How To Ease Anxious Pets

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By Veselina Dzhingarova

petHaving an anxious pet can be difficult, with the anxiety often resulting in aggressive or anti-social behavior, whilst also having possible effects on your pet’s physical health as well as their mental state. Although it seems like there is nothing to help, there are tricks, products you can buy, and training exercises that can help to ease the anxiety and make your pets more relaxed.

Oils and Aromas

Mother cats and dogs naturally release pheromones to ease their young and create a sense of relaxation. This is a wonderful tool to use to ease any signs of anxiety in your pets. Available in collars, sprays, and diffusers that you can plug into a socket, pheromones can be released throughout the day in your home to help your pet relax. You can also buy hemp oil for pets, which will help to ease any anxieties, as it has the same effects on animals that it does on humans. This oil is perfectly safe for your pets and will do wonders for them, not only benefitting their mental state but also their physical state.

Exercise

walkingdogJust like humans, exercise can help to ease your pet’s anxiety by releasing endorphins, triggering a positive feeling, and helping to soothe their anxiety. For dogs, the obvious exercise is walking them – sometimes multiple times a day – but this is not the only exercise that they can get. Playing with your pet and teaching them tricks will keep both their mind and body busy, releasing positive endorphins and keeping them healthy, happy, and relaxed. Whilst it’s easy to think of exercise for dogs, many people aren’t sure how to exercise their cats. Cats don’t need as much exercise as dogs do, and only need to be stimulated for anywhere between 10 – 25 minutes a day. Try buying a cat tower with a scratching post and lots of toys to keep them busy. Cats are natural hunters, so they will enjoy chasing toys around the house.

Living Conditions

If you have multiple pets, this can be the very cause of the anxiety. Animals can get territorial over many things, including people, beds, and food. If another animal is attempting to claim what your pet thinks is rightfully theirs, they can experience extreme stress and anxiety. With cats, it is not uncommon for bullying to occur, to establish who is the alpha of the house. To prevent this from happening, position pet beds and food in separate rooms, and teach them which bowl and bed are theirs. This is also important if your cats have a litter tray. Cats like their own space, so giving them their own tray will help them to establish which territory is theirs and reduce stress and fighting.

There are many things which will make pets feel overly stressed and anxious that you may not even be aware of. However, even if the cause can’t be found, there are many ways highlighted in this article to soothe the anxiety and help your pet become healthier and happier in body and in mind.

Omega-3s Help Ease Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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By Dr. Barry Sears

eyeMedicine often not as complicated as we are led to believe. Let’s take a condition known as macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness after the age of 50. More than one million Americans have this disease, and there is no known cure. In this disease a small area of the retina known as the macula begins to degenerate. As it does, the central part of vision becomes obliterated, objects lose their contrast, and color sensitivity is lost. It’s just a matter of time before one becomes legally blind.

Since the retina is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a lot of researchers have tried supplementing the diet of patients with macular degeneration with fish oil, but they have constantly failed to find success. In fact, a major five-year study published this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association announced that omega-3 fatty acids have no benefit in treating macular degeneration. But what if they gave a placebo dose? Then you would expect placebo effects.

Several years ago I began working with my collaborators in Cyprus to use much higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids based on the recommendation in my 2002 book, The OmegaRx Zone. The initial results were published last week in PharmaNutrition. Considering that there is no known treatment for macular degeneration, a 10% improvement in vision would be considered a major medical breakthrough. If you had a 25% improvement in vision, you might be considered for the Nobel Prize. Our results were that 100% of the patients had a significant improvement in their vision, and that the higher the dose, the faster the improvement. When I presented the data at a major medical conference a week before the publication of the paper, my toughest question to answer was “the data are too good to be true”. To paraphrase Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, I responded, “It is what it is”.

omega3So why do high levels of omega-3 fatty acids work? Macular degeneration is an inflammatory condition. The omega-3 fatty acids put out the inflammatory fire in the retina that allows the tissue to heal and regenerate. But you need a therapeutic dose. It just turns out that dose is much higher than researchers have used in the past several years. Ironically, the dose of omega-3 fatty acids used in our study was virtually the same levels as used by Harvard Medical School researchers to reduce inflammation nearly 25 years ago as published in the New England Journal of Medicine. How soon they forget. Without adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids, the inflammatory fire will simply keep on burning, making it impossible to regenerate the tissue.

There are two things you want to protect as you age. One is your brain, and other is your sight. Adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids will do both; placebo levels of omega-3 fatty acids will not. That was true 25 years ago, and it is still true today.

– Dr. Barry Sears

10 Tips For Handling A Sick Child Visit With Ease

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doctorDealing with sick children is never easy, but it can get even tougher when you have to take them to the doctor. The doctor’s office is a big, intimidating place, and it can be scary for kids who already feel under the weather. Your child will likely be full of questions, especially about uncomfortable situations that await him. The following tips for preparing your child for a visit to the doctor will allow him to get through the event with the least fear possible, allowing him to adapt a healthy attitude towards maintaining his health.

Clear Up the Mystery

The first thing to do is to explain exactly what is going on. If a child’s mind is left to wander, he may come up with all types of frightening scenarios. Get an idea of what tests he could possibly undergo, and explain to him the actions the doctor will take so that he will be comfortable during the process. It can also be beneficial to explain how you as a parent visit the doctor for similar things when you are ill.

Be Up Front About Pain

Parents generally have success with kids by taking one of two approaches when facing shots and other painful procedures. They can either distract the child with toys, blankets and other items from home, or they can discuss with the children that fact that they are likely to experience a small amount of pain but will feel better in the long run. When talking to your child, emphasize the fact that he will receive a treat, such as a sucker or some type of good consequence, after enduring the brief amount of pain.

Embrace Psychology

Children develop memories and anticipate experiences based on associations. If your child thinks of a doctor’s visit solely as an uncomfortable experience, then he’ll begin to dread making the trip. Start him off on the right foot by always rewarding him in some fashion after a successful visit.

Make the Environment Your Own

kidsChildren often feel uncomfortable during a doctor’s visit simply because they are in new surroundings. No matter how much you explain to them the reasons behind the visit, the pure “newness” of the experience can cause problems. Avoid that sense of isolation by taking the time to show your child around the waiting room and help him explore the actual office so he can see everything is OK and that there is nothing to fear.

Humanize It

The doctor is technically a stranger who can be intimidating. One great way to get past this is to ask your doctor to temporarily ditch the white coat, at least for the first few visits, until your child gets used to the doctor’s methods and personality. Seeing a helpful person in street clothes can be a little more relaxing for some kids than dealing with somebody in a cold white uniform.

Schedule Early Visits

The longer a child has to anticipate the visit throughout the day, the greater the possibility that she’ll come to dread the task. Make your appointment as early in the day as possible so that the activity can be over and done with, allowing her to file the experience away and go about her day.

Prepare for a Wait

Parents often must face a wait before the doctor is able to get to them. Children easily become impatient, which can lead to bad behavior quickly. The longer they must wait without anything to keep their attention, the more negative the experience is likely to be. Bring juice boxes, snacks and favorite toys to help pass the time without incident. Be sure to check with the office about their policies regarding food and drinks prior to your first appointment though. It could make bad things worse if you pull out your child’s favorite snack only to be forced to have to put it away.

The Big Helper

Children love to be assistants in all situations. Using this fact to your advantage when visiting the doctor can be as simple as allowing them to “help” fill out forms before entering the actual office. Other tasks to get them involved can come through informing the doctor of your strategy. The more involved the child is in the process of maintaining his own health, the better.

Allow Them to Express Themselves

Younger children can find a visit to the doctor to be easier when they can project their feelings outwardly. An easy way of allowing them to do this is to let them bring stuffed animals or imaginary friends who may also being “feeling ill.” Encourage the child to comfort this friend before entering the office (which actually allows him to comfort himself). Some doctors will even be happy to offer your child’s stuffed friend an exam of its own.

Family Support

Kids need support in situations where they feel vulnerable. One parent may not be enough. If possible, schedule an appointment when both parents can be at the child’s side. He’ll feel as if he has greater strength and is in a safer environment when the entire family unit is present.

Submitted by Isabella Harris at Nanny Jobs