Pet Care Through Life Stages

Pet Care Through Life Stages

Our pets are our friends and family. They have the ability to bring us humor, joy, and happiness throughout their lifetime, which can feel tragically short for our liking. That’s why we care so deeply about how we provide for them throughout the various stages of their life. From adopting a new puppy and watching them discover the world, to the old lap cat that enjoys an afternoon cuddle on a sun-soaked chair. Our animals present us with comfort and companionship. So how do we help them get the most out of their time with us?

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #puppy #kitten #dog #cat #family #life

 

Your Dog’s Life Stages

Your canine friend goes through a series of six stages in its lifetime. Every breed will go through these stages at different rates, phasing from one to the other gradually. If you want to get more specifics on your breed and what to expect throughout their life, talk with your veterinarian and their team about what you should know and be prepared for in regards to your pet’s behavior, lifestyle, and diet as they get older. Those six stages are:

  • Puppy
  • Junior
  • Adult
  • Mature
  • Senior
  • Geriatric

 

Your Cat’s Life Stages

Your cat also goes sees a similar six life stages. As with a canine, these stages can differ between breeds, but the gestation of these phases stays relatively similar. These stages are:

  • Kitten
  • Junior
  • Prime
  • Mature
  • Senior
  • Geriatric

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #family #life

Tailor a Wellness Plan

Knowing what your pet needs from the very moment you bring them home can be tricky. We can do all the pet-proofing, buy the best toys, and give them all the tummy scratches they could ask for. Even still, if we don’t do the leg work to understand the lives of our family pets, we’d be doing them a disservice.

Providing the ultimate care means taking the time to understand the awesome, and sometimes tough moments, that our pets will inevitably go through. Work with their primary vet to tailor a wellness plan for your pet based on their breed and age. Learn about what they might be vulnerable to at certain stages in their life. And of course, make a plan for their general wellness.

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #puppy #kitten #dog #cat #family #life

Exercise is Always Important

Make sure that exercise is a part of your pet’s daily life. Don’t skip out on it as your pet gets older. Daily exercise will help prevent obesity and other common health problems that easily effect senior animals. Not only does it help keep their body’s functioning, but it can help stimulate their senses. Remember, a bored animal is not something you want in your house. It can often lead to destructive behaviors and even depression.

If you’re taking your senior dog out for a walk, keep the distance short at first. Make sure your dog is comfortable before lengthening the distance later. Try and keep your outings to the early morning, or later in the afternoon when the sun isn’t at its strongest. Older canines are more susceptible to heat. Make sure to bring water with you as well. Your senior dog may become more quickly dehydrated than you thought possible.

Find toys that stimulate your senior cat’s senses. If they enjoy chasing around a laser, set some time out of your day to get them moving, or “hunting” after that squirrelly dot. It’s easy for senior cats to put on excess weight in their twilight years, and not getting them up and moving can cause unwanted stress on their joints.

 

Preventing Disease

A large part of animal care through the years is keeping diseases at bay. Although ticks and heartworms might be something you worry less about due to where you reside—just as you take care to prevent diseases spread through pests that could harm your own person—it’s wise to make sure similar pest can’t harm your animals, as well. Take necessary precautions on trips to new places, keep a careful eye out for ticks embedded in fur after walks and parasites spotted after bathroom outings.

 

Annual Visits to the Vet

Never underestimate the importance of an annual wellness exam! The ailments our pets may be dealing with could be going unnoticed. Get your pet to the vet at least once a year. You could have the chance to catch something happening with your pet well before they begin to show signs of discomfort or struggle. It’s also important to get any pet that spends time outdoors their basic round of yearly shots. It’ll give you the needed piece of mind that they’ll be safe at the dog park where diseases can be present.

Pet Care Through Life Stages #petcare #pets #puppy #kitten #dog #cat #family #life

As your pet reaches their mature, or senior stage, you might decide to visit their vet more than once a year. By nature, your dog or cat could be hiding signs of the pains or discomfort in their old age. Be sure to keep an eye out for signs they may need an extra checkup. For instance, it may be normal for your dog to pant after a long romp around the park, but if your feline friend begins to pant this would be a concern. Keep an eye out for any unusual behaviors.

 

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6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout

Nobody goes to the gym expecting mediocre results. When you have invested your time, money, and energy into working out at a gym, you want to see results in the form of a leaner, more sculpted body. And if you have been working out for a while and haven’t seen those results, it can be disheartening. It seems that everybody, from the beginner to the experienced gym shark, is always looking for more ways to get the most out of their workout. But the good news is, researchers have been looking for that very thing, and they have found a few ways to do just that. So, for everybody who is looking to make the most of their gym membership, here’s a list of a few easy ways to get a better workout.

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout #workout #healthy #music #rest #food #water #weights

Listen to Music

First and foremost is a tip that everybody already knows, but it’s worth restating: listening to music is an excellent way to get the most out of your workout. In addition to providing your body with energy so you work out harder than you otherwise would, listening to music actually helps your body recover faster. It increases levels of serotonin and dopamine, which have been shown to foster recovery. Of course, if you’re wearing headphones, you’ll want to know a thing or two about headphones and hearing safety, but other than that, you can jam out and get in a great workout.

Rest

Many people who are new to exercising or who are overeager to get started fail to realize the importance of resting. While it might seem counterintuitive, taking a day or two each week to rest between workouts will actually be more beneficial in the long run than working out every day. Our bodies need time to rest, so be sure to take a day or two each week to rest, and be sure to get enough sleep every night!

Eat Healthy Foods

Everybody knows that regular exercise and a healthy diet are the two factors that contribute to better physical fitness, but many people find it difficult to incorporate them both into their lives. However, it is important that you do incorporate both of them because one without the other won’t do you much good. The two habits complement each other and work together to give you great results. If you’re wanting to get a good workout in, healthy foods will give you the energy you need.

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout #workout #healthy #music #rest #food #water #weights

Drink Water

Closely related to eating healthy foods, drinking water deserves its own category because again, people who exercise regularly and eat healthy foods can still neglect drinking enough water. Studies have shown that many people are already dehydrated by the time they enter the gym, and the problem only gets worse as they sweat. If you’re dehydrated, your workout will feel harder, your performance will suffer, and it will take you longer to recover from your workout than if you were properly hydrated, so be sure to drink enough water before, during, and after your workout! 

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout #workout #healthy #music #rest #food #water #weights

Use Free Weights

The machines at the gym are a very tempting option because they do well to isolate specific muscle groups to ensure a great workout. And while they do have their benefits, it is important that you also incorporate a lot of free weights into your workout as well. The reason for that is when you’re using a machine, the machine does all of the supporting for you, which means that all of the stabilizing muscles in your body aren’t engaging in the workout. When you use free weights, however, it’s up to you to keep everything stable, so you’ll end up using more muscles, working harder, and getting better results.

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Workout #workout #healthy #music #rest #food #water #weights

Switch It Up

Adding some variation to your workout won’t just keep you from getting bored (though that is important). Studies have shown that people who perform different variations of workouts get better results than people who only stick with one or two workouts. If you’re looking for a fast, easy, and fun way to get a better workout, it would be a wise decision to switch things up every now and then. That way, you’ll work different muscles, have more fun, and see better results.

Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread

Over the weekend i was feeling so crappy, Mother Nature came with my monthly subscription and sucker punched me. It was worse this month than the last couple months and I was nauseous, not hungry, moody, tired, just the works. Bleh.

I had a serious craving for something sweet and crunchy when I noticed the bananas that were overly ripe. My very first thought was “BANANA BREAD!”. I ran the idea by Christopher and he agreed we needed walnut banana bread in our life. I have been eating gluten free for a few months now and I feel so much better. I’m not toppled over in pain, not bloated from inflammation, and lesser migraines. 

Despite the pain and anxiety I was experiencing I decided to tackle the grocery store by myself (HUGE deal) because it was 9:43am, how crowded could Lowe’s Foods be? I picked up the ingredients needed and a few extras like the Starburst jelly beans then made my way back to Christopher’s. Ya know, I’ve never been a jelly bean kinda girl, but the Starburst jelly beans satisfy my soul. 

The Best Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe #glutenfree #dessert #breakfast #recipe #foodie #food #banana

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas (3 bananas yield ~1 1/2 cups or 337 g)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed organic brown sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (depending on ripeness of bananas // or sub honey)
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond or dairy-free milk
  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free oats

Make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mash banana in a large bowl. Add all ingredients through almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine. Last add almond meal, gluten free flour blend, walnuts, and oats then stir.
  3. Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. When ready, it should feel firm and be crackly and golden brown on top.
  4. Let cool completely before cutting or it will be fall apart from being too tender.

The Best Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe #glutenfree #dessert #breakfast #recipe #foodie #food #banana

The loaf can be put in the freezer for up to a month but trust me, it will definitely get eaten before then. You can eat the slices of banana nut bread with honey too, which is equally delicious.

I’m still new to the gluten free lifestyle so if you have any recipes I’d love for you to share them! It can be a little overwhelming with all of the labels and hidden words, so know what I can have is half the battle. 

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

I love my Instant pot! I practically use it for almost everything I cook. I like that I can just add everything from the recipe and look it cook while I get other things done. Even if there are a few different steps, they can all be done with ease. If you’ve got an instant pot or you are thinking of getting one you can find delicious recipes from my Instant Pot Pinterest board.

Welcoming the colder weather means welcoming warmer dishes. ‘Tis the season for all things soup! I for one love a good soup recipe especially if it’s wholesome and filling.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup Recipe #recipe #instantpot #soup #winter #meal

 

I’ve made this soup five times already and each time I tweak it slightly making it a little better than the last. I’ve made it twice using this exact recipe so I think it’s the best to share with you. It’s so much cheaper to make at home than buying it out or in grocery stores. It’s also fun to put together too and in no time you pretty much have an entire meal.

I love all things potatoes and this soup tastes like a loaded baked potato with sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, and butter. I used Better than Bouillon chicken base for a little extra flavor. I’ve made the soup a few times without it and it seems as though something is missing. 

Loaded Baked potato Soup #soup #instantpot #recipe #food

Ingredients: 

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  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, red, or Russets (I used red because they are my favorite)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Better than Bouillon chicken base
  • 4 cups milk (any kind of your choosing)
  • 1/2 cup grated medium or sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (3 oz) package real bacon bits
  • 2 green onions, diced (you can add more if you’d like)

Get to cooking:

    1. If using red or yellow potatoes, scrub them clean. If using Russet potatoes, peel them. Pour 1 cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot and then place trivet in the bottom. Place potatoes on top of the trivet.
    2. Cover the Instant Pot and lock the lid. Make sure valve is set to “sealing.” Set the pressure cook button (mine says manual) for 10 minutes on high pressure. When the timer beeps carefully move the valve to “venting” to let the pressure release. When you can, remove the lid. F82DE623-3F23-4553-A193-1D8DAF5D99C9
    3. Remove the potatoes and set aside. Discard the water. Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting on “less.” Melt the butter. Once butter is melted whisk in one tablespoon of flour at a time until you get a creamy, lump-free roux. Add in the salt and pepper. Let it start to bubble, whisking constantly.
    4. Once it is bubbling add in the milk and Better than Bouillon and whisk. Adjust the saute setting to a high heat. Whisk every few minutes until the milk starts to thicken and bubble.
    5. Turn the Instant Pot to the warm setting. Stir in the sour cream, cheddar, diced onions and bacon.
    6. Smash the potatoes with a potato masher. My potatoes were somewhat smashed but still had some chunkiness to them. Stir the potatoes into the Instant Pot. Salt and pepper the soup if needed.
    7. Serve topped with shredded cheese and bacon bits. 

Loaded Baked potato Soup #soup #instantpot #recipe #food

Excuse the photos, it smelled so good and I was so hungry while making it my stomach was practically trying to eat itself. The left overs are better the next day too! Give it a try and please let me know what you thought! 

If you don’t have time to read it now, then PIN it for later!

Instant Pot Recipe: Pot Roast With Potatoes & Carrots

Instant Pot Recipe: Pot Roast With Potatoes & Carrots

I have always loved potatoes and carrots that were cooked with a roast, they were so good to me! I had the idea to use the instant pot and thought a roast would satisfy us both; and satisfy it did.

Instant Pot Recipe: Pot Roast With Potatoes & Carrots #recipe #instantpot #potroast #meal #weeknight

I love the baby carrots so I use them a lot rather than cutting up large carrots. I didn’t want the baby carrots to turn to complete mush so I added them into the instant pot 10 minutes before the entire meal was done.

Instant Pot Recipe: Pot Roast With Potatoes & Carrots #recipe #instantpot #potroast #meal #weeknight

This recipe is by far the best pot roast instant pot recipe I’ve tried (the carrots, potatoes, and onions filled me up and the boyfriend couldn’t get enough of the pot roast). I’ll be hanging onto it for as long as my little instant pot will help me out. I’ve loved using it this summer because the oven doesn’t have to be turned on. 

Ingredients
1 3-5 pound beef chuck roast (see notes for instructions from frozen)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound baby red potatoes
1 pound baby carrots
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons corn starch

Instructions

  • Turn on your instant pot and set it to “saute”. In a small bowl stir together salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Rub mixture all over the roast to coat all sides.
  • Drizzle oil in instant pot, wait about 30 seconds, then use tongs to place roast in the pot. Do not move it for 3-4 minutes until well-seared and browned. Use tongs to turn the roast onto another side for 3-4 minutes, repeating until all sides are browned.
  • Switch instant pot to “pressure cook” on high and set to 60-80 minutes (60 for a 3 pound roast, 80 for a 5 pound roast). Add potatoes and onions to pot; arrange them around the roast and pour beef broth and worcestershire sauce over everything. Place lid on the pot and turn to locked position. Make sure the vent is set to the sealed position. (If using baby carrots set your cook time 10 minutes earlier than the recipe time calls for, once the instant pot goes off so a manual realer then add in the baby carrots, cook the additional 10 minutes).
  • When the cooking time is up, do a natural release for 10 minutes (don’t touch anything on the pot, just let it de-pressurize on it’s own for 10 minutes). After 10 minutes, turn vent to the venting release position and allow all of the steam to vent and the float valve to drop down before removing the lid.
  • Transfer the roast, potatoes, onions, and carrots to a platter and shred the roast with 2 forks into chunks. Use a handheld strainer to scoop out bits from the broth in the pot.
  • Set instant pot to “soup” setting. Whisk together the water and corn starch. Once broth is boiling, stir in corn starch mixture until the gravy thickens. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

 

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family

Did you know that, on any given day, more than one in every three American children will eat fast food? Our bad eating habits seemingly start much sooner than we might think – as early as in our toddler years according to researcher Victor Fulgoni. Until about 9 months of age, our diets are pretty balanced, consisting of breast milk or formula, baby cereal and mashed up fruit and vegetables. At 10 months we are generally introduced to our first bite of cake while our first birthdays open up a portal to a land strewn with sodas, candy, potato chips, chicken nuggets, pizza and a whole array of other overly-processed foods. Judging by our early start at eating junk food, it is no wonder that we inherently find it difficult to make healthy food choices as we grow older. Luckily there is still a chance to become a responsible adult and parent, making small changes to your eating habits that will soon see your family following a healthier lifestyle without kicking up a fuss.

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family #healthy #eating #family #lifestyle

Set a good example for your children

As adults, we are required to set good a good example for our children, regardless of how hard it may be at times. Leading by example is one of the most effective ways to get your children to follow a healthy diet as children are naturally prone to copying their parents. Resist the urge to drink countless glasses of soda in front of your children, opting for a homemade lemonade or ice tea instead. Pack a healthy lunch for yourself for work and offer the children something similar for school. If everyone in the household is on the same page as healthy eating is concerned, it will be significantly easier to make permanent changes to your lifestyle.

Taking The First Steps Towards Becoming A Healthy-Eating Family #healthy #eating #family #lifestyle

Don’t buy what you can make yourself

As convenient as it is to reach for the nearest bottle of ketchup or a tub of yogurt, it is not the healthiest option for your family. Even seemingly healthy store-bought foods are often riddled with hidden ingredients that are not nearly as healthy as the manufacturers make them out to be. When you prepare your own meals from scratch you have complete control over what ingredients you use. You may be surprised to find how easy it is to whip up a batch of homemade yogurt or prepare your own healthier take on corn dogs or chicken nuggets.

Ensure you have healthy snacks in the house

While it is fairly easy to eat healthy at meal times, snacking is often a whole different ball game. Make sure there are a number of healthy snack options available to indulge in while watching TV, firing up the BBQ or to take along on a family road trip.  Instead of potato chips, buy a packet of pretzels and bake a batch of oat cookies rather than buying a box of Oreos. Investing in a popcorn maker and an air fryer will go a long way in enabling you to make nutritious and delicious snacks any time a craving rears its head.

While it is of vital importance for you and your family to follow a healthy diet it is also important to not expect all the changes to happen overnight. Be patient with both yourself and your family, auctioning one small change at a time. Before you know it, you and your loved ones will be leading a healthy lifestyle without even sparing a thought for the unhealthy eating.

 

Herb Crusted flank steak

Herb Crusted flank steak

I had a craving for some meat! So I decided I’d cook, since it had been awhile, It turned out to be a great idea! The day was rainy and lazy so i whipped up some homemade horseradish sauce for the side too. I have a love hate relationship with horseradish sauce though.

I made fingerling potatoes and snow peas for the sides, which we quickly gobbled up. 

Herb crusted flank steak #recipe #dinner #food

Herb Crusted Flank Steak 

Ingredients:
2 tsp rosemary, finely minced
2 tsp thyme, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp each salt and pepper
2 lbs flank steak

Get cooking:
1. Chop the rosemary, thyme, and tarragon for the marinade. Next, mince some garlic, and add it to your herbs.
2. Drizzle in the olive oil and add pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir well.
3. Lay the flank steaks out over plastic wrap and pour the marinade right over. Rub in the marinade all over with your hands, make sure you don’t miss a spot.
4. Grill the steaks about five minutes on each side (for a beautiful medium steak).
5. Slice it into strips on a platter and serve.

Herb Crusted Flank Steak #dinner #food #recipe

This is a great weeknight meal and can be mixed with a little wine. I love shedding a busy day starting with dinner, a glass of wine, then a shower before bed.

Homemade Honey And Oat Energy Balls

Homemade Honey And Oat Energy Balls

I am not a good breakfast eater. I have to be awake for awhile before I am even hungry. I feel a little nauseous if I make myself eat in the mornings when I’m not hungry.

I know to get my metabolism jump started I need to eat a little something. I love breakfast bars but I don’t love what’s in them most of the time.

I personally think this recipe is the holy grail of all healthy breakfast balls (I’ve also been called a liar, but this one is SO good!) Because with honey, peanut butter, & rolled oats as the base – what’s not to love??

I will be eating these (on the way) at work so I didn’t want to make them as bars so I decided to roll them into bite size balls. They can be stored a lot easier and they’re perfect for popping one in your mouth at the desk or in commute.

Healthy Breakfast Balls

Ingredients:
1 cup of honey
3/4 cup of peanut butter
2 1/2cups of rolled oats

Optional:
Dried cranberries
Raisin
Pistachio
Dark chocolate chunks
Coconut
Peanuts

Instructions:
1. Put the peanut butter and honey in a medium mixing bowl.

Mix peanut butter and honey
2. Place in microwave and heat for 15 seconds. (You want to soften the ingredients together rather than melt them)
3. Throughly mix honey and peanut butter until well blended.

Blend the honey & peanut butter together
4. Add in the oats, then fold into peanut butter and honey mixture. (a cup at a time helps to blend all the ingredients throughly)

Mix In the rolled oats
5. Place mixture onto wax paper and spread about 1/2 an inch. (You can also used a greased rectangle pan)
6. Set in fridge for 5-6 hours to let the bar set.

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7. Use a spoon to measure the amount of the bar you desire.
8. Use spoon or hands to roll into bite sized balls.

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If you think you’d like this recipe please share it on Twitter or Pinterest! I’d love to know if you give it a try too!