|Be ready with these treats when Santa Paws comes down the chimney on December 25.
Mix three small jars of baby food (chicken or beef flavor), 9 tbsp powdered milk, 6 tbsp ground flax seed, and 8 tbsp wheatgerm. Roll into walnut-sized balls and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 10 to 13 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the bottoms look a little brown. Refrigerate to store.
Remember that these cookies, while healthy, do contribute extra calories. So just one or two a day is enough for Santa’s little helpers.
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|A little olive oil added, uncooked, to your dog’s daily food helps with winter itchies and flaky skin. For small dogs, start with a quarter to a half teaspoon twice daily. (Not too much. You don’t want to cause tummy troubles.)
Give the oil supplement for a couple of weeks, and you should see marked improvement in skin texture and greatly reduced scratching, if the scratching was initially caused by dry skin. If it doesn’t clear up, talk to your vet.
|Many popular commercially available dog foods are loaded with sugar, preservatives, and other ingredients that are not healthy for your dog’s body or behavior. Much as a child fed on a diet of Snickers and Mountain Dew may be demanding, whiney, hyper, and obnoxious, so dogs with poor-quality diets may have an increased tendency to exhibit behavior problems.
If you’re interested in learning more about dog food, check out The Whole Dog Journal, a wonderful independent publication that has extensive reviews of dry and canned varieties.
Casey Lomonaco owns Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training in Binghamton, NY.
|Pumpkin is very good for dogs, and dogs usually want a piece of pie. Make Fido his own dog-friendly pie and he’ll never come begging for yours.
Whip together 1 can pumpkin (not pie mix), 3 eggs, half a cup of skim milk (or unsweetened soy milk), half a cup of brown sugar (it is a holiday!), and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
Pour into a wholewheat pie shell and bake at a preheated 375 degrees F for 60 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Your dog’s pumpkin pie will be rich and not too sweet!
|The pet supply industry is constantly evolving, so you need to be smart about shopping for your dog. As raw material prices escalate, marketers have worked hard to keep their prices from rapidly increasing. Some have accomplished this by reducing the weight or quality of supplies.
Look for products that are touted as natural, organic, or all-natural. This blog post helps explain the differences. Be aware that former staples of the doggie world, such as rawhide, are now considered by many experts to be an unhealthy choice when shopping for dog chews. Read up — and ask questions before you shop!
Lauren Hope leads customer service for the online dog lifestyle shop Fido Dog Treats.
|Double, double, toil, and trouble — fire burn, and caldron bubble! After a night spent howling at the moon, trick or treating with the neighbor dogs, or attending a fun doggie Halloween pawty, your dog will appreciate this fun, yummy, and healthy treat.
In a blender, mix up one cup kefir (plain and low-fat is best), several ounces of unseasoned chicken stock, a slice of cooked liver, 1/4 lightly steamed organic carrot, a dollop of canned pumpkin (make sure it’s pure pumpkin, ‘k?), a splash of organic apple juice, and a few banana slices.
Top with a teaspoon of crushed flax seed and a small spinach leaf and serve in a stainless-steel bowl. Your dog will love you for it! Arrrooooooooo!
Leslie May and Johann (the dog) are the founders of Raise a Green Dog, an online portal for all things green and healthy for your dog.
|Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are good for your dog. They provide fiber, natural sugars, and vitamins; they contain scads of antioxidants; and are super low in calories while being small and bite-sized.
Consider substituting a blueberry or two as a treat for a good dog. A handful of berries will help a little chowhound make it till dinnertime. Everything in berries is good for your dog, and nothing is harmful. Naturally, too many berries might cause diarrhea, so find a balance and let your dog enjoy the benefits of tasty antioxidants!
|Must you do this? Aren’t yearly tooth cleanings with your vet enough? Yes and no, respectively. Great dog owners brush their dogs’ teeth every day from puppyhood. Buy a vet-recommended brand of paste and brush. Then brush consistently and gently, according to package directions. (Yes, it gets easier as your dog gets resigned to toothbrushing sessions.)
As your dog ages, the importance of dental health increases and her degree of tolerance for anesthesia decreases. Good lifetime dental hygiene means you should never have to decide between the danger of anesthesia and the toxic effects of an infected tooth.
|If your plump pooch is in good health and free of compromising medical conditions, slimming down is a matter of discipline: and we’re not talking about discipline for the dog, but for you. Let’s begin with a doable plan:
For the first week, just keep track of everything you feed your dog each day for a seven day period. This means everything: every nibble. And measure everything: a cup of kibble, a half-inch bite of string cheese, a teaspoon of peanut butter, a quarter inch slice of salami. Record it all on a daily chart. After one week, it’s going to be easy to cut out some of those incremental nibbles and cut that kibble down by ten percent for starters.
|While not poisonous like toads, frogs are also not a good snack for the outward-bound dog. Toads live in the margins of ponds, often soaking in the mucky ooze at the water’s edge. They are naturally covered in bacteria from fermenting fish and plant waste. If your dog fancies frogs, best to order them as take out from the French restaurant and leave the pond dwellers alone.|