Contrary to popular belief, the life of a food critic boils down to more than just making snide comments about dishes and restaurants. The job entails more than going to high profile restaurants to determine whether the food they serve is as good as the management wants the public to believe it to be. Food critics are people who not only judge famous cuisine; they do it for the public. They discriminate the good from the bad so the general population has a good idea of what to eat, and where to go to enjoy good food. More than that, it is also the job of a food critic to find the diamonds in the rough, and bring the unnoticed and underrated restaurants and dishes of today into full view of the people.

While every culture has differences in what is considered proper etiquette during dinner (and the definition of a “formal” dinner varies from place to place as well), most agree on one of two styles of formal dining: American and English. Both are considered by many to be respectful to the dinner host, and are designed to minimize mess and spills during and after the meal. The diner (person who dines) must become familiar with the formal dinner setting in order to avoid using utensils the wrong way.

The formal dinner table setting is iconic, with most utensils placed side by side in the order of which the food is going to be served. Directly in front of the diner is the dinner plate. A salad plate is placed on top of this, and a napkin is neatly to top it off. In the case of formal restaurants, is also accompanied by the place card. If soup is served, then the soup bowl is placed on top of the salad plate. The position of the plate is meant to serve as a center; a fixed point that under most circumstances should not move during the entire dinner, and the soup bowl and salad plate are removed as the diner moves to the following course.

To the left of the dinner plate are the forks. They are arranged from left to right in the order of which the courses are served. Therefore, the salad fork is to the far left, and the dinner fork is located closest to the dinner plate. Between these two, any number of forks except the dessert fork and cocktail fork is placed, depending on what is to be served. For example, if the waiter is serving fish, then the fish fork goes between the salad and dinner forks. All forks on this side of the plate are placed with their handles facing to the diner.

A couple of weeks ago, I accompanied one of my friends to the vet’s office. She had taken her cat for a checkup after she noticed that her pet wasn’t acting usual. The cat was unusually inactive and didn’t eat as much. After examination, she was informed that her cat had an inflammation of the pancreas and a treatment regime was initiated. While still at the vets, another cat was brought in. this pet had apparent hair loss especially around the head and neck. Its owner noticed my curious look directed towards his feline. “chubby has mange. Hope he’ll get well.” He said before we left.

I generally love cats and seeing these two kitties suffer weighed on my heart. I wanted to learn more about the conditions and this is part of what I found out.

Mange in cats

Mange is a condition of the skin caused by the demodex mites. These aren’t visible to the naked eye but are in abundance on cat skin and hair. The condition develops when the mites overpopulate the skin.

Feline mange is usually caused by two types of the demodex mite. The demodex gatoi is usually transmittable among cats and is considered contagious. The demodex cati on the other hand is believed to cause mange if the cat’s immune system is compromised.

The main symptom of this condition is hair loss. This is usually visible in the head, neck and flanks. The hair loss is usually caused by increased numbers of the mites in the hair follicles. Other symptoms include skin lesions, scaling and crusting of the skin.

In most cases, mange will resolve by itself if the cats immune system is strong enough. However, in severe and recurrent mange, medical treatment might be recommended by the vet.

The main way of preventing feline mange is ensuring that your cat remains clean and avoids contact with infected cats. It also recommended not breeding cats with chronic mange as the condition might be passed on genetically to the offspring.

Pancreatitis in cats

This is the inflammation of the pancreas. Such inflammation results in the escape of digestive enzymes from the pancreas causing damage to surrounding organs including the liver. In many cases, pancreatitis goes unnoticed in cats as some of the symptoms include long periods of inactivity which is considered normal in cats.

In severe cases, the cat can show symptoms such as tenderness in the abdomen, vomiting, lack of appetite and fever.

The condition can be caused by several factors including medications, trauma to the pancreas, exposure to certain chemicals, parasites and viral infections. Studies also link pancreatitis to processed pet foods which don’t have digestive enzymes normally found in organic cat diets.

Treatment usually revolves around bringing the pancreas back to normal operation. The treatment method chosen is usually determined by the causing factor. In most cases, medications will be prescribed to manage the condition. Once treatment is complete, preventing future recurrence of the disease is recommended. This includes ensuring that the cat’s diet includes enough digestive enzymes which reduce the workload on the pancreas.

My dream of finally opening up my very own restaurant is very close to being fulfilled. I have planned it in my mind for a very long time and have waited ages to finally have a chance at it. I have learned all there is to learn about how to make a restaurant function and function well. I have learned how to make myriads of dishes and have also created a couple of my own. I like to see myself as really being ready to take the next step.

I have also saved up for it and have a few family members pledging support just in case I needed it. I also have a very nice place in mind where to put up my restaurant, and although it needs a little bit of work, I see it as being totally fabulous once I get my hands on it, and is really the perfect place for what I have in mind.

Let’s just say that this putting up of a restaurant is not really a project of mine per se, but ultimately my passion coming into fruition. It is like my very own child in all sense of the word. I am now in the process of caring for it in my womb, planning, preparing, thinking about how I will eventually put it out into this world.

Once I get to birth my child, other sets of problems will definitely come up and I will have to think about those too. I have to prepare for any eventualities if I would like my baby to grow up and prosper, to be something in this world and to fully realize his potentials.

Surely both my baby and I will progress in life no matter what, and that I will assure you. I will do anything I can to ensure that. We will realize growth in leaps and bounds, kind of like newborn growth spurts that babies are sure to experience. With proper care and love, nothing is impossible.

Of course there will be that occasional hiccups or we might even suffer from constipation in newborns, as problems are to be expected with anything in this world no matter how carefully you plan for it. We will treat each one as what they really are and not be bogged down by them. They will eventually pass with the right medicine and care.

Time is really very close at hand and I will be making my down payments on the property in question. I am feeling a little bit apprehensive about the whole thing, perhaps maybe even a little afraid of this decision that I have made. But I have made up my mind a long time ago and this is just its natural progression.

Boom or bust I am in it completely. I know I will eventually make it and I trust myself well to make that leap of faith into the unknown. Well not really unknown but sort of like it. Please do wish me luck and I hope to see you in my new restaurant soon.

We have all had episodes of a lingering taste in the mouth at one time in our life. This is especially so if we have just eaten. This taste usually fades off as time passes by. There are however instances where people experience the taste longer than usual. In some cases, the taste is chronic such that it doesn’t go away for weeks and even months. This can be a signal of an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed. I’m going to focus on two tastes that are common in most people.

Metal taste in mouth

Metallic taste in the mouth is considered a form of abnormality in the sense of taste. There are many conditions that can lead to this sensation and they include the following.

Metallic taste can signal oral and sinus problems. Poor oral health is the main contributing factor. Some of the oral problems linked to metallic taste include periodontitis, gingivitis, abscesses and, tooth decay. Sinus problems such as the Sicca syndrome will also cause the sensation. Metal taste can signal an abnormally dry mouth.

Metal taste can also be a symptom of many systemic diseases. Such diseases include zinc deficiency, cancer, vitamin B12 deficiency, diabetes and renal failure.

Metallic taste in the mouth might also be a symptom of problems of the nervous system. Any condition that affects the nerves linked to taste and smell can result in this sensation. Such conditions include autoimmune diseases, tumors and, inflammation of the nerves.

If you have a metallic taste, you probably have a metal overload in your body. Although having zinc deficiency might cause metallic taste, having too much of this metal in the blood can also cause the sensation. Another metal known to cause this taste if in abundance in the blood is copper.

Having metallic taste can also signal and allergic reaction. This is especially so if the allergen is inhaled and comes in direct contact with the oral and nasal tract. The taste can also be caused by the release of histamines in the body.

Sweet taste in mouth

This is also considered an abnormality in the sense of taste. Some of the underlying conditions that cause this sensation include the following.

Acid reflux is commonly linked to a sweet taste in the mouth. It occurs when food and acid is pushed up along the esophagus.

Infection of the sinuses by the pseudomonas bacteria can also cause a sweet sensation in the mouth. The sweet taste sensation in this case is actually the result of the bacteria altering the taste buds in the moth and throat area.

Like metallic taste, sweet taste in the mouth can also signal an underlying nervous disorder. Some of the conditions linked to this taste include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.

Sweetness in the mouth might also signal an underlying metabolic condition such as diabetic neuropathy. Patients suffering from diabetes will usually have a sensation of sweetness in the mouth due to the high levels of sugar in their blood.

A friend of mine recently acquired a Lionhead bunny she fondly named Sue. I think Sue is one of the cutest pet I’ve come across my whole life. She’s simply a bundle of joy you’ll want to cuddle every time you come across her. The interesting thing is that I didn’t have an idea about these pets before my friend acquired her Lionhead. My naivety was displayed the first time I saw the bunny and thought it was some kind of miniature dog or cat. Forgive me; I’ve grown up around the larger bunnies. After that episode, my friend schooled me about Lionheads and I can now say I know a thing or two about this bunny breed.

Where did Lionhead bunnies come from?

It is believed that the Lionhead bunny breed originates from Belgium. Belgian breeders were looking to create a miniature bunny breed by crossing the Netherland dwarf and the Swiss fox. Other claims are that the Netherland dwarf was crossbred with the jersey wooly. Although both claims haven’t been proven, these breeders got more than a dwarf bunny breed. Due to a mutant gene, the offspring where born with a woolen mane. This gave made the bunny quite popular across Europe and as of 2002, the British Rabbit Council officially recognized the Lionhead as an official breed. From Europe, the breed started being imported to the United States and Canada in the late 1990s and is increasingly becoming a popular pet.


The Lionhead derives its name from its similarity to the male lion. It has a wool mane which covers its head. In some instances, the mane covers other parts of the body including flanks and chest. Both sexes have a mane. The body and ears are covered with fur. An adult bunny doesn’t weigh more than 4 pounds and have heights of up to 3 inches.

In the United States

The Lionhead bunny wasn’t recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association ARBA until early 2014. The association currently recognizes two varieties and steps are underway to have more varieties recognized.


Some of the common traits of this bunny include loving, easy to train, highly active and playful. A well trained Lionhead can easily understand simple commands such as come and go.

Other Lionhead bunny facts

Due to the woolen mane, Lionhead bunnies require regular brushing to prevent tangling. This breed has two main varieties based on the type of mane. The first variety is the single mane which is a cross between a single mane Lionhead and another bunny breed. This variety tends to shed its mane as it matures. The second variety is the double mane variety which is a cross between a double mane and a single mane Lionhead or two double mane Lionheads.

Due to their small size, Lionheads don’t require a lot of food. However, plenty of fodder including grass and hay should be provided. Besides their nutritional value, these foods provide the bunny with a good abrasive substance to keep their enamel spurs in the desired length.

Lionheads are affected by the viral hemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis. These are potentially lethal and regular vaccinations against the diseases are recommended.

Since I was young, I have always been fascinated by ornamental fish kept in aquariums. Observing these fish simply takes me to a dream world full of color and silence away from the everyday noises of the streets. Most of these fish look weird but interesting. Some are quite small but their coordinated movement in shoals makes up for this.

One ornamental fish I’ve grown fond of over the years is the Cory catfish. Every aquarium I see seems to have a new species. I believe there are more than 140 identified Corys so I guess I’ll be coming across more of these whiskered fish. Having seen so many species, I often wondered, what criteria does a specific aquarist use when choosing the particular Cory to stock? If you intend to keep a Cory species in your aquarium, here’s a short guide to help.

The body

The body traits play a huge role in determining whish Cory you’ll select. There are several traits to consider and they include the following.

The main trait most aquarists look at is the body color and any markings on it. Corys come either in single color body or with a body that’s single color with markings. Some of the Cory species considered single color such as the bronze Cory can come in different color variations. Corys that have markings on their bodies are also extremely popular. Common markings are stripes, dots or both.

Another body trait is the Corys size. Majority of aquarists prefer Cory species which are small to medium in size. These are easier to stock in small aquariums. On average, Corys in the 2 to 6 inch length are preferred.

Another trait is the number and size of barbels. Barbels are actually the body trait that attracts most people to catfish. The more and lengthier, the better but this is more of a personal preference.


Corys can be categorized as opportunists or scavengers. Being omnivorous, they will feed on practically anything they can recognize as food. Majority are bottom feeders. However, you’ll have to decide whether you want a Cory that can feed on a variety of food or, one that has a strict diet.

Tanks size requirements

The size of the tank will be largely determined by two factors, the size of the Cory and, its level of activity. Large Corys will generally require large tanks especially if stocked with other fish. The same is true if you are stocking highly active Corys. Remember that these fish love to live in shoals and you’ll be stocking more about 8 fish at a time.

Ability to live with other fish

Corys are generally peaceful fish and will live with fairly larger or same size. There are however some species which will feed on other fish and if given the opportunity their young. This might require you to have an extra tank to transfer the fish into after spawning. When transferring these Corys, you’ll have to invest in plastic containers to capture them due to their spiny fins. Catfish bait, like these, might be too costly and clumsy to use.

I recently had to accompany one of my friends to hospital after he started complaining about middle back pain. The pain was so severe that he could barely walk. He had lost days of sleep and although he had previously been able to temporarily relieve the pain using over the counter drugs, this time, he knew that visiting a medical professional was necessary.

After being diagnosed, he was found to have developed a kidney stone. It had been growing gradually and had become so large that surgery was necessary. He’s now recovering and swears he wouldn’t like to experience such pain again.

His experience is shared by millions of people across the United States. Most people will experience mid back pain and assume it will go away after using pain relievers. In most cases, the pain will go away but the underlying health condition still continues to develop. In the long run, the underlying health condition is so advanced that it might require advanced medical procedures or, might turn fatal to the affected persons. Some of the health conditions which might mask themselves as mid and lower back pain include the following.

Conditions affecting the urinary tract will commonly reveal themselves as mid back pain. For the case of my friend, kidney stone formation revealed itself as mid back pain which was easily relieved using pain killers. Other conditions which affect the urinary tract that can cause mid back pain include kidney infection, obstructive uropathy, polycystic kidney disease and, interstitial cystitis.

Conditions affecting the pancreas and gall bladder will also reveal themselves as pain in the mid back. Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas is damaged to an extent that it leaks digestive enzymes to nearby organs. As a result, these enzymes start to gradually eat up the pancreas and nearby liver. Cancer of the pancreas and gallstone are other conditions that will cause mid back pain.

Conditions affecting the female reproductive organs will also cause middle and lower left back pain. The female reproductive organs are located more or less around the same area as the urinary tract at that’s between the low and mid back. Health conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts and fibroids will reveal themselves as pain in these areas of the back.

Conditions that affect the skeletal structure can also cause lower and mid back pain. The skeletal structure is such that it includes bone, cushioning tissue and connective tissue. Any health condition that affects one or more of these components especially in the low and mid back area will cause pain. Some of the common conditions include osteoarthritis and slipped disc.

Conditions that directly affect the spine such as a tumor or infection will also cause mid and lower back pain. Tumors can grow such that they apply pressure on nerve endings causing pain in the affected area. Infections such as shingles if affecting the spine will result in pain in the affected area. Shingles is a condition caused by a dormant virus that also cases chickenpox.

Last week while walking home with a friend from work, I noticed that she had a slight limp. On enquiry, she joked about her feet growing bigger during the day. “My feet don’t seem to want to fit into these shoes nowadays. They’re becoming tighter by the day.” she commented regarding her high heel shoes. She’s a real estate agent and she regularly ditches her car so we can walk home together and catch up.

The next day, I phoned her to know how her feet were feeling. “They’re quite sore especially at the edges of the big and small toe. I don’t know if I’ll be able to take our routine walk today. I think I’ll take the car.” She said apologetically. I understood.

However, what I didn’t understand is why she had to risk hurting her feet just in the name of dress code. I knew that high heeled shoes were the perfect concoction for feet problems in the future. Such problems include bunions.

Ill fitting shoes have been found to be the leading cause for bunions. This has been supported by studies which document that people living in communities that rarely wear shoes are less likely to develop the condition. But society is evolving and shoes are part of majority of the people living today. Can bunions therefore be prevented, managed and treated? Here are some tips.

tailors bunionPreventing bunions

The process of preventing bunions involves identifying what causes them in the first place. As mentioned, they are mainly caused by wearing ill fitting shoes. Such shoes include high heels and shoes that are too tight at the front. These force the toes together increasing the risk of developing normal and the tailors bunion.

In other instances, wearing ill fitting shoes is just part of the equation. There are people born with hereditary conditions affecting the feet such as flat feet and loose ligaments. These are more likely to develop bunions if they wear ill fitting shoes.

Either way, wearing low heeled shoes which are wide enough at the front will help prevent the development of the condition.

Managing bunions

If you have bunions, managing them is the best way of ensuring that they don’t develop further. It involves wearing the best shoes for bunions. Some of the characteristics of such shoes include the following.

First, the shoe should be wide enough at the front. To know which shoe will be great, it’s recommended that you buy your shoes during the afternoon when your foot has fully expanded.

Second, the shoe should have a low heel. Besides evening out your body’s weight on the foot, it draws pressure away from the toes.

Third, the shoe should be made from breathable and expandable material such as leather and suede.

Treating bunions

Bunions can be quite painful especially when they become inflamed and swell. Some of the treatment methods include application of ice to relieve pain and reduce swelling. Medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen can also be prescribed for pain relief. Besides this, wearing the right shoes will also help treat the bunions.

I remember about 16 months ago when I received a call from one of my best friends. She sounded distressed at the end of the line. Her boyfriend had been rushed to the ER after he developed pain whine passing urine. The urine was pinkish in color and he was in pain. She wanted me to rush over and keep her company while the doctors took care of her boyfriend.

At the hospital, she recounted how his condition had started worsening over the recent days. He had thought it normal to have a little pain while passing urine but this time, it wasn’t something normal. He was diagnosed with kidney stones and over a period of weeks was able to get treated.

This episode got me thinking, how can one respond to kidney stones? Should one wait until they get to a point where only medical intervention can save the situation? Should you wait until you know first hand what do kidney stones feel like? I didn’t believe so and sought some measures one can take.

The first step in response to kidney stones is identifying whether you are at risk of developing them. This way, you will be able to take precautionary measures to avoid developing them. In addition, if the stones do develop, you will be at a better position of managing them and passing them in urine without any pain.

Some of the high risk groups include people who pass less than 1 liter of urine daily. The urine is usually highly concentrated with mineral salts which might crystallize within the kidneys. Other high risk groups include people with urinary tract infections and eat diets rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and, foods rich in animal protein.

Step two in response to kidney stones is to ensure that your body is hydrated. The kidneys function is to filter urine such that waste in the form of uric acid and minerals are excreted through urine. Urine also consists of water. Since the body still needs a good amount of water, it won’t release it through urine unless it’s in excess. This water is also needed to dilute urine such that minerals won’t crystallize within the kidneys. Drinking plenty of water ensures that your body has its hydration needs met and there’s still plenty of water left to dilute urine.

Step three in response to kidney stones is to watch out for any symptoms of kidney stone formation. These include passing urine that’s excessively colored indication that it’s highly concentrated. In addition, if you pass urine more than usual and have lower back pain, it can be symptom of the formation of kidney stones. At this point you can try out home remedies for kidney stones like the following.

Take nettle leaf tea. Nettle leaf acts as a natural diuretic forcing urine out of the body and also prompting you to take in more fluids.

Change your diet and avoid meals loaded with animal protein and vitamin C. After digestion, animal protein produces uric acid as a by product which is a common cause for kidney stone formation. Vitamin C on the other hand is converted to oxalate which also forms a major component of kidney stones.

While at college, I once accompanied a friend to hospital for a medical examination. She had a persistent cough which was accompanied by mucus and chest pain. The condition had developed after she had flu but after taking medication, it still persisted. After being examined, it was found that she was suffering from acute bronchitis. Some medicines were prescribed. After a couple of days, she found that the condition was still present although it had cleared a bit. I suggested she try alternative remedies she could use at home to help ease the symptoms. We did research together on the home remedies for bronchitis and found the following which have been effective for her.


Ginger is known for its anti inflammatory and immune boosting properties. It’s commonly used to treat flu and common colds due to its effect on the respiratory system. Interestingly, it has the same effect on bronchitis where it helps reduce inflammation of the airways. For the best effects, take a cup of ginger steeped in warm water and mixed with other ingredients such as cloves and cinnamon two or three times daily will help relieve bronchitis symptoms in a couple of days.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil helps to loosen mucus that blocks the airways making it easier to expel. It also contains antibiotic properties which help in getting rid of bacteria that cause inflammation of the airways during bouts of bronchitis. It can be taken in two ways. First, the oil can be inhaled when added to boiling water. Second, it can be applied topically on the chest and back.

Natural honey

Natural honey has for centuries been used to treat different health conditions. Its antibiotic and anti inflammatory properties make it one of the best home based bronchitis remedies. In addition, it helps boost the immune system allowing for faster healing. For the best effects, honey can be mixed with other home remedies like ginger and fresh lemon juice.


Garlic contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that are useful in fighting the bacteria or viruses that are causing inflammation of the airways. It can be taken on its own or boiled in milk or water and taken.

Take more liquids

Although most people will try to avoid taking water or other liquids when they are coughing, liquids are actually great home remedies for bronchitis. Although taking water won’t directly help relieve your cough, it actually helps to keep mucus more fluid. This makes it easier to expel when you cough preventing a sore throat and aching chest. It’s however advisable to take the liquids that are warm as cold fluids might aggravate your condition.

Salt water

Salt helps to breakup mucus making it easier to expel. Taking a warm glass of water mixed with salt and gargling it will enable you to loosen up mucus that’s stuck in your throat.

These are some of the home remedies for bronchitis my friend uses to relieve bronchitis symptoms. Although they won’t completely cure the condition, they will provide relief to symptoms such as coughing and chest pain.

I have had a number of friends who have been blessed with newborns over the past few years. One thing that’s common among them is the joy they have after getting their new bundle of joy. For them, it’s a signal of the time in life they have been preparing for all their life, motherhood. However, there’s another thing that’s common among most of them, they desperately want to get rid of the stretch marks that develop during the nine months of pregnancy.

Stretch marks during pregnancy are a common occurrence. Well over 95% of pregnant women get stretch marks. The reason for this is that the body is growing faster than the skin. As such, small tears occur under the skins surface leaving scars which we commonly know as stretch marks. These scars will occur in the parts of the body that grow the most such as the belly and stretch marks on breasts.

For the new mother, is important to understand that stretch marks will most likely not be completely eliminated. However, they will fade with time leaving you with fairly even skin appearance. In addition, you can also take measures to accelerate the healing process as well as make your stretch marks less conspicuous. Here are some tips to help you alleviate stretch marks after giving birth.

The first thing is to moisturize the skin. Applying creams and gels on stretch marks will help to accelerate the healing process as well as prevent development of new stretch marks. The reason why moisturization is recommended is that dry skin is prone to cracking due to its lack of flexibility.

Besides moisturization, ensure that your body is adequately hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to keep the skin flexible. Stretch marks usually develop on skin that has been stretched beyond its breaking point. That is, if the skin is stretched beyond its most flexible point, it’s more likely to develop stretch marks. Increasing flexibility through hydration reduces chances of developing new stretch marks.

Your diet plays a major role in your skins health. Besides ensuring that the skin functions normally, diet will help in the healing process. Avoid foods that dehydrate the skin such as alcohol and caffeine. A good skin friendly diet includes vitamins such as A and B complex. It also includes minerals such as zinc.

Regular exfoliation helps to reduce stretch marks. Exfoliation is the process by which you remove dead skin cells. This has two benefits. First, it promotes the flow of blood and nutrients to the skins surface giving skin some glow. Second, it promotes development of new skin cells which helps to even out the skins appearance.

You can also practice techniques which make your stretch marks less conspicuous. If you are into body art, tattoo over stretch marks is one of the common ways I’ve seen used to hide away these scars as they heal. Many of the new mothers that have used this technique will usually apply temporary tattoos which fade with time. By the time the tattoo has faded, the stretch marks have also faded leaving an even skin appearance.

I recently read an article about the rising cases of dog allergies. It was linked to a forum where the trending topic was can dogs eat bananas without risking allergic reactions. The article detailed how common ingredients in dog food can trigger an allergic reaction. It also recommended hypoallergenic pet food as an alternative. Surfing the net, I came across countless businesses selling this type of dog food. Not sure about what this type of pet food is or does, I decided to do some research on the topic. Today I’ll discuss what I found.

What are pet allergies?

Like humans, pets such as dogs can develop an allergy. Allergies occur when the pet’s body identifies a normally harmless substance as an invader and attacks it. The substance can be an ingredient in its food. Some of the symptoms associated with dog allergies include vomiting, scratching and itching, dull coat and skin and, lethargy.

It’s worth noting that an allergy is usually specific to the individual pet. Therefore, an ingredient in food that causes an allergic reaction in on pet won’t necessarily cause the same reaction in another. In addition, pets can suddenly become allergic to foods they eat daily. These are products such as chicken, corn, wheat and dairy which are normally included in dog food.

How do you know what’s causing allergic reactions in your dog?

If your pet shows symptoms of allergic reaction to specific dog food, it’s possible that one or more ingredients in the food is the trigger. The best approach to take is withdraw the dog food and start feeding your canine one ingredient at a time. This way, you can be able to identify the specific ingredients that are causing the allergic reaction and eliminate them from the dog’s diet. You can also change your pets diet altogether. However, the new diet should provide the nutrients your dog needs to remain healthy.

How about hypoallergenic dog food?

Changing to a hypoallergenic diet immediately you identify allergic reactions in your canine isn’t advisable. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, your dog is unique and whatever triggers an allergic reaction in your pet might be completely safe for another. Hypoallergenic pet food might not include ingredients commonly known to cause allergies in dogs. This however doesn’t mean that the ingredients included won’t trigger an allergic reaction in your pet.

Second, if you haven’t identified the ingredient that causes the allergic reaction in your dog, you won’t know which brand of hypoallergenic pet food is best. You might simply end up buying pet food that contains an ingredient that will cause allergies.

Third, you can save money if you first establish which ingredient in your dog food triggers a reaction, and eliminate it from your dog’s diet. Remember, most of the hypoallergenic pet food brands are priced more than regular dog food.

Hypoallergenic pet food might seem the best option for your dog if he develops allergies to certain foods. However, it’s always advisable to know which foods are causing the allergy in the first place. This way, you will be able to identify which brands will be best for your canine.

While growing up, one of my best friends was an only child. We always bombarded her with questions as to why she didn’t have siblings like other children. Well, as kids we thought everyone had to have siblings. But this didn’t deter her from making friends with me and enjoying my company. That was years ago now and, I’ve come across single child families along the way. The stereotypes attached to the only child have changed very little since when I was young. Interestingly, most of these labels are wrong. Let me discuss a few of these.

One of the common stereotypes associated with the only child syndrome is that these children are spoiled. Although some end up being spoiled, majority of only children aren’t. This stereotype comes from the notion that the only child gets all the attention, love and focus from parents. Well, this is true since the parents don’t have other children to love, spend money on and, teach. However, this doesn’t mean that the only child will necessarily end up spoiled. If one ends up spoiled, it’s probably because the parents didn’t teach the virtues of being nice to other people.

Another common stereotype associated with only children is that they are selfish. Only children are used to getting stuff they don’t necessarily have to share since they dong have siblings. Many people believe that this translates into real life where these children will refuse to share. However, the kids that end up selfish are a small number. In addition, there are kids from households with more than one child that are also selfish.

Only children are also considered to have poor social skills. Most people believe that the only child will have a tough time interacting with other people as they grow up. Although without siblings, only children will spend most of their early years interacting with other children in daycare. This gives them ample time to build on their social skills.

The only child is also believed to be bossy. This might be true in some cases since this child is used to having things done their way and can grow up to be that controlling boyfriend. In addition, the only child doesn’t have siblings whom they can compete with and interact with as they grow. This tends to make them bossy. However, most of these children actually grow up to be mature at an early age and this is what most people see as bossiness. This is due to the fact that only children spend most of their time around adults rather than other kids.

Another false belief about only children is that they are lonely. Its one of the craziest I’ve come across since these children are interacting with people on a daily basis. Being an only child only restricts you from interacting with brothers and sisters. However, with cousins, friends and adults around, I dint think there’s something as a lonely only child.

Although these stereotypes are quite common more couples are opting to have only one child. The US Census Bureau actually reported that the single child family is the fastest growing type of family unit.