Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Smoothies for Pets!

Pumpkin Pet Recipe

While your guests sip cocktails, dogs and cats can wet their whistles with this creamy pumpkin drink that’s packed with fiber and digestion-friendly probiotics. Bonus: freezes well for longer-lasting licking!

½ c. canned pumpkin puree (NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING!)
½ c. plain non-fat yogurt

- Place pumpkin and yogurt in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
- Evenly pour mixture into 8 small paper cups. Either refrigerate or freeze overnight, or serve right away.

Yields: 8 servings
Calories per smoothie: 13

Why we love it:

Pumpkin is packed with fiber and vitamin A and can help soothe upset stomachs.

**If there are fewer than eight paw-footed Pilgrims at your party, freeze the rest for a Black Friday treat!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tips for a Lost Pet

lost pet tips

If your pet strays from home, it can be a devastating experience for both you and your pet. You should act immediately because the longer you wait, the further away your pet can travel and the higher probability they could get injured.

- First, make sure you have properly searched your OWN home to confirm your pet is not just hiding somewhere. Make sure to check any garages, basements and sheds on the property, even if you don’t think your pet could have gotten in there. Pets can get into some very strange and small places. Look behind, under and inside all appliances such as washing machines, stoves, refrigerators. For cats, make sure to check in attics, on the roof or roof gutters, and up in trees.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

12 Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy

Are you doing everything possible to keep your dog healthy and happy? With October being "Pet Wellness Month", spending time with your dog and providing a healthy lifestyle are key to your dog's longevity.

Here are some great tips from Bark Busters to ensure your dog stays in tip top shape:

Exercise. Your dog needs daily exercise both physically and mentally. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog. Depending on the breed, a 15-minute walk may tire some dogs, while others may need a two mile romp. If you're not home during the day, make sure to leave him with chew toys or something that engages his brain like the GameChanger. Read our blog for tips on how to get the most out of your dog's walk!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Fleas in the Fall?!

fleas fall

One thing to know about fleas is that they no know season. Even though many of us think otherwise, flea protection is necessary even when the weather starts to cool.

We may think that fleas, like migratory birds insects, head south or hibernate during the fall and winter. Not so!

Autumn is the worst season for fleas and even winter warm spells offer ideal weather just the way fleas like it - balmy and damp. They are also likely attracted to the warm skin of your dog as he romps through that leaf pile!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

9 Benefits of Pumpkin for Pets

pumpkin for pets

Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats

Pumpkin is very popular in human recipes but what about dogs and cats? Pumpkin can be great for dogs and cats as well and has several health benefits.

What kind of fruit weighs between 1 and 1,000 pounds, has a centuries-long world history, and is more useful today than ever? The magnificent pumpkin, of course!

Pumpkin is very popular in human recipes but you probably haven't thought about giving it to your pets. This vibrant fall ingredient can be great for dogs and cats and has a number of health benefits.

This versatile food has been important to mankind for centuries. According to the University of Illinois Extension Program, it's a crop that's worth over 140 million dollars annually in the United States alone. They should know; Illinois produces 90 to 95% of the pumpkins grown in the US.

Pumpkins have significant health benefits for people and pets so don't discount this amazing food as just a fall tradition. Canned or plain cooked pumpkin as well as pumpkin seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential to the health of our pets.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

8 Autumn Hazards to Dogs

fall hazards to dogs

Cozy sweaters, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and shorter days. Yup, autumn’s almost here. And pup parents will soon start seeing the warnings about Thanksgiving leftovers posted all over the internet.

But did you know there are other autumn-specific hazards that you might not even know could harm your pooch?

1. Nighttime walks
autumn hazards to dogsOk, so nighttime walks happen year-round. But with the transition to shorter days, sunset might come sooner than you think. And you might not be prepared when darkness falls halfway through your walk. That’s why it’s a good idea to have some kind of reflective gear on you and your dog, especially if you walk him in an area with cars zooming by.

Another thing to consider is visibility in case your dog gets lost. My rambunctious squinky-faced pup Lady once escaped from our house. I’ll never forget the panic that started to set in once I realized the sun was going down. (She’s fine now — her American Bulldogy stubbornness is no match for meaty treats.)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Signs of Arthritic Pain and Mobility Issues in Dogs

Signs of Arthritis Dogs

The most common mobility issue in dogs is osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease (DJD). And while arthritis is primarily related to aging and is more prevalent in large and giant breeds, it can affect dogs of all ages and sizes, male and female.

Unlike people, dogs can't tell us where or how much they hurt, nor can they seek relief for their pain. That's why it's up to us to stay alert for signs of discomfort, as well as subtle changes in a pet's habits and behavior that might also signal a problem.

Most people are aware that a dog with arthritis may limp, is likely to move more slowly or stiffly and can have difficulty standing up after lying down. But there are other, less noticeable signs that dog parents should also watch out for.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine's Day Easy DIY Dog Treats

Valentine's Dog Treats

In honor of Valentine's Day, which is usually a day for chocolate, we decided to post a recipe for a treat that your chocolate-intolerant pets can enjoy! These also make great protein-packed treats for humans!

For this easy DIY recipe you'll need:

  • Heart shaped ice tray (or any ice tray)
  • Peanut Butter (make sure it does not contain the sweetener Xylitol!)
  • Plain organic Greek yogurt

Valentine's Dog TreatsThese dog treats are frozen - so you can make large batches to store for a long time! Frozen treats also tend to take pups longer to consume, which means they distract them for a longer time!

1. Spoon a small amount of peanut butter into the base of the ice tray. To make this a bit easier, you can heat it up a little to soften it. The more you add, the thicker the top layer on the treats will appear. You can play around with different amounts to get different results.

2. Next up, dollop heaping spoonfuls of the yogurt to cover the peanut butter in each mold.

3. Press yogurt down into the molds using the back of your spoon to make sure they're packed. This will help seal the peanut butter and yogurt together in the final treat. You can even gently "drop" the tray a few times in order to encourage further settling. If you have excess yogurt in any of the molds, gently scoop away until level with mold.

4. Put trays into the freezer for at least 4 hours.

5. Once frozen, remove tray and pop out individual frozen treats — voila! Enjoy!

You could easily change things up by layering in more of your pup's favorite ingredients, like the crushed up dog treats or even oatmeal.

Source: 17 Apart

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Winter Paw Safety

Winter Paw Protection

We are all happy to see the "thaw" after a spell of extreme cold or snow, especially since it makes walking our dogs easier. However, the dangers that were once hidden by the snow are still there, especially salt and antifreeze chemicals.

Salt not only is harsh on your dog's paws due to the corrosive nature of the industrial salt that gets dumped on streets by cities, but also because dogs also often lick their paws after being outside. Licking this salt means they are ingesting the ice melt chemicals, which can be toxic.

3 Steps To Protection:

1. Protect from the get-go. You can also train your dog to wear booties that will protect his paws from other dangers like ice or sharp rocks. If your dog will absolutely not tolerate booties, using a product like Musher's Secret to protect your dog's sensitive paws can keep them protected during walks. This prevents ice and salt buildup and keeps your dog more comfortable. You can also make your own paw balm. Click here for a recipe.

2. Wipe paws after walks. Some dogs don't like tolerating this, but distract them with a favorite treat or toy and do your best to remove the salt, antifreeze, and ice buildup with a warm wet towel. 

3. Soothe tender feet. If your dog is already feeling the effects of a walk on salty roads, petroleum jelly has been known to be a good non-toxic salve to soothe pain. If there are open cuts or sores, a trip to your vet is required.

Click here for other tips to consider while walking your dog in the winter!

Sources: The Dodo, AKC

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Is it Too Cold Out for my Dog?

Too Cold For Dog

When the weather gets as cold as it has recently here in Minnesota, we thick-skinned Northerners just put on our heavier coats and a fur lined cap to protect ourselves. But as we take our dogs out for their daily walk, we start to wonder if it might be too cold for our pooch, who doesn't have the benefit of heavy boots and thermal underwear. 

On one hand, we know that dogs need exercise and stimulation to keep them from tearing the house apart. And in some cases, we know that walks are typically our furbaby's favorite part of the day. On the other hand, however, we see them lift tender paws out of the snow and whine nervously at icy steps.  So how can we know if it's too cold out for our dog, and what should we do if it is?

First things first: All dogs and breeds are different

Coats and coat color: Perhaps the most obvious, coat type plays a big role in the weather a dog can tolerate. A thick-coated Samoyed will be more tolerant than a thin coated Italian Greyhound. Dogs that are darker (black, brown) can absorb more sunlight on a sunny day, keeping them marginally warmer.

Size and Weight: Small and thin dogs have a smaller surface area of skin in proportion to their organs. In other words, there's less keeping them warm. Also, body fat is a good insulator. That said, fattening up your dog to keep them warm during the colder months is not recommended - the health risks of obesity outweigh short-term benefits.

Age and Health: Puppies and senior dogs are not able to regulate their body temperatures as well compared to adult dogs. Sickly dogs that already have compromised health are at greater risk outdoors as well.

The Weather:

As we in Minnesota know, the same temperature can feel different depending on things like wind chill, humidity, and cloud cover. A high wind can cut through a dog's thick coat, making it harder to regulate its temperature. If the air is damp, a dog's coat can get wet, which combined with a cold temperature can chill them very quickly.

General Guidelines:

45 degrees: Cold-adverse dogs might start feeling discomfort. It's their "sweater weather"
32 degrees and under: It's time to really pay attention to small, thin-coated, very young/old, or sickly dogs. Time to put on their jackets!
20 degrees and under: ALL owners need to be aware of the time they spend outdoors with their dog. Dogs at this point can develop cold-related health issues like frostbite and hypothermia.

Monitor your dog:

If you see them shivering, whining, slowing down, or holding up paws, it's time to head inside. Despite the cold, your dog needs to go out sometimes to do their "business". To make it easier on them:

Paws: Booties can help your pup's feet in the cold and ice. You can also rub products like Musher's Secret between their toes to prevent ice buildup on their paws. Click here for more Winter Pet Safety Tips

Torso: Dressing up isn't just for photo ops! Train your dog to tolerate a jacket/rain slicker. If they could speak, they would thank you when it gets cold and wet out! Click here for tips on dressing your dog

Indoor Exercises:

If your dog is starting to go stir crazy, click here for some indoor activity ideas!

Sources: PetMD