Love traveling with Pets


What better place to drive than beautiful California. Up the coast, the wine country, the mountains. Which pretty much means my significant other Cookie and our dog Guillermo get dragged along for weekend getaways.

Just as you should be driving defensively, watching out for bad drivers, road hazards and so forth, you should practice defensive pet traveling.

The first thing to watch out for this time of year is the dreaded Foxtail grass. The grass puts out a stalk with seeds that resemble a stalk of wheat, especially when they dry and turn from green to straw color. What make them dangerous for our pets are the seeds. They have a tiny barb on the end that loves to embed into the skin or enter the nose, ear or eye.

Pets that inhale a foxtail up their nose often sneeze violently and may paw at their face. We often see foxtails enter the feet of dogs at the webbing between the middle two toes. This weedy grass is all over the place and it only takes a second for your pet to pick up one of these things when you stop for a potty break. Google an image of the foxtail grass and avoid them.

Bees and bugs. The flowers really bloomed this year and the bees are loving them too. Bees tend to hang out on the clover in the grass and your pets can easily step on them. If you can find the stinger, remove it by scraping it with a credit card or your fingernail. Don’t grab and pinch it with your fingers because you may squeeze the sac attached to the stinger and inject more venom into your pet.

Just as in people, pets may have mild or severe allergic reactions to bee stings. An anaphylactic reaction is the most severe and your pet may vomit or collapse. Owners may mistake this for a seizure. This is a true emergency and you need to get to an animal hospital as soon as possible for supportive care.

Overheating. Not every place you come across on your travels will be pet friendly. Do not leave your pet in the car unattended, even if it’s just to run in to get a sandwich to go. Cars become virtual ovens in minutes and unlike humans, dogs and cats can’t sweat and take advantage of the breeze from a half rolled down window. Even if you don’t think the temperature in the car feels too hot to you, your pet simply can’t tolerate heat the way a person can.

Bring extra water, pet food, medicine that your pet may be taking — and a bowl. This should be obvious, but with all the hustling to get out of town it’s often overlooked. read more…

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VITAMIN D tablets could help people with chronic backache

VITAMIN D tablets could help people with chronic backache and arthritis, research has found.The “sunshine supplements” could help many pain-related conditions, from menstrual cramps to fibromyalgia, biologists have said.

A review by scientists in Brazil states that vitamin D must be combined with good sleep to manage pain-related diseases.

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Vitamin D tablets may ease backache – study

That is because the vitamin, created by exposure to sunlight and found in oily fish, is believed to fight inflammation. Inflammation, the body’s immune response to illness, releases proteins which make people more sensitive to pain.

The vitamin is already recommended for pregnant women and claimed to ward off diseases such as dementia and multiple sclerosis, with some experts calling for it to be routinely added to food to prevent chronic colds and flu.

Doctor Monica Levy, Lead author of the study, which is published in the Journal of Endocrinology, said: “We can hypothesise that suitable vitamin D supplementation combined with sleep hygiene (good sleeping habits) may optimise the therapeutic management of pain-related diseases such as fibromyalgia.”

The review cites several studies showing that taking supplements when sunshine is scarce can help with musculoskeletal pain such as backache. One analysis found that hospital patients’ pain decreased markedly after three months of vitamin D supplementation.

Nearly a third of the British population are deficient in vitamin D because of the grey UK weather and a diet low in fresh produce. – Daily Mail. story from…

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Dog leads people to be become more physically active


How a four-legged friend could be the key to health

Researchers have revealed that a man’s best friend could be the key to human health.

Rather than being given drugs to treat or prevent illnesses such as heart disease or depression, experts are suggesting sufferers be prescribed a dog instead, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Sydney University researchers are conducting a study involving more than 100 people, half of whom will not own a dog, while the other half will adopt a pooch.

The study, for the Physical and Affective Wellbeing Study (PAWS), will monitor the participants’ health indicators during an eight-month period before documenting how a dog can benefit human health, physically, mentally and socially.

Academics believe dogs can aid heart health by encouraging their owner to become more active while they also help curb loneliness.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis said the world-first research will provide a valuable insight into the health benefits of dog ownership.

“(The study) could support programs promoting and enabling dog ownership as a means to increase physical activity­, improve general health and prevent cardiovascular and mental illness,” he said.

“We have a broad view on how dog ownership might influence human health and this includes physical activity as there is the perception that acquiring a dog leads people to be become more physically active.”

He then went on to explain that another set of hypothesis focuses on the psychological benefits of having a dog, as well as on human connection.

“Dogs can be a catalyst to facilitate humans to talk to each other when walking the dogs,” Professor Stamatakis added.

According to The Daily Telegraph, more than 40 percent of Australian households have at least one pooch. story from…

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Tips for managing cool-season pastures during the warm summer months


Mow only as needed.

Many farms mow pastures on a regular schedule, maybe every two weeks. Rigid schedules might simplify planning and labor needs, but can cost money in wasted labor and resources and lost forage production. Healthy pastures with minimal weeds should only be mowed to maintain quality, not aesthetics. As grasses mature, they produce a seed head which, while it’s needed for plant reproduction, reduces both forage quality and palatability. Mowing pastures to remove seed heads improves forage quality and encourages plants to fill in bare areas by tillering out. Once seed heads are removed from cool-season grasses, they will not grow again during the year. Also plan to mow when pastures are more than 10 inches tall, when horses are grazing unevenly, or when undesirable weeds are producing seed heads.

Remember: Fertilizers feed weeds, too.

Fertile soil is essential for good pasture health; however, weeds also benefit from fertilizers, particularly nitrogen. This means you must plan fertilizer applications carefully. Nitrogen applied during the fall or early spring encourages cool-season grass growth. However, warm-season weeds will flourish with summer nitrogen applications and are more likely to compete with desirable grasses. Prevent competition by not applying nitrogen to pastures dominated by cool-season grasses during the summer months. Other fertilizers such as phosphorous, potassium, and lime can be applied any time, weather-permitting, based on soil test recommendations.

Know your summer annuals.

Summer welcomes a host of new plants in pastures that might be unfamiliar to some horse owners. Many farm managers recognize ragweed and spiny amaranth (pigweed), for example, as common warm-season annual weeds that frequent pastures, but some warm-season annual grasses, such as crabgrass and yellow foxtail, might be less familiar. Crabgrass can be a blessing or a curse for horse pastures. Many pastures overgrazed in the spring and fall can support horses in the summer months because of crabgrass’ high yield and excellent forage quality. However, these pastures will be bare again in the fall once frost kills the crabgrass. Foxtail, on the other hand, has very poor forage quality and the seed head can cause significant irritations in the horse’s mouth. Because both forages are grasses, few, if any, herbicides can effectively eliminate them from a pasture while leaving desirable cool-season grasses in place. Learn to identify these grasses and, if they are prevalent in pastures this summer, consider renovating pastures in fall to eliminate them. read more…

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Trainer insight into ‘troubled’ dogs


It was once thought that dogs became a problem because owners were too dominant.

This allegedly caused the dogs to shut down emotionally, rebel against their owners, or attack other people.

Dog trainer Kevin Behan of Newfane, Vt., who spoke Saturday at Harvey’s Home, Garden and Pet, disagrees and uses his insights into dog or wolf pack behavior to train dogs.

In an interview, Behan said a dog’s “real social impulse is the wolves hunting as a team” and that hunting is a part of a dog’s nature.

“We teach the dogs to mimic hunting,” he said. Chasing, biting and retrieving a frisbee, a ball or a stick for his owner “makes him feel great.”

“All dog training is hunting. Your dog wants to be part of your team,” which satisfies a dog’s natural emotional need–and “he starts to like the world,” said Behan, who calls his method Natural Dog Training. read more…

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Probiotics, but do they really help?


Probiotics are having a moment. They’re touted as the next big superstar in disease prevention and in treatment for ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome, gestational diabetes, allergies and obesity. Fans claim that these “good” bacteria will nourish your gut microbiome and crowd out the “bad” microbes. As a result, you’ll experience better digestion, a healthier immune system and a sunnier mood.

Scientists and physicians are optimistic about the future of “good” microbes. Many probiotic and microbial-based compounds are moving to the next stages of research and clinical trials. Researchers hope this will illuminate how gut microorganisms interact with specific diseases and medical conditions, yielding more-targeted and therapeutic probiotics. “We’ll see a new wave of probiotics coming out that can be used to treat disease” in the coming years, Kashyap predicts.

Until then, it’s anyone’s guess whether taking a daily dose of bacteria will help you.

Because probiotics are sold as food and dietary supplements, they aren’t subject to the same regulation that the Food and Drug Administration exercises over drugs. (Supplements don’t have to prove their effectiveness before being sold, though the FDA can intervene if problems are found once they are sold.) That means the products may not actually contain live bacteria or even the type and number of bacterial strains promised on the packaging.

“There’s no way to confirm what is listed on the box is what is in the box, that it’s safe and useful, and that it will help you,” Kashyap says. For example, an examination of 16 probiotic products in 2015 found that only one contained the bacterial strain listed on the label of every tested sample.

“Right now, we can’t predict who’s going to feel better and who’s not,” Kashyap says. Some people don’t feel any different when taking the supplement, while others say it’s made them healthier. read more...

Shop for all Probiotics Supplements by clicking here…

Special needs dogs and special humans


what a great article and story…

In life, there are many circumstances where some extra special help is needed for humans to get by. My human is a prime example. Without me, what would he ever do? I walk him, exercise him, take him outside to play, secure the property, chase off the varmints and the like. If you know him, he’s not normal under any stretch of the imagination – dog or human alike. WOOF!!!! All kidding aside, I keep him active, which mom says is very good thing! WOOF!

The same happens with dogs. While we are the greatest creatures in God’s universe, some may need a little help along the way. Some special needs dogs may be missing a limb, be insulin dependent, afraid of men, or have been abused and need special attention. That’s where special humans can help these dogs or cats find love.

As I pawed this article, I barked with my friend “Lab Lady” from Lab Rescue who shared with me a thought concerning special needs dogs: “I think the most important thing is to focus on the dog, not the illness,” she

said. “Helen, a Labrador Retriever with Lab Rescue, needs insulin shots twice a day but for those few minutes she is your average loving, easy-mannered, and good-looking dog.”

This week, I spent a few minutes barking with a Lab Rescue foster who has spent time caring for special needs dogs and some humans too. Lindee shares…..

“My last dog passed away five years ago. I grew up with dogs, cats, a hamster, gerbils, etc.. Knowing I was going to be an empty-nester, I had to find a way to fill a void I knew was coming. I signed up as a short-term sub foster.” read more