Archive for February, 2011

Most Popular U.S. Pets

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Top 10 Pets Infographic

Infrographic from the Infographic Showcase


Top 10 Most Popular U.S. Pets

Americans might disagree on some subjects, but when it comes to pets, there’s little to argue about. We love our non-human companions. About 63 percent of all U.S. households own a pet, according to the American Veterinary Association. Is it any surprise that economists say veterinary technicians are one of the hottest jobs to consider?

A recent study ranks dogs as an American’s best friend, landing the top spot of the most-owned pet list. Estimates range that we own between 52.5 million to 75 million canines. It costs the average owner between $30 to $2,000 to purchase your furry friend.  $30 – $2,000 ranges from a shelter adoption fee to high end breeders.

At number two, cats feed our need for companionship. Americans own more cats, but most homes have more than two felines.

Birds are the third most-favored pet, followed by fish. But house pets aren’t the only animals we like to spend time with; horses reign at number 5; they’re owned by 2 percent of U.S. animal fanciers. Horse lovers spend between $250 and $2,000 to purchase him and even more a year for food, supplies and medical treatment, making equine care the most expensive of the top 10 pets.

It’s no surprise our love of animals has caught the attention of scientists. Research results so far are consistent: Our pets — even the tiny goldfish you feed and watch swim — provide stress relief. Other studies prove that spending time with pets not only lowers human blood pressure, but the animals’, as well. Nearly every experience with our companions triggers calming hormones. And in the case of dogs, our number one pet, it’s hard to ignore the fitness benefits they provide with those every-day walks.

The growing pet population has obviously spurred the growth of animal-related industries. Vet tech schools have become a hot choice for anyone looking for a steady and satisfying job. Techs don’t require the years of medical and scientific training necessary to become a veterinarian, yet the coursework is rigorous enough to satisfy a number of important roles. Vet tech colleges provide the knowledge necessary to assist pet doctors as a surgical nurses, lab technicians, radiology technicians, anesthetists and client educators.

Though the benefits of pet ownership can’t always be measured, unlike a week-long vacation, pets provide long-lasting love. Whether laughing at a hamster’s antics, or relaxing from a cat’s purring, Americans love their pets. As more people choose a career as a veterinary technician, we can be assured our companions will continue to live long and healthy lives.

Infrographic from the Infographic Showcase

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Could you balance a full-time job, a 4 year old, and a part time catering business?

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Mickey Cake - Debiteful Cupcakes & Catering

A guest post today by Kristin Davis on making your culinary dreams become a reality!

Not only am I raising an energetic 4 year old boy, I work full time at an advertising agency, and I also run a small side business specializing in catering and cakes called Debiteful. How do I do it? Good question. How do I do it and maintain the highest level of myself in each aspect? Even better question. It is certainly not easy.

I think the most important place to start is to list your priorities. First and foremost is my son. He is the light of my life and my pride and joy. I wish that I could spend every moment with him but that is not feasible. Which brings us to priority number two, my full time job. I must maintain a steady income to provide for my son, hence the 40-45 hour work weeks. I, however, am extremely lucky to LOVE my job. I work in a creative and fun environment that allows me to fulfill my idiosyncratic ways. I am organized, very organized, extremely organized. Lucky for me, my job requires this of me. It also nurtures creativity in everyone who works for the agency. If your day to day tasks are not creative in nature, there is an outlet for them here.

That brings me to my third priority, Debiteful. I adore being in the kitchen. My grandmother taught me to cook/bake at a very young age and I have been hooked ever since. She has always aimed to please through your stomach and I wanted to provide the same joy and comfort for others as she does. It wasn’t enough for me to just bake for my family, I wanted more. I have parlayed my love for cooking/baking into catering small events and baking wedding cakes. Making a bride happy on her wedding day and filling all those guests full of moist delicious cake and decadent buttercream is a dream come true. I am so thankful that I am able to fulfill my passion and share it with my son as he learns his way around the kitchen.

Although at times I am tired, I try to keep a few things front of mind. First, I cannot allow myself to get distracted. I focus 100% of my attention on the task at hand. That means no catering or cake business during normal business hours. That also goes the other way around, no checking work email on the weekends that I have orders.  If I let these items intertwine, then my performance suffers, my work suffers, my side business suffers Debiteful Cupcakes & Catering Kansas Cityand my responsibilities as a mother suffers. Second, I need rest. I go to bed early and allow a little time all by myself to recoup. Sometimes you just need to take a few steps back and take a break. Breaks are important. Lastly, enjoy myself. If I am not having fun, then the extra work is not worth it.

Kristin Davis is the baker behind the scenes at Debiteful Cupcakes and Catering.  She is a full-time mom, with a full time job and does catering and weddings in her spare time.  Her mission… to keep stomachs happy, one Debite at a time!

Breed Specific Laws

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

TS-AA031837All across the United States, legislation has been passed on certain breeds of domesticated animals creating breed specific laws. These “dog laws” can be anything from restrictions to outright bans of ownership. Some dog laws even go as far as stating that certain dog breeds are legally dangerous or vicious. The reasons for these laws vary, but they are almost always in response to well-publicized incidents.

One of the most common reasons that these breed specific laws are made is due to public safety issues. Since some dogs are viewed as dangerous, things such as dog bite laws or leash laws get created. Along with that, certain places have also created mandates so that citizens must spay or neuter their dog, microchip them, or even buy liability insurance. These actions are meant to protect the citizens.

Another reason that breed-specific laws were created was to prevent dog fighting. Unfortunately, some owners get dogs just to have them fight. The dog laws were created as an attempt to prevent this cruelty. Although the reasoning for this legislation was good, there are better solutions. Rather than having breed-specific laws, perhaps there needs to be more consumer education and legal responsibility from the owners. TS-87788110

Although it variesdepending on the area, the most common type of scrutinized dog breed is a Pit-Bull. In fact, several hundred municipal governments across the country have created dog laws to ban or restrict Pit-Bulls, as well as other pit-bull like dogs. For instance, the Marine Corps created legislation that bans large breed dogs that have shown a predisposition to act in an aggressive manner. The typical dog breeds that are scrutinized are large ones that have had numerous incidents involving biting or attacking others.

Banning certain breeds of dogs is still a debatable matter. Over the years, there have been numerous lawsuits challenging the legislation. They raise the question as to whether or not it is fair to ban a certain dog if they are raised well. Many dogs that are classified as dangerous can actually make great pets. All it takes is a good owner that can properly care for the dog.

This goes the opposite way too because kind and gentle dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers, can become vicious if they are raised the wrong way. Dogs need to be shown love and attention. Without that, they will not be as kind and gentle as they are expected to be. For instance, some owners raise their dogs to be bad. They do this by rewarding them each time they display an act of aggression. If they are raised in a negative atmosphere, then they can easily become a dangerous dog.

As a vet or vet tech, you have an obligation to help the dogs regardless of the breed specific laws in your area. If you see a dog that is in need of help, you should do just that. If you see someone possessing a dog that they should not own, it is still your obligation to help and care for the dog. Also, if you see that the dog (outlawed or not) is being treated poorly, then you will definitely want to turn in the owner.

How to study for a test?

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Test taking is:

A.  The best thing since college admissions essays! You’ve got your number two pencil at the ready.
B.  A necessary evil – you’ll study for them, but get distracted by flashy TV commercials and your friends’ texts a few times in the process.
C.   Completely horrible – you’d rather listen to the soundtrack of Glitter on repeat for a week. TS-200309837-001

It’s pretty universal. Unless you’re academic queen Hermione Granger, chances are you’ve groaned and rolled your eyes about having to take a test. Teachers’ favorite torturous punishment – as kids, we can envision them gleefully rubbing their hands together as they formulate test questions even Einstein couldn’t answer.

Well, brace yourselves – research has revealed that test taking as a learning method is much more effective than single study sessions, multiple study sessions, and even concept mapping. No joke – and no, teachers didn’t pay researchers to rig the results.

A group of 200 college students participated in experiments comparing common learning methodswith test taking and found that recollection of material was about 50% higher for students who used testing rather than concept mapping or study sessions.

What does this mean for you? Maybe nothing. Educators are mixed in their reactions – some say taking tests decreases time from learning new material and causes lots of anxiety. Others argue that it’s not that students need more tests, but rather quality tests, and that, though testing taking may seem like a waste of time in the short term, its long-term benefits could prove to be worth it.

Of course, you don’t have to wait for your teachers to try this on you. Get a student group together and make tests for each other to take after you’ve read your material. Who knows? It might just get you that A you want!

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