Archive for January, 2013

No matter how much you love your dog, flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day just aren’t appropriate for him! However, you can still show your dog some affection and let him know that you want him to be your Valentine with some healthy Valentine treats. Here are some fun Valentine treat options for you to offer your dog so he won’t feel left on when you’re having some bon bons with your sweetheart.

 

Remember that chocolate is a big No-No for dogs! Even if your dog begs for your Valentine candy, don’t let him have any. And take care to keep your candy and other chocolate out of reach so your dog won’t be tempted to help himself.

 

Homemade Hearts

 

Why not give your dog your heart for Valentine’s Day? Not your actual heart but these delicious homemade hearts. They’re not only healthy for your dog, they’re also easy to make. They’re made with natural ingredients that you can find in your grocery store and they take just a short time to whip together. Your dog will love them!

 

Makes 10 mini cakes

                             Ingredients

For the cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup butter (or ¼ cup vegetable oil)

¼ cup all natural peanut butter

1 cup shredded carrots

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ tablespoons all natural honey

½ cup lowfat buttermilk

 

For the frosting:

8 ounces of lowfat cream cheese

1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

                             Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a mini heart cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside.
  2. Mix the flour and baking soda. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, honey, and oil/butter and stir. Add the buttermilk, ¼ cup at a time. Stir in carrots.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the mini heart openings, filling each one three-quarters full. Bake for at least 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
  4. While the cakes cook, prepare the frosting by beating the cream cheese, vanilla, and cinnamon together. Once the cakes have cooled, frost. Drizzle melted peanut butter on top or top with additional shredded carrots.

 

Carob Hearts

 

Chocolate may be bad for your dog but carob tastes very similar and it’s perfectly fine to give your dog cookies and other treats made with carob. Dogs love them! Try these Carob Heart cookies for your doggy Valentine. These cookies are made with all natural ingredients and if you want to nibble on them yourself, they’re yummy.

 

Ingredients

1 ½ Cups Wheat Flour
½ Cup Rolled Oats
¼ Cup Carob Powder
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Egg
½ Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Honey

 

Directions

  1. In a small bowl combine the wheat flour, rolled oats, carob, and baking powder. Set aside. In a separate bowl beat together the egg, water, and honey. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended and it forms a stiff dough.
  2. Place on floured surface and roll to desired thickness. Cut into heart shapes. (You can buy heart-shaped cookie cutters online or in kitchen supply stores.) Bake at 300 degrees. If rolled to 3/8? thickness, baking time is 30 minutes to 35 minutes.
  3. Melt carob chips in the microwave or double boiler and drizzle over the treats for more carob taste.

 

Try these healthy Valentine’s Day treats for your dog instead of treats and snacks made with preservatives and other ingredients that you can’t identify. Your dog will really be able to tell how much you love him.

Finding A Doggy Daycare

Doggy daycare is a good idea for many people and their dogs. If you work, as most of us do, and you can’t be home with your dog all day, doggy daycare can be helpful, especially if you have a dog who is anxious or destructive when left home alone. Finding a doggy daycare is not always easy though, depending on where you live. In addition, when considering a doggy daycare, you will want to check it out to make sure they will take good care of your dog.

 

Finding a good daycare for your dog

There are several ways you can find a doggy daycare in your area. Check your phone book under listings such as “dog daycare,” “kennels,” and “boarding.” Some boarding kennels offer doggy daycare and they will advertise their service under their kennel listing.

 

You can also ask other pet professionals such as veterinarians and pet groomers. They are likely to know of doggy daycares in your area. Ask at your local pet stores and check bulletin boards for ads there. Some of the bigger pet store chains even offer dog daycare services.

 

Finally, you can go online and see if there are doggy daycares advertised in your area. Your odds of finding doggy daycares advertised online are probably best if you live in a larger urban area, but some places advertise in suburban and rural areas, too.

 

Check the place out

Not all doggy daycares are the same and you sometimes hear about such places that do not take good care of the dogs. Before you trust your dog to a doggy daycare, ask around about the place you intend to use. Visit the place in person. Drop by without warning in the middle of the day. Talk to other clients. Make sure that the place where you intend to leave your dog for hours each day will take good caer fo him.

 

There are no licenses or credentials required to open a doggy daycare so anyone can take in dogs and call themselves a doggy daycare. You don’t have to be a dog trainer to care for dogs well, but a good doggy daycare should have facilities that are large enough for the dogs to play and rest; the ability to separate the dogs; plenty of toys; and they should have enough people to play with and help with the dogs. Make sure the facilities are clean and pleasant, too.

 

After you find a doggy daycare

Once you start taking your dog to the doggy daycare, pay attention to how your dog likes the place. Is he happy to go there everyday? Does he seem to like the people there? Does he get along well with the other dogs? Once again, an unannounced visit occasionally is a good idea to see how your dog is being treated. If he is being kept in a crate all day, you should find another doggy daycare. If your dog comes home with bites or scratches, you need to ask questions. Dogs should be supervised when they play together and fighting should not be a common occurrence.

 

With a little searching you should be able to find a doggy daycare in your area. Take time to check it out before you take your dog there. Then follow up and make sure that your dog is being treated well.

 

Article by Nancy Cope. Owner of Pampered-Dog-Gifts.com and online dog boutique for your pampered pooch.