Editorial Singapore

5 Easy Steps You Can Take to Be a More Responsible Dog Owner in Singapore

A dog’s personality depends on the owner, and your responsibility as someone who owns a pet in Singapore is to make sure that your pet is in the best of health.

However, as a dog owner, you also need to think abouthow your dog interacts with the people around you as well as the environment –and make sure that the balance between them is preserved.

To be a more responsible dog owner, follow these simple steps:

1. Observe the Code of Responsible Behavior (CRB).

The Code of Responsible Behavior is something every HDB owner/tenant complies with in order to keep the surroundings clean and orderly, as well as to minimize noise that could annoy the neighbors.

Keeping your home conducive and comfortable to your pets is important to keep them from becoming easily irritated or agitated when they go outside. It also makes it easier to clean up after your pet once you’ve trained it.

2. Make sure the dog you plan on adopting is either a mixed medium-sized breed or a “Singapore Special”.

The environment is a big factor that needs to be considered when it comes to raising a dog. The reason why HDB flats can’t accept big dogs is because they require regular exercise and a lot of room to move around. They are also more likely to be hyperactive and cause a lot of noise that could upset your neighbors.

Though this is slowly changing, it still helps to geta pet that your home and lifestyle can accommodate. In fact, most dogs livingin HDB flats in Singapore belong to the “toy dog” category, as they are theones that tend to be the easiest to maintain relative to the size of the HDBflat.

3. Keep your pets’ tags updated and properly identifiable.

In the off chance that your pet suddenly runs off, being able to identify and know the location of your pet dog is a blessing. The good news is that nearly all dogs in Singapore are now required to be given a microchip implant that allows them to be easily tracked.

4. Don’t be a backyard breeder.

There are a lot of safer, alternative, and more pet-friendlyreasons to take home pets from an adoption shelter rather than a breeder.However, should you choose to become a dog breeder, it’s important that youfollow the proper protocols involved.

5. Let your pets go outside.

Dogs are inherently social animals, meaning that they love company and hate being left alone. Going out on regular walks and allowing your pet dog to experience the outside world is a great way to train your pets to not freak out whenever they see something they’re not familiar with.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

7 Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Color for Your Home

Painting is a cheap and fairly easy way to liven up your home and give it some character. But painting isn’t simply thinking about your favorite color and proceeding to brush away. Follow these seven tips to avoid do-overs and make sure you have wonderful walls in your home.

Match paint with furniture
If you already have furniture and other prominent home accents, you can use them as the base for your wall paint and follow the “Rule of 3 Colors”, which is simply that the best color palettes are a mix of one dominant color (your wall paint) and two complementary colors (furniture and accents). A yellow shade, for example, would match well with a navy blue sofa and some stylish green house plants.

Choose neutral colors
Your choice of neutral colors isn’t just limited to white or beige. Rose pink, powder blue and light grey, among much else, would serve just as well. Neutral colors have three advantages: they naturally look elegant, they can be easily customized, and they make the room look more spacious. Just add highlights, such as trims and borders, to avoid making your room look too plain.

Explore different shades
It could happen that you’re halfway painting a wall when you realize the color you chose isn’t really what you had in mind. (This is quite common since a sample plate looks much different from a fully painted wall.) However, instead of doing over, try first to make the paint a bit lighter or darker – it might all just be a matter of shades.

Have a cohesive element
If you want different paint colors for each part of your house – the living room, bedrooms, kitchen and dining area – make sure that your home still has a unified look by using a single color accent for your trims, millwork, door frames and window frames. Explore both bold and subdued colors and shades for this one.

Use the psychology of color
Unsure what to color a room? Use color psychology. For the kitchen, the best color is yellow as it energizes the room. Red is for the dining room as it increases appetite (use blue, though, if you want to diet). Blue or green are for home offices as these colors boost productivity. Lastly, white or green are best for bedrooms as they promote tranquility.

Dynamic or relaxing?
Is the room you’re painting a place for relaxation or for play? For the former, use analogous colors (colors that are close to each other in the color wheel) such as green and blue. If it’s the latter, use contrasting colors, such as blue and orange, to create dynamism.

Don’t forget about sheen quality
Painting with a high sheen, such as semi- or high-gloss, will make the color look a bit darker and more likely to show any imperfections in your wall, but create a dramatic and formal look ideal for the living room or dining room. A low sheen or matte finish gives a velvety, soft gloss that make a space feel lighter, making it best for entrances, hallways and bedroom.

7 Common Dog Health Problems You Should Know

Ticks and fleas – and accidentally ingesting chocolates – aren’t the only things that can get our dogs in trouble. Our canine pets can also suffer from different health problems that can reduce them to poor whimpering floofs – or worse. Secure the health of your dogs by familiarizing yourself with the diseases they most commonly suffer from.

1. Kennel Cough
This is a more severe type of bronchitis that may result to inflamed windpipe and voice box of our dogs. Most commonly, our pets get it they get exposed to other dogs with the same illness, such as when we bring them to the dog park. The cough may resolve on its own; if not, it should be treated with antibiotics.

2. Poisoning
Curiosity killed the cat, so the saying goes, and that may be true for dogs too as their curiosity causes them to eat things that may be toxic of poisonous to them. The most common things dogs accidentally ingest that make them ill are human medication, toxic plants, and cleaning products, so make sure none of these are lying around your dog’s area.

3. Heartworms
Dirofilaria immitis or heartworms are one of the most serious health problems dogs get in tropical countries like Singapore. Passed through mosquito bite, these worms target dogs’ heart and arteries, and may ultimately lead to heart failure if left untreated. Treatment for this disease includes topicals, oral medication and injections.

4. Urinary Tract Infections
Yep, our dogs can get UTIs too. In fact, it’s pretty common. And if your dog often pees inside the house, even after it’s been house trained, it may be because it has UTI that makes it difficult to control peeing. Other signs of this condition is frequent urination, lethargy and increase thirst.

5. Ear infections
Most common in smaller breeds of dogs, ear infection is pretty common and, thankfully, easy to diagnose and treat. Some breeds, such as the cocker spaniel, shar-peis, and Labrador retrievers, are even more predisposed to this condition because the shape of their ears make it prone to wax buildup and irritation from moisture. It is usually treated using an enzyme solution.

6. Scabies/Skin infections
There are many possible causes of skin infection in dogs, such as ringworm, bacteria, yeast, fleas, food allergies, and fleas. But the most common is the demodectic mange, which is caused by mites that live in the hair follicles of dogs. Infections is contagious, and thus must be treated immediately if you have other dogs. Treatment can be medicated shampoos, antibiotics or antifungal medications.

7. Vomiting and diarrhea
As with infections, there are different possible causes for diarrhea and vomiting ranging from swallowing toxic substance to viruses. Occasional vomiting and diarrhea usually resolve on their own and not a cause for alarm. However, if it persists for more than a day, give plenty of water to your dog, and then bring it to the vet.

4 Simple, Easy Steps to Get Rid of Acne the Natural Way

Most people will find themselves suffering from acne at some point in their lives, especially when they go through puberty.

But aside from hormones, there are other factors that can cause acne, such as stress, and pimples don’t necessarily mean your facial skin is clean or dirty. In fact, cleansing your facial skin too much can irritate it even more, which makes acne breakouts more likely.

While hormones can’t be controlled, there are a few easy ways you can manage you breakouts if they happen:

1. Wash your face with soap and water.
Instead of turning to expensive facial products, you can simply use a bar of mild soap and water to wash your face with twice a day.

Mild soap and water can actually do a lot to reduce your acne breakouts if you wash your face and pat dry with a clean washcloth.

2. Avoid stress as much as possible.
While you’re going to experience it at some point in time, there are other things that could easily cause unnecessary stress, such as staying up too late.

This is because you also produce more facial oils along with cortisol when you’re stressed, and the longer you’re stressed, the more prone your sebum glands are to getting blocked and inflaming, causing pimples.

Seven to eight hours of sleep can work wonders when it comes to keeping stress at bay. With the lack of stress hormones in your system, breakouts are less likely to occur.

3. Spot-treat with tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil can be especially effective at reducing pimples when diluted in a five percent solution, and has fewer side effects than benzoyl peroxide.

To make it safe, dilute one part of tea tree oil in nine parts of water, and apply it to your pimples via a cotton swab twice a day depending on how frequently you need it. You can even apply moisturizer to make sure your facial skin stays moist.

In lieu of tea tree oil, you can also spot reduce using other types of essential oils, such as those of cinnamon, rose, and lavender can be quite effective in fighting acne-causing bacteria.

4. Try not to touch your face too often.
This can be more difficult than you think, especially because people are more likely to touch their face on a regular basis. However, the more often you touch your face, the more you bring bacteria to it, which could cause your breakouts to get more intense.

You could also try certain lifestyle changes, such as eating more fruits and vegetables in your diet, and exercising more regularly and getting seven to eight hours of sleep.

Everything You Need to Know About Buying an Air Purifier for Your Home

There may be instances where your own home or office doesn’t have the same quality of fresh air that you’re used to, and you may need the help of certain devices to make sure the air retains its quality.

This is where air purifiers come in, which are devices specifically designed to get rid of really fine particles smaller than grains of sand or less wide than a strand of hair that can cause allergies to people in the room.

What Does an Air Purifier Do?
Air purifiers essentially get rid of any airborne contamination, such as bacteria, mold, viruses, and even certain odors and other carbon-based contaminants. They do so by using different means of filtering these air particles, such as electrostatic filters and mechanical filters.

There are different types of air purifiers that can do the job of purifying air for you, such as:

• HEPA air purifiers (which are several different filters that suction and separate particles from the air),

• Electrostatic precipitators (devices that charge airborne particles and make them stick to electrically charged metal plates),

• UV Light air purifiers (devices that use UV light and radiation to kill airborne contaminants, such as bacteria, spores, and viruses),

• Activated carbon purifiers (activated carbon is a type of carbon that is great for trapping chemicals and off-gassing)

What to Look For
Here are the top features you need to look for when choosing an air purifier to buy for your home:

• Ozone rate – Ideally, you want an air purifier machine to purify the air in your room without releasing by-products that could potentially be dangerous when inhaled.
Additionally, rooms often can’t be entered for at least 24 hours when treated using an ozone generator.

• High CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) – Charging incoming particles with a negative electric charge will cause them to stick onto an electrostatic plate, which is what allows most purifiers to achieve a high CADR.

• Genuine HEPA filter (High Efficiency Particulate Air filter) – The standard used in critical areas such as operating rooms in hospitals to make sure all airborne contaminants are removed with a 99.97% efficiency rate.

Getting the Right CADR fitting for Your Room
The best way to get the right setting for your room is by following the “two-thirds” rule, which means that you want a purifier with a CADR number that is at least two thirds the size of your room’s area.

However, because your room size may be bigger or that the number listed on the box is measure in square feet, you will have to convert it yourself and compare the measurements afterward.

If you can’t get the appropriate purifier for your room, you can also choose to go for a smaller one placed at critical points in your room, such as near your bed or near the sitting area in the living room.