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Finding the Gifts in Goodbye

How to Lose Weight Fast on Metformin

Metformin, a widely prescribed medication for managing type 2 diabetes, has garnered attention for its potential to aid in weight loss. While its primary purpose is to regulate blood sugar levels, many individuals have experienced significant weight loss as a secondary benefit. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of using Metformin as a tool for shedding excess pounds effectively and safely.

Understanding Metformin and its Role in Weight Loss
Mechanism of Action
Metformin works by decreasing glucose production in the liver and improving insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues. This dual action helps regulate blood sugar levels and, consequently, aids in weight management.

Effects on Metabolism
By targeting insulin resistance and reducing the absorption of glucose in the intestines, Metformin alters the body’s metabolism, promoting fat utilization for energy and leading to weight loss.

Metformin and Insulin Sensitivity
Impact on Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is a common issue among individuals with type 2 diabetes and those struggling with obesity. Metformin helps alleviate insulin resistance, making it easier for the body to respond to insulin and effectively utilize glucose.

Regulation of Blood Sugar Levels
Stable blood sugar levels are crucial for weight management. Metformin not only lowers fasting blood glucose levels but also helps prevent spikes and crashes, promoting a more balanced energy intake throughout the day.

Dietary Adjustments
Importance of a Balanced Diet
While Metformin can aid in weight loss, it’s essential to complement its effects with a healthy diet. Emphasize whole foods, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates while limiting processed foods, sugars, and refined carbohydrates.

Foods to Include and Avoid
Incorporate plenty of fiber-rich foods, such as legumes, whole grains, and leafy greens, which promote satiety and regulate blood sugar levels. Minimize consumption of sugary beverages, refined grains, and high-fat, calorie-dense foods.

Incorporating Exercise
Benefits of Exercise Alongside Metformin
Regular physical activity enhances the effects of Metformin on weight loss by increasing calorie expenditure, improving insulin sensitivity, and preserving lean muscle mass.

Recommended Workout Routines
A combination of aerobic exercise (such as walking, cycling, or swimming) and strength training (using weights or resistance bands) is ideal for maximizing weight loss while maintaining overall health.

Hydration and its Role
Importance of Staying Hydrated
Proper hydration is essential for overall well-being and can support by promoting metabolic function, reducing appetite, and enhancing exercise performance.

Effects on Metabolism
Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day helps maintain metabolic rate and facilitates the breakdown and elimination of fats from the body.

Monitoring Progress
Tracking weight loss Journey
Keep a record of weight, measurements, dietary intake, and exercise routines to monitor progress effectively and make necessary adjustments along the way.

Adjustments as Needed
If weight loss plateaus or side effects arise, consult a healthcare professional to reassess the treatment plan and explore alternative strategies.

Potential Side Effects
Common Side Effects of Metformin
While generally well-tolerated, Metformin may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, such as nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal cramps, especially when starting the medication or increasing the dosage.

We started with a tiny spark of an idea: make Halloween better for kids and planet.

The year was 2006 and “going green” was being embraced by the mainstream. But holidays and celebrations were still in a conventional bubble; as of yet, this topic almost entirely untouched.

Parents who wanted to create healthy and fun traditions were on their own and Halloween Crafts for Seniors of every type And just forget about easy or affordable.

We had a feeling we were about to spark a revolution. From the moment we uttered the words, “Green Halloween,” people clamored to join in. The world was hungry for ways to celebrate sustainably and, as a mother-daughter team, ours was a mission fueled by love. We were not starting a business; we were igniting global and generational change. Our idealism was born of unflinching optimism.

We first announced the launch of our book, Celebrate Green!, with a “baby” announcement complete with weight (1 pound), height (12 inches) and a picture of us, beaming with pride. Possibility was in its infancy. We nurtured this possibility and it bloomed.Read these baby photo contest tips that we made if you want.

Over the next seven seasons our “spark” would ignite a flame reaching more than five million people coast to coast. We were asked to write our book, Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family. Seemingly overnight we had a radio show, speaking invitations, and requests from around the globe on how to green up everything from Appetizers to Zoo events. Good Morning America, Real Simple,, MSNBC and more buzzed. Even Stephen Colbert chimed in on The Colbert Report! Leading, visionary non- and for-profit entities partnered: EcoMom Alliance, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps, Green America, Larabar, Surf Sweets, Plum Kids, Nature’s Path and many more.

We inspired good-for-kids and planet brands to become even better. We secured donations of millions of dollars of healthy treats and treasures. We enabled shifts in long-held retailer, consumer and product trends, opening up entire markets for new entrepreneurs. We transformed traditions from public events to private homes alike, by proving what could be gained by losing the stuff that never really mattered in the first place.

We opened doors, reframed conversations, wrote new rulebooks and built bridges.

And we were deeply honored to have done so.

Because of course, fanning the flame, fueling the revolution, driving the possibility of change, was you. And we couldn’t have done this without you.

And people like you. People who envision a world where healthy, safe and planet-friendly traditions don’t require revolutions because healthy, safe and planet-friendly options are simply woven into the fabric of our culture. Of course treats are made with real food. Of course costumes can be swapped. Of course face paints don’t contain lead.

We are endlessly grateful to have walked this path with you, whatever your role, and we thank you for saying yes. For all that you did, gave, shared, created, led and held, we recognize your priceless contributions, and celebrate the powerful ripple effect that occurs when you, and people like you say yes.

And now, it is time to say goodbye.

It’s sad. And it’s hard. And we will miss you terribly.

But as Lynn lyricized in a song celebrating Corey’s high school graduation, “love is letting go.”

So, with love, we are letting go…

As of this Halloween season, our programs, Green Halloween® and National Costume Swap Day™, will not continue in their current formats. Our websites, including Celebrate Green! will remain for a period of time and we welcome you to gather ideas and inspiration for your own continued journeys. Please note we will not be updating via social media.

Our decision, made over this last year and a half, was a difficult one. In a practical sense, our fledglings grew too large, too fast for our existing structure. In a personal sense, we have accomplished what we set out to do. We have more seeds to cultivate, more ways to serve and perhaps more revolutions to lead, personally and professionally.

Of course, as with all transitions, the possibility for transformation is ever-present. Should we have an announcement to make regarding a re-launch or new twist, we’ll let you know about it via e-mail (register for updates at the top of this page).

We are proud of what we’ve nurtured, and it’s time to release it, let it fly. We trust that what we have built with you will continue to flourish, without our being at the helm.  We leave with tremendous gratitude towards you and all of those, our village, who helped raise this revolution.

Signing off with profound love… and of course, laughter!  (If the video below doesn’t load, please click here.)


Lynn & Corey 

We’re signing off with a light-hearted look at some of our less shiny moments and hope you’ll laugh along with us as we are reminded that the rewards of a journey are found not only at the destination but in the journey itself. We’ve sincerely enjoyed taking this journey with you and wish you, and yours, all the best this year and always. Party on! xoxo Lynn & Corey


What helped us the most in the village was having the support of the best electrical company in the country: BSK Data & Electrical. They supported us with their highly specialized equipment in electricity and now we are sure that we have our electrical connections in perfect condition.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

When we did the project we received our new electric bike, which was then used in the village from BSK’s power plant in Wukupa, Uganda. This is now our newest bike with all-wheel drive (RWD).

The bike was built with an aluminum frame and a carbon frame using high quality materials as well as great workmanship.

As in all the projects of the project, we have to offer them a special package at a reasonable price (20,000 yen each, 1st class delivery, no shipping costs!).

I hope you enjoyed my project as much as I enjoyed your pictures, as you will find it in the pictures below. The bikes are manufactured in Germany by RWE. Don’t forget to vistit

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Finding the best costume

Are уоu Sеxу? Sсаrу? Cute? Or Angry? Yоur Halloween costume іѕ thе grеаt way tо lеt реорlе ѕее a ѕіdе behind оf уоurѕеlf that you don’t uѕuаllу gеt a chance tо ѕhаrе ѕuсh аѕ something really fun, wacky or ѕсаrу.

Then if you want to take your cosplay costume to a whole new level then we suggest getting some really cool cosplay contacts as these will make you look so much better in your cosplay costume.

Or, іt could emphasize a ѕіdе of уоu thаt еvеrуоnе аlrеаdу knows and lоvеѕ well, ѕuсh аѕ being zаnу, сhееkу оr brіght. In finding уоur own Hаllоwееn ѕtуlе, thіnk аbоut whаt you wеаr on a daily basis thаt mаkеѕ уоu fееl соmfоrtаblе fоr thе most. This іѕ the еаѕіеѕt wау to help you to think оf соѕtumе rіght аwау. For еxаmрlе, іf уоu usually wear a skirt or a drеѕѕ? Yоu саn pair thеѕе things wіth ѕоmеthіng a lіttlе mоrе еxсіtіng to fоrm a соѕtumе, ѕuсh as a witch’s hat оn top of a drеѕѕ.

I bеlіеvе that уоu wіll bе thе сutеѕt wіtсh аѕ еvеr іn the world. In саѕе normally уоu wear jеаnѕ, will a сlоаk оvеr the tор оf jеаnѕ bе a good idea? Also, think оf thе соlоrѕ you nоrmаllу wеаr. If you аlwауѕ wear black, уоu рrоbаblу wouldn’t wаnt tо bе a fаіrу, аlthоugh a dаrk fairy соuld bе a gооd орtіоn. If уоu like brіght соlоrѕ think оf рumрkіnѕ, еlvеѕ, fаіrіеѕ, rаіnbоwѕ, etc. If уоu lіkе dаrkеr соlоrѕ, thіnk of ghоѕtѕ, vаmріrеѕ, ѕkеlеtоnѕ, evil gеnіuѕеѕ, or еvеn mаlеfісеnt etc. Hоwеvеr, feel frее tо mix аnd match, аѕ it’s Hаllоwееn аnd аnуthіng gоеѕ. Alѕо, thіnk of your іntеrеѕtѕ. What do you lіkе tо dо? Mаkе a lіѕt оf thе thіngѕ уоu еnjоу tо dо like sport, cosplay, сооkіng, рlауіng gаmеѕ, drеѕѕіng uр, rеаdіng, еtс.

For еxаmрlе, іf уоu like football, why ѕhоuldn’t уоu bе a famous fооtbаll рlауеr; іf уоu’rе fan of TV ѕhоw, drеѕѕ uр аѕ оnе of the сhаrасtеrѕ you like for thе most; іf уоu like animals оr fооd, dress uр as your fаvоrіtе pet оr dеѕѕеrt, fruits оr аnуthіng уоu like. Mаtсh the list оf орtіоnѕ to thе items уоu hаvе available аnd be creative.  These are some of the best contacts for Halloween, don’t forget to check them out.

Websites like Pastel Collections can be a fantastic resource for finding a base for Halloween costumes for kids. By purchasing clothes that fit the theme or character they want to portray, parents can easily create unique and creative Halloween outfits. Adding the right accessories, such as masks, hats, or props, can further enhance the costume and make it truly special for Halloween.

Cаrе on budget
Halloween costumes саn rаngе frоm сhеар tо vеrу еxреnѕіvе, ѕо it’s іmроrtаnt to have аn idea оf what уоu’d lіkе tо spend. When сhооѕіng, аlwауѕ сhесk to ѕее what’s іnсludеd in the costume, bесаuѕе some соѕtumеѕ will bе muсh cheaper thаn оthеrѕ when аdd-оnѕ аrе accounted fоr. A costume соntаіnіng, for example, a ѕhіrt, pants, hat, wіg, and bеlt will be a gооd deal іf уоu gеt the cheaper price for a single piece. On the оthеr hаnd, a single dress or соѕtumе іtеm could соѕt the ѕаmе аmоunt, so уоu wоuld need tо bаlаnсе uр whеthеr or nоt іt’ѕ wоrth іt to you аnd fіtѕ wіthіn уоur budgеt. Bеѕіdеѕ that, уоu ѕhоuld lооk fоr ѕаlеѕ. Stоrеѕ have sales аll thе tіmе fоr Hаllоwееn соѕtumеѕ, еѕресіаllу іf it’s vеrу close tо Hаllоwееn. Bе ѕurе to сhесk thе TV, іntеrnеt, аnd nеwѕрареr аdѕ for uрсоmіng ѕаlеѕ on Hаllоwееn соѕtumеѕ. Bу сhесkіng thе ѕаlеѕ, you соuld gеt a grеаt соѕtumе fоr a ѕmаll рrісе.

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Green Dreams Are Made of These

Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays of the calendar year—and for good reason!  For one day out of the year, it is accepted (and promoted!) to dress-up as somebody (or something) other than our everyday selves. Often, this involves investing in an ensemble that makes a brief nocturnal appearance and is then quickly discarded and forgotten. With just a little preemptive thought and preparation, though, this Halloween waste can be minimized (or even avoided altogether).

(I’m in love with these Jelly Bean costumes!

Costumes can be constructed from wardrobe pieces that you already have or, that once acquired, can be used multiple times.  Perhaps one of the best uses of “old” children’s Halloween costumes is to simply keep them and allow the kids to use them as “dress-up” fodder year-round with accessories that can help the kid and  they can be find at  Encourage your children to dress up as princesses, ninjas, and cowboys through the week while they’re playing pretend.  Throw an impromptu afternoon tea-party and require your kids to come dressed-up as a make-believe character. A tub full of clothes and a tub full of accessories will store easily and allow for endless hours of entertainment on rainy days.

(Both of these adorable costumes would be perfect year-round dress-up fodder—

Another great option for retired costumes is the thrift-shop/hand-me-down philosophy.  Instead of trashing the goods, consider saving them for younger children (brothers, sisters, cousins, family-friends, etc.) or donate them to a local charity.  Not only is this a great money-saving option, but it reduces costume waste by giving an old costume new life. Inversely, this is a fantastic way to save money when looking for a costume—thrift shops, family members, and friends are all excellent, often untapped resources of second-hand costumes.

(Seriously—these costumes are too sweet to only wear once!

Dressing up on Halloween is great—but why limit the fun to just an annual celebration?  Themed dress-up parties are a fantastic way to throw a birthday-bash, spice up weekend festivities, or unconventionally celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Valentine’s Day.  Costumes and accessories used in Halloween costumes can easily be repurposed for another charade!  Consider repurposing those zombie or pirate costumes and have a “living dead” themed birthday or a “swashbuckling Sunday fun-day”!

(How perfect is an UP! themed birthday party?? The Design Inspiration)

Repurposing Halloween costumes serves a plethora of benefits that extends well beyond the scope of October 31.  Dressing-up can be implemented in play-dates and birthdays to add extra pizazz.  Costume themed adult parties are popular within their own right, and give us another reason to bring out our ‘80’s hammer pants (like we really needed another reason).  Sharing accessories and outfits can extend the lives of costumes beyond the normal 6 hour stint, and in doing so, eliminate unnecessary landfill fodder.


Lydia Mondy  survived the trials in Salem.  When she’s not searching for eye of newt, you can find her writing about Halloween costumes and fondly remembering the 20s.

Photo Credit: Photo Pin & Creative Commons


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Healthy Pets


We love our pets. And there’s nothing better than seeing our pups and kitties happy, healthy, and being themselves. But keeping them fed properly, frollicking, and free from illness isn’t always easy, and takes some know-how. In this article, we’re going to cover 5 big categories in preventative health that are important to be thinking about on a daily basis for your pet.
These categories of basic pet care may either ease your mind by saying “Hey, I already do that!” Or you may find yourself saying “Uh oh, I didn’t actually realize that.” Either way, the goal is to keep you thinking always about preventative health care, which is often the simplest, least expensive, and most practical way to give our furry companions happy and healthy lives.

We hear a lot on the radio, television, or other media about obesity in America, especially childhood obesity. But obesity in pets is just as prevalent and carries with it many health concerns.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s 2017 statistics, 57% of dogs and 60% of cats in America are overweight or obese and these numbers actually increased by 1-2% since 2016. Many pets develop weight problems at an early age. Because having excess fat deposition is generally pro-inflammatory, there are several health disorders that can be compounded by obesity, these are the best


Joints are the big one. Overweight dogs and cats always have earlier signs of hip, elbow, and knee joint arthritis and weight loss is a crucial component of assisting with joint health. Obese cats are also predisposed to diabetes (kind of like human Type II diabetics). Being overweight in general also puts more strain on the heart and lungs, can lead to grooming issues like dandruff, hair matting, and dermatitis inside the extra skin folds.

How do you know if your pet is overweight? The basic place to start is by looking at the area just behind her ribs. From the top, there should be a gentle dip inwards from the last rib to the hips. When looking at her from the side, her belly should slope gently upwards from the last rib to the groin. If your pup or kitty loses this “Coke bottle” shape, appears very flat from the last rib back and has no belly tuck at all, she is crossing the line to being overweight.

I am asked regularly by pup parents if their pooch is overweight, but I feel this question is asked less often by kitty parents. It may seem silly to think about, but a housecat should have a body condition similar to any wild cat like a lion or tiger you see on Animal Planet. These animals are lean and agile. Even “big” housecats should appear this way.

Why are so many pets overweight? The most likely reason is the most simple: food. Many folks equate feeding their dog or cat to feeding affection. However, the reality is that many pets, as intelligent as they are, learn to beg because they know they can get more food with enough practice. I think cats are especially sneaky about this. While extra food makes for short term happiness, the additional weight gain in the long run causes more harm than refusing that extra half cup of food or leftovers from dinner.

Does this mean you can’t give your pup or kitty treats? Of course you can! With help from your vet, you can determine how much food per day is appropriate for your pet, and use a small portion of that amount for treat allowance. If you want to provide a separate treat, make sure it amounts to no more than 5-10% of your friend’s daily diet.

What kind of diet should you be feeding? We’ll get to that in just a minute.

dog eats out of food bowl

The importance of dental care can’t be overstated. In humans and in pets, oral health is connected to health in the rest of the body. This includes, among other body systems, healthy kidneys and a healthy heart.

But while it’s common for people to brush their own teeth at least twice a day, oral healthcare for pets at home frequently falls short. While getting a puppy to sit, stay, potty train, and behave on a leash are all common training goals, training a pup to tolerate having his teeth brushed isn’t commonly considered.

Many folks have anxiety over putting their pet under anesthesia for a dental cleaning procedure, and this is understandable. But the reality is that oral health is so important for so many reasons, that if we can’t accomplish this care at home in a preventative manner, we’ll have to turn to dental cleanings.

Thus, it makes sense to focus on teeth brushing at home from a young age, during a puppy’s training for other behaviors. Setting a goal of brushing 2-3 times per week is an important one and can go a long way towards improving overall health, as well as reducing the number of dental cleanings your pup or kitty may need during their lifetime.

It’s important to use a toothpaste formulated for pets and to accompany it with an appropriate toothbrush. A toddler toothbrush can work well, but small brushes that slip over your finger, as well as dental wipes, are also commonly available.

Start out just with getting your pup or kitty used to the idea with some toothpaste on your finger for the first few times and just maybe doing one side of the mouth or just the top or bottom Gradually introduce a brush and increase your coverage until the whole mouth is involved.

If acclimating your friend to brushing seems impossible, there are also dental treats and oral water additives to consider. These don’t work as well on their own compared to brushing, but they at least help. Check out the list of approved dental treats provided by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, as these treats have been proven to reduce tartar and plaque.

dog on leash looking to the side with mouth open

Discussions about diet go hand-in-hand with discussions about weight. There are so many diet choices out there and so many opinions about what to feed, that many pet owners feel overwhelmed.

Essentially, the most important thing is to feed your pet a well-balanced diet. Commercial diets are formulated to be well-balanced, but not all of them are created equal. Generally, I tell folks to look for diets with meat as a top ingredient and to look at a company’s recall history. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) establishes protocols for feeding trials, which help support quality and safety. Diets that meet these standards will have the AAFCO statement printed on the packaging.

Are home-cooked diets okay? This depends. Because it’s very easy to misformulate a diet and either leave out nutrients, or include them in the wrong proportions, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist if you’d like to cook for your pet. This is especially true for cats. Cat are true carnivores, meaning they need certain nutrients from red meat in their diets to survive, while dogs are technically omnivorous. It’s very easy to make poor assumptions about what a cat should be eating and in what amounts. So much so that unless a kitty owner is willing to see a nutritionist to have a diet formulated, I generally discourage home-cooking for cats.

Grain-free and raw diets are popular nowadays and also evoke many questions at the office. From a strictly medical perspective, there is limited data to support either type of diet. It is true that dogs can have a wheat gluten allergy, similar to people with Celiac’s disease, but other proteins like chicken and beef are more often an underlying food allergy cause.

There are newer concerns about grain-free diets being connected with a type of heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). While grain-free diets high in legumes and potatoes seem over-represented in some of these atypical DCM cases, this is not true for every case and no cause and effect link has yet been established. Cardiologists, veterinary nutritionists, and the FDA continue to work to find out more. Until then, discuss with your vet if your pet is actually benefitting from a grain free diet, or if a different diet type might be more suitable.

Raw diets sound appealing and generate images in our mind’s eye of our kitty catching wild salmon from a mountain stream or our pup bounding through the snow in search of prey. But unfortunately, true raw diets made at home can be lacking in nutritional balance and also present a significant public health risk to humans who are handling raw chicken, beef, or fish on a regular basis without cooking it.

Supplements are also very popular, but speak to your veterinarian first. Many diets already have nutrients in appropriate amounts that should not be over-supplemented, (like Calcium for growing puppies). Thus, supplementing is not appropriate in every case. Several conditions, like allergic dermatitis, arthritis, chronic digestive issues, anxiety, and sleep disorders, may benefit from supplementation.

If you are seeking out a supplement to start, look for the National Animal Supplement Council seal. There are many supplement manufacturers out there but the NASC has stringent labeling guidelines and subjects member companies to random product testing to ensure quality.

If I asked you the most common reason pets are brought in to the vet clinic, what would you guess? Well, we’ll just cut to the chase. It’s digestive upset.

Seeing pets for vomiting and diarrhea, especially pups, is one of the most common presenting concerns. And the most common cause? While we don’t truly find out in many cases, and there are countless potential causes, dietary indiscretion is at the top of the list.

From underwear to socks, from left-out leftovers to toddler floor-throwings, and from sticks to other pet’s poop, there is almost no limit to what our furry companions may find appetizing.

The best defense is entirely preventative. Keeping the floor clean of socks, underwear, hair-ties, or any other undigestible items your pet has a hankering for is the only way to eliminate any chances of ingestion. And likewise, keep the kitchen clean of any left-out food. For pets who have their noses in the trash, getting a can with a lockable lid virtually eliminates the possibility of the can getting knocked over and spilled all over the floor.

When I’m outside, I enjoy watching dogs happily trotting alongside their human companions. But what I also notice is that many pup parents are on their phones or are otherwise distracted during walks, and are not paying attention to what their pups are getting their noses into. Whenever a pet owner insists that their dog or cat didn’t eat anything that could cause digestive upset, I always think about what I observe daily and wonder just how they can be sure.

So be as sure as possible, and always keep a close eye on your pets–indoors and out.

You know your dog or cat. They’re family members after all. However, a veterinarian knows “dogs” and “cats” and sees many of both every day, so having a good working relationship with a pet doc is very important.

Your vet is going to be your ultimate expert on preventative healthcare, well beyond the limited scope of our article here, or any other article for that matter. Your vet will come to know your pet personally, which beats any kind of generic advice you come across.

Just like you should see a physician on a regular basis to safeguard your own health, and take your kids to their pediatrician, your pup or kitty should see a vet on at least an annual basis.

Develop a comfort level with a vet who is willing to fully discuss your concerns and to help you understand your pet’s current state of health. This includes discussing vaccinations most appropriate to your region and level of risk, annual diagnostic testing, preventative medications, and diet. If finances are a concern (and for most folks they are to some degree) also make sure your vet practice is willing to make and discuss estimates with you so that you can have some idea of what to expect.

Lastly, animals and medicine can both be unpredictable. Keeping an open mind and staying flexible is important for maintaining appropriate expectations. Develop a relationship with a vet who is comfortable discussing all aspects of care with you. This includes if a plan for treatment needs adjustment or if a medical condition becomes complicated and referral to a specialist would be appropriate. Many vets have working relationships with specialist doctors in their area and will remain a part of your pet’s care even if referral is needed.

It’s true, your vet may find something you were unaware of, like a skin growth or fractured tooth, at an annual visit. And it’s true this can translate into an unexpected cost. But that’s why it’s important to build a relationship with a vet who you know cares about your pup or kitty and the relationship you share with your furry friend.

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What Now?

Corgi walking on leash
People with dogs know the benefits of pet ownership. The unconditional love, trust and loyalty shown by your canine companions, coupled with their unbridled enthusiasm on your return home each day, is hard to put into words. These are the most popular and best dog hip joint supplements.

There’s another plus of having a dog by your side: It improves your overall physical and mental health. Here’s how.

Dogs get you moving
One notable benefit is that dogs force you to get up and move. One research study found that dog owners are more likely to report regular physical activity than people who don’t own dogs. Activities associated with dog ownership, like feeding, grooming, playing and letting them outside, all increase physical activity levels. Physical activity improves blood flow, induces muscle contraction and reduces joint stiffness.

Dogs also require regular exercise, and will greet it with smiles and wagging tails. In addition to a typical walk, you can work hiking and running into your outings with your dog depending on its breed. People who regularly perform aerobic exercise have improved blood pressure, reduced blood sugar levels, better controlled weight and a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Other studies have demonstrated that exercise can improve depression and anxiety.

Over time, exercise will help strengthen your muscles, bones and joints. You may notice that your usual route is feeling easier and decide to stay out longer or walk up that extra hill.

When selecting a new puppy or dog, carefully consider its energy levels and exercise requirements. It’s best when your lifestyle and activity levels match that of your canine buddy.

Dogs help your weight
Exercise burns calories and helps you maintain a healthy weight. In one study, adults who regularly walked their dogs were less likely to be obese than their nondog-owning neighbors. The same research found that dog owners also are more likely to report a healthy diet and blood sugar at ideal levels, which improves overall heart health. Walking for 30 minutes a day will reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, colon and breast cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.

That 30 minutes of light-to-moderate dog walking also can help you achieve deeper, more restful sleep.

Health care professionals recommend adults aim for 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week.

Dogs promote social connection
Owning a dog has been linked to better mental health and a lower perception of social isolation, which can reduce the risk of heart attacks and cognitive issues. Being socially isolated is a strong risk factor for worse health outcomes and premature death. Dog owners interact more with other people, such as other dog owners and people they encounter on walks, and are less likely to experience depression.

For people who work from home, there are four significant ways pets can help with your mental health:
Reducing work-related stress.
Two out of three employees say work stresses them out, and 40% say their job gets in the way of their health. Pets in the workplace, even at home, reduce stress and improve employee satisfaction.
Managing anxiety.
With the increase in work-from-home jobs, more people are struggling with mental health. Pets can provide the companionship and support once found in the office.
Increasing activity.
Dogs give you a reason to go outside, breathe in fresh air and get some physical activity.
Combating loneliness.
The bond with pets helps people feel less alone. Owners can touch, see, hear or talk to their companion animals, which brings happiness, connection and physical contact.
There’s also research showing the benefits of animal-assisted therapy during rehabilitation for nervous system conditions, such as strokes, seizure disorders, brain trauma and infections. Dogs can be a valuable part of cardiac rehabilitation, occupational therapy and physical therapy programs. They can provide social support, and trained dogs can even participate in your rehabilitation or therapy sessions.

Big decision, win-win solution
Welcoming a dog into your home is a big decision, and you should carefully consider the responsibilities. However, you also should consider the many wonderful health and emotional benefits that come from of dog ownership.

The bottom line is that a dog can help you be more active and socially connected while improving your overall health. It’s a win-win solution — and doggone fun.

Next steps:
Find a cardiologist.
Start a walking program with your canine partner.
Consider training your dog for pet therapy to gain the dual benefits of connection and volunteering.

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