Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Resolution for Rover, Fido & Spot

In Western culture, annual New Year’s celebrations are traditionally accompanied by well intentioned resolutions. As humans, we historically vow to lose weight, stop smoking or spend quality time with the family. Did you ever wonder what your dog’s resolutions would be? Perhaps “I’ll stay out of the cat box”. Maybe “I’ll beg at the table less”. Or the difficult but ever popular “I’ll put paw in hand, not snout in crotch, when meeting new humans”.

Regardless of what our canine companion’s intentions are, there are some simple but important New Year resolutions that YOU can make on their behalf to help your four-legged family members live happy and healthy all year long.

  • Resolve to feed your dog a healthy diet. Not all pet foods are created equal, nor are they all suitable for all dogs. Puppy formulations typically have higher levels of protein than would be needed or desired for senior dogs. Some dogs are allergic to chicken or beef, hence the increase in alternative protein sources such as lamb or fish. Be sure your precious pet gets an appropriate blend of high quality protein, vegetables, fats and vitamins. Diets rich in antioxidants can reduce disease, inflammation, premature aging, and degeneration. “Human” food is often too rich in fats or sugars; emotionally difficult as it may be, deposit table scraps into the garbage pail, NOT your doggy disposal.
  • Resolve to reduce your pet's exposure to harmful substances. The toxins found in common fertilizers, pesticides and household cleaning agents have been linked with increased incidences of pet cancers. Rather than using products with warning labels stating they are unsafe for animals, seek out the increasing number of available "green" --- environmentally-friendly --- products.
  • Resolve to schedule regular visits to the veterinarian. Since illnesses that are caught early are often treatable, regular exams and immunizations to protect your fur kids from doggy diseases and maladies are your best weapon. Regular professional teeth cleaning will keep germs and bacteria in check, while giving your Poochy Pal consistently kissable breath and a pearly white smile.
  • Resolve to give your pet lots of exercise. Insufficient exercise can contribute to behavioral problems including chewing, digging, hyperactivity and unruliness. A regular schedule of exercise can help prevent obesity and illness for both you AND your dog!

Last but not least, if you have not already done so…

  • Resolve to spay or neuter AND microchip your dog!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Some Tricks for Making HOWLaween a Real Treat!

The weather's cooling down, the leaves are changing color, and supermarkets have tripled the space allocated to candy. This can only mean one thing: HOWLaween is just around the corner!

I recently shared some of my top tips for a fun & safe HOWLiday for your fur kids with The Denver Post, but the information is pertinent... and important... for canines all across the country. Here's a link to the online artcle so you can read all about it!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Dog Biscuits

Here's an easy-to-prepare, healthy & yummy treat that's ideal for your trick or treating Tailwagger! Preparation time is less than 10 minutes, and most of the ingredients are probably already in your cupboard or refrigerator.
  • 1-1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 4 tbsp butter flavored Crisco
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 C canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400. Combine all dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Mix egg with milk and pumpkin, then combine with flour mixture. Stir until soft dough forms. Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool before serving. Store in airtight container.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So You Think You Can Dance?

In response to the many who e-mailed asking "what is freestyling?" that was mentioned in my post of January 1, it is a fun and relatively easy sport that that combines music, dancing, and a few basic obedience commands for poochy parents and pals.

For one of the absolute BEST routines ever, click here (and get ready to smile!).

Don't be intimidated by what you see... it takes lots of practice and patience to get that level of teamwork between Carolyn Scott and Rookie down pat. 15 years in their case!

Begin by teaching your fur friend 3-4 different "tricks" WITHOUT the music. You can get him or her to weave through your legs, spin in a circle, and even back up by luring with a favorite treat (hint: keep the treats small or you'll have a ballooning bow-wow!) and a consistent command (such as "weave", "spin", "back"). The all important "bow" at the conclusion of the routine is always a big crowd pleaser!

Once the two of you have reliably mastered the tricks, select a piece of music to work them into. Make it a short piece... and don't be afraid to repeat the tricks a number of times throughout.

For those of you who have two left feet (like your dog... and me!), don't try incorporating any fancy shmancy moves. But be sure to add in a few extra twirls of your own so the tailwagger isn't doing all of the work!

There are canine freestyle clubs across the United States... and even the world... but even if you don't have one near you or don't want to compete, it's a great way to spend time with your favorite fur baby!

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...]