Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats

Family, Healthy Living, Recipes

Dog Treats!

As you may know, I am the lucky mother of two rescue dogs, Snugs & Ruby. Like many of their four-legged brethren Snugs and Ruby love nothing more than a great snack, a good belly rub, and a nap (preferably on the people bed). We have tried out a couple different dog treat recipes, and have bought treats at what seems like millions of specialty dog stores in Portland. So in the spirit of good snacking, take a look at our recipe for Bacon dog treats.

This recipe makes about a dozen treats, bone shaped cookie cutters optional (but preferred)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (for dusting on top)
  • 3 slices of bacon, chopped

Steps

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs and peanut butter.

3. Add in the flower while whisking slowly.

4. Roll out dough, and use dog bone cookie cutter to create cute shapes.

5. Spread chopped bacon onto the top of cookies, pat down to keep them put.

6. Pop in the oven at 350 degrees, for 30 minutes

7. Take treats out, and allow to cool before serving to your pooches!

 

Not only are these treats going to be a huge hit with your dogs, but they are also healthy and home made. When you take a look at packaged treats in the store you may be surprised by some of the ingredients you see, and it stands to reason that if those ingredients aren’t good for humans, they can’t be good for our fur babies. Now you can feed your dogs treats, and feel good knowing that you were in control of the ingredients that went into them, and that your dogs can enjoy themselves while staying healthy.

Snack on my furry friends – and SIT!

treat-appearance

 

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Puppy Basics

Family, Friends, Other Thoughts, Real World

Snuggs

When we bring a new puppy into our lives there are many things to be aware of. In my earlier article I addressed the vet, and all of the things you need to do to ensure the good health of your puppy. In this article I am going to go over the basics, the things that you should always provide your new addition with, and the keys to success. These things are vital to not only the safety of your puppy, but will ensure that you are putting your best puppy parenthood foot forward.

 

Identification Tag

As soon as your pick your puppy up you will wants to have an ID tag made for your puppy in case he wanders from home. Include his name, your name, address and phone number. Veterinarians and pet stores usually have resource for obtaining ID tags. When your puppy is spayed or neutered, consider a microchip identification.

 

Collar

Now that you have your tag, attach it to the collar. You should be able to fit two fingers under the collar when on your pet. Check the fit often as your pet grows!

 

Leash & Harness

For potty walks or for spending time in an unfenced location, outfit puppy in an appropriate leash and harness. Retractable leashes allow you to control how far puppy wanders from you without him tugging or pulling. By hooking the leash to a harness, your puppy won’t be choked if he tries to outreach the leash lead.

 

Food & Water Bowls

Stainless steel is easiest to keep clean and doesn’t break, which makes upkeep a breeze. Something to be aware of is that some puppies can have allergic reactions to plastic bowls.

 

Grooming Brush or Mitt

Brushing your puppy regularly keeps his coat looking nice and feels good to your pet. And just as important, this is time for you and your puppy to bond.

 

Toys

Playing with toys helps puppy’s balance and motor skills. Chew toys can help him shed his baby teeth. Choose indestructible toys and stay away from toys and toy parts that can be swallowed.

 

Safety

You’ll soon see that a curious puppy will explore anything and everything he can reach. And he doesn’t know which things are puppy-safe. “Puppy-proof” your house by doing these important things:

  • Keep electrical cords our of chewing reach
  • Keep household and garden chemicals locked away
  • Keep cans/bags secure from puppy
  • Check around vehicles before moving them
  • Keep chocolate away from puppy because it is highly toxic and can kill

 

Traveling with Puppy in a Car:

  • Put puppy in a special doggy seat belt or crate (seat belts are best)
  • Put puppy in the back so the driver is not distracted
  • Never secure puppy to something in the car with his leash to prevent choking should the car stop suddenly
  • Never leave your pet alone in the car for more than a few minutes
  • Never leave your pet alone in a closed-up car on a hot day for any amount of time. Car heat can kill puppies even at lower temperatures.

 

Feeding Your Puppy

At first, it’s important to feed your puppy the same thing he was eating before you brought him home. As he gets used to his new environment you can gradually introduce the food you chose. Many commercial foods are acceptable but be sure to choose a well-balanced one. Consult your veterinarian for how much and how often to feed your puppy. It will depend on his energy level. Choose a convenient place to feed your puppy and use this spot consistently. Be sure to clean your puppy’s dishes before every use and always give him fresh water at each feeding.

Store-bought puppy treats are fine to give him, but they are actually full of fat. Be aware of how many treats your puppy eats and try to adjust the amount of food in his regular meals accordingly. Giving table scraps is never a good idea. They throw off the balance in nutrition in your puppy’s diet and can upset his stomach. And if you don’t feed your puppy from the table or your plate, he won’t learn to beg for food.

 

Bathing

You’ll only need to bathe puppy if he’s dirty or smelly; bathing too often can cause dry skin. It helps to brush puppy’s coat before the bath. Use the proper dog shampoo, lukewarm water, and gently scrub from head to tail, taking care not to get soap or water in eyes or ears. Rinse thoroughly and stand back. Puppy will shake, shake, shake! Dry with a towel or hairdryer (not to hot!) as quickly as possible so puppy doesn’t get cold. Bathing is an opportunity to check for fleas, ticks and skin problems.

 

Caring for Teeth

A healthy diet keeps teeth clean and gums healthy. However, tartar will inevitably build up so have puppy’s teeth checked regularly by a veterinarian. Between visits you can brush puppy’s teeth yourself with special pet toothpaste and a soft brush.

Like children, puppies will lose their baby teeth. Between three and six months old baby teeth will gradually fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth. A mixture of soft and hard food, puppy biscuits, or hard rubber chew toys will help loosen baby teeth naturally.

 

Clipping Nails

Clip puppy’s nails about every six weeks using special dog clippers. Some owners prefer to have a veterinarian do the clipping because it’s a delicate task to keep from clipping into the quick. However, just using a nail file will often help keep nails in check without the danger of cutting into the “quick” of the nail.

 

Loving Puppy

One of the healthiest things you can do for your puppy is give him lots of love and attention. Dogs are extremely loyal by nature and are happy when they please you. Their ancestors, wolves, ran in packs, so you can understand that puppy can get lonely if you don’t spend enough time with him. Studies show that emotionally, dogs benefit from being petted by humans as much as humans do from petting dogs. So, play, talk, pet, and love. You’ll both be happier and healthier.

Pit Bull Power

Family, Real World

I have been hearing stories for years: Pit Bull Mauls Child. Pit Bull Single-Handedly Brings World To Complete Stop With Power Of Pure Evil.

            As George Carlin said “It’s all bullshit, and its bad for ya.”

            As a lifetime dog owner I always assumed that it was uneducated idiots that were scared of Pit Bulls. But I have learned that even “dog people” can be scared of them. Maybe it’s the media, maybe it’s based on a bad experience, or maybe it is fear of the unknown. Any way you slice it the fear is there, and it is creating a monster. It is creating breed legislation. It is creating shelters full of unwanted dogs. It is creating an unnecessary and untrue stigma against a breed.

After all, a Pit Bull is a dog, and if you love it, nurture it, bring it up around other dogs and people, and fill its tiny puppy heart with love (and training) it will thrive. If you take it outside, tie it to a pole, abuse it and teach it that you are only happy when it kills things it will become a killer. This is common sense. This is not some trait that is in the Pit Bull bloodline.

            Let me tell you this. It is possible to have an aggressive dog regardless of its breed. You can teach any dog to be aggressive if you try hard enough. I have met mean Pit Bulls, Poodles, Chihuahuas, and everything in-between.  I have also met loving Pit Bulls, Poodles, Chihuahuas, and many many more breeds. Your dog will become what you train it and raise it to be.

            So when you see me, and my Pit Bull, walking down the street you do not need to turn around, run in a different direction, cross the street, ask if she is friendly, or look at me with panic-filled eyes. Ruby. Loves. Everyone. Not just you, but the whole world. Ask our across the street neighbor and her toddler – Ruby LOVES babies. They play together, give each other kisses and run around the yard. Ruby lets her eye’s be poked by baby fingers, her ears be munched on, and doesn’t mind being steered by her tail. She is a bundle of love and joy. Ruby loves the dog park, she loves cookies, she loves walks, she loves her puppy brother Snugs and she loves strangers. If you stand still long enough she will walk up and lick your hand to see if you want to pat her.

            So no, my Pit Bull is not scary. That’s not a growl on her lips, it’s a kiss. That’s not a evil look in her eye, it’s the gleam of happiness that comes with her new home.

            My Pit Bull Is NOT Scary, That’s Why She’s Smiling At You.

*Originally Published on Thought Catalog*

8 Lessons On Life From A Dog Mom

Family

 

1. It Is Not All About You

This is one of those things that I have been hearing since the beginning of time, and frankly my ears had dulled to it by the ripe old age of ten. But reality check – a lot of life, particularly college can be all about YOU. Not in the social sense, but in the sense of figuring out who you are, what you are passionate about, what relationships and people mean the most to you, and where you want to go next. That being said, having a living creature dependent on you for life (ahem, feed me) teaches a lot, at least for me. It isn’t all about me, and I quite like that.

2. Unconditional Love Can’t Be Taken For Granted

Think about all of the people that have unconditionally loved you in your lifetime. Parents. Friends. Boyfriends. Girlfriends. At some point we have all done shitty things to the people we love most. Sometimes we are lucky enough to be forgiven, but sometimes not. It sounds cliché but waking up at 4 am, stepping on a tail and being greeted with wags and excitement changed my perspective on unconditional love. They love you. All. The. Time. No matter what you did. It is a precious and beautiful thing to behold.

3. You Can/Will Always Find Happiness In A Tail Wag

Sometimes I find myself stressed out and wallowing in it – as I’m sure many of you have. But have you ever tried to wallow while looking at your dog? It is physically impossible. I have one foolproof reason for this – It is impossible to wallow while using your dog voice (and don’t pretend you don’t know what that means). Nothing cheers me up faster than a tail wag, because hey – who loves you baby?

4. Walking/Park Time Is The Best Time To Clear Your Head

Remember that line from Legally Blonde? “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” It’s kind of true. Exercise DOES make you happy. (Side note: hopefully murdering your husband isn’t on your radar… but if it is you should probably address that ASAP… but I digress.) Having a dog forces you out of the house and around the block or to the park at least twice a day, giving you time to get fresh air, sunshine and a minute to yourself. It’s the perfect time to clear your head, wind down from a long day, and start to relax. Treasure it.

5. Over Eating Is Bad For Everyone

A little antidotal story for you… My pit bull Ruby is convinced that every meal is going to be the last one she ever eats. She chows down so hard and fast that sometimes she literally can’t get any air. She hacks and wheezes all the while still trying to stuff kibbles down her gullet…. It’s not pretty. Her first week with us she clawed and bit her food bag until it poured out in the kitchen while we were at the grocery store. She ate so much that her figure changed. Her stomach stuck out to the sides and she made little pained grunting noises when she walked. Luckily it only lasted a night (and then we wised up and hid the food), but it was a lesson learned for the whole family.

6. A Little Discipline Is Good For The Soul

In the midst of training dogs not to pee in the house, eat the fence, rip apart toys, and jump on the sofa with muddy feet I found self-discipline. I’m not saying that I don’t snooze the alarm, but I definitely do it less. I am up, feeding the puppies and getting their peanut butter stuffed Kong toys ready by 6:30 am every day.

7. Must Love Dogs

I always knew that I was a dog person. My dad used to joke with me that one day I would open the North Carolina Dog Zoo – and hey, it could still happen. As cheesy and it sounds you MUST love dogs to be my significant other. Sometimes our standards are impossible to meet, but that is one thing I am not willing to budge on.

8.Nothing Is As Humbling As Picking Up Poop

It isn’t sexy, but it’s true. If you ever need to be put in your place, or knocked down a peg, just head out to your back yard and survey the situation. Nothing can bring you back to earth like going through ten bags of dog poop in the morning. So there big shot – what can the rest of this day hold?

*Originally Published on Thought Catalog*