Healthy dog happy owner – why dog food quality is important

As you have gathered from some of my blog articles I am the owner of a fabulous beagle called Oskar. Over the last 4 years we have tried so many brands of dog food. Here I am going to give you a synopsis of our experiences with each brand.

Royal Canin

High end budget. This is pretty bland looking dog food. It’s packed with lots of nutrients which are suppose to be really good for your pooch. The main reason for purchase was for weight control which it did but I think that was more to do with Oskar deciding not to eat his food on some days.

The business end – lots and lots of slushy poops! Not the greatest for cleaning up, in fact he seemed to go to the toilet a lot more on this food than any other brand we tried.

Flavour choices – what flavour choices it’s just dog breed or size range to choose from. There are various breeds available from Dalmatian to beagles. The size range is split into five categories from extra small to giant you simply select the size based on your pooches weight in kilograms:

X-small 1-4kg

Mini 1-10kg

Medium 11-25kg

Maxi 26-44kg

Giant 45kg +

Royal Canin breed range: beagle available sizes 3kg, 12kg (£40.99 from pets at home)

Royal Canin size range: medium adult 15kg (£43.99 pets at home)

Pets at home

We thought we’d try the dog food as the cats got on so well with the pets at home brand. Unfortunately Oskar threw up a few times so we terminated and bought something else.

Iams

In the same category as royal canin. Gave Oskar a lovely shiny coat but the negative was the bad breath <vomit>

Bakers

Similar to royal canin this gave regular bowel movements of the soggy kind and some days he would be terribly constipated to the point it brought tears to my eyes watching him trying to go.

He did eat every bowl. His coat was nice and shiny but no good for weight management. His wind was terrible but that was probably due to the constipation.

Tails.com

We loved that the bags were designed based on Oskar’s nutritional requirements and his name was printed on bag. This is an online option of dog food which allows you to manage your subscription options. It will auto re-order so you don’t run out of dog food.

Oskar was doing really well in this food. Lost weight and gained a shiner coat but he never seemed truly satisfied. Always on the look for more food. Yes I know beagles are greedy little buggers but after you’ve owned one for a while you can sense when its hunger or greed (a bit like a crying baby lol). The price also started to rise the more food you required.

Another product that was good was the dog dental sticks you could order at the same time. Oskar definitely liked them.

ENVE

We actually trialled this food as part of a winning competition. We hadn’t heard of this brand before not even via other friends on social media. The packaging is bland but who cares it’s what’s inside that matters. Well from Oskar’s first mouthful to the end of the bag he was happy. He never ignored a meal and actually seemed satisfied after a bowl. He didn’t need to drink twenty gallons of water afterwards either which leads me to think it’s full of actual nutrients. The flavour variety is amazing – better choices than baby food. Who would have thought pork sweet potato and apple could be a dog food.

The food is also grain free which might be a reason Oskar’s business end doesn’t smell as much! It’s not quite roses but in comparison to other dog food it might as well be.

Price wise it’s pretty much level par with premium dog food varieties however, you can purchase a 2kg trial bag for £7.99 and the price will be taken off a large bag if you opt to purchase. Also every 7th bag is free so for an average dog that’s nearly 2 free bags a year. 15kg bags are £50.99 with free postage.

Wagg

I liked that the biscuit sizes where large as it made the bowl appear a lot fuller, so to a beagle this looks much better. Obviously the downside to this is you have to weigh out the portion sizes as the scoops can be misleading.

The size also helped for using as reward treats when teaching Oskar a new trick. Negative side of the dog food – terrible bowel movements!! Stinky wind and nasty poos.

Advertisements

Bullying and harassment during pregnancy

Article on bullying and harassment relating to the treatment of pregnant women. Below are some of the comments, statements and feelings that I have either personally experienced during pregnancy or overheard on the train said to other ladies.

Bullying and harassment isn’t about ‘name calling’ it is a lot of things including how you treat someone. If the recipient does not like the statements or treatment this can be classified as bullying. Yes there are times when certain statements need to be made which are unpleasant to hear such as bad news – these aren’t bullying. Statements such as your fat even if you are overweight maybe factually correct but are unnecessary to be continuously mentioned especially if said in a nasty manner (even if the teller thinks their been funny). Remember there’s a time and a place for comments and we all have feelings. Pregnancy exasperates a lot of emotions so us ladies are more prone to feeling upset by things even if before we would laugh off the statement.

1. Been dictated too about what you should eat because you’ll get ‘fat’

There’s two sides to this one being based on medical advice i.e. BMI was high to start with so you should be careful not to put in too much weight on.

The other side is when people won’t let you eat even though you’re hungry because they tell you are fat. Husbands partners who constantly go on about fat instead of praising their glowing beautiful woman who is growing a miracle.

I read an article for partners of pregnant women which said how to make her feel good. On the list was numerous mentions of give her food. Surely that isn’t healthy advice! Yes we are pregnant and there may be days we are starving like our mouths were sewn up but it doesn’t mean you should force feed us. Also there are some ladies that suffer horrendously from sickness all throughout pregnancy and certain foods could make it worse.

2. Not involving pregnant women in activities that are still safe for participation just because she’s pregnant. Believe it or not pregnancy is not an illness and as long as we are physically able we would love to be invited to participate in events. Let us decide whether we can or cannot do something don’t just assume because we’re pregnant we can’t do it. There are some pregnant womenfolk who continue to body build up until they give birth!

3. Social avoidance (similar to the above)

yep a lot of pregnant women regardless of their stage of pregnancy tend to be deliberately excluded from social events. We can go on nights out and still have a good time. Yes we will be drinking virgin cocktails and probably have to get an earlier taxi home but it doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy your drunken company and a boogie on the dance floor. However, don’t use us as designated driver that just makes us to be a convenience factor for your night out.

Some women (and men) just generally avoid pregnant women. The reasons are unknown but it’s like they treat us like someone with a grossly contagious disease. You can’t can’t pregnancy!!

4 constant bump size comments like oh your having twins when your only having one or you look ready to burst and your only 16 weeks gone.

Whatever the reason for the comments why not stop and think before you speak. At the end of the day we are human and have feelings and our hormones make us even more emotionally affected by your comments. We take things to heart quicker after all we’re not made of wood!

5. Been told we shouldn’t expect or receive any special treatment because we’re not ill!

Ok I know I mentioned above pregnancy isn’t an illness but some women do suffer certain pregnancy related illnesses and conditions. All that extra weight you’re carrying eventually hurts your back. You become exhausted quicker, cannot get comfy even sat on the comfiest chair known to man. You’re constantly up and down to the toilet to pass a teaspoons worth of pee. So surely after a few months letting us sit down in the dedicated seats on a train isn’t going to end the world. Let us be able to sit and stand as we choose ie if we operate a till in the supermarket let us have a chair so we can alternate. If we work in an office and sat all day allow us more frequent breaks so we are not sat there 8 solid hours. If we drive for Business don’t expect us to be behind the wheel of the car for the whole pregnancy!

6. Is it a boy or girl, have you picked names – why won’t you share that information

Some women don’t wish to share every detail of their pregnancy with friends and family let alone a total stranger so don’t presume you’ll be told. Also there are some ladies who (like myself) waited a long time to grow a miracle and didn’t want to find out the gender before the birth just to have that extra surprise. Also forgive us if we choose not to tell you the baby names we are deciding on because after all our little miracle might not suit the name and we decide to change it when we meet them for the first time.

7. Unwanted physical contact

Pregnant women are not your personal property! Yes, society in general becomes transfixed on pregnant women, we become the centre of wanted (and unwanted) attention. Strangers walk up to you and congratulate you, some open doors for you and give up their seat whilst others make snide remarks about weight or feel the need to touch your bump. Bump touching has a mixed response in the pregnant lady community some like it but most hate it. How would you like it if we touched your belly and said oh when’s it due when in fact your either a little overweight or have a hernia or something similar. Yes it’s crossing the unseen boundary of personal space yet some just assume that a pregnant woman is no longer entitled to that personal space.

If you are really desperate to touch the bump ASK first don’t just do it. A simple polite enquiry could result in you being able to share a kick from the baby or simply been denied the opportunity in a friendly tone.

8. Announcing the birth or details of the birth before the parents. Ok not directly pregnancy related more about the birth but still important.

The expectant parents have been waiting 9 months to meet their little miracle and have picked names and a going home outfit to dress them in. They may even have booked a newborn photoshoot so they have photos to share when they wish to announce the birth of their son or daughter then a member of the family or a friend announces the birth first. Boom! Magic has left the room, the expectant parents then feel rushed into announcing the birth sooner than they liked. In this modern society a lot of people demand to know every detail of someone’s live via social media the second it happens but a lot of us want to have a specially few days / weeks of privacy before letting the world know. Don’t take the experience away from the new parents even if you’re over the moon with excitement for them. It’s their child let them announce in their own time.

Oh and don’t demand every detail of their child’s birth or even a photo. If the parents want to share that they’ll tell you!

The above isn’t an exhaustive list but just a few items that are pet peeves to most pregnant women. Please feel free to share your pet peeves in the comments below.

Katherine xo

Birth announcement

For those eager eyes amongst you waiting patiently for news of our little miracle baby. Well today you are in luck. Yes it’s a little late (3 weeks late in fact), but we’ve been in such a rollercoaster since.

Our unicorn baby was born Sunday 26th November weighing 9lb 2oz – 2 whole pounds more than his estimate. Delivery was via caesarian section due to failed induction at 41 weeks gestation. Our little man was becoming quite stressed so the consultant wanted him born as soon as possible. The staff at Darlington Memorial Hospital were absolutely wonderful and looked after me and my husband during the whole process. They kept my spirits up and kept me informed of progress.

Our son is doing perfectly well but I’m not 😢 I’ve been quite poorly on and off with my gallbladder since the birth. I cannot thank the NHS enough for their help the last few weeks and I have more care to come in the new year.

Therefore, I shall continue to take a mini break from blogging for a few more weeks whilst I get to grips with been a new mummy (and recovering).

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Christmas is about love, family and friends so treasure each moment and make memories that last a life time.

Katherine xo

Keep your cool this Christmas – top tips to combat stress and anger during the festive period

Merry-Christmas-from-baam

  • More than half of all Brits have family disagreements at Christmas.
  • A quarter of all adults say their relationships with their partners come under pressure over the period, and an eighth say a festive argument made them want to split up.
  • Calls to Relate go up – up 59% over Christmas.
  • The average family has their first argument at 9.58am on Christmas Day morning.

Most likely reasons for increased anger are…

  • Who’s doing the washing up
  • Spending more time with family than usual
  • Too much alcohol
  • Battles over the TV remote control
  • Almost a third of people chose to go for a walk to avoid rows.

Pre-Christmas Preparation

  • Don’t give yourself a hard time about making Christmas perfect – it’s not all your responsibility and it is just one day in the year.
  • Think about what sets you off and figure out in advance how you are going to deal with it.
  • Plan ahead and think of the big picture (whatever the other person / thing does, it will all be over within a day (few days) and getting angry may not be worth the long term effect.
  • Think about the person who might make you angry: now write a list of their good points and think about the things you appreciate about that person (there is some good in all of us).Try to focus on those good things.
  • Plan to share the responsibility for the day. Share out chores with the children and the other adults. Get some firm agreements on what each person will do, so the success of the day isn’t on your shoulders entirely.
  • Do as much as you can in advance.
  • Agree beforehand with other family members some rules and arrangements that will help things go smoothly.

On the Festive Day(s)

  • Don’t drink too much – alcohol is responsible for lots of arguments, and it is more difficult to keep a perspective when under the influence of drink. Drinking lowers your defenses and changes your mood.
  • Try not to tackle controversial matters over the phone, email or texts. Body language and facial expressions are vital to appreciating the other person’s point of view.
  • Learn to break recurring conversations that always lead to an old argument. Take action and change the subject as smoothly as you can.
  • Take deep breaths and count to 10 if you are getting frustrated. Think about the consequences and step back.
  • If you feel yourself getting angry, take yourself out of the situation. If you can walk away and find a quiet place, or go for a walk, it will give you important time to calm and think about the bigger picture. Tell people you’re going for a walk because you have eaten a lot, not because you need to escape.
  • Remember if you shout, it’s likely your children will shout back at you.
  • You only have to ……eat sprouts/ speak to your uncle / say thanks for an unwanted present / (add your own option here), just for the day to make the festivities flow smoothly.
  • Accept the inevitable (e.g. there will be a mess /your mother-in-law will say something you don’t like / etc, and try not to argue over smaller things.
  • Look for the positives – seeing family / friends, the memories the children will have of happy Christmases, and the meal itself, which research says is the most enjoyable part of Christmas for many people.

For Young People:

  • Try to get enough rest before Christmas day. Tiredness makes everyone grumpy.
  • If you get over-excited or if someone’s annoying you, walk away and find a quiet place to calm down.
  • If your siblings are annoying you, tell a grown-up who isn’t too busy.
  • You may find listening to your favourite music, or repeating a calm word to yourself while breathing deeply, will help you avoid the angry outburst.

Rules to Beating Anger

  1. It’s OK to have a different opinion.
  2. Listen actively.
  3. Use your emotional support network. (Anger Buddies)
  4. Keep an anger management journal.
  5. Don’t take things personally.
  6. Managing Anger is a Primary Key to Controlling Stress, Anxiety & Depression.

Since 1998 the British Association of Anger Management has helped thousands of people
learn about anger and find healthy ways to express themselves saving their relationships, careers, health and families.

If you’d like more information visit www.angermanage.co.uk or call 0345 1300 286 or email: admin@angermanage.co.uk

 

ANTI BULLYING WEEK 13 NOVEMBER 2017

Anti bullying Week 2017 is being held between the 13th and 17th November and is organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance. Follow the events on social media using #antibullyingweek and #abw17. The theme will promote difference and equality in schools with the tag-line ‘All Different, All Equal’.

Untitled.png

Anti-Bullying Week runs from 13-17 November 2017

The theme for Anti-Bullying Week has been announced by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and will promote difference and equality in schools with the tag-line ‘All Different, All Equal’.

Find out more about how to get involved here

The idea is to help children and young people celebrate what makes them, and others, unique and help them understand why it’s important that every child feels included in school able to be themselves without fear of bullying.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance will be supporting schools with a range of free activities to help them take action to prevent bullying and create safe environments for their pupils with their pupils. They will also be launching a film competition for young people in the coming weeks.

The theme is based on the views of almost 600 children and young people who completed an Anti-Bullying Alliance survey, as well as consultation with ABA’s many members. The young people surveyed said they wanted to talk tackling bullying as a result of perceived difference.

WORLD PSORIASIS DAY 29 OCTOBER 2017

World Psoriasis Day is a global annual awareness day specially dedicated to people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Conceived by patients for patients, #WPD is a truly worldwide event that sets out to give an international voice to the more than 125 million people with psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis around the world. Formed by a global consortium of patient associations from around the world (the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations or IFPA), World Psoriasis Day aims to raise the profile of a condition that needs to be taken more seriously by national and international authorities.

Aims of World Psoriasis Day

Every day, people with psoriasis face immense barriers in society, including in the health care system, at work, in school and in social interactions. Through World Psoriasis Day, we hope to encourage our supporters to take part by pledging to do one or more of the following:

FIGHT prejudice, stigmatization and discrimination
RAISE awareness, understanding and hope
GAIN access to proper diagnosis, treatment and improved quality of life 

WPD-poster-768x365.png

The theme for World Psoriasis Day 2017 is “Psoriasis Inside Out” and it is all about showing all aspects of the disease and to give a face to pso/psa and to share stories. For that reason, IFPA and its members in 56 countries are organising awareness-raising and advocacy campaigns to improve access to treatment, increase understanding and build unity among the psoriasis community.

Psoriasis Myths and Misconceptions

Unlike other ailments, psoriasis can be seen on the skin and often people guess at what is wrong. They wonder if the lesions might be contagious, which they are not, or that the person who has psoriasis is unclean, overly nervous or high-strung, which they may be, but that is not the reason they have psoriasis.

Sometimes they may believe the person who has the skin disorder did something to cause psoriasis to appear; but that, too, is also false.

Psoriasis is a disorder stemming from a physical defect just like other disorders, such as arthritis, asthma,  diabetes or nearsightedness. It is very important to educate the public about psoriasis and not allow myths to spread.

Common myths about psoriasis:

Myth: “Psoriasis is contagious.”

Fact: Psoriasis, especially in moderate or severe forms, is highly visible. Because of the abnormal growth of skin cells, thick red scaly inflamed patches of skin appear. However, psoriasis is not contagious. You can’t ‘catch’ the disease from another person and you can’t pass it on to someone else by touching them or having close contact. Actually, psoriasis is as contagious as freckles!

Myth: “Psoriasis is just a skin disease. A cosmetic problem.”

Fact: Psoriasis is chronic disease of the immune system that causes the abnormal growth of skin cells. While a normal skin cell matures in 28 to 30 days and is shed from the skin’s surface unnoticed, a psoriatic skin cell takes only 3 to 4 days to mature and move to the surface, resulting in cells piling up and forming the scaly lesions. Psoriasis lesions can be painful and itchy, and they can crack and bleed.
About 30 – 50% of all people with psoriasis also develop psoriasis arthritis which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints.
Skin inflammation in psoriasis is just the tip of the iceberg – there is increasing evidence suggesting links with serious health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver disease, depression and obesity

Myth: “Psoriasis only affects patients physically.”

Fact: Aside from the physical burden of the disease, there is also a significant psychological and emotional impact experienced by psoriasis sufferers. People with psoriasis often report feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anger, frustration and even depression related to the appearance of their skin and how others react to their condition. Some patients with severe psoriasis have even experienced thoughts of
suicide. Many individuals react to their condition by wearing concealing clothing, curtailing everyday activities such as swimming or going to the gym if it means they will attract stares or negative comments. Psoriasis sufferers often compare the dysfunction and disability of the condition to that experienced by people with other chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Myth: “Psoriasis is caused by poor hygiene.”

Fact: Psoriasis is a disease of the immune system and has nothing to do with poor hygiene. Triggers that can influence the course of psoriasis include infections, stress or worry, hormonal changes, injury to the skin, alcohol, obesity, poor diet, and certain medications.

Myth: “Psoriasis can be cured”

Fact: Psoriasis is a chronic, life-long disease. There is no known cure yet, but with new options and improved existing treatments, people have a wide variety of ways to help manage the symptoms of psoriasis. Until a cure for psoriasis is found, pharmaceutical research continues to hold the best hope for increasingly more effective therapies leading to better overall management of psoriasis. Research into the immune system has led to the development of new biological drugs that target the underlying causes of the
condition.

Myth: “Psoriasis is easily diagnosed.”

Fact: Many conditions affecting the skin look alike, for example some early symptoms of psoriasis, such as itching and redness, look the same as eczema or atopic dermatitis. This can sometimes make the disease difficult to diagnose. It’s important to see a doctor who can do the necessary tests to make a proper diagnosis.

Myth: “Psoriasis cannot be inherited.”

Fact: While many patients with no family history develop psoriasis, there is a genetic link in approximately 40 – 60% of patients with the condition. Numerous studies point to a genetic predisposition, or inherited tendency, for these patients to develop psoriasis. Having the genetic predisposition, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that an individual will develop the disease. Other contributing factors, such as injury or infection, may act in conjunction with several genes, or specific patterns of genes, to set in motion the chain of events resulting in psoriasis.

Borchure-Myths-and-misconceptions-about-psoriasis

BABY LOSS AWARENESS WEEK 9th – 15th OCTOBER 2017

Each year 9-15 October is Baby Loss Awareness Week. Throughout the week bereaved parents, their families and friends, unite with each other and others across the world to commemorate their babies’ lives.

Baby Loss Awareness Week also provides a chance to raise awareness about the issues surrounding pregnancy and baby loss in the UK. This year we are calling for improved bereavement support for families affected by baby and pregnancy loss.

In the UK, Baby Loss Awareness Week is a collaboration between more than 40 charities.

featured-wave-of-light-1024x581.jpg

Join us for the Global Wave of Light

Baby Loss Awareness Week finishes each year on October 15th with the global ‘Wave of Light’. October 15th is also International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and is recognised across the world.

We would like to invite you to join with other families across the world and take part in the global ‘Wave of Light’. Simply light a candle at 7pm local time and leave it burning for at least 1 hour to join us in remembering all babies that have died too soon. This can be done individually or in a group, at home or in a communal space. Wherever you do this, you will be joining a global ‘Wave of Light’ in memory of all the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.

This year we’re also inviting you to join a digital Wave of Light at 7pm local time on October 15. To get involved, take a photo of your candle and post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #WaveOfLight at 7pm local time.