Monthly Archives: March 2016

No Dogs Allowed? Alternative Pets

A lot of times people get hung up on the misconception that only cats, dogs  and gerbils can be pets. If you’re looking to go against the status quo, I have some top alternative picks for you!

1.       Fancy rats

Turns out rats aren’t just for causing a ruckus or helping with science experiments! Fancy rats are domesticated brown rats that are super smart and affectionate. Due to its intellect, you can teach this fuzzy friend how to do some pretty cool tricks – like hang out on your shoulder or ride along in your bag!

2.      Hedgehogs

Hedgies are adorable, playful quilled friends. These little guys are known to become very attached to their owners if they are socialized with often. Thought to be quiet creatures, these tiny buddies are known to grunt, snort and purr when exploring their environments.

3.      Skunks

Once their glands are removed, you can stop holding your nose. Be careful, though: A number of states have these fuzzy guys listed as illegal to keep as pets. Contrary to popular belief, skunks require a ton of attention and are likely to turn into “lap skunks” to ensure they are getting the attention they deserve. These highly intelligent creatures can also be potty-trained in multiple ways. You can train them to go outside, use a puppy pad or even a litter box.  

4.      Bearded Dragons

Beardies are great reptiles for beginners. Each one has a unique personality all its own. They typically enjoy being handled; however, if your bearded friend ever starts getting aggressive, be sure to get a pair of garden gloves and continue interacting with it to correct the negative behavior. Once a bond has been formed, they are likely to use their endearing wave to greet you!

5.      Tarantula

I know, I know. Spider. Scary. Biting. But these guys are very cool, unique pets! They are low maintenance, but they do need their cages cleaned occasionally. These fuzzy eight-legged pals are also odorless. Biting is a concern, but most don’t bite and oftentimes medical attention isn’t necessary when bitten. Plus, they can show signs of affection and comfort! When they shoot webs in your presence, which means they are comfortable with you (which, in turn, probably means they won’t bite you).

 

Paw-fect buddies for cuddling and lounging

It’s easy to feel alone when you’re always on the go. Perhaps that’s why so many have opted for furry friends to cuddle after a long day at work! If you’re considering a fuzzy buddy, it’s important keep your ideal activity level in mind.

High-energy dogs are more likely to become destructive when they don’t have the proper outlets and are therefore often deemed “bad dogs.” To avoid that dilemma, I’ve found five of the laziest (or, the more preferred term, “low energy”) breeds that might be ideal if you’re interested in long days, hanging out on the couch with your wet-nosed friend.

  1. Greyhounds

I know what you’re thinking: “How is a dog that is bred for racing a low-energy dog?” Turns out these quick sprinters would typically rather be hanging out on the couch. A great thing about Greyhounds is that many are available to be adopted after their racing careers, so it would be easy to create an entire clan of these lovable couch potatoes!

  1. Pugs

These piles of dough are fantastic loungers. With their squished faces and wiggly corkscrew tails, these guys are stoked to hang out on the couch after a long day at the office. Be careful not to over exercise your round friend, however. That squished face can make breathing more difficult.

  1. Bulldogs

Another squishy-faced friend means more light walks, but it also means more cuddles! You have to deal with some drool, but this pal with a wiggly butt will be excited to “Netflix and Chill” any night of the week.

  1. Basset Hounds

These flappy skinned love muffins are technically medium energy dogs, but that just means you should probably visit a dog park with them during the weekends. Other than that, these floppy eared comrades are happy to spend their days in bed curled up next to you. The only down fall is that you might accidentally use up all your sick days because it is hard to say goodbye those eyes!

  1. Glen of Imaal Terriers

Technically another medium energy dog, these gentle friends just need a bit more time on walks to burn away the energy. Once the walk is out of the way, this scraggly character is ready to bond in bed with a movie and ice cream.

Though these pups are known for their laid-back behavior, that doesn’t mean other “higher energy” dogs can’t possess the same character. Purebred dogs are cute and more predictable, but that certainly doesn’t mean your perfect match isn’t at your local shelter.

 

No Dogs Allowed? Alternative Pet Ideas

A lot of times people get hung up on the misconception that only cats, dogs and gerbils can be pets. If you’re looking to go against the status quo, I have some top alternative picks for you!

1.       Fancy rats

Turns out rats aren’t just for causing a ruckus or helping with science experiments! Fancy rats are domesticated brown rats that are super smart and affectionate. Due to its intellect, you can teach this fuzzy friend how to do some pretty cool tricks – like hang out on your shoulder or ride along in your bag!

2.      Hedgehogs

Hedgies are adorable, playful quilled friends. These little guys are known to become very attached to their owners if they are socialized with often. Thought to be quiet creatures, these tiny buddies are known to grunt, snort and purr when exploring their environments. 

3.      Skunks

Once their glands are removed, you can stop holding your nose. Be careful, though: A number of states have these fuzzy guys listed as illegal to keep as pets. Contrary to popular belief, skunks require a ton of attention and are likely to turn into “lap skunks” to ensure they are getting the attention they deserve. These highly intelligent creatures can also be potty-trained in multiple ways. You can train them to go outside, use a puppy pad or even a litter box.

4.      Bearded Dragons

Beardies are great reptiles for beginners. Each one has a unique personality all its own. They typically enjoy being handled; however, if your bearded friend ever starts getting aggressive, be sure to get a pair of garden gloves and continue interacting with it to correct the negative behavior. Once a bond has been formed, they are likely to use their endearing wave to greet you!

5.      Tarantula

I know, I know. Spider. Scary. Biting. But these guys are very cool, unique pets! They are low maintenance, but they do need their cages cleaned occasionally. These fuzzy eight-legged pals are also odorless. Biting is a concern, but most don’t bite and oftentimes medical attention isn’t necessary when bitten. Plus, they can show signs of affection and comfort! When they shoot webs in your presence, which means they are comfortable with you (which, in turn, probably means they won’t bite you).

What to do when you have the flu?

If you’ve ever had the flu, you can attest that it’s a miserable experience. Your muscles and joints ache; you have pain and tiredness around your eyes; you have a sense of weakness or extreme fatigue; and any assortment of a headache, fever, dry cough, sore throat and a runny nose. It makes it sound like a common cold, but it’s much worse.

 It’s a good thing February has passed because that is the most common month to get the flu. However, that doesn’t mean we are in the clear just yet! The lingering sufferers are still able to pass germs to the healthy!

 If you’ve been unfortunate enough to turn into a virus incubator, don’t fret! There are a few things you can do to help promote viral eviction:

·         Get plenty of rest.

o This might be obvious, but the flu makes you extremely tired. Don’t fight your body. I know you have to work, but you won’t be able to get work done if you can’t pay attention.

·         Increase your fluid intake.

o   Another obvious solution, but you will need all the fluids you can get. Water, sports drinks, soup, etc.

·         Sweat.

o   Sweat as much as you can. You can use a sauna or a steam room. Sweat in whatever way you can, but don’t exercise. Exercise will only hurt you while you’re trying to heal.

·         If possible, within 24 hours, get an antiviral from your doctor.

o   This can help you feel better sooner and minimize symptoms. Continue to take it easy, though. You might feel better, but your body is still in battle.

·         Dip into some Oil of Oregano.

o   Oregano contains chemicals that might help reduce cough and spasms. Oregano also might help digestion by increasing bile flow and fighting against some bacteria, viruses, fungi, intestinal worms and other parasites.

o   One drop in 8 oz. of water every few hours might help.

Vermont Vacation

Some of my favorite escapes this time of the year come when I can sneak away for a vacation in Vermont. A place where 75 percent of the state is covered in forests and billboards are illegal provides the perfect place for me to unwind.

Aside from hikers, adventure seekers and skiers, Vermont isn’t often thought of as an ideal vacation location. News flash: it absolutely is – unless you are unwilling to give up fast food. Vermont’s state capital (Montpelier) doesn’t even have a McDonald’s, and there are only 20 in the entire state.

If you’ve ever been to Portland 0r Seattle, you’ve probably been inspired by the friendly community, creative culture and abundance of fresh, organic food. Vermont is the Seattle of the Northeast. It is top ranked for happy, healthy and educated people. As of 2009, there were 543 organic farms in the state. That’s not all, though! To protect the dairy industry, it is illegal for restaurants to use margarine without stating on the menu that the margarine is artificially colored in 2 inch font. 

A must-see is Sugarbush Farms. It has beautiful grounds that are perfect from strolling and it has free cheese and syrup samples for visitors! Yum!

There are also a number of inns and hotels to stay at, but if you get the chance try to stay a night at Homestyle Hostel. It is beautifully decorated with an internal environment to match.

Have you been to Vermont? If so, tell me about some of your favorite stops in the comments!