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Essential Items for your Dog’s First Aid Kit

by DOG for DOG Team 1 Comment

Essential Items for your Dog's First Aid Kit

April is Pet First Aid Awareness month and while we understand it can be exhausting learning or hearing about a new awareness month/day or week (unless it’s like national pizza or cupcake awareness day), this is an important one for pet owners to pay attention to. Of course, odds are in your favor that you won’t ever need a first aid kit and that your pup will go through their life without any major disasters. But as you well know, it never hurts to be prepared, because the reality is your dog could choke on a toy, get hit by a car, suffer a near drowning accident, or ingest one of the countless pet toxins found in the average home—from grapes to azaleas to acetaminophen to anything sweetened with xylitol. We definitely don’t want to scare anyone, but animals are surrounded by hazards, and these hazards sometimes lead to serious accidents. Being just a little prepared – both with information and with a tangible first aid kit – can help tremendously in the rare case that something does happen. To help out, we created a list of essentials to put in a first aid kit for your dog.

 

“What you do (or don’t do) in the first moments following an accident can often be the difference between life and death,” says Melanie Monteiro, a pet first aid instructor, dog safety consultant, and author of The Safe Dog Handbook: A Complete Guide to Protecting Your Pooch, Indoors and Out. “One such example is with choking. If your pet’s airway is completely obstructed by an object, there will be no time to go to the veterinarian for help—you need to take immediate action.” You can watch some of her amazing video instructions here. She also recommends signing up for a training course in your area. Check with your local Red Cross, humane organizations, or private companies such as PetTech. Lastly, buy a guide on pet first aid emergencies (most training courses include a guide). Her favorites are the Red Cross’ Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid and Pets America’s Pet First Aid & Disaster Response Guide.

 

A simple yet important place to start is by programming useful contacts into your mobile phone, to ensure that emergency numbers are at your fingertips and you don’t waste valuable time searching for them when needed. Program the phone numbers and addresses of your veterinarian and a 24-hour emergency animal hospital into your phone. If possible, save the addresses in your car’s GPS. You also always want to watch out for commonly found items that can be poisonous to canine companions. Human medications topped the list of pet toxins in 2010 as accidentally dropped or misplaced pills can seem like treats to our furry friends. Household toxins or cleaners, insecticides/rodenticides, and plants are also common toxins for dogs. Being aware of these toxins and exercising prevention can help keep your animals safe. The ASPCA Poison Control Center 24-hour hotline (1-888-426-4435) is another valuable resource to have in your address book.

 

Now for the first aid kit essentials! The first thing to do in the event of an accident or injury is to consult a veterinarian. Many of the items found in a first aid kit should only be administered under the vet’s guidance, but having them readily available allows for quicker treatment and can minimize pain or discomfort that your animal may be experiencing. Since you never know when an accident will happen, keeping a pet emergency kit at your home is a good idea. A smaller kit could be used in the car. You can put a first aid kit together yourself and buy the items separately, or buy one ready-made (just one example, there are tons of varieties in all shapes and sizes available for purchase online and at local pet supply stores). If you make one yourself, use a small plastic tub with a tight fitting lid and keep one at home and make one to have in the car for when you’re on the go.

 

Here are some essential items:

  • Paperwork for your pet (in a waterproof container or bag): proof of rabies-vaccination status, copies of other important medical records and a current photo of your pet (in case he gets lost)
  • A pet carrier
  • Muzzle or strip of fabric to prevent biting (in cases of severe pain during treatment but only when there is no injury to the throat or neck, vomiting, or difficulty breathing)
  • Leash
  • Blanket (foil emergency blanket)
  • Pediatric digital rectal thermometer plus water-based lubricant
  • Oral syringe
  • Tweezers
  • Saline eye wash
  • Ear cleaning solution
  • Expired credit card or sample credit card (from direct-mail credit-card offers) to scrape away insect stingers
  • Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)
  • Nail clippers
  • Non-prescription antibiotic ointment
  • Penlight or flashlight
  • Plastic eyedropper or syringe
  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to clean the thermometer
  • Splints and tongue depressors
  • Styptic powder or pencil (sold at veterinary hospitals, pet-supply stores, and your local pharmacy)
  • Temporary identification tag (to put your local contact information on your pet’s collar when you travel)
  • Towels
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Epsom salts
  • Rubber gloves
  • Mild soap
  • Cut- and wound-care items, such as: hand sanitizer, antiseptic (povidone-iodine) solution such as Betadine, elastic or ace bandage (best case: self-cling bandage – bandage that stretches and sticks to itself but not to fur – which is available at pet stores and from pet-supply catalogs), stretchable gauze, gauze pads, non-stick bandages, non-scented sanitary pads (for heavily bleeding wounds), first aid adhesive tape, blunt scissors
  • Hydrogen peroxide #3% USP (to induce vomiting)
  • Toxiban or other vet-approved activated charcoal (for use in certain poisoning emergencies)
  • Diphenhydramine antihistamine, or Benadryl (to counter allergic reactions)

Of course, each list of recommendations has their unique take on what all is needed in a kit. We think this more than covers the essentials, but you can find many more suggestions from the sites below. It’s always a good idea to check with your vet to see if they think you’re missing anything from whatever list you decide to go with, and to think about your own pet’s specific needs that might come up in an emergency scenario.

The Red Cross, AVMA checklist, Modern Dog, Cesar’s Way and Pet Education

Want to know more quick tips? Our founder Rocky Kanaka has simple tips that you can follow today!

We hope you find this guide helpful and that it encourages you to learn about pet safety and ways to prevent accidents and prepare for the unexpected. In the comments below, please share any of your own tips to keep in mind for Pet First Aid Awareness!

Adopt a Puppy from our Donation Partners

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

Did you know that March 23rd is National Puppy Day!? Puppies are so adorable – their little paws, their big bellies, and how they are so excited about everything makes us squeal with joy. There is still this stigma that you can only adopt adult dogs which isn’t true at all. There are so many puppies that you can adopt at your local shelter or from your local rescue group. We want to introduce you to the puppies that are available for adoption from our donation partners. These rescue groups are amazing group of people that save many homeless dogs each month. To support their huge efforts, we donate DOGSFOOD on your behalf. We want to help them out a little more by introducing you to the puppies that are available for adoption. Please share this post with as any friends as possible. The power of social media is HUGE!

 

 

First up is Mario from Mary S. Roberts Adoption Center. Mario is an 11 week old Chihuahua puppy and you can tell he’s one happy pup because he was wagging his tail while having this photo taken. As for Mary S. Roberts Adoption Center, they have been helping pets for over 100 years which is impressive! Located in Riverside, CA – their facility is 17,000 square feet and they house many pets like Mario.

Gingersnap is a tiny little chihuahua mix puppy with so much love to give from Marley’s Mutts. Her siblings and her mom were rescued right before the Holidays. With the love from all the wonderful people at Marley’s Mutts, she’s come out of her shell. She will need to be adopted to a home that is familiar with small breeds because she’s so small. Small pup parents have to do the shuffle walk so you don’t accidentally step on them which is a breeze to do once you get used to it. Marley’s Mutts is an amazing rescue group that will take any dog in and have a soft spot for hard cases such as Hooch who has no tongue. They also have a brand new program with their local prison program. They take their adoptable dogs and have them train with the prisoners. The prisoners get to take comfort through dogs and the dogs earn the good canine certification, making them easier to adopt. Amazing stuff!

Big Tuna is the cuddliest puppy out of his siblings and is a Terrier mix. How could you not want to take him home with you!? Maeday Rescue is a small but mighty rescue based in Los Angeles, CA. They are very careful about making sure that their pup goes to the right home to ensure that they will live the happiest life. They spend a lot of time with each dog and are able to tell you all about them.

Puff is a 6 month old American Bulldog/ Boxer mix puppy available for adoption from Rocket Dog Rescue. She is a puff ball of energy and so much fun! Rocket Dog Rescue is a rescue group run solely by volunteers in San Francisco, CA. All dogs are placed in temporary foster homes so that the dogs are able to socialize and the rescue is able to learn all about the dog.

 

There’s only 1 thing that’s better than a puppy. More puppies! Simi Valley Missing Pets takes many puppies at high kill shelters. Unfortunately, puppies that are too young need a rescue to save them because the shelters don’t have enough resources to care for very young pups. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of time and energy as they need to be bottle fed since they are separated from their moms. This is only about half of the puppies that SVMP has available for adoption so please check out their Facebook page for their most current list.

Meet Bailey and Blarney, 2 lab mixed puppies that will be ready for a home in about 6 weeks from Detroit Dog Rescue. Detroit Dog Rescue is the first and only No-Kill shelter in the city of Detroit and leaders of the movement. Like many cities who have seen in decline of economic growth, their has been a surge of families who are no longer able to afford their dogs. Our donated food helps DDR donate it to low income families who love their dog and need a little bit of help.

Fredarico is a charming, Chihuahua puppy available for adoption from Oregon Humane Society. Staring into his big doe eyes makes our hearts swoon. Oregon Humane Society adopts out a whopping 11,000 pets every year! What’s unique about them is that not only do they educate their community about adoption; they help with animal cruelty investigations to keep the pets safe.

Puppies are the cutest but they are also a lot of work. It takes consistent training, tons of patience, money, and lots of love and probably a ruined shoe or two. If you’re ready for the challenge and all of the love you will receive in return. Not ready for a puppy but still really want a dog? Adopt a senior dog. They just want a good meal and a good sleep. Either way, adopt don’t shop!

All Natural Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Pet

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

All Natural Spring Cleaning Tips for your Pet

Last week on the blog, in the spirit of spring cleaning, we talked about how often to bathe your pets and how often to wash their favorite belongings (leash, bed, food bowl, toys, etc.) While we agreed that there was some wiggle room on most things, we think we found a good general consensus for cleaning across your doggie items. In that same squeaky clean vibe, this week we thought we’d discuss how to clean those same items using all natural products. Since all of the too-be cleaned items come in such close contact with your pup, it’s always best to make sure anything you use is pet friendly. Working with all natural cleaners helps ensure that your pup likely won’t ingest something that could make them ill (though it’s always good to be on the safe side and double check your ingredients). We hope we’ve dug up some simple, cheap and interesting ways to keep your pup so fresh and so clean (clean).

Bathing: Obviously there’s no real better way than good ‘ol dog shampoo, but you can do your pup a favor by picking a brand that offers better ingredients. Our office pups get a bath about once a month using DOG for DOG’s DOGSPA shampoo, and there are lots of other natural shampoos on the market for keeping your little one (and their skin) clean and happy! Look for labels with no chemicals, unnatural fragrances, or unnecessary ingredients.

 

Hardwood floors: Many of the conventional cleaning products that promise an easy and sparkling floor are terrible for our health and the environment. Floor cleaners that give you shine can also give you off-gassing of petroleum-based polymers. In addition, most of the fragrance that accompanies conventional floor cleaners are either indoor air pollutants on their own, or are inert on their own but mix with ozone to create formaldehyde and other toxic air contaminates. So, obviously, best to avoid those! The best non-toxic floor cleaning solution is ¼ of a cup of mild liquid dishwashing detergent added to a bucket of warm water (for damp mopping). For scuff marks use a sprinkle of baking soda on a damp sponge and rub. Go over the floor twice, first to dissolve the dirt and then again, after rinsing the mop and wringing it thoroughly, again to rinse. The floor can then be buffed dry with a towel—this is done easily by attaching a towel to a clamp mop handle. Of course, different kinds of hardwood floors need slightly different cleaning procedures. Cleaners recommended for a penetrating floor finish are solvent-based. Use a natural citrus solvent rather than a mineral spirit or turpentine based cleaner. Spray a light film on the floor and dry mop with a microfiber or regular dust mop. Here are some other unique tips for cleaning your floors.

 

Carpeted floors: Like for hardwood floors, some of the products you can buy commercially are better than others, and if you need to buy a cleaner, there are definitely some kinder options out there. Be sure to do your research! If you have the time and interest in making your own, you can do it for less than what you’d pay and with many common items! We’ve included a personal favorite here, but be sure to check out more here and here.

 

White vinegar – White vinegar is known to remove tough stains, especially those from pets. It has some great deodorizing properties and will tackle any tough stain. Water is needed to dilute the vinegar because it can be quite potent. Vinegar is safe to use on most fabrics and is effective against many strains.

Lavender essential oil –  Lavender EO gives this spray even more deodorizing properties and helps tackle bacteria and viruses lurking in your carpets. It is one of the most versatile essential oils and is safe to use around children and pets.

Ingredients:

 

Directions:

  • Combine vinegar and water in a large spray bottle.
  • Add in salt and lavender essential oil.
  • Cap and shake.
  • Spray on carpets liberally, shaking bottle frequently between sprays.
  • Allow carpets to dry.
  • Vacuum treated areas.

Note: For tougher stains, spray mixture directly on stain. Let dry and vacuum. Repeat if necessary.

Source: DIYNatural.com

all natural spring cleaning tips for your pet

Blankets / sheets on your bed: All laundry detergents leave a residue on clothing, which is absorbed by our skin (and inhaled). The ill effects of some of the chemicals in detergents range from skin or eye irritation to possibly much more serious, such as endocrine disruption. Because of “trade secrets,” manufacturers are not required to disclose what’s in their detergent, so the ingredient list is usually vague and not very helpful. A 2008 study found that of all the top selling laundry detergent brands tested, each contained at least one ingredient considered hazardous under federal law. None of these ingredients was listed on the label and the study didn’t disclose which brands were tested. Find a few we trust here, and consider washing your linens with these!

 

Their beds: Most beds can go in the washing machine, so consider cleaning with one of the natural products found above! While there are detergents touted as just for pets, as long as you use a mild detergent without dyes or fragrance you can safely wash your pet’s bedding and toys in your washer. To help neutralize odor, add one cup of baking soda to the wash water. Do not use liquid fabric softener or dryer sheets which may irritate a pet’s skin due to the added perfume. Line drying bedding and toys will help to freshen and dissipate odors. If you must use a dryer, be certain to clean the lint filter which may be filled with hair. After washing your pet’s laundry, cleanse your washing machine by running a cycle of hot water with 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach. Now you’re ready for the next load for the rest of your family!

 

Food bowls: Commercial over-the-counter cleaners, when used as directed on the label’s instructions, are safe to use around your four-legged family member, says Tina Wismer, DVM, medical director at the ASPCA’s animal poison control center in New York, N.Y. “Dilution is very important,” she continues. “This is not a situation where a little is good and a lot is better. And we want to keep our animals out of that area until the products are dry. For instance, when you wash your floors, keep your pet out of the kitchen until the floors are dry. Then it’s OK for them to come back into the area.” When used correctly, the residue left behind is minimal, Dr. Wismer adds. “But if owners are worried about residues, they can certainly clean them off with just plain water afterwards.” Another option: Try some safer alternatives. Mother Nature has provided all-natural solutions that do the job in a way that’s safer for your family and pets. Below, we’ve included several recipes for cleaning products that use simple ingredients from your pantry, like baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice. To keep your dog’s stainless steel, ceramic or plastic food and water bowls clean, use this simple mixture that will scrub away stuck-on food and grime. It can be used to clean up other surfaces, as well, such as cutting boards, dirty spots on laminate floors and crusty countertops.

 

Ingredients:

  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Salt

Combine equal parts of the ingredients to create a thick paste. Apply some to a sponge or washrag and scrub the inside and outside of the dish or bowl using a circular motion. Rinse well with warm water.

Leashes: How often you clean your pup’s collar and leash will have to do with how dirty they get them. If your dog doesn’t see much outside action, you’re safe to wash infrequently. But if they’re rolling around outside in a leash and/or collar fairly often, it couldn’t hurt to give these items a good cleaning once a month. Most collars and leashes can be thrown in the dishwasher or clothing washer, but you can read about handmade ways to clean here. These methods include baking soda and peppermint soap!

Toys: For cloth toys, they are best washed on cold in your washing machine, after being placed in a delicate garment bag. Make sure to reduce the amount of soap you use, assuming the washer won’t be 100% full of toys. If so, it could be time to give a once over and do some purging! When in doubt on how much soap to use, less is better. Once done, remove from the wash and squeeze remaining water out. If you have the ability to line dry, pin them all up and give them an hour or so in the sun to dry out. Placing them in the dryer is just fine, make sure it’s on low heat and if you’re worried about them, place them inside a pillow case. If you have plastic toys, use a solution of 50% white vinegar to 50% water and allow them to soak for 30 minutes. Remove and use a nail brush to scrub the dirt off, rinse with fresh water and allow to dry.

 

Need a quick all-purpose cleaner? Simply combine 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1 gallon of water, pour into a clean spray bottle, use as needed, and wipe clean when done. This inexpensive and easy-to-make solution cuts through grease and grime – dog generated or otherwise – on most surfaces. And it also can be used to clean your dog’s plastic or rubber toys, grooming tools and other non-porous surfaces that may need a little freshening up. The mix can be stored between uses. If the smell of vinegar is too potent for your taste, try this easy-to-make all-purpose cleaner that uses lemon juice instead. The baking soda cuts through grime like a knife; the lemon juice contains natural enzymes that break down organic matter. You can use this on most household surfaces and you can safely use it around animals.

Ingredients:

  • A clean, empty spray bottle or bucket
  • 3 cups of very hot water
  • 2 tbsp of baking soda
  • 2 tbsp pure lemon juice (fresh squeezed or bottled)

First, pour the water into the bottle or bucket. Next, add the baking soda, making sure it completely dissolves and uniformly distributes throughout the water. Finally, add the lemon juice, again making sure you mix it well. Spray on soiled surfaces and wipe with a clean, damp cloth. When you’re done cleaning, pour any remaining mixture down the drain.

How often you clean will likely be determined by how much your pet sheds, how much dirt they’re dragging in from outside and how often you like to clean your house usually anyways. Doing the research and thinking through what’s best for you and your family is usually best practice in these sorts of matters. We hope that no matter how often you clean and what methods you’re used to using, that you find these DIY and natural methods helpful. We can’t wait to hear what you think – and your own cleaning methods – in the comments below!

Spring Cleaning for your Pets

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

Spring Cleaning for your pets

Many dogs get full run of their human counterparts home – their bed and couch included. But even those regulated to the ground and their own pup beds are still tracking their little paws all over your home. So you might be wondering just how often your dog needs a bath, for their own hygiene and for the sake of your belongings. While this is a topic always up for debate amongst dog groups (some swear by washing weekly, others say they’ve never washed their pup and that’s just fine), we thought it might be helpful to offer up some general guidelines on how often you should bathe your dogs and cats, including the items they come in contact with like beds, food bowls, leashes and more! See our thoughts below:

How often to bathe: The general consensus here seems to be that unless your dog has skin problems (in which case you should consult your vet on best bathing practices), how often you give your dog a bath is really up to you! Many people with non-oily dog breeds wash their dogs about once a month, while more oily breeds are bathed on a more regular schedule. Our office pups get a bath about once a month using DOG for DOG’s DOGSPA shampoo
. Dr. Sherry Weaver writes on
CesarsWay.com, “I recommend you bathe a dog with normal skin once a month with dog shampoo or human baby shampoo. If you want to bathe more often than once a month, use a soap-free or moisturizing shampoo to prevent the skin from becoming dry. Do not bathe your dog more than once a week, unless recommended by your vet.” You can also read about more specific grooming tips here.

What about cats? Cats have built-in grooming tools (tongue and teeth), and are much more efficient than dogs at keeping themselves clean. In a perfect world, you won’t need to worry abou bathing them, and can take them into a groomer if they need anything that they will fight you on. Brushing your cat not only removes dirt, grease and dead hair from their coat, but it helps to remove skin flakes and stimulates blood circulation, improving the overall condition of the skin. One or two brushings per week will help kitty to keep a healthy glow—and you’ll find that regular sessions are especially beneficial when your cat ages and is no longer able to groom so meticulously on their own. The ASPCA has further tips on cat bathing and grooming at home!

Beds: Most people report washing their pets beds once a month, moreso if you live in a wooded area or your dog gets dirty more often. You can simply remove the outer cover and wash and dry the bed linen in your own washer/dryer. The bed base can often be washed this way too. Wash separately from other laundry or minimally with like colors. Use a large load setting, cold water, and plenty of clearly marked pet-safe laundry detergent to aid in dislodging as much pet hair and dirt as possible. Repeat the wash cycle for especially dirty beds. Dry the washed bedding in the clothes dryer with at least one clearly marked pet-safe dryer sheet. The dryer sheet will reduce static electricity and remove excess pet hair. Dry on a low temperature setting for 20 minutes to remove hair and wrinkles, then air dry to avoid shrinking the bed. Again, be sure to check the label of your laundry detergent & dryer sheets to ensure it is pet-safe! Want to clean more often? Thoroughly vacuum the bed to remove excess hair, dirt, and other debris. Roll a lint roller over the bed to pull away hairs that the vacuum missed. How to wash a dog bed should be a primary consideration when you are selecting from the range of commercially available dog beds at your local pet or department store. Check the tags on dog beds to see whether the recommended method of cleaning is feasible and practical for you, your home, and the time you have for cleaning. All too often, people buy a dog bed on impulse because it is cute or it fits with their home decor. It won’t be so cute when you go to wash it and find out it’s a pain in the butt to get clean!

Food Bowls: Did you know – NSF International, a public health organization, rated food bowls as the fourth dirtiest spot in our homes. Eeep! We love our cats and dogs so much, and we want to keep them happy and healthy. One way to do this is making sure we thoroughly clean our pet’s food and water bowls to help avoid germs, bugs and mold that can make our furry friends sick. Luckily, there are a few great ways to tackle this cleaning process to make sure you’re doing the job right. NSF recommends either placing the bowl in a dishwasher or soaking it for about 10 minutes once a week in a solution of one part bleach to one part water. Then, rinse well and dry. However, if you don’t feel comfortable using bleach, VetStreet recommends cleaning the dish after every meal with hot water and soap. Or better yet, Tina Wismer, DVM, medical director at the ASPCA’s animal poison control center in New York told Wendy Wilson of Cesar’s Way to combine equal parts of baking soda, warm water and salt and scrub the surface in a circular motion, and then rinse well.

Leashes: Once again, how often you clean your pup’s collar and leash will have to do with how dirty they get them. If your dog doesn’t see much outside action, you’re safe to wash infrequently. But if they’re rolling around outside in a leash and/or collar fairly often, it couldn’t hurt to give these items a good cleaning once a month. Most collars and leashes can be thrown in the dishwasher or clothing washer, but you can read about handmade ways to clean here. A good rule of thumb is to wash your dogs collar at least as often as you wash them! Who wants to put a dirty collar back on a clean pup?

Toys: Although you might not think about cleaning your pet’s toys, depending on how quickly they go through them, it can be an added bonus that results in a cleaner toy bin. If your dog is the type who is on a mission to gut anything with a squeaker or stuffing, then there’s a good chance your toys don’t actually last long enough to necessitate a washing. If you have some favorites sticking around though, and especially if there are young children around, you might consider giving toys that live on the floor a good cleaning. Although babies and dogs alike are quite resilient, there’s something about a toy box filled with crusty drool-laden toys that says it’s time for a quick freshening up. For cloth toys, they are best washed on cold in your washing machine, after being placed in a delicate garment bag. Make sure to reduce the amount of soap you use, assuming the washer won’t be 100% full of toys. If so, it could be time to give a once over and do some purging! When in doubt on how much soap to use, less is better. Once done, remove from the wash and squeeze remaining water out. If you have the ability to line dry, pin them all up and give them an hour or so in the sun to dry out. Placing them in the dryer is just fine, make sure it’s on low heat and if you’re worried about them, place them inside a pillow case. If you have plastic toys, use a solution of 50% white vinegar to 50% water and allow them to soak for 30 minutes. Remove and use a nail brush to scrub the dirt off, rinse with fresh water and allow to dry. Tennis balls can go in the wash, however they do require a bit of funk to make them safe for pets.

How often you clean your floors (whether you have hardwood or carpet) is really up to you. This will likely be determined by how much your pet sheds, how much dirt they’re dragging in from outside and how often you like to clean your house usually anyways. Again, these are all general guidelines based on varying ideals about how to keep your animals and home clean. Doing the research and thinking through what’s best for you and your family is usually best practice in these sorts of matters. That being said, we’d really love to hear your cleaning routines in the comments below!

5 Fun Dog Activities Using DOG for DOG DOGSBUTTER

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

DOGSBUTTER_Flip_Still

 

As we all well know, there’s not much dogs love more than a spoon (or Kong, or finger, or whatever else) full of peanut butter. The sweet and salty treat is not only oh-so-tasty, but delightfully fun to eat. That’s why one of DOG for DOG’s most popular and important products is our DOGSBUTTER. Made with all natural ingredients and without sugar, salt, soy or hydrogenated oils, it’s the perfect treat to hide medication in or fill hollow treats with. And like all of our products, for each DOGSBUTTER sold, we donate an equal amount of food to a dog in need.

We have three varieties – immunity and digestion (topped off with coconut and ginger), skin and coat, and flaxseed, to fit your dogs needs. It’s important to note that while many dog lovers give their pups generic store-bought peanut butter, the ingredients can be taxing on your pet’s stomach and overall health, especially xylitol (which of course ours doesn’t contain). 

While thinking of all the great uses for DOGSBUTTER, we thought it would be fun to round up five fun activities to do with your pup using our dog safe version of peanut butter. Check out our ideas below!

SCENT WORK WITH HIDDEN DOGSBUTTER

Teaching your dog to discover prizes using only his nose is a great game for the body and mind. While all dogs have a great sense of smell, sometimes they have to be reminded to use it, and this exercise can get your dog excited about solving the problem of a hidden prize. Set up a bunch of boxes or opaque containers (start with at least four or five) upside-down next to each other and, without your dog seeing you hide it, place some DOGSBUTTER (or a treat made with some) under one of the containers. Next, encourage your dog to smell the boxes and as he (hopefully) pauses at the one with the prize, lift up the box and enthusiastically congratulate him on his discovery. Let him eat the treat and soon your dog will know what’s expected during this game and be excited to sniff out the prize. Keep adding more boxes and space them at further intervals to increase the challenge as your dog’s scent work improves.

HIDE AND GO SEEK WITH PB BITES

Cook up some simple peanut butter bites and try out hide and go seek with your pup. If they’re good at the “stay” command, you can get them to wait while you find a hiding spot. Then, you can tell them to come or leave a trail of treats to where you are. While it doesn’t work for every dog, we’ve known plenty who love a good game of hide and seek as much as the kiddos in our lives!

DOG for DOG DOGSBUTTER

Photo by dogster

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SMOOTHIES

Firing up the blender for an afternoon smoothie? Concoct something awesome that your dog can enjoy too and enjoy your smoothies together!

You will need:

  • 5 ounces of nonfat Greek yogurt (I used one of the single-serving Chobani 0% yogurts)
  • 2 globs of peanut butter
  • 8 small strawberries (use frozen for a frosty treat)
  • A tablespoon of maple syrup (any grade is fine, but grade B is more flavorful)

You know what to do.

DOG PUZZLE

There’s almost nothing better than a Kong with DOGSBUTTER, frozen overnight and ready for hours of enjoyment while you’re away from home or getting things done around the house. But Kong’s aren’t the only toy to hide treats in – there are tons of great options on the market. One that we like are puzzle toys, which you can hide frozen treats in and your pup has to figure out how to get them out. These puzzles provide mental stimulation and rewards your dog for being able to complete a tough and stimulating task.

PEANUT BUTTER PUP-SICLES

A frozen DOGSBUTTER treat? Yes, please!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter, preferably unsalted and unsweetened (Check your peanut butter’s label to make sure it doesn’t contain any kind of xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.)
  • Half a ripe banana, mashed
  • Water as needed

Steps:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine peanut butter with a little water or half a mashed banana. (The water and banana aren’t essential, but they help with freezing consistency.)
  2. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, or use Kong-style rubber toys that have a cavity you can fill.
  3. Spoon the mixture onto the tray just like you would cookie dough, or stuff it into the toys. Freeze the tray or toys for several hours or overnight. If you need to reuse the tray right away, pop out the cubes and store them in a bag or container in the freezer.
  4. Serve, and turn any hot dog into a happy camper.

Check out these links here and here for more ideas on fun games to play with your pups incorporating DOGSBUTTER.

When you purchase our DOGSBUTTER or any of our other all natural dog food products, we will donate an equal amount of DOGSFOOD to a dog in need. DOG for DOG was built around a passion to help dogs in every way we can. We make an effort to connect and partner with local shelters and rescue foundations, and with your purchase of DOGSBUTTER, you’re helping us achieve our goal.  Every dog deserves a chance to live a healthy and happy life, and we thank you for joining the movement to make this happen. Don’t forget to browse our entire catalogue of DOGSBUTTER and all-natural dog food products, and order yours today. Your dog—and a dog in need—is ready to enjoy the benefits that come from a tasty treat like DOGSBUTTER! 

DOGSBLOG Reader Survey

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

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If you have 5 minutes today, we would really appreciate it if you took the time to take this super short survey about the blog. We want to learn more about you and your furry family. This information will be used to develop and expand the content of the blog. The survey is completely anonymous and only DOG for DOG will be using the information provided.

The survey will only be up for a short time so answer today!

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5 Reasons you Need to Brush your Dog’s Teeth

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Flip Getting his Teeths Brushed

 

Have you heard? February is national pet dental month – and with good reason! Taking care of your dog’s teeth is one of the keys to a long and healthy life. Beyond the obvious better breath factor, dental disease can actually lead to problems with your pet’s organs, such as the heart. Caring for your pet’s teeth can prevent other health problems as well, saving you tons of money over the long term! While it’s an easy habit to skip, it’s an important practice to make part of your regular health schedule for your pup. With that in mind, we thought it might be helpful to round up five reasons you need to brush your dog’s teeth and some best tips on how to do it efficiently and without too much stress. Our hope is that if you’re not already regularly brushing, you’ll find an easy way to add it into your pup’s routine and keep them as healthy as possible.

  1. Retained baby teeth can cause problems in pets, just like they can in us. Did you know that full grown dogs have 42 teeth? Before their adult teeth grow in, their baby teeth have to fall out. Sometimes, not all of the baby teeth want to come out. This can lead to problems like gum irritation and tartar buildup. Good oral care doesn’t start and stop with tooth brushing. It should include regular dental exams, including X-rays and a professional cleaning under general anesthesia. “The goal is to maintain oral health, function of the teeth, and a pain-free state,” says Colleen O’Morrow, DVM, a veterinary dentist in Canada.
  2. Think about it: you need regular dental care and you brush your teeth everyday – why wouldn’t your pets? Teeth wear out! Your pets are tough on their teeth. Learn the symptoms to keep your pet from experiencing the pain of severely worn teeth.
  3. 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 3 years have some sort of periodontal disease. It can be caused by the buildup of plaque. When the gums become inflamed and recede from the teeth (a condition known as periodontal disease), dangerous bacteria from the mouth can gain access to the bloodstream. These bacteria can then travel to vital tissues such as the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and lungs; causing infection and organ dysfunction.
  4. Pets that don’t get dental care can lose their teeth and this can be terribly painful and cause serious health problems. Remember what it felt like the last time you had a toothache? Although most dogs are very good at hiding it, they feel all the same pain sensations that humans do – including dental pain. Brushing their teeth daily can help prevent periodontal disease, and minimise the possibility of infected, painful teeth.
  5. If you’ve got a puppy, now is the time to include brushing in his good-manners training. But have no fear, even pets in their teens can learn to love a good brushing — if you take it slow. Brush gradually and gently. Start by putting a little toothpaste on their brush and let your dog lick it off. Then try touching the toothbrush to your dog’s teeth. After that, brush for a few seconds. Take a month or two to introduce her to this new habit. When your dog is ready for a real brushing, raise her lips to expose teeth and gums. Then brush from the gum line to the tip of the tooth. Avoid opening your pet’s mouth, which can lead to panic and struggling. It’s also important to use toothpaste made specifically for dogs, as toothpastes for humans contain certain types of fluorides and detergents that are meant to be spit out after you brush. Your dog will swallow toothpaste, so buy a product meant for pets. Pet toothpaste can come in a host of flavors, including poultry, beef, seafood, malt, peanut, and vanilla-mint. You’ll also want to use a pet-specific toothbrush. The heads of brushes made for people are too wide for a pet’s mouth, and even soft bristles are usually too hard. Talk to your veterinarian about the best toothbrush for your dog. Your vet may suggest a soft power brush or some vets suggest a finger brush that slips over your finger like a thimble. If you have more than one pet, get each pet its own brush to avoid spreading germs. Don’t forget to brush in back as well. For pets, dental problems are often most severe in the back, upper teeth. So it’s most important to brush the outsides of the big teeth there.

Your pet will probably need a professional dental cleaning at some point in his life, no matter how often you brush. The costs of a regular cleaning with minimal treatments will be much less than a cleaning that involves multiple extractions and gum surgery. Once your dog has lost a number of teeth there may be restrictions on the types of food and treats he can eat. Brushing daily will aid in preventing tooth loss, so your baby can keep his pearly whites and enjoy all his favorite foods well into his golden years.

Here’s a good how-to guide:

  • Do not begin brushing the teeth with toothpaste and a brush immediately! Gradually work your way up to using a brush.
  • Once your pet lets you put your fingers in his mouth, you can try wrapping your finger with a piece of gauze and use it to massage the toothpaste across the teeth and gums.
  • Then begin to use the toothbrush. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to the teeth, and brush gently in a circular motion; focusing on the gum line.
  • Dogs benefit greatly from chewing every day on something that helps keep teeth clean.
  • Make tooth brushing fun and rewarding. Before and after brushing, praise, pet and play with your dog.

Ideally you’d do this every day! Though a couple of times a week is better than not at all.  Progress through these steps as slowly as possible; praising and rewarding your pet as he masters each one. It may even take a few weeks to train your dog to accept tooth-brushing, but the benefits will be worth the time you invest. Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy does not have to be difficult, and if done right, can be something that your pooch looks forward to each day!

DOG for DOG founder Rocky recently made a fun YouTube video brushing his dog’s, Flip’s teeth. You don’t want to miss it, check it out in full below:

Thanks for reading, dog fans! Be sure to chime in with your own brushing tips in the comments below!

14 Ways your Dog says I Love You

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

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!