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6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting A Dog

6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting A Dog

A dog is a bundle of joy and unconditional love, as well as a wet nose which is going to be always in your business. The decision to get a dog should be taken after some consideration and serious talk with your room mate(s). I know this because I got a dog when I unexpectedly fell in love with one, so I was completely unprepared for everything that followed.

As someone who never regrets the decision, I do wish I knew some things before I got the dog.

1. Dog-proof your home

You know that moment when your kid starts crawling or walking and your things are never safe again? Well, the same happens with a dog. The moment your new pet sets paw in your house, he is going to spot all the things he should never touch and destroy them. To prevent this from happening, pet-proof your house. Get on your knees and look around. All the fragile items must be lifted on upper shelves and all the potentially dangerous items, such as wires, have to be secured and hidden.

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Second, you need to set things straight with everyone living in the house regarding the limits of the new dog. Where is he allowed, where he isn’t and so on. If not everyone is on the same page with the dog, when it arrives, you might have problems in the future.

2. Be ready to spend money

Regardless if you adopt or buy a dog, be ready to pay more than a fee. A dog is another living creature, so he will need food, toys, neutering, micro chipping, training classes and many more. The vet is going to become a constant in your life, as dogs also get sick and require treatments. Vaccinations and fleas prevention are other monthly costs.

Leashes, collars and other dog equipment are other things which can become a little pricey, even if you will probably need just two of them, in different sizes. If you live in multiple season areas your dog might need coats. Add to these costs the cost of random treats and toys, because who can resist spoiling the little one?!

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3. Learn what a dog can and can’t eat

Dogs can eat some of the foods humans eat, but there are also foods that can easily harm them or even kill them. It’s very important to know the food requirements of your dog before you get him. Even if you won’t be giving him human foods, not all the dog foods are the same.

While most dogs will eat pretty much anything, there are good and bad dog foods on the market, just like we have good food and junk food. You have to learn the nutritional requirements of your dog to be able to choose the best foods for him and to be able to save your pocket: most dogs don’t actually need expensive grain free or gluten-free foods. By the way, the price is not an indication of the quality of the dog food, in many cases.

4. Puppies are little devils in disguise

Puppies are cute… because if they wouldn’t be, you would probably kill them! If you get a puppy you have to be ready for chewing, peeing, pooping and crying for several weeks. Indeed, puppies grow fast, but when you are sleep deprived, your couch is being pooped on, the floor is covered in pee and you are covered in stain remover, that puppy really needs to grow fast and be super-cute.

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5. Dogs are very social

Dogs are social creatures and they need you and other members of the family. Cesar Millan’s stories with the pack leader are totally true! Dogs fall in love with their family members and don’t bear solitude. If you like to travel a lot you need to know you will have to take the dog with you from now on.

When you have a dog you will never be alone again, not even in the bathroom. Or, especially in the bathroom. However, despite the social nature of dogs, you need to train them and socialize them, if you want to have a friendly, well-behaved dog.

6. Your life will never be the same again

Dogs can turn your life upside down and will cause lots of trouble to you. But after you get a dog your life will never be the same again. You won’t be able to give up on the furry creature and it will become a real family member. You will be ready to do anything for him and he will do anything for you. There is no bigger joy than arriving home and finding your hyper-active dog happy to see you again.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on September 15, 2020

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it, causing them to remain stagnant through anxiety.

Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

1. Don’t Fight It

I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

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Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

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The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

3. Reframe Your Perspective

Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner, transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection, and awareness.

    Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

    More Tips on Facing Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

    Reference

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