Are Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Safe Supplements for Your Dog?

Due in part to better nutrition and veterinary advances, many dogs are living longer than they might otherwise, decades ago. One result is that a slew of nutritional supplements are now being marketed to doggie parents for the benefit of our beloved canines, much as they are marketed to the human population.
Fish oil’s benefits are derived from the various omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA. However, the quality of the supplements often is not well regulated for canines. Even if a pet parent is not purchasing fish oil supplements, some dog treats and even foods are now adding it into their formulations.

Read more on the best glucosamine for dogs

Even with supposedly human-grade fish oil supplements, low-quality, contaminated and even dangerous fish oil supplements have been sold as recently as 2010.1 According to Democracy in Action, a lawsuit was filed in March 2010 in California court against eight manufacturers and distributors of fish oil supplements where independent testing found levels of PCB contamination above the safe limit for humans. Amongst the defendants are well-known chains including CVS Pharmacy, Inc., General Nutrition Corp. (GNC), Pharmavite LLC (Nature Made brand), and Rite Aid Corporation. For those who are unaware, PCB’s are linked with cancer, child development and interference with reproductive processes.

So what is a doggie parent to do? Let’s start with educating ourselves, right now.

Read the label of any supplement you are considering for purchase. According to an article in Time Magazine, “best omega-3 source is oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines”.2 Fish oil made from other types of fish may not contain much (or sometimes any) omega-3 fatty acids. Compare the levels of omega-3 fatty acids between different brands available to you. Leave the ones with low levels of omega-3 on the shelf.

On the label, look to see if the amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA acids are clearly identified; it is better to get a good concentration of both acids, rather than a supplement with a high level of one acid and a low level of another acid. Then double check to see if the amount of DHA and EPA (and any other omega-3 fatty acid listed) adds up to the total amount of omega-3 acids. If the individual amounts are not listed or they do not add up to the total, be aware that the supplement may be using non-nutritive filler oils. Those supplements should be left on the shelf as well.

Look for some indication that the supplement is tested by an independent third-party laboratory for purity and quality. If the label has no such indication, consider putting that brand back on the shelf as well.

Also consider the form the fish oil is marketed in. You may prefer either a flake-like dry powder or liquid, both of which can easily be added to most dog foods. However, if you are “free-feeding” your dog and have multiple dogs, you have less control over how much of the supplement each of your dogs is getting. In that case, you may prefer capsules or individual treats to ensure that each dog is getting the desired amount of omega-3.

Whichever form you prefer, take a moment when you first purchase it to take a good deep whiff of the supplement. Fish oil can go rancid and spoil fairly easily, so make sure that it is good when you first get it. As you work your way through the container, check occasionally to be sure that it has not spoiled.

Most consumers are unaware that not all omega-3 sources are from fish. Keep your eyes open for new omega-3 supplements made from algae, oilseed and other plant sources. A newer omega-3 supplement (life’sDHA) has been created by Martek Biosciences Corporation and the source is not fish, but tank-farm algae. This is considered a completely vegetarian omega-3 supplement for humans; the animal nutrition version is called DHAgold. The downside is that the algae version, while high in DHA, has little-to-no EPA. To counter this, Martek is developing an oilseed-algae hybrid, which would have high values of DHA, EPA and other fatty acids. 3

Remember to look past marketing hype of new products so that you can be assured that you are making the best choices for your dog.


2 Time Magazine, January 25, 2010, “The Trouble with Fish Oil”, Tim Padgett.

3, retrieved January 12, 2011

What Makes the Proper Title 24 Report

Energy-efficient living is better for the environment, but it is also good for your wallet. Energy-efficient living is also called sustainable living. Sustainable living is possible in many different ways, examples are the installation of solar panels, insulation of your home, energy-efficient lamps and other appliances, and the use of a heat lamp. Regardless of whether it concerns buying a house, an apartment or a student residence: sustainable living is possible for everyone. All possibilities are discussed here.

Title 24 Reports- Best Reporting

Title 24 : Energy label of your home

The energy label, which you often see on (white goods) appliances, is also available for your home. This energy label indicates quickly and easily how energy efficient a home is, compared to other houses of the same type. This energy label is based on factors such as the type of housing, the construction period, the living surface, the type of glass used, whether there is (already) insulation and whether solar energy is generated, for example. There are also some simple measures on this energy label that can be taken when you want to make your house energy-efficient. This label varies as of A to G, where A happens to be the most energy competent and label G the slightest energy efficient. The purpose of this energy label is to inform consumers about current information and to encourage them to make the house more energy-efficient.

Title 24 Reports: What are the benefits of an energy-efficient house?

Title24 Title-24

Some important advantages of an energy-efficient house have already been mentioned: a better climate and lower costs on energy bills. In addition, there is the expectation that homes with a green energy label can be sold more easily, and also generate more money. The energy label often plays a role in the considerations of whether or not to buy a particular house. Owners of a home are therefore obliged to hand over this energy label to the new buyers or tenants. In addition, energy-saving measures can provide you with more comfort in-house; placing double-glazing is an example of this. You are less affected by cold in the vicinity of the windows, and the double glass dampens the outside noise, making it quieter in the house.

Request the energy label of your house quickly and see where the possibilities lie to live in a more energy-efficient way. For example, read these Tips to save energy, or inquire about other energy-saving methods such as installing solar panels, a heat pump or isolating your home.

You can also benefit from buying an energy-efficient home. The Title 24 Report stipulates that buyers of an energy-efficient new home receive extra mortgage. Enough energy efficiency is an EPC (The Energy Performance Coefficient, the index that indicates how energy efficient the house is) of 0.6. The bank keeps the amount out of the income test.

Several banks give an interest discount on the mortgage for an energy-efficient home. For example, they are offering an interest discount on a new house with a Title 24 Report. This only applies to mortgage loans more than normal amount. Bank gives an interest discount on existing and new homes based on the energy label. The more the house moves towards the green, the more advantage the bank offers. You’ll see that in a Title 24 Report. has next day turnaround time on their Title 24 Report. So if you are in a rush for a Title 24 Report than their service is something you can use to get one quickly.

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Floor Plans for Your Home: What is Best for You?

When purchasing or renting a new home really assessing the floor plans to make sure it will fit your needs and make you happy in the long run is very important. But what exactly do you need to look for? The following are some tips on what you should look for when you are wandering from home to home trying to decide which one will fit you.

The first to thing to think about when looking at floor plans is your family size and ages. If you have young children you usually want to find a home with the master bedroom is close to other bedrooms so that you can listen to your kids. So you either will want all the bedrooms on a second floor or a ranch style home with the bedrooms on one side of the house.

Another thing to keep in mind when you are looking at floor plans is whether you entertain. If you do like to have small or large parties or get togethers, your floor plan can make them a fun exciting affair or cramped and miserable. Not only do you want to make sure your living room or game room is large but it makes parties more open if the kitchen flows into the area where your friends and family is gathered. Having a closed off kitchen is more formal and less open. Also another great option is to see if the kitchen and living room open to a deck or to the outside where you might BBQ. Nothing can make you more exhausted than having to run to the kitchen, to the grill, and then to socialize with your friends. Why not have it all centrally located?

Also it is key to really understand who you are when looking into a floor plan you’ll want the best drafting service. Are you more elegant and formal, or are you casual and easy, are you a book worm, or maybe a TV junky. If you are more formal you will want to have a floor plan that has more defined space, and a specific dining room not just a large kitchen. If you are more easy going a more open space with less walls that can make your home choppy is the way you will need to go. It makes it so the family can always find a place to hang out and keeps everything airy. If you’re a book worm like me you will likely want a room to make into a library or a study, if you are a TV junky you will want to make sure your living room or den has all the amenities.

Another thing to keep in mind is who visits your home who will be living in your home. Will you be taking care of an elderly family member? Do you have daredevil children? Ranch floor plans allow for more elderly or disable family and friends to visit and stay. Also if your are planning on having in-law staying maybe two master bedrooms would be wise so that they have their own space and don’t have to invade yours all the time.

Lastly remember the kitchen can be the heart of the home, which means you really need to put some thought into how it is laid out for your family. If you have a large family obviously a large kitchen is good but also does it open up to a dining room is it all one piece? Also where is the kitchen located next to the bedrooms, or a garage? The kitchen can sometime be located in the back of a home, which for people who do not like to cook works great, however if you spend most of your time in the kitchen munching with your friends make sure the kitchen is centrally located and open.

There are many sites you can find floor plans for free that can help you find the one that fits your best.

These three sites are just a few of the ones on the web that have floor plan ideas and also ways to create your own! Just make sure when looking at the floor plans you really have looked at your family and your place in life so you know what you really need.

How to Solder Copper Plumbing

Solder Pipes

Soldering (otherwise known as sweating) copper pipes may look like a complicated and intimidating process, but with a bit of guidance and practice, it is a skill well within the abilities of the average homeowner. With some basic plumbing skills, small problems can be fixed without having to call a plumber, saving both time and money.

Before tackling “real” plumbing, it is always a good idea to practice on scrap pipes. Any older 1/2 inch diameter copper pipe will do, as long as it isn’t bent or heavily painted. If you can’t find old scraps of pipe to use, most home improvement stores sell shorter, inexpensive lengths of pipe you can use. You will also need the following, which can be found in the plumbing section of any hardware store:

* 1/2 inch copper fittings (T’s and 90 degree elbows are common, inexpensive fittings to practice with.)

* Propane blowtorch (often handily available in a kit with solder and flux.)

* Lead-free solder (nearly all available solder is now lead-free, but check the label to be sure.) Avoid solder labeled “acid core” or “rosin core;” these are meant for applications like electronics. For plumbing, choose a thicker width of solder (something that looks more like a lollipop stick than a single strand of angel hair pasta.)

* Pipe cutter

* Wire brush for cleaning the inside of 1/2 inch fittings. This will look like a miniature bottle brush.

* Fine steel wool or plumber’s “cloth” (sandpaper with a fabric back) for cleaning the outside of pipes.

* Flux (usually found right next to the solder on the store shelf.)

* Flux brushes

* An old rag for wiping off the joints.

* Safety glasses (never a bad idea, despite the fact that plumbers don’t wear them.)

* Work gloves for handling hot pipes.

* A vise (or a helper with heavy work gloves and potholders…the pipe will be HOT) to hold your practice pipe while you solder the other end.

* Lighter or other source of ignition for the torch.

Now that you have assembled all your materials, you are ready to start practicing. Use the pipe cutter to cut off a section of pipe that is about 2 feet long. Proper preparation of your pipe and fitting is essential to getting a good bond, so make sure not to rush the following steps.


1. Clean out the inside of your pipe fitting with the wire brush. Make sure there is no debris or burrs inside the fitting.

2. Clean the outside of the pipe with the steel wool or sanding cloth, making sure that the cleaned section is slightly more than will actually be inserted into the fitting. The cleaner your pipe and fitting are, the easier they will be to solder correctly. The copper should be bright and shiny, with no dull discolorations visible.

3. Using the flux brush, apply a small amount of flux to BOTH the outside of the pipe and the inside of the fitting. The flux helps clean off any impurities and helps the solder adhere to the copper. You want just enough flux to coat the pipe and fitting; wipe off any globs with a rag.

4. Dry fit the two pieces together. Make sure the pipe slides all the way into the fitting, and clamp the pipe in a vise (or have your well-gloved helper standing by to hold the pipe.


1. Keeping the propane cylinder upright, carefully screw on the brass nozzle, checking first to make sure the valve is closed.

2. Open the valve slowly, until you hear a slight hiss. Put your lighter in front of the nozzle and light the gas.

Read more information about: Rancho Cucamonga Plumbers

3. Now that your torch is lit, adjust the valve until you have the right sized flame: about 2 inches long with a good amount of blue in the center. If your flame is too small, it will take longer to solder your joint. If it is too big, you run the risk of overheating the metal. (Larger flames are useful if you need to solder larger, heavier pipe.)

4. Hold the flame on the thickest part of the joint you are trying to solder (usually the fitting.) Don’t worry about heating the pipe; if you heat the fitting, the pipe will also get plenty hot. Hold the flame on the fitting until the flux starts to bubble out of the joint.

5. Touch the end of the solder to the joint. Don’t put the flame on the solder itself…if the joint is hot enough, the solder will easily flow and the joint will suck it in. If the solder doesn’t flow, continue to heat the fitting. If the fitting starts to turn orange and red, but the solder still doesn’t flow in, the joint is probably not cleaned or fluxed properly. Let it cool and start again.

6. You may need to heat the opposite side of the fitting to make sure solder has made it all the way around. (This is more of a concern with larger pipe sizes, or if you are trying to heat a inch pipe with a very small flame.)

7. Once you believe the joint is soldered, remove the flame from the pipe and (quickly AND carefully) wipe off any excess solder with a dry rag. This will not only make your joint look neater, but will help you see any potential gaps.

8. Turn off your torch.

9. Let the pipe cool and inspect it. Clean the joint with steel wool to see the joint better, and look inside the fitting to see if you can spot solder coming out at the end of the pipe. There should be some solder visible inside the fitting; if you have globs of it, however, you are using too much solder.


1. If you are replacing a section of copper pipe, be sure to buy the right type of pipe. The two most common types of copper pipe are M and L. Type “M” pipe is cheaper and thinner walled, and may not meet plumbing codes. Type “L” pipe is heavier, stronger, and will last longer, and is required by code in many areas of the country.

2. Before cutting into existing pipes, make sure you have turned off your main water supply and drained the lines. If you can’t drain the lines effectively, have a bucket handy to catch the extra water as you cut into the pipe.

3. Pipes are nearly impossible to solder if they have water inside them. If you are trying to fix a leaky joint, make sure the pipe is emptied of water first.

4. If you are using a brand new propane tank, keep in mind that the high pressure in the tank may make the flame initially slow to shut off. If you turn the valve off, don’t be alarmed if the flame does not immediately extinguish, and don’t try to crank the valve extra hard or set the still-lit torch down on the ground.

5. If you need to solder a pipe that is close to joists or walls, use a piece of flashing behind the pipe to keep from scorching your house. If you are particularly nervous about setting your house on fire, you can even use a spray bottle to wet down the joist or wall. The real plumbers may laugh at you, but you’ll feel better.

6. While soldering pipe, keep in mind that small globs of solder are likely to fall while you work. These globs are molten metal, so do not stand directly underneath anything you are soldering. It is also a good idea to wear jeans and sturdy shoes to protect your legs. Put down an old towel or sheet to protect your floor.

7. If you plan on doing anything more than fixing a leaky joint, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with some basic plumbing code. If you are going to do something, you might as well do it right, and plumbing repairs often offer a good opportunity to fix previously installed code violations.

8. If you are planning a major project, like the installation of a new bath, it is always a good idea to meet with your local plumbing inspector. He or she can help you with the planning of your project, as well as offer advice on issues you may face and how to resolve them.

With some basic plumbing skills under your belt, you can now rest easy, knowing that you can handle minor plumbing emergencies all by yourself.

Orthopedic Dog Beds

You and your dog may enjoy sleeping together, but providing your dog a bed of his own would be best. It is highly advisable that your four-footed friend sleeps on orthopedic dog beds designed to cater his needs. Dogs, especially large canines, are getting more prone to certain health conditions such as arthritis, muscle loss, soft tissue injuries, hip dysplasia, and other joint problems as they grow older.

Orthopedic dog beds won’t cure such age-related conditions; however, they can alleviate painful pressure points so your dog can enjoy a comfortable and uninterrupted sleep. Dogs need adequate sleep for a happy temperament and overall wellbeing.

You don’t have to wait for your dog to start limping before you get him an orthopedic bed of his own. Dog owners should give scrupulous attention on how or where their dogs sleep as much as they do with what their dogs eat.

What are Orthopedic Dog Beds?

Orthopedic Dog beds

If you search reviews for orthopedic dog beds, you’ll notice that there is actually no standard softness, height, or width that represents an orthopedic bed. However, such beds feature one thing in common – memory foam, an original product of NASA that was invented to address certain cushioning issues in airlines.

Memory foam is the most crucial factor that constitutes an orthopedic bed. It is most suited for dogs suffering joint and bone problems. As soon as your dog reclines, the memory foam adjusts to your dog’s position, ensuring that no part of his musculoskeletal body feels the hard floor to avoid trauma in specific pressure points. This helps your dog enjoy a long and pain-free slumber.

Orthopedic dog beds are more expensive compared to regular dog beds, but in turn will provide your dog the same health benefits that people also benefit in a memory foam mattress.

Selecting Orthopedic Beds

Take some time and observe your dog’s habits and sleeping patterns. Dogs have their own sleeping styles just like their owners.

Make sure there are no exposed tags, buttons, or any accessory. Avoid fancy features such as heating pads, waterbeds, etc. especially when you cannot fully supervise your dog. This may only bring more harm than good to your dog.

The dog bed should be large enough so your dog can stretch out on his side. You don’t want your dog to curl up just to fit into his bed as this puts more strain on his joints. Measure how tall and how long your dogs are to determine the appropriate size.

Keep in mind the ease at which your pet can get into and out of its bed, especially for elderly dogs with mobility problems.

Lastly, the quality of the foam is most important — its thickness, structure, and density.

If you need help finding a good orthopedic dog bed, reviews online can help you narrow your search down. You can compare one product from another, gather tips, or learn from people’s mistakes. Also, know the reputation of the company and don’t be afraid to ask questions.