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The 20 Top Benefits of Tea

We all know that tea leaves make a great brew for drinking both hot and cold, with or without milk or sugar. Some prefer lemon in their tea, or a chai massala. Here are a few uses for tea:

1. The first tip is one I often used with my children when they lost a tooth. If you have had a tooth pulled or a child has lost a tooth to stop bleeding, place i a dry clean tea-bag. Bite down gently. It will stop the bleeding and form a clot.

2. An astringent/skin toner: The tannin in tea makes an excellent astringent. Simply wipe a wet tea bag over your face.

3. Razor Burn: Tea bag will relieve the pain!

4. Cure canker sores: Place a wet tea-bag directly over the canker sore for several minutes. The tannin in the tea will draw out the moisture and dry it so that it will heal.

5. Infected cut: Soak a tea bag in cool water and place it over the site of injection to relieve the pain

6. Foot deodorizer: Boil a quart of water and add 6 tea-bags. Let it steep for about 15 minutes, and then let it cool completely. Pour it into a bucket and soak your feet in it for about 20-30 minutes. After this dry your feet completely and don’t wash or rinse them. The tannin in tea will close your pores, which will prevent further perspiration and it kills the bacteria which causes the odor. Also soak your tennis shoes in this tea mixture to help remove and stop the odor.

Tea is a great natural remedy for soothing sore throats, helping to loosen coughs, and terrific for upset stomachs.

7. Puffy eyes: Dip two tea bags in hot boiling water, quickly remove, allow them to cool completely then squeeze out excess water them out and apply them to your eyes for about 20 minutes. This also works if you use a used tea bag.

8. Hair rinse: Wash your hair with a cup of herbal tea after shampooing to make the hair silky and shiny

9. Ease the pain of minor burns: Allow boiled tea to cool completely and then apply it straight onto a minor burn including sunburns. The tea will act as an analgesic and relieve the pain. Do not use tea that contains honey, lemon, or milk, sugar or cream, as these may aggravate the burn.

10. Plant Fertilizer: Sprinkle tea leaves in your garden or around your plants. They work as an excellent fertilizer, and roses seem to thrive with them.

11. Tea in composting: I use used tea and also leftover tea in my compost bin as it accelerates the decomposition and creates an acid rich compost.

12. Dye fabric: Muslin fabric, or most natural fibers can be tea stained to appear aged. Brew tea same as you would to drink, or stronger for more colour, soak fabric in liquid until it appears a bit darker than you would like the fabric to be. Even soaking overnight will give a stronger colour. Black tea gives the darkest hue. Keep in mind that it will lighten as it dries. Finished items can also be tea stained in the same manner. An old blouse, or a piece of embroidery, or just about anything you can think of, can be aged in this way.

13. Make the wood shine: Clean wood furniture or wood floors with a soft cloth dipped in a freshly prepared tea to add shine to them. I alternate moppings of my teakwood kitchen floor with strong tea and white vinegar.

14. Cleaning mirrors: Dip a soft cloth into a tea solution and clean the mirrors for extra shine.

15. Potpourri: Dry tea leaves out of a teabag make a wonderful potpourri. Just dump in small dishes and place all around the home. Makes for a light, natural scent. You can add oils to the leaves if you desire.

16. Dish Detergent: Have a caked on grease cooking pan? Drop a tea bag into it and allow to soak over night. The acid in the tea helps to break down the caked on grease.

17. Tea Marbled Eggs: Infuse boiling water with tea leaves to give eggs a marbled appearance on the whites when hard boiled. Prior to the final minutes of cooking, the eggshells are slightly cracked, thus allowing the teas to seep through and create this magical “marbled” effect; either green or black teas are great for this. Spices are often added to this mixture for “Son-In-Law Eggs.”

18. Rubs: Dried leaves can add crunch and flavor for rubs to coat fish, meat or poultry or to be used as a garnish, particularly young green or white tea leaves. Smoked teas lend a deep, dark smokiness to poultry and seafood. I like using Russian Caravan or Lapsang Souchong for an extra special taste to infuse foods with a smoky quality.

19. Braising liquid: Brewed tea can be used as a braising liquid, or as a seasoning for marinades. As the base for a sauce, fruit juices gain depth of flavor with the addition of tea. A small handful of tea leaves adds an herbaceous flavor and a golden glow to cream sauces.

20. Tea in baking: Add tea to a cake or shortbread for a special taste. Melt butter with tea leaves in it, allow to stand for a few minutes and then sieve out the leaves. Chill the butter to firm and proceed with your favorite recipe for icings or cakes.

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A Buyers Guide To HDMI Cables

With High Definition devices becoming increasingly popular, it’s important to select the correct cable. But what exactly is HDMI and what do all the numbers mean.

HDMI
(High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is an audio video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data between high definition devices such as HD DVD players, HD satellite boxes and High Definition Televisions. It offers crystal clear, all-digital, audio and video signal in a single cable.

Versions
There are various versions of HDMI cable, v1.0, v1.2, v1.3a, v1.3b. The versions of 1.3 (a & b) relate to the testing specification to which the cable has been certified and do not necessarily offer increased functionality.

All newer versions are fully backwards compatible with older versions. The HDMI licensing authority is currently working with manufacturers to focus on features and de-emphasize version numbers to help reduce customer confusion. The features fall into three categories:

Standard and High Speed refer to the two types of HDMI cables and can be used with 1080i and 780p devices. High Speed HDMI cables can be used for 1080p devices such as Blu -ray players and PS3 gaming consoles.
Deep Colour, this refers to Television and monitors that can display more colours than standard .
X.V Colour, this offers an expanded, or wider range of colours which can not usually be displayed on a TV.

What to Look For.
When buying HDMI cables there are certain things to look out for. Ferrite EMI Suppressors are important for reducing electro magnetical interference, they are round barrel shaped coils usually found on either end of the cable. Shielded or even double and triple shielded cables improve quality. Gold plated connectors don not have a massive effect on image quality, but they do reduce oxidization.

Cable length
HDMI cable specification does not define a maximum cable length, but due to attenuation there is a limit as to how long a HDMI lead can successfully transmit the signal. Build quality and the material greatly affect the overall length an HDMI cable can be used without losing quality. A safe limit for no loss of quality would be around 7.5M. Higher quality cables can be used up to 20M. Amplifiers are available to increase the distance a signal can travel without deteriorating.

How Much To Spend
Most equipment manufacturers will supply a basic cable in the box; this cable is intended to get you up and running. The most cost effective upgrade you can make is to spend a few pounds on a good quality HDMI cable. It is pointless spending 1500 pounds on a 42 inch TV and then 5 pounds on a cable. Budget cables are fine, but generally the more you spend the better quality you can expect. A good rule of thumb would be to spend around 5% of the cost of your TV.

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Entertaining In a Hurry with Gourmet Snacks

Entertaining In a Hurry with Gourmet Snacks

Spontaneity is a good thing, but sometimes trying to accomplish something on the spur of the moment proves to be a challenge. When you’re expecting last minute guests, or putting together a just-planned party, one great trick to have up your sleeve is having plenty of gourmet snacks on hand.

With little or no time to plan, shop, or cook, knowing that there are some tasty tidbits ready to go in your home is a big stress reliever. There are a lot of packaged items that people often keep in their pantry. If you want to be able to impress your guests, make sure that some of those items aren’t boring or expected. Gourmet snacks, cheese snacks, and nuts become more interesting if they aren’t the kind you see on the shelves everywhere, or eat frequently.

Consider stocking up on the following items:

Cheese snacks: Forget plain crackers. No need to keep fresh cheese on hand. This type of cracker item provides it’s own cheesy flavor. They are great on their own or perfect for toppings, which leads us to the next item to have ready.

Gourmet spreads: Spreads that are in a jar have a long shelf life. Pop them open when you have only moments, and it’s a flavorful departure from mundane. They go great with cheese snacks, but are also good on breads. Look for sun-dried tomato spread, olive tapenade, mushroom spreads, or even roasted red pepper topping.

Nuts: Think beyond peanuts. Cans of wasabi almonds, honeyed cashews, or even exotic mixes are gourmet snacks that make for quick and easy finger food.

Dried Fruit: On their own, dried fruits are little more than a healthy nibble. Mix them with nuts, or use them on a cream-cheese spread and you have some easy appetizers to pull out at the last minute. Serve dried cranberries or figs and suddenly the cracker and cheese spread combo has gone gourmet!

While a last minute event may not have the same pizzazz as one you’ve planned for weeks in advance, it is possible to entertain without potato chips and onion dip. Making sure your home is supplied with some gourmet snacks makes entertaining easier. It can also help keep people from starving when you do want to take time to prepare a more elaborate dish.

Saving time and effort with easy finger food can make the thought of spontaneous entertaining seem a little less intimidating.

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Selecting the Best Accessories for Your Cell Phone

Selecting the Best Accessories for Your Cell Phone

Communication is essential in today’s busy world. Everywhere you turn, people are talking, texting blogging and surfing the Internet on their cell phones. With increased use, functionality and popularity, cell phone accessories were created to make toting around your portable device and staying connected 24/7 easier than ever before.

The Types of Cell Phone Accessories

When people hear the phrase, cell phone accessories, they often think of cases, covers and aesthetic additions to the cell phone. Cell phone accessories are not limited to aesthetics. There are many choices in the accessory market that prove more functional than beautiful.

For the MP3 compatible phone, there are accessories to listen to the music through your car speakers, portable speakers and charging devices that are essential due to the battery spent while listening to music. This is just one example of cell phone accessories that are more functional, common categories include batteries, Bluetooth, cases, clips, car chargers, home chargers, USB cables, car kits, mounts, wireless kits, downloads, applications and more.

How to Choose the Best Accessories

The first step in choosing the best cell phone accessories is understanding the model number of your phone. There are phone names and then there are model numbers. The Motorola Razr, for instance, is a phone name. Under that name there are many different models. The V3i offers integrated iTunes and will require an additional battery or portable charger on a regular basis. Other Razr models will not fit the same accessories as the V3i, or other Razr model numbers.

Once you know the name and model number of your cell phone, many manufacturers and online retailers will list the available accessories. Just because an accessory is available for one cell phone does not mean it will be available for every cell phone. This means researching the accessories available for a cell phone before choosing the phone may be a money saving option in the long run.

Another huge factor in choosing the accessories for your cell phone is your daily life. If you use your cell phone in the car, a car mount will increase safety. If you use your phone only occasionally, a Bluetooth earpiece may not be something you will benefit from. The idea is to ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I do with my cell phone every day?
  • Do my activities require additional battery life?
  • Am I using my cell phone to its full capacity?
  • Is the accessory cost going to be recouped in ease of use?
  • Will I use the accessory every day?

Cell phones are available all over the world; keeping people connected to each other 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This constant connection and the huge increases in network speeds and connectivity between the Internet and the cell phone point toward the accessory market. The more your phone can do the more accessories available to make that cell phone and your use of the cell phone, all the easier and more productive.

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The Rich Dad Poor Dad Review

The Rich Dad Poor Dad Review

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a New York Times best-selling book on financial knowledge by Robert Kiyosaki. Originally self-published in 1997, this book only caught the attention of a major publisher after the author has promoted it in seminar circuits. This Rich Dad Poor Dad review is a brief look at the ideas presented in the book such as financial know-how and the ability to free one’s self from running the unending rat race and working hard for money. The book gained much popularity since its release in 2001 and has been used and endorsed by financial experts and advisers. This Rich Dad Poor Dad review is spurred from this fact and the phenomenal wave of financial power it brought about that swept many countries and inspired many people. The book’s writing is simple and free from financial jargons. It is suitable reading for people from different backgrounds.

The book is largely based on Robert Kiyosaki’s life growing up in Hawaii. It started out with Kiyosaki narrating his experience as a young boy with “two dads”, both very influential to him. One is his biological dad which he refers to as his “poor dad” and the other is his bestfriend’s dad, his “rich dad”. His “poor dad” was highly educated but grappled for money all his life and died leaving behind debts to be paid while his “rich dad” never finished eighth grade but became one of the richest people in Hawaii. Both had opposing views on money and success which created confusion in Kiyosaki as a young boy since both dads at the time we’re both still starting out financially. But this made him curious and intrigued at the same time. This eventually taught him to choose for himself which views made more sense and which would work best for him.

Throughout the book, Kiyosaki compares his two dads- their financial views and principles. His poor dad was less dynamic and did not have a strong business sense. He believed in getting a good education and then a good job. His rich dad believed in empowering one’s self through financial literacy to be able to have more money and avoid the vicious cycle of waking up, going to work and paying bills. The following are the insights introduced by the rich dad and which have been instilled in Kiyosaki’s young mind from then on:

Financial skill is not taught in school but is learned at home and if parents are not financially literate, that is what is passed on to the children.Financial education is power.Exercising the mind and sharpening its knowledge on making money.Maintaining a mindset of a rich man notwithstanding financial setbacks.Not working for money but to work in order to learn and make money work to one’s advantage.Confront the fear of money by thinking and not reacting emotionally.Accounting, made simple, is an important subject to learn in order to get rich.Importance of knowing the difference between assets (which one should acquire and have more of) and liabilitiesThis Rich Dad Poor Dad review has summed up the learnings that Kiyosaki has chronicled in his book and contends that Rich Dad Poor Dad is a useful manual for people struggling to understand how money works and how it can work to their advantage and ultimately, acquire money to live a financially successful life.

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Birthday Presents – Give Classic Gifts

Birthday Presents - Give Classic Gifts

Everyone knows one or two people who are great at finding the best presents for each birthday. If you are not blessed with their shopping abilities, then you probably need a little help finding birthday presents that people actually like opening.

The whole point of giving presents is to let the person know how much they mean to you, so you most likely are trying to shy away from always getting that masked look of disgust each year.

With a little help, you can make your presents be well received each year. All you have to do is go with classic gifts.

One of the best things to give as birthday presents each year are dvds. Even if you are not sure what the new hip movie is this year, just go with a classic choice and you will be fine.

For children, all you have to do is pick up one of the older Disney cartoon movies. Because it is older, they will most likely have not seen it yet, but they will love it once they do.

For adults, you can go with some of the classic holiday movies or just the classic movies in general. People really can never have enough movies in their collections.

Another great classic gift you can gift for birthdays is chocolate. This makes great birthday presents for children and adults, just like the movies did. For adults, you can get some of those great chocolates filled with liquor or even just some of the really decadent ones.

You will want to make the chocolate be shaped into fun characters for the kids because they will have fun eating them. Another classic gift you can give almost any adult is wine, liquor or champagne. This is great if you are on a budget because they make a lot of really nice products that are inexpensive these days.

Ornaments also make great birthday presents because they serve as a reminder each year. This is because the recipient will use the ornament, so when they seeit on display, they will remember that you gave it to them and will think fondly of you and your relationship with them.

Going with classic gifts is a great way to turn yourself into a better gift giver.

In order to turn yourself into a great gift giver, all you need to do is take a few minutes and really think about the person. Ask yourself what their interests are and what means a lot to them in their lives.

However, you do not have to be a master at giving gifts if you just give classic birthday presents.

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It’s All About Woks

A wok is one of the most versatile tools you can have when it comes to fast, flavorful food. There are some basic wok skills that you will need though in order to turn a great stir-fried meal. Otherwise, you could end up with a mushy, pale mess that isn’t very appetizing.

It’s All in the Heat!
If you don’t have the heat high enough, the food won’t cook quickly. The fast cooking allows the vegetables to retain their bright colors and some crunch, while proteins will have that “quick-flashed” taste. However, you don’t just have to watch the heat at the beginning. Before you add a new ingredient, you’ll need to let the wok return to its high temperature.

So, how hot should your wok be before you begin? If the wok is smoking, it’s ready. Stir-frying, when done properly, will probably smoke up your kitchen, but it’s certainly worth it in the end.

Types of Woks
There are different kinds of woks according to your needs. There are electric wok, round bottomed wok and carbon steel wok. Round bottomed wok is best use for gas stoves. You may want t buy wok support ring to allow the wok to stay on the gas burner as usual wok is not fitted to the actual gas burner it self. Carbon Steel wok is inexpensive and can be bought below $20.

How To Cook With Wok

Cooking with a Wok
Before you are ready to get your wok hot, you will want to prepare the ingredients. You can use a variety of vegetables, proteins, sauces, and aromatics. Your veggies can be the highlight of your dish or the proteins can be. It’s all up to you. Peppers, onions, corn, squash, green beans, peas all add a great splash of flavor and color. Chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, crab and other small bits of protein cook quickly and thoroughly, so be careful not to overcook the proteins too much. You will end up with a rubbery texture.

To start with, put some little oil. Sesame oil is an example of good oil for cooking with vegetables. Let it get smoking hot and put your meat and cook until almost done. If you wan to remove the meat, set it aside and allow the wok to be in high heat again to cook your vegetables. Then, if the vegetables are cooked but still crisp you may add the meat again and in a couple of minutes, your own stir-fried meal version is ready to be served.

For most stir-fried meals, it is best served with rice. That is why it is important to have your rice prepared beforehand. If you wish to add rice to your wok, it would be better to use a day old rice to avoid having a sticky stir-fried meal. Having a wok at home and knowing how to cook with your wok is like having a stir-fried meal from one of your favorite restaurants, of course with much savings as it is cheaper to eat at home than the usual fine dine restaurants. Have a rice cooker with your or a crock pot. This gadget can be used to create a perfect plate of rice and also for other dishes like stews. You may search online for other crock pot recipes for more added twist on your stir-fried meals.

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Personal Productivity – How Your Daydreams Can Fuel Your Future Success

Personal Productivity - How Your Daydreams Can Fuel Your Future Success

Personal productivity requires a very special kind of support. Draw deeply from the wells of your imagination, to originate winning ideas and exciting art. By doing so, you join legions of successful artists and entrepreneurs. Next time you catch yourself harshly cut short a daydream, give some thought as to how you can actually utilize daydreams to move you forward in your life.

Research indicates that people generally daydream for a large part of their day. Doesn’t it make sense then, to allow your mind to dwell upon the things you love, like your originality and your artistic impulses?

Smart Artists Journey Inward.

Daydreaming, like flowing water, carries you around apparent obstacles. Your right brain conceives of new patterns and possibilities. How helpful this is when challenges, like marketing, entering competitions, and technical concerns threaten to paralyze you.

Remember, if you daydream, that you are in very good company! Here are just a few well-known individuals who owe their success largely to creative daydreaming…

Wikipedia.com states, “Therapist Dan Jones looked at patterns in how people achieved success from entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Peter Jones, to geniuses like Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci. Jones also looked at the thinking style of successful creative people like Beethoven and Walt Disney. What he found was that they all had one thing in common. They all spent time daydreaming about their area of success.”

It is said that Thomas Edison took a 20-minute nap each day to daydream about his inventions. And more recently, one of the most successful and innovative corporations, 3M, is known for giving many of its employees a fully paid hour every weekday to daydream, doze, or engage in whatever they choose. They have learned that their daydreamers return to their work refreshed and more productive.

Take Time to Envision a Clear Path Into Your Painting.

Let your mind wander as you select a subject to paint. Invite your imagination to guide you. Then, allow the basic design to expand and transform. Play with it! And ask yourself:

1. What is your center of interest?

2. What is the dominant color?

3. Does it appear to be close to you or far away?

4. Is the image sharp and easy to identify?

5. What are the supporting colors and objects?

Nurture Your Aspirations by Envisioning Inspiring Success.

Begin each day with thoughts of a pleasant experience. What a gift to give yourself!

You can visualize something you’ve already experienced or richly imagine your dreams and desires. In this space, there is no one horning in on your daydreams and creativity.

Your daydreams can take you as far and as high as you can imagine. You are unfettered and confident.

Do you remember an exceptionally rewarding time? Maybe it was when you sold a painting before the picture was even hung or the show had begun. Would you like to experience that feeling again? Daydream about that special moment and then jot down the steps needed to enjoy a fresh success like that again.

Draw Upon Your Resourcefulness During Major Life Changes.

Everyone encounters setbacks and apparent dead ends. During these times, it’s especially important to tap your wellsprings of creativity. You may find it difficult to remain focused on goals and how to achieve them when everything seems turned upside down. In stressful times, you may find your emotions hard to adjust to. This is an ideal time for daydreaming.

In other words, daydreaming makes bad times bearable and even opens up life-giving possibilities. In good times, daydreaming relaxes you and helps you retain the big picture. So, use your daydreams to imagine a more capable and confident you, art that stretches you, and successful solutions to troublesome problems.

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What’s So Great About Mattress Covers?

What's So Great About Mattress Covers?

If you are like most people, you get around six to eight hours of sleep every night. Over the course of time, those hours add up. In fact, the average human will spend around one-third of their life in bed, asleep. Since you spend so much time in bed, it is important that you keep your mattress as clean and comfortable as possible. Impermeable mattress covers and fitted sheets are a perfect way to prevent water and mold damage, dust mites, bed bugs, and other mattress-related issues that might hinder a good night’s sleep.

The benefits of using an impermeable mattress cover are numerous and varied. One of the most obvious reasons to cover your mattress is to prevent water damage and, consequently, mold damage. Water damage isn’t limited to the occasional spill in bed. Rain from an open window can also accumulate over time and cause prolonged damage. Mold and mildew can grow on an uncovered mattress in cool, damp environments and be quite a pain to get rid of. And parents know that it is definitely worth investing in a mattress cover if you have young children. Bed-wetting and accidents are the most common reasons parents throw away mattresses otherwise in good condition.

Mattress covers are also a great way to increase the longevity of your mattress. Impermeable covers are invaluable tools in keeping your mattress clean and like new. Most mattresses are thrown away because of simple wear-and-tear type damage. Mattress covers help prevent this damage and extend the life of your mattress.

Impermeable mattress covers help decrease allergy attacks among seasonal allergy sufferers. Pet dander is one the biggest contributing factors to common seasonal allergies. Dust and pet dander can build up in a mattress over time and aggravate allergy symptoms. By encasing your mattress in an impermeable cover, however, you prevent pet dander and dust build-up and lower the risk of serious allergic attacks.

Dust mites are another major reason to invest in impermeable mattress covers. A two-year-old mattress can be home anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites, and while the mites themselves are harmless, their shed skin and fecal matter can cause bronchial irritation and inflammation in asthma and allergy sufferers. Mattress covers prevent mite infestation by cutting off their primary food source -shed human skin cells.

A far more serious reason to invest in an impermeable mattress cover is the rise of bed bug infestations happening today. Bed bugs are very small parasites that thrive in temperate climates and feed off the blood of humans. They are primarily active at dawn, and are common in most every part of the world. Bed bugs inject an oily, odiforous liquid into the skin of the host it is feeding from, causing swelling, itching, and other irritating skin conditions. A female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs during her lifetime. These eggs take approximately one to two weeks to hatch, and the hatchlings begin feeding immediately. Bed bugs take around four to five weeks to reach maturity, at which point they become reproductively active and start the whole cycle again.

Because bed bugs are extremely resilient in all stages of life, it can be fairly difficult and frustrating to get rid of an infestation. The best way to deal with bed bugs is to not let them take over your mattress to begin with. Impermeable mattress covers help keep bed bugs populations down immensely. Like dust mites, bed bugs need their human hosts to survive. By using an impermeable mattress cover or fitted sheet you effectively cut off their food sources, eliminating a large portion of the population.

Mattress covers exist in a number with varying features. Impermeable mattress covers made of non-organic materials are the most effective you can buy. Look for covers that are also waterproof as this will keep the moisture and dampness away from the mattress. Try to avoid mattress covers with zippers as dust mites and bed bugs are often small enough to crawl through zipper openings, no matter how slight.

A good mattress cover will help increase the longevity of your mattress and provide a clean, mite- and bed-bug-free place for you to get those much needed hours of sleep.

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Tough Love: Helping Your Dog Lose Weight

Tough Love: Helping Your Dog Lose Weight

There are a number of different factors that can cause a dog to become overweight. Overindulgence on the part of the owner plays a large part in pet obesity. We all want our pets to be happy, and sometimes an extra handful of kibble does the trick. Certain breeds of dogs are also more likely to eat quickly and/or become overweight. Additionally, basic poor eating habits and a lack of exercise will result in an overweight dog.

Why Worry About Dog Obesity?
Like humans, excessive weight in dogs can lead to health problems like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Studies show that 25% of overweight dogs suffer from severe joint problems which ultimately lead to decreased activity, further contributing to a long-list of other health problems. Obese dogs are found to have significantly shorter life expectancies than healthier dogs. It is therefore very important to take control of a pet’s weight problem before it becomes out of control.

How Can I Tell?
To understanding whether your dog is overweight, look at its ribs. You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs when they are standing, and, depending on the breed, see the ribs during exercise. If you are still unsure whether your dog is overweight, ask your veterinarian to provide you with a good weight range for your dog and an assessment of their overall health.

Over 40% of American dog owners have an overweight pet. That is a large number but luckily there are some easy to follow, basic steps you can take to bring down Fido’s weight in a healthy and easy manner.

1. Visit The Vet
Before making any changes to your pet’s diet, schedule a veterinarian appointment so that an overall assessment of your dog’s health can be taken. Keep a simple record of your dog’s sleeping, eating, and playing habits before you go to help your vet assess what may be causing any weight gain.

2. Re-evaluate Your Dog’s Diet
Reducing the amount of food your dog eats may be the key to reducing their weight. Dog owners should measure how much food they feed their dog regularly and then set a goal for reducing that amount by a certain date. You should check with your veterinarian to determine how much food your dog needs daily and slowly reduce the amount of food over an appropriate amount of time. Dog bowls that restrict the open space in the dog bowl, such as the DogPause Bowl, are useful both for slowing down dogs who eat their food quickly and for clearly showing how much food is in the bowl.

Your vet may also recommend a weight reduction dog food. These dog foods are usually low in fat, but high in fiber, allowing your dog to feel full while taking in fewer calories. When shopping for low-calorie dog food, look for one containing at least 25% crude protein. This will ensure your dog’s muscle mass remains intact throughout weight loss.

3. Set Feeding Times
Dogs like consistency and predictability. They may have become accustomed to getting food whenever you come home. In this case, they have associated your attention with getting food. To help your dog lose weight, try setting out two feeding times, one in the morning and another in the evening. This will help them eat slower twice a day.

4. Don’t Reward With Food Alone
As you cut down on the amount you feed your dog, your dog may start to beg or become irritable. Distract your dog by taking him or her for a walk or playing fetch rather than giving into their begging. This will help teach them that food doesn’t equate with love. Plus, all overweight dogs can use some extra play time.