Tips To Help Keep Your Dog Healthy And Happy

cute dogThe dogs in our lives are truly members of the family. As such, it is important to make sure that we are doing everything we can to keep them healthy and happy. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

Provide the Correct Food

With so many dog food options available today, choosing the right one can be confusing. It is important to select a food that fits the nutritional and lifestyle needs of your specific dog. Your dog’s overall health, appearance and even temperament depend heavily upon his or her diet. Puppies, young adult dogs, and senior dogs all have different nutritional requirements. Additionally, dogs that have specific health issues also have different nutritional needs which must be met. When in doubt, consult with your veterinarian, since he or she is the person most familiar with your pet’s individual nutritional needs.

Provide Appropriate Exercise

running dog

Exercise is more important to a dog’s overall health and longevity than many people realize. Busy lifestyles can often make it a challenge to provide dogs with the exercise they require in order to stay healthy and happy. Regular walks and play periods are critical parts of your dog’s daily schedule. Exercise can help run off a puppy’s excess energy, but even senior dogs require a certain amount of daily activity in order to maintain good health and a positive mental attitude. Different breeds of dogs also have different needs for physical activity. Your veterinarian can help you determine a good daily exercise routine that will be a good match for your dog’s age and breed.

Pay Attention to Your Dog

Since we cannot simply ask our dog how he or she feels, it is important to pay close attention to body language. By doing so, we can become more attuned to how our pet behaves on a normal day. As a result, it will be easier to pick up on even small signals that something is not quite right. For example, a slight change in your dog’s eating or activity habits can be an early indicator of disease or other issues. By observing these signs early, your veterinarian will have a better chance of intervening and restoring your dog to good health.

Stay Current on Vaccinations and Vet Visits

Keeping your dog’s vaccinations on a schedule is an important part of his or her health and well-being. Your dog should not fall behind on vaccinations. Visiting the veterinarian on a regular basis is the best way to make sure you do not accidentally fall behind on your dog’s vaccination schedule. Your veterinarian can also provide guidance in regards to spaying and neutering your pet. Regular veterinary visits are also a great way to make sure that any potential problems are detected and treated early, providing a better chance for successful treatment. Regular vet visits can help prevent more serious problems that may end up requiring a trip to the animal hospital.

sick  dog

Protect Your Dog from Parasites

Parasites can be extremely detrimental to a dog’s health. Fleas, ticks and heartworms can all wreak havoc on a dog’s overall well-being, and in some cases, can even result in fatalities. Although there are numerous over-the-counter products available in stores, your veterinarian is best equipped to choose the safest and most effective products for your dog.

By following these tips, paying attention to your dog, and following the good advice of your veterinarian, your dog will have the best chance for a long, healthy, and happy life.

Hosting a Housewarming Party? Here’s How!

Now that the holidays are over and the wrapping paper is all stored away, it’s finally time to settle down into your new home. Now’s the time for your housewarming party!

housewarming 2Housewarming parties come in all shapes and sizes, and can be fancy or casual. They are typically held to celebrate someone moving into a new home or apartment.

The idea is for guests to help “warm” the hosts’ new house with meaningful gifts and friendship. To celebrate this new chapter in the lives of the family, guests typically bring symbolic gifts to commemorate the occasion.

Buying a home is usually the single most expensive purchase of a lifetime for most people, and celebrating that purchase with loved ones is both common and exciting for all in attendance. Common though it may be, some questions might come up about such things as proper etiquette and procedures for hosting a housewarming party.

For example, should the new homebuyer or renter host the party themselves? When should it happen? Are gifts mandatory, and if so, what is the proper etiquette for sharing your gift requests? What foods and beverages should be served? Is it appropriate to get a catering service to serve refreshments? Can renters have housewarming parties?

There are many questions the arise when considering throwing a housewarming party. We hope you’ll find some answers that will help you proceed with your plans to make this event truly memorable, whether for yourself or for a friend.

Some people believe it’s preferable to hold a housewarming party immediately after signing the papers and getting the key, before any of the furniture is moved in. It’s quite tempting to think one can hold a great party when there’s no furniture in the way, and the carpet is still relatively pristine.

Alternatively, imagine that the party is going strong… until you discover that you need another chair, or another piece of furniture. Maybe you need a mixing bowl, but all your belongings are inaccessible. You might want to consider this scenario before finalizing your decision.

Timing is important of course. If you decide to hold the party immediately after moving in, perhaps in the mid-packing stage, where will are your boxes be placed? It would be best and most feasible to unpack everything, get all the windows draped, and all the artwork hung before having your party.

A few first-time apartment renters might be able to get away with a small, informal get-together with friends and family, and of course, gifts optional. Your friends and family can still bring gifts, but they won’t feel obligated to do so.

housewarming 3The host of your housewarming party should be yourself or a friend. Just remember, it’s not about the gifts you’re getting, but simply sharing your joy with people who are happy for you. Many housewarming party hosts make special requests for guests not to bring gifts. Others register for gifts at places like Target, Walmart, and Macy’s. When gifts are registered, a card listing the registries is typically placed in the invitation for guests’ shopping convenience.

Great housewarming presents typically include candles, picture frames, or gift cards to home improvement or home goods stores. It’s important to remember that, as a host, the gift your guest might offer is his or her presence, which — in the right spirit — should be more than satisfactory.

It’s customary to serve food at your housewarming party. Finger foods and local deli items work best. Appetizers, such as cheese and crackers, are great walk-around foods. Virtually all deli items at your local specialty shop or deli in Long Island would work nicely. Another alternative to finger foods is having a barbecue. Old-fashioned hospitality while showing off the backyard is a win-win situation.

If you’re just too exhausted to prepare food for your party, search online for a catering service near you. Unless you new home is rural, you should be able locate several caterers from which to choose. Having a catering service do all the work is a joy. You will enjoy memorable food and beverages of your choice for this special day, and you won’t have to shop, prepare, or in most cases, clean up afterwards.

Since the catering service is mobile, they will come to your home to set up. Most are very flexible and will listen to your ideas while offering their own. They may provide more choices of deli  meats and cheeses for your table.

Most staff of the catering service will be hardly noticeable moving among your guests if they do their job right. The best learn to blend in and allow the focal point to be where it deserves — your new home.

The most important thing to remember when holding a housewarming party to accept gifts and company with an open heart, and know that these gifts will fill your home with joyful memories of this special occasion.

6 Fun Ways to Motivate Your Child to Enjoy Physical Activity & Sports

children runningThe modern child is surrounded by numerous entertainment options that encourage him or her to lead a sedentary and lethargic lifestyle. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child gets a daily dose of exercise and physical activity.

Regular and adequate physical activity will help your child enjoy the following benefits:

  • Exercise and physical activity facilitates faster and better growth of muscles and bones.
  • Games and sports encourage children to improve their thinking skills, creativity, and imagination in a natural manner.
  • Preschool games can help your child learn social skills and develop teamwork at a very young age.
  • Finally, incorporating games and physical activity as a part of child care will ensure that your child does not become overweight or obese. This will protect your child from numerous health-related complications.

So, now that you know how important it is for your child to be active and physically fit, it is time to come up with innovative ideas to encourage and motivate your child to be active in sports, games, and other physical activities.

Keep it Fun

Kids want to have fun. They are not interested in health, fitness, rules, or the long-term benefits of physical activity and sports. So, make sure you come up with ideas that make physical activities fun. Instead of asking them to run, play catch with them to give them the thrill of competing with their parents. Get a trampoline to ensure jumping around becomes an enjoyable physical activity.

Make videos of your kids fooling around and create a family album online. Share it with your friends to enhance the “coolness quotient” of the daily outdoor games routine.

Choose Age-Appropriate Games and Sports

A ten-year old is unlikely to be interested in a slow-paced, simple activity. He or she would most likely be more interested in something that offers a physical and mental challenge. On the other hand,  2-3 year old toddlers are unlikely to be interested in a game with a lot of rules and regulations. Therefore, come up with age-appropriate exercises and activities to ensure that your k ids remain interested in being physically active in a disciplined manner.

Become a Role Modelactive family

Is your idea of a fun weekend all about spending time indoors? If yes, then you can hardly complain that your kids are not interested in physical activity. Kids observe their parents and often choose to follow their habits. So, if your child sees you throwing a Frisbee in the backyard every evening, he or she will automatically start following your lead and spend time enjoying exercise and activity.

Change it Up

Baseball, basketball, swimming, skating, aerobics, athletics, tennis, badminton, soccer — expose your kids to different sports to help him or her develop interest in physical activity. Soccer is a great option for kids who like simple games that involve nothing more than just kicking a ball into the goal. Tennis may seem like a cool and glamorous option for your daughter. Swimming is a great way to combine exercise with a fun family outing.

Use Technology

Nothing can surpass the benefits that your child will enjoy be being physically active outdoors. However, this does not mean that you cannot combine popular indoor activities like video games with exercise

A video game that uses motion controllers to allow kids to “play” the game in real life can be a fun option. This option will ensure that your kids can be active by playing virtual games when it is too cold to play outside.

Choose Child Care and Preschool Carefully

As a busy parent, you may find it impossible to supervise each and every aspect of your child’s life. This is where selecting a preschool and a child care center where physical activity and exercise are given due importance can be very beneficial. At Creative World School of Belton, MO, preschoolers are provided with one hour each day of outdoor time in order to play, explore, and be physically active.

Be flexible when encouraging your child to be physically active. It doesn’t matter if your child does not like the sport that you want him or her to enjoy. What matters is that your child have an active routine with at least 2-3 hours of exercise spread throughout the day.

Proper Nutrition Prevents Infertility

pregnant womanWhen trying to have a baby, there are many factors to keep in mind when trying to create a healthy and safe pregnancy.  One of the most important things to keep in mind is what you let into your body through your diet. If you don’t carefully plan out your meal plan then you could wind up down the road with infertility problems. These problems could occur in both men and women so it is important to stay on top of current health studies.

To stay healthily fertile, you must have a perfect balance of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, water, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. These are all found in food and can also be supplemented with a vitamin pill. There are even special prenatal pills that help in ensuring the greatest child-bearing conditions.

For men, it is important to eat foods that are rich in B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Selenium. B12 is great because it can help in increasing sperm production when counts are low. Vitamin C has about a hundred great benefits but when it comes to preventing infertility in men it helps in avoiding sperm to build up within the channels of your internal reproductive organs. If you are a smoker you should quit but if you are taking vitamin C it will help to neutralize the poisons that they disperse through your body. By ingesting proper amounts of Vitamin E, you are improving the quality and mobility of your sperm. This makes it easier for women to conceive. It can also aid in reducing any sperm defects. Zinc is a power vitamin because it helps improve the sperm motility which means it gives the sperm a little extra swimming power. This is vital for assisting in contraception.  We use the antioxidant, Zinc, to help ward off harmful birth defects. It also helps aid in sperm production.

couple disapointment

For women, we see similar needs for vitamin intake. Some of the most important vitamins are B6, B12, Folic Acid, Iron, Selenium, and Zinc. B6 helps regulate all of the hormone craziness that occurs in the female body. It also aids in leveling out blood sugars, relieving PMS stress, and helps in settling morning sickness. B12 is known to help boost the production of the endometrial lining during egg fertilization which will lower the risk of a miscarriage. Iron has been shown help during the ovulation stage and could prevent poor egg health. Ingesting folic acid is very important. By making sure to incorporate this in your diet, you highly decrease the chances of developing neural tube defects. It also helps in preventing limb defects, cleft lips, heart defects, and urinary tract defects. It can also push the pregnancy to occur earlier than expected, creating unsafe conditions for both the mother and the child. Selenium is a very powerful antioxidant that can stop chromosomal damage from happening. A deficiency in this can increase your chances of a miscarriage. Lastly, zinc helps in regulating over 300 kinds of enzymes within your body. Your cells won’t correctly duplicate, and the levels of estrogen and progesterone can get out of whack. Make sure to consult with your local infertility doctor or nutritionist to see what meal plan is right for you. IVF Phoenix in the West Phoenix region is one great infertility treatment center that has helped many couples throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Leave Out The Pesticides


There have also been many studies that have shown pesticides to be a major factor involved with infertility problems. High levels of PCBs and DDT over the years can have a large impact on whether or not you can conceive. Many organochlorine pesticides like polychlorinated biphenyls and dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane were greatly used during the 50’s and 70’s which affected many humans during their maturing years. By reducing your exposure to these toxins, you can decrease your chances of running into any fertility problems and birth defects. Many infertility doctors and specialists will give you a large list of foods that may contain these pesticides.  Meats, dairy products, and fatty fish have been known to carry these toxins. Fish like Atlantic salmon, American eel, blue crab, and wild striped bass are highly discouraged from incorporating in your diet for this very reason. You can also find these poisons on many vegetables or fruits so make sure to thoroughly wash your produce. It is also suggested to buy all organic food as to avoid the usage of these pesticides.

fresh fish

The choice is yours so if you want to grow a healthy family, you must be proactive. Be conscious of what you put in your body and you will lead a healthier lifestyle.

Meal Plans for Healthy Dental Care

brushing teethIf you’re like me, you want to keep yourself as healthy as you can to ensure a high quality of life. In this article, I will be talking about how you can improve upon your diet to ensure an excellent dental history and an outstanding report at your local family dentistry. I do want to add that I am not a certified dentist, so if you are in the Richmond VA area, I would suggest consulting with Modern Dentistry. They have held a great standing reputation within the area for many years.

Understanding How Cavities Form

To start we must understand that we are not only trying to preserve the teeth themselves but the gums as well.  Our main goal is to reduce harmful bacteria and gum inflammation which can lead to tooth decay. By adjusting our diet, we can enhance and increase enzymes that help fight the bacteria that cause inflammation and cavities. The reason everyone says not to eat too much sugar is because these bacteria use the sugars to create acids in your mouth. It is these acids that start to form cavities in your mouth and start the tooth decay process. Any Richmond dentist will tell you how important it is to brush your teeth and floss after every meal as to remove these sugars. The longer the sugars sit the more time the bacteria have to produce these harmful acids. Other minerals such as phosphate and calcium help to rebuild the enamel and tooth loss during this ever going battle. Flouride, saliva, and water also help aid in this repair process.

Building Your Meal Plan

fooodNow that we know how cavities form, our next step is to build a well-balanced meal plan that can help aid in the repair process and reduce any harmful bacteria.

The first step is to enrich your diet with more vitamin D and Calcium. This can be found in dairy and other calcium and vitamin D fortified juices and foods. One way to add dairy to your diet if you don’t enjoy dairy is to add powdered milk to one of your favorite dishes. This will mask the taste of dairy while still adding the vitamins that your teeth need.

One great dairy product is cheese. This supplies you with a sufficient amount of calcium and sticks to your teeth to help fight plaque build-up.

Hard and crispy fruits and vegetable are another excellent way to help aid in removing harmful plaque build-up. Foods like carrots, parsnips, apples, celery, and pears help wipe away that nasty plaque and tartar film. There have also been recent studies that have found cranberries to prevent the bonding of bacteria. This can stop them from making the harmful plaque that cause damaging tooth decay.

By increasing your Folic Acids you can also increase tooth cell growth. This acid is part of the vitamin B family and can be found in leafy greens, legumes, whole grains, and many citrus fruits.

jack nicholson iOne thing that everyone should cut out of their diet, not only for dental care reasons, are candies, chocolates, sodas, and high sugar treats. These have a high volume of sugars which can lead to many health problems down the road. It would put a gigantic smile on your family dentistry to see that you kicked these bad food habits. These acids in these foods and drinks can also reduce the enamel on your teeth as well. Make sure to limit this intake.

After talking with your local family dentistry, make sure to heed all of their warnings. They know what they are talking about. If you do find yourself having tooth aches, make sure to visit your dentist immediately. The sooner you go the better chance you have of reversing the damage and saving the tooth. Your teeth are composed of living cells and if left untreated, they can die.

tooth decay gross




Pack a Yummy, Healthy Lunchbox

Back to School: Best Lunches for Kids

When it’s time to get the kids back to school, you may spend a second thinking, “What did I used to pack them for lunch last year?” In the summertime, it’s easy to serve leftovers, cook pasta, or make grilled cheeses. During the school year, you are suddenly confined to meals that will fit into a lunch box (and can be microwaved at school if you have the option). On top of all that, you also have to make things that the kids will actually eat (AKA nothing green).

It’s important to pack a lunch that your kid will finish that will keep them full and focused throughout the school day. Sending my kids to an active day care in Orlando FL, I know that they need plenty of protein and extra snacks to keep their energy up!

Below is a great formula for lunch ideas. Just pick a side, an entrée, and a dessert. Combine for a lunch that will keep your kid full throughout the day. Don’t forget to pack an extra side as a snack if they complain that this isn’t enough to keep them full!


  • Sweet potato fries (need to be microwaved)lunch snacks
  • Ants on a log
  • Trail mix
  • Carrots and ranch
  • Apple sauce
  • Yogurt
  • Grapes, strawberries, or blueberries
  • Cheese sticks
  • Almonds with chocolate chips
  • Protein or granola bars
  • Bag of cheerio’s or other healthy cereal


  • Build your own pizza (pack small, whole grain pizza crusts, some marinara sauce, healthy sandwichesshredded mozzarella, and pepperonis)
  • Whole wheat chicken salad wraps
  • Pb&J Apple roll up wraps (peanut butter, jelly, sliced apple rolled into a whole wheat wrap… also great with some Rice Krispies for crunchiness)
  • Pita filled with veggies and hummus
  • Cold pasta salad (mix pasta with balsamic vinegar, chick peas, celery, peppers, and parmesan)
  • Quiche slices or muffins (needs to be microwaved)
  • Mexican rice or quinoa bowl (add black beans, corn, cheese, and avocado… needs to be microwaved)


  • Chocolate covered raisinscinnamon covered apple slices
  • Yogurt covered raisins
  • Sliced apple covered in cinnamon
  • Dark chocolate bars


  • Lunchables and other boxed or frozen lunch options
  • Deli meets – These are extremely popular lunch choices, but they are packed with sodium and nitrates. Instead, add your leftover meats to sandwiches or try veggie and hummus wraps.
  • Soup cans that aren’t found in the organic section are loaded with sodium and preservatives that can cause stomach upset. Furthermore, they are usually mostly broth and offer little nutrients and energy to stay active throughout the day.

Nutrition in the Senior Population

All About Senior Vitamins, Nutrition, and Meal Ideas

As our bodies age, they develop different needs than in the past. Many seniors today are living in their home for longer periods of time, with plenty of in-home care options to choose from. This means that the elder population is cooking meals at the age of 75 instead of relying on prepared meals in nursing homes and assisted living communities.

If you feel that your senior family member is not getting the nutrition they need, it is important to find a service to help with the cooking. For instance, this senior care company in Alameda provides nutritional meals, transportation, and companionship as part of their services.

If you are willing to pitch in and help out with regular meals on your own, understand some of the basic nutritional needs of seniors. Here, we listed some essential vitamins, their benefits, and the foods that contain them.

vitamins and foods

The information below was found in a  Harvard Health Publication regarding vitamins and their benefits.

Different Vitamins that are Great for Seniors


  • Needed for strong bones; may prevent osteoporosis
  • Found in milk, cheese, yogurt, and leafy greens such as spinach and kale

Vitamin A:

  • Enhances vision, promotes skin/tissue/bone growth, may decrease risk of cancer
  • Found in beef, eggs, shrimp, fish, swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, and fortified milk

Vitamin B6:

  • Decreases risk of heart disease, helps promote healthy sleeping patterns
  • Found in potatoes, non-citrus fruit (apples, pears, bananas, cherries, blueberries), meat, fish, and tofu

Vitamin C:

  • Boosts/strengthens the immune system, includes antioxidants which cleanse the body of harmful molecules
  • Found in citrus fruits, green vegetables, and sprouts

Vitamin D:

  • Helps your body absorb calcium, strengthens teeth and bones
  • Found in fortified milk, fortified cereals, and fish

Food and Meal Ideas

Some important things to remember when cooking for an elder family member are that: reduced smell can interfere with the ability to taste, dentures and sensitive teeth can make it difficult to consume hard and sticky food, beware of allergies such as sensitivity to gluten and dairy.


fruit smoothieOne of the easiest ways to get all of these ingredients into 1 mixture while avoiding common issues is blending smoothies. A reasonably priced blender that can chop up any fruits and vegetables is the Oster. However, other types like the Ninja boast incredible strength and fine chopping abilities. Whatever you choose, the smoothies that you make will be easy to drink and taste great! You can usually disguise the healthy taste of greens with some natural sweeteners. Pineapples, strawberries, bananas, honey, and flavored protein powder can transform most smoothies and green juices into a dessert.

Healthy Sandwiches

Sandwiches on whole wheat bread with bolder flavors (like banana peppers and salami) whole grain wrapmake fast, easy, and nutritious lunches. Steer away from fluffy rolls and fatty lunch meats. Instead, add grilled chicken or pieces of turkey. Sliced deli meat is full of sodium and fats that contribute to high cholesterol. Also, using whole wheat wraps or extra thin slices of bread cuts down on some of the sugar and calories in a full roll.

Traditional Dinner


healthy fish dinnerInstead of making hefty steaks with mashed potatoes and dinner rolls, opt for fish. Tuna steaks or grilled salmon go great with whole grain race, lentils, and a side salad. Combining a variety of nutrients and vitamins in a single meal also helps seniors stay full through the night. Stuffing yourself with carbs gives you immediate energy, followed by a crash and extreme hunger. Slower digesting fibrous foods give you consistent energy until it is time for the next meal.

Anyone can benefit from enhancing their diet with these vitamins, minerals, and meal options. However, it is especially important to keep these nutrients in mind when cooking for seniors because their bodies are more fragile than most. The senior community often has weaker immune systems as well, and a healthy diet and lifestyle is the best way to prevent illness or infection.