Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Holiday Feast for the Hounds

dog-thanksgiving-turkey-480x320

As the holiday season starts to wind down (can you believe Christmas is next week??), we wanted to send out a friendly reminder to make sure and include your furry family members in the celebration!  From pet stockings filled with toys, to a new leash, a fuzzy sweater and much more, there are a million ways to spoil your pooch.  BUT, if your dogs are like ours, the way to their heart is through their stomach!

Here are some healthy (and tasty!) treat ideas:

*Squash and Sweet Potato Mash:

This is not only yummy (for both humans and dogs) but is easy for your pooch to digest and is full of beta carotene.  Either roast or microwave the potatoes and squash (we love Kabocha & Acorn), then mix together in a large bowl.  Be sure to set aside a portion for Fido before you add all of the extra goodies like butter, cream and seasoning.

*Poultry/Ham/Lamb Treats:

Once you’ve roasted your main course to perfection, carve a few small pieces (minus the seasonings, fat and/or skin) for your dog’s enjoyment. Just remember to feed snacks like this in moderation!

*Veggies:

It isn’t a proper holiday meal unless all food groups are represented. Some of our office dog’s favorite treats include fresh, crunchy carrots.  They also enjoy green beans, peas and asparagus all of which are packed with healthy vitamins and antioxidants.

*Peanut Butter & Yogurt Pupsicles: If you’re having dessert, don’t leave out the dog! Just mix one 32 oz container of low-fat vanilla yogurt with a cup of melted peanut butter.  Pour into small, lined muffin tins or these cute paw shaped molds and freeze.

And finally, no matter how hard your pooch begs, there are a few things to avoid: 

*Onions & Garlic: Bad breath aside, both of these can lead to anemia in dogs if given in large quantities or over an extended period of time.

*Cooked bones: Although most dogs love a meaty raw bone, once they’ve been cooked the bones become brittle and can shatter causing painful splinters or something even more serious such as an obstruction.   Please note: Supervision is a good thing here!

*Yeast/Bread Dough:  ‘Tis the season for baking…and dogs whose sense of smell get them into trouble.  If you are going to be baking with yeast, be sure to keep the dough well out of reach so it can rise safely on the counter (or up on top of the fridge for hungry giant breeds), and not in their bellies.

*Gravy, and other items with a high fat content:  High fat intake can lead to pancreatitis, a painful and sometimes fatal inflammation of the pancreas.  If you’d like to treat your dog to some gravy, a good principle is to keep the quantity small. A tablespoon or so watered down before adding it to their kibble can be a tasty and much healthier option, as can some low sodium stock or broth.  Less is more…and their noses are so good, they won’t know the difference!

From all of us at Dog-ON-It-Parks, have a wonderful holiday!

Howl-O-Ween

octopitty

Who says Halloween has to be to a holiday just for humans? Here are some ways to make the spooky celebration special for your furry friends too!

Costume Ideas:

There’s nothing cuter than dressing up your pup for Halloween. Here are some of our favorite DIY ideas (one of our office dogs modeling her *new* octopus costume!):

– Dress them up like their favorite human (grandpa, child, etc). For fun, you can play role reversal and create a dog costume for their counterpart to resemble your pup!

– Create a cat costume, or even better a squirrel costume! Everyone will get a giggle watching your dog strut around like their mortal enemy.

– Pay homage to your favorite movie character. You can never go wrong with Star Wars, Indiana Jones or Harry Potter!

STAR-WARS-DOG-COSTUME-25-MAIN-1318362141

Trick or TREAT?:

Spoil your pup with some of these delicious Halloween inspired treats:

– Instead of a caramel apple, make your pup a peanut butter covered apple slices for them to enjoy!

– You can also make them some pumpkin peanut butter treats (click here for recipe)

– Or even better, candy corn inspired frozen treats! (click here for recipe)

Visit our Pinterest page for more easy (and healthy) homemade treat recipes: http://www.pinterest.com/dogonitparks/scooby-snacks/

Ways to include dogs in the fun:

If you carve pumpkins with your family, include an extra one with an adorable paw print cut out to represent your dog – or even better, use glow in the dark paint to make an actual print using their paws! Also, pumpkin (including the seeds) is a healthy and tasty food for your pooch so consider putting the pumpkins to good use after Halloween instead of throwing them away.

Also, it might be nice to have some dog treats ready for families stopping by your house who have brought their dogs. You can even leave a bowl of dog treats out next to the candy bowl for trick or treaters to grab for their pups while you’re out exploring the neighborhood.

Lastly, if your dog is confident and well socialized, consider bringing your pooch along with you. They’ll love the walk and all of the attention they get as people talk about how cute they are in their costumes.  But please remember to bring a waste bag with you on your walk, no one wants to find that kind of “treat” on the bottom of their shoe!

Have a safe and happy Howl-O-Ween!

There is no Poop Fairy

Pet Waste Pick Up – Why is it important?

At some point in all of our lives, we all end up encountering a pile of dog poop on the ground (hopefully before someone steps in it). Many dog owners don’t realize the importance of picking up their pet’s waste. As pet guardians, we are not just responsible for keeping our pets safe and healthy, it also falls on us to clean up after them, especially in public areas.

Not only is it gross (and let’s be honest here – it makes the responsible pet owners look *really* bad) for someone to leave their pet’s waste behind, it’s unsanitary.  Dog waste is a pollutant that can have a big impact on our environment.  From damaging lawns to spreading parasites, it is important to consider the environmental and health impacts involved with failing to clean up after our furry friends. Leaving pet waste behind can contaminate an area with germs and thus help to spread potentially deadly canine diseases such as coccidia, parvovirus and other illnesses that can lead to costly veterinary care.

If left unchecked, feces will also begin to break down and migrate (either from rain fall, someone stepping in it, or other reasons) where it can pollute our waterways and continue to spread even further.  Another consideration is that pet waste also attracts unwelcome guests such as flies and rodents, and no one likes having an infestation on their hands.

An easy way to help reduce the amount of waste left behind is by installing Pet Waste Stations throughout our communities. These all in one stations help to encourage responsible clean up by providing pick up bags (with a dispenser) and a handy waste receptacle in one convenient package.  Our complete DOI Dog Waste Station offers both roll style and single pull bags (and ask us about our eco-friendly bags made from 100% recycled content) and is affordably priced for any community: http://www.dog-on-it-parks.com/category/72-pick-up-stations.aspx

So please remember…scoop your poop! It’s the right thing to doo.  Er, do.

poo fairy

Pet Fountains

Boneyard

When it comes to purchasing a pet fountain and making sure our four-legged friends stay hydrated at the dog park, here are a few tips to help you find the right fountain.

Most dog people know that dog parks are corrosive environments. Between weather and dog urine (and yes, dogs have been known to water the water fountains!), the first step is to source only fountains manufactured with stainless steel. Unlike galvanized steel, SS does not rust and is a much more attractive and durable option for dog parks, dog beaches or any pet-friendly community.

Dual function fountains are becoming more and more popular. Whether you’re looking for an option that also offers a hose bib or shower for dog washing, or a pet fountain with a bottle filler, it’s easier than ever to find exactly what you want. And if you don’t see it, ask! We have the ability to customize fountains – just ask Westfield Shopping Centers!

If you appreciate only drinking clean, healthy water, your pup does too. Look for a third party certification that the fountain is lead-free. Also, make sure the bowl has a slow drain to help prevent standing water which can attract bugs.

For more information on pet fountains and other pet-friendly solutions, visit http://www.dogdrinkingfountains.com or your resident dog park experts at http://www.dog-on-it-parks.com.

Until next time, remember to wag more, bark less and support your local dog park!

What should I look for in dog park equipment?

Bow Wow Barrel

First and foremost, safety should always be the first consideration. This means avoiding products that fall within three categories. One; re-purposed children’s playground equipment such as slides or tunnels (they’re slippery for a reason!), two; any company using AKC standards in the design of their products and three; equipment made from PVC, wood or steel.

Dogs that compete in professional agility are just that – professionals! The equipment used in those competitions is much higher, narrower and steeper than what most dogs (and their humans!) should be using in a public park setting without prior experience.

Recreation level agility equipment should be no higher than three feet off the ground with extra wide planks that are highly textured for slip resistance. Tunnel interiors should be textured as well to provide traction, especially if the ground becomes wet.

As far as materials are concerned, equipment made with heavy gauge aluminum will always be your best bet. It’s incredibly durable, eco-friendly and won’t rust like steel, crack like PVC or degrade over time like wood.

Spending a little extra time when researching dog park equipment will ensure that you end up with high quality products that will provide years of enjoyment for all your park users, both two and four-legged.

After all, you want your dog park to be safe AND fun, right?  Click through for more information on what to look for in dog park equipment and dog park resources.