Can a healthy diet keep you young?

We know there are a multitude of benefits that come from eating a healthy diet, but does it include keeping us looking young?  If you explore this topic on the internet you will be bombarded with foods that you should eat to look young.  But is there any science to back this up? 

Looking through the literature, there are a couple of small studies that demonstrate a significant improvement in the skin after just 2 weeks when subjects take a certain blend of nutrients (including the likes of soy isofavones, lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, fish oils, fish protein polysaccharides, and extracts from white tea, grape seed, chamomile to name just a few).  Sounds good, right.  The problem is that there is no way of knowing from these studies which nutrient or combination of nutrients is doing the magic.  These studies also didn’t control for topical skin care products being used by the participants, which may or may not have made a difference to the results. 

So where does that leave us?

Everyone can look younger and healthier by changing what they eat.  Diet affects your day-to-day appearance and plays a significant role in how well you age.  If you want to have the clear, glowing skin, less wrinkles, sparkling eyes, glossy hair and strong nails, then a healthy diet is fundamental.  The key is to get out of faddish nutrition thinking and bring your diet back to basics with these simple points.

Get addictive foods out of your kitchen and diet
These foods are the ones with refined carbs, unhealthy fats and added sugars and salt.  They are foods that physiologically make your body crave more of them.   It’s not difficult to get over these cravings.  Simply cut these foods out of your diet and eat regular balanced meals throughout the day focussing on having the majority of your calories during the day rather than at night.  If you can get through the first 3 days, then you will be well on your way.

Add plenty of vegetables to your meals
With over 400 vegetables to choose from, it would take hours to talk about the benefits of each of them.   By including a variety of vegetables (when you think variety, think colour) you will get the maximum skin benefit and thereby look younger. 
  • Vegetables contain antioxidants which protect against the breakdown of collagen (for e.g. lycopene in tomatoes)
  • Vitamin C aids in collagen synthesis which improves skin elasticity (e.g. peppers)
  • Carotenoids help protect against the harmful effect of UV rays (e.g. carrots and sweet potatoes)
  • Vitamin K helps prevent shadows under the eyes (e.g. kale)
  • Sulforaphane protects against the aging process (e.g. cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage)
Also remember to incorporate beans and lentils regularly as they are high in plant protein, iron, zinc (helps with the renewal of skin cells), and folic acid, which are all important for optimum cell functioning as well as reducing inflammation.  Inflammation is the underlying cause of wrinkling and cellular damage.

Include fruit regularly in your day
As with vegetables, you cannot go wrong with any fruit.  Berries are particularly high in anti-inflammatory antioxidants which help to repair oxidative damage (such as fine lines and spots) faster and better.  Pomegranates are also full of antioxidants and vitamin C, thereby helping with collagen production.  Pineapples contain bromelaine enzymes which support collagen production and help protect against acne, which deteriorates your skin.  Avocados contain glutathione (an antioxidant which counteracts aging) as well as oleic acid (which keeps your skin moisturised and soft).

Eat nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are great to add into meals (porridges, salads, vegetables) or to have as a snack.  Include different varieties of nuts and seeds for a range of flavours and benefits. Brazil nuts, walnuts and flaxseeds contain copper which maintains the colour of your hair and is believed to prevent premature greying; pistachios contain an anti-inflammatory that strengthen the skin; almonds (with the brown skin layer) contain antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress and thereby reduce skin aging; chia seeds contain vitamin E which helps against UV damage; all nuts and seeds have fatty acids that prevent the drying and dryness-induced aging of the skin.

Cook with lots of herbs and spices
Herbs and spices have antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory.  They help keep you young by strengthening cells, joints, muscles, veins, blood and organ; making eyes, hair and nails shine; and healing skin.  Use parsley, coriander, dill and other leafy herbs (fresh or dried) in soups, salads, casseroles etc.  Garlic and turmeric have hormone-balancing, anti-inflammatory properties.  Cinnamon increases the production of collagen which helps with elasticity and ginger protects you from UV rays.

Keep hydrated
Water is a part of the nutrition that the skin needs to be soft, smooth and elastic.  Without water the skin is dry, the pores are more prone to be clogged and aging effects occur more readily.   Green tea too has some potential qualities as it has been found to prevent oxidative damage, thus helping to revitalise the skin.  And a regular glass of red wine, with its proanthocyanidins (antioxidants) can also reduce oxidative damage of the skin.

Healthy eating is a lifestyle.  We cannot expect to look young and vibrant by only eating healthy for a (short) period of time.  Similarly, taking a supplement is not a substitute for an unhealthy diet. You can't eat lots of unhealthy foods and then expect a supplement to balance it out.  Get into better, long term habits from today.  Any little bit will help to bring out your young you.

Phone: 021 674 4666
Cell: 084 206 2715

How to Prevent Diabetes

How to Prevent Diabetes

By Dr Murray McDonald

Sugar, We’re Going Down
Diabetes has been robbing us of our health and lives for thousands of years. “Diabetes” in the original Greek even means “to drain”. But while some of the risks are out of our control (genetics, etc), a LOT of it is down to our lifestyles [1]. So – do you want to have your life drained from you, or do you want to fight back?

The march of diabetes mellitus (DM) in the world seems near unstoppable. Five years ago, nearly 400 million people worldwide were living with diabetes [2]. The International Diabetes Federation (the other, other IDF) predicts that by 2030, roughly 1 in 10 adults will be diabetic and the largest increases will come from developing countries (South Africa – that’s you).

What is DM?
It’s when your body’s ability to get energy into your cells becomes compromised. Like you’re trying to feed your toddlers, but they refuse to open wide. This means that your cells start malfunctioning and all the chemicals start to build up in your bloodstream. Is that good? No. That is not good. Your body releases more and more hormones (mainly insulin) to try get your cells to open until they eventually just stop responding to insulin (“insulin resistance”). From there it’s a bit of a downward spiral to fatigue, increased hunger & thirst, and eventual cell & organ damage. Blindness. Kidney failure. Amputations. Heart disease.

How do we stop this?
When you have diabetes, you usually use medication like insulin or metformin to unlock your cells and to help get energy in. But what else can help? And how can we stop it getting that far? Well, you’re not going to believe this…

Diet & Exercise
Yup – the old stalwarts. The two things we know we need to do but somehow seem to avoid. Like “saving money” or “staying in touch”. A healthy diet & exercise help by making our cells open more easily, as well as helping us maintain a healthy weight (which does the same and more) [3]. But why are these things so hard to do? If they’re so good for us, why don’t we find them easier to do? Well, that’s a bit more complicated than we have time for here. But to summarise – “diet & exercise” is often too big a concept for our minds to use. We don’t understand the general idea, the specifics always seem controversial, and so we avoid it. We fall back on our lifestyle habits – and those aren’t always based on the right values. But they do predict our outcomes [4].

How to make Healthy Habits
Make no mistake - when we’re faced with a choice, we fall back on our habits. Do we take the lift or the stairs? Would you like that with chips or salad? I’m guessing your choices are usually the same. But which one – now that you are sitting in the cold light of day – do you think would be better for your health? These things are different for everyone based on individuality and context, but it’s usually the stairs and salad that we need more often than the lift or chips. But if they are better for us, why don’t we choose them?

I’m not going to answer this for you. I want you to think about it. Why do you keeping choosing something that you know will harm you in the long run?

Let us know the answer on Twitter @TheChiroHealth / email me at

1. Stevens, J.W., et al., Preventing the progression to Type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults at high risk: A systematic review and network meta-analysis of lifestyle, pharmacological and surgical interventions. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 2015. 107(3): p. 320-331.

2. Cheng, A.Y.Y., Canadian Guidelines on Diabetes: Introduction. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 2013. 37(Supplement 1): p. S1-S3.

3. Franz, M.J., et al., Lifestyle Weight-Loss Intervention Outcomes in Overweight and Obese Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2015. 115(9): p. 1447-1463.

4. Ghody, P., et al., Identifying prediabetes – Is it beneficial in the long run? Maturitas, 2015. 81(2): p. 282-286.

Managing cashflow – Part 2

< see tips to managing your cash flow part one!

Now, you have a list, you have scheduled payment dates, made your paydays.

Cash -flow - Now we look for future changes, because nothing stays the same. Surprises are stressful.

1 - Take note of the month your Annual Increase to your Insurance, security, rent etc. is in.
2 - Make a note when your Car Licence, Drivers Licence, Staff Drivers Licence is due and payable.
3 - Add a note when your Annual Service Fees are due on your credit card.
You will be able to determine what they are. Have a look at your Income Statement from the previous 12 months.
Saving for expenses

I am reading a book by “Mike Michalowicz - Profit First”, which opens my eyes to the way my mom and Gran did things in the old days. My Mom ran the financial side of the business of my Dad's business - very well.
Instead of waiting to pay your salaries at the end of the month, and hoping there is going to be money to pay the salaries. Open a bank account (savings) and each week put away 25% of your monthly payroll or put a percentage away daily.
Your Credit Card, if you have one, it has two dates on it.

• The Statement date, interest and penalties will be charged on this day.
• The due date for when payment is to be made.

Now if you have read, Tips to Managing your cashflow – Part 1.

You will have read that you need to schedule your payments, well you can manage your credit card too.

Contact your bank - Card division and ask them to change the date your credit card statement runs on. If your statement date is the 5th (the last day to shop for the month). Your payment due date will be 25 days after, so the 30th of the month. If you want to make the payment due date the 7th, ask them to change the statement date to the 12th or 13th of the month. Ensure you pay the full amount due on this day to avoid those lovely interest and penalties.

In Conclusion – spread your payments over the month – schedule them – Its’ your money-manage it. Tips to Managing your cashflow – Part 3 coming soon.

Need assistance with managing your cash flow contact Cherine at The Bookkeeping Company.

Community Spirit By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D

Community spirit is the fabric of life in Harfield Village.  But what exactly is community spirit and how does our brain allow us to have it?

By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

Community spirit is the feeling of being involved in and concerned about one’s local neighbourhood. It’s about having the freedom to enjoy one’s own life while considering and living in close proximity to folk who might have different values and backgrounds to our own. It’s also about giving up selfishness - having altruism - that is, being able to think about the greater good instead of focusing on one’s own needs. We are so lucky in Harfield Village to live among an eclectic mix of people of different ages, cultures, backgrounds and opinions who all live together in harmony. Community spirit is also about taking a collective approach to shared spaces, such as looking after our lovely parks, supporting our local businesses and keeping an eye on crime. Community spirit is at the heart of African culture, and is highlighted by the notion of Ubuntu, which means “we are who we are through others”. So, how does our selfish brain - which is primarily concerned about keeping our individual selves alive and well – become a social brain?

The social brain is supported by a network of regions functioning together that enable mentalising, or the ability to understand how we might be perceived by others. It also enables us to empathise with how another might feel, even if they are of a different age, gender or cultural background. Mentalising is sometimes also known as Theory of Mind, which means being able to imagine the mind of another person or a group of people. This is the basis of community spirit, allowing us to think about how our behaviour might be perceived within the neighbourhood and adapting to emerging norms. Theory of mind also allows us to police ourselves, for example, by not playing music loudly because it might annoy our neighbours, or not letting our garbage overflow into the street. But also, mentalising, or Theory of Mind, allows us to empathise about how others feel when engaging in activities in the neighbourhood, such as the pleasure of walking one’s dog in the park, joining local public events, or enjoying our local top-class cafes and restaurants.

The main areas of the brain that function to allow us to have a strong sense of community spirit include: the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the amygdala and related reward/arousal regions (such as the striatum, insula and hippocampus), and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex (ACC/PCC), which is a ‘collar’ of grey matter that encircles the midbrain structures. The advanced areas of the visual cortex, such as the fusiform gyrus and the precuneus enable us to recognise familiar faces in the street. So, the next time you see Lew Norgarb in his tuk-tuk, you’ll know that these visual cortex areas in your brain will be at work! Modern neuroimaging techniques allow us to model what happens when these brain areas don’t function as well as they should. For example, when the mPFC is damaged or has not developed properly, as in the case of folk living with autism, people struggle with Theory of Mind. That means, that it is difficult to empathise with the feelings of others, which can, in milder cases, underlie social anxiety. Also, an excessively functioning arousal system (incorporating the amygdala, striatum and hippocampus), which is experienced by those people struggling with the ravages of addiction, might seem to act in a selfish way. But in essence they have (temporarily) lost the ability to engage executive prefrontal cortex functions that enable one to consider the perspective of others. The good news is – as I have said before – our brains are very flexible, and so we can learn to strengthen the connections supporting our social brain!

Another factor that strengthens community spirit and brain processes of mentalising, is story telling – keeping a story in mind about our local community. In real-life terms, this means we can share stories about regular events that engage our community and develop memories and a timeline.

For example, the recent Halloween get-together for kids in one of our local parks, has given us a wonderful memory to cherish, as does the regular Harfield Village carnival that evoke memories of fun, laughter and good times shared. Story telling activates ‘feel-good’ hormones in the brain, such as oxytocin and dopamine – this is why gossiping, a form of socially-cohesive story telling – often feels quite pleasant (if done with good intentions of course!). And storytelling activates mirror neurons, so that even if you did not experience the Halloween antics of our local children and parents, or have not attended our local carnival yet, or enjoyed the wonderful food on offer in our many cafes and restaurants, simply hearing the story will make you want to stay, and be part of the wonderful community that is Harfield Village!

Dr Samantha Brooks is a neuroscientist at the UCT Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, specialising in the neural correlates of impulse control from eating disorders to addiction.  For more information on neuroscience at UCT and to contact Samantha, see

Click to read all previous articles by Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

Strategies for a bumper summer sales season

Summer is the season when the interest of property buyers is usually at its highest, but that interest doesn’t necessarily translate into sales.

“People who are away on holiday at the end of the year, for example, might well take the time to look at some properties wherever they are staying with the idea of buying a second home there, or even relocating. But if they don’t see anything that really grabs their attention, they will probably have given up on the idea totally by the time they go home and back to their busy schedules,” says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, which is SA’s biggest bond originator.

Similarly, people whose children are leaving home after the summer might start looking around in anticipation of downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home, but if you don’t have great listings to show them right away, they will very likely also just shelve their plans and ask you to contact them again “sometime next year, after the holidays”, he says.

“And those who are considering an upgrade to a larger home – and more expense – are likely to be even more cautious about making a purchase decision now, and to possibly drop right out of the market again once the festive season bills and annual fee increase notifications start to roll in during January.”

That would leave only those who have “no choice” but to buy now because they are relocating for work or for family reasons - and even they might decide to rather rent for a while if they don’t see anything they like right away.

“In other words,” notes Rademeyer, “you could actually be facing a significant drop in your income after summer, which is when the transfers of whatever you sell now should be registered. In addition, you run the risk of losing your current mandates because owners are disappointed that their homes did not sell in the high season.”

So clearly, you need to take charge of your listings now and give them the best chance of selling within the next few weeks – even if you have to put in a lot of extra effort to make sure the properties “show” well. Here’s where to start:

*Ask your sellers to ensure that you are able to show potential buyers a clean and clutter-free property. Explain why this is vital and if necessary, connect them to your favourite cleaning company and removal crew so that excess furniture and goods will be gone before you schedule your first viewings.

*Help your sellers to make their property aspirational – suggest how they can best present the lifestyle the property offers, and make buyers want that lifestyle, as well as the rooms on offer. If necessary, bring in an expert to style the property on show days and give them guidelines for other viewings.

*Manage the first impressions. Have figures on hand to show sellers how much difference a neat exterior could make to their bottom line and that a fresh coat of paint is always money well spent. Once again, if necessary, you should be able to connect them to a reliable painter, a good garden service and an excellent handyman who can quickly and affordably effect any repairs necessary to the roof, gutters, outdoor lights and garage door, for example.

*Showcase functionality. Buyers also want to be able to see how a home would actually work for them and their family, so listen to their needs and try to show them listings that match these as closely as possible. Don’t show them properties that are much bigger or smaller than they want, or which are older when they asked for a new home – unless the older home has been completely renovated and you check with them first.

*Add value. If there are any awkward or unused spaces in a property, for example, try to suggest how they could be turned into useful areas that would add value for a buyer. Similarly, if you are showing a home to out-of-town buyers, make sure you have a fact sheet available that lists the advantages of the area as well as the details of the property – and gives the distances to good schools, shops, sports clubs, public transport, hospitals and places of worship. They are much more likely to buy your listing if they can immediately see that this is an area that would suit them.

Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.

Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.

Anne-Marie Bamber
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665

There's nothing fun about flies

Aaaah, summer! The warmth of the sun, weekends by the pool and the inevitable South African braai lined up and ready. Unfortunately summer also brings with it the dreaded fly. They annoyingly buzz around everything and everyone, repeatedly banging themselves into the windows with an irritating tap-tap-tap, landing on our food, trying to sneak into our rubbish bins and then landing on us; lovely. We end up looking like crazies swatting at these tiny, germ filled ninjas who seem to anticipate your every move. I'm convinced they can teleport!

When the flies appear, it seems like they are attracted to almost anything but in truth, there are different breeds of fly that are attracted to different things. Here's a broad spectrum of what really draws them in:

• Decaying organic matter such as rotting meat, faeces, garbage, overripe fruits, etc.

• Yeasty/sugary or fermented liquids like cooldrink, alcohol and syrup.

• Believe it or not, other flies. Flies are attracted to other living flies and the smell of fly specks on walls and ceilings.

• There is a breed of fly that likes dirty, leaky drains. Their maggots eat the bacteria and organic matter in drains.

• Animals, animal waste and wet animal food.

So now that we know what attracts them, we can look at how to keep these pesky buggers away. Flies are not only a nuisance but are also huge carriers of numerous diseases and reproduce at an alarming rate once they find a reliable food source; which could lead to an infestation. Something I'm sure non of us want!

The first steps would be to ensure that your bins are kept tightly shut and that full bags are promptly sealed and disposed of. Don't leave food out and perhaps throw old food into a well sealed outside bin instead of inside where you are cooking and eating. Clean up after yourself and your pets, immediately wipe up spills of any sugary liquids and cover food during braai's or social events.

Besides the obvious, here are a few magical and totally natural tips and tricks to keep those flies buzzing away:

• Flies dislike strong herbs such as Basil, Lavender, Wormwood, Lemongrass, Bay leaf, Tansy, Rue and Mint. Plant some in your garden near the doors, keep a few small pot plants inside, or burn scented oils to keep those pesky flies away.

• Citronella and Camphor don't just keep the mozzies away, flies are not big fans of them either.

• Buy some Venus Fly Traps! They not only eat the flies but are also a low maintennance pet. Alternatively, buy yourself a tarantula or chameleon, or ten.

• Mix 20 drops of Lemongrass oil with 1/2 cup water to make a spray that not only keeps the flies away but doubles up as an air freshener.

• You can make your own fly paper using brown paper, corn syrup. Just cut strips of brown paper, punch a hole in the top and thread some thin rope/ribbon through. Mix some corn syrup and sugar and coat both sides of the paper. If it drips, put a little bowl underneath

• Pretty lemon and clove centerpiece/fly repellent - To make this deterrent, take a lemon and cut it into two halves. Poke 6-12 cloves into each half of the lemon. Display on a pretty plate on your table.

• To make a sugar-water fly trap, all you need is a wide-mouthed jar, some sugar water, and a paper cone. Place some sugar-water in the jar. Cut a small hole in the tip of the cone, then place it into the jar so that it funnels down towards the sugar-water but doesn't touch it. The flies will be attracted to the sweet sugary water and will be unable to escape the jar once they fly down the cone.

VARIATION: You can also use syrup or apple cider vinegar instead of sugar water.

• Wine...yes, wine. Don't go wasting your expensive bottles though! Either pour a bit of sweet wine into a glass or leave a bit in the bottle and place it on the counter/table. You'll soon see a few flies swimming around inside. To make extra sure they can't escape, you can add a bit of dish washing liquid.

Norgarb Properties Agent Andre Ter Moshuizen who specialises in the Claremont area, shares some household tips and handy home hints with you every month.

Andre Ter Moshuizen: 082 602 1367 | |

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May you run a bed and breakfast or creche from your home, or even decide to build a second dwelling on available space on your property? In most instances, the answers to these enquiries will be found in the zoning provisions that apply to the area in which the property is situated.

Where do zoning regulations come from? Municipalities, to control harmonised forward planning and development of residential, industrial and business areas in their jurisdictions, have bylaws that grant certain “use rights” to property owners. These are listed and described in a municipality’s zoning regulations.

A longstanding zoning provision imposed by the City of Cape Town municipality (CCT) held that properties zoned SR1 (Single Residential 1) may (generally) erect only one dwelling on their properties.  So, if you owned a large property and wished to build a second home thereon for an ageing parent, varsity-going children or for on-selling, this was problematic.

However, since July 2016, the CCT Planning By-law makes it possible for SR1-zoned property owners to erect a second dwelling on such properties. This opens up novel possibilities to unlock value in properties. But before embarking on this route, note importantly that:

  • Should your SR1-zoned property have a restrictive title deed condition prohibiting the erection of more than one dwelling thereon, an application to Court for removal of the condition is required. The outcome cannot be guaranteed, as many factors may be relevant in considering the importance and necessary continued operation of the specific title deed condition.
  • All building activities must further be compliant with limitations contained in applicable building regulations.        
  • If it is the owner’s intention to sell the additional residence, it will be necessary either to subdivide the property or establish a sectional title scheme thereon. The former means that the registered diagram of the property is amended to show that a part has been “cut away” and that there are now two (or more) erven where initially there was only one. If a sectional title scheme is established, each home/unit is capable of separate ownership but the land on which the homes stand, will be jointly owned in undivided shares by all owners of units. Many more technical and legal differences exist between subdivision and sectional title ownership.

Whichever way a property owner chooses to make use of this opportunity, will depend on individual factors pertaining to his or her property. It is considered crucial to have a town planner or architect and conveyancing attorney involved in the planning, from the word go.

Contact Martin Sheard at for assistance.

Dealing with stress in your dog

Many of us deal with the stress in everyday life, whether it is traffic jams, work deadlines, financial worries or just difficult teenagers! But have you ever considered that it is possible for your dog to also experience stress? Last month we looked at ways of helping your dog get past November 5th but the silly season is around the corner and it’s a hectic time of year! Routines change, family descends on you and life is pretty busy. Or maybe your bags are already packed and your off on that long deserved holiday, sending “Fido” to the boarding kennel!

These things can also be stressful for your dog!

Research has shown that stress in your dog can cause a range of symptoms from digestive upsets to behaviour disorders. Some animals suffer from chronic stress,where others will experience acute stress, influenced by the immediate environment. So what causes stress in your dog and how can we recognise and help to eliminate it?

The Signs and symptoms

Most of us love our pets and consider them to be pampered: with warm beds, healthy food and plenty of human love and attention! But even the most spoilt dog can experience stress and in situations we may not have considered.

Here are ten of the most common triggers for stress in the dog, some are obvious but others not:

1. Exposure to new and unfamiliar people, places, pets or things.

2. Loud noises, thunder and fireworks

3. Separation anxiety

4. Moving to a new house or being taken to boarding kennels

5. A new baby, human or pet or the absence of a familiar person or pet

6. Changes in the usual household routine, a new job etc

7. Separation from the family – separation anxiety

8. Poor relationships with members of the family human or animal

9. Invasion of personal space, constant petting, hugging and disruption when trying to rest

10. Disciplinary training methods such as shock

11. collars, hitting or shouting

12. Lack of access to exercise particularly for

13. those dogs that are herders, runners or retrievers.
These triggers can lead to your dog feeling stressed, compromising the health and well-being of your pet. Not all dogs will show the same symptoms but below are ten signs your dog may display when experiencing stress.

1. Repeated nose or lip licking

2. Yawning

3. Panting

4. Lack of appetite

5. Diarrhoea

6. Cowering or hiding

7. Tucked or lowered tail

8. Trembling or shaking

9. Whining, howling or barking

10. Pulled back earsand /or aggression

What can you do?

If you feel that your pet may be chronically stressed, discuss it with your Veterinarian. Your vet will be able to examine your dog to ensure there is no underlying problem and will be able to advise you as to how to minimize stress in your dog’s life.

If possible, try to identify what the stress trigger is and then avoid or minimize it. Some stress triggers are beyond your control such as thunderstorms/ fireworks.However, you can try some of the following strategies to help your dog deal with those anxious moments.
1. Behavior Modification – Desensitization and Counter-conditioning.

These are both common approaches to modifying behaviour and are often use in conjunction with one another.

Desensitization - the dog is increasingly exposed to the stress trigger over a long period of time in order for the dog to become familiar with the trigger and no longer feel threatened by it.
Counter-conditioning - With this method the dog is given positive stimuli when the trigger is present for example, food or a favorite toy, thus making the trigger less threatening.

If you feel that your dog could benefit from this type of training contact your vetpractice and they should be able to recommend a trainer or behaviourist who can help.

2. Be patient with your dog. If your pet doesn’t like children/ strangers other dogs consider utilizing one of the above conditioning strategies or try to avoid confrontations.

3. Avoid punishing your dog it will just make the anxiety worse, rather use positive disciplining.

4. Make sure your dog is safe. Some dogs try to run when anxious or stressed particularly during thunderstorms or fireworks. Make sure they are securely indoors, reassure them ,distract them with treats and the TV!

5. If your dog becomes aggressive when stressed try to make sure that no one can be harmed, this includes other pets. Try to reassure your dog and use positive gestures rather than punishments.

6. Regular exercise and play can help alleviate stress in your pet

7. Acupuncture, touch therapy or the use of gentle pressure body wraps may be of some help in the anxious pet.

8. If necessary, your vet will be able to advise
and possibly prescribe medications that can alleviate stress.

9. Prescriptions diets: there are foods specifically

formulated for the stressed pets particularly those prone to gastro intestinal upsets caused by stress.

Did you know… that Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Miniature Dachshunds and Pomeranians are just some of the toy breeds that are prone to gastro intestinal upsets caused by stress and anxiety!

The next time you come home stressed after a hard day at the office, maybe a nice walk in the park will be just what you and your dog need to RELAX!