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Friday, September 25, 2009

Carob Star Cookies

OK, everyone, now that we've said goodbye to summer and are heading into shorter days and colder nights, there's no excuse anymore not to bake up some delicious treats for our fur-pals. In the spirit of the holidays to come, we're going to post a recipe each week for some treats that are easy to make and will bring a wag to the tails.

The first treat we have to share comes from Tee in Malaysia. She has ten dogs, all of whom say these treats are great.

Carob Star Cookies

340 g flour ( 3.5 cups)
210 g butter (1 cup)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
cold water
carob buttons ( can substitte bacon, liver, sausage or whatever your pups likes)

Mix butter into flour until it resembles bread crumbs. Add lemon juice and cold water until it forms dough.

Let stand 20 minutes.

Roll out dough and use cookie cutters to cut into desired shape. Tee used star shape.

Stick carob button in middle of star and bake at 150-180C (300 -350F) for 20 minutes.

Let cool, then let the canine taste testers decide.

This is Anna getting ready to try them out.

I made the conversions in the above recipe and since my metric skills are sadly lacking, you might want to check them before you attempt this.

Carob is a chocolate substitute that is safe for dogs and most of them love it, so these are really special treats in the doggy world. Thanks, Tee for sharing with us.

Now sit down at the table and dig thru your recipe box and send me your dog or cat's favorite homemade treat. I'll try very hard to post one per week, and we want a nice big selection to choose from.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Look Who Has A New Family

Say hello and congratulations to Lyric. She has a new home and a new family.

Lyric is an almost three year old Pomeranian whose first family didn't care enough to prevent her from getting heartworm. Heartworm is very easy to prevent, not so easy to cure. Rather than dealing with the treatment, they decided to euthanize her.

This perky little lady was very lucky. Nicki decided to foster her while she underwent treatment for her condition and in the process the family fell in love with the little charmer.

Now Lyric has been adopted by Nicki and has her own home in the country with a yard and playmates.

She shares her new life with Zodiac and Legend and is happy to be healthy again and have a caring home with a family that won't just give up on her.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Treat Seekers

Nothing is simple at our house. Sissy has an intolerance for corn meal and chicken meal, which seem to be directly related to another little medical issue of hers. (It's not fit for polite conversation, but her anal glands have ruled the kibble and treat situation at our house since she was just a few months old.)

We're fortunate to have a local pet food company, Sammy Snacks. While my fur-girls can't eat their kibble, they are hooked on their original Sammy Snacks. They are marketed "for you and your dog", but my girls aren't inclined to share. They're a great size for Gretchen (a wee Jack Russell Terrier), and Sissy (a basset hound) loves it when two or more are stuck together from the baking process. We've tried every variety, and haven't found a bad one yet.

A MOST special favorite is Carnivore Crunch by Stella and Chewy, in the beef variety. Actually, Sis tolerates the chicken variety too, but she's doing so well on a no-corn, no-chicken diet that we're sticking to the beef. Nichole introduced us to this ambrosia for dogs quite some time ago, and along with Sammies, it's the treat we're never without. We do use it only as a very special treat, such as after toenail torture for Sissy, or when Gretchen learns a new skill. They know when we reach for that bag, and they dance - right up until they sit firmly, which must happen for any treat to be dispensed.

Last, but hardly least, are Buddy Biscuits, from Planet Dog. We gave the seasonal gingerbread variety as Christmas gifts to our bigger doggy friends last year, and they were well-received, although my girls didn't care for it much at all. They're always up for peanut butter flavors, and I see they offer a sweet potato variety, so we'll be trying that soon too.
Please share your pets' favorite treats! We're always looking for something new, especially in small-dog bite-sized creations. Gretchen has to watch her figure, while Sissy is our hard keeper...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Make Ours Unleaded

Since the big pet food recall a couple years ago, most of us have become much more conscious of what we feed our dogs and cats. I find myself standing in the food aisle reading labels and making comparisons online. None of the dog foods we used were involved in the recall, but we became better consumers anyway.

Now the problem seems to be treats. There are still recalls going on with dog treats that contain either salmonella or lead.

We are constantly on the alert for healthy and good tasting treats for our fur kids, and we've found a few that we want to share with you.

We found Robbie Dawg products when an order from included a sample. I immediately checked them out online and liked what I saw. Then we tried the taste test and my taste consultants informed me that these were especially good.

Robbie Dawg products are made in Brooklyn, NY and use US products. They make Robbie Dawg biscuits in such wonderful flavors as BBQ Chicken, Brooklyn Pizza, Peanut Butter and Carrot, Skillet Fish Fry and our favorite Turkey Sausage and Romano Cheese.

They also make Little Lulus' which were the first ones we tried. They are small in size but apparently huge in flavor. The offerings are Bacon and Parsley (think Morgan), Pumpkin Spice, Brooklyn Pizza and Lucy's very favorite Peanut Butter and Blueberry.

Robbie Dawgs and Little Lulus are available from Sit-Stay or from the Robbie Dawg website. My entire pack thinks they're wonderful and I also like the packaging.

Another treat that we use a lot in our household is Charlee Bears. OK, I did originally buy them because they had what I thought was a Portuguese Water Dog on the label, but they turned out to be a great product.

They are low cal, only 3 calories per treat, and for that reason I use them for training. They are a small size, easy to use in class because the dog doesn't have to stop to chew and they taste good. I know because I've tried them. They come in three flavors, liver, turkey liver and cranberry, and cheese and egg. The cheese and egg flavor taste a bit like a stale cheez-it cracker.

Charlee Bears are available in many pet warehouses such as Petsmart and also available by mail order from most of the pet catalogs.

There are other treats we like and use, but these are exceptional and I trust their ingredients. Closer to the holidays we'll post some recipes for homemade treats that you might want to make for your friends.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Be Prepared

Today our friend Beau was rushed to the hospital with bloat. He underwent surgery and had 30% of his stomach removed. Beau is one of the lucky ones. He survived.

Bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus is the second leading killer of dogs after cancer. Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air. Stress can be a contributing factor. As the stomach swells it may twist, trapping air, food and water. The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock and damage to internal organs.

Know the symptoms of bloat because minutes count with this condition.

* Attempts to vomit (usually unsuccessful)
* Doesn't act like usual self
* Significant anxiety and restlessness
* Hunched up appearance
* Lack of normal digestive sounds in the tummy
* Tight abdomen (like a drum)
* Heavy or rapid panting
* Excessive drooling
For other symptoms check out the website at or do a Google search for dog bloat symptoms. There are a number of sites that can give you information.

There are some things we can do to reduce the chances of our dogs getting bloat.

* Feed two or three smaller meals rather than one large one.
* Do not permit rapid eating
* Avoid heavy exercise immediately after eating
* Avoid stressful situations
* Know you dog's normal behavior

Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of bloat and keep the number and address of your emergency vet handy. Minutes count when you're dealing with bloat. Beau is alive and recovering tonight because his owner knew the signs and got him immediate medical care.
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