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How To Prepare For Vacation When You Have A Pet

How To Prepare For Vacation When You Have A Pet

Preparing for a trip out of town is simple enough when you live on your own. Things like setting the thermostat and packing the belongings you need for your travels are relatively easy tasks to complete. However, when you’ve chosen to be a pet parent, your vacation preparation gets a bit more complicated.

From identifying your pet’s unique needs to addressing each need with an effective solution, preparing your pets for your vacation is often times more difficult than preparing yourself for your vacation. If you’re a new pet owner embarking on your first tip out of town while leaving your pet at home, there are several simple steps you should take to make sure your pet will be well taken care of while you’re away.

There will be times that you can take your pet with you, but there will be other times that you cannot. If you’re not sure whether or not you should bring your pet with you, The Humane Society has an excellent guide with tips to help you.

If you’ve determined that your pet will not be going with you on your trip, check out this list of tips on what you should do to prepare your pet for your time away.

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1. Chat with your vet about your pet’s needs

Depending on the type of pet you have, its specific breed and its unique personality, your pet’s needs will vary while you’re away. If you’re yet to leave your pet alone, check in with your vet before your trip to determine what preparations you should make. For cats, you usually won’t need much more than a pet sitter who stops by to check food and water and maybe even change out the litter box. For dogs, things can get a bit more complicated.

If you have a dog whose breed needs high maintenance by nature or simply has a personality that requires more attention, your vet might recommend looking into your options for leaving your pet with a friend or family member, or even leaving your pet at a boarding establishment during your trip.

Ask around to see if your friends know of a boarding service they might be recommend. If your initial efforts to find a boarding service through friends and family fails, check out Rover.com to search boarding services in your area.

2. Enlist help

Even if you and your vet determine that your pet is pretty low maintenance, it will still be best to arrange for someone to come in and check on your pet while you’re away. It might be tempting to leave a low maintenance pet like a cat alone with a large bowl of food and water while you’re away, but your pet will appreciate having someone stop by and make sure he or she is doing alright.

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Ask around to see if a trusted friends or family member might be able to stop by a handful of times while you’re away. If none of your friends or family members are available to care for your pet while you’re away, look into your options for hiring a professional pet sitter. There are online services that can match you with affordable options for pet sitters in your area.

Before you leave, be sure to provide your pet sitter with detailed instructions about your pet’s care.

3. Automate food and water bowls

If you’re able to leave your pet at home with arrangements for a pet sitter to stop by on occasion, it might be difficult to know exactly when your sitter will be stopping by to give your pet food and water. This can be a bit of a problem given that most pets are creatures of habit. According to the experts at CC Animal Clinic, it’s important to keep your pet’s food on a consistent schedule while you’re away. The best way to do this is to set a feeder that feeds your animal at a given time each day, regardless of time your sitter is able to stop by and check on your pet.

Petsmart and PetCo offer a lot of great options for automated pet feeders. Before you set the feeder, be sure to check feeding guidelines for your pet to make sure you’re not over or underfeeding your pet. My Sweet Dogs offers up a solid feeding guide for dogs. CatInfo.org provides a great guide for cat owners.

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4.Clean up

The pet experts at Canidae recommend removing “temptations” that might encourage bad behavior in your pet while you’re away. For example, leaving shoes out for dogs to chew on might leave you with an unpleasant surprise when you get home. Or leaving a pile of clothing out while you’re away might tempt your cats to lay on and shed all over them while you’re gone.

Before you leave for your trip, be sure to pick up around your home. Focus on stowing away anything that your pet has a proven track record of getting into.

5. Leave a comfy bed or blanket out

One of the most important things to remember when you leave your pet home alone is that he or she might get a little lonely. One way you can help your pet feel a little more comfortable while you’re away is to leave a comfy bed or blanket out.

You could leave this bed or blanket in a nice sunny spot by a window to allow your pet to enjoy a view of the outside and a little sun while he or she waits for you to get home. Some pet experts even recommend heating up a cloth rice bag and placing it in the bed or blanket during colder months so that your pet has a warm and comforting spot to hang out while you’re away. You could even leave it in your sitter’s instructions to rewarm the rice bag and place it back in your pet’s spot again when they come by.

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Hopefully these tips will help you prepare for your first time leaving your pet alone while you leave town. If you have any questions, ask away in the comments below!

 

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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