Thanksgiving Traditions to Enjoy with Your Family

Thanksgiving time is a great time of year to remember why we’re thankful in our lives. Celebrating a special holiday like Thanksgiving with family can become a cherished family tradition. You can also make up your own family traditions to enjoy each year at Thanksgiving. Spending time with your family often blossoms into great memories and family traditions. Here are a few family traditions to consider for your loved ones at Thanksgiving.

1.    Cook or bake together. Make the stuffing together or bake up some Thanksgiving sugar cookies. Don’t forget the pies!

2.    Have everyone explain what in their lives makes them thankful. This is best practiced right after you say grace and right before you dig into your feast!

3.    Look at old family photos together and add new ones to the collection.
This can be especially fun when your sons and daughters are in their teenage years – especially if their significant others stop by for dessert!

4.    Watch the football games. This might also be a good time for a nap after all that turkey!

5.    Play flag football or touch football outside. This can be great fun with your family, friends, and neighbors. Just be careful not to get hurt!

6.    Go shopping together on Black Friday. Some shopping locations even open late at night on Thanksgiving to kick off the shopping festivities early.


7.    Swap your favorite recipes for the leftover turkey or ham.
This plan works great with your older children and your daughters-in-law especially.

8.    Play board games or card games after dessert. From Chinese checkers to Charades, you can surely find a fun board game that matches your family dynamic.

9.    Enjoy a signature cocktail. Shirley Temples for the kids! What a great way to unwind after all that cooking, cleaning, and visiting!

10.    Watch a movie snuggled under blankets and pillows. There’s no better way to relax with your loved ones on Thanksgiving night.

Whatever you decide to do for Thanksgiving with your family, consider starting or continuing a family tradition that you can enjoy every year. A Thanksgiving tradition can be lots of fun and a very memorable way to spend the holiday. Ask your family members what they would prefer to do and you can really make a great Thanksgiving family tradition for many years to come.

10 Activities You Can Do With Your Teen Daughter for the Holidays

As a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and mother, I understand how difficult it can be to get quality time with your teen daughter. With all of the demands that the holiday season brings, it can often be overwhelming. Between the parties, shopping, cooking and planning, sometimes the really important things, like spending time with your teen, get pushed aside. Participating together in activities that connect you to your daughter not only help keep the spirit of the holidays real, they can be the best gift you give to each other. Spend time together making memories!

10 Activity Ideas

1.    Have a baking day. Together, pick out special recipes and spend the day baking. There is nothing like rolling out dough together to give you a chance for some meaningful conversations.

2.    Invite your daughter’s friends and their mothers over for a Holiday Tea.
You’ve already made the cookies. It allows you to get to know her friends and their moms while doing something fun.

3.    Volunteer. Together, pick a charity and spend time volunteering. Not only do you get the opportunity to be together, but you get into the spirit of the holidays by giving to others. This is a great message.

4.    Search for a craft project that would make great gifts for friends or neighbors and make them together. For example, one year we made cookie mix in a jar, decorated the jars, and took them to our neighbors.

5.    Have an afternoon of culture. Go to a Christmas play, concert, or ballet. You don’t have to spend a lot of money doing this since there are many local productions.

6.    Have a Christmas movie marathon. This is one of my favorites. Each year we get out our favorite Christmas movies, put on our PJs, pop popcorn and lay on the floor and watch movies continuously.

7.    Have a spa day at home. Get some festive nail polish and do mani-pedis. Who needs to go to the spa when you can do it in the comfort of your own home? When it is just the two of you and you are relaxed, the conversation just flows.

8.    Christmas shop together, but start early with breakfast out.
My favorite is to get up really early when all of the stores have the early bird specials. Take the advertisements, head off to your favorite breakfast place and come up with your game plan.

9.    Go for a walk one evening, and look at holiday decorations in the neighborhood. Then decide on the most beautiful as well as the house with the “most over the top” decorations.

10.    Start a holiday memory book. Get a journal and each of you write about the holiday season from your point of view. Don’t forget to put in photos. This is something you can do every year, and when your daughter has her own family, it can be passed to her.

Remember, the shoes you give her will go out of style or wear out, the designer jeans will do the same, but the memories and time you give her will always be in her heart.

About the Expert:
Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You & Your MomJanine Sherman is an OB/GYN nurse practitioner in Houston, TX, who specializes in caring for teens and their moms. She is also the co-author of the book Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You & Your Mom. This easy-to read, lively, down-to-earth book is definitely teen-friendly and is ideal to help both mothers and daughters have engaging conversations about tough topics.

Lucky Bee Bee Jewels Product Review

Over the past few weeks I have happily shared my experiences with some of the many wonderful play sets that JAKKS PACIFIC has to offer. The girls and I have been completely amazed with the amount of fun we’ve shared. From spa mini (sparkle and glitter) play sets to GX tight rope terror race car sets, it’s been nonstop fun and laughs for the three of us. I won’t even begin to say that I’m done because today we lavished ourselves with accessorizing via charms, bracelets, and dangles.

JAKKS PACIFIC is now eagerly introducing a new and exciting collection this fall, called Lucky Bee Bee Jewels, which are perfect for that little princess in your heart (or teenage beauty in your life). They are the trendiest and most charming collections a girl could want.

My six and seven year old daughters became fanatical when they saw the collection of jewels that lay before them. They were instantly attracted to the dangles and accessories and knew just what they wanted to try first. They were even more surprised when they found out that they were more than just charms and bracelets. You see, these are unlike any other charm set and jewelry collection I’ve seen. With the Lucky Bee Bee Charm collection sets, you’ll get to customize your jewelry, mix and match your bracelets, and even accessorize your bags, clutches or purses, but there’s more… you can play with some of them too. The collections are so trendy that you’ll see celebrities Jordin Sparks (American Idol), Chelsea Staub (Jonas) and KayCee Stroh (High School Musical) sporting their custom jewelry around too.

The new Lucky Bee Bee collections will introduce over 80 uniquely themed charms with prices starting as low as $4.99, perfect for all girls six years and older.

Here’s what’s coming to a retailer near you soon:

Charming Bracelet Collection: This charm pack includes three charms – two super cute charmers, one special “Bee” charm along with a fashion bracelet. The bracelets are available in a variety of colors. Girls can collect them all and wear multiple bracelets together for an even greater fashion statement. Ages 6+; SRP: $4.99.

Fashion Dangle Collection: This will add play value to everything “glam.” This charm pack includes two charms: one fun deluxe charm with tiny playable features, along with another adorable charm and a totally trendy fashion dangle. Girls will be able to display their charms on the versatile fashion dangle, which can clip onto anything and make a great accessory for purses and backpacks (just in time for school). Ages 6+; SRP: $6.99.

Deluxe Chain Link Accessory sets: This is awesome… choose your style with different metal chain link necklaces and bracelet sets that can be worn separately or mix and match the pieces for a cool layered look. Each accessory set comes with a necklace or set of bracelets, one super cute charm, and two deluxe charms with added play features. Ages 6+; SRP: $9.99.

Showcase Travel Bag: Now displaying and storing your favorite Lucky Bee Bee charms will be convenient and fun. Traveling case easily rolls up for on-the-go girls like you! Girls will want to trade and borrow their favorite charms with their friends as their collection grows, and this is the perfect way to showcase their charm of the day. Each Showcase travel bag comes equipped with one super cute charm and one deluxe charm with added play features. Ages 6+; SRP: $14.99.

Charming Carry Along: How about organizing and transporting your entire Lucky Bee Bee charm collection with this stylish and portable carry case? The cute purse-like design is completely functional. Opening to reveal your entire collection is a breeze. It has tons of storage and compartments and fun hidden areas to hide her most special charms. Each Charming Carry Along bag includes two deluxe charms with added play features. Ages 6+; SRP: $19.99.

You can bet I had fun with these charms. I would definitely recommend these to anyone with a child ‘DIVA’ in the home. They’re inexpensive and worth the smiles you get in return. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it was to share this experience with my girls. You just can’t put a price tag on these smiles you’ll get with these accessories!

To find out more about these products, visit The collections are expected to retail nationwide in the fall 2009. Also, visit for more information on the company and the latest toys to come.

Style Six Gem Decorator Product Review

Over the course of this summer, I have introduced you to some wonderful play sets from JAKKS PACIFIC. They are the leading designer and marketer of toys and consumer products, products from licenses such as Color Workshop, Creative Designs International, Graco, Disney, and Cabbage Patch Kids, just to name a few. From action figures to art activity sets and vehicles to plush toys, from stationery and writing instruments to electronics and dolls, you are guaranteed to find what you’re looking for when shopping at

Today I’m jumping in to share a new kit I discovered. It’s the all new Style Six Gem Decorator. This kit is one seriously amazing decorator kit and it will literally change an ordinary item into something extraordinary. The kit includes rhinestones, ribbons, a gem decorator device, and ribbon loops. It’s a mere $19.99 to get you started. Again, the kit is recommended for children eight years and up. If you plan on supervising the activity, the child can be as young as five, but I wouldn’t recommend any younger than that. My girls are ages six and seven and I helped with every step.

When we began to decorate our t-s,hirts we actually sat at our coffee table, set everything out, and took a minute to look at everything. I then took another minute to read instructions and go over some of the rules I had for the girls. They weren’t big rules, but because their ages were a little younger than the recommended age for this kit, I wanted to make sure they knew what parts they would take in creating their designs. Once this was explained and understood, it was time to begin.

We used the stencils that were included in the kit to place the dots that would become future holes on the garments. The handy-dandy gem device was then used to pop holes where the rhinestones and gems would go. It took about 30 minutes to design and prepare each shirt for the gems, but it was so fun and time just flew by! I plan on doing a little slumber party in the next week or two and will be using the gem decorator as a fun time project.

What’s fun about this kit is that the gems are removable. My girls have removed and replaced the gems a hundred times now and the shirt is still holding well. They simply snap right on and for a six year old to do this, you know it’s doable. At the end of our project, Patience and Piper were full of smiles. They wore their new shirts proudly and I couldn’t have asked for a more entertaining experience.

Other available sets from the newly launched Style Six line include, but are not limited to:

STYLE SIX FELTING MACHINE: This felting machine allows young trendsetters to customize any item in their closet with fun felt shapes! The felting device safely weaves felt into any piece of fabric without heat, adhesive, or sewing. It includes a felting device and assorted felt shapes. It is recommended for children eight years and older. The suggested retail price is $14.99.

Girls will have so much fun setting their fashion mood for the day by attaching decorative fabric, fun broaches, and playful charms to any fabric surface. The set includes a snap-n-glam device, assorted fabric shapes, and plastic pieces. Again, it is suggested for children eight years and older and has a suggested retail price of $9.99.

STYLE SIX STYLE PACK REFILLS: Available in new waves of four different styles every four months so girls can keep up with all the latest trends. As with all of the Style Six lines, recommended for children eight years and older. The suggested retail price for these will range from $4.99 – $9.99.

For more information on the many toys JAKKS PACIFIC has to offer, please visit Also, take a moment to check out the JAKKS cares tab and read about their ongoing commitments to ensure happy, healthy kids. You can read all about the partners involved in making things happen, information on charitable giving, and learn about how you can help.

Dogs Get Sunburn, Too – Best Sunscreen and Sun Care Tips for Dogs and Puppies

Dogs can get sunburn too!If you’ve ever gotten a bad sunburn, you know how painful and uncomfortable it can be. Did you know dogs can get sunburn too? If you have a puppy or a full-grown dog, it is your responsibility as owner to make sure you protect your pet from sunburn. But, take note that sunscreen for dogs is not the same as sunscreen for people.

Some easy sun care tips can help you keep even the most active dog healthier when exposed to the sun. To keep your dog safe from too much exposure to the sun and protect from doggie sunburn or potential dog skin cancer, follow a few precautionary tips from the experts.

“Dogs can suffer multiple ill effects of sun exposure, including sunburn, skin inflammation, and several kinds of skin cancer,” says Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. “Skin cancers caused by sun exposure in dogs include squamous cell carcinoma and hemangiosarcoma.”

Q. – Which Kinds of Dogs Are Most at Risk for Sunburn, Heat Stroke, and Skin Cancer?

A. – Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital: “Dogs with thin hair coats, light-colored noses, and white fur are most at risk from sun exposure. Dogs with areas of white fur or areas where the coat is thinner are also at risk. All dogs are at risk in areas of the body with less fur, such as the groin and belly. Pets who have areas of missing hair, such as those who have had an area shaved for surgery, should be protected from sunlight.”

A. – Ann Hohenhaus, DVM at The Animal Medical Center in New York: “Sunburn is much less common in dogs than in humans since most dogs are not worried about a tan, have thick hair coats and dark skin. But we do see sunburn in the less haired areas of light colored dogs like the nose, ears and on the underside of dogs between the belly button and the back legs. White pit bulls, Dalmatians, Boxers and Whippets are especially sensitive to the effects of sun, but any light coated dog is at risk. Usually dog abdomens are not exposed to the sun, but rare dogs do like to sunbathe on their backs and will sunburn. Just like in humans, sun exposure can lead first to solar dermatitis and ultimately to skin cancer of the nose, ears and abdomen.”

Dogs that sunbathe can be at greater risk of sunburn and doggie skin cancer.A. – Dr. Alison Flynn, DVM, DACVD, Veterinary Dermatologist at Miami Veterinary Specialists:
“Pets at risk for sunburn and UV induced cancer:
1. The sparsely haired area on the top of the muzzle towards the tip of the nose and the belly are at increased risk of sun damage.
2. Pets with white / lightly colored hair coat and skin
3. Specific breeds have been reported to have an increased incidence of solar induced skin cancer such as those with short hair coats and white or piebald coat / skin color (Dalmatian, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, and Beagle).
4. White cats have squamous cell carcinoma about 13 times more frequently than other cats, owing to increased susceptibility to sun damage.
5. Pets with significant hair loss affecting a sun exposed area of the body
6. Pets that are naturally hairless, such as the Chinese Crested dog
7. Pets that spend the majority of their time outdoors
8. Pets that frequently enjoy sunbathing (even if they are indoors, basking in the sunlight through a glass window or door)
9. Pets that are receiving tetracycline antibiotics should stay out of direct sunlight completely, this medication sensitizes the skin to UV and may promote severe burns

“Pets at risk for heat stroke:
1. Those with a dense hair coat such as the golden retriever, Siberian huskey, chow chow, etc
2. Any pet in direct sunlight for longer than 30 minutes when the temperature is greater than 90F

“Pets that are at risk for worsening auto-immune disease are those that have been diagnosed with:
1. Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE)
2. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
3. Pemphigus erythematosus (PE)”

Q. – What Are the Risks of Sun Exposure to Dogs?

A. – Dr. Alison Flynn, DVM, DACVD, Veterinary Dermatologist at Miami Veterinary Specialists:

1. Sun burn
2. Skin infections (may arise secondary to severe sunburns)
3. Skin cancer – squamous cell carcinoma in particular
4. Heat stroke
5. UV induced/ exacerbated autoimmune disease (rare)

Style Six Airbrush Fashion line for Girls Product Review

That time has come again; our beautiful kids are off to a new year at school. Isn’t it great (for us anyways)?!

To extend the excitement about their return, why not make going back to school, well… fun? With JAKKS PACIFIC, you’re sure to make designing their wardrobe exciting. I was so happy when I received the all new Style Six Airbrush kit from JAKKS PACIFIC for the kids and me to try. Let me just say that it’s not just for girls. My 16 year old son was pretty impressed with it, too.

The kit includes stencil stickers for easy application, fabric Blopens and a motorized Airbrush. It’s intended for children ages eight and older, but if you have children in the range of five to seven (I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone younger than that), helping them with their design will be just as fun. Trust me, for the younger ones, simply letting them place the sticker stencils where they’d like to put them while you do the rest will be just as exciting.

As for the boys, you won’t have to worry about them at all because once they see the fun the girls are having, their imaginations will get the best of them. My son, 16, didn’t use the stickers. He just grabbed a white T-shirt from his closet, grabbed the Blopens airbrush and was well at work, creating his very own one-of-a-kind peace T-shirt. He said it was a blast and he didn’t care that it was sent for us girls to try.

Without a doubt, this was an extremely fun set. The motorized airbrush made designing their clothes so much fun. The only “con” to the whole system is that the cord is just a teeny tiny bit too short, but overall, it was such a blast to use.

After the kids decorated their clothes, it was off to trying them on. Each of them was proudly sporting their designs, their creations and I was jealous (I was told that I was just too old to use it – LOL, yeah right!).

If you’re wondering how much this kit would set you back, it won’t. The suggested retail price is $19.99 and comes with everything you’ll need in order to do plenty of projects with the kids. It’s perfect for boys and girls alike. My kids and I didn’t have any problems figuring out how it works. It’s all self explanatory, but does come with instructions just in case. I’m telling you, your kids will love it!

As with all the wonderful toys that come from JAKKS PACIFIC, the prices are well within anyone’s budget and each line is filled with an array of project play-sets that will keep kids entertained for hours. In fact, the newly launched Style Six Fashion line currently offers half a dozen different kits. Now, I won’t name them all because you’ll just have to head over to, but I have handpicked a few I’d like to mention:

STYLE SIX SILK SCREENER: Girls can tap into their creative sides when using this dandy screener. They simply layer on cool printed graphics on T-shirts and other fashion pieces and begin creating. The Silk Screener includes two silkscreen devices, paint bottles, a blotter, roller, masking board, stencil sheets supply tray and a garment separator. It’s intended for ages 8+ and has a suggested retail price of $39.99.

This kit will excite and amaze your girls. They can stamp and foil transfer one-of-a-kind hip and glossy graphics onto their favorite jeans, shirts, handbags, and more (possibilities are endless). The Foil Applicator kit includes a foil device, roller, assorted stamps, fabric paint, glue, acrylic board, and foil sheets. It is intended for ages 8+ and has a suggested retail price of $19.99.

STYLE SIX GEM DECORATOR: This kit will have to wait… I’ve got a personal review in the works as we speak as I was also sent this awesome machine for my kids to try, so, stay tuned….

If any of these sets excite you or your young ones, please check out for more information, kits, and toys that are offered. The site is always updated with the latest toys and kits. There is a wide range of products that feature some of the most popular children’s toy licenses in the world, so prepare to be dazzled!

JAKKS PACIFIC Extreme Performance Vehicles – Product Review

The first time I introduced JAKKS PACIFIC was when I excitedly spoke about the “bonding time,” ultimate pampering experience my girls and I shared. Today, I gladly shift to “boy stuff” by introducing the GX Racers & GX Racers: Tight Rope Terror!

Race cars are really a toy for everyone because they’re completely versatile in every way. When you play with cars it doesn’t matter whether you’re a girl or a boy, a dad or mom, 2 years old or 100; playing with toy vehicles is flat out- fun and exciting.

The all new GX Extreme Performance Vehicles (SRP: $5.99/ Multipack $11.99), also known as GX Racers, will have your kids playing and laughing for hours. You won’t have any problems keeping the family entertained with these little road champs! In fact – you’ll have a blast when you combine the GX Racers with the all new GX Tight Rope Terror (SRP: $19.99). This play set will defy everything you thought possible. The kit comes with a tight rope that’s over 10 ft. long and a cool racer, just to get you started.

The Tight Rope Terror takes nothing to put together and all you need, from around the house, is a few good books to lie on top of the “book end” L shaped platforms. This puts tension on the rope above, which enables you to get the racer rolling across the rope easily.  Girls and boys alike will spend time and time again trying to beat their last run. I know that when the kids and I played, we were competing for the title of “Master Runner”! I proudly wore that badge twice by the way. The girls were in close second and the boys, yea, the boys were undefeated. This was okay with us girls though because it was too much fun to care about ranking… yea right, the girls and I teamed up against the boys to do a “best 4 out of 5”.

If the GX line has you excited, check out some of the other amazing GX play sets JAKKS Pacific has to offer. You’ll find GX skate stunt starter sets for those skateboard fanatics (SRP: $9.99), GX’s Super Jump sets for those that love to defy gravity (SRP: $14.99), GX’s 360 Spinway for the intense racing maze of twists and turns ($19.99), and the kits don’t stop there… I’m telling you, GX has something for every race car/skate board toy enthusiast.

JAKKS Pacific, inc. is a leading designer and marketer of toys and consumer products. They are an award-winning licensee of several hundred nationally and internationally known trademarks, which means, when you visit their site, you’re sure to find the toy you’re looking for, that game set you’ve heard about and even that precious doll your daughter’s been asking for. There’s something for everyone at JAKKS.

Here’s something else that’s sure to put a smile on your face: JAKKS is committed to helping raise funds through Operation Smile; this is an extraordinary charitable organization dedicated to helping kids with Cleft Lip, Cleft palate, and other facial deformities. This isn’t all they do, so please take a moment and read more about how JAKKS cares. Take it from me, my heart melted when I read the extraordinary measures JAKKS Pacific, inc. takes to ensure kids’ happiness, health and overall well being.

Find a large selection of GX Racers on


After Parvo – Tips on Helping Your Dog or Puppy in Recovering from Parvo Virus and Life Beyond

While many dogs and puppies lose their battle to Parvo, just as many tend to survive, make a full recovery, and live a long life after Parvo. With that being said, if your dog or pup beats Parvo, that is surely something to celebrate, but it is also important to plan for the care of your puppy after Parvo. What will life be like for your puppy or dog after Parvo? Well, for starters, much better than before he or she was diagnosed with Parvovirus!

If your dog or puppy is recovering from Parvo, there are some essential tips you’ll need to consider and steps you’ll need to take to ensure the safe recovery of your pet. To aid your pooch in recovering from Parvo, consider these “After Parvo” dog and puppy care tips to make your home a safe and comfortable place for your recovering pet after Parvo treatment.

9 Tips for “After Parvo” Treatment and Survival

1.    Throw away all cloth toys. You can buy new ones and the cost of a few new toys is so very worth the safety and health of your pet, not to mention ensuring your pooch does not inadvertently infect another dog after Parvo. While your dog is recovering from Parvo, avoid introducing new cloth toys.

2.    Bleach everything – plastic and rubber dog toys, pet food bowls and water bowls, floors, crate, etc. After Parvo, it is important to eradicate every last trace of the Parvovirus that you possibly can.

3.    Wash all of your dog’s bedding in hot water with color-safe bleach.
If you cannot do so effectively, consider getting your dog or puppy a new pet bed rather than allowing him or her to sleep on the old bed after Parvo survival. Recovery from Parvo essentially depends on hydration, proper feeding, and disinfecting anything affected by the Parvovirus.

4.    Keep your dog away from other dogs for at least three weeks after Parvo. Your veterinarian will most definitely inform you of this, but Parvovirus is highly contagious to other dogs, and even though your dog may have survived, not all dogs and owners are that lucky. After Parvo, keep your dog separate from other dogs until your vet clears him or her.

5.    Make sure your pup has all Parvo shots / boosters and other vaccines as needed. Vets tend to disagree on whether dogs can get Parvo a second time, so the safest thing to do is ensure your pet’s safety and the safety of other dogs in the neighborhood by getting your dog fully vaccinated against Parvovirus. (It typically takes a series of three shots.) If your pup only had one of two shots before getting sick, you can still finish up the last shot or two (or all if needed) after Parvo recovery.

6.    Ensure that your dog or puppy gets lots of water and stays hydrated. By the time your vet sends the puppy home, he or she should eat and drink willingly and without a fuss. The vet may put your dog on a bland diet after Parvo, including plain or vanilla yogurt, until the intestines get back to normal. If your dog refuses food while recovering from Parvo, consult your vet.

7.    Keep an eye on your dog’s droppings to ensure the stool is no longer diarrhea or containing blood after Parvo.
If your dog continues to have problems in this area while recovering from Parvo or if the problems resolve but return after Parvo treatment, consult your veterinarian.

8.    As far as your yard goes, clean up all dog droppings and hose down the areas if possible after Parvo diagnosis and during recovery from Parvo. Parvovirus can stay in the environment for an undeclared number of months, if not longer, so it is imperative to attempt to disinfect the area as much as possible. Avoid inviting over any dogs that are not up-to-date on shots to avoid contamination after Parvo diagnosis and during recovery from Parvo. If possible, while your dog is recovering from Parvo, try to get your pooch in the habit of going to potty in the same part of the yard, and clean up the droppings right away.

9.    As far as your home, consult your vet for any further cleaning and modifications after Parvo.
You most likely will need to disinfect your floors and any areas where your dog may have been after Parvo diagnosis. Chances are that you will not have to replace floors or repaint walls, etc., but check with your vet to aid your dog in recovering from Parvo.

After Parvo, your dog or puppy can live a long and happy, healthy life. Your dog might even serve as a blood donor for other dogs suffering from Parvovirus or recovering from Parvo now that he or she has the antibodies after Parvo survival. Dogs that are lucky enough to survive Parvovirus don’t often experience lasting effects after Parvo, although there is one strain of Parvovirus that affects the heart. If your dog had the type of Parvo that affects the cardiac muscle, it could possibly leave some lasting damage, but you should consult your vet for the facts.

A Common Puppy Virus to Watch Out For

Caring for a new puppy has its ups and downs, and you may not be surprised if your little pup gets an upset tummy in the first few weeks of ownership. If you are concerned that your new puppy might have a puppy virus, though, your best bet would be to take your little pooch to the vet for a checkup as soon as possible. Some puppy viruses turn out to be a breeze to get over, but one puppy virus in particular is life-threatening to dogs and puppies alike, and reportedly fatal in roughly 50% of cases. Needless to say, prompt veterinary care to treat this awful puppy virus is essential.

The puppy virus “Parvo” is a dog owner’s worst nightmare, and just about the last thing they’d want to hear when the vet delivers the puppy virus diagnosis. While all puppy virus situations are not necessarily Parvo (parvovirus), it can be too risky to take the chance of not getting your puppy a vet visit within the first day or two of becoming sick with the illness.

Parvo is a fast killer that weakens dogs and puppies by dehydrating them and not allowing them to absorb the nutrients when they do eat. In fact, in most if not all puppy parvovirus cases, the poor dog does not even want to eat, and often will refuse both food and water.

The puppy virus Parvo typically needs veterinary treatment for the best success rate. Statistics say that roughly 80% of Parvo puppies treated with IV fluids and veterinary care will make a full recovery. Some dogs and puppies with Parvo will still recover with only home care, but the survival rate tends to be much less, and the recovery process can take much longer if successful.

If your puppy seems to have a virus that shows symptoms of nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness and lethargy, and refusing to eat and drink, these are the common puppy virus signs of Parvo. If you suspect your puppy or dog may have Parvo, try to encourage drinking or eating ice chips and schedule a veterinarian appointment or an emergency vet appointment if puppy virus symptoms are especially severe.

Remember – the most important thing in dealing with a puppy virus – especially Parvo – is to ensure the health of your pet. It would be much better to run to the vet to treat your puppy for a common puppy virus or flu than to let it go and risk losing your furry pal to an awful puppy virus. Err on the side of better safe than sorry!

Product Review: JAKKS PACIFIC Spa Factory – Color & Sparkle Manicure Play Set

There are so many joys to being a mother… especially if you have three kids and two of them happen to be girls. Now granted, my son is fabulous (couldn’t have asked for a more perfect one), but for today, let’s talk about the girly stuff!
JAKKS PACIFIC Spa Factory Nail Design Studio

Continue reading Product Review: JAKKS PACIFIC Spa Factory – Color & Sparkle Manicure Play Set

Top 10 Pets to Consider Adopting or Welcoming to Your Family

If you are looking to adopt a pet into your family, that’s great news! So many pets need a loving home, and owning a pet can make your home more complete. As you prepare to choose the type of pet that you would like to welcome to your home, you must think about a few key issues, such as the size of the pet, its living requirements, and what type of pet best suits the location where you live.

If you own your own home, you’ll probably have a relatively easy time introducing your pet to its new home. If you live in an apartment, you will want to check your landlord’s policy on pets prior to bringing one home. Whatever the case, consider your pet’s space and energy level requirements as you pick the best pet for you and your family.

Dogs and cats are classic pets that warm any home environment, but they are also a lot of work. If your kids are pestering you to get a puppy or a kitten, remind them how much work these cute pets require and work out a plan where your children will learn some responsibility in owning the pet if you are open to the idea.

Smaller critters make great pets, too, and often require less work. You can always start with goldfish, tropical fish, or a Beta fish to see how things go with a low maintenance pet and then graduate to a larger pet when ready.

Consider this list of top 10 pets to consider adopting or welcoming to your home as a way to give you some ideas of popular pets you can adopt or buy.

1.    Dog / puppy
2.    Cat / kitten
3.    Rabbit
4.    Bird
5.    Ferret
6.    Chinchilla
7.    Beta Fish
8.    Hamster or Guinea Pig
9.    Turtle
10.   Tropical Fish

As you consider the different kinds of pets that you could buy or adopt, remember that countless animals are lonely and sad as they wait for homes in animal shelters. These dogs, cats, bunny rabbits and other animals can be some of the best pets you’d ever own, but many of them never get that chance, especially those that end up in high kill shelters. So, before you decide on getting your next pet from a breeder, consider saving a life and welcome an adoptable stray into your family. If you must go with a breeder, be sure to do your research to avoid adopting from a puppy mill.

No matter what you and your family decide, congratulations on your new family member!

Everything You Need to Know about Pet Insurance for Your Dog, Cat, or Other Pet

Enrolling in pet health insurance for your dog, cat, small animal, or exotic pet is a great way to help ensure you will never have to make a difficult financial decision when it comes to your pet’s health. Pet insurance is a great option to safeguard your dog, cat, or other pet from accidents and major injuries, and you can also look into offsetting the cost of regular veterinary care.

Pet insurance options vary from one pet insurance provider to the next, but you can check out the scoop on pet health care as outlined by a few experts from Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the ASPCA Pet Insurance, and another insurance consultant.

Q. – When is it a good idea to get pet insurance? Which pets are good candidates for pet insurance? Should all dogs and cats have pet insurance?

A. – Mindy Bough, ASPCA Animal Health Services: It is best to obtain pet insurance before your pet becomes ill or injured. Pet insurance can help make sure you’ll never have to make a financial decision about your pet’s well-being. With the costs of veterinary care rising, there’s never been a better time to protect your pet!

A. – Brian Iannessa, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI): The ideal time to enroll in pet health insurance is when a pet first comes into your possession. Basically, the younger the better with respect to insuring a pet. This way, the risks of pre-existing conditions being deemed as exclusions from plan coverage are minimal. Plus, young pets can succumb to illnesses and accidents just as middle-aged and senior pets do. Most pets should absolutely be safeguarded with medical insurance, providing it’s not too late for that particular pet; most insurance companies have upper age limits for insuring pets. And, in some instances, pets that might be under the age limit but are still senior pets may already have a serious pre-existing condition that could completely preclude them from coverage. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of insuring pets when they’re young.

A. – Dan Weedin, Seattle-based insurance and risk management consultant: It’s best to get pet insurance when your pet is young and healthy.  It’s less expensive and your pet is more likely to be insurable.  Once they are insured, they are good to go.  A good analogy is life insurance for humans.  Get it when you are young before something happens and insurers don’t want you and it’s more costly.

Q. – Does pet insurance work like human health insurance? How is it similar or different?

A. – Mindy Bough, ASPCA Animal Health Services: It is similar, but there may be some differences. Each health insurance company and plan may be different, so it is important to do your homework so you know exactly what benefits you receive with your policy. With ASPCA pet insurance, you simply visit your veterinarian, pay for services, and send in a 1-page claim form with your receipts. Our coverage allows you to use ANY veterinarian in the US or Canada. Our pet insurance plans reimburse 80% of allowable covered veterinary charges. Allowable covered charges are covered costs considered reasonable for your geographic area. We use publicly available and proprietary veterinary fee information to determine fair reasonable costs. We have a low $100 deductible, per pet, that only needs to be met once a year, rather than per incident.

A. – Brian Iannessa, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI): Pet health insurance is similar to human health insurance in the following ways: it’s designed to defray the costs associated with testing and treating a litany of different medical conditions; insurance premiums are based on age (among other factors); pre-existing medical problems are not eligible for coverage; and deductibles and co payments are involved. It’s also very different from human health insurance because pet insurance follows a reimbursement model (pet owners pay their veterinarian up front, and then submit a claim form for reimbursement). Thus, it is the opposite of the human health HMO/PPO configuration; there is not a restricted list of veterinary providers or price discounting at the clinic level. The relationship in pet health insurance is strictly between the pet owner and the pet insurance provider. In addition, pet insurance premiums are typically much cheaper than human health care premiums, which translates to more modest insurance reimbursements than are associated with human health insurance (pet insurance isn’t intended to cover all of the costs incurred by a pet owner, but to provided adequate third party assistance).

A. – Dan Weedin, Seattle-based insurance and risk management consultant: Pet insurance is on a reimbursement basis. You pay the bill and then send in the receipt to the company. Most human health insurance is on an insurer pay first basis.

Q. – What kinds of pets can be insured with pet insurance?

A. – Mindy Bough, ASPCA Animal Health Services: Many types of pets can be insured with pet insurance. Check with individual insurance carriers to determine which pets may be covered.

A. – Brian Iannessa, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI): Every pet insurance company within the U.S. offers medical insurance for dogs and cats. VPI Pet Insurance, however, is the only provider that extends coverage to dogs, cats, birds, and exotic pets. Exotic pets include everything from an iguana to a goat.