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In the midst of your holiday baking, you look over and see your dog giving you those giant puppy eyes. Your countertops are filled with delicious treats, but unfortunately, your pup can’t have any. While you’ve still got your mixing bowls and cookie sheets at hand, why not whip something up that you and your dog can enjoy together?

Holiday Treats for Your Pup

Here are a few treats that are easy to make and will give your dog a taste of holiday spirit.

Gingerbread Dog Cookies

Give your pup the most classic of all holiday treats – Gingerbread Cookies! Not only are these cookies easy to make, but you can also decorate them. A great, dog-safe frosting idea is to use melted yogurt chips.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Molasses
  • 4 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 cup Water
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 6 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Ginger
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine molasses, honey, water and oil in large bowl. Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger in medium bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Divide dough into four balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3-5 hours. Then, lightly flour your surface and roll out dough until about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out your gingerbread men. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Mint Dog Treats

These treats will leave your pup with minty fresh breath. They look like they’re dipped in chocolate, but it’s actually carob. Carob is a safe alternative that has a chocolate-like taste. It is a legume and can be found in the baking section of your local grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Baking Mix (Bisquick or Jiffy)
  • 5 drops Mint Flavoring
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 2 tablespoons Margarine
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Corn Syrup
Directions:

Mix all ingredients and roll out on a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out with a bone shape cookie cutter. Spray a cookie sheet and place cookies. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Let the cookies cool, then dip them halfway into melted carob.

Sweet Potato Holiday Dog Treats

These treats will have your home smelling so yummy that you’re pup won’t be able to wait to eat them. They are packed with delicious, wholesome ingredients. These are also a great treat to gift to all the pups in your life.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Fresh Sweet Potato Puree
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 tbsp All Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel and cube two medium sweet potatoes and bring to a boil in a pot of water. Reduce to low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until soft. Drain and puree using a blender. Stir together flour, oats and cinnamon in a small bowl. Whisk egg, sweet potato and peanut butter in large bowl until well combined. Stir wet ingredients into dry ones. Roll out dough onto a floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out into fun shapes. Bake for 30-35 minutes then let cool.

Your pup is sure to love each of these holiday doggie recipes. As these treats are not a regular part of your dog’s diet, make sure to moderate their portions.

Looking for a great doggie stocking stuffer? Check out some pup approved treats that your dog will love.

The post Holiday Treats for Your Pet appeared first on The 'How-to' Dog Blog.

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With the holiday season in full swing, tasty treats and sweet snacks can be found around every corner. Although there are plenty of human foods that your pets can safely enjoy with you, there are many that can cause harm to your pup.

Here are a few common foods that you’ll want to keep your dog’s paws off of.

Foods to Avoid Giving to Your Pets

Nuts

Nuts are a common snack to put out for your guests, but make sure to keep them out of reach of your pup. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, vomiting, tremors and hypothermia. These symptoms are likely to last from 12-48 hours. Almonds, pecans and walnuts all contain high amounts of oils and fats. These fats have been known to cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These can cause gastrointestinal irritation. They could also lead to red blood cell damage, which causes anemia. Signs include weakness, vomiting and breathing problems. To be safe, you should avoid giving your pet any food that has seasoning or sauce – as they could contain these ingredients.

Dairy Products

Dogs process dairy products differently than humans do. They have a low amount of lactase – which is an enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk. If dogs ingest dairy products, they are likely to have diarrhea or digestive upset.

Fat Trimmings and Bones

Fat trimmed from meat can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed and is marked by low energy, difficulty breathing and vomiting. Avoid giving your dog bones that have been cooked. If they are small or break, they can easily be choked on. Bone splinters can cause blockage or leave cuts in your dog’s digestive system.

Salty Foods

Think twice before offering your pup a salty treat. Salt can cause your dog to become very thirsty and can lead to sodium poisoning. Symptoms of having too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, high temperatures and seizures.

Desserts

The holidays bring on a wave of delicious desserts. Although you may be tempted to share a bit of your tasty treat with your pup, now is the time to be a little selfish and keep that cookie all to yourself. Many baked goods and candies contain a sweetener called xylitol. This ingredient can lead to liver failure and hypoglycemia.

The post Food to Keep Away from Pets appeared first on The 'How-to' Dog Blog.

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The holidays are a time for giving. You’ve chosen the perfect gifts for your family and friends, but what about the important pets in your life?

We’ve got some great gift ideas and everything you need to know before choosing the perfect present for your precious pup.

What to Know About Giving Gifts to Dogs

Whether you’re getting a gift for your own dog or maybe a friend or family member’s dog, there is some information you should know before ordering. Check out our guide to gifting collars, leashes, treats and more!

Collars

To give a collar as a gift, you need to know quite a bit about the dog. Most importantly, figure out their neck measurement. Either measure the dog’s neck yourself or ask the dog’s owner to measure it. This will ensure you get the perfect size for the pup.

If you’re giving a collar to a puppy, you could check out our collars just for puppies. You could also choose a size range that would allow them to grow into it.

It also helps to know what type of collar the dog likes. Do they wear nylon, leather or soft grip? Do they want embroidered or a built in tag? You can have fun choosing colors and personalizing it. Collars make for a fun gift that the dog will use for years to come.

Tags

ID tags are a fun option for a gift because there are so many adorable designs to choose from. Is the pup sassy, classy, or adventurous? There is a tag for every personality.

When giving a tag as a gift, you’ll want to know the correct spelling of the dog’s name. Also know the phone number of the person to call if the dog wanders off. If the dog has a microchip, get the number and include it on the tag – or choose specialized “I am Microchipped” Tag.

If the dog is a smaller breed – choose the smaller tag size.

If the dog is larger – choose the larger tag size.

Leashes

A custom leash is a fantastic go-to gift option. Some leashes offer embroidered or engraved personalization options. For these, you will want to know the dog’s name and the contact phone number. Then, you can choose the length, material and color to create the perfect leash for your doggo.

Toys

You can’t go wrong with gifting a dog toy. For these, you may want to know whether the dog prefers fetch toys or tug toys. You could also choose a toy that you can put treats inside. A toy is a great gift that will keep the dog entertained for hours.  

Treats

What dog doesn’t love treats? Before choosing a treat for the dog, be aware of any allergies the dog might have. It may also be helpful to know whether the pup likes smaller, “reward” type treats or rawhide bone treats. No matter the treat you choose, you are sure to get a gracious thank-you lick.

The post Giving a dogIDs Gift – What You Need to Know appeared first on The 'How-to' Dog Blog.

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Holiday season is coming up and you know what that means – tons of yummy food!

It may be tempting to slip your dog a tasty treat while everyone is enjoying their holiday feast, but first make sure the food is safe for them.

We’ve created lists of a few safe fruits, vegetables, meats, and other foods that you can treat your pup with.

Human Foods that are Safe for Dogs Fruits Safe for Dogs

Fruit can be a great, low-calorie snack and an excellent source of vitamins. Some peels can be rough on digestive systems, so it’s best to remove them. Also, make sure to take out any seeds or pits before giving them do your dog.

Apples

Bananas

Cranberries

Cantaloupe

Watermelon

Blueberries

Oranges

Peaches

Pears

Pineapples

Raspberries

Strawberries

Mangoes

Vegetables Safe for Dogs

Vegetables can be high in fiber and vitamins. As long as you choose the right ones, vegetables can be a healthy snack between your pup’s meals.

Broccoli

Carrots

Celery

Cucumbers

Green Beans

Peas

Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Corn

Brussel Sprouts

Spinach

Meat Safe for Dogs

Many meats are great for providing your dog with protein, vitamins and minerals. Dogs like meat best raw and this is the form that provides the most nutrients. Of course, dogs can have cooked meat. Here are a few that are safe for your pup.  

Beef

Chicken

Turkey

Venison

Lamb

Rabbit

Fish – Cooked

Other Safe Foods for Dogs

There are so many human foods that are safe for dogs to eat. Here is a list of just a few. Make sure when feeding your pup human food that it is served plain. Food that has been filled with different spices or covered in sauces could contain ingredients that aren’t safe for dogs.

Plain, Cooked Pasta

White or Whole Wheat Bread

Popcorn – Unsalted, Unbuttered

Rice

Cooked eggs

Plain Yogurt

Plain Oatmeal

Peanut Butter

Moderation is important when giving any human food or new food to your dog. It is a good idea to monitor your pet after giving them a food they’ve never had before to make sure it doesn’t negatively affect them. It’s best to avoid giving your pet a food if you’re not certain it’s safe for them to eat.

The post Can My Dog Eat That? Safe Foods for Dogs appeared first on The 'How-to' Dog Blog.

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Choosing the Right Leash for Your Pup

Choosing the best leash for your pup can be trickier than you might think. There are a variety of styles, materials, and lengths, all of which can affect the walking experience of your pet.

Here’s your guide to getting the best leash for your dog.

Retractable Leash

Retractable leashes are great for casual walks with your pet. I love using the retractable leashes when taking my pet out for potty breaks, as it’s less restricting than standard leashes and lets my pet wander to find the perfect spot.

However, when taking your pet on walks or to dog-friendly events, retractable leashes offer less control of your dog. This is where the four- and six-foot leashes come in handy.

Four-Foot Leash

The only difference between a four-foot leash and a six-foot leash is their length. Otherwise, the materials used to make each leash is the same.

Four-foot leashes are ideal if you want greater control over your pet. If you’re going on walks in a high-pedestrian traffic area (like around downtown, or at pet-friendly events), then four-foot leashes allow you to keep your pet at your side.

This is also helpful if your dog is aggressive or if it’s not good around people.  This is because, like I said earlier, the four-foot leashes give your dog less slack and allows you to keep them at your side, even in the most crowded places.

Six-Foot Leash

Six-foot leashes are going to be best for long walks with your pooch. These leashes give your dog a little more slack, so they can wander around without being restricted to heeling at your side.

Six-foot leashes are also good if you take your dog on any athletic exercises, like on runs with you or along for bike rides. This is for the same reason: six-foot leashes give your dog a little more room to run before, beside, or behind you.

This size of leash is also good if your dog is already well-trained on a leash. The smaller leashes will keep them at your side, allowing them to learn the proper way to walk on a leash. It also reduces the surface area they can bite, especially if they’re puppies who like to chew on their leashes. For older or more trained dogs, six-foot leashes are good because they’re already used to walking on a leash.

Materials

The materials you choose to get for your dog’s leash all depend in what kind of activities your dog is involved in.

Nylon leashes are good for casual walks around the neighborhood or park. These leases come in variety of colors, and can even be embroidered, so your dog will be able to flaunt their favorite color and personality.

Waterproof leashes are great for dogs who love to play in the water or in mud. Because they’re made of biothane, they are resistant to odors and water. This also makes them super easy to clean, so if your pup gets into something, you can easily clean their leash.

Leather leashes are extremely durable. They’re going to withstand the test of time, no matter how active your dog is.If you like to walk your dog at night, reflective leashes provide an extra level of safety to your route. Reflective collars warn oncoming traffic that you’re walking your pup, whether they’re close by your side or off exploring.

To see all these options and more, visit dogids.com.

The post Which Leash is Best for Your Pup? appeared first on The 'How-to' Dog Blog.

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The other day, my dog, Peanut, and I were on our daily stroll through the park. Instead of trying to chase down the squirrels or sniff every park bench like he usually does, he was obsessed with eating the grass. I’ve seen Peanut eat a few blades of grass before, but this time I could barely pull him away from mowing down the lawn. This got me thinking… Is my dog sick? Is eating grass bad for him? Does the grass fulfill some nutritional need that his food isn’t giving him?

So, I did a little research.

Why is my dog eating grass?

Is eating grass bad for my dog?

Turns out eating grass is actually quite normal. Most veterinarians consider this “normal” dog behavior. Pets.WebMD explains that in a small study, 79% of dogs had eaten plants.

Although, if your grass is treated you should probably keep your dog from eating it. Some grasses have pesticides or herbicides on them that can be harmful to dogs if ingested.

Why do dogs eat grass?

There’s a term for eating things that are not food called “pica,” and it’s common in dogs. Younger dogs may eat grass because they’re bored. If you think this is the case for your pup, make sure he’s getting enough exercise. Maybe play an extra game of fetch or go for a longer walk.

Sometimes eating grass isn’t just for fun or because they like the feel of it. Dogs may eat grass because they are suffering from gastrointestinal upset. Signs of this are: whimpering to be let out, eating large amounts of grass, and vomiting afterwards. Grass eating can be an instinctual action to get rid of whatever is making them feel bad. If your dog eats grass then throws up and seems fine, there is probably nothing to worry about. If the behavior continues, you may want to take your dog to the vet.

Is grass nutritious?

Overall, grass really isn’t too nutritional. BUT, eating grass could be sign of a nutritional deficiency. If you think this is root of your dog’s grass eating behavior, try switching to a better dog food. A high fiber food could alleviate the problem.

As for Peanut, he is doing just fine. Being that he didn’t vomit or seem unwell and he hasn’t eaten grass since, I’m assuming he was just being his odd self.

The post Why Is My Dog Eating Grass? appeared first on The 'How-to' Dog Blog.

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