Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Honest Kitchen-- Four Homemade Recipes For Your Dog

Recently, I wrote about how we switched our "House Kibble" to Honest Kitchen. Did you know that this dog food can be so versatile, you can make homemade recipes that your dog will slobber over? I know it may seem silly home cooking a meal for your canine companion, but studies are starting to show "that poor quality food may cause cancer to develop in dogs and cats, mainly due to a compromised immune system." (Quote comes from the first article I posted at the bottom of this blog post). I have put some useful links at the bottom of this post if you would like to start following this research. In the meantime,  here are some quick recipes you can make from home for you four-legged family member (click on the link below the picture):

 There are more recipes on the wide world of the internet. I tell ya, this food is so versatile, it lends to creative culinary explorations and opens a door to a new and innovative way to feed our pets.

As promised, here are the links to start your search on why feeding your four-legged companion REAL food may be the best (healthiest) option:

 I fed my little fur babies hamburger, plain yogurt and bone broth this morning. How about you? 💓

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Winter Care for Dogs

Winter is coming and it is time to start preparing for the COLD... which also means your dog. Certain breeds are more susceptible to cold: little dogs, short haired dogs. lean dogs (like a greyhound), puppies and older dogs. There are dogs that are "cold weather dogs". This means their fur and body is build to handle colder temperatures. BUT, even these dogs can get cold if left outside for too long or the temperature drops below zero.

How can you tell if your dog is cold? A sure sign is if they start to SHIVER. They will also hunch their back (trying to make themselves smaller!), make sounds of distress and try to go to any shelter they can find (veer towards the neighbors porch while on a walk). If the vulnerable padding on their paws starts to freeze or becomes compacted with snow, they will limp or lift one paw up at a time. Here are some tips to keep your dog warm and safe this winter:

Winter Care

  • Don't leave your dog outside for too long. Yep, even dogs can get frost bite.
  • Be careful on ice! Just like a human, your dog can get injured on ice by slipping. If a dog is running on ice, their feet will slip and increase their risk of pulling or tearing a joint. 
  • Brush your dog regularly. A well groomed coat keeps proper insulation. 
  • Don't leave your dog in the car for hours upon end thinking they are sheltered. Temperatures can drop to freezing in a car just as they can get way too hot in the summer.
  • Feed your dog extra calories if they play a lot outside or are working dogs. Their bodies burn extra calories trying to maintain body heat in cold temperatures.
  • Towel or blow dry your dog when they come inside and are wet. BUT, also make sure they don't get too close to the fireplace or portable heater and get burned!
  • Clean your dogs paws when they come inside. The salt on the sidewalks can irritate their skin and cause their pads to crack. If their pads are cracked, apply some paw butter.
  • WATCH OUT FOR ANTIFREEZE. Dogs think this smells and tastes wonderful, but it is deadly poison for them.

What can you do if your dog absolutely loves Winter Wonderland?  You can purchase them coats and boots! There are many different kinds of dog coats (or sweaters). Some are made of wool or fleece and some are made of water resistant fabric (for the more hardcore dogs). Here is an example of a sweater:

 A sweater or coat should fit snugly and completely cover their tummy. Dogs do not have much fur on their bellies, even the cold climate dogs. Often, their bellies will rub against high snow and cause little scratches and snow burn. When you fit your dog to a sweater/ coat make sure they can walk comfortably, it's easy to get on and off and they are able to use the bathroom if need be.

As for dog boots, there are serious dog boots and fashionable ones:

 These are FASHIONABLE.... and not really all that practical. But FUN!! (and maybe you want to match your dog...)

 Boots for the more serious, outdoorsy dogs. They are kind of pricey, but they have a stronger sole and will last A LOT longer than the ones I will show next...

Your typical dog boot. They price in at about $20, but in my experience, have only lasted about one... maybe two winters. Eventually the dog's claws will start to wear out the front toe and they will rip.

If you are really crafty, I have pinned a tutorial on how to sew your own dog boots here.

Winter can be an absolutely gorgeous time of year to enjoy the outdoors, but always remember to keep yourself and your canine companion safe. Watch for signs of being overly cold and respond accordingly and you should be good to go!

Have a SAFE and wonderful Winter! 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Importance of Laying Down Turf Correctly in Doggy Daycares

Yesterday, we posted on Facebook why we shovel the snow off of our K9 grass:
 "Green Grass? With the scare of upper respiratory infection still on a lot of people's minds, I have decided to do a weekly post showing  behind the scenes of what we do to try and keep our facility as clean as possible. With the first signs of snow showing this morning, I decided my first post would be on winter yard preparation. One of the most important things we do is shovel all snow off the yards. We never let snow sit very long on our yards. The staff gets here at 6am. If the yard is not green then they are out there before we open shoveling. Why? Because as pretty as snow is it is not good for it to sit in a yard full of dogs. The turf we have was installed professionally with a drainage system underneath it so the more snow that sits on it the harder it makes it for it to drain properly which makes higher risk of bacteria. Snow also can cause the dogs to slip while running which increases chance of injury and is obviously very cold to stand on. Last, but one of the most important reasons is that it also makes it impossible to disinfect which we do all year round so we need the snow out of the way. The only yard we do not shovel is our biggest yard and that is because it does not get the traffic the other yards do. We only use that yard for a few hours a day and can shut it completely down. The dogs can have a snow day in that yard."

In the past, I have blogged about the bacteria and health risks of dog poop, what to look for in doggy daycares and why daycares should take the collars off of their dogs in the facility (links provided!). All of these are important health and safety measures. But, I have yet talked about turf in daycares. I have often seen pictures of other daycares with improperly installed turf and think OMG. Usually, these facilities just lay the turf upon the ground. This is a huge "NO" when it comes to sanitation. When turf is laid directly upon the ground without a properly installed drainage system, it becomes bacteria's best friend. Eventually, this can lead to sick Kennel Cough. So please, please, please when you are searching for the right doggy daycare for your furry family member, ask the daycares about how often they clean their turf and how it is laid upon the ground!  A good drainage system can not only help with clean-up, but it will also help prevent spores and bacteria from building up withing the synthetic grass.