Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Homemade Frozen Peanut Butter, Banana, Coconut Oil Dog Treats

These homemade dog treats are incredibly easy to make, quick to freeze, and perfect for hot summer days! You only need a few ingredients that you might already have on hand, a silicone mold, and a freezer! Make these in an appropriate size for your dog with a silicone mold or just drop onto wax paper as little dots/mounds.

Homemade Frozen Peanut Butter, Banana, Coconut Oil Dog Treats

Ingredients

Equal parts softened coconut oil and peanut butter (I did about 1 cup of each) 1 medium banana

Directions

Place your peeled banana, peanut butter and coconut oil into a bowl and smash together with the backside of a spoon. The softer your peanut butter and oil, the easier this will combine. It’s okay to have it a little chunky (just cut your baggie’s corner a little larger to accomodate). Once mixed together, fill a plastic baggie with the mixture. Snip the corner with scissors and squeeze the mixture into your mold (silicone molds work great since they are flexible and let you pop the treats right out).

You can also just make dots onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet, your choice! Once your mold is filled, pop into the freezer until solid. The treats will pop right out of a silicone mold and you can place them into a larger, labeled freezer-safe bag and they’ll keep for quite a while. These WILL soften if handled too long, so serve straight from the freezer or in a small dish.


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Saturday, March 26, 2016

8 Tips To Help Your Dog Conquer Their Fears


A lot of dogs live with fears. Fear of people, other dogs, nail trims, baths, cars – the list goes on and on. Fortunately, there are ways to help your dog overcome their fears, which makes both of your lives better. The following is a list of tips to help your dog living in fear. You will have the best luck if you employ a positive-based dog trainer with behavior modification experience to help you train.

#1 – Counter Conditioning

Counter conditioning is a scientifically proven method to help anyone (you or your dog!), living in fear. The idea is simple: pair something scary with something good. Imagine if you are scared of spiders and every time you saw one someone gave you chocolate at the same time. Soon, that scary object begins to represent the good thing (see a spider – I get chocolate). This makes the scary thing not so scary. The execution of this, however, is not so simple: it has to be done right or you can make things worse. Because of this, it’s best done with the help of a professional dog trainer.

#2 – Don’t Force Your Dog

Forcing your dog to “face their fears” will NOT help them get over it. In fact, it usually makes things worse. Conversely, giving them an “out” can help them feel in charge of the situation and lessen their fear. For example, being able to back away from a person, for example, rather than be forced to be petted.

#3 – Become Their “Safe Space”

Following up on 2, you need to let your dog know that you can be trusted – that when around you, you won’t let something scary come up from behind them, for example. Or that you will stop those kids from running up and grabbing his face. They will start feeling more at ease around you, knowing you are not going to subject them to things they don’t like. (This INCLUDES greeting dogs! Not all dogs want to greet and that’s fine! Do you say hi to every stranger on the street? No. The goal here is to get your dog to ignore other dogs and not react, not to become Miss Congeniality).

#4 – Go Slow

Your dog has to get over his fear on his time, not yours. Watch his signals and make sure you are always working under his threshold. It takes time, but it’s worth it.

#5 – Music

Studies have proven that certain music can help calm dogs that live with stress, anxiety and/or fear. There are several companies – Pet Acoustics and Through A Dog’s Ear – that have created music specifically for dogs. Playing this while training and during other times of stress can help your dog relax.


#6 – Mat Work

Mat work (such as “go to your mat”) can be used to teach your dog to relax in stressful situations. It give them a job to focus on (stay on the mat in the down position), instead of worrying about what’s going on around them. A very useful tool is Dr. Karen Overall’s.

#7 – Relationship Building

A lot of fearful dogs are insecure about life in general. By working on building your relationship, your dog will learn to trust you (which will help you become the “safe space” mentioned above!) and will make him more confident when around you. There are many relationship building games that a dog trainer can work with you on – agility for example is great for relationship building!

#8 – Instinct

A dog’s instinct is powerful. For some fearful dogs, tapping into this instinct can help them stop focusing on their fear and instead focus on a job. I have a fearful sheltie that is very noise sensitive and scared of new places. But, get her focused on herding and she is a different dog. The tail comes untucked, the ears come up – even in a new place. Using a dog’s instinct with sports like herding, treiball, nose works, etc., can help a dog gain confidence.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

What Dog Breed Should You Get Based on Your Personality Type?

Getting a dog is a big decision, and no two breeds are exactly the same. For example, a lazy basset hound may be content chilling all day on his doggy bed, but that frisky golden retriever isn’t going to entertain himself. You might want to rethink which dog is right for you. Here are the breeds best suited for each Myers-Briggs personality type.

 ISTJ: Pekingese

 Sure, she might look like an ottoman, but this confident and self-possessed dog doesn’t care what you think about her. She likes to assert control, and she’ll ignore your scolding with little regard for the consequences. Rest assured: Once you gain this breed’s respect, they are reliable and well mannered.

ISFJ: German Shepherd

It would be difficult to find a more loyal breed. Watchful, obedient and intelligent, they want to serve a purpose and keep everyone safe, which often leads them to be overprotective of their families. If you can relate, a German shepherd might be the perfect companion to share the load of responsibilities.


INFJ: Australian Shepherd

Originally bred to herd sheep, Aussies are workaholics that try tirelessly to tackle any task put in front of them. Energetic, intelligent and loyal, helping others is their main purpose…and it’s probably yours, too.


INTJ: Jack Russell Terrier

Smart but possessing a mind of their own, these agile and energetic terriers will always move to the beat of their own drums. They are great dogs for families, but they also enjoy alone time.


ISTP: Rhodesian Ridgeback

These handsome and athletic dogs are known for their exploratory and active personalities. They love to get their paws dirty and experience the world…and they can even be a bit daredevilish, unafraid to break from the pack. Remind you of anybody?


ISFP: Shiba Inu

Fox-like in appearance with upright ears, this Japanese breed is easygoing, peaceful and alert. Though they make great companions, they’re happy minding their own business, laying on a patch of grass and contemplating the ways of the world.


ESTP: Beagle

Beagles are playful and active, constantly searching for new adventures. As a result, they’ll get into trouble if not given frequent attention and activity. But at the end of the day, they’re amiable and love constant social interactions.


ENFJ: Golden Retriever

Passionate, charismatic and hands down the cutest pups, goldens are constantly standing up for the people they love. They’re impressively tuned in to the needs of others around them and live for social connections with others. They’ll be the first to dive into the pool after you or fall asleep on the foot of your bed.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

90-Year-Old Woman Refuses Cancer Treatment, Road Trips With Poodle Instead


Miss Norma learned she had uterine cancer just two days after her husband passed away. That was one year ago, and today this woman is more well-traveled than most of us can say for ourselves! She decided to ditch the rigorous medical treatment to spend time with son Tim, daughter-in-law Ramie, and their dog Ringo.

The couple makes a life out of road tripping across the country with their 8-year-old Poodle Ringo, who bonded instantly with his human “grandma.” The group’s “Driving Miss Norma” page has nearly 170,000 fans, and documents their journey around the U.S.

Ringo comes along for as many of the adventures as he can, but is perfectly happy snoozing the day away in the RV. He is also the resident cuddlebug, co-pilot, and navigator for the team.

This pup as been on the road since he was a pup himself, and has likely sniffed more bushes than most pooches on the planet. The clan has sifted through shells at Sanibel Island, Florida, and even made Norma’s first-ever trip to Disney World. Ringo might say the same for all his adventures! He’s joined the gang for great food, great music, and even a dog-friendly museum. It was out of this world! (I’m sorry.)

A few well-meaning people believe that Norma should have undergone the treatment, but this sharp lady has got better things to do, and she shouts it from the rooftops! We simply can’t wait to see which places she tackles next, with her family and her pup by her side. Go Norma!


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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Why dogs bury things...

Dogs like to bury things. Sometimes that means finding a bone or a toy under a fresh pile of dirt in your backyard. Other times, it may mean discovering the TV remote at the bottom of the laundry basket under all your dirty clothes, or wondering how your phone got under the couch cushion.

Though these things may seem different, they are all really signs of the same thing: your dog’s natural instinct to keep “his” things safe and protected — regardless of whether or not they’re actually his. Why do dogs do this?

Short answer: because it used to be necessary for their survival.

Wild dogs and hidden treasures

Generations ago, when dogs roamed the wild in packs, they had to hunt for their food. It often took a lot of time and energy to catch and kill something, and then as soon as they managed to do that, other animals would be after it if they smelled the meat. And, of course, there were also occasions where a hunt might have gone too well and the dog simply wasn’t able to finish his entire meal. What’s was the solution to both problems? Bury the food.

By burying carcasses and bones, dogs were essentially creating natural refrigerators for them. The dirt prevented other creatures from smelling and finding their bounty, maintained freshness longer by keeping away sunlight, and also “marinated” the food with the tastes of the earth. Yum.

Why do dogs bury things now that they’re domesticated?

Obviously, your dog doesn’t have to worry about going hungry. So why does she still bury things? A number of reasons:

Instinct

Even if you know that your dog is never going to have to worry about food, and even if you’ve been feeding them every day for years, that doesn’t remove that natural urge they have to ensure their future needs by squirreling things away for later.

You’re giving them too much

The other side of the instinct to bury things has nothing to do with fear of starvation or protecting their food from predators. If you’re overly generous with your pooch in terms of toys or treats, burying them is a way for them to say “Cool! I’ll save this.” Sometimes they may even want to bury items because they’re too good for them to eat all at once — they want to save them so they can enjoy them again later.

It’s a game

If your dog is bored, lonely, or simply wants to get your attention, it’s not uncommon for them to bury things to get you to “play” with them. Often, these stolen items will be shiny things like jewelry or watches, or objects they know are “valuable” to you, like shoes or TV remotes.

The best way to curb this urge to bury things is to minimize your dog’s access to the objects they covet and rotate toys to provide variety. If you have trouble stopping your dog from burying things outside, talk to your vet. Why? Because the chemicals that many of us use in our backyards can be a health hazard that gives her diarrhea or an upset stomach.

What’s the strangest thing your dog every buried? Tell us in the comments!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

DIY: Dog food stations with storage


I built the box using 3/4″ plywood. It makes for a pretty sturdy box, but I build a lot of projects using 3/4″ plywood so I’ll be able to use the leftovers much faster than I would with 1/2″ plywood.

I used 1×3 pine for the trim on the box. Make sure to measure the exact dimensions of your box before you cut your pieces to ensure that all of your corners meet up without gaps. I glued and nailed the trim on using 1 1/4″ brad nails.

The metal dog dishes were about 8 1/2″ diameter at the lip, so I cut these to be around 7 3/4″ wide so the bowls would set right in. I made my circles and cut them out with a jigsaw.

I added the 3/4″ square dowel trim to the lid, so this sketch will have to make up for that. Again, measure and cut to size. Attach with wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails.

Once the box and lid were built, I filled all of my nail holes and any seams with wood filler, then sanded everything down.

I wanted this to have a two-tone look, so I painted the box white and then stained the lid.
To help the lid sit flat against the box, I grabbed my 3/4″ chisel and mortised the hinges. Since I couldn’t mortise the lid, I went deep enough on the box for the whole hinge to sit flush with the rim. Don’t let this step intimidate you. It’s super easy to do on a project like this.

added only one of the lid support hinges. Partly because, you know, I bought two left hinges, and also because this lid is pretty light and two would have just been overkill.

The tote fits perfectly into the box and flip open lid makes it easy to access the food.

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

What fruits are safe?


 Here are the fruits that are safe for your dog to eat:




 Apples are a great and healthy treat for your dog and they love frozen slices, but keep in mind that apples become unsafe when large amounts of seeds are digested.


   
Lemons are a fun snack for your dog and their reactions from the bitterness makes all the more enjoyable.

Watermelon is a yummy summer treat for your dog but just keep in mind that the digestion of the rinds can cause intestinal obstruction.




Snacks that are not safe for your dog:

Cherries are known to cause cyanide toxicity when large quantities are digested... But don't worry if they sneak one or two.


 
 Although grapes are tasty to humans, they can cause kidney failure in dogs.


 
 Avocados can cause a dog to vomit, stay clear!!





Seeing as raisins are just dried up grapes, they can have the same effect... Raisins can also cause kidney failure.