Pets – Safety Tips at Holiday Time

The holiday season has arrived. Thanksgiving has just passed and before you know it … or usually we are ready for it … you'll be waking up to Christmas morning. Boy, does not the year fly by? Along with all the joy the holidays bring, they can also present some particular hazards to the health of your pet – and consequently, to your peace of mind. Here are some ideas that can help prevent problems so that your holiday is a happy one for all.

First, it's a good idea of ​​know your vet's holiday hours. Keep emergency phone numbers and any special holiday requirements where they will be easily accessible.

Give some thought about how you'll use plants to decorate. Birds, cats and dogs will all nibble on household plants – and many of them are toxic or poisonous, including mistletoe and poinsettias. They can make your pet very ill so be sure to keep them out of your pet's reach.

If your celebration includes having a Christmas tree you should use some caution in placing the decorations on it. Only use unbreakable decorations at the bottom of your tree so there is not any danger of your cat batting a glass ball and breaking it, or the pup chewing your grandmother's antique bubble lights. As for birds – they should not have any access to the tree, decorations, plants and such. For those of us who live with pet birds, we know what mischief they can get into very quickly … not to mention how destructive they can be. So keep your birds confined, or watch them like a hawk (so to speak) when they are out of their cage. Better to be safe than sorry.

As far as the less exotic pets go … that is, cats and dogs … how about putting some kitty baubles or doggie toys on the lower branches of the tree instead of your fragile and valuable decorations. That way, if those pets are attracted to the tree they'll find something appropriate for them. Or, here is another suggestion that has proved successful for protecting both pets and little ones. Put the Christmas tree and gifts into a playpen. That may not stop kitty, but at least the tree can not fall down as easily as she decides to climb it. Granted, it might be a little strange to see the holiday tree and gifts in a playpen, but it might just be the ticket for your situation.

Since we are on the subject of the Christmas tree, here is another safety hint. If you have a live tree placed in water wrap the base so your pets can not drink the water. Many modern live trees have been sprayed with chemicals that may be toxic to your little friends.

Be very, very careful with candles. Your bird or cat may be enticed by the flicker of the flame. Singed whiskers or feathers would certainly put a damper on holiday cheer, not to mention the horror your pet would suffer from a serious burn. Place glass "hurricane lanterns" or other attractive covers over candles to protect your home and your pets.

Give some thought to New Years Eve. Pets are typically fried by the traditional firecrackers and other noisy merriment and it's best to have a plan to keep them from becoming afraid by the noise. Some dogs may be severely traumatized by fireworks so be sure to leave them inside if you go out to celebrate.

Pets, especially birds and cats, may be stressed by the changes in household routine during the holidays, especially if you are stressed yourself. Some cats and dogs respond to stress by becoming hyper or hysterical, and some simply retreat. Plan to spend some special time with your pets to calm yourself and reassure them during this period. If your pet is especially upset with strangers visiting, prepare a refugee where he can go to escape the "maddening crowd."

And last of all, we wish you and your family a wonderful and safe holiday.

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How to Unsubscribe From Your Hosting Service

Even the best and largest hosting companies can sometimes provide you with such bad service that you may want to cancel or unsubscribe your hosting service. But how to go about it and, and what are the consequences for your website?

Remember that no matter who your web hosting company is, things can, and regularly do, go wrong. This is just business as usual, but a competent hosting company should fix any problems with minimum delay and keep you informed about any problems and the solutions that have been applied.

Understand why things might have gone wrong

Before you unsubscribe from your current hosting service, it is important to understand the reason why things have gone wrong. You need to know the real reasons for the troubles to prevent the same situation from coming again with another host. Chancing your hosting provider can be a real hassle and you can save a lot of time by really thinking about how to match your needs with the services the hosting provider offers. These are example of the problems you may face:

– Recurring service outages: The hosting service is having persistent technical problems with your website, or the website has repeated and lengthy periods of being off-line. If your website does not use any special features of technologies that may cause the problem, then your hosting company appears not to be able to provide technically competent service. If this is the case, you can try to resolve the problem by talking to their technical support. If the problem persists, it might be time to consider unsubscribing from your host and finding a better one.

– Your website is over-using its allocated resources: The most usual kind of hosting account is called a shared hosting account. It means that there are hundreds or thousands of websites hosted on the same physical server, and each website competes with the shared CPU, memory and bandwidth resources. This is true even for the "unlimited" accounts currently offered – in reality they are not unlimited at all, but only appear so.

If you website is hosted on a low-end hosting plan, and uses a lot of resources, you may experience slow performance or service outages. You may also be in breach of your Terms of Service agreement with your web host. Consider upgrading your plan to a more suitable one, or if your web host does not offer high-end plans, you may have to unsubscribe and find a more suitable host.

– Your web host provides lousy service: Lousy service is something you can do nothing about. Do not make a judgment based on one technician's response, rather try again with another service agent. The first one just might have just had a bad day. On the other hand, if your web host is on the budget end of scale, they may not spend enough money to provide decent service and to maintain good infrastructure. Remember that in web hosting you get what you pay for. If bad service persists, its time to vote with your feet and find a better hosting service for your website.

How to get out of your web hosting agreement

Every web hosting company has different policy in regards to termination of service. Most companies offer a better price per month for a longer commitment with the company. In other words, if you wanted to buy and pay for your hosting on monthly basis, you might pay $ 4.95 per month. However, if you committed to a year (and paid it in advance), you would pay $ 3.95 per month. Over the course of the year you would save $ 12.00.

Attached to these conditions, each company offers a money-back period that varies in length from hosting company to hosting company. The money-back guarantee periods range from 30 days in the short end to "any time" within the subscription period. Typically you can expect to have a money-back period from 30 to 60 days.

If you want to cancel your subscription after the money-back period has ended, you might be out of luck. According to the terms of the agreement, you have no recourse of action and your commitment stands until the end of the subscription period. If you want to cancel your hosting because the hosting company is in fault without any doubt, you might be able to negotiate a refund, but usually you are wasting your time. It is time to cut your losses and move on to a better host.

How to avoid problems with your web host

Even before committing to your web host in the first place, consider these steps to avoid any problems in the future:

– Only commit to shortest possible period at a time. Most hosting companies offer monthly commitment and billing periods. If they do not, choose the shortest period possible. It will cost you a little bit more per month, it gives you the flexibility to change your hosting company at any time without causing you a larger loss than having committed to a super-long agreement.

– Never, EVER get your domain name from the hosting company. If you run into trouble with them, they may use the domain name as leverage to keep you in control. They may not transfer your domain name to a new registrar, or even refuse to change the DNS information of the domain to point to your new host. No domain name, no website.

– Always keep an up-to-date backup of your entire website on your own computer. Do not trust the web hosting company to do that for you. Most Terms of Service agreements specifically protect the hosting company against data loss in case the server crashes. Most hosting companies do their very best to keep data safe, but they have no obligation to keep the back ups indefinitely, or even to hand the data over to you in case of disagreement.

Basic Pet Training Rules

Before we actually start puppy training or even thinking about it, it is important that we get ourselves in the right frame of mind. If we do this and know where we are going, we will be much less likely to violate certain training rules that may hinder or prevent us from attaining our goals. Additionally, we want to prevent ourselves from doing anything that may adversely affect the relationship we hope to develop with our puppy. In our article on Housebreaking, we alluded to the fact that everything we do in training can result in positive or negative effects on how our puppy sees us. We start out with the idea of ​​making our dog more like we want him to be, but if we are not careful our pet may end up seeing us as something he does not want us to be.

Rule 1 – Always Be Consistent – The First Rule of general training is Always Be Consistent. There should be no exceptions here if you want the training to go as quickly and as easily as possible. This refers to your actions and words. From the very start you need to decide exactly what you are trying to teach or control and how you will do it. If you are going to use a definite word or phrase as part of a command or in conjunction with a certain point you are trying to make, always say the exact same thing in the same tone of voice. This is important for all members of a household or anyone else working with the puppy. Everyone that is involved in the training should know and use the same expression. As an example, let us think in terms of the "Come" command. It obviously will not make things go faster if you use the word "Come," your spouse uses the word "Here," and one of the children uses "Yo, Boy." All of this simply confuses the dog. Remember, we are trying to train him in our language; We can not expect the puppy to be multilingual at 8 weeks of age.

Every time you give a command or are working on a training point, consistently carry it through to completion. Do not tug on the check cord for the pup to come to you and then become distracted and forget what you are doing. If you start pulling the animal in but then stop with him halfway to you, he becomes confused. The puppy is expected to come to you, all the way to you. If you do not ensure that happens, the puppy may think that it is okay, when given the 'Come' command, to only come in part way to you or completely ignore the command.

Try to expect the same reaction out of the puppy each time. If you use any form of praise or reward for a job well done, be consistent on how well the task in question is completed before the praise or reward is forthcoming. If the puppy is supposedly to sit, do not praise him if he only bends the rear legs a little bit. People love to praise their dogs and sometimes they are so anxious to do this that the animal is hearing a string of "Good Boys," but it has not yet completed what he was supposed to. Over time this tells the puppy that he does not have to sit all the way down but rather a slight crouch will do. The puppy will believe that close is good enough.

When you start training the dog on a particular day, think of the next few minutes as classroom time. When children are in school, there is classroom time for learning and recess for playing. The same should occur with your puppy. When you start a training session, maintain a consistent training attitude for you and your puppy. Think training and not play. Work only on training issues and do them over and over. Stay in control so it does not become playtime for the puppy. When you are not in a training session, be careful of what you say and do.

In the early stages of training, never give a command unless you can control the puppy's actions. This is a part of consistency that many owners overlook. As an example, let us say you are currently in the process of teaching your puppy the 'Come' command. She does not respond every time yet but she is learning what the word means. You are in the backyard together playing with the puppy and children. It is recess, not classroom time. The puppy is off of her lead and suddenly takes off after a wild rabbit. Do not, we repeat, do not even think about saying "Come!" You know the puppy is not going to respond because her mind is on the rabbit and only the rabbit. If you do scream "Come," hopefully the dog will be so distracted that she will not hear you. Because if she does recognize the command but continues after the rabbit, the puppy has just learned that when you are not in control, she can get away with ignoring what you say. During the training phase, when the pup is doing something, and you are in a position that you are unable to control or restrain her, do not say anything. Rather move to the animal and stop or prevent her from what it is she is doing. In the above example, you have two correct choices. You can either let her continue the chase or run and catch the puppy. Do not scream "Come."

Along the way, you may make configurations in your training method but that point on be consistent. You may find that certain styles of training work better on your pup. That is okay, but do not start switching back and forth. Just because one command is going slow, you should not change from method to method, hoping you find the magic formula that speeds up the process. This rarely happens and in the interim, the puppy may become hopelessly confused. We have found that any individual pup, regardless of the method used, may have trouble with a certain command but not the others. This probably relates back to some experience in the animal's past.

Rule 2 – Keep Training Sessions Short – The Second Rule of general training is Keep Training Sessions Short. In many instances, young children can become engrossed for several hours in a game, book, or television show. Successful kindergarten teachers can make learning fun and productive often for an hour or so. However, dogs and especially puppies, do not possess long attention spans. Young pups will not spend more than a few minutes chasing an exciting, moving stimulus like a butterfly or bird. They simply lose interest and go on to the next thing. The same is true with training, they burn out quickly and become bored. After that has happened, nothing further will be learned.

Generally speaking, most successful trainers limit training sessions to no more that 10 or 15 minutes regardless of the age of the animal. This seems to be a good duration for most dogs to tolerate or enjoy. If this window of time is exceeded, the learning process actually starts to go backwards. It is important that the puppy enjoy these sessions. If not, they may resent the entire program. If forced to continue training after they have lost interest, this same behavior may spill over into future sessions. Keep their minds occupied and keep it fun.

Set up a schedule and stick to it. It is much better to train for 10 minutes every day than 60 minutes once a week. Plan to have your training times revolve around the pup's schedule. Do not expect the puppy to be a ball of energy and willing to learn if you try to work on the commands when it would normally be napping or eating. Plan your training sessions when distractions are at a minimum. If you have young children, it might go better if you trained while they are at school or in some way occupied.

There are ways to get additional training time other than the brief scheduled periods and these extra ones can be very important. If your animal is doing something that you are trying to train him to do, use obvious opportunities to reinforce the command. A best case scenario would be when you are getting ready to feed the puppy. You have learned that as soon as the animal hears you filling the bowl he automatically comes running. As soon as he starts toward you, bend down with the bowl and say "Come." It is a free, can not fail training session. Another example would be when you are trying to train the puppy not to do something. Let us say you are trying to keep him from jumping on people. You have learned that every time you first come home, the puppy rockets through the house and jumps up on your leg. Be prepared and when he jumps up immediately put light pressure on his toes (see our article on Jumping Up on People). Then immediately bend down and greet the puppy just like you always do. Do not say anything about the jumping as you two are happy to see each other. Whenever you can control the animal or know what he is going to do, it is a good idea to use these situations as a continuation of your training.

Rule 3 – Stay Calm and In Control – The Third Rule of general training is Stay Calm and In Control. This is where most people fail in training. By staying calm and in control we are talking about you, not the dog. In training situations you can never lose control or get excited because when you do you may become mad, lose your temper, and do something exceptionally stupid. Training should be enjoyable for both you and the animal. If the puppy is not having a good time she will not learn anything. Likewise, if you are out of control or are not enjoying yourself you are not teaching anything.

During training there should not be any distractions for the puppy to contend with. You should guide her through the command so that she does it and is then praised for the successful completion of the task. If you are excited or angry your puppy will pick up on this and not be thinking about the task in question. You have to be focused for the animal to be able to concentrate on the training. You will learn that your demeanor during training is directly proportional to the amount the puppy will learn. If you are up for this and enjoying it, the potential is there for the dog to make a solid headway during the lesson. But if you are down then the pup's potential for anything good coming from the session is also way down.

Carried to the extreme, if you get mad and lash out or treat the puppy harshly, you have destroyed any good that might have come out of this individual training session. You have also set back the animal's understanding of the particular command or act in question and put a black cloud over the relationship between the two of you. When you do something to another person that you should be sorry for, you can actually review your regret and apologize. If they are of a forgiving nature, the act or unkind words are forgotten. Unfortunately, you can not sit down with your puppy and reason through the stupidity of your act. What is done is done, and you must work long hours to regain the animal's trust. You will need to take time that could and should have been used for training just becoming her friend again.

Some people do better in training if they use a system in which they do not talk to the dog during training. They teach the dog the command without using or putting a verbal command to it. We will go over this method later but if you tend to raise your voice when you sense that you are not in control (or in the process of losing control), this may be a useful technique to try. Most people talk way too much during training and for some this becomes a stepping stone to shouting and anger.

Rule 4 – Do Not Over Praise – The Fourth Rule of general training Is Do Not Over Praise. In dog training, praise for doing something correctly can take a variety of forms. Some prefer to give a treat, others may use the expression "Good Dog," and a third group may only give a single, gentle petting action across the animal's shoulder. They all work because they show to the dog that you are pleased or approve of his actions. You said "Come," and the puppy came. You indicated for the dog to sit, and he sat down. The animal did what he was supposed to. Praise is important, but the animal needs only to recognize it as a thank you for a job well done. You communicate to the dog that he did something correctly and you are happy he did. If your form of praise is always consistent in method and amount, the puppy will understand perfectly.

Where many owners err is that they bury their animal in praise. Rather than say a single "Good Dog," they get down on their knee and let out a string of forty "Good Dogs." Instead of a single stroke over the shoulder, they give the animal a full body massage. Instead of a single small piece of a biscuit or treat, the dog is given half a box. All of these overdoses do the same thing. They distract the dog from what it has just learned. Too much of a good thing and the animal monsters what the two of you are doing. The command and his response are no longer reinforcing correct behavior. The entire incident may be lost in the past.

Rule 5 – Always End on A Positive Note – The Fifth Rule of general training is to Always End on A Positive Note. Every training session should end with praise. The last thing you ask or command the puppy to do should be completed with the puppy doing it correctly. Someday, when things are not going as well as you would prefer, for the last command, choose something that is easy and can not fail. When the puppy does it correctly, praise her and move someplace else for some recess time or relaxation. Ending a session on a bad note may continue into the next training period. You want the pup to finish one lesson and because of the visa, to look forward to the next session. Always remember that to the dog, praise helps fulfill her desire to please you.

Rule 6 – Forget Discipline (Punishment) – The Sixth Rule of general training is Forget Discipline. Now before you overreact, understand what we mean. To some trainers and most dog owners, discipline usually means to punish the animal for something he has done. To these same people, punishment usually means to hurt the animal in some way. In our minds this just is not necessary. If discipline means punishment or causes pain, forget it.

Let us look at the most common reasons people discline their dogs. The most common one is for something the animal did. Notice we did not say "something the animal was doing." Rather, we used the past tense. People punish their dog for something she did in the past. Examples would be finding a stool in the house during the housebreaking process. You did not catch the animal doing it, you only discovered it later. The pup is picked up, scolded, and put in her crate. A second example would be if someone's dog runs away from home without them knowing it. Two or three hours later she returns, so to make her see the error of her ways, the owner punishes her. They use a rolled-up newspaper to give her a spanking. Neither of these animals had any idea what the punishment was for. They did not sit there thinking, "Gosh, I wonder what I did thatly deserved punishment?" Dogs do not reason. Just because they got punished, they do not assume they did something wrong. All they know is that their owners were mad.

Often punishment that occurs as part of training is thought about because the owner is impatient with the improvement of the dog. The owner is trying to push the animal through training too fast, assuming the dog should already know the command or action. Be patient, remember that with most training you are altering the natural instinctive behavior of the animal. The best punishment for an incorrect reaction in training is a lack of a reward. If the animal does it right she is afraid, if she makes a mistake she receives no praise. If praise from you is important, a lack of it may send a message. Praise is positive reinforcement, punishment is a distraction.

There has to be a good way to communicate to the animal when she is currently misbehaving. And there are but they are not going to hurt anyone. In some cases a stern "No" is all that is required. You catch the animal urinating in the house, you say "No," pick the puppy up and carry her outside. Dogs understand a change in the tone of your voice much better than they do most punishment.

In human behavioral medicine today, a "time out" is believed to be an excellent way to get across to children that they are acting in an unacceptable fashion. When they act up or do something wrong, they must live through a period of "time out." This is a new way of saying 'go to your room' or 'stand in the corner.' The same method can be used for dogs. If they are out of control, barking excessively, or jumping on the furniture, they are given some "time out" by being placed in a cage or crate. A stern "No" may also be part of the treatment.

And lastly, in place of punishment we can simply choose to ignore them. When children act in a way solely to gain attention, good therapy is to ignore them. In some examples this also works for dogs. A dog might bark just to get a treat or to go outside. If you want them to have either, consistently ignorant them will probably break the behavior pattern. If the barking does not work and they do not get what they want, they will probably stop the barking.

Most things we want to punish our dogs for indicate a lack of training. Rather than punish them for doing something you do not want, train them to do what you would prefer. Until that can be accomplished, a firm "No," being placed in a crate, or ignored will bring an end to most unacceptable behavior.

Be Honest – Can You Train? – Be honest with yourself. Not everyone can train his or her dog. Many people say they do not have the time but if they can not afford 10 minutes a day then do they really have the time to have a dog? Maybe the issue is that they do not enjoy training. This is understandable. Training is not for everyone. Some do not have the patience for it, some can not control their temper, and some simply do not enjoy it. If you think any of these describe you, then you probably should not try to train your dog. It would be smarter to use a professional trainer. Your dog will not care. In fact, it would probably prefer it. A good professional trainer will only help a dog, while an individual owner who loses control may destroy one. The owner may or may not physically injure the animal but may cripple the dog's personality and self-confidence. If you think you can not handle the job, use a trainer. You may want to invest in some Dog Training Supplies to help you.

Contract Of Employment Explained

Contract of employment like every other contract is an agreement between and employer and an employee which describes and states the condition of employment. It is always advisable for one to be sure of what the contract states before signing and accepting the contract as once signed it is binding on both parties. A well prepared contract of employment is a statement of the capacity in which the employee is employed, it covers and shows the name of the job, pay, allowances, hours of work, holidays, leave, pension arrangements, and should refer to the relevant company laws and policies as is applicable to the employee.

In a more refined way, a contract of employment is defined as an employment agreement voluntarily entered into by the employer and employee which stipulates and defines the conditions of employment. Most contracts of employment are in written form which makes it applicable and governed to the general law of contract. This then means that every contract of employment should be binding on both parties as well as valid. It then means that for the contract of employment to be binding just as I general law of contract, there should be an offer, an acceptance and a furnished consideration. In this case the offer is the written employment letter which is accepted by the employee and the consideration being the wage the employer is ready to pay the employee.


A well written contract of employment should include all of the following;

o Parties to the contract should be clearly stated: The name and contact address of the employee who is being employed should be clearly stated as well as the name and address of the employer.

o Date of employment should be clearly stated: The resumption date of the employment should be stated in the contract of employment. This will help in knowing when to start calculating the employee’s entitlements.

o Remuneration: The salary agreed on should be put down in writing. The scale or method of calculating the remuneration should also be put down in writing. Also the interval of payment should be written, either bi weekly or monthly depending on the policy of the firm.

o Terms and conditions of work relating to hours a day: The expected number of hours to be put in by the employee per day should be clearly stated in the contract of employment.

o Leave entitlements: The employees leave entitlement should be stated, number of days he is entitled to, his leave allowance, other types of leave he may be entitled to (sick leave, casual etc).

o Pension entitlements: The employee’s pension entitlements should be clearly stated if any.

o The job title: The title of the job being offered should be stated. The job tasks as well should be written.

o Confirmation: The number of months or years as the case may be the employee will serve successfully before his/her appointment will be confirmed should be stated.

o Disengagement: The number of days or months notice required by either of the parties before the contract will be terminated should be written as well.

After the contract of employment has been established, the employer and employer as well have duties to perform to keep to the terms of the contract. In the case of the employee, he has to keep to all of the following;

o Has to do his job personally: The employer was employed to work and carry out his duties by himself. It then means that by the terms of the contract, he has to do his job and duties by himself.

o Has to abide by the laws and policies of the firm: For every organization, there are laid down rules and regulations as well as policy guides that direct the affairs of the organization. The employee is bound by the contract of his employment to abide by the rules and regulations surrounding his employment contract. Disobedience to any of this may result to outright dismissal or termination of appointment.

o The employee should not by any means compete with his employer. He should not have any interest that will be against that of his employer.

o He is to conduct himself well and properly at all times. He should not be involved in any action that will be detrimental to the firm. He should come to work early and comport himself during office hours.

o He should be accountable to his employer on all assignments given to him during his period of employment.

o An employee should add value to his employer which is the main reason for his employment. He should be able to prove the skills he claimed to have prior to employment.

On the other hand the employer has some duties to perform for the employee to make sure that the contract of employment between them is sustained. The following are expected to be carried out by the employer;

o The employer is expected to pay the wages of the employee. As part of the employment contract, there is an amount that was agreed by both parties as wages for the employee. The employer is expected to pay such wages and as when due.

o He should provide the necessary and required tools to enable the employee carry out his duties effectively.

o The employer should also make sure that there is an enabling environment and good working conditions for the employee to perform his duties.

o The safety and safe working conditions should also be assured by the employer to avoid putting the employee at risk during his period of employment.

o The employee should be rewarded when he has performed well. He should also be motivated by the employer at all times. The employer should not see the employee as a slave, rather as a partner in progress, because without the employee, the employer will not succeed.