Friday, January 29, 2016

Homemade Dog Treats

Prep timeCook timeTotal time    Makes - 3 dozen
  • Cooking spray
  • 2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, wheat germ, and flax seed. Set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, combing honey, eggs, oil, water, applesauce and pumpkin puree until well combined. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until well-mixed.
  4. Form into a disc and roll out on a well-floured surface until about ¼" thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes and place on prepared baking sheet about 1" apart.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until treats are very brown and very hard.
  6. Let cool completely before giving them to your pooch to try out. Store in an airtight container out-of-reach of your puppy.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

How to Gently Clean Your Dog's Ears

Ever noticed an unpleasant odor around your dogs ear area… like the smell of mold in a bathroom? Here is one solution to the problem using only common and inexpensive household items. 

 What you will need:
1.) Vinegar
2.) Cotton Balls
3.) Measuring Cup
4.) Water

You want to use a ratio of 2/3 water to 1 part vinegar. I used 1/2 cup of warm water and added 1/3 cup of vinegar. Gently mix and dip the cotton balls in.

It may seem silly, but letting your dog sniff the cotton ball before you put it in his/her ear helps them not be so frightened. Plus, it’s only polite!

 Next, gently put the wet cotton ball in the inside ear and swirl around a little. GENTLY being the important word.

Source:  Yesterday On Tuesday

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Dog's Necessities

Water. Your dog should always have access to fresh water, from a clean bowl. Some people limit a dog’s water supply or take it away altogether in the evenings, to avoid late-night bathroom needs. This may be a helpful house-training tool, but it is not fair or healthy for your dog in the long-term.
Water helps the body to:
  • Stay hydrated
  • Regulate body temperature
  • Aid digestion
  • Lubricate muscle tissues
  • Flush away bacteria that cause urinary tract infections
  • Ease constipation by moving stools along more smoothly
  • Transport oxygen and nutrients throughout the body

The quality of your dog’s drinking water is also important. Most tap water contains chemical additives, such as chlorine and fluoride, as well as heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, which can be harmful to your dog’s health.
While it’s true that dogs drink from ponds, puddles and — horrors — the toilet, these water sources are teeming with bacteria and parasites. You can reduce the risk of infection by providing your dog with only bottled or filtered water.
Proteins. Proteins build and maintain muscles, organs, bones, blood, body tissues, hair, nails, and the immune system. Many foods contain protein, but the best sources are beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, grains, and soy.
Adopted dogs with a history of poor nutrition may be at risk of developing a protein deficiency. Signs of a protein deficiency include:
  • Dry, brittle fur
  • Poor muscle development
  • Anemia
  • Growth problems
  • Weakened immune system

If your adopted dog comes to you with some or all of these symptoms, talk to your vet.
Protein levels that exceed a dog’s minimum requirement do not pose a problem to healthy dogs, unless your dog has impaired kidney or liver function (your veterinarian can monitor organ function with regular blood tests), or an allergy to a particular protein source.
Recent research has shown that previous recommendations to reduce protein intake for senior dogs was not sound. In fact, healthy senior dogs may need significantly more protein than their younger counterparts because they metabolize the protein less efficiently.
Fats. Fats are the main source of dietary energy (or calories) in a dog’s diet and provide the most concentrated source of energy in foods. One gram of fat contains more than twice the energy than one gram of protein or carbohydrate. They are needed for healthy skin, coat, eyes, brain, and other tissues.
Healthy fats come from sources such as:
  • Chicken fat
  • Lamb fat
  • Sunfl ower oil
  • Herring oil

Carbohydrates. Along with proteins and fats, carbohydrates are one of the three major nutrients in food and a major source of energy for a dog’s body.
Sedentary dogs have a lower energy requirement than their more active canine counterparts to produce the energy needed to fuel their brain and muscles. Most commercial dog foods contain as much as 30 to 60 percent carbohydrates because a minimum proportion of starch is needed in the formula for the commercial extrusion process, and, many believe, because carbohydrates are less expensive than proteins and fats.
Dogs can’t digest uncooked grain as easily as meats, so if grains are fed, it is important to cook them to increase digestibility. Simmer rice or other grains until they are soft. To add a little extra flavor, cook them in chicken or beef broth.
Good sources of carbohydrates include:
  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Barley
  • Whole grain breads and other grains

Vitamins and Minerals. One thing a dog’s body can’t do on its own is make vitamins (though vitamin C is an exception).
Vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium are essential nutrients that can be found in the following foods:
  • Bread
  • Dairy products
  • Fish
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grains
  • Milk

While most commercial pet food manufacturers claim their products are “complete and balanced,” (a claim they substantiate through feeding trials or by meeting certain requirements) these products may lose necessary vitamins and minerals, which may be destroyed by the heating process.
There is some debate as to whether a dog’s diet needs to be supplemented with vitamins and minerals so you may want to consult a holistic veterinarian before doing so. Holistic veterinarians have all the same training as a conventional veterinarian but incorporate alternative medicine (this might include homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, herbs, etc.) in their practice, as well.
Fatty Acids. Dietary fatty acids can be classified as essential and nonessential.
Nonessential fatty acids can be synthesized within a dog’s body at a level that meets the pet’s requirements, whereas essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized, so they must be supplied in the diet.
Dogs require one essential fatty acid (linoleic acid), which is a type of omega- 6 fatty acid. Linoleic acid helps the body to:
  • Regulate the blood fl ow to body tissues
  • Clot blood after an injury
  • Reproduce normally
  • Respond to injury and infection by boosting the immune system
  • Maintain a handsome coat and healthy skin
This fatty acid is found primarily in grains and animal fat, and is provided at appropriate levels in high- quality dog foods.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

7 Reasons Why Dogs Are Family

If you’re anything like me, you love your dog and are pleased to have them as an honorary member of your family. I’ve got Gigi Ramos, and it even says so on her dog tag she wears around her hot pink spiked collar. From that first day she came to live with us over three years ago, I thought of her as one of our family members in the Ramos household. Technically it’s my daughter’s dog and I’m Gigi’s Gigi (grandma), but either way she is clearly a part of our family–and here to stay. Dogs are family to us and here are some of the best reasons why:

You Love Them As If They Actually Were Family

I love my dog, even in the times when she can drive me nuts… like when she thinks the UPS guy is the antichrist knocking on my door and goes bananas and wakes up the sleeping baby. That’s just one of her many charms. I can quickly forgive her though, because she’s just being protective, and once the door is open she’s wagging her tail at the person she thought she had to kill with all 10 pounds of her body.

You Give Them Your Last Name…And Most Likely A Middle Name, Too

I know I can’t be the only one that has a middle name for my dog… right? I mean, what else am I going to call her in her moments of cuteness or when I really need to get her undivided attention? She’s got her first and last name right there on her dog collar, too! “LaRou” is just saved for those special occasions…

Your Dog Is Included In Everything

Whether I’m just making a Starbucks run or want to go to the park, the dog gets to come along. After all, they’re family!

You Consider Your Dog When You’re Out Shopping

When I see something cute that my dog will like, I usually throw it right in the shopping cart. But, I wouldn’t say she’s spoiled, more like just well taken care of. You’d do the same things for your kids, right? Even if it’s just something small and inexpensive, you like to brighten your dog’s day when they know you were thinking of them.

No One Can EVER Say Anything Bad About Your Dog

Remember when we were kids and we may have griped to our friends about a family member that was irritating us? Well, it sorta goes unsaid that you can say what you want about your family, but no one can ever say something bad about them to you. And the same rule applies to your dog! I know my dog can be a pain and the butt at times, but guess what? She’s my dog, and no one can ever speak ill of my four-legged family member… unless they want me to go postal on them!

Because Your Life Wouldn’t Be The Same Without Them

Once your dog becomes an honorary member of the tribe, you miss them when you aren’t around each other. And as you can tell when you walk in the door to a happy puppy that’s jumping at your feet, the feeling is mutual. You cherish your time spent together, and miss them whenever you’re apart.

Because They Are Here To Stay…Furever

It doesn’t matter what your dog does, if you truly value your dog as a member of your family, then that means they are here to stay. You would never give up on family because blood is thicker than water, and your dog is now a part of your crew–for life!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

7 Superfoods To Add To Your Dog's Diet

There’s nothing like homemade cooking. Did you know you can have more control over your dog’s diet by planning or preparing meals and treats? You may or may not be aware that you can choose what your dog eats–and make healthier choices–by incorporating fresh and raw food options into your dog’s diet.

You can opt for a no-plan diet for your pooch by simply picking up a bag of dry kibble at the pet supply store. Many brands promise benefits of optimal care, with the right amounts of protein, fiber, and nutrients for your pet. Additionally, you can be sure that almost anything sold in United States will be safe to feed your dog. However, be sure to review what goes into some of the more popular pet food brands first, in order to make an informed decision about what your dog consumes.

Many dog owners know the truth about packaged dog foods, however– at the end of the day, feeding your dog a diet composed of only store-bought dog food is like a person existing on a diet of canned soup. Processed and packaged foods have less nutrients, more preservatives, and aren’t ideal for long-term consumption. Dogs that are fed natural or raw meals live longer, more healthful lives, with less tumors, incidences of cancer, and with delayed aging.

Where dog kibble is a frozen dinner, raw food is a homecooked meal. Undeniably, one is better than the other, and those owners that administer this kind of diet have reported healthier coats, skin, and teeth along with higher levels of energy in their four-legged pals. Dogs are omnivores, and you can feed them a mix of meat, vegetables, and starches from your own kitchen. Though you may want to cook any meat rather than feeding it to your pup raw with the chance of transmitting or spreading bacteria, many dogs do enjoy raw fruits like apples, or veggies like carrots and beans.

In addition to preparing raw, or partially-raw, meals, consider rolling up your sleeves in the kitchen with homemade dog treats. Instead of feeding your dog treats from the store meant to live on the shelf, incorporate tasty nutrition with ingredients like yogurt, beef bouillon, whole wheat, peanut butter, meat, and potatoes. Be sure to exclude grapes or raisins and onions when using any fruits or vegetables, as these items are toxic to canines.

Though some items should be avoided, there are other fruits and veggies that are actually beneficial enough to your pet so as to be known as “superfoods”. A lot of the superfoods known to canine-kind are analogous to those we humans are searching for at the grocery store. Spinach and kale both have essential vitamins as well as iron and fiber, while yams and carrots are high in Vitamin C and beta-carotene. All of these are great for your dog’s eyes, fur, skin, and various body systems. Blueberries are beloved for their antioxidant properties, and are thought to neutralize free-radicals, possibly caused by processed food in your dog’s case, in the bloodstream.


Friday, January 08, 2016

Fun Facts About The Paw

You see them every day, and perhaps haven’t given them much thought–but what’s up with your dog’s paws? For starters, there are all sorts of different types: big and small, webbed, wide, and dainty, and there’s reasons behind why certain traits belong to certain breeds. Here’s a baker’s dozen of fun facts about your dog’s furry feet, ranging from why they don’t need shoes (usually) to the source of that corn chip smell. High-fours to learning!

1. The pads of your dog’s paw are largely made up of fatty tissue, which is why their feet don’t get cold when they’re prancing through the snow!

2. This padding also protects them while venturing on warmer ground and rugged landscapes.

3. However, those pawsies can get burned and blister on hot surfaces (like summer pavement), or can get irritated or burned from rock salt and other chemicals on the ground. Their paws may be durable, but make sure to mind where your dog is stepping! (And yes, dog booties are a thing.)

4. There are sweat glands on a dog’s paw.

 5. And they carry the majority of their weight in their toes (as opposed to their heels).

6. You know that little random claw that hangs a few inches above the rest of your dog’s foot? That’s called a dew claw, and it’s thought to be the remnant of what used to be a thumb. Fun fact: Not all dogs have them.

 7. Today, dogs can use their dew claws to help keep things like bones and toys in their grasp as they gnaw

 8. And some dogs still actively use their dew claws when navigating choppy, mountainous landscapes.

 9. Certain dogs that were bred for cold climates, like St. Bernards and Newfoundlands, have wide, sprawling paws to give them a better grip on snow and ice.

10. And some breeds, like Akitas, Dobermans, and Grey Hounds, have “cat feet,” which are smaller with higher arches. This enables them to excel with endurance because their paws are so light.

 11. Natural-born swimmers have webbed feet, like Newfoundlands and Labrador Retrievers.

12. FYI: If your dog starts excessively licking or gnawing at his or her paws, it could be a sign of anxiety. The chewing could lead to open sores and infection, so make sure to get your vet involved!

13. You know that corn chip smell on your dog’s feet? That’s from bacteria that grows on their paws. But don’t worry, it’s totally normal.