Blog

Pet Dehydration - Causes, Signs, and Prevention

Summer is well upon us — which means warmer temperatures and a higher chance of dehydration. It is extremely important to stay hydrated all year long, and we cannot forget about hydrating our pets! Dehydration in dogs, cats, and other animals can cause serious health issues. While every animal is different, here are the causes, signs, and prevention tips of dehydration for our furry friends.

Causes

Just like humans, animals become dehydrated due to a lack of water and fluid loss. If your pet is not drinking or eating enough, then dehydration should be a major concern. Vomiting, diarrhea, and excess urination are other causes of dehydration. “Another potential cause of dehydration is illness, especially one that includes fever, vomiting or diarrhea,” Dr. Liz Stelow, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and chief of service of clinical behavior service at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, said. “Even if the pet is not vomiting or feverish, his sluggishness when ill may cause him to make fewer trips to the water bowl or fountain.”

Signs

Every pet is different so each animal may display different signs of dehydration. A few symptoms of dehydration in dogs include weakness, dry gums, sunken eyes, and collapsing. The most common sign in dogs is the loss of elasticity in the skin. As for cats, common symptoms include panting, sunken eyes, dry mouth, and loss of appetite.

Prevention

Preventing pet dehydration is extremely important for your furry friend’s health. The best and easiest way to ensure a hydrated pet is to provide access to clean, cool, and an abundance of water. “In most cases, your dogs or cats will naturally know when they should drink some water and when they should stop,” Dr. Gicking, a board-certified in veterinary emergency and critical care, said. If you have more than one pet, he recommends providing more than one water bowl.

Furthermore, if your pet shows signs of dehydration, be sure to provide plenty of cool water, Pedialyte, or an electrolyte formula designed especially for animals to help rehydrate them. If temperatures are extremely warm, you can freeze your pet’s water bowl before filling it with water. Freezing the bowl will keep the water cooler for longer and ensure your pet gets a nice cool drink of water.

The most important result of keeping your pets properly hydrated is keeping them healthier and happier! Be sure to monitor your pet’s hydration and contact your vet if you have any questions or concerns.

Lisa Landman is a strong advocate of adopting pets and has six rescue dogs! Want to see photos of her dogs? Check our her dog gallery or Twitter!


Originally published at lisalandman.org on July 28, 2018.

Advertisements

Coping with the Loss of a Furry Family Member

We all love our pets dearly and to many of us, they are another family member to cherish. For many of us, a pet is not just a dog or a cat, but rather a loving family member. Coping with the loss of a furry family member can be difficult, so here are a few ways to help you cope during a difficult time.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

Unfortunately, not everyone understands the grieving process of losing a pet. Losing a pet can be very painful and can cause intense feelings. These feelings are completely normal and you are allowed to feel this way. While you may encounter others who have a hard time understanding the pain you feel, you should not downplay your feelings. Finding at least one person to talk to about the loss is extremely helpful. Whether you know a friend who has lost a pet or even contacting your veterinarian, talking to someone about your feelings can be extremely helpful. If you are having trouble finding a friend, the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement and the Pet Loss Grief Support websites offer chat rooms and online memorial services for those who recently lost a furry family member.

Engage in Rituals

When one passes, we often have funerals, ceremonies, or life celebrations to acknowledge those who have passed. This same idea can be used for when a pet passes. Many find comfort by holding a small ceremony or funeral for their pet. You could bury the pet in your backyard, have a moment of silence in a dog park, or hold a ceremony in a place special to you and your pet.

Memorialize Your Pet

Another helpful tip for coping with the loss of a pet is by having a living tribute in honor of them. For example, plant a tree or flowers in their honor. This can serve as a reminder for years to come. You can also consider compiling a photo album or scrapbook in dedicated of your pet. Find a way to celebrate the life of your pet as well as a legacy for you to remember the wonderful life they had.

Invest in a Noisemaker

If your house or apartment seems extremely quiet after the loss of a pet, consider buying a noisemaker help ease the transition. The silence in your home after their passing may cause more upset feelings, so a noise maker can help prevent a flood of emotion.

Losing a pet can be very difficult and it is completely normal to have intense feelings after their loss. Remember that you and your furry family member had a special bond and you gave them a wonderful life.

Lisa Landman is a strong advocate of adopting pets and has six rescue dogs! Want to see photos of her dogs? Check our her dog gallery or Twitter!


Originally published at lisalandman.org on July 23, 2018.

Preparing Your Special Needs Child for School

Getting ready for a new school year is stressful for most children, but it can be especially difficult for a child with special needs. Transitioning to a school schedule is a challenge, as is making sure a special-needs child receives the attention they need from the school staff. Fortunately, there are things that you can do as a parent to make the transition much more manageable.

Gather the Proper Documentation

Being a parent of a child in school means keeping track of lots of paperwork. You need to know about things such as school field trips, parent-teacher conferences, and anything else that will require your involvement. As a parent of a special-needs child, you will also have to gather documentation on your child’s needs for their school. This may include having an individualized education program, or IEP, for your child. Work closely with the school staff to review and implement this plan, and make sure that it is shared with the right staff members.

Set Goals

Most young children won’t see the “big picture” when it comes to their education, and that goes double for those with special needs. What they can understand better is short-term goals such as completing one assignment on time or even just being able to get ready for one school day. The goals you set will depend on your child and their capabilities, but try to keep them short-term and straightforward if you really want to see positive results.

Visit The School

Visiting a new school before your child attends is always a great idea, and it is particularly beneficial if your child has special needs. Many special-needs children thrive on structure and routine, and suddenly disrupting their current routine can cause a lot of problems. By taking them on a tour of their new school and allowing them to meet their teachers, you can help ease them into their new schedule when the new school year begins. It’s also best to schedule this tour when the previous school year is over or right before the next year is beginning since there won’t be as many staff members of students to overwhelm your child.

Be Patient

Above all else, the most important thing you can do when preparing a child for school is to be patient. Transitioning from a months-long period of no school to spending all day in classrooms is hard for any young child. There may be tantrums, meltdowns, and other setbacks during the transition, so be patient with your child. They will adjust to their new schedule on time and discover that going to school can be a positive experience.

Lisa Landman has a passion for helping others and has worked with special need adults throughout her career. Learn more about her professional work or check out her Twitter!


Originally published at lisalandman.net on August 2, 2018.

The Benefits of Strength Training

The benefit of strength training in both professional and non-professional athletes has been well documented over the past 20 years. Improvements in muscle strength and power, increase in muscle size, and enhancement in sports performance are common benefits resulting from strength training programs. In addition, strength training has also been suggested to reduce the risk and the severity of musculoskeletal injuries. Although studies reporting the direct effect of strength training on injury reduction are limited, the physiological adaptations seen following strength training on bone, the connective tissue and muscle does imply better protection against injury for individuals who participate in a strength training program.

Reducing the incidence of injury by engaging in a strength training program is as beneficial for the beginner as it is for the professional athlete. Strength training can fortify muscles and make them less vulnerable to damage. Many injuries are caused by weak (http://www.brianmac.co.uk/muscle.htm) muscles which simply are not ready to handle the specific demands of everyday life. The force on them is greater than their natural strength causing them to tear. For example, people who start a running program for the first time often do well for a few weeks but then as they add distance to their workout, they begin to develop foot/ankle problems, hamstring soreness or lower back pain. Their bodies simply are not strong enough to cope with the demands of the increased training load. A balanced strength training program can go a long way toward preventing injury. Strength training makes muscles stronger so that they can withstand greater forces and therefore helps to prevent injuries. In addition, along with strength training, nutrition is a key element in helping individuals to avoid the kind of muscular-skeletal injuries that are more commonly found.

Preventive strength training delivers a general increase in strength and is an effective way of remaining strong and healthy for everyday activities, work or sports.

The more we train, the more strength we have at our disposal. Muscle strength is what keeps us upright, brings us upstairs, and supports us. Without muscle strength we would be rooted to the ground without the ability to move. Most people can double their muscle strength within two years and about one-third can triple it. Quality of life is dependent upon the body’s weight/strength ratio.

A common misconception about strength training concerns the potential of “bulking up”. Many people tend to lump all types of strength training/weightlifting together, but there’s a big difference between strength training, power-lifting, and competitive bodybuilding. Strength training uses resistance methods like free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, and/or a person’s own body weight to build muscles and strength. Olympic lifting, or power-lifting, which people often think of when they think of weightlifting, concentrates on how much weight a person can lift at one time. Competitive bodybuilding involves evaluating muscle definition and symmetry, as well as size. A practical strength training program will not cause you to “bulk up” but will provide you with overall muscular definition.

Increasingly, medical experts are recommending strength training to improve physical and mental health and help prevent/diminish a wide array of medical conditions. Some of the most extensively researched areas are osteoporosis prevention, arthritis, cardiovascular benefits, insulin metabolism, injury prevention, sleep benefits, mood enhancement, increased stamina, weight loss and overall slowing of the aging process. Because weight training makes the body leaner, it also reduces the risk for certain cancers, diabetes, and other conditions linked to obesity. Further, muscle requires more calories to maintain than fat, so those with bigger muscles can eat more without gaining weight and lose fat more easily.

A practical strength training program is a vital part of a balanced exercise routine and should be incorporated in to everyone’s lifestyle.

Lisa Landman is a fitness and health guru. Learn more about her professional work or check out her Twitter!


Originally published at lisalandman.com on July 20, 2018.

Monthly Health Tips: July

Stretch of the Month

Head to Knee! How to — Sit on the floor with legs extended in front of you. Bend one leg, bringing the heel of the foot as close to the groin as possible. Turn your body slightly so you face out over the extended leg. Inhale and raise your arms over head. Exhale and begin to move forward slowly. Try to keep the back as straight as possible. When you’ve moved as far forward as you can, lower the arms and grasp your foot, or leg. Hold the position for a moment and breathe. When done, straighten up and do the other side

Exercise of the Month

Mountain Climbers! How to — Start in push up position. Rapidly pull alternating knees toward chest until exhaustion. Keep hips in line with shoulders only moving the lower body.

Nutrition Tip

If you are tired of eating the same types of fruits, summer is the perfect time to experiment with trying something different. Instead of just purchasing your normal fruits such as bananas, apples and oranges, add apricots, kiwis and plums to your shopping cart.

Lisa Landman is a fitness and health guru. Learn more about her professional work or check out her Twitter!


Originally published at lisalandman.com on July 12, 2018.

What the Health - Tips for Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet


What the Health is a 2017 Netflix documentary that has heavily influenced my health and eating habits. Recently, I watched the film and have been eating a strict vegan, plant-based diet. The transition has been challenging at times, but here’s why I’m sticking to my new eating plan and tips for your diet transition.

What the Health

Known as “The Health Film that Health Organizations Don’t Want You to See,” What the Health examines health organizations and the meat and dairy industries. Kip Andersen, the filmmaker, interviews health care professionals and pharmaceutical organizations to discover the connection between the connection between the meat and dairy industries.

Heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death in America, and diabetes is at an all-time high. Andersen explores why health nonprofits are keeping quiet despite these major health concerns. He believes that serious health problems are a consequence of consuming meat and dairy products and that a conspiracy exists to cover this up. And you will be shocked to learn how major health companies and big business are hurting us all!

Vegan, Plant-Based Diet

During the documentary, Andersen and his fellow filmmakers promote eating a plant-based diet. The documentary encouraged me to eat healthier so I decided to eat a strict plant-based vegan diet. While this new eating habit can be challenging at times, it is not always difficult and has made me feel better about what I’m putting in my body. Here are a few tips that helped me transition into a plant-based diet!

Ease the Transition — It can be very challenging to completely kick meat and other non-vegan foods out of your diet (and it can also cause adverse side effects!). I recommend eating more plant-based meals than you do now. You can add more plant foods into the meals you are already eating but shift the balance of more plant-based foods and fewer animal foods. This will help your body safely transition away from animal-based foods.

Find Alternatives to Your Favorite — If you love eating cheese pizza, then find a vegan alternative! There are many recipes online that offer plant-based recipes for animal-based foods! I also recommend eliminating the animal foods you don’t eat often first. You won’t miss these foods so let them go first.

Meet Other Vegan Friends — Finding a friend that is also a vegan will definitely help your transition and will hold you accountable for your new diet. Plus — most likely they will be excited to share their favorite recipes, restaurants, and meals.

Shop at Vegan-Friendly Stores — The vegan diet is gaining popularity so more and more stores are offering vegan and plant-based food options. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Target are great grocery stores that sell vegan-friendly foods.

Eating a vegan, plant-based diet does have challenges but I promise you it will be worth it!

Lisa Landman is a fitness and health guru. Learn more about her professional work or check out her Twitter!


Originally published at lisalandman.com on August 1, 2018.

Psychology Tips for Getting Motivated

Becoming motivated starts with the mind and the thoughts that you tell yourself each day. Motivation can be influenced by outside forces but is ultimately determined by how you think on a consistent basis. When you want to get motivated to meet your goals and obtain success, there are a few psychological tips to stay driven.

 

Write Down Your Goals

Putting your dreams or goals into writing can make it easier to visualize what you want to work towards. Be clear and specific about what you want to accomplish to ensure that you are reminded of what you want to work towards in the future. Place the list of goals in a visible area of your home or office to ensure that you’ll see it each day and will be reminded of where your focus should be.

Give Yourself Rewards

Rewarding yourself with milestones as you work hard to accomplish your goals is necessary to remain motivated and avoid losing focus. You may want to take a trip, go on a shopping spree, or take a break to recharge and continue making progress. Failing to reward yourself occasionally can make it easy to suffer from burnout and have a lack of willpower as time passes.

Avoid Distractions

Distractions can make it easy to lose your focus and spend your time on other activities that aren’t contributing to your goals. Avoid surfing the web or going on social media during the day to remain focused. You may also want to clean up your home or office each day to avoid feeling overwhelmed or distracted by the clutter or messes that are present.

Your attitude is everything when it comes to how driven you are, making it necessary to practice positivity. Failing to have hope about the future or dream big will affect how much work you put into working towards your goals on a consistent basis. Consider finding a mentor who can inspire you and will allow you to see your goals as reality due to what they’ve already accomplished. Affirm yourself and meditate on your strengths to ensure that you can have a healthy mindset that doesn’t become negative due to mistakes or mishaps that you have during the process.

 

Lisa Landman holds a Doctorate in Psychology and has worked in a variety of professional settings. Learn more about her professional work or check out her Twitter!


Originally published at lisalandman.com on July 5, 2018.