Best Bootie Choices for Winter Dogs

29 Nov

ruffwear_boots

No, not that booty. We’re talking foot booties!

Typically, dogs shouldn’t require booties, but there are conditions where booties may benefit them and enable them to enjoy themselves in varying conditions. I promised myself I would never talk about putting little shoes on a dog’s feet, but here we are…and I can admit, yes, they are useful.

Most recently, for us, it’s been a matter of getting Sirius’ tender puppy paws accustomed to the cold ground and snow. Unlike Archer, whose paws are warn by many trails, walks, and seasons, Sirius’ paws are fresh and smooth and… not at all prepared for our northern Ontario winters. At least not yet. So, while we know his paws will be ready one day, in the mean time we’ve been looking at booty options.

So let’s share what we’ve found, and help all those pups facing new environmental conditions enjoy themselves.

  1. Pawz Dog Boots, Protex Pawz (~$15)
    While not necessarily meant to keep paws warm, these latex booties will keep the elements away from your dog’s paws! These seem especially useful in wet environments, and most of all if you’re dealing with a paw injury (like a broken nail or cut) to keep the dirt out and the paw nice and clean.
  2. Dog Boots, Ruffwear (~$75)
    Oh, of course you know Ruffwear has your pup covered when it comes to boots! All options in the Ruffwear booties seem to come with some nice tread on the base of the boot, which will give your dog traction in case of slippery rocks or ice.
  3. Waterproof Pet Boots, Colorfulhouse (~$20)
    Waterproof with molded rubber bottom for non-slip. These booties include reflective material to keep your pup visible no matter what time of day you go to enjoy the outdoors.
  4. Durable Dog Boots, Ultra Paws (~$35)
    With a pliable, grippy sole, and velcro fastener, Ultra Paws has a great option for dog booties! These boots are water-resistant, and can stand up to cold, hot, wet, or dry conditions.
  5. All Weather Neoprene Paw Protector Dog Boots, Bark Brite (~$30)
    High quality neoprene boots that are great for all weather conditions. Including reflective material for high-visibility, these booties are water-resistant, puncture-resistant, and aid in traction.

Oh, and the likelihood your dog will want to wear their booties is slim. Get your camera out for the first time you put those babies on them, and get a good laugh in! Then, just remember it’s about making it a positive experience! And if all else fails, maybe booties are not for them and it’s a matter of adjusting your routine.

Apple & Cheddar Dog Treat Recipe

26 Nov

apple-cheddar-dog-treat-recipe

Every year, Bryan and I host Friendsgiving on the weekend after Thanksgiving. It’s a way to celebrate Thanksgiving with our close friends, some of whom can’t make it home for the holidays. Everyone brings a dish to share, and we spend an evening eating too much and enjoying each other’s company. After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is about, isn’t it?

Since poor Topher doesn’t get to join in eating all that delicious food, I decided to make him some new “Friendsgiving” styled treats for the occasion. Hopefully it helps him stay out of the kitchen! (Unlikely.)

So while you may be spending this Black Friday morning doing some holiday shopping, consider heading home a little early to make your dog a little treat for being such a good sport about not counter-surfing for your Thanksgiving dinner. (Unless they actually did counter-surf, whoops!)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded apple
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup bacon grease
  • ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • Makes eighteen 1 ½ inch round treats.

This recipe is partially inspired by a friend of ours who brought cheddar apples to one of our Friendsgiving celebrations a few years ago. If people can develop a taste for cheese and apples, why not dogs?

Really, this question should go the other way around, since Topher loves just about anything. Minus broccoli. And raw carrots. Anyway, I decided to throw a little bacon grease into this dog treat party for a little extra savory flavor, because when it comes to Thanksgiving, and Friendsgiving, more is more.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350º F.

2. Shred apple until you have a loosely packed cup. Shred your cheese until you have a loosely packed ½ cup.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a regular mixing bowl) combine your apple and bacon grease.

4. Gradually add your whole wheat and buckwheat flours, mixing in about a quarter cup at a time, then add the cheese, and mix until everything is just combined. The dough may appear crumbly, but it will come together as you knead it.

5. Scrape the dough from your bowl onto a clean surface, and knead to bring the dough together.

6. Roll out your dough to ¼ inch thickness, then cut into shapes and place on a nonstick baking sheet.

7. Bake at 350º F for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

8. Because these treats have a fair amount of moisture in them, turn your oven down to its lowest setting (ours is 175º F) and let these continue to dehydrate for another hour before taking them out to cool.

Other Baking Notes

  • If your dough seems way too crumbly to knead together, add a ½ teaspoon of water and continue working, adding more water in ½ teaspoon increments if you feel it’s necessary. This recipe comes together differently depending on how much water carried over from shredding the apples.
  • If you don’t have buckwheat flour, just substitute an extra ¼ cup of whole wheat flour.
  • You can substitute another kind of oil for bacon fat, such as ¼ cup of coconut oil.
  • It’s important to flip these halfway through baking, otherwise some of the cheese within might glue your treats to your baking sheet.
  • Fully dried, homemade dog treats should last about two weeks in a sealed, airtight container, or for up to a month in the fridge. Because these treats contain fat and dairy, be mindful of the suggested expiration date!

Once they’re cooled, they’re ready for your pup! No doubt they’ve been watching you ever since you started turning the kitchen into a bacon-apple scented heaven.

Looking for more apple treats? Try these!

  • Harvest Apple & Bacon
  • Gluten-Free Ginger Apple
  • Pumpkin & Apple

Find more treats for your pup on our treat index.