsightly. Don’t forget your pup’s paw pads, too! 

With a bit of planning, preparing, and packing, you and your dog can enjoy plenty of travels together this winter. They’ll love being able to spend that extra time with you, and you’ll both be able to get as much out of the season as possible. 

ooOOoo

I hope some of you are experiencing decent snowfalls. Here in Southern Oregon we had some snow but as soon as it was on the ground the next day it had gone. The outlook for the next ten days is cold and dry!

Thank you, Indiana.

Taking Your Dog to Work!

A guest post from Indiana Lee.

On a regular number of occasions, say one or two times a month, I receive an email from someone wanting to write a guest post. Ninety-five percent of them are hoping I won’t check and will agree because they are really trying to promote some business or other.

Indiana was different.

A month ago I received this:

Hello, 

My name is Indiana, and I would love to become a regular contributor to the Learning From Dogs articles. In my past few years as a freelancer, I’ve crafted articles about what herbal tea can do for your pets, and I think my take on how animals can teach us how to live life to the fullest would be a great addition to the voices on your blog.

Are you accepting pitches and/or articles from new contributors?

Looking forward to hearing from you!
Indiana

I gladly accepted and on Tuesday was sent the following guest post.

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Psychological Benefits of Bringing Your Dog to Work

There’s no denying the mental health benefits of owning a dog. They reduce stress, boost your mood, and can even help to manage your anxiety. Even just petting a dog has rewarding mental health benefits. 

Another perk of pet ownership is the lack of loneliness. Dogs are called “man’s best friend” for a reason. Their presence can make a big difference in your life, especially if you’re otherwise fairly isolated. 

The psychological benefits of owning a dog can go far beyond your home life. Bringing your four-legged friend to work can ease your mind, boost your productivity, and encourage a positive, calm environment in your office.  

Need more of a reason to get them excited about a car ride to work? Let’s cover some of the psychological benefits.

The Positivity of a Pet in a Post-Pandemic World

Your dog may have had your attention all day over the last year or so as more people worked from home. You probably got used to feeling more relaxed with them around. Thankfully, you’re not the only one. As a result, it’s expected that more offices across the country will be more pet-friendly as people return to an in-person work environment. Not only do employers want to keep their workers happy, but more people are starting to recognize the benefits of dogs in the office, including:  

Having dogs around can also help people who might be struggling with social anxiety, especially because of the pandemic. A pet-friendly environment will encourage people to open up and work together. Team-building and collaborative efforts will increase, which can boost business while improving overall communication in the workplace. 

Let’s face it, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident with your four-legged friend by your side. While their presence can already help with loneliness, they can also give you the courage and confidence to approach and work with others. 

Considerations for Dogs in the Workplace

If your employer allows pets at work, you might be tempted to pack Fido’s favorite squeaky toy and bring them in tomorrow. But, there are a few tips to keep in mind to make the experience beneficial for all involved. 

First, make sure your dog maintains good hygiene. Your dog should be clean, groomed, and free from ticks, fleas, or other potential contagions that could affect people or other pets. It’s also a good idea to make sure their vaccinations are all up-to-date, and they have a clean bill of health. An employer that encourages a pet-friendly environment might also be willing to provide pet insurance. Doing so will cover common dog conditions like: 

  • Parvo
  • Bite wounds
  • Fracture
  • Lacerations
  • Poisoning

Consider talking to your employer about the possibility of pet insurance. It can be used as a strong incentive to attract new employees and increase worker loyalty. If you’re an employer reading this, it’s worth looking into for those who treat their dogs like furry family members. 

Finally, if your dog is healthy and well-behaved, introduce them to both people and other pets slowly. Even the most well-behaved dogs can have an “off” day or be triggered by something unexpected.  The more comfortable and familiar they become in their surroundings at work, the less stressed you’ll both be. 

Eventually, going to work together can become a part of your daily routine. 

If you’ve gotten used to being around your dog every day while you work, that doesn’t necessarily have to change. Inquire whether your office is jumping on the beneficial trend of becoming pet-friendly. If they are, go at your own pace with your pet, and bring them in when you’re ready to experience the benefits they can provide every day.

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Of course I imagine that there are many other insurance companies that offer pet insurance as well as MetLife that the link took you to.

But for those that are working and want to stay close to their dog then this has many good points.

Thank you, Indiana!