Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hanukah Treats: Poochy Potato Pancakes

Happy Hanukah to all you kelev (Hebrew for "dog") lovers out there! Here's a fun & easy recipe* that will help your fur kids feel part of the Festival of Lights celebration. And as you'll see, it contains all human ingredients so feel free to sneak a few for yourself!


9 sweet potatoes (peeled and grated)
1⁄2 cup honey
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients. Transfer to a large cast iron frying pan. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Stir the potatoes to expose the pieces from the bottom of the pan. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and caramelized on the outside. Let cool before slicing into bite size pieces and serving

* Courtesy of Loews Hotels Executive Chef Mark Ehrler. as part of their “Houndly Holidays” package.
This recipe is for treats and not intended for daily consumption or for pets with special dietary restrictions.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Despite your dog’s willingness --- or should I say insistence? --- about pulling up a chair to join you for your annual holiday meal, think twice about sharing… especially if they don't regularly get table scraps during the rest of the year. Most traditional holiday foods are far too rich and spicy for pets, triggering gastrointestinal discomfort, vomiting, and bouts of diarrhea.

Poultry and ham bones can easily splinter and lodge in the throat, gums or the roof of the mouth; they can also cause extensive damage to the stomach and GI tract, puncturing the small intestines and creating a life-threatening or fatal situation. A good rule to follow is: "If in doubt, throw it out"!
A satisfying portion of his regular food served just before your feasting begins should reduce your dog’s inclination to beg for food. Be sure to reinforce the “no people food” rule to your family and friends; don’t give in no matter how cute, hungry or deprived your pet looks… or how
“mean” you feel!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who's Yur Daddy... and Momma?

My Tracey Pup, is one of the most distinctive looking mixed breeds I've ever seen. People are always asking what she is, and I confidently respond (with my best guess) "she's a Chow-ish, Aussie-ish, maybe Corgi-ish, we don't know what else but we love her" mix.

Well, all that's all changed since I discovered that I could determine what my K-9 Kids' heritage is through a simple, painless DNA swab test called Wisdom Panel Insights. I tried to pretend I didn't care, but inside, I was jumping up & down like a Jack Russell!

From the time I took the sample and mailed the swab to the lab, time seemed to slow down interminably. Like Chariots of Fire running on the beach slow mo. The packaging promised results in 3 weeks; it turned out to be the LONGEST 3 weeks of my life! I felt like one of those women holding a pregnancy test in her hand. COME ON... turn blue already!

Well, true to the manufacturer's word, the results did arrive on the 21st day. The mystery is now over, and I can report with ABSOLUTE confidence (?) that my Tracey Pup is a combination of... drumroll please...
  • Cattle Dog (Heeler)
  • Chow Chow
  • Staffordshire Terrier
  • SharPei

That's right! A bone-a-fide CatChowStaPei! One of a kind. 100% adorable. And all mine!

Okay Cassie and Dizney... it's your turn! [To Be Continued...]

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dealing With The “Back To School Blues”

“Hey, where ya goin’? And why aren’t I goin’ witcha???”

That very well might be what your dog is frantically thinking as he sees his kids leave for their first day back to school. After all, the two leggeds and tailwagger have been non-stop companions for the past couple of months during summer break, but now --- like McCauley Culkin --- he’s “home alone”.

It’s enough to make a grown dog cry! Or result in undesirable puppy antics like boredom chewing, indiscreetly positioned indoor puddles and piles, or attention generating disobedience. And who could blame him? Well, YOU will! WAIT! Don’t throw the doggy out with the dishwater! Such bad behaviors from your forlorn fur friend can be avoided with a little pre-thought and planning by all members of the family.
  • Prepare your pooch for being left alone by practicing brief absences from home. Start with just a few minutes at a time, gradually making them longer and more unpredictable in length.
  • Before leaving, spend a few minutes of quality time together. Throw the ball, take a brisk walk… something to tire him out so he welcomes a cat nap after your departure. And of course, make sure there is ample opportunity for him to fully answer Mother Nature’s calls!
  • Don’t make a big deal about leaving. A simple “see ya soon fella” with a pat on the head or scratch behind the ears should be sufficient. Maybe a small treat so he starts to look forward to your leaving! Ditto for when you return!
  • If your dog is going to be spending more time inside the house while you’re away, be sure to “puppy proof” their area and provide fun distractions such as a new chew toys or stuffed kong to keep him busy and amused. Be sure to safeguard your pet against items you don’t want destroyed or those that could be harmful such as electrical wires. To stave off loneliness, leave a nearby television or radio on to emulate the absent family members.
  • Until he gets used to his new routine, consider breaking up your dog’s day with a midday visit from a professional pet sitter. Weekly or bi-weekly visits to your local dog daycare will give him something to look forward to and have him “sleeping it off” well into the next day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Heat is (Still) On!

Don't let the calendar date fool you... just because we are out of August does not mean the Earth's thermostat is magically, instantaneously turned down. In fact, where I live, the temps are temporarily hovering at 105... believe it or not, this is a cooling trend for us Phoenicians who have endured a sweltering Dog Days of August average of 109 degrees. Uncomfortable is an understatement, for 2-leggeds and 4-leggeds alike. (And don't even TRY telling us "it's a dry heat" or I'll let my petite pup Happy lick your toes until you scream for mercy!!!).

The rules for keeping your four leggeds safe from the heat are still in full force. I cover many of them in my book "Top Dog's Top Tips for Tip Top Dog Care: What Your Best Friend Wants You To Know". But because time is of the essence, I'm going to share my top 3:
  1. Watch the clock! Provide exercise during the coolest times of the day: early morning or late evening. Limit sun exposure altogether during the mid-day hours, and never leave your dog tied up in the sun or in any area without protective shade.
  2. Keep plenty of cool, fresh water available at all times. use of metal bowls outside is a big "no no" as they cause water to heat up, potentially scalding your unsuspecting dog's mouth and tonge. Ice cube filled bowls placed in shaded areas of your yard will provide a refreshing source of water for hours at a time.
  3. Refrain from having your dog stand on, or walk across, parking lot blacktops. Cute as it looks, that's not a talented tap dancing canine you'll see; its a pooch in pain from scalded paw pads. Use protective cream or booties to reduce the potential for injury.

The bottom line? Use common sense... if you're not comfortable, neither is your best friend!