Month: July 2018

Top Things Every First Time Dog Owner Should Know

Congratulations! Having a new dog in your life is exciting, but if you’re a first time dog owner, there are important things you need to know. While there is much more to learn about caring for a dog than you’ll read here today, these six expert tips will help you get off to a great start.

Dog-proofing your home is a must

New pets are curious and want to check out everything — including things that could be dangerous. Get on your hands and knees and look at things from your dog’s level. What do you see? Good precautions include securing cabinet doors where toxic chemicals are stored, making sure electrical cords are out of reach and moving potentially toxic houseplants to higher ground.

Don’t anthropomorphize. Dogs are not people, too!

Canine behaviorists warn that dogs don’t experience many uniquely human emotions. Feelings like guilt, anger and spite are not part of how dogs operate. It’s a common mistake to anthropomorphize dogs — treat them as if they have the same characteristics as humans — but it leads to fundamental communication errors.

It’s tempting to try to frame your puppy’s antics in a way you understand, but thinking your dog ate your best shoes because he was mad at you for being gone too long leads to training mistakes that too often result in short, unhappy relationships.

Boot camp should start on day one

It’s never too early to teach your puppy good manners. Define your expectations for your dog’s behavior and don’t fall into the trap of allowing naughty habits because it’s cute or because you think she doesn’t know any better — of course she doesn’t!

Dogs aren’t born inherently knowing what acceptable behavior is in a human household. Good manners must be taught and consistently reinforced. Helping your dog be a model citizen is the key to many happy years together.

Socialized dogs are the best companions

Many troublesome canine behaviors develop because of lack of socialization. Pets of any age can benefit from training to make them more situation-friendly, but making your dog comfortable with a wide range of people, places and activities is best approached before he’s four months old.

If you want a dog that is relaxed and well-behaved in any setting, start socialization early. Take him for road trips and visits to the pet store. Let him romp in the dog park and meet new friends. Ultimately, your dog’s familiarity with most situations will determine his comfort level and his behavior.

Nutrition counts

There is no specific formula for how often you should feed your dog, but what you put in his bowl should meet all of his nutritional needs. Check the label for a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) that certifies the food is “complete and balanced” for your dog’s life stage. Foods for puppies, adult and senior dogs are formulated differently and the subtle differences can make a significant health impact.

When considering which dog food to by, price isn’t always a guarantee of optimal nutrition, but brands with superior ingredients get better results. Your dog will have a healthy coat that sheds less and there will be less to pick up in the pooper scooper!

Create a rainy day fund for pet care expenses

Some pet care expenses are predictable and there should be room in the budget for food and basic veterinary care, but surprise costs can threaten to derail your financial plans or worse, put you in a position in which you can’t give your dog the care he needs.

Things like boarding fees if you have to go out of town or medical care for a significant injury can add up quickly. Pet insurance is an option for veterinary bills, but starting a rainy day fund the day you bring your new dog home will cover the unexpected.

Building a relationship with your new dog takes time and patience, but with a little know-how, you’ll be on the right track. Relax, have fun, and don’t worry — you’ll learn the rest along the way.

How To Make Delectable Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are an all American classic. Not only are they portable and easy to eat. They also come in endless combinations. It’s possible to incorporate deviled eggs into nearly any menu from a formal dinner to a casual potluck. When creating deviled eggs, it’s best to start with the basics. Once you’ve mastered this simple recipe, you can get fancy and find a variation you really like. Deviled eggs are also a highly useful kitchen entertainment staple. Keep them on hand in the event of unexpected guests. They can go in the fridge and stay chilled for several days until you’re ready to eat them.

Prepare the Hard Boiled Eggs

Before you do anything else, you’ll need to prepare half a dozen hard boiled eggs and a enough ice to cover the eggs so you can peel them. Boiling eggs properly can be tricky. To make the hard boiled eggs, you should have a large pot on hand and half a dozen eggs. Place the eggs in the pot and cover with cold water that is about a quarter inch above the top of the eggs. Bring the water to a boil and cover the pot. Remove the eggs from the heat and let them sit in the boiled water for about eight to ten minutes. This will make sure they are completely cooked. Drain the water and immediately plunge them into ice water. Let them stay in the ice water for about five minutes. This will stop them from getting a greenish tinge. You can keep the hard boiled eggs in the fridge for several days until you’re ready to make deviled eggs.

The Standard Ingredients

Before making the deviled eggs, gather your ingredients. You should have half a cup of cottage cheese and a quarter cup of sour cream on hand. You’ll also need a teaspoon of white vinegar, a teaspoon of your favorite mustard (we like the French kind), a tablespoon of mayonnaise (homemade is best if you have the time) and salt and paper to taste. Some kick is also good. We really like paprika as it adds color as well. Sliced jalapenos are also perfect if you want something with a bit of flair. Lay the eggs on a cutting board. One at a time, slice each egg lengthwise. Make sure your knife is sharp so it cuts easily. Otherwise, your eggs will break and it will be hard to fill them. Remove the yolks and set aside the whites. Take the yolks and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse the food processor several times or mix them in a bowl by hand. You’re aiming for a smooth paste that isn’t runny. Once you have the texture you want, spoon the mixture into each each white. Top with the jalapenos or the paprika.

Low Calorie Variations

One of the many fabulous things about deviled eggs is just how easy it is to play around with the basic recipe. You can lighten the recipe and reduce the calories. Instead of heavy mayo, reduced fat Greek yogurt works just as well without sacrificing flavor. Get rid of the sour cream and use low fat cream cheese. It’s still creamy but it’s less fatty. You can also substitute lots of other kinds of emulsifiers to serve as binding. Hummus, red pepper dip, tapanade made of olives and baba ganoush from mashed eggplant add zing without piling on the calories and fat.

Wonderful Possibilities

Hard boiled eggs are highly adaptable. The eggs serve as the perfect foil for upscale ingredients and items from other cultures. Impress your guests with deviled eggs topped with caviar and smoked salmon. Crab dip, made by adding fresh crab to your basic deviled egg recipe is another popular item, especially during the summer when people want fresh seafood. Salmon, shrimp or clams can also be used to bring something unexpected to the menu. Few foods are yummier than bacon. Crumble a few slices and top each egg carefully. Fresh spices also make eggs more delicious. Sprinkle some chopped parsley and oregano on top from your garden. Chervil and tarragon add a French touch.