Holistic Ways to Prep Your Pets for Fall

Shoutout to Jayson Goetz for the guest post, and to my little Willow for being so photogenic.

As warm days and summer sunshine are replaced with cool breezes, winter skies, and colorful leaves, you’ll be swapping out your shorts for sweaters, breaking out the holiday dishes, and cranking up the temperature. While you’re getting ready for colder weather in your home, be sure you include your pet. Just as people need a little preparation for fall and winter, pets need some prep too. Luckily, there’s plenty of things you can do to keep your dog or cat happy and healthy year-round. Here are a few holistic tips to keep Fido comfy during the colder months.

Switch up feeding times and walks

Colder weather also means less sunlight, which might mean gearing up for a few more night walks with your dog. Consider switching up your pup’s food and walking schedule to catch the last rays of sunshine (and to let you sleep in a little). If you plan on changing her routine, be aware that most pets are sensitive to their feeding and walk schedules. Move your walks up 15 minutes in time to acclimate your dog to the new schedule. If your dog or cat gets lonely with back-to-school, consider buying or switching out toys, or adding a little extra playtime every day. For cats, you might even consider making a few food puzzle toys to keep him occupied while you’re at work.

Beware of chocolate — and add a little extra

Holidays bring along the added risk of your pet eating something they probably shouldn’t have. High-fat foods can cause diarrhea and other more serious stomach problems. Whether you’re bringing back a haul from trick-or-treating or cooking Thanksgiving feast, you’ll want to make sure your pet isn’t also sampling your food. Apples, grapes, chocolate, and garlic are especially toxic.

Some pets may need a little extra in their bowl every day to regulate their body temperature and acclimate to the cooler weather. If your dog is particularly physically active, you might up his kibble just a little to get him through the winter. You can even add a little pumpkin to your pup’s diet for an extra seasonal treat, but be sure to consult your vet for exactly what your dog or cat will need.

Keep your pet well groomed

As temperatures drop, you’ll notice your dog or cat shedding more and more, making way for their seasonal coat. As your pet’s coat sheds, you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping up with his grooming, especially if he has long hair. A new coat will help your pet better regulate his body temperature, but you’ll want to make sure you brush him regularly to prevent mats (and with mats, potential skin infections). Don’t let up on your dog or cat’s flea and tick care, either–prevent fleas in the spring by continuing treatment in the fall.

Watch out for mushrooms and other fall plants

You’ll see less fall foliage as the months move from November to December, but be wary of certain plants in bloom in the cold damp months, especially fungi. Keep an eye on your pet when hiking in the woods or even letting her roam around the garden–plants such as chrysanthemums, autumn crocus and clematis are all deadly to pets. Dogs especially should be prevented from consuming mushrooms on their walks. Though your best friend is an ace at sniffing out new smells, she won’t be able to tell the difference between a toxic or non-toxic mushroom or plant.

Build your pet an outdoor shelter, or cozy up their bed

Brr! If you’re saving a little on your heating costs by wearing a sweater or two instead of cranking the heat, don’t exclude your dog or cat. If you’ve got an indoor-outdoor cat, consider buying or building a new outdoor shelter for kitty. An outdoor retreat will help your cat stay cozy even while she’s roaming the wilderness (or just the neighborhood). For dogs and indoor cats, consider switching out their bed and bedding for warmer fabrics and deep insulation to keep them cozy.

Keep an eye out for snakes and snakebites

Snakes go into hibernation in autumn, making much more likely to strike than other times of the year. Because they’re less mobile, it’s more likely a curious cat or dog will nose their way toward a sleepy (and more aggressive) snake. Know what species are in your area and be cautious when walking your pet around areas they’re likely to inhabit.

Upgrade your pet’s wardrobe

Let’s face it, we all could use a wardrobe overhaul by the time winter rolls around. When the only walk is an icy, rainy walk, short hair dogs will often be left shivering. Make him or her a little more comfortable with a new sweater, and a raincoat for sleeting days. Just don’t forget to buy your pet a costume for Halloween (or a Santa sweater for the holidays).

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It’s that time of year again…

 

 

 

 

 

 

For as long as I can remember Black Friday has been the ultimate weekend for Christmas shopping. Every year, I refrain from buying anything for myself in November or December so I can focus on family and friends I should be shopping for.

In a few weeks the tradition will be carried out, but with a new wish list in mind, as to be expected. Getting the same gift for someone twice is something you definitely want to avoid. If that’s tricky for you, my method may help with brainstorming new ideas for all the ladies in your life. Between Spiritual Gangster, Walmart and Bare Minerals, shopping for my loved ones will be a breeze.

Spiritual Gangster

High-quality yoga clothing can be costly. Luckily, Spiritual Gangster Black Friday deals are off the chain. Score forty percent off everything, and not just for a single day. Get the same hookup on Spiritual Gangster Cyber Monday too. These are the cheapest prices I see all year. From women and men’s graphic tees, tanks, hoodies and sweatshirts, to accessories and items already on sale, Spiritual Gangster has Black Friday deals everyone can enjoy.

Walmart

We all know Walmart has “doorbust” worthy deals, so why not plan ahead and save big on all your gifts. I recommend using the sale for tech gear. You’ll find up to 60 percent off flat-screen TVs, laptops, phones and more. The best part is, this year you don’t have to wake up early and wait in line all morning to score deals. Walmart will be celebrating Black Friday all weekend, in stores and online.

Bare Minerals

I have three sisters, two moms and lots of girlfriends. Luckily, they all like makeup. Each year I browse the Black Friday Bare Minerals mega-package deals and pick out one with 40 or so pieces. I open it up, split the makeup into ten or so presents, and everyone gets high-quality makeup, but I spend less than 100 bucks.

Following the Black Friday tradition can be done in a selfless manner. Shop for friends and family during the sale and you’ll save hundreds on Christmas gifts — not to mention continue the Thanksgiving spirit. For my fellow shoppers, I hope this guide helps you find the best gifts at the best prices. Good luck!

Stay up to date with 3 of my favorite blogs

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a sucker for a good blog. A consistent writer, with consistently helpful information, is an indisposable resource. I also believe that the more you read, the better you write. So to those looking to up their daily reading, here are three of my highly recommended blogs to get you started.

Cash The Checks – Finance Blog

The Hustle – Tech Blog

theSkimm – World News Blog

Enjoy!

New south campus parking garage open for use

This year the new South College Parking Garage opened its doors to students and faculty, adding 650 new parking spaces to campus.

Construction is still underway on the fourth level and the canopy rooftop, but the first three levels are officially open for use. The garage should be complete by the end of August, after roughly a year of construction.

“We’re very pleased to have a new parking structure that aligns with campus culture sustainability,” said Fred Haberecht, the Assistant Director of Facilities Management.

In line with CSU’s sustainability efforts, the roof of the structure has the capability to set up solar panels, which will be implemented soon.

The garage will provide additional parking on the perimeter of campus, and it is located next to the transit line for commuter convenience. It will also be used to accommodate patients and employees using the new medical center, slated for completion Fall 2017.

“It’s just a good looking building,” Haberecht said. “It integrates into the campus aesthetic by sharing some of the characteristics that are common to other buildings on campus.”

Many students have voiced their complaints about how difficult it can be to find parking on campus. The University is troubleshooting this issue to accommodate the growing population of students.

“I previously have had a hard time parking on campus, but this year I purchased the commuter pass for the Z lot, so we’ll see how it goes,” said Amber Lee, a computer science student.

Permits are available for purchase, but there are also pay-per-hour spaces. Students who use the pay-per-hour spots will have the option to pay online using a phone application called Way-to-Park.

The garage will have six charging ports for electric cars, bringing the total of charging ports on campus to 24. The structure is equipped with the latest parking technology to help drivers find available spots efficiently using a light system.

“I’ve heard from other students that the commuter lots get full pretty quick,” Lee said. “I hope the project goes well, I could see myself using the garage in the future.”

This article was published in The Collegian August 23, 2016.

By the numbers: Warner College of Natural Resources

Getting good grades on tests or making it to class every day for attendance points are just means to an end, the end being graduation and, hopefully, a successful career. Students in the Warner College of Natural Resources seem to be achieving this pretty well.

This year, there are 1,813 undergraduate students in the Warner College of Natural Resources. According to the 2013-2014 First Destination Report, 86 percent of natural resources graduates had secured plans six months after graduation, with 69 percent employed.

“It’s not that way with every natural resource program across the country,” said Linda Nagel, professor and head of the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department. “This is pretty unique at CSU that we have such high job placement rate for students.”

There are five departments within the College of Natural Resources, and some departments have a higher chance of securing students a long-term career than others.

According to the First Destination Report, 76 percent of graduates in the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology had secured jobs six months after graduation. Kenneth Wilson, professor and head of the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, believes his students are driven by passion for what they are studying.

There are three concentrations within the department: conservation biology, wildlife biology and fisheries and aquatic sciences.

Upward of 70 percent of students in the department have had internships.

“I put internships in the same category as work experience,” Wilson said. “I’d rather them have a paid job that gives them experience than an internship that doesn’t give them pay and get experience.”

The forest and rangeland stewardship department offers three majors: natural resource management, forestry and rangeland ecology.

There are 236 natural resource management majors. Last year, 80 percent of graduates secured jobs six months after graduation, 14 percent pursued more education.

“Our largest employer is the U.S. Forest Service,” Nagel said. “So, there’s a wide variety of job types that those students get given the three degree programs that we have.”

In 2013 to 2014, 80 percent of students with a forestry degree secured jobs six months after graduation.

There are three rangeland ecology concentrations: range and forest management, restoration ecology, and rangeland and conservation management.

Last year, 80 percent of rangeland graduates secured plans six months after graduation, with 60 percent employed.

“If you look at the numbers, they certainly suggest that our students are, in most cases, getting jobs that they are interested in,” Nagel said.

She believes students who join clubs within the department have a higher chance at receiving job offers.

“We have quite a number of student clubs that are really active,” Nagel said. “Those students perform really well, and when students show leadership in those organizations, that really seems to help with job placement rates.”

The Ecosystem Science and Sustainability Department offers two majors: watershed science and ecosystem science and sustainability. There are 220 ecosystem science and sustainability majors and 59 majors within watershed science.

In the 2013 and 2014 survey, 100 percent of the CSU watershed science graduates were offered jobs six months after college.

In the Geosciences Department, students can study environmental geology, geology, geophysics or hydrogeology.

In the 2013-2014 survey, 20 percent of geology undergraduates said they went on to pursue higher education.

“Our recent statistics show that over 90 percent of our graduates have gotten jobs in the geosciences, and at fairly high salaries too. Over $52,000 average, although many go considerably higher than that,” said Rick Aster, professor and Geology Department head.

There are several clubs students can join, and there are even opportunities to land internships. An internship is not required for graduation, but it is encouraged.

“We have strong associations with partners that provide internship opportunities, usually during the summer, some of which are quite high paying,” Aster said. He said the department is always providing students with opportunities to prepare for a successful career.

The department was called Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism until 2000, when the department changed its name. Now, students in the department can major in natural resource and recreation tourism or human dimensions of natural resources.

There are 91 undergraduate students in this year’s new Human Dimensions of Natural Resources major, while there are 217 students in the Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism major.

Students requested the name change so it would be more applicable in today’s natural resource job force. In 2013-2014 survey, 95 percent of students with the natural resource recreation and tourism degree said they were offered jobs six months after college.

Students in the new major will seek similar jobs, but now the degree adapts to the changes in problems natural resource managers face today.

This article was published in The Collegian December 9, 2015.

350 Club hosts Fossil Free Film Festival

Over the next two weeks, Colorado State University’s 350 Club will be hosting the Fossil Free Film Festival to help raise awareness about climate change and to promote sustainability on campus.

The 350 Club is a new student organization, but there are various 350 chapters all over the nation.

President Sophie McVicker, a junior studying natural resource recreation and tourism, founded CSU’s branch of the 350 club. She became interested after attending a Fort Collins 350 meeting and decided the University needed its own club.

“One of our main goals as an organization is divestment. Most people know what investing is, divesting is the opposite,” McVicker said. “350’s goal is often to try to get institutions to divest, so we’re trying to get them to pull their money out of fossil fuels.”

The club is always looking for new members to come together and support environmental issues. McVicker said they will focus on climate change activism.

“Living in Colorado, most people here care about the environment,” McVicker said. “So, just giving people a centralized mission and place to come together is our goal.”

The film festival will be the first event that the club hosts, but McVicker thinks it is a good step towards convincing CSU to divest in energy other than fossil fuels.

“We put so much effort into this event that I am confident it will draw more people in,” McVicker said.

Film festival schedule

Climate Change: The Looming Crisis

Tuesday, Dec. 1 in Behavioral Sciences Building room A101 at 7 p.m.

This event will feature three guest speakers, followed by the film Chasing Ice. Scott Denning, from CSU’s Department of Atmospheric Science, and two State Senators John Kefalas and Matt Jones will deliver speeches.

Global Connections

Thursday, Dec. 3 in Behavioral Sciences Building room A101 at 7 p.m.

Two films will be shown, Unearthed and Climate Refugees, accompanied by two guest speakers Michele Betsill, CSU climate politics professor, and Razz Gormley

Global Connections

Saturday, Dec. 5 in Behavioral Sciences Building room A101 at 2 p.m.

Part two of Global Connections will feature the film This Changes Everything.

Frack Attack

Monday, Dec. 7 at Avogadro’s Number at 7 p.m.

Next week will kick off with two local speakers, Sam Schabacker from the Food and Water Watch and Fort Collins City Council member Ross Cunniff. The night will also include two documentaries about fracking, Dear Governor Hickenlooper and Groundswell Rising.

This Land Was Your Land

Wednesday, Dec. 9 in Behavioral Sciences Building room A101 at 2 p.m.

This event will be hosted by the CSU Sustainability Center and will include a musical performance by Elizabeth Hudetz, keynote speaker Stacia Ryder and two films. First they will air Last Rush For the Wild West, followed by Split Estate.

Vision For a Fossil Free Future

Saturday, Dec. 12 in Behavioral Sciences Building room A101 at 2 p.m.

The final night of the Fossil Free Film Festival will consist of three guest speakers and two films. Chuck Kutscher, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, followed by Fort Collins State Rep. Jeni Arndt and State Rep. Max Tyler, who is also Chair of the House Transportation and Energy Committee.

This article was published in The Collegian December 1, 2015.

Looking for other fun things to do in Fort Collins? Check out Groupon’s new page made just for us Rams!

CSU agricultural students educate campus community on nutrition

The process food goes through before it arrives at the grocery store is crucial for consumers to understand if they would like to lead a healthy lifestyle, according to members of Assistant Professor Michael Martin’s AGED 330 class.

The AGED 330 class teamed up with other agricultural clubs at CSU to voice nutrition from a farmer's standpoint. (Photo by Veronica Baas)

The AGED 330 class teamed up with other agricultural clubs at CSU to voice nutrition from a farmer’s standpoint. (Photo credit: Veronica Baas)

The class hosted an event Tuesday on the Lory Student Center plaza to educate the Colorado State University community on the production of food. AGED students and members of agricultural clubs came together to answer any questions that people passing may have relating food.

Brett Arnusch, a sophomore agricultural education major and a member of the AGED 330 class, helped organize the event.

“We just wanted to be the administrators that brought all of the ag groups together,” Arnusch said. “If we group as many clubs and as many agricultural groups as we can together, we can actually have a very large voice.”

The class voted on several ideas mid-semester to educate their peers on the food they eat. Since then, the class has worked to bring all the different agricultural clubs together.

“This was a class-driven project,” Martin said. “We had thrown on the board some ideas that we wanted to do related to this. They had this idea and we took a vote, and this was the class idea that won.”

Initially, the class planned on having Cam the Ram with them on the plaza to help attract students.

“It turned out to be smaller due to weather, but we just wanted to show the non-ag students at CSU what’s actually going on in agriculture,” Martin said.

The idea of the project was to look at food production from a new angle: Rather than asking yourself how certain foods ended up on your table, think about how they were produced and in term where they are being shipped from.

“A lot of people talk about farm to table, right now we’re taking the approach of table to farm,” Martin said. “We think it’s an interesting way to have a discussion with people who may not know a lot about production ag, but know a lot about food.”

booths

Members of the Agronomy Club (left) and the CSU Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter (right) teamed up on the plaza to answer questions about food production. (Photo credit: Veronica Baas)

Several groups ran booths on the plaza to reach out to students. Representatives from the CSU Collegiate Farm Bureau Chapter, Alpha Gamma Rho, Ag Ed Alliance and the CSU Agronomy Club came together to provide nutritional education.

Macy Child, a junior studying soil and crop sciences, represented Ag Ed Alliance as she answered student questions about hormones, pesticides and anything else regarding food.

“We’re here to inform the students and anyone on campus about where their food comes from,” Child said. “It’s a little more in-depth and kind of a backwards twist on what people think is in their food and what actually is.”

This article was published in The Collegian November 17, 2015.