Should You Consider Preventative Health Screening For Your Dog?

30 Apr

Your dog can’t tell you how he’s feeling—it’s usually how they look or act that is the first sign that something may be wrong. You as the owner play an integral role in helping your dog combat illness and stay as healthy as possible. That responsibility includes having an awareness of warning signs, knowing and preparing for appropriate first aid scenarios, and regular vet visits. Your vet may also recommend preventive health screening additions like blood work and other tests. Here are a few scenarios in which you may want to consider additional health screening for your dog.

When is blood work necessary?

In emergency situations: blood work provides you and your vet with a valuable picture of your pet’s health. It is often the first step in an exam when a pet is brought in to a clinic because they are sick or in an emergency situation. It helps the veterinary staff make immediate decisions so they can quickly help your pet.

Prior to a major procedure:

health screenings and blood work are routinely done prior to any major procedure being done on your pet. This helps the staff learn whether or not anesthesia is safe for your pet and allows them to make adjustments if hey see anything abnormal.

As a preventative measure:

because the signs your dog is sick are not always obvious, a health screening is often recommended as a part of your pet’s annual exam. It can uncover disease before it’s too late, and help you avoid significant medical expenses or risks to your pet’s health. As your pet ages, it becomes more important to take advantages of preventative measures like these.

For medication monitoring:

since some medications may have side effects, periodic blood work may be recommended during a course of medication for your pet, as a way to find these problems early and allow for changes to their course of treatment. With other medications, blood tests may be needed to ensure appropriate doses.

What health screening tests will my veterinarian run?

There are a few tests that are routinely performed when blood work is recommended by a vet. These can include the following.

  • Complete blood count (CBC): This will tell you if your dog has an infection, if inflammation is present, or if your dog is anemic.
  • Complete blood chemistry panel: A panel will provide you with information about your pet’s liver, kidneys, and pancreas, as well as other functions of the body like blood sugar and hydration.
  • Urinalysis: This can identify an infection or inflammation of the urinary tract.
  • Thyroid function test: This test will detect whether or not your pet’s thyroid gland in functioning normally. Thyroid disease is quite common in older dogs.

More often than not, doing blood work on your healthy pet will bring back normal results. However, if you’ve noticed your dog is more lethargic than usual, their appetite has changed, or you’ve begun noticing other behavioral changes that cannot be explained, it could be that something else is going on internally.

Adoption Story: Elise & Milo, The Staffy-Springer Mix

29 Apr

Story submitted by Elise

When I was 10 years old, I broke my ankle, and had to get two operations to fix it. My mum promised to get me a dog as I was being wheeled in for my operation, so obviously I was ecstatic! We planned for a while on what breed to get and decided on a lab.

However, at the time my friends dog fell pregnant and had a litter of five pups—all boys, and they weren’t labs. They were staffy/springer spaniel crosses. Still, I begged my mum for one and she gave in, we went round to my friends house to choose a puppy. This fat brown squirmy puppy was put in my arms and I fell in love, obviously this was Milo! After that, I went to my friends almost everyday after school to see the puppies, I couldn’t wait for the 8th week to bring him home. We could tell Milo apart from the other pups because he has a little white tuft of hair at the end of his tail.

To my suprise on the 4th week she brought Milo to me and said he was ready to take home, once he was at my house my mum rang a vet to come round and check him over (we knew he was well to young to leave his mum) and the vet said he was healthy and to keep him with us, we fed him milk for a little while before completely weaning him onto solid food. I slept downstairs with him for the first few weeks since he was so young, he always managed to climb onto the couch and I would wake up with him cuddled into me! Another time I was woken up by him crying, panicking I looked all over the living room for him but he was no where to be seen, I went out into the hall and found him on the first step of the stairs, crying because he couldn’t get down!

Milo settled into the family great, although where ever he went trouble followed. He once chewed a hole in a cupboard in the kitchen, then crawled into the hole and got cosy in his new little ‘den’ under the cupboard. We had to break the bottom of it to get him out! Another time he was left home alone for not even an hour and he stole the entire toilet roll and ripped it up, leaving the house covered in shreds of it!

Although mischievous, he was great when it came to training, he picked up on toilet training right away and loved learning new things. Now he’s able to do many tricks, including sit pretty, play dead, speak, balance (balance a treat on his nose and head), paw, shake, spin, crawl, and many other things!

After getting neutered, Milo became dog aggressive, and it has been a constant struggle to get him to feel calmer around dogs but we are slowly getting there, of course we have been using R+ methods to help Milo with this issue and we are making progress. Sadly, a dog got off the lead a few weeks ago and came to Milo barking and lunging, which as you can imagine freaked him out. It did set is back as now Milo is as wary as ever of other dogs but we are just going to carry on with our training and I know he will get there in the end!

I’ve had him now for five years and he is literally my best friend. Last year my mum sadly passed away and he was my little rock, he really did look after me. Whenever I would get upset he would cuddle with me and give me kisses, he is honestly my whole world and I’m so lucky to have him.

Tips to Stop Your Dog From Jumping

28 Apr

Most dogs jump out of excitement. When they greet new people, when you return home… sometimes they have so much joy that they just can’t help themselves, and because they don’t understand that it isn’t good behaviour. It’s our job to teach them what we want from them, and to be consistent with our rules. After all, at the end of the day all your dog wants is to make you happy.

Dogs jumping up or at people is annoying in and of itself, but it poses the problem of safety as well. Although you may not mind your dog jumping up, it can be bothersome to guests in your home or passersby on walks. Most of all, a jumping dog (depending on its size) can easily knock over a child or even an adult. For the well-socialized dog, putting a stop to jumping is an absolute must.

Enforce No-Jumping Early

It may be easy to shrug off a puppy jumping because they don’t know any better, but that training is 100% on you. Puppies are incredibly receptive to positive reinforcement, and if you want your puppy to grow into a well-mannered dog, starting early with any rules or obedience is key. We encourage all puppies to attend a Puppy Class to learn the basics of obedience as well as socialize with other dogs their age. Most of all, it’s a great opportunity for you to discuss with the trainer(s) about best practices for certain rules, like jumping. If one method isn’t working for you, they likely have a few backup plans that are sure to point you and your pup in the right direction.

Never Encourage Jumping

You may not realize it, but you may have encouraged jumping from your dog in the past and potentially continue to do so today. When we arrive home, we often receive an energetic, excited welcome from our dogs. In return, we shower them with love and praise. If your dog jumps as a means of greeting you, and you continue to praise the dog (rather than correcting unwanted behaviour), you are essentially telling the dog it is okay to jump up.

What to Do When Your Dog Jumps Up

There are a few methods of training to help discourage jumping from your dog. Be firm in your training, be flexible. If one method absolutely is not working, then move on to the next.

Ignore

If your dog jumps on or at you, immediately stop paying them any attention and move your hands away from them. Once they have four paws on the floor, give them praise. If they jump up again as a result of your praise, simply repeat the process. Eventually, they will make the connection that four-on-the-floor is good, and a means of getting your attention.

Sit Command

If your dog is a notorious jumper when guests enter your home, or when you meet people on walks, command them to sit before answering the door or greeting people. If your dog behaves, releasing them from a sit to a stand is okay—but the moment your dog jumps, reinforce the sit comment and do not offer praise until your dog sits. This may seem repetitive (and sometimes hopeless) in an excitable situation, but keep at it and praise good behaviour while ignoring undesired behaviour.

Use a Leash

If your dog simply won’t take your queues through ignoring them or sitting, then consider bringing a leash into play until they associate four-on-the-floor as good behaviour. This means attaching the leash to their collar with the end of the leash under your foot, and giving them only enough slack to stand comfortably. This physically prevents jumping. Offer praise whenever your dog is not pulling against the leash, and is simply standing calmly.

As Always, Consistency is Key

Regardless of which method you choose, it’s important to always be consistent and to ensure those who regularly interact with your dog maintain the same consistency. You must be firm 100% of the time, and not just during training sessions. Calm, assertive consistency is key. Keep your voice level, and try to remain positive. Always use positive reinforcement, and be quick to reinforce desired behaviour.

Homemade Bone Broth for Dogs

27 Apr

Dog owners are much more savvy now than they were before. We research the best dog food for our dog (sometimes it’s individual, sometimes it’s breed-specific), we look at supplements, we consider the health benefits of the same “superfoods” that we can use in our bodies (ahem kale), and how they might help our canine companions. Our educated, focused attention on our dogs’ health can only serve to better their quality of life.

Bone broth is nothing new for people, and its becoming increasingly more common to give to older or sick dogs as well. It can serve a variety of purposes, and packs a nutritious punch to your pup’s diet. Of course, bone broth on its own is not a balanced meal. If needed, use when your pup has a tender tummy, but progress to a fuller, more regular meal after that (or of course, use it as a topper for their regular meals, whether you feed kibble, homemade cooked, or raw).

Bone broth can be a great first meal for dogs who have been sick (gastric irritation or vomiting) or for dogs who just don’t want to eat anything (typically, this is for older dogs) because it provides concentrated nourishment. It’s great as a meal topper for picky eaters, which in our case, is the reason why I decided to whip up a batch of bone broth this past weekend.

(Oh, naturally cats love it too.)

Ingredients

There isn’t any set recipe for bone broth. Quite simply, it’s made of bones and water, and simmered down until every last bit of nutrient is pulled away from the bone and into the broth. You’ll also need an acid, which helps leech the minerals from the bones. You can add a variety of different things to the broth, like kale or spinach, carrots, or even pieces of chicken (finely chopped). You can tailor your recipe to better suit your individual dog’s needs, which is awesome!

The Basics:

  • Water
  • Bones (beef bones, chicken/turkey bones, rabbit bones, etc.)
  • An Acetic Acid (like Apple Cider Vinegar)

If you can, try to provide the best for your pup and use organically raised, free-range animals for your broth. Better yet, we store all our extra trimmings and bones (raw) away in a bag in the freezer until we have enough to make a hearty broth for Archer. If you trim your meat of the fat and other unsavory bits, you’ll end up with quite a lot of trimmings after a few weeks! Waste not, want not!

Options:

  • Chopped Kale
  • Chopped Spinach
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Chopped Green Beans
  • Diced or Shredded Carrots
  • Shredded Sweet Potato
  • Chicken/Turkey trimmings

Steps

  1. Put all your raw bones in a large stock pot (or, if you prefer, this works great in a crock pot!), then top with enough water to fully submerge the bones, as well as last the simmering time. For 4 beef bones and 4 chicken drumsticks, I used about 4 L (1 gallon) of water. As it simmers, some water will evaporate and you want to have enough to keep the pot simmering for a while.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of vinegar per 4 L (1 gallon) of water.
  3. Bring to a boil on the stovetop, then reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for a few hours. The longer it simmers, the better, but at the very least give it 4 hours to simmer away so that the bones break down and release all their nutrients (especially that rich marrow). I let mine simmer for 6 hours, but you can let it go ever longer (8–12 hours is more ideal).
  4. If you’re just making a simple bone broth, you can strain out the bones now and store it away in the fridge for about a week or so.
  5. If you’re adding more ingredients, strain out the bones and return the broth back to the stove on low. Add in your options (we used chicken trimmings) and let simmer until your add-ins are cooked and have released their own nutrients into the broth.

Serving Size:

As an all-natural multivitamin supplement, 1 cup for homemade bone broth daily is perfect for large breeds, ½ cup for medium breeds, and ¼ cup (or less) for small breeds.

If being used as a first meal (post-illness) or during end-of-life care, double the serving size and offer it to your dog.

Note: Let broth cool completely before offering it to your dog.

Packed With Nutrients

Bone broth is a nutrient-rich stock liquid made from raw bones. The oily broth is packed with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals and makes a great addition to your dog’s diet. Because it is so rich in nutrients, it can serve as a natural multi-vitamin of sorts.

Prepackaged, commercially made broth purchased from the supermarket should not be used in place of homemade bone broth. The prepackaged stock is often loaded with sodium, as well as other unsavory ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. It’s best to make your own broth (and it’s easy!) or none at all. There are some organic broths available, but be careful when reading the ingredients to be sure it is low or no-sodium, and contains only safe ingredients for your dog.

Healthy Joints

There are a few supplements out there to help with joint care for dogs. A common supplement is MSM (methyl sulfonylmethane) Glucosamine, which many large breed owners or owners of dogs with known joint/hip issues will begin feeding to their dog before any visible signs of joint pain arise. This is something worth discussing with your vet, and she will let you know what dosage to give (if any), and when to start providing it to your dog.

Holistically, bone broth is a great supplement for joint care as well. The healing properties from chrondroitin in the bones, which is often sold with glucosamine, can help treat osteoarthritis.

For the Older and/or Sick

As mentioned above, this is a great, nutrient-rich option for older or sick dogs as it packs some great nutrients and minerals, but also serves as a means of keeping your dog hydrated. It is often used for end-of-life care with older dogs who simply can no longer (or no longer want to) eat in their final days.

Additionally, it is used for dogs who have been ill and are still too weak to accept whole foods. For tender tummies, we often use bone broth with chicken and a bit of rice for Archer to give her a full meal that isn’t hard to digest.

A Meal Topper

Ever notice that your pup sometimes just doesn’t find his regular food appealing? Who could blame him! We like to change things up with different toppers and broth is one we use often.

Another great thing about using some bone broth is that is adds moisture to a typically dry meal. Dogs tend to drink a lot of water after their meals of dry kibble to combat this, but you can add some of it right at the source with some broth in their food. It moistens the food, brings out delicious smells, and of course is good for them.

If you’re dealing with picky eaters, it’s worth trying to add some broth to their meal. Try it once, and see how they like it. You don’t want the food to sit in the liquid long though, it’ll just become a pile of unappealing mush.

Note: It is important that you never feed your dog cooked bones. Be sure to discard any remaining bone fragments from your broth and strain thoroughly to ensure none are remaining in your stock before adding additional ingredients, or offering the broth to your dog.

Is It Worth It To Make Your Own Dog Shampoo?

24 Apr

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ll know that I enjoy DIYing things. From toys to bow ties to paw wax, I find a lot of enjoyment in making things. Sometimes, it’s because I can make what I want for a lower price than I’ll find it in a store. Other times, (in the case of dog treats, especially) it’s because I want more variety than what’s offered. And sometimes, it’s just for fun.

Recently, I got the itch to see if I could make my own dog shampoo. We have shampoo already, but I was curious about what went into making my own—the ingredients, the cost, etc. Is it feasible to make your own dog shampoo, rather than buying it? Here are my thoughts.

Making Your Own Shampoo

There’s a ton of recipes for DIY shampoos floating around, and each calls for a slightly different set of ingredients. Here are some popular ones I’ve found and liked.

  • “Standard” Dog Shampoo
  • Oatmeal Shampoo
  • Anti-Flea Shampoo

Looking at all the ingredient lists, dog shampoo sounds pretty easy! However, in the end, I decided not to make my own shampoo. Why?

The main reason why a lot of folks, myself included, choose to make their own shampoos, or paw wax, etc., is because the ingredients in most commercial products leave a lot to be desired. However, we started out with Burt’s Bees natural dog shampoo, because I wanted to keep away from things like sulfates and colorants.

So, when it comes to making my own dog shampoo, it turns out that I’d already avoided any (and possibly all) the ingredients I was looking to cut out. A few years ago, finding natural dog shampoos wasn’t nearly as easy, but I’m glad the natural product market is continuing to grow.

Does that mean nobody should make their own dog shampoo? Of course not! With such a short list of ingredients in most cases, making your own dog shampoo is a pretty economical move if you already use most of the ingredients in your home. Or, maybe you’re already interested in things like making your own cleaners. (I’ll be sticking to dog treats) The choice is yours.

Do you make your own dog shampoo? Tell us why in the comments!

Does Your Dog Have Proper Identification? Here’s How ID Tags Save Pets

23 Apr

I have a confession to make: we’ve been a little irresponsible when it comes to Topher’s tags. I kept meaning to get a tag, but then I’d forget. Don’t worry, this isn’t turning into a “remember that time we lost the dog” story, but the risk is always there! While Topher spends his outdoor time on a leash, making sure he’s wearing all the necessary ID tags could make the difference in whether he gets returned to us if he ever managed to get lost. While identification doesn’t seem like a critical issue, here’s why a little prevention can go a long way in keeping your dog safe.

Why You Need Tags, Regardless Of Your Pet’s Lifestyle

A lot of owners (myself included, until recently) decide not to invest in ID tags for their animals because they stay indoors, or because their pets never leave the yard area. However, even when you take precautions, pets can get lost unexpectedly: a gate or window left open is all it takes. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), 15-20% of lost dogs are ever returned to their guardians. Providing proper ID is the most important step you can take to making sure your pets are reunited with you.

Furthermore, consider this: during natural disasters, animal welfare agencies spring into action to save lost pets and reunite them with their owners. An ID tag is one more way to help your pet find a way back to you in any emergency.

What Identification Your Dog Needs

Depending on where you live, your dog may need more than one form of identification. Here are some of the most common recommended forms of identification.

  • An ID tag with your name, phone number, and address
  • A proof of rabies vaccination tag
  • A license from your local jurisdiction
  • An ID listing the company of origin and phone number of your dog’s microchip

You may not need every single one of the tags on this list—many states do not require an extra licensing tag, but may require your dog to wear a proof of vaccination. You can look up your local laws to be sure.

A Tagged Dog Is A Safer Dog

There’s no hard and fast rules or laws about what you should put on your ID tags, and many owners will continue to skip out on buying them. However, even if your dog is microchipped, you should consider the benefits of proper ID for your pets. While vets and shelters can scan microchips, the average citizen can’t. Proper ID could save your dog from a trip to the local shelter in the event they end up lost in your neighborhood.

If you notice a friend or family member’s pet does not wear ID, consider giving them a collar and tag as a present. There’s no better gift for the pet parent who treats their pet like their favorite child!

Does your pet wear ID?

Rehabilitating A Dog Aggressive Dog: A One Year Update

22 Apr

It’s been one year since we started our journey towards rehabilitating Topher’s dog aggression. We knew from the start that working on Topher’s temperament was going to be a long term project, and 365 days later, we’re still working! When we started training with Frogs to Dogs, our objective was very simple: we wanted to get Topher to a place where he can safely socialize with other dogs. With that goal in mind, here’s an update on where we are, one year later.

Understanding Our Dog’s Aggression

There are several different ways that dogs display aggression. Identifying what kind of aggressive reaction Topher was having was very important in training sessions. A dog that is displaying dominance aggression will have different needs compared to a dog who is displaying fear or defensive dominance. In class, Topher has fear dominance reactions towards other dogs—which means he tries to bluff his way out of an anxious situation by charging, growling, and giving other aggressive displays.

Tackling The Biggest Issues First

Because Topher was attacked while on a leash, he’s most fearful in situations that are similar—and that’s when his aggression is at its worst. Knowing this, we’ve been able to work on this specific issue. Leash-reactivity and aggression is our biggest hurdle, so it’s the one we’re always working on. When it comes to serious issues like these, improvement can feel slow at times, or nonexistent at others. Not only that, but sometimes accidents can set back that training. Still, it’s important to keep moving forward and stay positive. Training happens one day at a time.

No Beating Dead Horses

We’re incredibly lucky to be in a reactive dog training group that allows us unlimited classes. We’ve gone to dog training classes once a week, sometimes twice a week, for a whole year. Through regular classes, Topher has made considerable improvements. His anxiety has improved, his stress threshold around other dogs, and he’s vastly more responsive and obedient on a leash than when we started. Still, the routine of the classes—especially with them being all in the same place—eventually gave Topher something to anticipate, and he would work himself into an over anxious state even before we were out of the car.

So, to keep that from happening, we started changing up the schedule. We’d go to sessions that were in different locations, to keep Topher from getting keyed up ahead of time, and stuck to sessions where there were going to be fewer groups—weekday classes, rather than the larger classes held on weekends. This helped Topher adjust and respond to commands, as a stepping stone back to the bigger classes.

Combining Techniques & Trying New Things

As another way to add variety to Topher’s training, Frogs To Dogs began introducing agility courses into reactive class! It’s been a great way to keep Topher’s attention on training, instead of on the other dogs that are also working in the same area. While agility is a little more complicated to learn while on a leash, Topher’s gotten pretty good at most of the obstacles. His favorite obstacles are the tunnels!

Recently, we’ve also started day camps with Topher’s trainer. Topher spends every other Monday at the trainer’s house, with the trainer’s dogs, working in close proximity with them. This means Topher gets exposure to dogs who are calm and well trained, who he can begin to take cues from. Topher has improved leaps and bounds during day camps—currently he’s working on playing off leash with other dogs during camp, though he wears a muzzle for safety.

Like I said before, training takes time and patience. We’ve been at it for a year, and I imagine we’ll be at it for a while longer. Our goal, a year later, is the same: we want to get Topher to a place where he understands he doesn’t need to fear other dogs, a place where he knows how to socialize and play. And after that, who knows? Once we tackle this hurdle, the rest might seem pretty easy.

Earth Day For The Eco-Conscious Dog Owner

21 Apr

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, and it is what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement. Since then, it is celebrated in 192 countries annually, and it’s come a long way from it’s disco-era roots. Today, Earth Day can be as grandiose as you make it, but whatever you do, remember that at its core, your Earth Day should be about bettering the planet and your involvement with it.

Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22nd. If you just checked your calendar, you’ll know that’s tomorrow. As always, we’ve got you covered with some great ideas for how dog owners can mark the occasion this year!

Go to the Park

Make Earth Day about community. Engage with other dog parents at the local park or dog park, and make friends! Broaden your circle of friends with the people you share literal common ground with. If your dog is well-socialized, this is a great way to spend the day for both of you. Spend a few hours on a nice walk, play at the park, or even bring a blanket and enjoy a book in the shade of a tree. Engage in the public spaces around your community, and enjoy the moment!

Enjoy a New Trail (or an old favourite!)

Make some time to hit the trail and be sure and stop to smell the roses (or rather, the wild flowers)! Whether you can fit the time for a trail walk tomorrow during the work week, or make a plan to hit the trail on the weekend—just make a plan and stick to it! Follow your pup’s lead on this one, and just enjoy the walk, the sights and sounds, and that general good feeling of getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Recycle More

If your recycling begins and ends with the recycling bin you put out with your garbage each week, you need to up your game! Everyday recycling is great (don’t get me wrong!), but consider eliminating unnecessary waste where possible (like bringing reusable bags when doing groceries), and repurposing old items for something you need. Get creative, and reduce waste.

Even better (and more pup-centric), there are quite a few brands that use recycled materials to make their dog toys, like West Paw Design—Lucy did an awesome review on their Tux toy late last year. And consider “recycling” your old dog toys, by donating some to a local animal shelter. Be sure to only bring the toys that are still in good shape (you know, the ones your pup didn’t care for or forgot about).

Buy Local

If your local market is open, stop by! Never shopped at the local farmer’s market? Earth Day is the day to do it! Most eat local initiatives also have a year-round location for shoppers to get local produce and meats from, so if the farmer’s market hasn’t officially opened just yet, do a quick Google search and see if there’s local market location.

Buying local helps support your local farmers, decreases your carbon footprint (your food is grown just a few miles from your home, instead of another country), and most of all lets you engage more with your community. Talk to the vendors and ask questions!

And if you find any good ingredients, you could even whip up a batch of homemade dog treats—we have tons of recipes to choose from!

How will you celebrate Earth Day?

Launching Our Monthly Newsletter

20 Apr

Remember at the end of 2014, we had a little survey? We released the results from that survey to kickoff 2015, and we’ve been busy working away at bringing you—our fantastic community here at Good Dogs & Co.—more of the things you want to see!

Today, that means we have a survey launching.

Signing Up is Easy!

Simply fill out your email and first name and you’re good to go! Easy peasy! You can unsubscribe at any time.



What Can You Expect?

Well, our aim is for the first monthly newsletter to hit your inboxes on Friday, May 1st. In it, we plan to have a roundup of our best content from the month before, combined with a preview of what’s to come in the current month (and how you can get involved). We’re in the process of working with some great partners about offering you some exclusive Good Dogs & Co. Newsletter-only offers, too. We’ll have newsletter-exclusive giveaways from time to time as well.

We Promise We Won’t…

Some companies abuse newsletters, and their mailing lists. We hate that, and we promise we won’t do that. For now, this will remain a monthly (that’s once per month, pinky swear!) newsletter. We won’t give away or (ugh!) sell off your email address to the highest bidder. We won’t share our list with anyone. If we hear that you guys want to see more of the newsletter, there is a chance of turning it into a weekly thing—but we’ll ask you first.

Quite simply, we want a newsletter that will be informative, awesome, and offer exclusives. We don’t want you to worry about exposing your email to more spam. We plan to do newsletters right, and we always want your feedback.

If you have any ideas for what you’d like to see in our newsletter, let us know in the comments below!

3 Easy Kong & Dog Bone Filler Recipes You Can Make At Home

17 Apr

If there’s one thing that every single dog owner loves having in their arsenal when company comes over, it’s some kind of treat that will keep the dog entertained longer than five minutes. For us, this usually comes in the form of a bone or a Kong filled with treat goodness.

However, many of the store bought filled bones and Kong fillers are not only super processed, but pricey! And short of using peanut butter, I haven’t found a dog bone filler recipe that doesn’t require being frozen to keep from making a mess. That’s why I went ahead and whipped up three easy dog bone fillers you can make with only two ingredients each!

Blackberry Filler

  • 1/3 cup blackberry puree
  • 3 tablespoons quinoa flour

Sweet Potato Filler

  • 1/3 cup sweet potato puree
  • 3 tablespoons quinoa flour

Peanut Butter Filler

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons quinoa flour

For the blackberry and sweet potato fillers, I decided to use organic baby food instead of blending my own, simply because it would be less cleanup. The choice on what to use is yours, but you can use almost any kind of baby food with dog safe ingredients to make a filler similar to these! You can also trade the quinoa flour for another dog safe flour (like coconut!), though you may need to adjust how much you mix in to get the same consistency.

For all recipes, combine your ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. If the mix is still too runny, add more flour until the consistency is to your liking. Too much flour, and your mix will become crumbly and won’t stick inside the toy or bone. Then, take a spoon and fill your toy or bone!

You can put the filled toy or bone in the freezer to make it last longer, or serve it to your dog at room temperature. Either way, they’re sure to love it!

Bonus Filler: Dog Treat Dough!

The trick to any bone filler is having a sticky dough that doesn’t contain any ingredients that need to be cooked. That means any of our egg-free dog treats can be used as filler instead of being baked into treats! Check out the treat index to get more filler ideas.