Tattoo removal

 

nd_yag_mini_laser_tattoo_removal_machine_nd-506

Tattoo removal has been performed with various tools during the history of tattooing. While tattoos were once considered permanent, it is now possible to remove them with treatments, fully or partially. Before the development of laser tattoo removal methods, common techniques included dermabrasion, TCA (Trichloroacetic acid, an acid that removes the top layers of skin, reaching as deep as the layer in which the tattoo ink resides), salabrasion (scrubbing the skin with salt), cryosurgery and excision which is sometimes still used along with skin grafts for larger tattoos. Some early forms of tattoo removal included the injection or application of wine, lime, garlic or pigeon excrement. Tattoo removal by laser was performed with continuous-wave lasers initially, and later with Q-switched lasers, which became commercially available in the early 1990s. Today, “laser tattoo removal” usually refers to the non-invasive removal of tattoo pigments using Q-switched lasers. Typically, black and other darker-colored inks can be removed completely. Two alternative removal methods are in development. Dalhousie University PhD student Alec Falkenham has developed a cream which promises to remove tattoos safely and painlessly. US Stemcell Inc and ClearIt LLC are collaborating on a product called ERASER.

A poll conducted in January 2012 by Harris Interactive reported that 1 in 7 (14%) of the 21% of American adults who have a tattoo regret getting one. The poll didn’t report the reasons for these regrets, but a poll that was done 4 years prior reported that the most common reasons were “too young when I got the tattoo” (20%), “it’s permanent” and “I’m marked for life” (19%), and “I just don’t like it” (18%). An earlier poll showed that 19% of Britons with tattoos suffered regret, as did 11% of Italians with tattoos.  Surveys of tattoo removal patients were done in 1996 and 2006 and provided more insight. Of those polled, the patients who regretted their tattoos typically obtained their tattoos in their late teens or early twenties, and were evenly distributed by gender. Among those seeking removals, more than half reported that they “suffered embarrassment”. A new job, problems with clothes, and a significant life event were also commonly cited as motivations.

Tattoo removal is most commonly performed using lasers that break down the ink particles in the tattoo. The broken-down ink is then absorbed by the body, mimicking the natural fading that time or sun exposure would create. All tattoo pigments have specific light absorption spectra. A tattoo laser must be capable of emitting adequate energy within the given absorption spectrum of the pigment to provide an effective treatment. Certain tattoo pigments, such as yellows, greens and fluorescent inks are more challenging to treat than darker blacks and blues, because they have absorption spectra that fall outside or on the edge of the emission spectra available in the tattoo removal laser. Recent pastel coloured inks contain high concentrations of titanium dioxide which is highly reflective. Consequently, such inks are difficult to remove since they reflect a significant amount of the incident light energy out of the skin.

Laser-tattoo-removal-DWidely considered the gold standard treatment modality to remove a tattoo, laser tattoo removal requires repeat visits. The newer Q-switched lasers are said by the National Institutes of Health to result in scarring only rarely and are usually used only after a topical anesthetic has been applied.

Multiple factors contribute to the success of laser tattoo removal, one of which is a patient’s own immune system. The Kirby-Desai scale parameters qualify the factors that can dictate tattoo removal success. Moreover, treatment on certain patients with immune system problems is contraindicated.

Laser tattoo removal is uncomfortable – many patients say it is worse than getting the tattoo on. The pain is often described to be similar to that of hot oil on the skin, or a “snap” from an elastic band. Depending on the patient’s pain threshold, and while some patients may forgo anesthesia altogether, most patients will require some form of local anesthesia. Pre-treatment might include the application of an anesthetic cream under occlusion for 45 to 90 minutes prior to the laser treatment session. A better method is complete anesthesia which can be administered locally by injections of 1% to 2% lidocaine with epinephrine.

Immediately after laser treatment, a slightly elevated, white discoloration with or without the presence of punctuate bleeding is often observed. This white color change is thought to be the result of rapid, heat-formed steam or gas, causing dermal and epidermal vacuolization. Pinpoint bleeding represents vascular injury from photoacoustic waves created by the laser’s interaction with tattoo pigment.

Although laser treatment is well known and often used to remove tattoos, unwanted side effects of laser tattoo removal include the possibility of discoloration of the skin such as hypopigmentation (white spots, more common in darker skin) and hyperpigmentation (dark spots) as well as textural changes.

Wikipedia

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Many Seniors Lose Fitness Due to Lack of Training, Not Just Aging

Exercises-for-Seniors-and-Benefits

Seniors make quick improvements when they start exercise

We all probably know of at least one senior citizen who seems to defy the laws of aging and remains in top physical shape well beyond their peers. We also tend to dismiss this person as genetically gifted or just unusual. However, research, and more and more seniors, are showing us that this doesn’t have to be the case. Many of the declines in fitness with age are due to lack of use, not just the normal aging process.

While it’s true that as we age we have to work harder than we did when we were young, a lot of the declines that we attribute to aging may be reversed with fitness training.

Over the past two years, Senior Journal.com has published the following headlines and research findings about benefits for senior fitness training:

Study confirms earlier finds on value of weight exercise, calcium citrate
Researchers have once again looked at the Bone Estrogen Strength Training (BEST) Study at The University of Arizona; a landmark study on how strength training affects changes in bone density in postmenopausal women.

Most recent study confirms the findings that a specific regimen of weight-bearing and resistance exercises, combined with calcium citrate supplement over four years, provided significant improvement in bone mineral density (BMD) at key skeletal sites, whether or not the women were on hormone therapy (HT).

Exercise Improves Skin Healing in Elderly.
A common complaint by senior citizens is how much longer it takes for injuries and wounds to heal as we get older.

The body’s ability to heal even small skin wounds is one of those things that slows as we age. A new study, however, finds that regular exercise by older adults may speed up the wound-healing process by as much as 25 percent.

Stress reduction and diet also cited as helping memory
A study released today says senior citizens can not only improve their aging bodies with exercise but that by adding memory exercises to their routine they can also preserve their memory.

Exercise Improves Quality of Life for Seniors
A new study has found that previously sedentary senior citizens who incorporated exercise into their lifestyles not only improved physical function, but experienced psychological benefits as well.

Exercise helps prevent Alzheimer’s
A new study published today adds to the growing evidence that exercise – particularly if it starts early and is maintained over time – is beneficial in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The new study focused on the physical activity levels of older people when they were middle aged and concludes being physically active in midlife can significantly decrease the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Developing Good Balance is Critical Element of Healthy Aging
Balance has less to do with strength and everything to do with an elderly person’s ability to get around and live independently. Yet, few people in their later years think to practice balancing — until it’s too late. A study at Indiana University Bloomington has produced a balance improvement program that can be done at home.

Exercise, Healthy Diet May Prevent Teeth Loss
Senior citizens and baby boomers are pounded with advice saying that with exercise and a healthy diet their mental and physical health is substantially improved. Now, a new study says that even oral health is better. The exercise-and-eat-right lifestyle, the study says, can reduce periodontal disease, the main cause of loss of teeth.

Older Senior Citizens Who Don’t Exercise Can Face Problems Even Walking
Even for older senior citizen, lack of exercise increases the risk of future problems with climbing stairs or even walking, according to research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Strength Training Is an Antidote to Muscle Loss In Elderly
Resistance or “strength” training has repeatedly been shown to be a safe and effective method of reversing sarcopenia, or muscle loss, in the elderly. The condition actually starts around age 45, when muscle mass begins to decline at a rate of about 1 percent per year. Scientists funded by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have been studying the factors involved in gradual muscle loss since 1988.

Boomers, Young Seniors Can Extend Life With Minimal Exercise
A new study gives people in their 50s and 60s another reason to get off the couch and be physically active — especially if they have conditions or habits that endanger their hearts, like diabetes, high blood pressure or smoking.

Elderly Women Should Worry More About Exercise Than Weight
Elderly women should worry more about exercising than about controlling their weight in order to prevent their physical decline, according to a study done at the University of Pittsburgh and recently published in Preventive Medicine.

AboutHealth

 

8 Facts About Bullying Everyone Should Know

BullyingDiscover some important facts about bullying

When it comes to bullying, most people feel like they understand the issue. But sometimes they have an incomplete picture of the problem. Here are eight facts that everyone should know about bullying.

Fact #1: Bullies come in all shapes and sizes.

It’s a mistake to assume that all bullies are loners or have low self-esteem. In fact, there are at least six common types of bullies. While some bullies do suffer from self-esteem issues, there are others who bully because they feel entitled.

Other kids bully because they too have been victims of bullying and others bully to climb the social ladder. Some kids even bully due to peer pressure.

Bullying involves having power over someone. As a result, many kids who bully have a craving for power. In other words, the bully is looking to improve his status.

Meanwhile, other kids participate in bullying because they view it as an effective method for controlling and manipulating the social hierarchy at school.

Fact #2: Anyone can become a victim of bullying.

While there are certain attributes that often lead bullies to target someone, it’s a mistake to assume there is one type of target. In fact, even the most popular kids at school can be victims of bullying. It’s important to remember that kids are bullied because the bully made a choice to target them.

As a result, it’s wrong to assume that some kids are bullied because they have a victim personality. When this idea is embraced, it removes the blame from the bully and places it on the victim. The responsibility for bullying always falls on the bullies.

They are the only ones with a choice in the matter. Likewise, labeling kids who are bullied lets the bully off the hook and implies the victim deserves to be bullied.

Fact #3: Bullying can happen at any age.

While bullying often starts in late elementary school and peaks in middle school, it’s important to point out that bullying can start as young as preschool.

While the majority of school bullying takes place in middle school, some bullying carries over into adulthood. In fact, workplace bullying is a growing problem.

It really doesn’t matter what age a person is, bullies focus on anyone who doesn’t fit the accepted norm and focus on that. They also will bully others they feel threatened by or those that have something they want. People also have been bullied because they look, act, talk or dress differently.

Fact #4: There are six types of bullying.

When most people picture bullying, they imagine a group of boys punching and kicking another boy. But physical bullying is only type of bullying. There are in fact six different types of bullying including physical bullying, verbal bullying, relational aggression, cyberbullying, prejudicial bullying and sexual bullying.

Fact #5: Boys and girls bully differently.

When it comes to bullying, boys and girls tend to bully differently. For instance female bullies tend to be “mean girls” who use relational aggression and cyberbullying to control and manipulate situations. Girls also resort to more name-calling and tend to bully only other girls.

Boys on the other hand tend to be more physically aggressive. This is not to say that they don’t call names and cyberbully others, but when it comes down to it, boys tend to punch and hit much more than female bullies. Additionally, male bullies will bully both girls and boys. They also are impulsive, menacing and enjoy the status they get from a fight.

Fact #6: Those victimized by bullying often don’t report it.

Despite the number of negative emotions and consequences of bullying, many targets of bullying do not tell anyone what is happening to them. The reasons for remaining silent vary from person to person. But for some tweens and teens, they are embarrassed, confused or feel they can handle it on their own. A number of young people also question whether or not telling will do any good. Unfortunately, some adults and school systems have established a pattern of not addressing bullying and young people feel that telling is won’t do any good.

Fact #7: Usually there are witnesses to bullying.

Frequently, when bullying occurs, other kids are present. Yet, the common reaction for these bystanders is to simply stand by and do nothing. For this reason, bullying prevention efforts should include ideas on how to empower bystanders to take action. Included in those programs are ideas on what bystanders can do if they witness bullying. Many times, kids remain silent because they are unsure what they should do or they feel it is none of their business. But the goal in bullying prevention is to capitalize on the audience a bully has and turn it toward helping the victim rather than silently supporting bullies.

Fact #8: Bullying has significant consequences.

Being targeted by a bully can have significant consequences for the victim. In fact, many victims feel alone, isolated and humiliated. And if bullying is left unaddressed a number of other issues can crop up including depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and even suicide. For this reason, it is important that parents and teachers realize that bullying is not a rite of passage and it won’t make victims stronger. Instead it has lasting consequences and should be dealt with swiftly and effectively.

:: Bullying Expert 

About.com

Wild about White Tea

Look for White Tea to Become the Latest Hot New Food Trend

White Tea
White Tea

White tea has arrived in North America. While Chinese tea drinkers have been hip to white tea’s benefits since the Ming Dynasty, until recently it was virtually unknown outside of Asia. Not anymore. Today, everyone from chefs to medical researchers is praising white tea’s delicate flavor and purported health benefits. Market researchers predict consumers will soon share their enthusiasm, turning white tea into one of the hottest new food trends.

But, what is white tea? Most tea aficionados know that all tea comes from the same source: the Camilla Sinensis tea bush. Whether a tea leaf winds up in a cup of green, black, or oolong tea depends entirely on what happens after it is plucked. Black tea derives its dark color and full flavor from a complex fermentation process that includes exposing crushed tea leaves to the air for a strictly defined number of minutes.

Tea leaves meant for more mellow tasting green tea are not fermented at all, but merely withered in hot air and quickly steamed or pan-fried. A gentle rolling and final heating stabilizes the tea’s natural flavors. Oolong teas fall somewhere in the middle: partial fermentation gives them a distinct reddish colour and a “flowery” flavor.

So, where does white tea fit into the picture? White tea is made from immature tea leaves that are picked shortly before the buds have fully opened. The tea takes its name from the silver fuzz that still covers the buds, which turns white when the tea is dried. The exact proportion of buds to leaves varies depending on the variety of white tea. For example, White Peony contains one bud for every two leaves, while Silver Needles, the creme de la creme of white teas, is made entirely from downy buds picked within a two day period in early Spring.

Of course, an exotic appearance alone doesn’t explain white tea’s sudden surge in popularity. The secret lies in what happens after the buds are plucked. Tea leaves destined to be sold as white tea undergo even less processing than green tea leaves. Instead of air-drying, the unwithered leaves are merely steamed.

The result? A pale tea with a sweet, silky flavor. People who have tried both note that white tea lacks the “grassy” aftertaste so often associated with green tea. Furthermore, studies indicate that white tea is better for you. Leaving tea leaves so close to their natural state means that white tea contains more polyphenols, the powerful anti-oxidant that fights and kills cancer-causing cells, than any other type of tea.

Need another reason to drink white tea? A 2004 study at Pace University concluded that white tea can help your body’s immune system fight off viruses and dangerous infection-causing bacteria. The same study concluded that fluoride-rich white tea helps prevent the growth of dental plaque, the chief cause of tooth decay.

Aboutfood

16 Things You’re Doing to Wreck Your Skin

Washing your face before bed is extremely important
Washing your face before bed is extremely important

Your skin is basically an ill-tempered five-year-old: cranky, high-maintenance, and takes things personally. Every time you do something wrong, it fires back by going dull, breaking out, and showing signs of aging. Here are 16 things you might be doing that are holding you back from the glowing, perfectly even, clear-pored skin of your dreams. How many are you guilty of?

1. Not wearing sunscreen on nonsunny days. Even when it’s overcast, those aging UV rays can get ya. Need a sunscreen rec? Fine your SPF soulmate.

2. Picking at your face. You know you shouldn’t, but it’s so, so tempting. But it can lead to acne scars, so stop it.

3. Not taking your makeup off before bed. This not only gives your makeup time to clog pores, but you’re interrupting your skin’s overnight repair process. And yes, you even have to wash off mineral makeup too. At the very least, keep some makeup wipes on your bedside table for the times when you just can’t.

4. Not rinsing right after the gym. This can cause breakouts not only on your face but on your back too.

5. Having the same morning and nighttime routines. Your skin needs protection during the day and ingredients that help it repair at night.

6. Reaching for the same washcloth several nights in a row. Ideally you should be washing them after every use because the moisture in them allows bacteria to grow. And bacteria wasn’t invited to this skin party.

7. Ignoring antioxidants like vitamin C. These ingredients kill aging free radicals, and they’re your best defense against fine lines.

8. Not using the right motion when you cleanse. According to one facialist , you need to “glide your fingertips, covered with cleanser, up over your nose, onto your forehead, around the eyes, and down the cheeks until you reach your chin. Kind of like doing mini breaststrokes on your face.”

9. Failing to take your makeup off before you work out. Hello, clogged pores!

10. Not reapplying your sunscreen. Every two hours. No excuses.

11. Relying on facial wipes as your only cleansing tactic. They’ll work in a pinch, and they’re great for taking off makeup before you wash, but as one derm explained to us , they leave behind a film that can dry out your skin. 

12. Using expired makeup. 

13. Not applying enough sunscreen. 

14. Hot showers dry out your skin. Lukewarm is your goal.

15. Not washing your makeup brushes once a week.

16. Skipping little areas like your ears, scalp, and the backs of your hands when you sunscreen up. Everywhere you have skin, you should have sunblock on.

From MSN

Kathy D

HelpfullHanna

Simple Ideas That Are Borderline Genius

The link below from Dump-a-Day is very interesting :: enjoy these inventions:::

Definition of Genius::

A Genius is a person who displays exceptionally superior intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of new advances in a domain of knowledge. A scholar in many subjects or a scholar in a single subject may be referred to as a genius. There is no scientifically precise definition of genius, and the question of whether the notion itself has any real meaning has long been a subject of debate, although psychologists are converging on a definition that emphasizes creativity and eminent achievement.

http://www.dumpaday.comSimple Ideas that are Borderline Genius/genius-ideas-2/simple-ideas-that-are-borderline-genius-24-pics-9/

Kathy Dowsett

Comments? Add to comment section below>>>

Tips for Water Safety

Girls playing at the pool
Girls playing at the pool

Whether it’s endless games of Marco Polo in the pool or jumping over waves at the beach, water is central to summer fun. Water safety requires vigilance. Children, in particular, are often completely unaware of the dangers that come with water activities. Even if they have had swimming lessons, young children can drown in only a few inches of water. Follow these tips from Palo Alto Medical Foundation Pediatrician LauraLe Dyner, M.D., to keep the entire family safe and healthy while enjoying the water this summer.

Keep your backyard pool safe at all times.

Make sure your pool is entirely surrounded with at least a 4-foot impenetrable fence that includes a self-closing and self-latching gate. The gate should always be in good working order and stay closed and locked at all times. Pool gates should open outwards from the pool.

Ensure your pool has a drain cover.

Keep your child out of spas and hot tubs as they are dangerous for young children who can easily overheat and drown in them.

Always keep a safety ring with a rope beside the pool.

Keep a phone close by with preprogrammed emergency numbers.

Learn and encourage other family members and your child’s caretakers to learn CPR.

Remove the pool cover before anyone enters the pool. Don’t use a cover in place of a safety fence.

Avoid distractions. Tempted to catch up on emails on your laptop or make a quick call on your cell phone while your children are in the pool? Wait until they are out of the water and pool area.

Share the rules, such as no running near the pool and no pushing others under water.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Pool Safely website at poolsafely.gov lists further pool safety information.

Everyone should learn how to swim.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is some evidence that children between the ages of 1 and 4 may be less likely to drown if they have had formal swimming lessons. Even if your child has participated in swimming lessons, you should still always watch him or her. Keep your child within arm’s reach so you can catch hold of him or her if needed. Swimming lessons are available for adults as well as children. Adults who do not know how to swim should not supervise children near or in the water.

Don’t rely on inflatable swimming aids.
Inflatable swimming aids, mattresses and other similar items are just toys and should not be relied upon to keep a child or adult afloat. They can deflate at any time and leave you or your child stranded. Blow-up swimming aids should not be used in place of a life jacket.

Always wear life jackets when boating.
When on a boat, kayak or canoe, make sure everyone in your family wears a life jacket that fits properly. Adults should set a good example by always wearing life jackets. Life jackets for young children, especially those who can’t swim, should have a flotation collar. The collar will help keep your child’s head upright and his or her face out the water.

Respect the power of the ocean and rivers.
Teach your child that the ocean and other bodies of water such as rivers and lakes are very different than the water in a swimming pool. It is particularly important that they understand currents and variable depths of water. It is unsafe to dive if the depth of water is unknown. Visit beaches that have signs indicating they are swim safe, have lifeguards on duty and no rip tides. Don’t let your child swim in fast-moving water such as a river.

Remember sun safety.

Choose swimsuits with a built-in sun protection factor (SPF) that provide all-over coverage. Once out of the water, wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Liberally apply sunscreen with an SPF 30 to all exposed areas of the body. Reapply every two hours and after a dip in the water. Don’t forget to use lip balm with an SPF.

Babies under 6 months should avoid direct sun exposure.

Stay in the shade during the sun’s peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Make sure your child has plenty to drink. Children, in particular, are at a higher risk for dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

LauraLe Dyner, M.D., is a board-certified pediatrician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Los Altos Center.

HelpfullHanna

Chawel Products

Chawel, the change anywhere/outdoor towel
Chawel, the change anywhere/outdoor towel

Invented by a Canadian lifeguard, the CHAWEL (CHAnging toWEL) is a uniquely designed muti use product that is easy to carry, and easy to use

The inventor, Dan Plante, saw a need for this product in 2002, when he saw mothers struggling with holding a towel around children when they were changing, and adults on the beach trying to change without the towel falling off and exposing themselves

The Chawel is simple to use – simply put it over your head and pull it down to cover you, and get changed underneath with no embarrassment. When you have just come back from a dive, the wind or even just the air temperature can be cold to wet skin. Placing the Chawel on to change not only gives you privacy, but keeps you warm and dry. When you have finished changing, you can use the Chawel to dry off any remaining areas of skin, keeping you dry and comfortable

This product comes in a fleecy lined version for people in cooler climates, with an optional hooded version, for additional warmth, and a more lightweight version for people living in or traveling to, warmer climates

It also comes in a variety of colors and in the HD and Hybrid versions – The HD series is the next level up from the basic LX series. The HD has all of the same features as the LX, with the addition of a Hood that will give you extra warmth and cover from the elements and dry your hair at the same time. The Hybrid HD makes a more comfy neck pillow than the other Chawel models. And the Sport HD version can be used as well with a little extra folding on one side before rolling.

Sleeping bag/liner & Blanket: choose the Hybrid HD for cooler weather locations. Use it as an extra layer in your sleeping bag, or a Sleep mat cover. If you are traveling in warmer climates or need to pack smaller, any of the Sport models will fit .

If you prefer to open the Chawel up to have armholes, this can easily be done by snipping the seam between the bar tack stitches. This is just one of the new additions that make this HD series so great. Extra security on the beach or when traveling, there is a large or hidden zipper pocket for placing your keys etc This also allows the HD to stuff into itself for another pillow use, or to carry.

The addition of the optional hood will give more warmth, and can be used to dry your hair.

The beauty of this product is that is has many uses. If you travel, you know that often, blankets and pillows are now charged for and that often, the air conditioning is cranked up to too cold for many people. The Chawel can be rolled up as a neck pillow, and can also be opened up to be used as a blanket. In fact, the perfect travel accessory

For outdoor activities, like camping, firework displays, or just chilling in nature, the Chawel, can be used as a rug, a blanket, a liner to keep the bugs off in the evenings or even a sleeping bag, in fact a great many uses for a small price.

Kathy D : Blogger @ HelpFullHanna and the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear

Puppies 101

Bringing a new puppy into your home will change your life forever. Puppies are definitely a lot of work, but the also bring plenty of joy to your world. Whether you are getting your first puppy or just need a refresher course, this is what you’ll need to know. From welcoming your new puppy home, to training and health information, these tips will help you get your puppy on the right track to adulthood.

Labrador Retriever Puppies Picture - Photo of Labrador Retriever Puppies - Photo by China Photos/Getty Images

 

If the time is right for you to add a new puppy to your family, that is wonderful news! Sometimes, your future companion finds you. He comes into your life by chance, and in an instant you feel that connection. You know he is the one. However, it does not always happen like that. Often, you must take on the important task of going out and finding the right kind of puppy for you. First, you need to examine your lifestyle and consider what you are looking for in a puppy. Purebred or mix? Big or small? Other factors include grooming and exercise needs, temperament and potential health issues. Then you need to decide where to look for your new puppy. Research and patience are essential throughout the process. When you have found the right puppy, you will know you have a friend for life.

Before you bring home your cute little furball, you need to puppy proof  your home. This process is similar to toddler-proofing a home, but there are differences. Get an idea of the puppy-eye-view of your home. Electrical cords, potential toxins, and breakable items should be placed completely out of reach. Remember that your puppy can jump, climb, chew and scratch, so place what you can very high up or in a locked cabinet. “Child-safe” latches do not tend to work on curious and determined puppies. It’s best to secure cabinets and drawers with locks or metal hardware. Basically, it should be chew-proof and require opposable thumbs to operate. Proper puppy-proofing not only keeps your puppy safe, it also gives you peace of mind.

As your puppy joins the family, the all-important job of naming this new addition is a priority. Obviously, you will be using your dog’s name constantly throughout his life, so your choice should be a wise one. Pick something that has a nice ring to it and is not too long. It should be easy to say and simple for your puppy to understand. You may want to name your puppy something that describes his personality or appearance. Or, you may want something very unique. Check out some name suggestions to help your decision. Once you have chosen a name, use it plenty. Before long, your puppy will learn his name and respond to it.

Your new puppy will need certain items from the very start. Some are essential for your pup’s well-being, while others are quite helpful. Most important items include a leash and collar with identification, food and water bowls, and chew toys. You should also get a nice dog bed and, preferably, a crate or kennel. Some if these items can last as your puppy ages, but bear in mind that most of them will need to be replaced when your puppy grows. Collars may be adjustable to a certain point. A kennel can be purchased in a larger size for the future, but should be blocked off with boxes or other objects to make it the right size for the puppy. Be prepared for the expenses associated with dog ownership so you can budget accordingly.

Your puppy’s diet can make all the difference in his future health and well-being. Before you decide on a puppy food, do your research. Talk to your vet, other pet professionals, and fellow dog owners. Remember that if the food you initially choose does not meet your expectations, you can gradually switch to another food. In today’s dog-friendly world, the choices of diet seem endless. Some owners like to feed premium foods, while many feel that holistic/natural diets are best. However, homemade and raw diets are becoming increasingly popular. While researching puppy food, consider the quality of ingredients, inclusion of proper nutrients, and taste. Basically, the food should be good for your puppy and he should like eating it.

Preferably, you will find a veterinarian before you get a puppy. Within a few days of taking your new puppy home, you should bring him to your vet for a general exam. Your vet can help identify any potential heath issues early on, and advise you on caring for your puppy long-term. This initial visit also opens the doors of communication with you and your vet. Over the course of your puppy’s first six months, you will see a lot of your vet. This begins with vaccines and usually leads to spay or neuter. Typically, puppies should be spayed or neutered around six months of age. To help keep your puppy’s expenses down, you may consider purchasing pet health insurance, which could cover up to 80% of your dog’s health care costs.

The puppy vaccination series is one of the most important aspects of your puppy’s early life. Vaccinating pets has been a controversial subject for years. Many people worry that we are over-vaccinating out pets, possibly putting them at risk for auto-immune issues and vaccine reactions. That’s part of the reason many vets are moving towards a three-year protocol (rather than annual) for adult dogs. However, when it comes to puppies it’s a different story. Just like human babies, puppies (and kittens) need basic immunizations at the very least. Plus, the vaccine visits allow your vet to examine your puppy every few weeks and monitor his growth and overall health. Talk to your vet about the best immunization schedule for your puppy.

Housebreaking is one of the first things you will teach your new puppy. This process can sometimes be quite arduous, though some puppies catch on earlier than others. You should begin house-training as soon as you bring your puppy home, but it takes patience. Puppies are generally not able to control their bladders and bowels until about 12 weeks of age. If your puppy is younger than this, just be patient. Starting early can help get your puppy on a routine. As he grows and develops control over his bodily functions, he will already know what to do. As a general rule, you should take your puppy to the designated “potty spot” immediately after eating or drinking. However, accidents happen – so be prepared, consistent and patient.

Beyond housebreaking, there are many more things you will need to teach your dog. Start by working on socialization. Leash training will set the stage for teaching basic commands, like sit, come and stay. These basic commands can help you curb some behavior problems. Just remember that puppies are curious, active and teething. They put everything in their mouths, including your hands! Work with this by replacing the inappropriate object with an acceptable chew toy. Distract your dog from mischievous behavior by offering something more pleasing, like a game, walk or other activity. Reward your puppy with treats and/or praise for shifting his attention. Puppy training can be a challenge, but the outcome will make your efforts worthwhile.

The bond you have with your puppy begins the moment he comes into your life and never stops growing. You can nurture this bond though affection, training, grooming, playtime, general exercise and participation in various activities. You may want to join an obedience class, start training in dog sports like agility and flyball, or participate in dog shows. One of the kindest ways to bond with your dog and allow your dog to bond with others is to get involved with pet therapy. If your puppy is right for therapy, he can begin training to visit people in hospitals and nursing homes or help children to read and learn. Strengthening and preserving the human-canine bond benefits the health and well-being of both you and your puppy.

From About Home

Kathy Dowsett

Have some ideas/tips or experiences with puppy training? Use the comment section below>>

Tuesday’s Tip

Keep your shirt collar stiff when traveling with the help of a rolled up belt.

What’s the point of having a wrinkle-free dress shirt if it doesn’t hold its shape? Keep your shirt collar stiff by placing a rolled up belt inside the neck opening of your shirt.

Packing a Shirt
Packing a Shirt

Kathy Dowsett

Have some other travel tips….add them to the comments below>>>