Category Archives: Healthy Ideas

Tips to Keep Your Pets Cool and Healthy

With heat waves sweeping the country, its impossible to forget to take care of yourself. Most people manage to stay hydrated, protected, and cool, but what about your pets? Pets need to be cared for during extreme heat just as people do. It is important to remember them and keep them safe. Below is a list of what, and what not, to do for cats and dogs during this extreme summer!

  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water.
  • Make sure that pets have a shady, cool place to rest when outside. A Coolaroo pet bed is a perfect option because it raises your pet off the ground and allows air to circulate under them. Place it under a shady tree or porch for a perfect outdoor comfort spot.
  • Never leave pets outside for long periods of time during extreme heat. Even with food, water, and shade, pets can become overheated leading to death.
  • Never leave your pets in a parked vehicle, even with the windows cracked. This is very dangerous and even short periods of time can cause extreme dehydration or death.
  • Maintaining fur is a great way to keep pets cool. Trim dogs fur down to 1 inch. Be sure to leave 1 inch of fur for sun protection. Brushing cats more frequently than normal can help regulate temperature.
  • Exercise is important, but overexertion during hot weather commonly causes heat stress. Avoid excessive exercise during hot days.
  • Know the signs and risks! The ASPCA states that the signs of dehydration in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees. You should also know if your animals have an increased risk of heat related problems. Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, the elderly, overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool and inside.

Today is Don’t Fry Day! Make Sure That Your Skin is Protected.

Beach Umbrellas

Today (May 27th, 2011) is Don’t Fry Day hosted by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. With summer officially beginning, this is a perfect day to remind everyone to take precious care of their skin during the blazing summer months. Approximately 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Following these easy tips and guidelines will drastically lower your chances of developing skin cancer, and, as an added bonus, keep your skin looking beautiful for a lifetime.

  • Avoid sunburns and intentional tanning. This includes exposure to the sun as well as tanning beds.
  • Use sunscreen liberally and often when spending time outside. You should use a sunscreen with a minimum of 15 SPF when outside. People with fair skin and children should select a higher SPF. Choose a sunscreen that is broad spectrum and protects against both UVB and UVA radiation. Always reapply after swimming or excessive sweating, and follow the guidelines on the bottle to reapply every few hours even without activity. (Source: American Melanoma Foundation)
  • Wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses. Traditional clothing (including bathing suits) offers less than 8 SPF when wet. Unlike sunscreen, protective clothing does not wash off. Sunscreen should still be applied to exposed areas of skin. Wide-brimmed hats will offer an additional layer or shad protection to your face, and sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful rays.
  • Protect your children! The AMF reports that 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Childhood sunburns can definitely develop cancer-related damage into adult hood. In fact, 80% of  lifetime damage occurs during childhood. Always keep your children protected. SPF 30-50 is ideal for kids and should not be reserved exclusively for the beach. Make sure that your kids are protected during sporting events, outside play time, and even recess.
  • Utilize the shade whenever possible. Staying out of direct sun light can aid in preventing damaging sun burns. Trees offer a shade solution while camping or hiking. Beach umbrellas make a great option while spending time at the beach. Some umbrella materials offer more than shade. Sunbrella®, for example, offers umbrella canopies that offer 98% UV protection. This offers an outstanding level of protection that, when used with the options above, ensures that you can spend time in the sun without risking lasting skin damage.

Big Time Twist on Classic Outdoor Games

Outdoor Golf Chip Challenge


Only a few more days of winter are left, according to the calendar, and the promise of warmer days makes many families itch to get outdoors and enjoy the gradually rising temperatures.  Now is the perfect time to add a new outdoor game to your standard favorites, and classic games with a super-sized twist are the most popular choices among outdoor game-loving families.

Breathe a little extra fun and fresh air into your soccer or basketball games by playing Monster Soccer or Monster Basketball.  Monster equipment makes these traditional favorites enormously fun for everyone in the family.  Alternatively, golf lovers will jump for the outdoor golf chip game.  Intended for outdoor use and constructed from a heavy duty plastic material the golf chip game comes complete with stakes, mark off ribbon, and balls.

After a long winter that probably consisted of way too much indoor time, getting your family outdoors in the warmer spring temperatures probably won’t be a problem.  When you liven up your current collection of outdoor games with these larger than life classics, you may have a harder time getting your family to come back inside.

Monster Basketball Game  Monster Soccer Game

Reclaim Your Kids: Give the Gift of Imagination

Outdoor Playhouses

In a world where kids are increasingly distracted by screens and electronic toys that make imagination obsolete, there are still opportunities for parents to wow their kids and encourage creativity at the same time.  One such opportunity comes in the form of an Outdoor Playhouse.

Outdoor playhouses are available in countless shapes, sizes, and materials, but choosing one that will last for years through many children and all kinds of weather is always the most cost-effective option.  The best quality outdoor playhouses are made with non-pressure treated wood that is resistant to weather conditions, decay, and insect infestation.  Real wood makes an outdoor playhouse feel more like a cabin in the woods, a private get away for kids who need a separate, quiet space to think, play, or read.

Outdoor playhouses appeal to parents, too, because they entice children to break away from their screens and electronic toys and become engrossed in an imaginary world of their own creation.   Outdoor playhouses also encourage healthy movement and the development of positive social skills, which, in addition to creativity, have become casualties of our kids’ electronically-connected lives.

For best effect, the outdoor playhouse should be off limits to adults.  As long as their activities don’t harm themselves, other people, or anything in nature, kids should have the ultimate say in what happens in their private space.  The only strict rule parents should consider adopting when it comes to the outdoor playhouse, though, is that it must remain an electronics-free zone.  Otherwise, the benefits of the outdoor playhouse are lost.

Enjoy the Soothing Sounds of Indoor Waterfalls

Indoor Water Fall

This can be a stressful time of year. Children in school with constant homework, busy days and nights, and Christmas right around the corner all lead to added anxiety for most adults. When you do get to enjoy your time at home, why not make it as peaceful and tranquil as possible? An indoor water fall is the perfect addition to your home to make that peace and tranquility possible. Listening to the gentle sound of flowing water is a soothing way to unwind from the stresses of everyday life. Unlike sound machines, which have become popular in recent years, indoor waterfalls give you both sound AND sight features that guide you toward your ultimate goal of rest and relaxation. You can stimulate your senses by running your finger tips under the cool water or change the sound of the waterfall by rearranging rocks in the basin or by adding new elements, such as seashells or small pieces of wood, along the water’s path. Whether you choose a small table top piece or a wall mounted fountain that is beautiful enough to work as a piece of art, you will get to come home to the relaxing sounds of nature year round – no babbling brooks required!