Thursday, March 13, 2008

How to Test Your Dog for Food Allergies

Does your dog suffer from skin problems and/or scratch constantly? Does he have hot spots or recurring skin infections? He may suffer from dog food allergies. Food allergies can appear in dogs any time in their lifespan, from puppyhood to senior. There are certain food ingredients that tend to be problematic. Among them are dairy products, chicken and chicken eggs, soy, corn, wheat, and even beef.

Conduct a Food Trial

To diagnose your dogs potential food allergies you can conduct a food trial, which means feeding your dog a unique diet for up to 3 months. You will need to feed your dog new foods it has never eaten before, such as venison and oats. Lamb and rice diets used to be prescribed for dogs with potential allergies, but they are no longer considered unique foods. Many commercial lamb and rice dog foods also contain soy, eggs and other allergens.

Special foods are available through your vet or you can make your dogs special diet at home using your vets recommendations. The special diet must be followed consistently, no other foods allowed including treats or rawhides. Continue with the diet until you see marked improvement in your dogs symptoms. Then go back to his regular diet. If symptoms return, then you know your dog is allergic to one or more ingredients in his regular food.

Food Allergy Treatment

Once you have confirmed your dog has a food allergy, you will need to continue with the special diet. If you are not sure which ingredient of the old food is causing the allergy, you could try a home made diet and add back in one of the potential allergens, such as soy. Until you narrow down the exact foods your dog is a allergic to. Then you can either keep your dog on the special diet or try a commercial dog food that does not contain the problem ingredients.

Because symptoms can be similar with airborne allergies such as dust and mold as well as flea-bite allergies, it is important to test and eliminate them as suspects first.

Valerie Goettsch is web master of a website featuring dozens of articles and information on dog names and breeds and where to find the best of everything for your dog, from flea meds to beds and crates, training books and videos and dog clothes.

Passport Identity Theft

A common form of character identity theft is the illegal take over of someones passport. Although, passports are typically stolen, they could also be sold or given as a gift to a family member or a friend to help them out. In all cases, the purpose remains the same which is to allow for fake identification and travel to places where such passports are allowed to take their rightful owners. But especially, if they are stolen, passports could be used for acts of terrorism in the world. We take our passports for granted but it is a privilege to have the passport of a country especially if that country and its passport are well respected in the world. We must maintain the respect and trust of the country which granted us the privilege to own its passport and remember, that privilege can be taken away from us if we betray the trust.

Minor and professional alterations to the picture, name and other personal description in the passports make them appear as if they belong to the identity thieves. Some passports are more valuable than others and provide more access to places in the world and therefore are in high demand. If you ever lose your passport or have it stolen, make sure you take the appropriate actions to protect yourself. And, never ever sell or share it with others, because once you lose control of a piece of your identity, you might as well say good bye to your whole identity.

Please learn more about lost or stolen passports in this article.

Henry Bagdasarian is a certified expert in information security, privacy, risk and audit with many years of experience with major international companies. Nominated for the Security Executive of The Year Award (2006). Created the KAOS identity management system to help prevent identity theft which is available free of charge on his web site. Learn more about Henry on his web site.

Transform Your Family's Florida Vacation With Your Own Vacation Rental

Little speaks of vacation as well as the Sunshine State of Florida. With its interesting and eclectic mix of city, beach and country, it's a vacation-lover's paradise. You could keep a hotel as home base, but why would you, when there are so many Florida vacation rentals available from which to explore this exciting state?

From the moment you walk out of the airport and are greeted with the tropical warm air familiar to any native Floridian, you know you're on vacation. After unpacking at your comfortable Florida villa rental, head out and explore all that this exciting state has to offer.

If you start in Miami, perhaps one of the most diverse and exciting cities in the United States, you can enjoy seeing the huge cruise ships come in and out of port, enjoy the hustle and bustle of the workweek crowd, or shop in several exciting boutiques and stores. If you get hungry, head for Little Havana or Little Haiti, where authentic food, drink, discussion and music can be found.

Head just a bit south and visit the famous Florida Keys. Here, most of the popular activities are water related. You might enjoy a wonderful seafood meal or charter a fishing boat for the day. For a fun evening activity, consider a Key West Original Ghost Tour, where you are led by lantern through the city's haunted streets.

Florida is a big enough state that if you want to see most or all of it, you'll need more than one Florida vacation rental to see you through the entire vacation. Rest assured there are many to choose from, including in the hot spot city of Orlando. In this one exciting and busy city, you can visit Disney World, Sea World or head for Gatorland, where you can excite the senses while viewing more than 3,000 gators and 89 crocodiles.

For scientific fun, take a short drive down the coast to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, where you might be lucky enough to see a space shuttle take off or land.

For diverse inland fun, take a drive from your Florida vacation rental to the capital city of Tallahassee, where you can enjoy true southern hospitality and famous Florida history. Or head to Ocala, where you might head to the Juniper Prairie Wilderness. Here, you can enjoy more than 14,000 acres of pine flatwoods, subtropical jungle, marshes and prairies.

Your inland visit might take you to Gainesville, where you can visit the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida or take a hike along the Florida National Scenic Trail, which runs from the Big Cypress Swamp in Southwest Florida to the Panhandle just west of Tallahassee.

A vacation rental is just the way to handle all these destinations with ease. They can be found in every city and area of Florida, provide you all the comforts of home and allow for comfortable, easy traveling, especially with children and other family members.

Sun, sand, mountain, city. It's fair to say Florida has it all and thanks to the wonderful selection of Florida vacation rentals available, you're sure to see it all on your own terms and at your own pace.

Courtesy of, a leading directory of vacation rentals by owner.

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