Dog Treats

Homemade Dog Treat Recipes for Springtime

Spring is finally here, and we are excited! At DogWatch Hidden Fences headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, we are enjoying the warmer weather, longer days and, of course, the absence of snow. Yet even if you didn’t just emerge from a long, cold, snowy winter, we still think spring is a time to celebrate. And who better to celebrate with than your dog! Our suggestions: pencil in some extra playtime in the backyard, take your dog to a nearby park or waterfront, schedule a doggie playdate, or try one of our yummy dog treat recipes, featuring fresh spring ingredients!

StrawberryA Strawberry Smoothie for Spot?

A dog smoothie? Won’t that be messy? Not if you try Doggy Dessert Chef’s appealing recipe, which takes all of the irresistible and healthy goodness of this warm-weather treat and packs it into biscuit form. Strawberries are typically in season in late spring/early summer, so now is the time to try this out. Plus, bananas are another healthy, safe fruit for dogs. Pair these with a smoothie of your own, and you’ve got a relaxing treat for the both of you to enjoy!

The recipe can be found here. Cooking time is 15-20 minutes, and you’ll need a blender. (Note: these treats contains milk, so they are not suitable for lactose intolerant dogs.)

Give Peas a Chance!

PeasFresh peas – from English to snow to sugar snap – are also in season. Peas are healthy for dogs, providing them with a good source of the B vitamin Thiamin, phosphorous, and potassium. Plus, many dogs love them! Peas make a good treat for training because of their small size. For a more filling snack, you can try this easy-to-make “salad” recipe from CrazyCrumb-Dog-Treats, featuring peas, apples, broccoli, carrots, chicken and more. All you need to do is chop and serve – making this the perfect recipe for busy or cooking-phobic dog owners. This treat is also gluten-free, making it a great option for dogs that are allergic to wheat.

MintIs Your’s Dog’s Breath in Mint Condition?

Did you know mint is also in season in spring? The popular herb is also a great ingredient for dog treats, since it adds flavor while also helping freshen your dog’s often-stinky breath. We found two recipes featuring mint that we are looking forward to trying out. The simpler recipe, from the blog The Daily Bark, needs only three ingredients: fresh mint, water and unsalted crushed crackers. After mixing these ingredients together, pop them in the freezer until frozen and voila, a quick, cool snack for your pup!

The second recipe, found on eHow.com, is a bit more complex, and requires one unusual ingredient – activated charcoal. This ingredient is found at most drugstores, in tablet or powder form. Other than this unusual additive, these treats are easy to make, will last up to six weeks, and your dog will love them. Try the recipe out here, and tell us if it works!

Do you have any favorite homemade dog treat recipes? We’d love to try them out. Share them in the comments below, or via Facebook or Twitter. We wish you all good luck in the kitchen, and a happy spring to you and your dog!

Strawberry image: jcmar.net via Flickr.

Pea image: timlewisnm via Flickr.

Mint image: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr.

Ho Ho Ho! Holiday Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Dalmatian by a Christmas TreeHappy Holidays from Dog Tails! All year, we’ve enjoyed sharing our stories and advice with you, our fantastic audience of passionate pet owners. We hope our blog has kept your informed about and, of course, entertained by all things canine (and feline, too)!

In our last post before Christmas, we pulled together one last list of tips to keep your pets safe during the end-of-season holiday madness. Noise, food, decorations, guests, travel – these next two weeks have it all! Follow our final list of tips for 2010, and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with your wonderful pets!

The Food

Holiday feasts are not only tempting for us, but also for our pets. Be sure to keep an eye out for unattended plates or serving dishes left within reach. Also, don’t forget to watch the trash and any drinks – your pets can get in trouble exploring these things, too!

Extra caution is needed for specific, dangerous foods containing chocolate, xylitol, bones, alcohol or grapes. (For more information on good and bad people food for pets, check out this previous blog post and the ASPCA website.)   As we discussed in our Thanksgiving tips, leftover treats should be kept to a minimum and limited to foods that your pets have tried before without incident. (Nobody enjoys a Christmas trip to the Vet!)

To avoid food-related surprises altogether, purchase or prepare special holiday-themed treats (like these for dogs and these for cats). Inform your guests that table scraps are off-limits for Fido and Fluffy, and instead, have proper treats available so you can include your pet in the holiday festivities without risking any unintended consequences.

The Tree

The Christmas tree is a holiday tradition for many – but it can be a nightmare for dog owners. The ASPCA reminds you to securely anchor your tree to make sure it does not fall, especially if your pet likes to play near it. If you have a real tree, keep your pet away from the tree water. It may contain fertilizers, and if it stays stagnant, it can upset your pet’s stomach and cause diarrhea.

Also, keep your pet away from the tree’s strings of lights. Some dogs are tempted to chew these cords, which can cause a serious electric shock. Check for signs of chewing each day, and do not let your pet play in the tree area if these signs appear.  If you need more than a stern warning to keep your pet away from the tree, you may want to consider using an electronic indoor boundary to ensure the safety of both your pet and your tree.  Indoor boundaries also work well for other indoor areas (such as the kitchen counter!).  Check the Indoor Boundaries section of the DogWatch website for more information.

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Five Thanksgiving Safety Tips for Dog Owners

Thanksgiving is only one week away – are you prepared? Have you purchased your turkey, made travel plans, distributed cooking duties, unpacked the decorations, and worked out the seating chart? There is clearly a lot of work to do, and chances are, the family dog is low on your list of concerns.

DogWatch Hidden Fences wants to make sure the family dog has a fun, safe Thanksgiving, too, without adding too many new tasks to your growing list of to-dos. Review our quick and easy list, and don’t forget to sit back, relax, and enjoy the holiday (after the meal is served, of course!)

1) Keep dogs out of the kitchen

The kitchen on Thanksgiving Day should be a no-dog-zone. These curious creatures can run into serious trouble during this busy day – including getting burned by a hot dish or cut by a knife slipping out of someone’s hand. No pet owner wants to see their dog hurt – – or to run the risk of having the dog get into something in the kitchen that was intended for your guests. Why not send the dog out for a walk or a game of fetch in the den with the kids? You will have one less thing to worry about as you cook the turkey and mash the potatoes.

2) Watch out for bones

dogs and cat beggingBones are perfect chew toys for dogs, right? NO! Even though Snoopy carries one in his mouth all the time, cooked bones are actually very dangerous for dogs.  These bones (especially turkey and chicken bones) are often brittle and can break and cause damage if digested.  Rather than hand off the turkey bone to Fido, give him a dog-friendly rawhide bone or bully stick.  He can now safely chew and enjoy this holiday treat.

3) Don’t overdo it with the table scraps

Just like us, dogs can go a little overboard with the yummy food on this feast-filled day. Keep an eye on the amount of people food your dog is consuming throughout the day.  Bits and pieces of boneless, cooked turkey, green beans and mashed potatoes are fine – too much can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea. To avoid this potential disaster, inform all the guests that Sparky will get his treats after dinner, not at the table!

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Homemade Dog Treats: Woof Woof, Yum Yum!

making dog treatsIs your dog tired of the same old treats? Do you want to give him or her something special to commemorate a birthday, celebrate an obedience class graduation or just to make them smile?   If so, then try out some of these yummy homemade dog treats!

In this installment of Dog Tails’ Dog Treats, we have collected the best recipes from some of our favorite dog blog and websites.  From Martha Stewart’s beautiful hand-molded paw cookies to treats with healthy fall ingredients like pumpkin, we’ve got enough to keep you pup’s tail waggin’ till winter.

Snickerpoodles, from Beautiful Life Photography

These irresistible cookies, made with simple and inexpensive ingredients like oatmeal, cinnamon and applesauce, proved to be a big treat not only for this family’s dog, but also for the kids!  As you can see in the stunning photos that accompany this recipe, everyone pitched in to help.  Plus, you can mold these cookies into whatever shape you want.  Dog bones, stars, paws, squirrels – the possibilities are endless!

For the complete recipe, click here.

Paw Print Dog Treats, from Martha Stewart

The design diva, and avowed animal lover, included this adorable dog treat recipe in her popular magazine’s March 2010 issue.  As to be expected, it is slightly more complicated than the previous recipe, but still simple enough for the kids to help out with measuring and mixing.

The best part of the recipe is the signature “Paw Print.”  Once the round treats are cut out and placed on the baking sheet, the next step is to press your thumb in the middle of the circle and your pinkie finger around that thumb print, creating a paw-shaped imprint. Adorable!  Add in the coating of low-sodium chicken broth (a dog favorite) and you’ve got a perfectly irresistible treat.

For the complete recipe, click here.

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