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How To Keep Your Pets Warm In Winter.

How To Keep Your Pets Warm In Winter.

Our pets are our great friends. It doesn’t matter if you’re a cat lover or a dog lover, having a pet back home waiting for you can be comforting in this modern age. We indulge in the fact of having someone waiting for us at home after a long days work. It’s a pleasurable feeling to be back to a living being that indulges on the mere fact that we are home.

Unlike us humans, our pets are more affected by our seasonal changes compared to us. We are constantly protected, we shed our clothes to minimalism when necessary or we add on layers like an onion. However, our pet’s aren’t as flexible, they may go through some shedding process during the summer and their fur may be thicker during the winter but they aren’t as liberated as us.

During winter it could be the hardest for our furry friends, so how do we keep them warm and ensure their comfort?

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As a person who’s with both a cat and a dog, it’s become a routine of winter proofing for both of my furry mates. As my dog enjoys waddling around the cold whilst my cat shrieks as soon Mr.Snow is in town. Based on various trials and errors, this article came about to help various other pet owners to keep your furry friends warm during the winters.

1. Avoid Outdoor Kenneling

Especially for dog’s, during the summers our dogs sometimes enjoy being out chasing butterflies. They enjoy being outdoors however during the nights they may snuggle by our feet. However, the major mistakes sometimes some pet owners make is practicing outdoor kenneling. Leaving your pets outside can put them in a mental stress as they lack the sense of belonging and being part of the family.

During the winters, the psychological strain can take a new direction into becoming a physical strain. Their coat often times isn’t enough to protect towards the harsh weathers, hence it’s best to ignore the outdoor kennel, better yet completely remove it and keep you lovely pet inside.

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You will be able to shelter it from the harsh weather and at the same time, you’ll be the loving family it needs to be both psychologically and physically healthy.

2. Always Keep Pet Shoes At Hand

We as humans would tend to go crazy if we were left in the house for the entire day, our pets are the same too. Sometimes we tend to prioritize differently and sometimes we feel it’s fine to keep our pets indoors all day, however scientifically it’s a known fact that both humans and animals need the time out to breath fresh air and explores a change of scenery.

One of the most important things any pet owner should remember is if the weather get’s too harsh make sure to carry with your pet mittens or better known as pet shoes. This would keep them warm and their feet protected. This tip is particularly useful for smaller dogs, as they’re much more temperature sensitive compared to larger dogs. Hence, always take on some extra pair of mittens with you.

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3. In Winter Feed Your Pets More

Food helps your body produce natural insulation. It creates heat and allows your body to warm your body up from the inside. For many pet owners, we usually have a fixed rhythm or routine on how we feed our pets. We train them to follow and adapt to that rhythm and at the same time, we also have a measurement of what we feed and how much we feed them.

However, according to seasons and temperature, our body requires a different amount of fuel to keep our energy as well as our internal insulation on par. During winter one’s body requires more fuel to provide us both energy and insulation. This same concept applies to our pets.

Hence, always keep in mind to feed them well and hydrate them enough.

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4. Constant Cuddles And Love

Winter always signifies the time of cuddles and love. We enjoy simple snuggles with our loved ones and we enjoy the coziness and comfort of being with our loved ones. That same concept applies to our pets, our pets love being loved and our pets enjoy being cuddled so why not during this winter give them the extra attention.

Sometimes we are consumed with our lives, we are constantly growing and we are constantly adapting our environment. However, within the eyes of our pets, we are the only one that plays a constant presence of attachment and love. Therefore there’s nothing that keeps them warm compared to our love and compassion.

Featured photo credit: Reader’s Digest via readersdigest.co.uk

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Last Updated on November 18, 2020

How to Be a Good Listener (And a Better Communicator)

How to Be a Good Listener (And a Better Communicator)

Listening skills aren’t easy for a lot of us, especially during a global pandemic when we’re especially stressed and easily distracted. The art of communication is more than just talking; it requires listening and paying attention. You have to learn how to be a good listener, as most of us aren’t born with it.

Every relationship you have needs communication to survive, and that takes work. The good news is that it’s not hard to learn how to be a good listener. In fact, if you’re someone who feels like you could use a brushing up on your communication skills, here are a few pointers that you can start using right away to help you have more meaningful connections in all of your relationships.

1. Validate Feelings

Have you ever had someone tell you that you’re overreacting or to stop crying during a conversation? I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard that at one point in our lives. The thing is, it doesn’t feel good to be dismissed by someone you care about, especially in times of heightened stress or intense discussion.

Feelings matter, regardless if you agree with them or not. One of the greatest things you can do for someone is to validate their feelings when you’re learning how to be a good listener. Tell them that you hear them and that you acknowledge how they feel[1]. When you do that, you’re creating a relatability element by showing you understand the other person’s feelings.

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When you can be more relatable to someone you care about, it raises the level of trust in your relationship. Back in March, when the pandemic started, my eight-year-old son was struggling with virtual learning away from his friends and school that he loved so much. There was no closure for him, and it was apparent in the way he approached is day as he refused to acknowledge school because it wasn’t physically in his classroom.

Most days included a breakdown of some kind, which was very stressful for all of us. One day he was laying on our living room couch, crying about how awful the situation was for him. “I want to go to school and see my friends. I miss my teacher. This is the worst thing ever,” he sobbed. As I watched him in that moment, I realized I had two choices: I could tell him to stop it, suck it up, and go to school, or I could get in it with him and help him understand that I, too, was experiencing the exact same feelings.

I decided to sit with him and take him in my arms, hug him, and tell him I felt the same way. That I wanted him to be in school with his friends, that I wanted him to be able to go to soccer practice and have fun, that I missed my friends, too, and that yes, you’re right, this is the worst.

Once I did that, something shifted. He looked at me with the realization that I did understand what he was going through because I had a similar experience. Demonstrating relatability, validating his feelings, and being a good listener to his needs helped us have a breakthrough in our communication.

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2. Be Present

Distraction is all around us. With lots of information being thrown at us at a million miles an hour, it’s no wonder communication in relationships can suffer. When you are in a discussion with someone you truly care about, whether it’s your life partner, a good friend, or you child, make sure you are free of distraction during your conversation.

Having little to no distraction allows you to be a better listener. It allows you to focus on the conversation and really digest the discussion. Furthermore, it helps in allowing you to be thoughtful and considerate in your interaction.

I find that my most successful conversations[2] happen on neutral ground. It helps to reduce stress and remove judgement from the interaction. Some of the best conversations I’ve had have been on walks, while driving in the car, or even laying in bed with the lights off. I can be fully present and engaged with the ability to absorb the conversation at hand, especially when the conversation is about a sensitive subject.

It’s hard to have an uncomfortable conversation sitting across a table or not in your own territory. It can make it feel more like an interrogation and can often start with apprehension or having your guard up. When you do your best to eliminate that from the situation, you’re offering a desire to find a solution by creating a safe space to listen and communicate more successfully.

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We tend to expose ourselves and our feelings easier when we feel like we’re not being judged. When my husband and I need to have a hard conversation, we often go for a walk or have a conversation in the middle of the night in the dark. The absence of distraction allows us to truly listen to each other’s needs and desires and creates a stronger bond of respect and intimacy.

3. Respond

As you’re trying to learn how to be a good listener, respond, don’t react. How many times have you regretted the way you reacted to a conversation with someone you care about? Whether it’s a personal or professional relationship, the way you reply is important.

Because we’re human and it’s only natural to get defensive, especially if the communication is not something we agree with, we typically react without giving consideration to the big picture. That isn’t helpful when you’re trying to make progress in a situation.

You may be thinking, how does listening come into play when you’re replying to someone else’s engagement with you? It doesn’t matter if you’re having that conversation via text, email, or in person; the way you absorb the information is going to directly affect the way you have your interactive dialogue.

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Think about a time when you’ve been at work and received an email from a co-worker that triggered you[3]. It’s happened to all of us. A lot of times, we hit the reply button and go to town unloading our feelings and thoughts without taking the time to fully digest and consider the content in front of us. We’re not “listening” to what our peer is requesting.

Handling delicate situations can be tricky. That’s why I like to advise my clients to respond rather than react, and start with the end in mind. When you’re faced with a challenging situation, think about how you want that particular experience to be resolved. Do you want to be able to walk away with a hug, an agreement, and a positive outcome? If so, the way you do that is by being a good listener and planning your response.

Final Thoughts

Communication in any relationship, personal or professional is hard. We have to be committed to showing up and doing the work to make sure they are successful and thriving. Learning how to be a good listener plays a huge part in the success of each and every one.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to pay attention, remember to validate, be present, and respond with thoughtful consideration. You’ll be amazed at how much your interactions improve.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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