Healthy Concepts

Finding the right backpack is an essential component of back-to-school shopping. Children may have their own ideas of what’s in style, but parents should look for backpacks that are functional before factoring in style. Marrying form and function together can be challenging, but it’s necessary to prevent students from developing back problems. But parents must give consideration to more than just the size of their children’s backpacks.

Depending on school schedules, students may be carrying backpacks for up to 10 hours per day, five days per week. Backpacks may be filled with several pounds of stuff, such as textbooks, binders, laptops, and other supplies, potentially leading to injury.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries every year. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says that the weight of a backpack should not exceed 10 to 15 percent of a child’s body weight. But many students pack their bags with much more weight than that.

Improperly sized, worn and overstuffed backpacks can injure joints and lead to neck, back and shoulder injuries. They also may affect children’s posture.

Choose a streamlined model. Select a backpack that will get the job done without much added bulk. Many backpacks have been designed to hold technological devices as more and more schools integrate technology into the classroom. A less bulky bag might be lighter and easy to carry.

Consider shopping at a sporting goods store. Employees at camping and sporting goods retailers understand how to fit backpacks for hikers and outdoor adventurers. They can help measure a student and find a pack that will fit his or her body frame. Also, these retailers may have a wider selection of backpacks than some other stores, increasing the chances of finding the right fit.

Select a pack with a waist strap. According to the American Chiropractic Association, the body is not designed to carry items hanging from shoulders. By using the waist strap in conjunction with taut shoulder straps, students can distribute the weight in their backpacks over their hip bones instead of the shoulders. The padded and adjustable shoulder straps should be at least two inches wide. All straps should be used each time the pack is worn.

Backpacks should be loaded properly. Heavy items should be near the center bottom to distribute the load, rather than placed on top. Students should only carry what is necessary, visiting lockers or desks as needed to lighten their packs.

Backpack fit and functionality is something parents should take seriously when shopping for school supplies. 

Source: MetroCreative Connection.

With the huge olive oil epidemic these past few years, how are we to know if what we are purchasing and consuming is truly the real deal? Unfortunately, many oileries and grocery stores sell an abundance of altered olive oils; therefore, considering the source when it comes to olive oil is definitely a must!

Today, most olive oil farmers are using modern production processing, which has diminished much of the olive oil currently available by excessively refining it. If you increase the speed and the amount of olive oil produced then you can sell a lot more of it. The solution is to purchase freshly poured olive oils, know the source/farmer and check the acidity levels so you know there is minimal or next to no heat factor used when processing the olive oil.

So how about cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) versus ice pressed organic extra virgin olive oil? Well, let’s start by pointing out that not using a heat factor to process your olive oil is by far the best method to preserve the natural health value of the olive oil produced! Using blocks of ice to cool the olive oil when pressing is what differentiates exponentially ice versus cold pressed olive oils. This way the nutritional value and benefits of the olive oil remain completely intact during the process of extraction.

Ice pressed olive oil is an exceptional step above standard cold pressed olive oil. This rare and cutting edge technology created by a renegade engineer turned producer creates a highly nutritive uncorrupted raw olive taste, texture and color.

Hand harvesting the olives in their purest state in Greece and pressing them the same day makes ice pressed olive oil not only delicious but far superior when it comes to the health benefits when compared to cold pressed EVOO. The reason for this, of course, is because of the rich soil it’s grown in. It is organically processed to preserve the nutrients and true essence of what olive oil is.

The Koroneiki olives used in ice pressed extra virgin olive oil are kept in their original raw state when pressing with complete absence of heat, thus keeping the acidity down to less than 1 percent. Pressing 20-30 times colder than cold pressed olive oil leaves room for nothing shy of exceptional health benefits!

Oleic acid, polyphenols, antioxidants and omega counts are without a doubt some of the biggest contributors to the health value of an exceptional olive oil. With that said, one must consider that there are numerous health benefits to an organic extra virgin olive oil, some of which are reducing inflammation, helping with digestion, heart disease, etc.

The benefits of choosing ice pressed organic EVOO are many, but it is more expensive. Be sure to not cook with it as you will diminish its original health value you purchased it for. When cooking, depending on the heat factor used, it’s best to use a cold pressed or flavored olive oil.

For more information about ice pressed olive oil, visit

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen life force energy flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s life force energy is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

With that being said, Reiki is beginning to become a recognized service that can help support conventional western medicine to address whole body wellness. There are seven chakras, or energy centers, within the body. There are also paths throughout the body where life force energy travels through different organs. This life force is called qi and the pathways are called meridians.

The seven chakras are located in seven distinct areas of the body. When a chakra is blocked or not functioning optimally there will be signs of this imbalance. If you are feeling these imbalances, a series of energy work sessions can be very helpful. Essential oils and crystals can also be added to improve balance. Although there are many signs of imbalance in each chakra I will list a few for you here as well as color associated with each, along with some essential oils that can help.

Root chakra – Located at the base of the spine and represented by the color red and pertains to legs, feet, bones and large intestines. Signs of imbalance can be: feeling ungrounded, fearful, insecure, obesity, sciatica and/or constipation. Essential oils that can support this area are cedarwood, frankincense, myrrh, patchouli or vetiver.

Sacral chakra – Located slightly underneath the naval and represented by the color orange and pertains to the womb, genitals, kidney, bladder and lower back. Signs of imbalance can be sexual problems, fear of emotional intimacy, infidelity, withdrawn, low back pain and/or urinary problems. Essential oils that can support this area are bergamot, cardamom, clary sage, orange, rose sandalwood or ylang-ylang.

Solar Plexus chakra – Located slightly above the naval and represented by the color yellow and pertains to the digestive system, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. Signs of imbalance can be low self-esteem, egotistical behavior, feelings of rejection, nervousness, difficulty controlling emotions, addictive behaviors, digestive problems, chronic fatigue and/or hypertension. Essential oils that can support this area include black pepper, cinnamon, clove, cypress, geranium, peppermint, spearmint or ylang-ylang.

Heart chakra – Located around the heart region and represented by the color green and pertains to the lungs, heart, circulatory system, arms and hands. Sings of imbalance can be inability to give or receive love, selfish, jealous, loneliness, depression, shame, asthma, heart disease and/or lung disease. Essential oils that can support this area are: bergamot, cypress, lavender, orange, rose, tangerine or ylang-ylang.

Throat chakra – Located in the center of the neck/throat and represented by the color blue and pertains to the throat, shoulders, ears, mouth and neck. Signs of imbalance can include poor communication, afraid to speak up, deceitful, manipulative, shy, talks excessively, sore throat, neck and shoulder pains and/or thyroid trouble. Essential oils that can support this area are basil, Roman chamomile, cypress or peppermint.

Third Eye chakra – Located in the middle of the forehead and represented by the color purple or indigo and pertains to the eyes, base of skull and brow. Signs of imbalance can be non-sympathetic, judgmental, lacks intuition, lacks common sense, nightmares, sleep issues, vision problems and/or headaches. Essential oils that can support this area include clary sage, cypress, frankincense, juniper berry, rosemary or vetiver.

Crown chakra – Located at the very top/center of the head and represented by the color white and pertains to the central nervous system and cerebral cortex. Signs of imbalance can be: unspiritual, excessive fear of death, unclear purpose, feeling alone or unloved, anger with creator, depression and/or confusion. Essential oils that can support this area are cedarwood, frankincense, jasmine, lavender, myrrh, rose spikenard or vetiver.

Everyone can benefit from Reiki. When dealing with a chronic issue or a traumatic event in one’s life it is a good idea to schedule several Reiki sessions within a 10-day period. 


Many people who do not have psoriasis think, “It’s just a rash, no big deal.” But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Those who suffer with psoriasis live with painful physical as well as emotional symptoms.

Consider these facts about psoriasis from the National Psoriasis Foundation:

  • Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the United States, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans.
  • Psoriasis occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells, resulting in painful, red, scaly patches on the skin that bleed and itch.
  • There are five types of psoriasis; the most common being plaque psoriasis. This presents as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells.
  • Psoriasis is not contagious and is not an infection!
  • People with psoriasis say their disease makes them feel self-conscious, embarrassed and helpless.
  • Approximately 20,000 children under age 10 are diagnosed with psoriasis each year.
  • While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, genetics and external factors known as “triggers” (e.g., injury to the skin, infections, certain medications, etc.) play a role in its development.
  • Those who suffer with psoriasis are at increased risk for other health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, obesity, high blood pressure and depression.
  • There currently is no cure for psoriasis.

Thankfully, awareness is starting to spread. I read an NPR article titled, “How the Skin Disease Psoriasis Costs Us Billions,” and it was quite an eye-opener. It referred to a study by JAMA Dermatology that says psoriasis costs the nation $52 to $63 billion a year for the direct costs of health care. Indirect costs like unemployment add another $24 to $35 billion, and the costs of associated health problems (e.g., heart disease, depression, etc.) add $35 billion more.

And then there are the emotional and social costs. Some individuals are shunned because many people believe psoriasis is contagious. I’ve read about people being asked to leave salons and get out of pools, and of children being bullied. No wonder it takes a toll on one’s self-esteem. This disease is very hard to live with!

Natural ways to manage psoriasis

There are medical options that are bringing some relief to those suffering with psoriasis, and I would like to highlight the natural approaches here. Natural psoriasis options are popular for those trying to avoid chemicals, dealing with unwanted side effects, failing to find relief from prescription drugs or wanting to supplement their other helpful therapies.

Light therapy

In phototherapy, the skin is exposed to ultraviolet light on a consistent basis. UV rays penetrate the skin and are believed to destroy activated T-cells, which then slows cell turnover, and reduces irritation and scaling. A health care provider determines the intensity and duration that’s right for you.


Taking certain approaches to diet can be empowering for those suffering with psoriasis. The National Psoriasis Foundation suggests focusing on weight loss and heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory foods. I have worked with clients who indicated that nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers) were a problem for them. Others have said citrus fruits seem to cause flare ups. It may be worthwhile keeping a diary of food and liquid intake for a month to help uncover some hidden sensitivities.

Lifestyle considerations

Certain lifestyle habits that affect many health problems may also play a role in psoriasis. Consider eliminating smoking and alcohol if they are part of your routine. Stress and anxiety can also play a role. Take control and eliminate those people and obstacles that cause you stress. Until you get there, consider some help. My go-to when I feel stressed or just overloaded is Vital Adapt with adaptogenic herbs. For me, it seems to provide a calming effect, yet it helps me maintain energy and it seems to help with sleep. Who can’t use that?

Vitamins and supplements

Those consuming the standard American diet typically consume too much omega-6, which can contribute to pro-inflammatory conditions. Since omega-3 fatty acids are believed to have an effect on the immune system, some people take fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements if they do not get enough through their diets. Consuming essential fatty acids, especially gamma-linolenic acid (borage, black currant and evening primrose oils) may also help to maintain healthy skin. Glucosamine and chondroitin and vitamin D are other supplements that are considered for those dealing with psoriasis. Speak with your health care provider about these or other supplementation options.

Bathing and moisturizing

Bathing daily in lukewarm water helps to calm skin and encourage scale drop off. It is recommended that natural oils, colloidal oatmeal or Dead Sea salts be added to the water. After blotting dry, while skin is still moist, apply natural moisturizers. The National Psoriasis Foundation suggests those with aloe, cayenne (capsaicin) or tea tree oil. Two popular products at Natural Healthy Concepts are Derma E’s paraben-free Psorzema Crème, which contains neem, burdock, bearberry, and vitamins A and E to soothe irritated skin and reduce scaling and itching. Tea Tree & E Antiseptic Crème is a paraben-free blend of tea tree, vitamin E and other synergistic herbs, vitamins and natural oils.

For those of you who were unaware of the seriousness of psoriasis, I hope you’ve found this to be educational and that it has even stirred up some empathy within you. And for those of you living with psoriasis, I wish you the best in finding the treatments that work best for you. 


Your “path to healthy living” is not only the mission of this magazine; it is also becoming the goal for many health insurance plans as they offer more benefits designed to avoid or reduce your need for expensive medical care.

More health insurance plans are focusing on health by offering benefits for fitness, nutrition and stress-relief that we can use every day. Gym club memberships, cooking classes, and many other health and disease educational program options are being offered at low or no cost to us. These benefit plan options are designed to educate, empower and engage us to help us achieve better health or better manage pre-existing conditions.

The incentives are great.

Mickey Mantle once said, “If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” We are living longer and given new opportunities, we can do more to help ourselves. Our risks to age related diseases like cancer, heart, brain and many others can be reduced by taking action earlier rather than later.

In addition to better health, we can avoid paying higher out-of-pocket costs in the form of higher deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays.

Many HSA plans and Medicare MSA plans offer a third incentive and that is to save money for the future or to use these dollars we need for qualified health expenses that are not covered by our health plan. Dental, vision, over-the-counter medicines and acupuncture are examples of this.

The incentives are great, but there can be more. Just like the adage, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it.” We cannot be forced to do things if we do not want to, but some plans are doing more to help us improve our health.

These health insurance benefits use the latest health technology that connects us and gives us new health awareness about our health. The best part is when we act on our health and show improvement — we get paid.

The best incentive of all can be our ability to take control of our health and our health care dollars to save or spend on what we need most.

It is a different time in health insurance benefits that put a smile on many faces.

Health insurance has become more complicated and expensive. Remember to always work with a licensed health insurance advisor to guide you through your many options that can save you money and improve your health. 

All of us have things in life that we love doing: spending time with friends, being outdoors, shopping, reading and the list goes on! Have you ever found something that sparked your curiosity and at the same time made you fearful to try it? Why do we let fear stop us? We are afraid of messing up, afraid of being embarrassed in front of others or afraid of failing. So instead we don’t do that thing that we want to try and lose out on many life experiences. Everyone at some point in their life experiences fear in some way and you just have to learn how to face it head on.

Being a pole and aerial arts instructor I hear many stories from students on how they were scared to try pole and the aerial arts, but after they tried it they fell in love with the sport! When I go out in public with my Aerial Dance clothes on, I have many women ask me about pole and they seem so excited and curious about it. I take the time to talk to them and they usually respond with “I am too scared,” “I am not strong or flexible enough,” “I don’t have the right body type for pole,” and “I have to find someone to go with me.” It makes my heart hurt when women put themselves down and don’t believe that they are capable of anything they set their minds to. I encourage them to come try some of our classes so that they can see that this is a sport for everyone! Pole and aerial will help build strength, flexibility and most of all confidence! We need to be confident in our choices in life and what we want to do. If we let fear stop us from doing things, we will never grow and learn.

Fear keeps us from moving forward, it keeps us stuck in our same old routines every day. If you find yourself sitting there with your lists or goals for the day and not really acting on them, do you know why? When I am struggling with a move at the studio or see my students struggling, I notice that it’s a lack of motivation that is coming from a lack of confidence that keeps them from doing it. The fear of failing consumes them but then I go over and encourage them to try it, reassuring them that it is OK to fail, it’s OK to grow at your own pace and they try it and they get it in time!

When I don’t move forward it is usually because I am afraid of failing, afraid that I’ll disappoint people around me. Too often I have let fear stop me from doing things and frankly I am sick of it. Many people and students tell me that because of my strength background with growing up on a farm and becoming a personal trainer that pole and aerial come easy for me. That’s false! I struggle with things daily when I am practicing. I have my goals written down but the motivation is lacking to reach those goals. Lately, I have been reminding myself of why I started pole — it was for myself and no one else. Several years ago I looked into joining some pole studios in Hawaii and I didn’t because I was scared to do it alone. I remember looking at the websites and seeing the heels and I was immediately fearful that it was not the sport for me, but I was still curious. When I moved back to Wisconsin I started looking for a studio and I found Aerial Dance! With being more fitness based, no heels, I immediately signed up even though it is an hour and a half from where I lived. Where did that fearful feeling go that I initially had in Hawaii? How did I just forget about all of the things that I was scared of? The judgement? The failing? I believe it was a glimmer of confidence that finally started to come out.

So if you find something that you have always wanted to try that you are scared or fearful of trying but still curious — do it! You never know where it will lead you in life. You may just find yourself and that confidence that you have been looking for. 

In the Fox Cities, we are fortunate to live in an area with easy access to water fun. Activities such as going to the beach, fishing and swimming are often on the agenda for most families. According to the Centers for Disease Control drowning is listed as the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4, and about 10 people die from unintentional drowning every day. There are ways we can keep our children and ourselves safe around the water. Programs like the YMCA of the Fox Cities’ Safety Around Water provides life-saving skills to children who would not normally have the opportunity to participate in swim lessons. The skills taught are not just applicable to the participants but anyone who is spending time around the water:

  • Jump, Push, Turn, Grab: A way to get back to the side of the pool when you are in water where you cannot touch.
  • Swim, Float, Swim: A technique used to help you catch your breath while swimming so that you can safely get to the nearest exit point.

Water safety should be important to all swimmers, no matter ability level. There are simple steps you can take each time you are near or entering water to ensure you have a fun and safe experience.

Ask permission

Children should ask permission from a parent or responsible adult before entering any body of water. The importance of this simple action is to be aware when your child is entering the water.

Never swim alone

Even if you are an expert swimmer, it is important to remember that you should never swim alone. Children should always have an adult swimming with them, but for adults, it is also important to have someone swimming with you. You never know when a problem will arise, and it is best to be prepared for anything.

Active adult supervision

The most effective defense in preventing drownings of any kind, especially with children, is active adult supervision. Whether you are swimming at a pool with lifeguards or in your own backyard, you can keep yourself and your children safe by staying aware. Parents need to be in the water with their children, even if the kids can swim. Always know where your child is and what they are doing. Waterparks and pools can be fun but there is often a lot going on, and while there are lifeguards, there are also many people. You are your child’s best protection when it comes to water safety.

Personal flotation device

Life jackets are for everyone, not just non-swimmers! Life jackets are worn on boats or while fishing, but they can also be worn in the pool by non-swimmers and even by young children that know how to swim. Make sure that your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard approved and appropriate for your desired activity.

Take the time to educate yourself and your children about how to be safe in and around the water. Following these simple guidelines will help you and your family enjoy all of the water activities offered in our area. 

Reference: “Unintentional Drownings: Get the facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

India Arie’s song “Break the Shell” poetically frames the transformational journey from loneliness to deep connection:

“Courage is not being hard

It’s time to peel back all of the layers

You put between who you’re meant to be

And who you are

And go be who you are”

What we commonly label as loneliness is often alienation from our true, deeper self. Our society teaches us to look outward for our self and security — instant gratification on smart phones, our sense of worth from Facebook likes, consuming new and hip products, and decorating our bodies, homes and resumes with the right accessories. This disconnection usually is held in our sub-conscious; a forgetting of our “true self.” Richard Rohr tells us that our DNA is divine, that our core remembers our truth and it’s waiting to be noticed and fulfilled. He encourages us to foster this by pairing our loneliness with our true self. R. Rohr calls this the ultimate homecoming.

He goes on to offer us a promise: “I promise you that the discovery of your true self will feel like a thousand pounds of weight have fallen from your back. You will no longer have to build, protect or promote any idealized self-image.” Could this be the key to shifting the human condition of loneliness that actually unlocks the direction to true connection?

Let’s reverse the propensity to look outward for escape from loneliness and instead turn inward, greeting loneliness as one of humanity’s oldest friends and wisest teachers. This path of coming back to being our own best friend, remembering our true self as part of the divine, can transform loneliness into profound, everlasting connection.

Dr. Daniel Siegel proposes that based on extensive neurophysiological research that brain development and mind are where beliefs of self, life, relationships — with self and others — and worthiness are formed. In his latest book, “Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human” he states that where we put our attention is where neural pathways grow and are fed. This pivotal research information, now globally accepted, proves that our brain has plasticity. This means that we can change/heal our neural pathways to healthier, more authentic states of functioning and, therefore, of experiencing life.

“All you need is already within you, only you must approach yourself with reverence and love.” —Sri Nisargadatta

There are numerous simple tools available to assist us in transforming our loneliness to connection.

  1. Come back to our breath: Take a moment or two throughout the day to stop and notice the in-breath and the out-breath. This simple technique is very powerful. It brings us back into connection with our body, with our internal being.
  2. Forgiveness leads to self-love: Forgiveness doesn’t always mean saying something was/is OK. It can be letting go of the energy/emotion/pain to make space for freedom in oneself.
  3. Yoga: A mindful way to come back to self, gently taking care of our physical vessel, practicing positive thoughts, releasing energies and beliefs that no longer serve our highest good.
  4. Re-wiring our neural pathways: Reading and watching positive things, seeking out and having positive experiences and relationships, shifting our negative thoughts to loving thoughts.
  5. Being open and willing to know the divine within.
  6. Reiki: Healing energy that assists in balancing our energetic body, releasing unwanted energies, offering of healing.

Bringing these into our daily lives creates a deeper and more expansive sense of freedom and open heartedness. This life-long adventure can be filled with expansion, self-love, ease and significantly less loneliness. Ahhh the freedom to be and experience life more fully and joyfully! Along this journey of “true self” we are taken to the deepest and most wonderful connections! 

I am the owner of Natural Expressions. I gave my business that name because everything I do expresses my view of what is natural as opposed to artificial. My business is located in a very natural setting, with my property just north of Plamann Park.

Artificial fertilizer, pesticides and even artificial food ingredients have been around a long time. At least two generations have never experienced what is natural. Natural food is very important for our physical health. Science is now relearning how important nature is to our emotional health as well. Human health has declined in the last 50 years. We live longer because of drugs that can keep us alive. Although older, we are sicker. My goal has been to be older and healthy.

My passion is natural expression of everything, including gardening. Every chance I get to “express the natural” and how to achieve it, I jump at the opportunity.

I have that chance and I would like to invite the readers of Nature’s Pathways to participate. As a member of The Paper Valley Garden Club, I have offered to hold the club meeting at my Natural Expressions location. I would like to invite all readers to attend the meeting. The meeting will include a tour of my organic garden and a presentation about the importance of and how to garden organically for our health and the health of our planet, as well as how you can become an organic gardener too.

The meeting is Monday, September 11 starting at 6 p.m. with a social and of course healthy snacks provided by Natural Expressions, followed by a tour and presentation. Questions are welcome. The meeting will be over by 8 p.m.

Please call 920-954-9727 to let us know you are coming. The location is 825 E Broadway Drive, on the north side of Plamann Park: take Meade Street north to Fox Valley High School, and turn right at the next corner by the Plamann Park sign. I look forward to seeing you! 

Nutritious diets are essential to long-term pet health. Many well-intentioned pet owners feed their pets foods they believe are nutritious, only to learn that certain foods, even those deemed healthy for humans, can be quite dangerous to dogs and cats.

Cats and dogs metabolize foods and other substances differently from humans. WebMD reports that each year, there are more than 100,000 cases of pet poisoning in the United States. Many of these instances were caused by household substances that may seem perfectly harmless. Medications, cleaning products and certain foods can poison pets. Dogs tend to be at higher risk for food poisoning, particularly because they are less discriminatory with regard to food.

Before caving into the temptation to share snacks with their pets, pet owners should recognize the common foods the ASPCA and other pet welfare organizations list as the most likely to contribute to pet poisonings worldwide.

Chocolate: Chocolate is accountable for roughly one-quarter of all toxic exposures. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause excessive thirst and urination, panting, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, and seizures. Serious cases can be fatal. Dark chocolate and baking chocolate are especially dangerous for pets.

Grapes/raisins: Grapes, raisins, sultanas, and currants, whether raw or cooked, can cause kidney failure in dogs. Not all dogs are affected. However, these fruits should be avoided. Symptoms include lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting within 24 hours of consumption.

Hops: Commonly used for brewing beer, hops have become a greater risk for pets now that home brewing as a hobby or side business has become popular. When ingested, hops can cause a rapid heart rate, anxiety, vomiting, and other abdominal symptoms. Essential oils and tannins in hops also can cause high fever when pets ingest them.

Macadamia nuts: These nuts can cause depression, vomiting, tremors, and hyperthermia in dogs.

Milk and dairy: Do not give dogs and cats milk to lap up, and avoid giving them high amounts of cheese and other dairy foods. Pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. Therefore, diarrhea and digestive upset is likely to occur when pets consume dairy.

Onions/garlic: These aromatic ingredients are not a good idea for pets, particularly cats. Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate, which is toxic to cats and dogs. The ingestion of onions and onion-related foods can cause a condition called hemolytic anemia. This is damage to red blood cells that causes the cells circulating throughout the pet’s body to burst.

Xylitol: Keep pets away from sugarless gums and candies that contain Xylitol, which also may be used in toothpaste. The substance causes insulin to release in most species, which can lead to liver failure.

Pet owners should be aware that the foods they eat regularly may not be safe for their pets. Always consult with a veterinarian before giving pets foods commonly eaten by humans. 

Source: MetroCreative Connection.

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