Cold Treats for Hot Dogs (and Cats!)

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The days are heating up, and our customers are looking for frozen treats for their dogs! Perennial favorites include Yöghund Organic Banana & Peanut Butter and Organic Blueberry & Vanilla Bean, as well as Mr. BarkSmith’s Cool Treats in Fruit Delight and Peanut Butter.

We’re pleased to announce a new product in our stores: Pet Fairy Noshers – a puree of fruits, vegetables, and honey that you can spread in your interactive toy (such as West Paw Design’s Tux, Kong, Premier’s Twist n’ Treat, or similar) and freeze, as we discussed in a previous entry. Or, if you prefer, you can use small cups and make your own smoothies.

Although these products are marketed for dogs, there’s no reason that cats couldn’t enjoy them, too! One of my cats loves canned pumpkin, and will lick it right off a spoon. My other two will sniff, and walk away without a taste.

For those pets who prefer their frozen treats to be meat-based, we of course still carry a large variety of raw bones in our freezers, supplied by Bravo!, Nature’s Variety, and Primal: beef and bison marrow bones in various sizes; beef and bison knuckle bones; lamb, pork, and venison femur bones. These bones are great for heavy chewers, and don’t splinter like cooked bones can.

Meaty bones that are suitable for meal replacement or supplementation include: chicken backs, necks, and wings; as well as turkey necks. While cooked poultry bones are likely to splinter, raw bones are soft, and are much safer, though we encourage our customers to supervise their dogs and cats while eating these meaty treats.

Staff Review: Dogswell Jerky Treats

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To begin with, I have a VERY picky eater-a 3 yr. old Shiloh Shepherd. He’s known to turn down many things you would consider ‘irresistable’ to dogs. Fortunately, I found a keeper with Dogswell’s ‘Happy Hips’! (Happy Hips is now a well-know term to him!) My dog will gobble down the chicken strips; they’re great as a quick-but-substantial treat for a large dog, and can be broken apart for smaller dogs. (The Breathies variety come in a smaller bite-size jerky as well.)  I’ve used both the beef liver treats and the chicken strip treats- both have gone over very well with my pup.

The ingredients in each of Dogswell’s varieties are pretty simple:

Happy Hips: Chicken Breast, Vitamin E Supplement, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate

Breathies: Chicken Breast, Vitamin E Supplement, Mint, Cinnamon Bark, Oyster Shell Flour (source of calcium carbonate), Rosemary, Parsley, Chlorophyll

Vitality: Chicken Breast, Vitamin E Supplement, Flaxseed, Vitamin A Acetate

Keep in mind: There are other flavors-lamb and rice, beef liver, and duck!

Because of the limited ingredients and meaty taste, these treats are great for sensitive stomachs, allergies, and finicky pups!

To view more of their products and ingredient lists, visit http://www.dogswell.com/.

If you have any more comments or questions, feel free to ask!

What Can I Put in My Dog’s Kong Toy?

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“What should I put in my dog’s Kong toy?” This is a question we hear often at our stores. Kongs are fantastic toys for heavy chewers, and with nearly endless combinations of fillings to keep them entertained, dogs may never tire of these rubber workhorses.

If you’ve tried filling a Kong with peanut butter, you may have found that your dog licks it clean in a very short period of time. Filling the toy with treats can be tricky – you want something large enough to stay in as he rolls the Kong about, but not so large that it never comes out again.

What we’ve found works well is using a combination of ingredients: small pieces of varied sizes and flavors for interest, with a “mortar” to help hold the pieces in place.

The first component is small pieces of food or treats:

  • Kibble
  • Treats
    • Biscuits
    • Jerky
    • Dried meat strips
  • Fruits & Vegetables (fresh or frozen, not canned)
    • apples, berries, pears, etc.
    • carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower
    • AVOID: grapes, garlic, onions, lettuce,

Add to that something tasty with a paste-like consistency, to help keep all the small pieces in place:

  • peanut butter –
    • organic, without  hydrogenated oils, added salt or sugar is preferable
  • canned pumpkin or sweet potatoes-
    • excellent source of fiber
    • be sure it is not pie filling
  • plain yogurt –
    • great source of digestive enzymes, calcium, etc.
  • all natural canned dog food –  smooth textured formulas are ideal

Be sure to try the individual ingredients as treats, to see if s/he likes them, before assembling the Kong treat filling.

To keep everything in place longer, and increase the play time for your pup, you can put the Kong in the freezer (wrap the end in saran wrap, with a rubber band, to keep anything from leaking out the bottom until it solidifies.

If your dog doesn’t manage to get everything out of the Kong, you can use a bottle brush, or simply place it in the dishwasher, to get it ready for its next use.

What are your favorite treats to use in a Kong, or similar treat-dispensing toy?

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