HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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Cycling

We strongly recommend against cycling with your dog. There is a risk you or your dog or both of you will get hurt. Not every dog is built to run alongside a bike. Just image the first time your dog sees a cat or a squirrel and yanks hard to chase after it: Down you go!


Hiking

If you love nature and you love dogs, then hiking with your dog might be perfect for you. Hiking gives your dog a chance to explore the world on a deeper level than a simple walk. When you first begin hiking with your dog, start with short hikes on cool days. Avoid difficult trails with a lot of rough terrain until your dog gets used to easy to moderate hikes and will be more sure-footed. Again, bring plenty of water along. Your dog might even take her own backpack; just make sure it’s well-balanced and not too heavy.


Swimming

Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs know how to swim. And some can swim, but don’t like to. If you have a water dog, you know it. Let that dog swim! You can incorporate a game of fetch with swimming to make it even more fun.


Safety First

Check with your vet before starting any type of exercise regimen for your dog. When exercising with your dog, let them set the pace. Take breaks and always bring water for them and a small bowl, such as a small collapsible bowl. Let them get water and rest. Avoid exercising in hot temperatures, especially with dogs that have shorter muzzles (such as bulldogs or pugs). Keep your senior dogs home when it’s very hot. Dogs with health conditions need to get an OK from a vet.


No matter what type of dog you have, watch for signs of exhaustion, illness or injury. When in doubt, stop exercising and head home.


Also, be aware of your surroundings when exercising with your dog. The presence of other dogs or people may create a dangerous distraction, especially if your dog is off leash or not used to these experiences.

EXERCISING WITH YOUR DOG - HAVE FUN BUT STAY SAFE

Walking

Walking is the classic form of exercise we tend to give our dogs. But that’s okay: Most dogs love to walk! Get a Garman or a FitBit so you can track your own workout with theirs. In addition to getting some exercise, a walk is a great way for your dog to explore the world with her nose. Don’t rush it. Let her take time to sniff around during the walk. Try to take a different route every so often so your dog will get to see and smell new things.


Running

Running with your dog is very popular and is a great form of exercise for some dogs. But not all dogs can tolerate this type of exercise. Other dogs can’t get enough of it. Talk to your vet and research your breed to see how they will do with running. When you first begin running with your dog, start slowly and work your way up to higher speeds and longer distances. Avoid running in hot temperatures, especially on hot asphalt as it can burn your dog’s paws. Put your hand down on the blacktop and if it’s really warm or hot to you, it’s hot for the dog as well. Check your dog regularly to monitor his exercise tolerance and take breaks as needed. Bring plenty of water along.

How Much Exercise Do Dogs Need?

In general, most dogs should get one to two hours of exercise daily. That seems like a lot, but your dog may need more or less depending on its age, breed and tolerance. Talk to your vet before you begin.


If you’re starting a new exercise program for your dog, start slowly and let your dog build up its endurance and tolerance. Just as it takes time for you to get in shape, the same is true for your dog. Watch for signs of exhaustion such as heavy panting, wheezing, lameness, disorientation and slowing or stopping to lie down during activities. Avoid outdoor activities on very hot days. If it’s hot for you, it’s hot for the dog. Be sure your dog has access to fresh, cool water at all times. Stop or reduce the exercise if your dog seems tired, achy or disinterested. He can’t tell you verbally, “Hey, I’m tired or dizzy or not feeling good,” so go easy as he builds endurance. Contact your vet if you notice any signs of illness during or after exercise.


What Kind of Exercise Is Best for  My Dog?

There are many activities you can do with your dog while exercising at the same time. Some activities provide more exercise for your dog than for you, but they are still a fun way to bond. Good old playing fetch with a ball or disc and a visit to the dog park are great, but here are some popular exercises you and your dog can do together: