Blog Archives

Recipe Friday – Blueberry Bats For Dogs

Halloween is just around the corner and we don’t want to forget about our furry friends.  Here is a treat your dogs should love!

Ingredients:

Bats:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered Milk
  • 2 Cups Wheat Flour (for gluten free, you can use about 1 3/4 cups rice flour)

Optional Icing:

  • 2 Cups Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup approximately of blueberry juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey

 

Directions:

Bats:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Puree blueberries in a blender and combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed. Knead dough into ball and roll onto a floured surface 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutter of your choice (or try to cut out bats using a knife). Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 20 to 30 minutes until slightly browned.

3. Cool before serving and refrigerate.

Optional Icing:

Beat cream cheese and honey together until fluffy, add juice from blueberries for blue tint color. Spread on cookies.

 

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Recipe Friday – Sweet Potato Mini Cupcakes for Dogs

Here is a great treat for your hungry pooches out there!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour (or you can use about 1/4 cup rice flour for a gluten free version)
  • 1/4 cup water (adjust measurement according to size of potato used)
  • Mini-cupcake pan and mini-cupcake skirts
  • Some parsley (if you want to add something to freshen your dog’s breath, totally optional)

 

Directions:

1.  Wash, peel and dice sweet potato; although you can leave the skins on if desired.

2.  Steam sweet potato until it is nice and soft, even a little mushy.

3.  Mash sweet potato in a bowl with a fork.

4.  Mix in flour, parsley and water at the same time to achieve a thick paste.

5.  Scoop mixture into mini-cupcake skirts and bake for 40 minutes at 350 until crisp and golden.

6.  Allow to cool then treat your pup!

 

Recipe Friday – Sweet Potato Treats (For Dogs)

This is the easiest recipe ever!  I wasn’t sure Sasha (or any dog for that matter), would like this, but she LOVED it.  This is so easy to prepare for anyone who may not be a wizard in the kitchen.

Ingredient: (Yes ONE ingredient!)

  • 3 Large Sweet Potatoes (washed and dried about the same shape/size works best)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Cut your sweet potato in half lengthwise.

4. Place flat side of halved potato onto your cutting board and slice into 1/3 inch lengthwise pieces. Do not cut thinner than 1/4 inch.

5. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.

6. Bake for 3 hours turning over halfway through.

7. Cool completely on a wire rack.

8. Keep refrigerated up to two weeks. Store any leftovers in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Dogs and Human Emotions

Here is an article that my vet shared with me that I thought I would pass along:

In a study put out by Friederike Range and colleagues at the University of Vienna in Austria and Paul Morris at the University of Portsmouth, they suggest dogs have a complex range of simple unpleasant emotions such as jealousy and pride, giving them a sense of fairness that has never been discovered before.

 One should never mix their own emotions into a scientific study. Humans would love to believe their little balls of fur are also human, however they are not and never will be. It is studies like this one which can be very damaging, as they may make owners confuse dominance with emotion. Yes, the other dogs had a reaction when another dog got the food, when the new baby arrived, or when they were ignored, but the “WHY” is the question.

While dogs do possess emotions, they are not as complex as a human’s.  Dogs do, however, feel the emotions coming from humans. They feel our emotions as energy radiating from our bodies. The dog knows if you are sad, nervous, stressed, happy, calm, strong-minded, confident, passive, anxious, hyper, meek, etc. However, what we all need to understand is, a dog does not read negative energy coming from a human in the true meaning of the emotion. The dog simply reads negative energy as weakness and reacts accordingly. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. Because a dog communicates displeasure with growling and eventually biting, all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog; the humans must be the ones making the decisions, not the dogs. That is the only way your relationship with your dog can be a complete success.

Let’s look at the “why.” There can be many reasons for each of the following issues.

The New Baby

Why does a dog sometimes begin to act differently when a baby comes? This happens for varying reasons, depending on how badly the owners misinterpret their dog’s actions. The dog may claim the baby, the dog may be confused about his place and he may sense energy from the owners that he never felt before that confuses him. The baby is a new pack member and the owners’ emotions change. The dog senses this and there are varying things that can affect his reactions: emotional, nervous or stressed parents, sensing jealousy from a human sibling, not accepting the baby into the pack, thinking he is higher up in the pack, not sure where his new place is in the pack, or owners sending the wrong or mixed signals to the dog. Things are different and the dog needs to be secure in his pack and see himself as lower than the baby. He needs to know the new rules regarding the baby from the minute the baby comes home. Problems can and will arise when the owners fail to communicate the dog’s place among the new member. If humans become emotionally upset when the dog goes near the baby or near items which smell like the baby instead of calmly but firmly claiming space around the baby/items, communicating that the baby as alpha over the dog, the dog is going to react in ways he has never done before. This is not the same as human jealousy; it is a reaction to a new pack member and the wrong signals coming from the humans within the pack.

Other Dogs

Another claim of the study suggests that dogs hate to see their owners being affectionate to other dogs. In reality, dogs do not possess the emotions of “hate” or “jealousy”; this is the dog showing his dominance. The dog owns the human and does not want the other dog near their property. He may not want to allow another pack member in. One of the two dogs may sense instability in the other dog, or unstable emotions coming from the humans around them, which can cause a fight between the dogs. An imbalance in the other dog or humans around them will cause them to react, but not hate. A submissive dog with stable beings around him will share in the excitement of another dog, calmly say hello by smelling, or ignore the other dog altogether.

Fairness

The study also suggests dogs are able to interpret fairness, as when one dog decides things are “not fair” and reacts by refusing to obey or getting emotionally upset. Dogs were asked to perform a trick and the dog’s enthusiasm was lowered when they saw other dogs being rewarded with food but receiving nothing for themselves. Some of the dogs even turned their heads, refusing to look at the human or other dog. So why is this?

A dog that is doing a trick without food and notices someone else doing the trick using food with another dog in sight or smell range is suddenly distracted. He wants to eat the food too and he loses interest in the trick. It’s a distraction and a learned behavior that he could be getting food for his action. It is also very possible the person doing the experiment sent off a different emotion (energy) to the dog during different parts of the experiment. The dog would sense this and react accordingly.

The dogs that turned away, refusing to look were not upset nor were they trying to get even in any way. They were, in fact, submitting to the other dog and/or humans. They were communicating their respect, as the leader eats first, and the others wait until the leader is finished. Eye contact is a challenge. Therefore, a dog who turns his head refusing to make eye contact with you is telling you he is allowing you to be his leader. This misinterpretation of the dog’s reaction is actually a very common and damaging one. When humans see their dogs turn away from them, refusing eye contact, the humans attach their own emotions to it and think the dog is upset or mad. They go over to the dog in attempt to “make up,” offering sympathy and affection. The dog suddenly feels this human is weak and instinctually believes he needs to be stronger in order to “save the pack.” He becomes alpha whether he wants the job or not because, in his mind, the pack needs a strong leader in order to survive.

Geting even for being ignored

It was also suggested that dogs that were ignored gave their paws much less often, doing so in only 13 out of 30 trials, and some showed more stress, such as licking or scratching themselves.

Now for the why—and this one seems a bit silly. Do we humans think the dogs enjoyed giving their paw over and over again? They do it for the reward of food or praise. No reward and the dog will not be motivated. But he’s not mad or jealous and he is not upset because things are unfair. Sure the dog wants the other dog’s food, but he’s not having a jealous fit. He’s reacting. Give praise and he reacts to get more praise. Show food and he wants to eat it. He’s just not as interested in the guy without the food. As far as the stress…if I were a dog I would be stressed too if I was with humans who were sending confusing vibes my way.

 This study is actually really sad and damaging to dogs that come into contact with people who may believe what it says. We are not doing our fellow canine animals a favor by attaching our human emotions to them, confusing dominance and submission with human emotion. If we as humans do not take the time to learn a dog’s instincts we will continue to see more and more unwanted dogs in shelters.

The number one cause of death for dogs today is euthanasia. A dog’s temperament is a direct reflection of his owner’s ability to understand him and give him what he instinctually needs. There are no bad dogs. Don’t let your dog down!

Written by Sharon Maguire © Dog Breed Info Center ® All Rights Reserved

Weekly Trick – Top 5 Cat Tricks (According to Animal Planet)

Next week will be a new Saturday topic, as I have run out of tricks to share for now.  For this week, let’s talk about the top 5 tricks (for cats) according to the popular channel, Animal Planet.

The fifth trick in the top five is “shaking hands.”  This is probably the first trick anyone should try to teach their cat, as it is (believe it or not) the easiest trick for a cat to learn.  If they are receptive to learning tricks, this will be the test.

The forth top trick is “hurdle those obstacles”.  This trick is a little more advanced, but the basics of it is to put an obstacle on the floor (like a paper bag or a stick) and have the cat examine it and play with it, then run a “lure” (something like a feather or their favorite toy on a string), so that they will cross over top of the obstacle.

The third top trick is “hoop dreams”. This trick calls for a hula hoop and teaching your cat to first walk through the hoop, and progress to jumping through the hoop with the use of clicker training.  Animal Planet goes through how to perform each trick, step by step.

The second top trick is “paws-ing to shop”.  Use a large box with flaps, or if you don’t mind your cat crawling into a cabinet, and then place some of your cat’s favorite toys inside and use the command “go shopping” along with your clicker and have your cat pull out the toys one by one.

To find out what the number one trick is, click here for the article and have fun teaching your cat these great tricks!

Weekly Trick – Useful Dog Tricks

These tricks are performed by Jesse, and let me tell you, this dog has talent!  I wouldn’t know where to start to teach your dog all these tricks, other than to watch the video and break each step down into one trick at a time.  Also, loads of patience and amazing treats, along with a clicker would most likely help in learning how to do these amazing tricks.

The video is more like “a day in the life” with Jesse.  Jesse starts off pulling the covers off his pet parent and licking their face.  He goes to get a placemat, cup, and pops something in the toaster.

His pet parent gets out of the shower, just in time to get a towel from Jesse.  This dog is amazing.  Each trick is better than the last and more amazing.  I watched most of this video in amazement and had to pick my jaw up off the floor several times.  I cannot imagine how much time it took to teach Jesse how to do all these amazing tricks.

Too tired to do some cleaning?  No worries, Jesse will dust for you.

Spill something on the floor?  Jesse’s got you covered.

From vacuuming to mopping, Jesse can do it all and then some.

To see this amazing dog in action, click here!

Recipe Friday – Kitty Jelly

This interesting looking recipe when completed will surely please even the most finicky kitty out there.

 
Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken broth (or any broth that works for you and your kitty)
  • 4-1/2 tablespoons flour (if your cat has a gluten allergy, you can use 4 tablespoons of rice flour)
  • 1/4 cup carrots –diced into small cubes
  • 3/4 cup minced meat (cooked)
  • pieces of fish – optional (any fish that works well for your kitty such as: salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, about a half cup if you are using fish and minced meat, if you are just using fish, use about a cup).

 

Directions:

1. After the broth has been made, allow it too cool for around 2 minutes.

2. Add all the flour and mix well, make sure the lumps are out, and try to get it like a gravy consistency. (If it doesn’t come together as gravy or all the lumps are not out right now, it should come together after reheating it in the next steps.

3. Heat broth and flour mixture on high heat until a gravy starts to form, if it hasn’t formed already (skip this step if it is gravy consistency already).

4. Immediately add all other ingredients and pour all contents of this meal into an airtight container, suitable for the refrigerator.

5. Allow it to set into jelly like substance with the carrots, minced meat and fish suspended in it.

6. Put in refrigerator to set if you wish.  Once set, use a melon baller or spoon and dish out and serve to your cat.

7. Keep all leftovers in same container in refrigerator for a week, and toss any leftovers then.

Recipe Friday – Chicken Carrot Frozen Yummies For Dogs

Since there seems to be a resurgence of warm weather, this recipe is sure to cool your pup down and make them happy all at the same time!  It is very simple and quick to make as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shredded Chicken (or Beef, or Pork)
  • 32 ounces Plain Yogurt (should be full fat, not a diet yogurt)
  • 2 Carrots, shredded

 

Directions:

1. Cook the meat of your choice and let it cool completely.

2. Shred the carrots.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients until well mixed.

4. Pour into any molds you may have and freeze.  (I love this one from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  It is perfect for this recipe)

5. When ready, pop it out of the mold and serve to your pup!

Weekly Trick – Eating Treats From Chopsticks (Cats)

This is something I saw on youtube and am teaching Isis how to do this.  She pretty much has it down, but I sometimes have to remind her how to do it.  It’s not difficult and I will explain, along with posting a link to one of the cutest cat eating from chopsticks videos ever!

This is fairly easy to teach your cat.  What you need are wooden chopsticks, patience and time, and some of your cats favorite treats.  I actually use pork because Isis would probably do back flips in order to get some pork.

The first step I did was make sure that Isis hadn’t eaten anytime before doing this trick.  I cut up the pork into small treat size pieces.

For the first day, all I would do is hold out the pork and have Isis take it from my fingers at her eye level.  The next few days, I stood up and would raise the treat up a bit higher each time, until she was standing on her hind legs and taking the treat easily from my fingers (I would make sure that there was a 90% success rate.  That is, she would take it from my fingers at least 9 times out of 10). All the while doing this, I would say the command word “pork”, so that she would associate that word with what she was doing.

On the fifth day, I ended up putting a piece of pork into the chopsticks.  I held the chopsticks up to the level where she would be standing on her hind legs and said my command word “pork”.  She stood on her hind legs and took the pork from between the chopsticks.

As promised, here is the trick in action.  This is such a cute, smart cat!

Weekly Trick – Fetch A Diaper

Even if you don’t have children, this can be a good trick to teach, just substitute diaper with something else!

The first thing to do is get your dog interested in the diaper.  Put something inside the diaper that the dog loves (toy wise) and start to try to play with them and throw it around, give them lots of praise while doing so. Make sure to use the word diaper and “fetch” so that your dog knows what you want them to do.
Walk away from the dog and have the dog come to you with the diaper in their mouth.

The final test for this aspect of the trick is to have the diapers in another room, call your dog over and ask them to “fetch diaper”.  If they go into the other room and get the diaper, the first phase of this trick is complete.

Next, you will want the dog to learn to jump over the baby gate.  Some dogs will be able to do this very quickly, other dogs, you will need to set up stages (put up a rope for them to jump over at different heights until they can jump over the actual baby gate easily).

The last part of the trick is making sure your dog will bring you the diaper in any room of the house.  Make sure you are in a different room and tell your dog to “fetch diaper”.  If the trick has been learned successfully, your dog will go into the room that you keep diapers, grab one off the shelf and bring it to you in the other room.  This trick will take time to learn and lots of treats.  Make sure to teach it in stages and not for longer than about 5-10 minute sessions at a time.

Here is the video for the trick.  In case it doesn’t load, it is the second trick video.