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Choosing Healthier Treats For Our Pets

Choosing Healthier Treats For Our Pets

We certainly wouldn’t want to feed our favorite, four-legged friends trash, so we want their treats to be the very best that money can buy. Many us remember recent headlines about dog treats being recalled due to multiple illnesses and deaths amongst our pets blamed on these products. These so-called treats seem to be centered around jerky-type pet foods, chews, toys and treats coming from places like China.

Always read the label…….

Reading labels is always a good place to start when buying products for our pets, but sometimes it’s unclear where these treats were actually produced. While the name brand on the package may sound American enough, it still could be manufactured somewhere outside of the United States where the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has no jurisdiction, control over the ingredients, how they’re packaged, preservatives used, etc.

For these reasons, many pet owners have opted for more natural and healthier options when it comes to treating our beloved animals. Some of us may not know that many cats and dogs actually enjoy consuming fruits and vegetables as opposed to pre-packaged treats that may (or not) contain meat.

Let’s first take a look at which of these “people foods” are good for our pets……

● Apples (careful of the skin, seeds, stem and other parts of the core that could pose a choking hazard)

● Apricots (same warning with the rest of the fruits listed below)

● Bananas and Blueberries (careful with too many blueberries that could cause an upset stomach or other unpleasant reaction)

● Cantaloupes and cranberries

● Mangoes and Pears (yummy for the tummy)

● Pumpkin (solid-pack only without added sugar and salt is great for animals with digestive issues or having trouble “passing” something)

● Raspberries and Strawberries (with tiny, unremovable seeds, keep portions down)

● Watermelon (especially during summer months, containing 90% water, they’re very refreshing during this much warmer time of the year)

●Beware of citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes and even pineapple) since these can cause stomach problems due to their acidic nature.

 

Things we shouldn’t be giving our pets…..

When it comes to vegetables, avoid adding salt and fats (like butter or oil). Great options include steamed or raw asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, spinach and many other veggies. Celery and carrots, especially given to pets in a raw form, helps them with healthier teeth and gums, not to mention all the vitamins and minerals they pack into a very small serving.

According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), we already know we should avoid giving table scraps to our pets. But these are also on the radar for any of these other types of food that can be hazardous or even deadly on some circumstances:

Seriously, don’t give your pets the things below this line…..

● Anything containing alcohol (for obvious reasons)

● Avocadoes (although they don’t produce many problems with dogs and cats, they’ve been problematic with other animals and are high in fat – not worth the risk)

● Coconut Oil (the jury is still out since many swear by the attributes of this tropical treat, but many say excessive consumption of these oils can cause digestive issues)

● Grapes and Raisins (scientists haven’t been able to identify an unknown substance in grapes and raisins that causes kidney failure in many pets)

● Nuts (especially fatty ones like the Macadamia variety that causes numerous problems with pets, almost too many to list)

● Onions, Garlic and Chives (another acidic culprit that can cause a lot of damage to a pet’s innards even in small amounts)

We all know better than to give our pets chocolate, but this also includes foods that contain caffeine, which has the same type of adverse reaction with our pets that could be deadly dependent upon the dosage. A Cautionary Tale

Yo. Call your vet first…..

As always, please check with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s food intake, daily dietary requirements or treats to ensure they’re safe for your best friend. Also, when introducing new choices into your pet’s palate, start off with small amounts to make sure they tolerate them and don’t have any kind of adverse or allergic reaction to these new foods no matter how healthy they seem.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation

 

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Trick or Treat Smell my Feet

Stack that candy ya’ll……

It’s that time of year again! During this festive time of year it’s easy to forget pet safety. Here are some things to think about, whether you are taking your pet trick or treating, or just handing out candy to your neighborhood “ghouls and goblins”.

Are you planning on dressing your pet up this year? If you are, please make sure his/her costume is the right size. If you choose something too small, it may harm your pet by constricting airways. If it is too large, it can be a tripping hazard. No matter how cute we want them to be safe.

dog in funny glasses
Photo by Braydon Anderson on Unsplash

 

If you decide to take your pet our trick or treating, be sure they have something reflective. This way other families and vehicles can see them easily. This helps preventing them from getting hit if they are in the road or keeps them from startling small children. Evan if it is the time for scares, we want everyone to have an enjoyable holiday. Always keep your pet on a leash to prevent them from running or jumping on others.

Let Fido Chill……

When handing out candy, be sure your pet is in a safe place. Safe for them, and of course, for your trick or treaters. You don’t want to scare away your guests with a barking pet. Also make sure they are on a leash, as they can sometimes be unpredictable with so much excitement. You wouldn’t want the fun spoiled by your pet knocking down a princess, chasing a ghost, or nipping at a pumpkin. Even as a an accident it can lead to some bad fall out.

If you have an overly aggressive dog, or one that is bothered by frequent visitors to the door, consider letting them stay with a friend who has less traffic. Or even consider boarding them at their favorite local puppy hotel.

No matter what you decide keep these things in mind to keep your holiday safe and fun. Don’t forget to keep an updated pet id tag on your dog! This will help ensure he/she gets safely home no matter what situation arises. From OvernightPetTags.com have a safe and fun filled Halloween!

 

While you are at it……

Check out these hilarious dogs and people in costumes

Dogs in Costumes … https://www.pinterest.com/moderndogmag/dogs-in-costumes/

53 Funny Dog Costumes … https://www.womansday.com/life/pet-care/g1653/dog-halloween-costumes/

19 of the best dog + owner outfits … http://www.wideopenpets.com/best-human-and-dog-halloween-costumes/

The 57 Greatest Pet Costumes. EVER. … https://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/greatest-pet-costumes-ever

 

 

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Invisible Fences

While this may be a great option for some pets, keeps them in your yard with no big expense of a fence, it can be tricky with some pets. Invisible fences can be a great way to keep your pet out of the road when you don’t want, or are not allowed, a normal fence. However some dogs can get “barrier frustration”.

Some signs are your pet becoming less social, or showing more aggressive behavior in your yard. This is because your pet has learned that while other dogs can come into the yard, he cannot go out. Which forces him to be submissive during play, when he would rather not be. He may bark and become very protective of your yard from both other pets and people.

This is what is called “learned aggression”. You can help your pet by doggy parenting. If your dog is showing aggression to other dogs in his yard, shoo those other dogs away for him. If he seems happy and wanting to play, encourage this. Try to keep the other dog from running out of your pet’s boundary. But make sure he is not being worn down too much or forced to be too submissive. You’re looking for happy play, where the dogs take turns jumping on and chasing one another. You don’t want one dog running the other one down. If you are still seeing problems, it is always good to talk to your vet or trainer. They will have good suggestions for you.

 

Hope you have a tail wagging kind of day!

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Bow Tie Pet Tags

Keep your pet safe and stylish at the same time with our Bow Tie Pet ID Tag. It’s cute and at 1 ½” by 1”, it can hold all your information! We offer back sided engraving for this as well. This means you can put as much as you’d like on your Bow Tie Pet ID Tag, without sacrificing visibility. If you prefer our standard engraving, this tag can hold pets name, owners name, phone number, street address, and even an additional phone number or reward if you would like! All of this while still being easy to read to ensure your pet returns safely home to you.

 

If you would like more information than this, you can always take advantage of the backside engraving and double that information. Our Bow Tie Pet ID Tag comes in 3 different metals stainless steel, brass, and aluminum. Stainless steel is silver; brass is gold (brass colored) and aluminum which comes in colors! You can choose from pink, silver, gold, black, red, blue, green and purple. You can order our Bow Tie Pet ID Tag anytime from our website by simply clicking the following link.

https://www.overnightpettags.com/product/bow-tie-pet-tag/

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Cat Face Pet ID Tag

Purple Cat Face Pet TagA cat face ID tag is the smallest tag. With a cute kitty face on one side it is small enough to fit a feline of any size. It measures ¾” by ¾” so please remember to put just enough info to get your pet home safely. This way you can still read the information easily. The bigger we can engrave your information, the longer your tag can resist wearing down and becoming unreadable. Most cats do not venture too far from home, so the best information is kitty’s name, your phone number, and your street address.

 

City and state are really not necessary.  Although we will always engrave whatever information you request, the more information you ask for, the smaller the text will end up being. You can order the cat face pet id tag in 3 different metals, stainless steel, brass, and aluminum. Stainless steel is silver, brass is gold (or brass colored). Our aluminum comes in 8 different colors! You can choose from red, blue, purple, green, silver, pink, gold, or black! Keep your kitty safe with style! We always offer free shipping to anywhere in the U.S.A. Order your cat face pet tag anytime day or night at:

https://www.overnightpettags.com/Pettags/Cat_Face_Pet_Tags.html

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Eat your own food

Dog and Cat Sharing Bowl

Dog and Cat Sharing Bowl

 

If you have a household with multiple pets, I am sure you have faced the problem of your animals stealing food from one another. Most common is dogs eating all the cat food. This may not bother you at all, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you are like our household, the cat food is a bit more expensive than the dog food. By now you’ve realized that scolding the dogs, while it does help somewhat, will most likely lead to the dogs eating the cat food while you are away, sleeping, or busy elsewhere. Here are a couple things you can do to help. If you don’t mind the cats on the counters, putting the food dishes up there would be the simplest solution.

I am one that does not care to share my counter space with my cats. Another option is to put the cat food in a closet, or space the dogs cannot get to, and install a cat door. This is obviously a more costly option, though cat doors are not usually too outrages if you shop around for it. Something else you can do is feed the cats less.

 

Only give them food while you are present 2 or 3 times a day, and return any leftover food to the food bag or container. This will teach the cats to eat all at once and will give the dogs less food to steal. I hope these tips and tricks have been helpful. We wishe you best of luck on your food, and money, saving mission.

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Doggy Cup cakes

I am a dessert lover through and through. My dogs are too of course. Here is a recipe that gives your dog a canine friendly treat, gives you the satisfaction of baking, while keeping your waistline safe!

Ingredients:

Cakes:
•2 cups shredded carrots
•3 eggs
•1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
•2 tsp. cinnamon
•1/2 cup rolled oats
•3 cups whole wheat flour
•1 tbsp baking powder

Frosting:
•8 oz. low fat cream cheese, softened
•1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened

Directions:
1.In a medium mixing bowl, mix the first three ingredients
2.In a second bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, than add to the applesauce mixture, This is a very dry batter. When you put it into your muffin tins, make sure to press it in really well because it isn’t going to spread on its own, and you want them to be nice and circular
3.Bake for 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven; or if making mini muffins, only put them in for 10 minutes.
4.Once cooled, Simply glob on the frosting and your ready to enjoy ( or rather ready for your pups to enjoy) 😉

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“Tail” mix! Pet Snack

Dog Eating Treat

If you’re an outdoor person, and Fido is often coming with you, this is a great treat to take along! Similar to trail mix bars or cookies, it’s a fast, easy eat to keep Fido’s energy up! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
•1/3 cup olive oil
•1/4 cup light brown sugar
•1/2 cup peanut butter
•1 mashed banana
•1 egg white
•1 cup whole wheat flour
•1/8 cup milled flax seed
•1 3/4 cup rolled oats
•1 tsp cinnamon
•1 1/2 tsp baking powder
•1 cup assorted nuts, seeds, and fruits. Some dog friendly ideas are: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, peanuts, coconut, mango, and banana chips. Remember to avoid chocolates, raisins, and macadamia nuts as they are not dog friendly.

Directions:

1. Combine olive oil and brown sugar until well combined

2. Stir in peanut butter

3. Add in banana and egg white

4. Combine flour, flax, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add to mix.

5. Stir in oats

6. Stir in trail mix, blending well until dough sticks together

7. Shape with your hands into flat, round 1-2 inch cookies or squares. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven on greased cookie sheet for 8 minutes

Store in refrigerator for 2 weeks or freezer for up to 4 months

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Pet Massage

Cat getting massage

Cat getting massage

Yup, you read correctly. The latest thing in caring for your pet is pet massage. Before you convince yourself it is useless, let me assure you, it has been proven to have positive benefits, just as it does for humans. First of all, it can help strengthen the bond between you and your pet. It has also been known to relieve some pain in the instance of arthritis, muscle stiffness, or pain from previous injury. Massage can stretch the muscles and relax inflamed areas to relieve the stress that is causing pain.

Before you decide that it’s not worth trying, I suggest going to get a massage yourself. If done correctly I guarantee you will feel refreshed and energized. After receiving one yourself if you still believe it’s not worth the trouble, than it’s of course not for you.

If you do decide you like this option for your pet, there are a couple ways to handle it. You can talk to your vet (which is always a good idea for any decision), search for a pet massage therapist in your area, or look up the techniques yourself on the internet. Your vet may be able to do some massage in the office or suggest someone in your area.

If you are going to do it yourself, please do lots of research, done the wrong way massage can cause injury. Here is a website that has quite a bit of information including videos that show you how to massage specific body parts. http://www.monkeysee.com/play/2163-how-to-massage-your-dog. A widely used technique is the T-Touch, or the Tellington Touch named after Linda Tellington Jones. She has books and videos on how she has used this technique to help and comfort animals with both physical and mental conditions. Not only is it easy and effective, it is also safe to practice at home. She also does workshops. You can find more information at the website http://www.ttouch.com.

Best of luck to you and your pet!