Tips For Training Your Dog

Are you training a new dog? Stuck with a problem behavior you are having trouble correcting? Read on for some tips to help you effectively train your four-legged friend.

 

Consistency is the Key

Arguably the most important element in training a dog is consistency. Dogs, like small children, do not do well with mixed signals, and if you are inconsistent your dog is likely to get confused and to not understand what you want them to do. It is also a good idea to make sure that as many family members as possible are using the same training methods. That way, your dog will always know what is expected of them from your entire family.

 

Patience, Patience, Patience

Always be patient with your dog. Sometimes it is tempting to get frustrated or angry, especially when the dog is misbehaving, but in the long run this does not help the learning process any at all and could actually frighten the dog. Furthermore, behaviors take time to change. Do not expect your pup to have all their commands down quickly. Training a dog takes time. Behaviors that are natural for dogs such as jumping, biting and digging will take longer to correct.

 

Think Positive

Positive reinforcement is important for any good training routine. Dogs do what works. If sitting when asked, staying and giving a paw will get them a treat, a longer walk, a favorite toy or affection, then they will do it. Be sure to liberally reward your dog when they do something right. You likely have no trouble punishing behaviors you do not like. However, rewarding those behaviors you do like is sometimes harder to remember. Be genuine and sincere with your affection and praise. It is even okay to be a little bit over the top. Make sure your dog knows that you like what they are doing, and they will be much more likely to repeat the behavior.

 

Learn to Listen

 Listening is an important skill in any relationship. If your dog seems uncomfortable with something you are asking them to do, that is a clear message. Do not force your dog to do something that they are uncomfortable with. They have their reasons. As a human, you may not understand what those reasons are, but it is important to respect them. You can always try again later. Just because they are not comfortable at this moment does not mean they will always be uncomfortable.

 

These tips may seem basic, but their value cannot be underestimated. If you build a good relationship with your dog now, you are likely to have less incidents of bad behavior. Furthermore, your dog is much more likely to listen to you when you ask them to sit instead of chasing the mailman or jumping on the guests the next time you choose to entertain. Even more importantly, a well-trained dog is a loyal companion who will be at your side for the rest of their life.

Choosing a Multi-Vitamin

Our bodies need their fill of over 40 nutrients each and every day to perform at their best. Are you hitting all those quotas? Most of us don’t manage to get our fill on all of them on our own. Where our day-to-day diets fall short, a multivitamin can help pick up the slack.

The Center for Disease and Control (CDC) reports that about 40 percent of adults in America follow this advice and take a multi-vitamin daily. And yet, a 2010 Consumer Reports study indicated that 56 percent of adults expressed concerns about what was in their multi-vitamin.

With so many multi-vitamin options out there, how do you choose the one that’s right for you? Don’t leave your health to guesswork—consider these factors when choosing a multi-vitamin.

Needs differ by sex
There are some significant differences in men and women’s health needs, particularly from 18 to 50 years old. Women in their child-bearing years require more iron and folic acid than others. Men, on the other hand, need higher doses of several vitamins and minerals, but significantly less iron. For this reason, a mult-vitamin specific for your sex is best.

Don’t hide your age
Many multi-vitamins are designated by age group—kids, adults, and seniors. Be sure to take a multi-vitamin designed for your age group, as our bodies need different things at different stages of life. Kids’ growing bodies need lots of vitamin A, B, C and D, as well as calcium and iron. After 50, the body’s ability to absorb vitamins D and B12 slows down, something multi-vitamins for seniors can help address. 

Check the ingredients
A multi-vitamin doesn’t hold much value if it’s missing the nutrients you need. Always check the label to make sure it’s got high levels of everything your body needs.

Don’t go overboard
Go for a multi-vitamin with 100 percent of your daily recommended intake of as many nutrients as possible (some nutrients like calcium and magnesium rarely include 100 percent because it would make the pill too large). But never go for a multi-vitamin that goes beyond the daily recommended intake amounts—in large doses, some nutrients can become toxic. 

Consider diets and conditions
Individuals on a diet that cuts out entire food groups (such as vegetarian or carb-free) are more likely to be deficient in certain nutrients, as are those on a diet limited to 1,200 calories a day or fewer. Certain health conditions can also cause your body to have an increased need for certain nutrients, including cancer, diabetes, pancreatitis and others. Be aware of any special needs your body has.

Check the source
Vitamins derived from whole foods are better for the body than synthetic ones. How can you tell? Just look at the ingredients list for phrases like “derived from citrus fruits.”

Unlike food, a longer list of ingredients is better for a multivitamin, indicating a wider range of nutrient sources. If you want to take your multivitamin purity an extra mile, look for vitamins derived from organic and raw foods. 

The Best Source of Nutrients is Food

Always remember, the best source of nutrients is always natural ones—your food. Don’t use a multi-vitamin as a crutch; use it to fill the gaps where a balanced diet falls short. Follow these steps and you can take a multi-vitamin with confidence that your body’s needs are being met.

25 Comfort Food Ideas to Get You Through Winter

Sure, we all try to eat healthy most of the time, but sometimes those dark, cold winter days pile up. When that happens, you need that special warmth that only a true comfort food can offer.

Here are 25 of our best ideas to munch and enjoy. Click the link for a recipe for each.

  1. Macaroni and cheese
  2. Grilled cheese
  3. Mashed potatoes
  4. Loaded baked potatoes
  5. Corn chowder
  6. Potato soup
  7. Chicken noodle soup
  8. French onion soup
  9. Chili
  10. Chicken pot pie
  11. Beef stew
  12. Cornbread
  13. Roast beef
  14. Onion rings
  15. Meatloaf
  16. Oatmeal
  17. Fried chicken
  18. Lasagna
  19. Baked beans
  20. Tomato soup
  21. Swedish meatballs
  22. Chicken and dumplings
  23. Baked ziti
  24. Fettuccine alfredo
  25. Chocolate chip cookies

The next time winter cravings hit, you’ll be ready to strike with some of the season’s tastiest and most satisfying foods. Bundle up and bon appetit!