Header Image -

14 Ways your Dog says I Love You

Valentine’s Day is a day of romance and chocolate and (best of all), love. While celebrations on Valentine’s Day are usually limited to couples, there’s no reason why everyone can’t get in on the action, and that includes your pup(s)! We know you love them to the moon and back, and they feel exactly the same way about you. And they don’t just show it once a year! Dogs show you their love in a hundred tiny ways, some of which you may not always notice. You can show them affection back by spending extra time on a walk or at the park, playing with a ball in the backyard or baking up some fun V-day themed dog treats. As our treat to you for the holiday, we thought it would be fun to round up 14 ways your pup says I love you to you throughout the year.

  1. Looking into your eyes. On a 60 Minutes segment, Anderson Cooper met with Brian Hare, a well-known dog expert, to discuss how dogs express love. According to Hare, when your dog looks you in the eye, he is “hugging you with his eyes.” Aww!
  2.  Yawning when you yawn. We know that yawns are contagious between humans, but did you know that dogs can also pick up this behavior? A study found that when humans echo another’s yawn, it’s because they’re empathetic, like sympathy pains. It’s impossible to measure if dogs are empathetic, but it’s possible that a dog yawning at the same time as a human happens because the dog has bonded with that person. The study also found that dogs were more likely to yawn when their owners yawned, as opposed to a stranger.
  3. Leaning on you. We’ve all met dogs who do this and it’s easy to read as a sign of affection. Sometimes a dog will lean on a human because he is anxious, wants you to do something or take him somewhere. But leaning is also a symbol of affection. Enjoy it!
  4. Cuddling with you after a meal. In his book, How Dogs Love Us, Gregory Berns says that if your dog cuddles with your after eating, it’s a strong sign of affection. Most dogs lovers know that pups are motivated by food. But according to Berns, once a dog eats all of its food, his next action can signify what’s most important to him besides eating.
  5. Lifting and wiggling their eyebrows. In a recent study in Japan, dogs were introduced to their parent, a stranger, a dog toy, and an item they didn’t like. When seeing their parent, the dogs immediately lifted their eyebrows (especially their left), and when they saw a stranger there was a lot less facial movement, except for movement of the right brow. Yet, when they saw an item they knew and had bonded with, the dogs shifted their left ear back. But if it was an item they didn’t like, their right ear shifted. According to the study, this suggests the dog is more reserved when they are engaging someone they don’t know or something they disapprove of.
  6. When they calmly watch you leave the house. It’s easy to think that if a dog panics when you leave that it’s a sign that they love you. That’s not necessarily true, according to Gregory Berns. If your dog panics when you leave, it’s more of a sign that they have separation anxiety than that they love you. If a dog goes into his crate or is accepting of you leaving, i.e. they’re calm when you leave, it means your dog loves and trusts you and is confident that you will return.
  7. Freaking out when you return. A bit of the opposite is true here!.The instinctive feeling here that they’re showing true happiness and love when they’re excited that you’e home is correct – this is love in it’s truest form!
  8. Wanting to sleep in your room. Whether or not you allow it, your dog wanting to be near you during the night is a sign of affection. According to Berns, if a dog wants to sleep on your bed, it’s a good test of his loyalty because he doesn’t want to be separated from the pack.
  9. Bringing your his/her favorite toy. If your pup brings you his favorite, most coveted toy, it doesn’t just mean your dog wants to play. Although wanting to play with you is a sign of affection in itself, when your dog brings you his favorite ball, it may also mean he thinks of you as his pack leader. Because of this, he wants to please you by offering you his finest possession, be it a squeaky toy or well-worn Frisbee. Pretty sweet, huh?
  10. Wagging their tail. We often think of a dog’s wagging tail as a sign of happiness, but that’s only part of the truth. Dogs use it to communicate many different emotions, including happiness, fear, tension or even an imminent attack. Generally, the looser and more relaxed your dog’s tail is, the more relaxed they are. When your dog is happy, its tail will sweep back and forth in a friendly way, or even in circles.
  11. Shadowing your when you’re sick. Because dogs are inherently social animals, they possess an instinct to care for their “pack.” In the wild, wolves often lick each other’s wounds and care for each other in times of duress, and dogs retain this instinct. Yes, they may lick your actual wound, but their need to care for you can also extend to simply recognizing when you’re feeling sick, and watching over you.
  12. Following you around. As the key alpha in your pet’s life, your dog knows that you provide it’s food, shelter, safety and affection. The animal’s best chances of survival is to stick with you, it’s pack leader. Also, dogs are social creatures that want to be part of a community, of which you are the main member.
  13. Jumping on you. While this is a typically undesirable behavior, dogs jump on people because they like them. When you come home after work or from running some errands, your dog is excited and wants to rejoice at your return! While you may find it better to teach your dog another, more acceptable way to share their excitement, jumping should generally be seen as a display of affection.
  14. Playing with you. While it seems to come at the most inopportune times, our dogs sometimes get playful and try to wrestle with us. This is their natural way of playing! If you’ve ever watched your pup play with another dog, you’ll recognize he’s offering the same behavior to you. Doing a little wrestling with your pooch is certainly safe and fun, and will even give you a new game to play to keep your relationship strong!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our favorite dogs out there! In the comments below, share with us how your dog shows you their love!

5 Basic Tricks to Teach your Newly Adopted Dog

When you first adopt a dog and bring them home, they’re entering into a whole new world with you. Even if they’ve had previous homes before they came to you, their life with you isn’t just a new chapter – it’s a whole new beginning! Some pups may already have strong personality traits and ticks and, if you’re lucky, they may already know some basic commands and training as well. It’s important to spend those first few months really getting to know your new family member, and getting them acclimated to your life and routine. Even if they’re super well behaved, there are a few basic tricks you’ll want to master with them as they’re getting used to you being their new pack leader. We’ve rounded up five basic dog tricks you’ll want to teach them, which are easily learned no matter their current level of training. You could take a class but it’s really not necessary if you have just a bit of free time. Plus, this will be a fun and bonding experience for you both!

Teaching a dog to sit

Photo by @me_and_charlie on Instagram

Sit: This is probably the easiest trick to train so it’s a great one to start with. Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose and move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat while causing his bottom to lower. Once he’s in the sitting position, say “Sit” and give him a treat and affection. Repeat this sequence a few times a dog until he has it. From there, cement the trick and continue to use it by asking your dog to sit before being given meals or treats, before a walk and any other scenario where you’d like to calm him.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 5.38.43 PM

Photo by @farmdoggies on Instagram

Come: This command is important for both you and your dog in case your dog gets away from you, whether through an open door or by slipping through the collar. It can also be helpful at the dog park or places where they are off leash. To train, put a leash and collar on your dog. Go down to their level and say “Come” while gently pulling on the leash. When they get to you, give them a treat and affection. Once they’ve mastered it with a leash, remove it and practice the command without it (while still indoors in a trusted area).

How to train your dog to down

Photo by @borithegoldenfamily on Instagram

Down: Down is one of the harder commands to train, as it’s seen as a submissive position. You’ll want to keep this training particularly positive and relaxed, especially with anxious or fearful dogs. To start, find a good smelling treat (like our DOGSTREAT mini peanut butter!) and hold it in your closed hand. Hold it up to your pup for a sniff and let his nose follow the treat to the ground. Slide your hand along the ground in front of him to encourage his body to follow his head. Refrain from pushing him down, he should be able to get there by wanting to follow your hand. Encourage every step of the process! Repeat this every day. If your dog tries to sit up or lunge towards the treat, say “No” and take your hand away. He’s working hard to figure it out, so allow the extra patience and time for this one!

training a dog to stay

Photo by @siradacr on Instagram

Stay: You’ll want to start with Stay only after you’ve totally mastered the Sit command. First, ask your dog to “Sit.” Then open the palm of your hand in front of you and say “Stay” and take a few steps back. Reward him with a treat and affection if he stays. Repeat this, gradually increasing the number of steps you take backwards each time before giving him a treat. Reward him each time he stays still, even if it’s only for a few seconds. Since this is an exercise in self control, don’t be discouraged if it takes awhile to master, especially if you’re working with a puppy or high-energy dog.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 5.46.24 PM

Photo by @petey_3pups on Instagram

Leave it: Here, you’re teaching your dog to stay away from potential dangers on the ground as well as protecting things you don’t want them to have in the house. You’ll be doing this by teaching them that if they listen, they’ll get something even better as a reward. Start by placing a treat in each hand and show him one enclosed fist with the treat inside and say “Leave it.” Let him lick, sniff and paw at you to try and get to it (if he does), while ignoring these behaviors. Once he stops trying, give him the treat from the other hand. Repeat until your dog backs away from the first fist when you say “Leave it.” As a next step, give him the treat only when he leaves the first treat and looks at you. Once he’s mastered that (leaving the first treat and then making eye contact), try it with a really smelly, great treat and a just okay one. Say “Leave it” while placing the less attractive treat on the floor and covering it with your hand. Wait until he ignores it and looks at you. When he does, remove it from the floor, give him the better treat and praise him. Once he’s got that, place the less tasty treat on the floor but don’t totally cover it with your hand. You should be able to work to a place where you can hold your hand about six inches above the treat saying “Leave it” and he still won’t go for it. You can eventually stand up, and cover the treat with your foot only if he tries to go for it.

It may take a bit of time and patience to master these tricks, but will be well worth the effort. If in the process you’ve taken it up a notch and your pup is really stuck, try returning to the previous stage for a bit. Teaching your dog these few basic commands will form a bond between the two of you and that can be helpful when tackling problem behaviors that could develop in the future. You won’t regret taking the time to work with them on trusting and listening to you from the get-go. In the comments below, share tips on how you trained your current pups and what tricks you’d still like to master.

Psst: check out the Humane Society’s tips on basic training!

5 Tips For Your Dalmatian’s Health & Happiness

So you’ve watched 101 Dalmatians as a kid and it’s always been your dream to adopt one. As you’re likely already aware, Dalmatians – like every dog breed – are unique in their personalities and needs. You’ll want to take the time to familiarize yourself with the specific health needs of their breed. While every dog is different even within the same breed, there are general need-to-knows for each breed of dog. To help you along your journey, we’ve rounded up five top care tips for both new or potential Dalmatian owners.

Exercise is key. While all dogs need a bit of exercise, the amount needed varies based on breed, size and age. Like many breeds, Dalmatians love exercise. Not only does it do their body good but it calms and relaxes their minds. An hour or two a day of running in a dog park, going for a hike or playing fetch in the yard will help relieve some of the tension and stress that builds up from loneliness and boredom. A puppy will need less playtime, as they’re still growing and tucker out easier. Since their energy comes in short bursts, consider playing several short games throughout the day to keep them entertained. Having a calm, relaxed pup around the house is better for everyone!

Consider a low-purine diet. Dalmatians are prone to bladder stones, which can be limited with a specific diet. Stones and crystals can form anywhere in the urinary tract of the dog, from the kidney to the urethra to the most common location – the bladder. The stones can cause mild irritation, or can partially or even completely block the flow of urine in major cases, making urination painful or in some cases life-threateningly impossible. The end result is the need for a specialized diet for Dalmatians that is low in purines – but not necessarily low in protein. A low-purine, high-quality diet can be beneficial both in the prevention and treatment of urinary tract health issues. While Dalmatians uniquely metabolize purine-yielding foods, they certainly do not hold exclusive domain over urinary tract infections and stone-related problems. An ideal diet for Dalmatians is one that’s low in purines (components of certain foods – primarily found in animal proteins – that metabolize into uric acid in the body), moderate in high-quality proteins (and devoid of substandard protein sources), high in complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, and low-purine vegetables help rid the body of extra uric acid), low in fat (fat holds onto uric acid in the kidneys), low in unnecessary fillers (foods that add little in the way of nutrients and for the most part simply result in larger stools for your dog), and low in salt. Nutritional supplements such as potassium citrates (for preventing calcium oxalate crystals) and sodium bicarbonate (for preventing cystine crystals) may also be encouraged for dogs with histories of or genetically predisposed to kidney and/or urinary stone problems. Don’t forget to give the treats you feed your Dalmatian the same attention and scrutiny as his or her diet. Many treats contain an unhealthy combination of high purines in the form of substandard meat byproducts or yeast content, as well as chemical preservatives, added salt, and unnecessary fillers.

Keep fresh water abounding. Urinary stones form more easily in concentrated, acidic urine, so while a healthy dog food diet that helps promote an alkaline urine is step one, rule number two is helping to keep your dog’s urine neutral and as dilute as possible by ensuring your Dalmatian has access to and drinks plenty of fresh water each day. This means keeping fresh water in a variety of locations throughout your house and backyard, and ensuring your dog has easy access to each of the water bowls. If your Dalmatian needs a little extra incentive to drink, a helpful tip is to add 3/4 to 1 cup or so of extra water to your Dalmatian’s dry food meals. Adding the water right before setting the food out will help keep your Dalmatian well hydrated while ensuring s/he still receives the teeth-cleaning and gum-exercising benefits provided by the kibble. You can also increase your Dalmatian’s water consumption by feeding a canned dog food diet with a high water content, although you’ll lose some of the teeth-cleaning benefits provided by a dry kibble dog food and will generally end up spending needlessly on the predominantly water-based content in the can.

Sweater up! Dalmatians have a short coat so they can become cold if spending time outside during the winter (we’re talking about you Storm Jonas). Be sure to have a sweater for those colder winter strolls! While their fur coats are light, Dalmatians do still shed quite a bit, especially in the spring and fall. Daily brushing during these times will help you keep excess hair off your floor.

Dalmatians and kiddos. No dog breed was more highly sought after in the late nineties than Dalmatians, stars of the hugely popular kids film 101 Dalmatians. The irony, of course, is that while Dalmatians are gorgeous and loving dogs (and there are certainly exceptions to every rule), they are not known for being particularly great with young children. Known to act reserved or even skittish around strangers, Dalmatians, as a whole, are generally happier in older families or households without children. They are nice by nature, but sometimes spook with surprise attacks and can be too hyper to compete with children in the house for the adults’ attention! However, they do very well with other pets, including horses; so they will thrive in households where they can form bonds with fellow animals. If you’ve got young kids and would love to make it work, be sure to check out our stories on keeping dogs and kids in harmony, and work with your Dalmatian to ensure they’re getting the proper exercise and training to function well within your family.

And there you have it! Five tips for helping your new (or potential!) furry friend live a comfortable and happy existence in your home and wherever your adventures take you. Have some tips of your own to share with fellow Dalmatian owners? Dispense them in the comments below, and together we can establish the perfect Dalmatian-guide-to-life!

2015 Statistics on Homeless Dogs and How you Can Help Feed Them

As we march through our first month of the new year, it’s important to pay attention to the choices we’re making and patterns we’re creating in our fresh start. Hopefully, if we’ve paid attention and made our resolutions, we won’t continue with mistakes we made in the previous year. Using this practice to look at the dog world, we thought it might be good to take a look back at how 2015 played out for homeless dogs across the US and if any improvements have been made in getting these dogs adopted! While there is no possible way to know the exact amount of homeless dogs living each year in the US (currently, no government institution is responsible for tabulation national statistics for the animal protection movement), there are some stats we do know:

  • Approximately 3.9 million homeless dogs enter animal shelters each year
  • Of those, approx. 1.2 million homeless dogs are euthanized in shelters each year
  • 1.4 million homeless dogs are adopted from shelters each year, while about 542k dogs are returned to their owners from the shelter
  • So, of the dogs entering shelters, appox. 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% are returned to owners.
  • There are 13,600 independent community shelters throughout the US (outside of the ASPCA and Humane Society).

General stats about pets and dog ownership:

  • Most people still get their pets from friends or family members. Outside of that, 28% of dogs are purchased from breeders and 29% are adopted from shelters and rescues (at one percent, a tiny victory!)

Of course, the steps to help control the over-abundance of animals that land in shelters each year are fairly clear:

  1. Think long and hard before adopting or buying a new pet, and if for whatever reason the new addition doesn’t work out, take proper steps to safely and humanely rehome them outside of the shelter system.
  2. When you get a new dog, make sure they are spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Even if you think they’ll never come in contact with another dog, it’s still safest (and healthiest!) to take care of this right away.
  3. When thinking of getting a new dog, please adopt, don’t shop.

With the over-abundance of dogs being euthanized in shelters each year, there is absolutely no valid excuse for buying a dog from a breeder. All of the popular myths have been busted (breed dogs are healthier and better behaved, etc.) Sure, you might have to search longer and harder if you’re looking for something super specific (male, under 1 year Frenchie, for example) but I guarantee you, if you’re patient you can find any dog your heart desires through adoption. Beyond that, I applaud those who let go of their ties to specific breeds and ages and are willing to walk into a few shelters and see what happens. This is ultimately, I think, the best way to find a dog you have a genuine connection with. And who you pick (and who picks you!) might surprise you. Of course, it’s great to do research on breeds and temperaments before you go out and get a dog and I’m not saying you should toss that line of thinking out the window. I just think it’s best to have an open mind.

For us, the bottom line is simple. As long as millions of dogs are being euthanized each year due to overpopulation, it is irresponsible and inhumane to bring even more of those animals into the world just to fill pet stores and line breeders pockets. And as long as there are homeless dogs at shelters – we will keep donating. We are a mission based company but we can’t do it alone. Of coursing purchasing any of our products is a huge help. But simply spreading the word helps us out! Here’s all of our social media channels.

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

In the comments below, tell us about your own experiences with rescue and shelter dogs and what initiatives are taken to make your city a no-kill city.

10 Delicious Peanut Butter Based Dog Treats

No matter how fickle your dog is with treats and toys, there is likely one thing you can always get them to enjoy – peanut butter. The salty, tasty treat not only tastes fantastic but is so darn fun to eat, lending hours of enjoyable licking-of-the-lips. Thankfully, peanut butter is great for our canine friends, as it not only is a good source of protein but also contains heart healthy fats, vitamins B and E and niacin. Whether you stick it in a Kong treat or let them take it right off the spoon with their medicine or vitamins, peanut butter is an excellent way to treat your pup.

Peanut-butter-Gingerbread-Dog-Treat-Recipe-1-650x435

We thought it might be fun to round up ten recipes that use peanut butter as a base for homemade treats for pups. Next time you have some extra time to do some baking, consider whipping up one of these wholesome recipes for the furry friend in your life!

  1. Peanut Butter Gingerbread Dog Treats

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix + extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp. baking soda (if making crunchy treats, leave this out)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 generous tbsp. fresh finely grated ginger or ginger paste (if substituting dried, use 1 heaping tsp.)
  • 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. DOGBUTTER Peanut Butter for Dogs
  • 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg, peanut butter, molasses, water and vanilla. If you are using fresh ginger stir it into the wet mix. (If you’re using dry, add it to the mix below.)
  3. In a second bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Don’t be tempted to use a pre-made gingerbread spice mix. These mixes contain nutmeg which can be toxic to dogs, even in small doses. Stir the dry mix into the wet mix, adding a little at a time until combined and dough comes together.
  4. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Turn out your dough and roll it out to a generous 1/4″ thick. (For crunchy treats, roll it to a thin 3/16″). Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares.
  5. Lay out dough on your parchment lined baking sheets. Pierce the center of the cookies to allow air to escape and prevent surface bubbling. (I used the holes to make it look like buttons.) Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. (Don’t worry if the inside still looks soft. The cookies will continue to firm up as they cool.) Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  6. For crunchy treats, turn the oven off and allow the cookies to cool inside the oven for several hours.

photo-4-55-1024x1024

2. Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour (see note below for substitutions)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, and the egg. Add peanut butter, water, honey and stir until you have stiff dough. the dough becomes very firm and sticky. you may need to use your hands, or the paddle attachment on your mixer.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about ½ inch thick and use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes. the treats barely spread and rise, so get creative with your shapes.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.
  5. Keep in an airtight container or give as gifts!

IMG_5510edit3. Peanut Butter Dog Bones

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky.
  3. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.54.25 PM

4. Gus’ PB Dog Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup nonfat milk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and peanut butter.
  2. Paula’s note: as a general rule, most homemade dog biscuits do well with 1 part liquid to 3 parts dry. You can customize the recipe by adding and subtracting ingredients your dog likes.
  3. Add in the flour and baking powder to make a very stiff dough, using your hands to work in the last of the flour if necessary.
  4. Flour a work surface and roll out dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired sizes depending on the size of your dog.
  5. Bake on a parchment-lined baking tray at 325° for approximately 20 minutes. Turn biscuits over and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Dog biscuits can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.                                            

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 2.58.39 PM

5. Peanut Butter Dog Bone Treats

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Instructions:

  1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with a silicon baking mat. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats and baking powder. Stir in the broth and peanut butter until the mixture forms a crumbly dough. Press the dough together to form a ball.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough for 30 seconds until smooth. Roll out the dough into a 10-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick. Using a bone-shape cookie cutter, cut out bones and place on the prepared baking sheet (any scraps of dough can be formed into a ball and re-rolled). Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  4. Bake until light golden, 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Homemade-Dog-Treats1

  1. Mini Bone Cookie Cutter Dog Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana
  • ¼ cup vegetable, chicken or beef stock
  • bone shaped cookie cutter

 

Instructions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine flour, peanut butter and applesauce in a large mixing bowl. Add stock and stir until well-combined. The dough will be thick. Once combined use your hands to press the dough into a ball. Place dough ball on a flat service (with a sprinkle of flour if needed) and roll out evenly with a rolling pin. Dough should be about ¼ inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut the dough into desired shape and place on ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Store in an airtight container.

345x194xhomemade_dog_treat_recipe_61.jpg.pagespeed.ic.PfFdSs3YmT

  1. PB and Oatmeal Dog Treat

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (you can use another type of flour if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth (I used smooth this time)
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water

 

Instructions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. Mix in the peanut butter and hot water. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  4. Knead the dough well.
  5. Roll out the dough into 1/4″ thickness and cut into shapes with dog cookie cutters.
  6. Note – This recipe doesn’t call for it, but I put an egg wash (one egg whisked with a fork and then brushed on with a pastry brush) on the treats before I baked them. It gives them a nice sheen once they’re baked. Here’s how they look before baking.
  7. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 40 minutes. Turn off the oven and let them cool overnight.

homemade-soft-dog-treats-jude-2

  1. Soft Peanut Butter Carrot Dog Treats

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 cup (255g) natural creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) skim milk
  • 1 large Eggland’s Best egg (or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 1 large carrot, shredded (or 8-ish baby carrot)– around 2/3 cup shredded
  • 2 and 1/4 cups (290g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (30g) oats (either whole-rolled or quick oats are fine)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, gently mix the peanut butter, milk, egg, and carrot together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the flour and baking powder. You may need to turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and use your hands to work in the flour. Mix in the oats. The dough is extremely thick and heavy.
  3. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into 1/4″ thickness. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Arrange on the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and flip the treats to bake the other side for 10 more minutes. Want the treats to be a little more crunchy? Bake for 5 more minutes.
  4. Allow to cool completely before serving to your pup. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  5. Make ahead/freezing: Since the pups can’t eat the whole batch in a week, I usually freeze them. Jude loves them right out of the freezer too! The treats freeze well up to 2 months.

Homemade-Peanut-Butter-Bacon-Dog-Treats-2

  1. Homemade Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (255g) natural creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) nonfat milk
  • 1 large egg (or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
  • 2 cups (244g) whole wheat flour* (measured correctly)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup (30g) oats (either whole-rolled or quick oats are fine)
  • 2-3 strips cooked bacon, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, gently mix the peanut butter, milk, and egg together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the flour and baking powder. You may need to turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and use your hands to work in the flour. Mix in the oats and bacon. The dough is extremely thick and heavy.
  3. Using a floured rolling pin, cut into shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Arrange on the baking sheets. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and flip the treats to bake the other side for 10-12 more minutes.
  4. Allow to cool completely before serving to your pup. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  5. Make ahead/freezing: Since the pups can’t eat the whole batch in a week, I usually freeze them. Jude loves them right out of the freezer too! The treats freeze well up to 2 months.

2736_0

  1. Homemade PB and Banana Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup dried parsley
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Put banana in a large bowl and use a spoon or potato masher to mash it thoroughly. Add oat flour, oats, parsley, peanut butter and egg and stir well to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Roll mixture into 24 balls, using about 1 tablespoon dough for each; transfer to a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet as done. Use the back of a spoon or the heel of your hand to press each ball into a (1 1/2- to 2-inch) coin. Bake until firm and deep golden brown on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to let cool completely.
  3. Storage note: It’s best to store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or, freeze them to give to your pal later; just be sure to thaw the treats before handing them out.

And there you have it, ten awesome recipes for peanut butter treats for your pup. In the comments below, tell us about any of your favorite peanut butter based treats or other canine healthy treats you enjoy making for your dog.

New Year, New Dog Food Feeding Guide

Happy new year DOG for DOG fans! With each passing new year, it’s commonplace for us humans to make resolutions for the coming year, whether it’s to spend more quality time with family and friends, to quit bad habits or – perhaps most popularly of all – to start new, healthier eating habits. But us dog parents don’t just have ourselves to think about in the coming year, we also have our dogs to consider! Since we’re the ones choosing what activities they enjoy and foods they consume, it’s up to us to help them make great choices. So whether your pup could stand to shed a few lbs or needs to focus on a diet made especially for seniors or puppies this year, we thought it would be helpful to put together a new year, new pup feeding guide! Our tips below aim to help your dog make the best of their diet and eating habits this year.

Overweight: Just like it’s bad in so many ways for us to be overweight (both mentally and physically), it’s also tough on our dogs bodies to have extra lbs. And just like us, the fix is usually simple (to discern, not always to do!) – dogs that consume fewer calories than they burn will lose. While we know all of this is true, nearly 45% of all dogs in the US are overweight! Besides the obvious benefits, keeping your dog at a healthy weight can add about two years to their life… and who doesn’t want their pup to live longer. A healthier diet and weight goals can also prevent your pup from getting diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, lung disorders, high blood pressure, the list goes on and on. Wondering exactly how much you should be feeding your pup? Check out this dog food calculator and consider consulting your vet if you have additional questions. Many vets advise against free feeding, a popular method that allows dogs to eat out of boredom and can also lead to unnatural hormonal changes. Most dogs should be fed two to four small portions a day and timed automatic feeders can help for those of us who have trouble adhering to a more frequent schedule.

While it’s easy to just grab a bag of low cal or diet food for our pups, that solution is unfortunately not the best fix in the long run. Many of these foods contain high levels of carbohydrate fillers that create a low calorie, bulky food that helps your dog feel full but only for a short time. This can leave your pup feeling constantly hungry and begging for more food. You’ll need to find a quality food that isn’t necessarily one with good branding about being for weight loss. Our DOGSFOOD Grain-free formula is a great choice. Many times this can include adding a bit of wet food into a dry food diet, or some home cooked food along with their kibble. Speaking of home cooked food, you can consider switching from regular treats 24/7 to healthier options like carrot sticks! No matter what food you decide to go with, be sure to measure out each serving with a with a proper measuring cup. Even in your busiest moments, you have an easy way to be sure you’re feeding the proper amount.

Puppy: As you read above, a balanced diet is critically important to your pup’s growth and overall health and this is never more true that when they’re a puppy! Think about raising a child – while it’s hugely important to think about what they’re eating throughout their adolescence, we’re super concerned with what they’re taking in when they’re very young. Barring any special needs or illness-related deficiencies, your puppy is safe to consume a normal high-quality commercial pet food and can get all of the nutrients they need from it. Or you can get a formula specifically created with puppies in mind such as our DOGSFOOD puppy formula. In general, puppies require up to twice the energy intake of adult dogs and, depending on the breed, will need to be fed food that contains between 25-30% protein. While you may eventually choose to feed your dog twice a day (six months in is a good time to do the change if you’re considering it), it’s often advised to feed puppies smaller portions more often. Smaller meals are easier to digest and energy levels don’t peak and fall as often. Another important thing to note is that unless specifically instructed by your vet, supplements and vitamins are not usually recommended for puppies, as they’ll get everything they need from a balanced diet. In fact, many of the supplements you can find sold online and in local stores could actually do more harm than good!

Senior: Dogs begin to show visible age-related changes between seven to twelve years of age, including both metabolic, immunologic and body composition changes. Health issues like deterioration of skin and coat, loss of muscle mass, more frequent intestinal problems, etc. are common. While some of these are unavoidable, others can be managed with a proper diet. The main objective should remain to maintain health and optimum body weight. Studies have shown that the protein requirement for older dogs does not decrease with age and it’s important to feed older dogs diets that contain optimum levels of highly digestible protein such as our DOGSFOOD Duck formula to maintain good muscle mass.

While older dogs may start to eat a bit less, they’ve also been shown to progressively put on body fat. In this case, it’s okay to feed a diet with a lower caloric density while making sure the normal protein level is in balance. Talk to your vet about Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and omega-6 fatty acid that plays a role in the maintenance of a healthy coat which can diminish in older dogs. Senior diets should also include FOS to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria. Antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene help eliminate free radical particles that can damage body tissues and cause signs of aging. Senior diets should therefore also include higher levels of these compounds. A more fun tip? Add a booster of flaxseed oil to help with arthritis!

Active: Assuming your dog just likes a weekly run at the dog park or playing around your house, your current diet is probably fine for them. But if this new year includes plans to turn your dog into your daily running partner, you may want to make a few small adjustments to their diet such as our DOGSFOOD Chicken Formula. In a story for the New York Times, Dr. Joseph Wakshlag (professor of clinical nutrition and sports medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine) said that “for dogs jogging along with you for 20 minutes a few times a week, a normal commercial dog food containing about 15 or 16 percent fat should be fine. But if you and your dog run five or 10 miles a day, that dog likely needs a slightly higher-fat diet.There are special high-performance dog foods now that contain as much as 20 percent fat. Or you can just add a teaspoon of olive oil to your dog’s kibble. That increases fat intake by 1 or 2 percent, which can be plenty. On the other hand, fat is somewhat indigestible and can lead to greater fecal mass. So if you increase your dog’s fat intake, be prepared to carry an extra plastic bag or two when you go running. Athletic dogs need protein to build and maintain muscle. In general, their diet should consist of at least 25 percent protein, preferably from meat. In one study, dogs fed plant-based soy protein experienced far more musculoskeletal injuries than dogs consuming meat protein.” Check out the full article here.

Average (age and size): Once your pup is into adulthood, refrain from feeding them either senior or puppy food. Puppy food in particular is very high in calories and nutritional supplements so you want to make the switch appropriately depending on their breed and age (consult your vet if your unsure on best timing). When making the switch, do it slowly over the course of one to two weeks by gradually mixing in increasing amounts of the adult food with decreasing amounts of puppy food to minimize gastric upset. Making the switch will prevent obesity and orthopedic problems. An average, healthy adult dog can continue on the diet you’ve been giving them because, as the saying goes, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it! As long as they maintain a healthy weight and their stool looks good (dark brown and sturdy), you’re in the clear! If you ever decide to change their food anyways, use the same transitional advice from above for moving away from puppy food to get them used to their new food.

Popular add-ins for all dogs:

  • Salmon oil: showing benefits in both older dogs and puppies alike, salmon oil (normally squirted into food or available in pill format) can lead to better brains and bones and works as an anti-inflammatory supplement for older dogs suffering from arthritis. It may also help keep brain functioning sharp in aging dogs. Lastly, it can work as a cancer fighter!
  • Fish oil: Usually in pill form, this is a great treatment for dogs with allergies and/or skin conditions.
  • Coconut oil: Can aid in pets’ digestion, improve their coats and help prevent infection. It is important to dose correctly though, so check out this awesome story on the benefits and ways to administer.

Like any new resolution, these eating tips will require an ongoing commitment to making the best choices which we know change is never easy. Start small and create goals that are easily achievable and work up from there! Do research on your dog’s breed and age and consult with your vet on any questions you might have or further steps you’re interested in taking. We’d love to hear what changes you’ve already made to ensure a healthier lifestyle for your pups, so be sure to leave your own pieces of advice for fellow dog owners in the comments below! Have a safe and happy 2016. 

Holiday Shopping Guide that Give Back to Dogs

holiday gift guide by DOG for DOG or companies that give back

When shopping for the dog lover (or, more likely, lovers) in your life, you’re lucky to have a never-ending supply of possible things to get them. Whether it’s a gift certificate to Wag.com, something handmade and/or personalized from Etsy or a trip to the groomer for their pup – there’s plenty a dog lover would love to receive. Or maybe you’re looking for unique ways to treat your own pup this holiday season. Whatever the case, there are places and brands out there that you can shop and not only buy some dog related products but also give back to dogs in need at the same time! We’ve rounded up four below for you to check out.

1. Thundershirt. If you haven’t heard of them already, Thundershirts are specifically designed to comfort dogs experiencing anxiety, preventing panic attacks and other behaviors that affect lonely pups. The company has donated thousands of their products directly to shelters and adoption organizations across the country and you can donate directly yourself or request a donation through their website. Buying a Thundershirt for your own dog or the dog of a loved one helps further them in their mission to help all dogs.

2. BarkBox. BarkBox is a themed, monthly box service delivered straight to your door full of doggie goodies. Give the gift that keeps on giving! Simply choose a subscription package based on how long you’d like to receive boxes and how big your dog is and receive your goodies (a mix of toys, treats and food) on the 15th of each month. The BarkBox program not only offers an amazing gift to dogs but also donates 10% of all profits to shelters. With their BarkGood program, they work with over 3,000 shelters and rescues around the US and Canada! 

Amazon Smile donates to dogs in need with DOG for DOG

Photo by Humanity Road

3. Amazon Smile. Who doesn’t use Amazon on a regular basis? Do something super easy then and click through to their AmazonSmile program, where you can purchase products and hand-select a dog rescue to receive a portion of the proceeds. Over 2,100 rescues and humane societies are involved and it’s so easy – you click, they give!

DOG for DOG feeds dog in need

4. Dog for Dog. You didn’t think we’d forget ourselves, did you?! Our mission says it all – “You buy a bag of our food or treats, and we give another equal bag to a dog in need.” It’s that simple! By buying our brand, you are directly influencing the life of a dog in need in a shelter, and what dog wouldn’t love one of our tasty treats? If you’ve never ordered before, you can save 10% off of your first purchase by signing up for our newsletter, which will also get you receiving updates and stories about how you can further help out dogs in need in your own neighborhood.

 

Some other options?

  • Subaru. In the past seven years, the car company has donated over $9 million to the ASPCA as part of their Share the Love partnership.
  • Build-a-Bear. This toy company supports a number of good causes, including shelters like Red Rover and Oregon Greyhound Adoption, so you know you can feel good about spending your money here.
  • Monkeez Makes a Difference. Monkeez advocates for animal welfare through their children’s toys, selling an exclusive line of toys to raise money for the Best Friends Animal Society, the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the country.
  • Puppy Luv Glam. This girly clothing line for young tots and infants is all about the love of dogs. They use their products to encourage adoption over buying from breeders and currently donate $2 to the ASPCA for every (adorable) garment they sell.
  • Lush. The cruelty-free cosmetics line has a special line of hand and body lotions called Charity Pots, with one in particular supporting the Beagle Freedom Project, a rescue operation which specifically rescues dogs from laboratory testing.
  • Bissell. The makers of home care products and vacuum cleaners, mops and stain removers also run the Bissell Pet Foundation, which finds homes for pets in need. A portion of every Bissell product purchase goes towards their foundation!
  • Ikea. Ikea has joined with existing shelters to form Home for Hope, a campaign that places cardboard cutouts of adoptable dogs in their furniture displays to show people what their home would look like with a pet in it. The cutouts feature scannable codes for customers to track their favorite adoptable dogs on their smartphone. How cute and smart is that?
Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 12.16.40 PM

Photo by @millandgrace

Feeling the doggie holiday spirit? This is just the tip of the iceberg. In the comments below, tell us where you shop that gives back to dogs in need and what dog related products you’re planning to stock up on this holiday season.

3 Reasons you Should Feed Your Dog Ginger

3 REASONS YOU SHOULD FEED YOUR DOG GINGER BY DOG FOR DOG

Raise your hand if you get a tummy ache and immediately reach for the saltine crackers and ginger ale? A time honored remedy for feeling nauseas, the thing in ginger ale we’re really reaching for (outside of the bubbly carbonation) is the actual ginger root in the drink. Ginger works here most popularly as a digestive aid for an upset stomach, but that’s only scratching the surface of it’s potential benefits. From the same family as turmeric, the root of the ginger plant has been used as a spice and medicine in Asian, Arabic, and Indian cultures for ages for everything from osteoarthritis to cancer. Modern scientific research has shown that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, lowering cholesterol and as an aid in blood circulation.

Here are 3 reasons you should feed your dog some ginger.

 

If you haven’t tried it yet, you can consider adding this powerful root into the diet of your dog for a variety of conditions, as well as for general health maintenance. For nausea and/or vomiting, fresh ginger or a powdered spice version can help. If your dog is easily car sick, give them a few drops of ginger root extract about 30 minutes before a car trip. You can also give them a ginger capsule if they just get nervous riding in the car. Ginger is high in antioxidants, making it great in the fight against heart disease. It is also known to treat allergies as it can be administered as an antihistamine. One more? It can also help reduce cholesterol!

 

Ginger is great for bloat (gastric dilation volvulus), a life-threatening condition seen in larger breeds that involves the expansion of the stomach from built up food and gas that hasn’t been expelled. While the risks are great, no exact cause is known, making understanding and preventing it frustrating. According to materials written by Steve Marsden, DVM and Shawn Messonnier, DVM, ginger “may play a role in relieving or preventing bloat in dogs due to its ability to stimulate movement in the stomach and accelerate the emptying of the stomach.”

 

Another inflammatory disease, arthritis, is greatly helped by ginger, as it is a natural anti-inflammatory. A dog suffering from inflamed joints could gain some relief from taking ginger. As mentioned above, ginger is also believed to be a good addition to the fight against cancer, aside from the obvious benefits of treating the nausea common with cancer treatments. There is a study that shows great promise in using ginger to treat heart worm disease in dogs, a difficult and risky affliction to treat. In the study, a reduction of heart worm larvae in concentration ranged between 83 and 98 percent in infected dogs treated with ginger.

 

How to give it to your dog:

 

how to feed ginger to your dog

SOURCE: http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/10/ginger-herbs-for-dogs-and-cats.html

 

  • Ginger comes in a variety of forms: powder, pill, tincture, tea and raw root. To administer in raw form, you should cut off the skin and finely mince the yellow part of the root.
  • Give ½ teaspoon for dogs under 35 lbs and ¾ for larger dogs
  • Can be mixed in with their food
  • Always start slow and gradually add into their routine

In the video: This week on Kitchen Tails, Dog for Dog founder and Pet Chef Rocky Kanaka walks you through how to make gingerbread cookies or your pup. Click the YouTube video above to get his full recipe.

More recipes on Rocky’s YouTube Page.

 

Cautions:

Avoid ginger if your dog will be having surgery soon or if they are pregnant or have anemia, as ginger can thin the blood. It can also lower blood sugar and blood pressure, so it’s best to speak to your vet before giving ginger to a dog with diabetes or any kind of heart condition. As always, it’s also best to consult your vet first if your dog is on medications or suffering from any health conditions.

Do you feed your dog ginger? Tell us about it in the comments, or let us know what other good-for-dogs human treats you love to share with your pup!

Close
Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better