Tag Archives: must love dogs

A Holiday Feast for the Hounds

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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!

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Howl-O-Ween

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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!

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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!