Archives for October 31, 2017

Unexpected Perks of a Freelance Writing Career

There are many perks for freelance writers-the opportunity to do what you love, establish friendships with people who are creative and talented, work from home, make a decent living, and create work that is meaningful.

As a freelance writer, you will have the opportunity to touch the world regarding issues of concern.
Through my work I have been able to describe the atrocities humanity commits on sentient beings; animal experimentation, an annual death toll of 4 to 10 million pets due to overpopulation, abuse, neglect and the horrors of factory farming. As the daughter of a small town Veterinarian, preventing animal abuse has been a core issue throughout my life. Before I began work as a freelance writer I had many dreams about how I could have an impact on the world, but my circle of influence was very small. It is such an honor and a thrill to see your byline on article in a newspaper or   magazine  especially if it is a topic you are passionate about.

Another perk is the ability to work with people though out the world. Whether you are ghost writing a book, documenting software modifications or working on a one page business bio, you will be getting to know your clients. I have had the pleasure of working with people throughout the United States, Europe and China. As a free lance writer, for a brief period of time, it’ is as if you get to see someone’s soul. It is truly an honor and a perk I never expected when I began my career.

Source by Kate Garvey

Here’s How To Help Boost Your Teens Self Esteem

Many people suffer from self-esteem issues. Teens are often more effected by esteem issues. They are going through changes, both physically and mentally. This can radically effect how they view them selves and their capabilities.

Self-esteem is more than how a teen views their appearance. It is how they view themselves as a whole. It could be how they see themselves in academics, sports or performance based activities. Doing well in these areas can build self-esteem, but may not be the case. Many teens that are outstanding in these fields and are judged good looking by their peers can suffer from self-esteem issues. It is in how they view themselves and their performance.

Help a teen improve their self-esteem gradually. Radical highs and lows can result in depression or other problems. Show them that they can feel good about themselves as a whole.

Self-esteem issues may be reflections of how adults around them behave. Think of your own behaviors. If you are constantly brow beating yourself your teen sees this. They notice that you only seem to point out your negatives. They will emulate this learned behavior. Start by having a healthier self-esteem level yourself.

Show them that body image isn’t the key to everything. A teen that has low self-esteem due to looks, weight or other physical features may be resistant to these. The teenage years are one of adjustment. They are learning to be comfortable in their own skins. We live in a society that endorses beauty and thinness as the things to be. Teens, even those that fit this model, struggle with this. Teach teens that difference is what makes the world a more enjoyable place. Show them we don’t all need to look like we belong on the cover of a   magazine  to be beautiful. It comes from within. This is an issue we all need to get comfortable with, not just today’s youth.

Help them to celebrate their success and forgive their shortcomings. If they do well on a test give them praise. If they don’t do well show them that is OK too, that they can forgive themselves and move on. Consider all areas, not just academic, sports, clubs and other activities, no matter how small should be included. Encourage them to try new things as well. Even if they fail, they are better for trying.

Learning to deal with criticism is part of growing up. Teach your child that constructive criticism is good, but always balance criticism with praise. A growing youth needs to know they do things well. This will help balance out the negative they may be getting.

Most of all be there for your teenager. A teenager with the love and support of family and friends often has higher self-esteem. If they are secure in this area, they are often more secure in other areas. Knowing that you are unconditionally accepted does a lot for a teenager.

Be aware of the signs of low self-esteem in your teen. Low self-esteem can lead to depression, eating disorders, alcoholism or other problems. Making yourself aware will help you know when your teen may need professional help.

Developing a strong sense of self and healthy self-esteem will get a person far in life. Helping your teen develop this is one of the best things that you can provide. Lead by example, give plenty of praise and show them they are wonderful worthwhile person are good first steps.

Source by Aurelia Williams

"What Happened to My Face?" Make Up Tips For Caribbean Brides

“What happened to my face”? No bride wants to ask that question upon viewing her wedding photos. Unfortunately this occurs more often than one would like. This is usually the result of using an inexperienced make-up artist. Your make-up artist needs to be knowledgeable and be experienced with different types of make-up and how it is affected by lighting used in photography. In order to achieve a spectacular look on your special day you should strive for the following. vibrant, healthy-looking skin an experienced make up artist tried and tested colours Your wedding make-up is as important as your wedding dress. Your face will be the highlight of the photos and there will be many close-up shots. Your artist’s expertise will determine the success of the finished product – you.

Choose Your Make up Artist Carefully

One of the benefits of choosing a well-known artist is that he or she has experience and has already developed a reputation. You never want to look like you are wearing a mask in your photos or look like you are going to a night club. There are however, many little known artists who are very talented. They may be new in the business but that can sometimes be an advantage as they are enthusiastic with new techniques and can achieve the same result or an even better than the more famous ones. If you select one from this category, then you must have good recommendations and you must have about two trial sessions before you make your decision. A portfolio will help you decide what the artist is capable of but remember, everyone’s face and skin are different. More importantly make-up trials must be done prior to your wedding day. Even if you have to pay a small fee to do this, this will save a lot of disappointment and heartache on your big day. You may want to bring along some bridal   magazines  with different looks that you would like to try out so you can see which one suits you best. If you aren’t satisfied with the results of your trial, do another or choose a different artist. Do not pay a deposit until you have done a trial and are satisfied with the results achieved. Any legitimate artist will expect this.

Achieve the Fabulous, Flawless look that you want

Make-up should be fresh and should accentuate your natural beauty. Never overdo your make-up on your wedding day. Bridal  magazines  offer different looks that are bronze or coral shades. Decide which look is right for you. Colour choices are very important. For a soft, dewy look, local make-up artist Renee-Liza suggests, the use of cream foundations, blushes and eye shadows paired with moisture rich lipstick/gloss. This of course depends on your skin type. An oily type would have to use a matte finish. The modern bride might prefer to use ‘airbrushed’ make-up for a more flawless and long lasting finish. Some brides even opt for the use of false eyelashes. To avoid looking ‘over-done’ do your experimenting before your wedding day. Make-up artist Katrianna Latchman advises that your foundation should not be higher than SPF 8 if you must use SPF protection. SPF properties tend to cause flashback, which gives the white, washed out look that is sometimes reflected in photos. Katrianna recommends strongly the use of oil blotting sheets or touching up with powder to ensure the makeup stays fresh and not get too oily. Some that are prescribed are Clean and Clear blotting sheets, and for a great no-colour powder, Black Opal Invisible Oil Blotting Powder.

Cleanse and nourish your skin so that it will be healthy for the big day.

Yes, nourish! You have to treat your skin internally. Also eat good wholesome foods and include lots of fruit and vegetables. Diet is very important. Stay away from unhealthy and greasy food. These can cause break-outs. Eliminate junk-foods drink lots of water daily. It won’t hurt to speak to a nutritionist. According to make-up artist Renee-Liza Seeramlal getting your skin to look as flawless as possible is the key to looking beautiful on your wedding day. Renee-Liza recommends taking care of your skin by cleansing, toning and moisturizing every day, drinking lots of water and doing a series of facials. Your last facial should be a week before the wedding to allow healing of any redness or irritation. Exfoliate with a micro bead scrub and do a skin-brightening mask on the actual day to reveal fresh, glowing skin. De-stress! Wedding planning can be extremely stressful and stress is also a key player in breakouts. Exercise will help in blood circulation and will also help to tone your body. You will feel more relaxed and relieve much of your stress. You will smile more and that’s great exercise for your facial muscles – practice for your photos! Take photos of your different make up trials to see how you look when a flash is used and what you look like during the day. Compare the looks and ask the opinions of dependable friends and family. They may be brutally honest and this is what you need. Good luck in choosing your artist and in starting your beauty regime early. Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan ahead and you will be sure to look radiant! Stock up on bridal  magazines  or go on line to see different bridal looks. Choose the one that is right for you – not the artist. You want to look like ‘you’ but you also want to enhance your best features. Your wedding day is your big day to look and feel spectacular.

Tip: Remember that a Caribbean wedding means that the weather will ultimately be more humid and hot and you will need to be prepared. Pack blotting sheets in your wedding emergency bag. Beach Weddings means that the salt air and sand can also affect your ‘flawless look’ so be prepared with a lose powder than can help dust away that sticky (salt air) feeling easily.

Source by Mala Webber

Cat Nutrition – Must Have Ingredients For Kitty

When you have a pet at home, you should also make sure that is gets all the nourishment it needs. Making sure that you feed your pet with healthy food at all times can do this. But it is difficult to understand what can be described as healthy food for a cat. There are a wide variety of cat foods that are available in any pet store. Before purchasing the food, you should check the contents of the food to make sure that it contains all the nutrients necessary for a cat to live a healthy life. Some of the nutrients that your cat needs are:

Vitamin A – Both humans as well as animals need a lot of Vitamin A. But animals cannot convert the carotene that they get from plants into Vitamin A like humans. They are able to derive Vitamin A from different kinds of meat like kidney and liver. So you should make sure that you cat food contains enough quantities of liver and kidney. A deficiency of Vitamin A in the food of the cat can lead to serious health problems. The cat might start losing weight, his cell membranes might get damaged and his growth might get stunted. His immunity levels might also come down and female cats might experience irregular menstrual cycles. When a female cat does not get the required amount of Vitamin A then she could get pregnant with an embryo that might have not have been implanted properly and she could have a miscarriage. If they still manage to deliver the kitten, then it could have certain birth defects like a cleft palate.

Niacin – Like other animals, cats cannot process the niacin that is present in tryptophan and they should obtain niacin from animal tissues. If the diet of a cat is deficient in niacin, then it could lose weight and also lose its hunger. It could also have wounds around its mouth and also have rough fur.

Essential Fatty acids – the diet of a cat should also contain animal fat since animal fat contains a fatty acid otherwise known as arachidonic acid. The cat may suffer from reproductive problems like dermatitis if the required amount of animal fat is not present in its food.

Taurine – High amounts of Taurine need to be consumed by cats and this can be found in muscle foods, fish and also shellfish. Cats may suffer from blindness or Central retinal degeneration if it does not get the adequate amount of Taurine. It could also develop reproductive issues and diseases in the heart muscle if it does not get enough Taurine.

Protein – the right quantity of proteins should also be available in the diet of a cat. Cat food should at least contain 12% proteins while food for a dog should contain just 4% protein. A protein rich diet is good for a cat though it is not the same case for other animals. This will provide that cat with all the essential vitamins that it needs and also give it all the energy and calories that it needs to be happy and healthy.

Source by Shannon Hutcheson

Flea Removal – Flea Pill As Your Pet Flea Control Arsenal

When you come face to face with a flea infestation, it is war all the way until the last parasite is killed. While a lot of pet owners are happy with topical treatments like the dips, power, sprays, many other prefer the fast action and convenience of the Flea Pill or tablets for flea removal.

Flea tablets are orally administered to your infected pets. They must be taken regularly to prevent the parasites from breeding. The effectiveness of each pill last up to 30 days. It works on a dual function. The lethal chemicals are absorbed by the pet upon ingestion, and when the parasites such their blood, the toxins starts to work, paralyzes them and eventually they die from it. The pills also serve to stop the larvae from becoming pupae and adult, stunting their growth and hence breaking the fleas life cycle and eventually their life line. However, this second approach will not be effective if the parasites have already reached adulthood, but when they feed on the blood of your pets, they still cannot avoid their fate. That is why the flea pill has a dual role, to stop the life cycle, and to kill them eventually, either way.

It is easy to apply as all you need to do is to break the tablets and mix it up with the food. However, some pets are extra sensitive and can sense the difference. That is why you see some pills are made in the form of food addictives. Pets nowadays are very lucky animals, what with manufacturers innovating on different flavored pills like beef, and tuna too.

This innovative breakthrough in pet flea control is most convenience, painless and never messy. All you need to administer the flea pill, and unlike other treatments which could cause physical discomfort to your pets, this does not at all. And for those who have used other approaches like foggers, you would understand and appreciate how clean and easy the flea pill is. It does not require you to do countless rounds of home cleaning, endless vacuuming, and always having to ensure that the toxic fumes do not harm your children and pets. This form of treatment is also much more affordable than others.

All that said, as responsible pet owners, you should always keep your environment clean from parasites, else infestation could result in your pet contracting dermatitis, dehydration and even tapeworms. The Flea Pill is a formidable flea extermination means but is only effective if you combine it with other pet flea control measures for flea removal.

Source by Yoshiko Choy

How a Blog Can Help Your Business

If you have a business, a blog (short for web log) is a marketing tool that can further position you as the expert in your industry. Your prospects and clients want information about your products and services. They are hungry for it! And a blog gives you the opportunity to share your expertise with people across the globe.

Once they are set up, blogs are easy to update. The typical blog entry is short and informal, making it easy for you to write – and easy for your customers to read. Because blogs are filled with a bunch of little blurbs, your readers are more likely to visit on a regular basis to read your latest commentaries. They also feature a search function, which your readers can use to find blog entries on a specific topic.

But like every form of marketing, a blog requires you to lead it in a strategic direction. Before you start your blog, make a decision about the blog’s theme and “voice.” Once you determine your goals, stick to the topic. You can weave your personality and stories into the blog, but always keep these relevant to your target audience. Make your blog a tool that provides helpful advice, tips, and musings to your readers. A blog that is really a sales pitch or advertisement will NOT garner a wide audience.

Here are some examples of the types of business blogs and the various types companies that might benefit from them:

1) Consultant Blog: This type of blog is widely used by a variety of service-based companies including marketers, interior designers, event planners, financial advisors, and so on. In fact, this is the type of blog that I write. The Consultant Blog primarily features a single person writing about their advice and observations. It is a way of highlighting your expertise in an area and building an active readership who trust your opinion to guide them.

2) Tourist Blog: Every Bed and Breakfast can benefit from this type of blog. It features the local area with pictures of surrounding vistas and updates about upcoming events. It can feature links to local weather and favorite places to visit. The Tourist Blog can help sway people to use your business services over that of a competitor, as well as keep in touch with them until they visit your city again. It can also save your business time by providing people the answers to frequent questions. Other businesses that benefit from this style include rafting companies, ski areas, fishing guides, festivals, and so on.

3) Industry Blog: There are a number of companies that specialize in a very narrow area of their industry. For example, many manufacturers are highly specialized in what their company produces. These companies often sell to other businesses. In this case, it is often helpful to blog about new products lines, materials, trade shows, equipment innovations, industry news, and shipping news. Examples of industries that would benefit from these blogs include fabrication, machining, printing, engineering, insurance, and stamping.

4) Specialty Blog: Many businesses, associations, and hobbyists enjoy this type of blog. It focuses on a specific subject. Examples include golf, sailing, stamp collecting, dog breeds, wedding planning, weight loss, and so on. The Specialty Blog can be written by one or multiple contributors. It is a wonderful way to build an online community and encourage comments because the readers share a common interest.

5) Feature Blog: I primarily see this type of blog being used by people who are in a creative type of business. It incorporates lots of pictures of recent projects and how-to entries. Sometimes there are video posts or audio recordings. It often has links to an online store where a visitor can purchase the project or sign up for an event. A Feature Blog is very useful for artists, designers. musicians, performers, illustrators, quilters, and writers. Another type of business that could benefit is one that produces custom products such as a furniture maker or a bike builder.

When you are writing a blog, don’t be bland. The key is to be yourself and to reflect the core personality of your company. If there are things that make you mad or get you excited, your blog can be a place to post these things. If you don’t keep your blog on topic, lively, and engaging, your readers will quickly get bored. Write in your blog regularly – I recommend at least once a week or more.

To drive traffic to your blog, list it in blog directories such as Technorati. You should also incorporate keywords in your entries to help people find you via search engines. For example, an insurance company in San Francisco should incorporate the terms “San Francisco insurance” into their posts with a link back to their website. In this way people can easily get more information. Be sure to set up an About page with your contact information so people can get in touch.

Action Tip: So, ready to start blogging? You can set up a blog easily with Blogger, Typepad, and WordPress depending on your marketing goals and level of technical knowledge. This week, sit down and decide on your Blog Type, who in your company will write it, and how you will schedule regular blog updates. When you are ready, contact a designer to create a blog header and set up your blog. Then…Blog Away!

Source by Wendy Maynard

Caring For Your Toy Poodle During Summer

Summer is a great time for you and your family and even your Toy Poodle to go out and have fun under the sun. There are lots of activities you can do to make summer with your dog a memorable one. You and your proud Toy Poodle can conquer the woods together or chill in a family park nearby. Your dog will also love to spend a day with you in the beach – running along the shore as his paws enjoy the coolness of the seawater.

But don’t get too excited with the summer fun and overlook your pet’s need for protection against the extreme heat of the mighty sun. Temperatures can rise so high and can be very dangerous for your pet, especially your Toy Poodle because of his thick coat. Before you go out to face the day, it is better to plan the activity. Think of your dog’s condition and if he can join the activity without having to risk his health. Better do your activities early in morning or late in the afternoon since temperature is not very high during these times.

Prevent your dog from being dehydrated by giving him enough clean water to drink. For easy access, place at least two water bowls in the house. If you will be going out, take drinking water enough to last until the end of your activity. Take his favorite water bowl too! Remember, never leave your dog in the car during summer. Temperature inside the car can soar very high and can even kill your dog if you leave him there too long. Even if the window is open the air is not enough to cool the car down and chances are your dog might get out of the car through the open window. Getting a swimming pool is another option to make summer fun and cool for your dog. Your dog may not be a great swimmer like the Labrador but surely he would love to walk and lie down in the water to cool down.

In extreme heat, better set aside your outdoor fun for the moment. Do something entertaining indoors and keep the air conditioner on. It’s a better way to spend the day!

Source by Richard Cussons

Dogs Vs Cats As Pets – What Pet Is Right For You?

A Pet Dog or Cat, Which Is For Me? Learn The Positives and Negatives.

Pet dogs or pet cats, both of these animals are popular pet choices available for us to choose from, but which pet is right for you? Cats and dogs are pretty much polar opposites of each other, from the personalities they carry, to the mannerisms they outwardly display, and if you want to identify what pet is right for you, then we need to learn more information about these amazing animals.

I’ve lived with dogs and cats for a long time, helping to raise them from a young age and eventually into full grown adults, so I understand the pros and cons each one of them holds. For your benefit, I’m going to list those positives and negatives from my personal experience, which will hopefully allow you to answer the question: “Is a dog or cat the right pet for me?”

Behavior – How Loving Are These Two?

Pros for Dogs: Dogs always appear to be happy, no matter what the circumstance. As long as you bought a puppy at a young age and gave them plenty of love as they grew up, then the dog’s attitude should be a fun and loving one, and that’s exactly what owners want. Dogs are loving, loyal, and are simply entertaining to just be around. In fact, I don’t think it’s possible for dogs to feel another emotion besides joy! Well, they also feel guilt when they do something wrong, but besides that, dogs are constantly brimming with positivity and it is absolutely infectious at times. Imagine a tiresome day at work, coming home and plopping down on the couch, and then being greeted by your happy animal companion who wants nothing more than to cheer you up. Aw, how nice of them!

Cons for Dogs: However, dogs sometimes can get too needy for your attention. Maybe after that long day of work, you instead want to go home and rest without any interruption, but a dog may still attempt to smother you for a pat on the back. Dogs also have the tendency to get jealous over other pets who are being given any form of attention, and may exact revenge if you don’t provide the same amount of love towards them. I had a Poodle that would pee in undesirable locations knowing it was bad, but did it anyways because she got angry or jealous. That was one bad dog. Not all dogs have such an obnoxious characteristic, however.

Pros for Cats: Unlike dogs, cats have more than one emotion! They are also far more independent and conservative. Cats will always have a fondness for their owners, but they choose to show it only when they are in the mood. A cat might wake up after a brief rest, and spontaneously think: “Well, I feel like getting some attention now,” and they’ll walk over to you and start rubbing up against your legs while purring. That’s when you know the cat is in a good mood, when they sound like miniature car motors.

Then there are other times when you will try to pet them, and the cat will just be like: “Yeah, whatever, thanks I guess.” Or the cat is in an extremely lazy mood and will refuse to respond to anything you do. Nobody ever knows how a cat will react, their behavior is random. You kinda have to “earn” their respect and attention, but hey, nothings wrong with that. Plus, cats won’t always be a bother when you’re busy.

Cons for Cats: The problem with a cat’s attitude is that it’s inconsistent, or arbitrary. There are occasions when you just want a friendly pet to come lay down on top of your lap or next to you, and cats will certainly do that, just not whenever you want. What I’m trying to articulate here is cats are not as loyal or willing to comply as easily as dogs.

Here’s an example: Once a dog learns his name, he’ll respond without hesitation when you call him. A cat, however, even when he hears you calling, will choose to either listen or completely ignore you. The cat will even raise it’s head towards you, acknowledging that he’s heard your call, and then close his eyes and go right back to sleep. How rude! Cats will listen every now and then; it’s just if they are in the mood.

Conclusion: The personality is a preference thing. People like loyal and loving pets, but they also enjoy pets who show can show some restraint.

Messiness – How Clean Or Messy Are Dogs and Cats?

Pros for Dogs: Uh, well, you know, um… Okay dogs are not really the cleanest animals around. The good thing is you can potty train them, and training them to go to the bathroom outside is both convenient and a whole lot less smelly for your home. That’s really all I have to say for the positive side. Dogs will take care of themselves most often, but you will probably need to give a bath from time to time to help keep them clean.

Cons for Dogs: First off, if you haven’t potty trained your dog yet, you should! Otherwise, the dog will pee or poop wherever they please, and that’s just gross. On top of that immense problem, dogs are known to chew on wires, shoes, or anything else accessible on the ground. Wires that have been chewed through will render whatever appliance it was powering to be fully useless. Depending on what the appliance was, it may need to be replaced, and means spending money. The same goes for the shoes.

To remedy this problem, you can buy cord covers to cover any vulnerable cords laying around. Make sure the covers are hard enough to prevent any chewing. As for the shoes, put them away in a closet somewhere. Also, consider having a few chew toys available for your dog to satisfy their chomping urges; it’ll save you money in the end.

Pros for Cats: Cats, to match their independent behavior, clean themselves many times. It’s part of a cat’s daily routine. They even have tongues that have a sandpaper like texture to help clean and groom their hair. Due to a cat’s frequent cleaning, they rarely need to be bathed, which is great. I mean, have you tried bathing a cat before? It’s a nightmarish experience for sure.

Most cats are already potty trained, all you have to do is have a few litter boxes scattered throughout the house, the rest can be left up to them. How convenient is that? You can even let a cat outside and they’ll take care of business, even burying it after they’ve finished. Cats are very clean animals.

Cons for Cats: Until they throw up a nasty hairball, that is. A major downside for cats is the perpetual vomiting. Some cats do it more often than others, but at some point, the cat is going to get a hairball from their constant cleaning, and you will have to clean it up! It’s kinda gross, but you’ll get used to it eventually.

Additionally, it’s important to spay or neuter a cat as soon as possible. It’ll prevent them from spraying your home with urine. Seriously, the earlier the better. You don’t want a cat to develop a spraying habit, it’s the worst.

And of course, cats have the tendency to claw furniture! There are scratching posts one can buy to discourage this type of behavior. Placing the posts next to the piece of furniture is most effective.

Conclusion: Cats are cleaner than dogs, but have the potential to be messier, especially if they are not spayed at the right time. But self-cleaning and instinctive potty training are two very convenient hygienic qualities to have in a pet.

Fun – Are Dogs or Cats More Fun To Play With?

Pros For Dogs: Because of a dog’s willingness to listen, to put it simply: it allows you to do more fun activities with them, and that can be way more fun for certain people. You can teach a dog new tricks, like sitting, rolling over and playing dead; all of which are entertaining for you and your family to see. Dogs also love to go for walks in the parks for some healthy exercise, or play an exciting game of fetch. Undoubtedly, dogs are very amusing animals and most of the fun comes from the owner interacting with their pet, unlike cats. I’ll explain below.

Cons For Dogs: Fun stems from an energetic and friendly attitude, which is precisely where dogs excel. If you are looking for a fun pet then, dogs will rarely disappoint. No real cons come to mind in this department.

Pros for Cats: Cats, despite their supposed sophisticated demeanor, are captivated by the simplest of things. If you’ve raised a kitten before, the first thing that stands out is their ability to entertain themselves with absolutely anything. It’s a cat’s self-entertainment that is so enthralling and fun to watch.

My cats will attack innocent rugs, rolling themselves up inside and clawing at the furry mat as if it were alive. They’ll also chase their own tails around in circles until they get dizzy, in which case they’ll stop for a few seconds, and do it all over again! Cats will stalk bugs in the house, hiding behind cover and methodically pacing themselves towards the unsuspecting insect, then they crouch down, shake their behinds back and forth until finally ending with a vicious pounce. It’s hilarious to see, and you would be surprised at how effective cats are at eliminating bugs.

If you want to participate in on the fun and interact with a cat, you can. All you need is a single piece of string. Seriously, cats cannot resist the opportunity to play with a piece of string. Even if you were to wake a cat up in the middle of the night, and they see a string wiggling vigorously in front of them, they’ll instantly become wide awake and start playing around with it.

Cons for Cats: While cats will amuse themselves with simple things, you’ll have a hard time getting them to learn any tricks. Or going for walks. Or playing with things that are not strings or string equivalents. Oh well!

Conclusion: Two different styles of fun are at work here. Dogs are more willing to learn and play with their owner, and that’s fun. Cats on the other-hand, are more willing to amuse themselves, which is fun for the owner to watch.

Cost – How Much Will These Pet Dogs and Cats Cost Me?

Dogs: The average cost of a dog varies and is usually dependent on their size. Bigger dogs such as German Shepherds will require more food to eat, while smaller puppies like a Maltipoo need much less. The more food you buy, the costlier it becomes. Other dog expenses might include flea medications, chewing toys, cord covers to protect electrical wiring, and a new shiny pair of shoes if they get chewed up! If your dog is not potty trained for the outdoors, pee pads can cost money as well.

Cats: Cat expenses include dry food, flea medications, litter boxes plus litter (unless you let the cat outside all the time), and possibly hairball medication if they struggle getting a hairball up. Cats most often than not don’t have trouble with hairballs because dry foods have a specific ingredient to help lubricate the hair. Also, don’t forget scratching posts for the cats to scratch, the posts cost substantially less than the furniture!

Conclusion: Both cats and dogs require money to take care of, is anyone surprised? Dogs may cost more if you get a bigger breed.

There you go! Those are the positives and negatives for owning a pet dog or cat. They each come with their own unique set of problems, but if you are able to look past them and pick a pet that has a personality that closely matches your own, I think it’s a decision you won’t regret making.

You could also just get both. Dogs and cats living together… what a crazy thought, but it’s possible. I do it!

Source by Mike J Boura

Pet Rat Breeding: 10 Crucial Questions You Must Consider

Breeding any animal is both an art and a science. You should not take it lightly. Here are ten major questions you should ask yourself before you start breeding your ratties:

1. Why do I want to get into breeding? If your goal is to improve upon the parent rats with each successive generation, then you’re on the right track. However, pedigree alone is not enough to go by when deciding which rat to breed. Before breeding, be extra sure your rats are free of defects in their appearance and behavior.

2. Have I considered the costs involved? If you are willing to take all the necessary steps and precautions involved, you will be lucky to break even. Before you can sell even one baby, you will face expenses for:

  • Housing
  • Additional food
  • Proper bedding
  • Advertising
  • Vet Bills (you never know when an unexpected C-section will be necessary.)

3. Am I prepared to deal with a large litter? Let’s face it. As a first-time breeder it will be difficult to sell the babies — even if you end up with a show quality animal. That could mean up to 15, or even more, extra mouths to feed for months at a time. So what is your backup plan?

4. Am I aware of the risks involved? It can be extremely satisfying to witness the miracle of birth and to see the doe’s maternal instincts kick in as she tends to her litter. However, there is always that chance that your female rat will give birth to deformed or stillborn babies or that she will need to undergo a caesarean section, particularly if she was bred too early in her life. Furthermore, not all does are cut out for motherhood. She may wind up neglecting her young, or even worse — killing them.

5. Do I have the time to devote myself to this hobby? At best, breeders will dedicate a good amount of time with each baby: several minutes each day for the first two weeks of their lives. After that, handling time can double as they grow. Both the mother and the baby will need special care and attention, not to mention meticulous cleaning. Also, be sure to factor time for:

  • Filling out paperwork and pedigrees
  • Interviewing buyers
  • Taking care of sick or neglected babies

6. Will I take the time to educate others on proper rat care? When you create a life through breeding, you are responsible for that life. Otherwise, your babies could end up being put to sleep after facing starvation, illness, abuse or neglect. Being responsible means refusing to sell your rats to irresponsible or misinformed owners. This also means being willing to take your rat back in the event that it does not work out in its new home.

Breeding organizations such as the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Society set strict standards of excellence. These standards are the idea that breeders aim for when breeding their animals. While standards address the aspect of the animal’s appearance, excellent temperament and health are also qualities a breeder should strive for. Hence, breeding can be a tremendous challenge and responsibility.

This brings us to the last four questions, which, if you answer “yes” to any of them, are good reasons why not to breed…

7. Do you want to breed rats to make “nice pets”? This is an over-simplification of all that breeding entails. Furthermore, with all the unwanted rats that would make “nice pets” up for adoption and in pet stores the responsible thing to do would be to go and adopt or buy, not breed

People who buy from breeders are typically looking for a specific variety or pedigree. Many times, a litter of rats will naturally include sub-standard colors or markings that will do fine as pets. However, this should not be the goal.

8. Do you want to make money? As previously discussed, there are far more secure business ventures out there without having to risk the welfare of animals. At best, a responsible rat breeder looks at the hobby as a way to defray costs, not a way to fund their retirement.

9. Do you want more rats like the one you have? This, by itself, is not a good enough reason to breed your pet rats. There are simply too many risks involved. As dear as your rattie may be, you may discover that 15 little darlings that no one else wants can be a bit much for you to handle.

10. Do you want to make more of a specific color? While it may be true that breeders will find themselves specializing in a particular color or variety, this is really the result of their hard work and efforts. For a truly responsible breeder, this will never be the reason for what they do.

In conclusion, breeding rats takes a lot of time, effort, and planning. If, after researching and looking into it, you want to get serious about breeding, visit some ratteries. Volunteer for one, if possible. Interview different breeders and, if you can, establish a rapport with one. See if you can establish a mentorship relationship so that you will be well prepared and informed before embarking on your new hobby.

Source by Colin Patterson

Pitbulls Fighting: A Historical Component to Their Bad Rap

Pitbull dogs are one of the most intelligent breeds. They make an assertive and active spirit. Sadly, they are portrayed as aggressive, which is a virtual opposite of their character. There is more to their personality and unique temperament than this.

Eventually I want to convey a historical component that has partly contributed to their bad reputation but let’s first look at some facts about the Pitbull dog.

Pitbull dogs are brave, loyal, loving, obedient…hmmm almost like a Boyscout. But seriously, they do have all these characteristics and therefore can be a good companion despite the unfair treatment that has come from the public and media.

They have a general height of 18 to 22 inches and weight of 30 to 80 pounds. They have an average life span of 10 to 12 years.

They usually have a superb strength and power while also having the tendency to please their owners. Their general appearance is very impressive as compared with their size. Their heads are like that of bricks. Their neck is very muscular, and they have a well formed chest profile. They have cropped ears, scissors-like bite, and eyes that appear in all shades of dog eye colors. They also appear in all colors common with dog, and their coats are normally thick, shiny, and short (Go to Pitbull picture for more information.).

Pitbulls are good guard dogs because they are naturally protective of their owners and their properties. Also, they can be aggressive toward other dog breeds but this excessive aggressiveness can be eliminated with proper training.

Pitbulls do have a fighting history. Dating back to the times when the Greeks ruled the known world, the Molossi tribe is believed to have bred Pitbull dogs (appearance of early breed differs on what we know today). Thus, the official term for this breed being Canus Molossi.

The Molossi tribe of the ancient Greece loved warfare and they are noted to have employed muscular and fierce dogs during warfare to intimidate their enemies. Yet, Mollosian dogs such as the Pitbulls were not always used during war. Some historians noted that they were employed for other purposes. The early Phoenician traders in fact have used these dogs as commercial items in bargaining.

Not only did the Mollosians breed the Pitbull dogs, they also brought forth the Mastiffs, also used in fighting and warfare. These breeds were then exported to Rome where they were used for entertainment in the arenas and the coliseums.

Until 400 AD, the popularity of the breed significantly spread throughout the Roman Empire as being fighting dogs. During this period, the breed was mixed with other European dog breeds that eventually caused the creation of another type- the bulldog breed. This is the direct antecedent of the American Pitbull Terriers or what is better known as the Pitbull dogs.

But this cruel sport did not end with the decent of the Roman Empire from power. When the Normans invaded England in the early 11th century, the game of baiting was introduced.

Interestingly, this game originated with the Bullenbeisser, another dog breed employed by meat butchers to handle much larger bulls for slaughter in the market. The principle of this sport is that when the bulls show uncontrollable behavior, the dog will bite on the nose of the bull and hold tight to it unless the handler gains control.

This started only as a way for controlling the potentially dangerous animals. Through time however, because of the butcher’s pride for their dogs and the need for entertainment, the activity was shown to the public in what was called as baiting events. Consequently, these events boasted the canines’ abilities and appeased the public.

Majority of the towns in England by the 1600s had their own baiting rings. These were the glory days of baiting sport, which had attracted spectators from all levels of society.

Baiting events were eventually banned in the year 1835 with the passing of a Parliament Bill. The Bill prohibited any public display of this bloody sport. However, this did little to deter this sport. And with time, baiting developed into the dog fighting sport. The dog fighting that we hear about nowadays that is held in secrecy.

Even though a stained history exists and some current owners still encourage this Pitbull fighting portrayal through their own opportunistic actions, these dogs remain as being a very fine breed of dog. The human master in various instances is responsible for a ruined dog upbringing. Those select occurrences bode badly for those particular dogs but not across the whole Pitbull breed. These dogs definitely get a bad rap not due to the Pitbulls own doing but from select owners that are misguided. Among the majority of owners, the Pitbull bred dog has proven its ability to be the perfect dog for many potential owners.

Source by Arland Kent