Three Pests That Could Be Harming Your Pet

When you bring a pet into the family, whether it is a dog or a cat, you take on not only lots of love but also some real responsibility. Your pet needs you to protect him or her from all sorts of dangers. There are certain bugs that can just be irritating to your furry friend, but others can carry diseases or illnesses that can pose serious risks to your pet.

 

Here are three of the more common pests that can cause harm to your pet.

1) Fleas

Fleas are some of the smaller insects that can harm your pets. They live in shady areas with tall grass just waiting for an animal to come by to serve as a host. While they don’t have wings, they can jump very high and fast onto a passing pet. Once they decide to live on your dog or cat, they will begin to bite and lay eggs at a rapid rate.

In order to protect your pet against fleas, it is critical that you start them on a flea prevention medication. These types of medicines are usually given to your pet once a month and come in either an ingestible treat or as a topical ointment that you need to apply to the skin. You should also make sure that your yard is free of fleas by having it treated by any number of trusted pest control companies.

2) Ticks

Another pest that feasts on the blood of a host is the tick. These can be particularly harmful as they can be carriers of some serious diseases like Lyme disease that can actually infect you and your family as well. Similarly to fleas, ticks live outdoors, particularly areas that your pets are like to wander to. They like to inhabit trees and tall grassy areas and will attach to your dog or cat as they wander by.

Once a tick bites into the skin of your pet, they can be tough to remove. If you find one on either yourself or your pet, take care to remove it carefully as its mouthparts can stay intact even if you remove the abdomen. Make sure to remove the entire tick so that you eliminate any further risk of infection.

3) Fire Ants

You might think that the only harm posed by fire ants would be some irritating and itchy bites. While this is generally true if your pet suffers from a couple of bites from these potent pests, some dogs and cats can have a severe allergic reaction to fire ant bites. If your pet is on the smaller side and encounters a large colony of fire ants, they can suffer greatly from multiple bites.

Inspect your yard thoroughly to see if you have a colony of fire ants anywhere. If you find that your pets has any fire ant bites, watch them carefully so that you can catch any allergic reaction that may start to occur.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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How to support a disabled elderly relative

If you have a relative who is elderly and disabled, they may struggle to perform the basic tasks that are needed in everyday life. It can be hard seeing a relative struggling, and you will want to support them in any way you can. Due to our increasingly aging population, many elderly people are struggling to receive the support they require. Increasing demand means that we need to be more present than ever before. So, how can you support a disabled elderly relative?

 

Legal assistance 

If your relative gained their disability through unfortunate circumstances, they may wish to seek legal assistance. For example, if the disability has developed after serving in the military, they may be entitled to compensation (see these VA compensation rates). Your relative may also be entitled to compensation if they had a slip and fall injury, or gained their disability from the malpractice of a company. If this is the case, you may need to support your elderly relative through this process. This might mean finding them a lawyer, attending meetings on their behalf, or simply letting them know that you’re there if they need you. They may not ask for help, but your support will be appreciated.

 

Check in

Elderly people can often feel isolated and lonely, especially if they live on their own and don’t have someone to talk to regularly. So, it’s important for you to check in on them and provide any emotional support that they might need. This might mean popping round regularly if you can, or contacting them via phone or email. This is especially important when an elderly relative has a disability, because you need to make sure that they are coping and taking any necessary medication.

 

Adjusting their home

When people get older or gain a disability, it’s common for them to need adjustments to their home, so they can navigate around it more easily. For example, if your relative needs a wheelchair, they might need lowered light-switches, wider doorframes and a downstairs bedroom to avoid navigating the stairs at night. Or their home might need a stair-lift to be installed. Whilst there are professionals who will be doing the heavy lifting, it’s important for you to assist with any adaptations your relative might need and help them get the ball rolling. Your relative will probably feel a close connection to their home, and therefore it’s important for you to understand that this may be a difficult time for them.

 

Household tasks

Your elderly relative may also need additional help around the house. What once might have seemed like an easy task could be much harder with a disability. Tasks like cooking, cleaning and even getting dressed could be significantly more difficult. So, you can support your elderly relative by helping them around the house and offering any additional assistance. Even going around once a week to do some cleaning might be a big help. Alternatively, you might need to help organize carers, if this is something they require.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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4 Ways to Turn Your New House Into a Home

When you first move into a new place, you don’t really get much apart from bare walls, a kitchen’s worth of cabinets and appliances, possibly a washer and dryer, and a slight echo in the empty rooms. It’s not very homey when it’s like that, and it might not seem like your home, even after you’ve moved in all the furniture and brought all your boxes to the right rooms. However, there are a few things you can do to give your new home those final touches after you put everything away.

Focus on Comfort

Maybe you have a picture in your head of just how the layout of your new place should look. Maybe you’ve picked out some new furniture that will look perfect with the light and the curtains. It could be that you plan on placing your old furniture just right to get the ambiance you want.

Either way, if you aren’t having any luck getting things to look just the way you want them, it might not be worth the effort. Instead, focus on creating a comfortable place where you can relax and unwind. That’s more important than looking good.

Add the Right Scents

 

Image via Flickr by emi moriya

Humans don’t think about smells as often as sights and sounds. But people can be very particular about the smells they like and dislike. Plus, smells have a strong connection to the memory section of the brain. Thanks to that, the smell of a new home can make you feel like you aren’t where you belong, even after you’ve started ignoring it.

To fix that, try bringing in some smells you like and spread them around. Scented candles, perfumes, potpourri air fresheners, incense, and even scented body wash can help a new place feel more familiar.

Clean the Place From Top to Bottom

Even if the last owner did you the favor of bringing in professional cleaners to make the whole building spotless, there’s something to be said about putting in some cleaning time yourself. You could think of it as a ritual to sweep out the previous owners and sweep in your own occupants. Plus, it gives you a chance to look for spots the previous owners might have missed or avoided.

You should also take some time to inspect the appliances and utilities and bring in HVAC experts and other home contractors for one last inspection before you finish the move.

Put Yourself on the Walls

There are many options when it comes to the bare walls above and next to your furniture. Photos, paintings, posters, and illustrations can all go up as quick and easy decorations, and chances are that you have plenty you’re bringing over from your old place.

Moving into a new house is about more than just moving your furniture and belongings. It’s about feeling comfortable and stress-free in a place that’s supposed to be your safe haven away from the world. To make your house one of those, you should be prepared to do a little more than just move your things around.

 

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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The Importance of Aftercare: Piercings and Tats

Most of us who have body jewelry or tattoos (or both) know that after care is a major part of getting any new body decoration. Not only is aftercare important for your health, and the healing of the piercing/tattoo, but it can also make a huge difference in the overall look, aesthetic and even life of the body art in question. Ignoring after care doesn’t just result in things like infected piercings and scabbed over tattoos; it can actually result in your piercing having to be removed or faded, unprofessional looking ink.

Photo Credit: Mati Mango

 

That being said, aftercare doesn’t have to be difficult or inconvenient. It’s easy to add after care to your regular, everyday routine. While your piercing or tat might be a little tender or annoying for a couple of days, if you follow your aftercare properly, it won’t be painful.

 

Tattoos

If you’ve got lots of tattoos, you already know this, but for the newbie, we’ll explain. Once you’ve gotten a tattoo, after care begins immediately. Before you even leave the tattoo studio, your artist should wipe down your new ink very carefully with a sanitized cloth or wipe, then will give it a decent coat of antibiotic gel or cream. They’ll then bandage up the tattoo with sterilized gauze and tape to keep it safe and protected while you travel home. They may tell you to remove the gauze once you’re safely at home, and reapply the ointment (this protects from infection and also provides an extra layer of security to your fresh tattoo). Over the course of the next few days (or up to a couple of weeks), you’ll need to reapply the ointment periodically, as well as gently wash and dab dry your tattoo.

 

One mistake that many people make is that they over-apply the ointment, adding a thick layer that doesn’t allow the tattoo to breathe. If you apply it too generously it can also over-hydrate the scabs, which cause them to flake off faster than they need to. This can result in a faded or discolored tattoo. Another mistake that people often make is to submerge the tattoo in a bathtub or pool before it’s fully healed. Again, this over-hydrates the scabs, which makes the tattoo fade.

 

Always follow the sheet or card the tattoo artist gives you, which will have detailed instructions for aftercare, carefully. Don’t stop aftercare before advised, and don’t over-apply your ointment. That’s the most important part!

 

Piercings 

For a piercing, after care is equally important.

 

When you go for a piercing, the piercer will generally use a sterilized needle to pierce you (some places still use guns for ear-piercings, but most have moved away from these). They will then clean the area gently and give you instructions on how to care for the piercing at home.

 

Despite the very best in sterile conditions, occasionally a new piercing will get red and tender, or possibly infected. Don’t freak: there are ways to treat this at home. If your piercer provided you with or recommended a good cleaning solution, use that. If not, you can make your own saline solution for piercings (and these can be used at any time, not just when you’ve first gotten pierced. Saline solutions, especially with sea salt, are highly recommended to use for piercings). Use the saline solution as often as your piercer directs, and report to them (or to a doctor) if the situation doesn’t improve or the pain seems to get worse.

 

Never, ever take out your piercing before you’re supposed to. This is a big mistake that people make – they just got pierced, but they want to use a new piece of jewelry, so they remove the piercing before the healing time is complete. This can lead to infection, and can also cause the piercing to grow back. Wait until your piercer gives you the all clear.

 

Taking care of your piercings and tattoos is a snap, if you just follow the aftercare plan. You’ll be loving your body art for years to come!

 

 

 

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Asking For Help As A Parent

Before you have children, every parent you meet will tell you that raising a child is the hardest but most rewarding job in the world. Although you might think that you’re prepared for the role, there will undoubtedly be times when you feel like you’re spinning plates and swimming against the tide. Many moms and dads are reluctant to ask for help, but nobody is superhuman. If you’re struggling, or you can’t remember when you last had a moment to yourself, here are some tips to take on board.

Picture from https://pixabay.com/photos/family-parents-mother-father-2485714/

 

Lean on friends and family

Your family and friends are there to support you. Whether you need advice about getting a newborn to sleep as a new mom, or you could do with a hand to get your kids to different after school clubs at the same time, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask if anyone would mind helping out. You’ll probably find that you have several volunteers, and you’ll wish you learned to ask for help sooner. There’s no shame in asking your sister or your best friend to babysit for an hour if you’re desperate for a bit of peace and quiet or seeing if your parents could take your child to school one morning. You would probably offer your help to your friends and family at the drop of a hat, so don’t hesitate to ask for the odd favor.

 

Seek expert advice

Being a parent can be incredibly challenging, especially if you have concerns about your child’s health, their development or their behavior. If you have any worries about your baby’s health, seek expert advice. It’s always best to err on the side of caution, especially with young children. If you start to spot signs that cause you concern, for example, slow development or anger or aggression, it’s wise to reach out to people who can help you. Behavioral problems can be very distressing for parents and siblings, but there are health experts and organizations like Youth Villages that are there to support the child, as well as their family. Having access to treatments, programs, self-help therapies and assistance at home and school can make a really positive difference to every member of the family.

 

Dealing with work-related stress

If you’re a working parent, it can be tough to find a work-life balance. If you’re working long hours, or you feel like you spend 100% of your time either working or running around after your children, it’s important to try and look after yourself and manage your time. Speak to your boss if you’re working more hours than you should be or you’re doing more work than your colleagues. Ask about working from home or switching your hours to facilitate greater flexibility. It’s also critical to make sure that you have time to unwind and relax, especially if you’re stressed out or exhausted. Share the load with your partner, or ask friends, family members or neighbors to lend a hand. Even if you only have 10 minutes to run a bath or read a few chapters of your book at the end of a busy day, this can help to boost wellbeing.

 

Most parents find it very difficult to reach out and ask for help. Nobody has superpowers, and sometimes, it’s not possible to function 24-hours-a-day or provide the kind of support and care your child needs. There is absolutely no shame in seeking advice and asking for help.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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