Category Archives: Dog Treats

Reasons Rawhide is Dangerous For Your Dog To Chew

First, I must say I did not write this.  This is a blog written by  Rodney Habib. Here is his blog address:  www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com. This blog caught my attention because I have been guilty of giving rawhide, flat or bone shaped, to my dogs. This blog presents excellent information on why we, pet owners, need to stop feeding this to our dogs. There are also excellent advice from , Dr. Becker and Dogington Post. PLEASE ENJOY!

  
How can one of the most popular chew sticks on the planet be so dangerous for your pets, you ask?
I mean, most dogs chew on rawhide for hours on end, and not only does it keep them busy, but they seem to last forever.
Well if you understood what it took to make this toxic “raw” leather stick, you would quickly understand what the problem is.
Aside from the horror stories circulating all over social media these days, of pets needing emergency surgery after consuming rawhide, the majority of pet parents today, especially the newbies, believe that this chew is some sort of dried up meat stick.

Let me debunk that myth right away!



A rawhide stick is not the by-product of the beef industry nor is it made of dehydrated meat. Rather, rawhide is the by-product of the “Leather Industry”, so theoretically it is a leather chew.

Sounds awesome, right?
  
How It’s Made

“Producing rawhide begins with the splitting of an animal hide, usually from cattle. The top grain is generally tanned and made into leather products, while the inner portion, in its “raw” state, goes to the dogs.” TheBark.com
So, how does this leather, which is conveniently rolled up into pretty shapes, actually get made into those rawhide chews?
Follow along my friends and I will enlighten you on how this hide travels through a leathery process where it transforms from hide to a not-so beautiful, colorful, chew stick. Here is a paraphrased tutorial that was explained by the whole dog journal several years back:

STEP 1: To The Tannery

Normally, cattle hides are shipped from slaughterhouses to tanneries for processing. These hides are then treated with a chemical bath to help “preserve” the product during transport to help prevent spoilage.
(No one wants to purchase a black, spoiled rawhide stick!)
Once at the tannery: the hides are soaked and treated with either an ash-lye solution or a highly toxic recipe of sodium sulphide liming. This process will help strip the hair and fat that maybe attached to the hides themselves.

No, no one wants to see a hairy hide…)
Next on this glorious journey, these hides are then treated with chemicals that help “puff” the hide, making it easier to split into layers.
The outer layer of the hide is used for goods like car seats, clothing, shoes, purses, etc. But, it’s the inner layer that is needed to make the rawhide. (Oh and other things like gelatin, cosmetics, and glue as well!)

STEP 2: Cleansed In Chemicals

Now that we have the inner layer of the hide, it’s time to go to the post-tannery stage! Hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and/or bleach; this will also help remove the smell of the rotten or putrid leather.
Bonus!
(Research also shows that other chemicals maybe used here to help the whitening process if the bleach isn’t strong enough.)

STEP 3: Make It Look Pretty

Now it’s time to make these whitened sheets of this “leathery by-product” look delicious! So, here is where the artistic painting process comes in.
“Basted, smoked, and decoratively tinted products might be any color (or odor) underneath the coating of (often artificial) dyes and flavors. They can even be painted with a coating of titanium oxide to make them appear white and pretty on the pet store shelves.” – whole-dog-journal.com
“…the Material Safety Data Sheet reveals a toxic confection containing the carcinogen FD&C Red 40, along with preservatives like sodium benzoate. But tracking the effects of chemical exposure is nearly impossible when it’s a matter of slow, low-dose poisoning.”– thebark.com
Ok, now that these hides have been painted, it’s time for the final process.


STEP 4: Getting It To Last Forever!

When tested: Lead, Arsenic, Mercury, Chromium salts, Formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals have been detected in raw hides.

So it’s safe to say that any sort of glues can be used as well!
Finally, it’s time to package and attach all the glorious marketing labels to the product.
Check out the fine print warning that’s attached with some of these rawhides:

[box type=”alert”]“Choking or blockages. If your dog swallows large pieces of rawhide, the rawhide can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract. Sometimes, abdominal surgery is needed to remove them from the stomach or intestines. If it isn’t resolved, a blockage can lead to death.”[/box]

(Oh, how lovely…)
And there it is! It’s now ready to be shipped to store shelves where it can be purchased for our loving animal companions.

How do proactive veterinarians feel about these chews?

    Here is world-renowned veterinarian Doctor Karen Becker’s take on the matter:

“The name ‘rawhide’ is technically incorrect. A more accurate name would be processed-hide, because the skin isn’t raw at all. But the term “rawhide” has stuck.
Rawhide chews start out hard, but as your dog works the chew it becomes softer, and eventually he can unknot the knots on each end and the chew takes on the consistency of a slimy piece of taffy or bubble gum. And by that time your dog cannot stop working it — it becomes almost addictive.
At this point, there’s no longer any dental benefit to the chew because it has turned soft and gooey, and, in fact, it has become a choking and intestinal obstruction hazard.”

Ready for the jaw dropper?

An investigation by Humane Society International stated in their report, “In a particularly grisly twist, the skins of brutally slaughtered dogs in Thailand are mixed with other bits of skin to produce rawhide chew toys for pet dogs. Manufacturers told investigators that these chew toys are regularly exported to and sold in U.S. stores.” – dogingtonpost.com

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Winter Boredom? Fun Exercises To Keep Your Dog Active & Fit During The Cold Season

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I posted the picture above to represent the winter season. In reality, I live in the South but this picture symbolizes how we deal with the cold season. There are many pet parents like myself that feel guilty when our active life with our pets decreases. Our pets get lazy, a little overweight and bored. Well, I want to help all of us out of our runt. No matter what’s going on in any of our lives, let’s make sure one of our priorities is keeping our pets happy through vested activities.
The winter season puts our dogs at risk for many illnesses. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates over half of all dogs in the United States are overweight or obese and have an increased risk of injury, disease and shortened life expectancy. Yes FiFi looks cute and cozy in their pet beds or your bed but believe me having some exercise with their favorite person will make them come alive. It will also prolong their health and lives. So what are these activities you say. I have 6 great activities you and your fur baby will enjoy.

Six Exercises Your Dog Will Love

1. Treadmills

Dog or human treadmills work well to exercise your dog. Start slowly with your dog on a leash and use high-value treats as motivation. After your dog is comfortable walking slowly, gradually increase the speed to a trot. Always stay with your dog to watch him closely. Never tether your dog to a treadmill or force him to stay on it. If your dog doesn’t seem to enjoy the treadmill, find another form of exercise.

2. Stair Climbing

If your dog is young, healthy and not prone to hip problems, throw a ball or toy up to the top of carpeted stairs for an aerobic game of fetch. Just be careful not to overdo exercising on the stairs. Stair climbing is also a quick way to develop your leg muscles quickly.

3. Train with Tricks

Try some new training techniques or reinforce any existing commands or training that need more work. Teach your dog some tricks. If your dog already knows the basic tricks, try teaching him something to help out around the house, such as picking up his toys and putting them in a basket. Most dogs like to learn something new and it’s a great way to bond with your dog.

4.Doggie Gyms

These gyms are popping up all over the country and if there’s one close to you, they offer various ways to exercise your dog. Some even have swimming pools and indoor dog parks.

5. Dog Walkers

If you really hate walking outside in the winter or don’t have enough time to exercise your dog, hire a recommended and reliable dog walker. Make sure they are from a formal company. And also make sure they are insured and bonded. Check out the services we offer : HWHD Services & Fees. This will give you an idea of what activities you would want no matter what part of the country reside.

6. Play Dates

Get together with friends who have dogs that want to exercise, play and socialize. Better yet, host a play date in your home and make some homemade dog treats for your dog to share with his friends.

Bonus:  More Winter Season Activities

Anyone live up north, the Midwest or Canada. Here are some other Great Ideas!

1. Snow Hikes

Head out for a hike in a wooded area after a fresh snowfall. It’s beautiful and serene since most people don’t take advantage of hiking trails in the winter. It’s also the perfect time to use off-leash areas where your dog can have more freedom without running into too many other dogs or people.

2. Sledding and Snowball Fights

Have your dog join you for some childhood fun in the snow.

3. Dog Parks
If your dog gets overwhelmed by crowded dog parks, try visiting in the winter when there are fewer people and dogs at the park. Hint: Pro Petsitters love an afternoon in dog parks.

4. Snowshoeing or Cross-Country Skiing

Enjoy these sports if you have a snow-loving dog.

5. Skijoring

Have you ever heard of Skijoring? Skijoring is having your dog pull you through the snow while you’re wearing skis. It sounds like a lot of fun if you have a snow-loving dog that can safely pull you.

Winter Advice To Keep Your Dog Safe During The Cold

Short-haired, small or elderly dogs may need a water-repellent coat to help keep them warm.

Trim the hair between your dog’s toes to reduce snow and ice buildup.

Dog booties can keep paws dry and free from ice, salt or de-icing chemicals

If your dog hates booties, apply Musher’s Secret wax to his paws before going outside to prevent painful ice balls from forming between his toes. Musher’s Secret also protects paws from hot pavement or beach sand in the summer.

If you don’t use booties, clean your pup’s paws with a warm wet cloth when you return home to remove any salt, de-icing chemicals or ice balls. Also wipe down their legs and belly.

Use reflective wear or clip-on LED collar lights if you walk outside after dark.

Consult with your vet if you have any concerns about exercising your dog outside when it’s cold.

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Pet [ Oh, and For You Too :- ) ]

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Goals Aren’t Just for People

The start of a new year can signal a fresh start for pets needing a change in their routine. For example, with over 50 percent of pets in the U.S. classified as overweight, there’s no better time for owners to commit to a new diet and exercise regimen for their pets. Need more ideas? Here are ten resolutions to make this year your pet’s healthiest year yet!

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#10 Measure Your Pet’s Food – Every Time!

Many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily intake and pour that into a bowl, usually resulting in overfeeding and weight gain. It’s important to use an 8-ounce measuring cup to ensure your pet isn’t taking in more calories than they need. The recommended feeding guidelines on the bag are good place to start to figure out how much food Fido (or Kitty) really needs. Older pets and those who have been neutered usually have lower energy needs than young, intact animals.

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#9 Choose an Age-Appropriate Diet

Growing pets have very specific nutrient requirements to ensure their bodies grow healthy and strong. For example, some senior pets may have lower energy requirements, but have other medical issues like degenerative joint disease that may be helped with the appropriate diet. Choosing a diet specifically tailored to your pet’s life stage is a great way to keep them in optimal health.

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#8 Try a New Activity with Your Pet

From doga to hiking, skijoring to kayaking, it’s easier than ever for people to incorporate their pet into a new exercise routine. It’s a great way to bond, it’ll get you both out of the house, and both owner and pet will reap the rewards of a healthy physical activity. Meet-up groups are a great way to find like-minded pet owners to join you in your exercise, too!

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#7 Incorporate (More) Playtime into Your Routine

Cats love the thrill of chasing a laser toy; just don’t tell them it’s exercise! Toys that trigger a cat’s predatory instinct are a great way to get them off the couch and engaged in a little aerobic activity. Experiment to see what really gets your cat going — in addition to lasers, catnip toys, crinkly balls, and climbable cat trees are perennial feline favorites. Even a cardboard box can become a cat cave that satisfies a cat’s desire for a hiding place.

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#6 Make a Date with Your Vet

Yearly examinations by the veterinarian are a key component of good preventive care. Many medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, or obesity are common in aging pets and much easier to manage when detected in the early stages of the disease process. Veterinary visits are also the perfect time to ask for advice, update your pet’s food, or get an expert opinion on any behavioral issues that may be affecting your bonding with your pet.

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#5 Groom Your Pet Daily

Brushing your pet serves many purposes. It removes excess fur from the coat, reducing the amount you find on your clothes and furniture. It helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, keeping the coat shiny and healthy. Lastly, daily grooming is a bonding activity that demonstrates to your pet how much you love them by taking care of them in a very soothing manner.

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#4 Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits with Your Pet

Daily toothbrushing is the best way to keep tartar and plaque at bay — just be sure to use a toothpaste meant for dogs and cats. Water additives, dental diets, and treats designed to reduce tartar can also be a helpful tool in keeping teeth clean. And even with all of these tricks, regular cleanings by a licensed veterinarian are the best way to keep those pearly whites in tip top shape long into your pet’s senior years.

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#3 Teach an Old Dog a New Trick

Studies show that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. In other words, keeping your senior pet’s brain active can actually make it healthier! Teaching your pet new tricks and practicing those they already know are a great way to keep those neurons firing. Puzzle feeders, which force a pet to think through a task in order to be rewarded with a treat, are also an excellent way to keep a pet’s mind engaged.

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#2 Update Pet ID Info

Over the course of a year, a lot can change — people move, get new phone numbers, and forget to update their pet’s tags. Often they only remember once the pet is lost. If any of your contact information has changed in 2012, don’t wait — update their tags and microchip information today! It’s the best way to ensure a lost pet makes their way safely home.

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#1 Consider Fostering

You think you want a new pet, but you’re not 100 percent sure it’s right for you? Try fostering. Many animal shelters and rescues need loving homes to provide safe and temporary living arrangements for pets. It’s the perfect way to test the waters of pet ownership without the lifelong commitment, since you are simply hosting a pet while they wait for their forever home. Who knows? That home just might end up being yours.

Your Canine Baby A Picky Eater? Stop the Cycle and Get Him To Love Healthy Dog Food

 

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How many of us are guilty of feeding our canine babies human food? Any of us that says no, stop fibbing :)). We are all guilty of doing it from time to time . Therefore let’s take responsibility of turning our fur baby into a picky eater who has forgotten they are still a dog.

I’m a Professional Pet Sitter and have rules for all my fur babies . I love my fur babies and I love spoiling them. So yes I’m guilty of feeding them people food. I also recognize that can be harmful. And if I want my babies to be healthy a long time , I need to make sure they are eating healthy dog food. I want to help other pet owners continue to keep their pets healthy and turn that that picky dog eater into a lover of dog food.

Dogs and Dog Food

There are two kinds of dogs. The first kind lives to eat. They will devour anything you put in front of them. The second kind eats to live. They pick and choose, take longer to finish meals, and sometimes won’t finish them at all.

A dog’s size, breed, and age often dictate whether he adores food or could care less. Every Labrador who ever lived is food motivated and smaller canines, such as Maltese and Yorkies, tend to be more discriminating.

When Does Picky Eating Become a Problem?

If you’re having trouble getting your pet to eat on a regular basis, and he won’t consume his food at least once a day, your dog is a picky eater.
If your dog has always been a picky eater, there is likely no need for concern.

A picky dog that maintains a healthy weight, is alert and perky, and has a shiny coat, is much less worrisome than one who has dropped a few pounds and has a less lustrous coat. If you have a dog who is a regular eater that suddenly stops, that can be a sign something is wrong. Picky eating is one symptom.

What should be the most concern is change. Many illnesses could be why your dog refuses to eat. Even problems associated with old age, such as joint pain while walking to and from the bowl, could be the cause.
The only way to get to the root of the problem is to visit the vet.

If your dog has always been a voracious eater, and is becoming more selective, go to the vet after about 48 hours. For puppies, who have less reserves, don’t wait more than 24 hours.

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Tips for Encouraging Your Picky Eater Dog to Develop Healthier Eating Habits

Tip 1: Start early. Before you bring a dog home, come up with a feeding plan. You and your family need to sit down and decide what the rules will be. And you must all be on the same page. If mom gives food off the plate, but dad plays by the rules, it won’t work. If one family member is adamant about people food, then agree to mix in some healthy options, such as low-fat vegetables, with the kibble.

Tip 2: Don’t feed from the table. Doling out table scraps will cause your dog to eschew dry or canned food and hold out for more salivating options. It can also cause health problems, such as pancreatitis. In addition, variety or changes to the diet may cause diarrhea, as well as reinforce the inappropriate behavior of begging.

Tip 3: Keep dog food and people food separate. Never let a dog associate your food with their food. You have to keep it very separate. Otherwise they’ll start to think they can eat their food and their owner’s, too. Your dog should only eat food out of his bowl, and should never see food as coming from your plate or from something you’re preparing for yourself.

Tip 4: Stick to a schedule. Feed your puppy two to three times each day, as recommended by your vet. Gradually increase the volume of food as you decrease the frequency of feedings as your puppy matures. Your adult dog should be fed once or twice daily without leaving the food out more than a short period of time. To ensure equal portions for each serving, use a measuring cup. If you do choose to incorporate healthy people food, mix it into the kibble. Variety may be the spice of life for humans, but consistency is key for your canine.

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What If Your Start Your Dog On The Wrong Foot?

It’s never too late to start over, but if you want to transition your pup off the filet mignon and sweets, and on to strictly canine fare, it’s best to take it one step at a time.

It’s going to be tough and require 100% compliance from the entire family. Start by lessening people food and increasing dog food bit by bit every day until your pup is off human food entirely. While you are mixing foods, it’s best to use canned dog food as opposed to dry food. That way, your pet can’t separate out and just eat the people food.

If your dog refuses to eat, he is likely holding out for people food, but it’s important to hold firm. Just because he skips a few meals, don’t give in and give him what he wants. Leave the bowl out for 15 minutes, and if he’s not finished, take it away. He’ll eventually choose dog food over no food at all.

Make Sure You’re Giving Your Dog a Healthy Diet

Occasionally the problem with a picky eater may be that he doesn’t like the brand of food you’re giving him. Or it may be that he prefers canned food over dry or vice versa. A high-quality commercial brand is important for a healthy diet.
Check the ingredients, and make sure corn doesn’t top the list. Corn isn’t an ideal diet for a carnivore.
If you’ve tried three brands and both canned and dry food, it’s time to look for another reason your dog refuses to eat. Most likely, he’s holding out for table scraps.

Reserve treats for times when praise is necessary, such as in training. But remember, not all rewards have to be edible. If your dog loves attention, a scratch behind the ears is a treat.

If you find that food treats get the best results, create some boundaries.
For instance, only give a treat after a trick, and always do it in the backyard.

Also, limit treats to three a week, and put them in a separate container so that the entire family knows how many have been given.

It’s one thing if your dog knows he only gets certain things while he’s training, But it’s another if you’re sitting in the kitchen reading a magazine and give your dog a treat because he looks cute.

I hope these tips help in turning that picky canine eater into a healthy canine eater.

Til Next Time…..

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Help Your Pets To Have A Great Holiday

 

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My Babies – LoLa Bella, Toby Kai and Zooey Milania

I was reading a business article about the many options available to entrepreneurs to grow , innovate and  succeed  in 2015. Of course while reading it (very good info) but it turned my attention towards the holidays and our pets.  I have a large family and also many pets,( 3 shih tzus and two cats). Every year , my pets domain comes into question because not all family members or friends enjoy and love animals the way I do . We , as humans , are excellent on concentrating on our needs and wants but how do our pets feel and adjust during the big holiday. They are intelligent, have big hearts of love and are quite loyal.   I love showing my pets  my loyalty is there as well.  One of the many ways I love to show my love is by letting them know , the holidays are about you too and I want you to be happy during these times as well.

I know I’m not the only one who loves her pets infinitely . So for those that do, let me offer some tips for your pets enjoying the holidays as well.

The Christmas Tree(Real or Fake)

A.  Make sure to get a sturdy base for the tree to prevent it from being knocked over.

B.  Pets have allergies too, so keep an eye out for any extra scratching or itching.  Pine and cedar trees can be the worst          culprits; go for fir, spruce, or cypress instead.

C. Vacuum often to pick up the needles. Pets can choke on these.

D. Make sure to cover the base with a skirt so pets can’t drink the tree water.

E. Some cats like to chew on or eat plastic trees. If you notice your cat doing this, you can spray a bitter no-chew solution on the tree.

Tree Trimming

A. Put small ornaments higher so they don’t pose a choking hazard if they fall.

B. Keep breakable or valuable ornaments higher up the tree so they can’t be knocked down.

C. Don’t use tinsel or string on your tree. If eaten, they can get tangled in your pet’s intestines.

D. Plastic or paper ornaments are great alternatives to glass or ceramic ornaments. You can even have an origami-making party with your family!

E.  Instead of metal hooks, use plastic hooks. They’re safer and also easier to attach to ornaments.

F.  Watch the cords. Duct tape them to the floor or buy a cord cover.

Food & Presents

A. Keep food in containers with lids or cover with plastic wrap. Put a fork on top of the plastic wrap to discourage cats from   lying on your food.

B. For serious counter-surfers, try a mat.

C. ASPCA has a list of dangerous foods for pets and keep it handy : CLICK HERE

D. When it’s present-opening time, keep a few big garbage bag handy. Toss string into the garbage immediately. Bags and boxes should be given immediately to the cats to play in, of course.

Merry Merrier

A. Set the house rules for your pets. For example, My dogs know where to sit before big meals and are rewarded with treats.

B. Warn guests of your pet’s quirky habits too, such as which pets like to be picked up and which ones will scratch your eyes out if you try.

C. Give your pets somewhere to escape to when the activity and noise gets to be too much. You can use a pet play pen,  or just a closed-off room with a pet door.

Pets Deserve Holiday Fun Too!

A. Start a pet stocking or gifting tradition (if you haven’t already). Our pets get to open their presents first to keep them busy while we open ours.

B. Toss your dog a chew toy to keep them distracted during the holiday feast. (Their favorite)

C. Last not least, Always give your pet a holiday treat.

 

8 Drool Worthy Holiday Dog Cookie Recipes

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Dog Friendly Candy Canes

Not only do these tasty candy cane treats from Ali’s Pet Kitchen taste good, the peppermint oil helps reduce bad breath odor. Cute and odor reducing? Yes please!

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Doggy Egg Nog

What is a more festive treat than eggnog? Have a frothy glass next to Fido during your next holiday movie night. Check out this recipe from Lola the Pitty.

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Frozen Pup-Cakes

To go along with the frozen weather we’ve been experiencing outside, Lola the Pitty has created a delicious recipe for frozen pupcakes. It’s easy, too! Simply throw peanut butter, plain yogurt, a banana, and a splash of water in a blender, and freeze the mixture in cupcake tins overnight.

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Mutt Mints Christmas Dog Treats

The more treats to aid dog breath odor, the better! We love these cute Christmas tree mint cookies for your pup, from Gourmet Dog Treat Recipes. Swap out the Christmas tree cookie cutter to make these tasty treats year ‘round!

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Healthy Dog Bones

With all of the hearty table scraps Fido is likely getting this holiday season, we know it’s important to think about his health. Back to Her Roots has got you covered. From ground flaxseed to help with his coat and skin, to pumpkin puree to help his digestive system, these dog biscuits taste so good that Fido won’t even realize just how healthy he is!

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Nutty Bacon Dog Treats

What dog doesn’t love bacon, and what dog doesn’t love peanut butter? Combine these two ingredients in this recipe from Dog Hill Kitchen, and you have the ultimate dog treat. After Fido gets his first taste of these, you won’t be able to keep his paws out of the cookie jar!

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Sweet Potato Dog Treats

As a holiday meal staple, you likely have sweet potatoes lying around the kitchen. Not only do sweet potatoes make delicious holiday casseroles, but they also combine to make tasty dog biscuits. Caution: according to Kaylee from Lemons and Basil, the combination of cinnamon, peanut butter and sweet potatoes may smell so good, you’ll want to taste it yourself!

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Peppermint Holidog Christmas Dog Treats

One final peppermint treat to get your pooch in the holiday spirit. This recipe from PetGuide combines molasses with peppermint extract to make a sweet, minty combination that will leave your four-legged friend at your feet the entire time you’re baking.

 

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Your furry best friends spend all year giving you nothing but love; so this holiday season, why not take time to make your very own dog treats for Fido? Not only will he love the thought that went into each treat, he’ll love that you can wrap them up and share them with his friends for the holidays.

 

Recipe For Diabetic Dog Treats

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Original recipe makes 2 pounds
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 pounds beef liver, cut into pieces

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper.
Place the liver into a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. If you have room, add the flour and eggs, and process until smooth. Otherwise, transfer to a bowl, and stir in the flour and eggs using a wooden spoon. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the center is firm. Cool, and cut into squares using a pizza cutter. The treats will have a consistency similar to a sponge. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.