The Essential Vet Exams for Your Dog

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 4.55.43 PMHave you ever left the vet feeling like you spent all of your budget but aren’t sure if your dog really got your money’s worth out of it? Sometimes the open communication between ourselves and our veterinarian can be rushed or lacking, and we are left feeling like we’re in the dark about our dog’s wellness regimen. Its better for our wallets, peace of mind, and our dog’s health if we understand exactly what the essential vet exams are, and which treatments are unnecessary and excessive. 

Denise Petryk, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Trupanion and our friends at The I Love Dogs Site gave us all the answers about what healthcare is essential for your dog.

What Exams Are Essential?

Your dog needs routine wellness exams in the same way that we need routine physicals. If your dog doesn’t have a wellness exam between the ages of two and six, that’s like you not seeing a doctor between the ages or 24 and 40! If you can imagine how many changes and risks there are to your health in those years then you can imagine the same for your dog. A year is a long time in a dog’s life. If he lives through his early teens to be 13, yearly exams will only equate to 13 exams in his whole life which isn’t a lot when you think of it that way!

Routine Wellness Exams

Wellness visits are essential for maintaining a relationship with your veterinarian and establishing the best preventative care so you can address health concerns early on. We all know that preventing disease and catching it early is so much better than treating it once it has progressed to a severe stage. Preventative health care on a regular basis saves you and your dog from needless suffering and a greater financial strain.

Zoey and Laci Waiting to See The Vet

Zoey and Laci Waiting to See The Vet

Wellness exams play a crucial part in prolonging your dog’s life and keeping her healthy long term. Puppies should have wellness visits 2-3 times per year at the beginning of their lives, and adult dogs should go at least once per year and twice per year if your budget allows it. Laci goes to the vet more often than Zoey and Jem because she’s a seven month old puppy. Zoey and Jem see the vet twice per year for preventative care and wellness exams. We love to see how comfortable they are at the vet from going regularly. Jem even fell asleep on the floor of the exam room! Now that’s relaxation.

Senior dogs should begin having wellness exams twice per year minimum and sometimes three times per year. This is when things can change most rapidly with your dog’s health. You want to catch any diseases or concerns as early as you can for the best chance of curing it. These visits are important for:

  • Understanding age-related changes and degenerative conditions
  • Exercise and diet
  • Comfort support
  • Routine lab tests to detect disease early

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 9.33.42 AMWellness Exams Check List:

  • Share any concerns with your vet
    • Have questions addressed, answered, and documented for future reference
  • Diagnose any health problems in the early stages
  • Update vaccines
  • Test for/control intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, and mites, heart worm
    • Refill prescriptions for preventatives
  • Nutrition
  • Dental health
    • Care you can administer at home, observe any odors, pain, or signs of disease and establish a course of treatment  
  • Exercise
    • Note how much exercise your dog is getting including how often, what kind, and any changes in your dog’s ability or enthusiasm to exercise
  • Ears and Eyes
    • Note any discharge, redness, irritation, itching, or smell and treat for infection
  • Stomach and intestines
  • Breathing
    • Report any coughing, shortness of breath, sneezing, or nasal discharge
  • Behavior
    • Share with your vet any changes in mood, happiness, behavior problems, or changes in temperament
  • Urinary
    • Note any abnormal accidents and an increase in the frequency of urination for signs of infection
  • Feet and legs
    • Report any limping, weakness, lameness, or toenail concerns
  • Coat and skin
    • Any hair loss, pigment changes, lumps, itchy spots, shedding, mats, or anal gland problems
  • Blood tests
    • Especially for geriatric dogs, dogs with medical problems, and those receiving medications
  • Preventative care options
Zoey's Weight Is Still Slim and Trim Since Last Time!

Zoey’s Weight Is Still Slim and Trim Since Last Time!

The American Heartworm Society firmly recommends your dog be tested for heartworm every year at her wellness visits, even if you are religiously following a heartworm prevention regimen. There have been numerous cases where dogs were on heartworm prevention and still contracted the disease. The AHS strongly suggests getting tested every year so if your dog contacts the disease you have a better idea of the time frame it was contracted than if you haven’t had him tested in 3 years or more. Annual testing and uninterrupted routine heartworm prevention can make the difference between life and death of your furry best friend. You’ll never wish you had used prevention more than when it becomes too late! Never take that unnecessary risk.

Jem Tested "Negative" For Heartworm! That Preventative Really Works!

Jem Tested “Negative” For Heartworm! That Preventative Really Works!

Vaccinations

According to an article from PetEducation.com, experts agree that the core vaccines necessary for all dogs are:

The non-core vaccines that vets will give dogs include:

There have been controversies recently about vaccines for dogs and cats. Some researches believe that we don’t need to vaccinate every year for most of the diseases. However, they haven’t determined exactly how often we should vaccinate for each disease because they actually don’t know how long the protection from the vaccine lasts. Surprised? Me too! I always assumed it was a pretty exact science and trusted that yearly vaccinations were the necessary standard. They say that one vaccine may last 5 years, another for 3 years, and a different one for only 2 years. 

Almost all researchers still believe that we need to give puppies at least three combination vaccines that must be repeated when they turn one year old. Rabies must continue to be given within the guidelines of local ordinances. 

Zoey Was Due For Her Vaccines and Took It Like a Champ!

Zoey Was Due For Her Vaccines and Took It Like a Champ!

There is new research from the veterinary schools at the University of Minnesota, Colorado State University, and University of Wisconsin that suggests a new approach to vaccines where we alternate which vaccines we give our dog from year to year. Instead of vaccinating against more than one disease at once, your dog would receive the distemper vaccine one year, canine adenovirus-2 the next year, and parvovirus the third year repeated. However, other researchers still believe we don’t know enough about these vaccines yet to recommend only vaccinating every three years. It is up to each individual dog parent to discuss vaccines with your vet to determine the best course of prevention for your dog. 

Controlling Intestinal Parasites 

Fecal exams and deworming is as controversial as vaccines when it comes to how often your dog should be tested. Testing and deworming decisions should be based on:

  • The age of your dog
  • Likelihood your dog is exposed to feces from other animals
  • If your dog is on a heartworm preventative that controls intestinal parasites
  • If your dog has been infected before
  • If there are children who play with your dog

The American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and The Companion Animal Parasite Council all suggest testing for parasites and deworming at your yearly wellness visit. If your dog follows a strict heartworm/intestinal parasite preventative regimen year-round, they still suggest having a fecal test done. If your dog is not on a heartworm/intestinal parasite prevention (have your dog tested immediately and started on a preventative), then he needs a fecal test 2-4 times per year and to be treated accordingly. 

Senior Dogs

Older dogs are at risk for conditions that younger dogs are not. If your dog is reaching his senior years, you may want to have him tested for:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Kidney disease
  • Hormonal diseases

Identifying these conditions before severe or irreversible damage is done is vital for treating the condition early. A normal, healthy result is extremely helpful so future test results can be compared. If your dog is on medication, blood work and screening is important to see how the medication is affecting his body. 

Jem and Zoey Love Seeing the Vet Twice A Year!

Jem and Zoey Love Seeing the Vet Regularly!

Annual wellness exams, vaccinations, heartworm testing, and parasite control combined with recommended blood tests will play a critical role in keeping your dog healthy and help him live longer! Jem and Zoey are used to having a calm and stress-free exam at the vet, so they don’t dread the visits or get nervous and scared. They are very calm and content at their regular wellness exams.

The responsibility of keeping your dog in tip-top shape isn’t only up to your veterinarian. You should always keep a close eye on your dog’s health at home year round and report back to your vet regarding her personality, activity level, eating habits, etc. Check for lumps, bumps, flakes, scabs, irritation, redness, and itching. Pay close attention to eating and drinking habits because changes can be signs of serious problems. We all wish our dogs could just tell us what is bothering them, hurting, or when they feel sick. Unfortunately, we have to rely on our gut instincts, observations, and subtle signs our dogs show us. If you can remember to pay attention to changes in your dog from home and stick to a routine vet exam regimen, then your four legged furball will be in great shape!

Is Canned or Dry Dog Food Healthier?

Canned or Dry Dog Food? Which One Is Healthier?

We are always researching what the healthiest and best diet options are for our three dogs Zoey, Jem, and Laci. Zoey eats only canned wet food because of her frequent urinary tract infections (the water in the wet food helps prevent her UTI’s). Jem eats dry kibble with a scoop of Zoey’s wet food because she sees Zoey’s food and is envious of the flavor. Laci is just a puppy and indulges in her dry kibble without complaint, but she never misses an opportunity to sprint over to Zoey and Jem’s bowls after they’ve finished to lick them dry! 

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According to an article from DogFoodAdvisor.com, canned food may be a better option for dogs than the dry kibble – and no this article was not written by a dog who wants to convince his human to buy canned food just for the flavor of it! 

Why Can Canned Be Better Than Dry Kibble?

Canned foods typically have more meat protein and fewer carbohydrates than dry kibble. Because of the cans’ air-tight packaging, they usually don’t have synthetic preservatives, flavors, and colors. This means the fats and oils in the food won’t become rancid. 

Why Does My Dog Go Crazy Over Canned Food?

Has your dog ever had a taste of canned food? If she has I bet she went crazy over it! Our girls can’t seem to get enough. The smell lures them in and the taste gets them hooked. Laci fiends for Zoey’s wet food so bad that we have to put Zoey in a separate room to eat. Jem has become so spoiled by the scoop of wet food that we add to her kibble that if we don’t add it she looks up at us like we’re crazy and refuses to eat!

DSC02359One reason dogs go so nuts for canned food is because the meats are closer to their natural state. This makes canned foods tastier and more appetizing than the dry kibble. 

The Moisture Content Helps With Overall Health and Health Issues

PetMd explains that not all dogs drink as much water as they should and wet food can be a great source of hydration. This is one of the main reasons we feed Zoey wet food – she seems to be indifferent to drinking water. Moisture in a pet’s diet becomes increasingly important as the dog ages, whenever the dog is ill, or if the dog lives in a hot climate.

For our Zoey, the canned food is a must. The high moisture content is perfect for preventing her frequent UTI’s. If you have a dog with urinary issues, the water in the canned food helps significantly more than dry kibble. DSC02472Is your dog overweight? It’s much easier for an obese dog to loose weight by eating wet food because it makes him feel fuller quickly. Your dog can eat more canned food than dry food and still loose weight because the moisture in the canned food takes up volume that won’t contribute to weight gain. 

Canned food is great for elderly dogs or dogs with dental issues. Chewing dry kibble can be very painful and difficult for these dogs which may cause them to eat less which will contribute to poor health overall. You may have heard that dry kibble can be good for your dog’s teeth, but many believe that this is an old rumor.  

Advantages and Disadvantages To Both

DogFoodAdvisor.com broke it down nicely for us to compare the advantages and disadvantages to both dry and canned dog foods:

Glancing at this comparison, you can quickly see that dry kibble is more convenient for the humans because of its lower cost, and it does’t take up room in the refrigerator. If canned food is believed to be better for your dog’s overall health, I know the convenience factor becomes an afterthought, because our dogs deserve the best!

Dogs can’t tell us what they want or need, as much as I wish they could, but our dogs make it as obvious as they possibly can that they prefer canned food. It’s impossible for us to ignore their not so subtle hints… so canned food it is! 

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When Is Kibble The Better Choice?

When it comes to convenience and cost, nothing beats kibble. So if you’re on a tight budget (and who isn’t these days?!) then a quality kibble is the way to go, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

You can leave kibble in your dog’s bowl for an extended period of time. If your dog is used to grazing rather than eating full meals in one sitting, then you need to stick with the kibble. Because she’s a puppy, Laci eats multiple times throughout the day, so for these reasons dry kibble is the best option for her at this stage.

DSC02403

You should never leave canned food in your dog’s bowl for longer than an hour or two at the most. When wet food is exposed to the environment it easily grows bacteria and quickly becomes contaminated. Dogs with a predisposition to dental problems like excessive plaque and bacteria may need more dental attention when eating a wet food than a dry kibble. 

Kibble can be stored for much longer periods of time. Once you open that bag of kibble, you know it will last until your dog eats the last bit. Unlike kibble, canned food has a short shelf life once it is opened. It must be placed in the refrigerator right after it is opened, and should not be stored opened for longer than two to three days before its time to discard it. 

We Love Kibble and Canned Food!

I don’t want you to think we’re pro-canned and anti-kibble, because we are a huge fan of both. We believe in “listening” to our dogs and watching their behavior closely to determine what each individual pup specifically needs because no two dogs are alike. Like I said, we determined canned food was the best option for Zoey, Laci does great on dry puppy kibble, and our indestructible, healthy Jem still has a perfect bill of health eating mainly kibble with a spoonful of canned to satisfy her flavor cravings. 

Whatever type of food you believe is best for your dog’s health and lifestyle is the right choice for your family. If your budget can’t find room for canned dog food and it’s too much hassle for your lifestyle, the “Jem Method” works great – just add a little bit of canned food to the kibble to have the best of both worlds! PetMd explains that either canned or kibble will satisfy your dog’s nutritional needs as long as the food is well-balanced and you make sure it is made with quality ingredients. And always remember what foods are healthy, and what foods are toxic to your dogs!

Laci loves any kind of food!

Disturbing Lab Results Prove Top Dog and Cat Food Brands Are Unsafe

Our family is extremely concerned with the quality and safety of our food as well as our dogs’ food. We recently started making our own organic treats at home and posting our recipes to the blog for you to enjoy. The next step in our plan is to make our own homemade dog food, and after reading these lab results we aren’t going to wait any longer to get started! 

I can always count on TheILoveTheDogsSite.com for great content about pets, and this morning I was so happy to come across their article about unsafe pet foods. Pet food consumers just like you and I donated funds to The Association for Truth in Pet Food (ATPF) to test pet foods sold in North America. This test and it’s results are monumental because this is the first and only time a test of this size has been funded and controlled by concerned consumers themselves instead of a regulatory agency that is in charge of governing and selling pet food. Consumers of these pet food brands are left to wonder if these agencies that have conducted tests in the past were too close to the product and the profit to release accurate and honest results. 

Susan Thixton, Pet Food Safety Advocate at ATPF and author of “Buyer Beware” and co-author of “Dinner PAWSible”, was in charge of leading the test along with industry experts such as Dr. Tsengeg Purejav of INTI Service Corporation who lab tested the foods.

Susan explained that “this is history making. No one has ever taken such an up-close and thorough examination of pet food like this before – and most importantly, this was done by pet food consumers!” Thixton said the pet food testing results are “shocking and little did we know we’d find serious risks to ourselves and our human families too.”

The six top dog food brands tested include:

The six top cat food brands tested include:

 

Did you see any brands you’ve fed your dog before? Because I see two that I’ve fed to Zoey and one that I’ve fed to Jem before! Zoey has been eating Hill’s C/D Urinary Tract Health canned dog food for about a year after she had three consecutive UTI’s. Her veterinarian at Banfield at PetSmart recommended Hill’s brand and explained to me that it is one of the top two brands she would recommend because “they’re the only ones that actually lab test their dog food for health standards.” That feels like a very misleading and untrue statement now that these test results have come out and I see that it’s one of the most UNSAFE brands of food! I can’t believe I’ve been feeding her this food for so long. Jem was eating Blue for the first year of her life until we switched her because of her very stinky farts. Now I’m glad we switched her when we did! 

 

Test Results:

The tests conducted on the most popular dog food brands mentioned before indicate that many of these foods contain high levels of dangerous mycotoxins, nutrient concerns, bacterial contamination, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria that the FDA calls “Qualifying Pathogens.” None of these dog foods have ingredients from China, but they do have ingredients from other countries outside of North America. 

The Hill’s Prescription C/D Urinary Tract health canned dog food that my vet suggested was the safest, laboratory tested dog food option for Zoey tested to contain 7.72% calcium which is almost three times the legal limit of calcium allowed in adult dog food (AAFCO maximum is 2.5%). The Mycotoxin Risk Equivalent Rating was 16 (20 being High Risk), and it contained several bacteria including two bacteria that the FDA calls “Qualifying Pathogens” that pose a “serious threat to public health.” 

Now What Do We Do?

Thixton believes that consumers’ trust in pet food and the regulatory agencies responsible for “testing” these foods is rapidly declining and I believe she is right. I know my trust in them is completely gone after seeing these results. She explains that “it is truly sad that consumers found the many risks in pet food they did. Now we can hope – with this scientific evidence – that authorities will finally listen to the many complaints of consumers and make pet food safe. Not only for the pets, but for the pet people too.”

1. Find A Food That Is Lab Tested and Proven Safe:

Thixton created a list of the safe pet foods from her studies and lab tests that can be purchased for a small donation. What’s crazy and surprising about this list is that there are only 20 dog foods that make the “healthy” list, and NONE of them can be purchased in big box pet stores. They are only available at independent pet food stores, online pet food stores, or purchased directly from the manufacturer. That really makes you think about the integrity of the big box stores and makes me wonder why they are only making unsafe dog foods available for us to purchase and none of the healthy options are on the shelves!

We love to support small businesses any chance that we can since we are a small business ourselves, and this was the third strike for the big box pet stores like PetSmart where I have been buying Zoey’s C/D Urinary Tract food. I will definitely not be buying any more food or other items from big box pet stores after learning that they don’t sell any healthy of the healthy pet food brands. I’m happy to support the small businesses who are morally selling nutritious food.  

2. Feed Your Pet A Homemade Diet Using Balanced Recipes:

The other thing included in Thixton’s list that really excites me is the two homemade dog and cat food recipes! I’m so thrilled to use these recipes and rest assured that I’m providing Zoey and Jem a healthy, organic, homemade diet.

3. Speak Up To Make A Change:

Thixton also encourages us to make a change by sending letters to our representatives in Washington D.C. She only asks that we don’t send petitions – only letters: “No petitions (please) – representatives in government need to receive hundreds of thousands of personal messages directly from pet food consumers demanding change,” she explains. You can simply go to your state government website for the information on how to contact your representatives. She even created a sample letter for you to send without having to do any of the work! 

Sample Letter to Send to Representatives:

Consumers recently raised the funds to test 12 of the most widely-purchased brands of pet foods sold in the U.S. and Canada. What was found in this consumer funded testing were violations of pet food regulations (nutrient imbalances), dangerously high levels of mold (mycotoxins), and very concerning bacterial contamination (bacteria determined by the FDA and CDC to be antibiotic-resistant).

Consumers pay an estimated $1 billion dollars a year to states in sales tax revenue (for pet food purchases alone). Please explain to me what consumers are getting in return for that revenue?

Pet food consumers have been complaining about the condition of pet food since the 2007 pet food recall, complaints have fallen on deaf ears. For more than seven years consumers have waited on FDA to find the lethal contaminant of Chinese jerky treats – FDA has provided us nothing. In 2007 Congress told FDA to establish pet food ingredient standards and definitions, processing standards of pet food and provide updated standards for the labeling of pet food. This work was required – by Congress – to be completed by September 2009. More than five years after the deadline – consumers still wait for the FDA. I ask you, how much longer should consumers wait for safe pet food?

Testing of pet food that should have been performed by tax dollar supported regulatory authorities was done by consumers. Now, consumers – myself – are asking you Why? How? could pet food pose such a serious risk to the pets that consume it and the humans that handle it?

Please read every page of our Pet Food Test Report – you can do that here: http://associationfortruthinpetfood.com/the-pet-food-test-results/

I await your response on this very concerning issue.

Sincerely,

[your name]

 

Thank You For Listening

I hope this post helped open your eyes to how misleading dog food companies and big box retailers are when they claim their food is wholesome and healthy for our pets. We really can’t trust their marketing terms like “natural, no preservatives, non GMO, etc.” because they negate the tried and true results from the tests in the lab. Food is what fuels our bodies and our pets’ little bodies, and it’s so important that we are knowledgeable about what we are feeding them because they depend on us whole heartedly. For the full report and findings from these lab tests click here.

 

Organic Homemade Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Banana Flaxseed Dog Treats

Our family has become dedicated to eating only organic food (whenever possible) because organic food tastes better, has more nutrients, and is free of GMO’s, poisonous chemicals, fillers, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and arsenic in meats. Just to name a few. My dad Larry who started RadioFence.com 24 years ago alongside my mom Lori, recently wrote an article on our website about how “natural” pet food and treats that you see in stores are not truly the wholesome natural ingredients we are expecting them to be. It is more of a marketing term used to get us to buy the product without any guidelines or restrictions required by any agency for using the term “natural.” Scary right?!

Our family wants to know exactly what we’re eating and we feel the exact same way about our dogs. They’re part of the family! We don’t feel right giving them food and treats without knowing specifically what the ingredients are, how to pronounce them, and that they are completely safe and healthy to keep our loyal pups thriving for many years.

That’s how we determined it’s much safer, simpler, and actually CHEAPER to make dog treats at home! And they LOVE how they taste. They turn their noses up at the store-bought treats now and go crazy over the homemade ones. Makes you think twice about what’s in them now doesn’t it?

Organic Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Banana Flaxseed Dog Treats
Yields 25
Super quick, easy, and healthy treats your dog will beg for!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 C Coconut Flour
  2. 1/2 Banana - Mashed
  3. 1/3 C Peanut Butter
  4. 2 Tb Flaxseed Meal
  5. 1/4 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with a spatula
  3. Flour the counter with coconut flour and roll out the dough about 1/4in thick. (The thicker the dough the chewier the treat!)
  4. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. I used a dog bone!
  5. Place treats on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes for a little bit of a crunch. Bake less for chewy treats.
I used all organic ingredients to make these treats
  1. Bob's Red Mill brand organic coconut flour and flaxseed meal
  2. Organic banana
  3. Smucker's brand organic creamy peanut butter
  4. Silk brand organic unsweetened almond milk
Adapted from Lola The Pitty
Adapted from Lola The Pitty
RadioFence.com Blog http://blog.radiofence.com/
We included flaxseed because it’s great for dogs. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids to help with your pup’s skin and coat. I chose to bake my treats for 15 minutes because my dogs love a treat that is still kind of soft and chewy rather than crunchy. If your dog prefers a crunchy biscuit, you can bake yours for longer than 15 minutes.

Step 1: Find/Purchase Your Ingredients 

All organic ingredients!

We live in a small town, so it can be hard for us at times to find every ingredient we need organic. I was happy we were able to find organic ingredients for these homemade treats! If you struggle to find organic ingredients too, just do the best you can! If you can’t find organic peanut butter or almond milk, make sure the almond milk is unsweetened and the peanut butter you choose doesn’t have too much sugar or any unnatural sugars. Remember from our 12 foods your dog can’t have post, xylitol and unnatural sugars are toxic to dogs. 

Step 2: Measure and Mix Your Ingredients 

Very simple and easy!


This recipe couldn’t have been easier to throw together. With only 5 ingredients that mixed together beautifully, I was ready to roll out the dough and start making treats in no time at all!

Step 3: Roll The Dough and Make Your Shapes

Time to make them cute!

The only part of this recipe that will take any time (and it still isn’t much) is rolling out the dough and cutting out the shapes. I purposefully made the recipe smaller so this tedious part wouldn’t take very long and you only have to dirty one or two baking sheets. After all, those pups are standing at your feet drooling and ready for their treats to be ready now! You can easily double or triple the recipe if you’re feeling frisky and have the time to cut more shapes out. 

Step 4: Bake, Let Cool, and Enjoy!

By the time these were about to come out of the oven, my dogs could barely stand it anymore. They were drooling at the smell of them and couldn’t stop jumping up at me taking them out of the oven. I was even getting a rumble in my tummy at the smell of these fresh baked treats – after all, they are made completely of yummy “human” ingredients. And if you’re wondering if I tried them myself, of course! My philosophy is my dogs shouldn’t be eating a treat I would not be willing to try myself. I can personally give a review that they were incredible! No wonder they went crazy over them…

Laci was first to try!

Laci, my sister’s new puppy, was the first out of the gate to stampede over to the treat jar and have a taste.

Look out Laci - You have company!

Of course her puppy spunk allowed her to outrun middle-aged Zoey, but Zoey was right behind licking her chops ready to try them.

Once Zoey got a taste of one, she was hooked! I’ve never seen my picky eater love a treat this much and I felt a great sense of accomplishment that something I made for her in my own kitchen was her new favorite snack.

You can’t hide anything from Jem… that hound nose sniffed these treats out so quick! I think her mouth was a few steps ahead of her nose because she didn’t even stop to investigate these treats before she dug right in.  

I’m so happy that I decided to work on my goal to make dog treats because it has been on my list for months now. There’s always a million excuses why I don’t have enough time or the resources to make homemade treats for the dogs. But once I decided to do it, it couldn’t have been easier or quicker, and it was so worth it! The only time consuming part of making your own dog treats is sifting through the thousands of recipes and trying to find one that has only healthy ingredients, but I’ve done the work for you! We will be doing our best to deliver homemade dog treat recipes to you each and every week, so subscribe or keep checking back with us to find your weekly recipes!  You will be surprised how quick they are to make and feel proud that you made your dogs so happy and healthy. 

 

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Lola The Pitty.  She used regular flour but we chose to substitute with coconut flour for a grain/gluten-free option. If you substitute coconut flour for regular flour in your recipes, you only need 1/4 C of coconut flour for every 1 C of regular flour. Even more incentive to use coconut flour! 

15 Gifts On Your Dog’s Christmas List

 

Christmas shopping can be a stressful and daunting task when you’re standing in the middle of a store with the pressure of finding the perfect gift for those special people in your life. But finding the perfect gift for your furry best friend has never been easier, and you can feel great about what you picked out from the comfort of your own home when you order online from our store – RadioFence.com! With 100’s of pawsome dog-approved presents to choose from, you really can’t go wrong with anything you choose.

1. AutoSlide Automatic Door


For a lot of us, the holiday season is a great opportunity to spoil yourself and your loved ones with the newest and greatest invention or technology. The AutoSlide is the latest, brand-new dog product that you won’t find anywhere else! It doesn’t get any better than the AutoSlide automatic patio door system which turns your existing sliding glass, patio, screen, or even interior door into an automatic door that opens and closes using Infra-Red sensors much like the doors you walk through at the grocery store. Never worry about getting up and down to let your dog in and out of the house multiple times a day – because we all know as soon as they come inside they’re ready to go back out again! The simple do-it-yourself system can be installed in less than 30 minutes. You can also open and close the automatic door with switches on the wall or a remote that you control. Check it out:

2. Holiday Clothes

Dog clothes are not for everybody, but if you love to get festive with your dog around the holidays, then our holiday dog clothes are perfect for you and provide the comfort your dog craves!

We also have other holiday varieties including themed holiday dresses and holiday hoodie sweatshirts for a more casual Christmas all cuddled up with the family.

3. Dog Crate End Table

Having a dog crate is a necessity for some, but they often exist in our homes without much thought put into how they look, where they should go in the room, or how they go with the rest of our decorating theme. A dog crate end table has all of the luxuries your dog needs in a dog crate but is also extremely functional and attractive-looking for you and your family which makes it a great gift for you and your dog. No more wire crates that stick out like a sore thumb in the middle of the room!

4. Cozy Cave Pet Bed

A new bed will make your dog feel amazing this holiday season. We know they can get worn out after awhile, and there’s no better time to freshen up and get a replacement than Christmas time. We have such a huge selection of dog beds that it’s hard to choose just one as our favorite.

The bed we’re getting our dog Jem for Christmas this year is the Cozy Cave because of it’s unique design. It’s perfect for dogs that like the burrow or nest in bed. Jem nudges my arm for me to lift the blanket up so she can burry herself and feel warm and secure under the covers. This bed is perfect for her, and we can’t wait to see her reaction on Christmas morning!

 

5. Dart Interactive Toy

Everybody loves opening a new toy on Christmas morning, and your dog will love you for getting her the Dart Interactive Laser Toy to keep her occupied with fun for hours. Especially dogs that are stuck inside for hours at a time due to the harsh winter weather and need to burn some energy!

6. Car Seat

Dogs love and need car seats for so many reasons. Safety, comfort, anxiety relief, spacial awareness, etc. Imagine being in the car and being too short to see anything that is going on outside the moving car. That can make even the most relaxed dogs feel uneasy even if they don’t show it. Car seats boost dogs up so they can see out the windows. Dogs are very vulnerable in the car without the safety of a seatbelt like humans have. A car seat is the perfect place in the car for your dog to be safe and comfortable for even the longest road trips or just short errands around town!

 

We bought our Beagle Jem her first car seat two years ago for Christmas when she was just a small puppy and it made such a huge difference for her. She immediately relaxed, felt secure, and let loose for all of our car rides. I loved being able to strap the Console Car Seat to the center console and have her close to me while I drove, and she seemed to love our quality time just as much as I did.

 

 

7. Bicycle Basket

Your dog won’t be able to contain her excitement when you present her with a bike basket! Spending quality time with our dogs is priority number one, and any time there is a new opportunity to get out of the house and explore together is exciting. Going on walks is already so thrilling for your dog, but going for a bike ride with the family is a dream come true.  

8. Elevated Dog Bowl

With so many dog bowls to choose from out there, how do you ever know if you’re picking the right one? Veterinarians suggest elevated dog feeders because they allow dogs to eat using proper posture, promote good hygiene, alleviate pain due to arthritis, neck, or back problems, help dogs with megaesophagus that have difficulty swallowing, dogs with digestive issues, and dogs with disabilities. Comfort is so important, and your dog will love you even more for improving his eating abilities.

9. Automatic Meal Feeder

Automatic meal feeders are an amazing tool to have in the house that use timers to feed your dog his meal at the same times every day. Sometimes your schedule gets crazy, you find it hard to be home at the same time every day to feed on schedule, you feel guilty for having to stay late at work, or you get caught up with an emergency. You can have peace of mind knowing that you never have to worry about your dog missing a meal no matter what happens when life gets crazy. Automatic feeders also aid with preventing obesity and overeating.

10. Water Fountain

Research shows that one of the best ways to improve your dog’s health is to get her to drink more water. Water fountains are the best way to encourage dogs to drink more water and are much better than standard bowls. Humans don’t like to drink water that has been sitting out all day, and your dog is no different. Fountains provide your dog with fresh and filtered water all day every day and look beautiful in any kitchen with the variety of colors and styles available.

11. SUV Cargo Liner

SUV cargo liners are an awesome alternative for dogs that are too big for a car seat but still desire a comfortable place to call their own in the car. They’re great for you as well because they shield and protect the carpet in your car from dirt, dander, fur, spills, or accidents.

12. Strollers and Bike Trailers

If your dog is too big to fit into a bike basket, there’s nothing better than a bike trailer for your family. If you love to travel and explore with your dog, you definitely want a stroller that converts into a bike trailer. If you’d rather just have a stroller or just have a bike trailer, there are those options as well. You and your playful pup can have so much fun biking together!

13. Wicker Crates and Cozy Crate Covers

Wicker crates are a great alternative to traditional wire crates because they tend to go better with the rest of the decor in your home rather than sticking out like a sore thumb. If you don’t want to make the upgrade to a new crate, you can still accessorize your existing wire crate to make it more aesthetically pleasing with a crate cover. More importantly, crate covers provide supreme comfort for your dog far beyond what he can get with a traditional crate alone. They give you the style you want and the comfort your dog deserves. Even better, research shows that crate covers reduce barking because they ease stress.

14. Play Pen

Play pens are awesome to have whether you use it at home or on the go since they are very portable. Just when you thought you’d considered every option there is to entertain your dog, we found an amazing video of a pug having a blast with his playpen and about 100 plastic balls. Check it out and see why your dog needs a playpen too! 

15. Pet Steps

Pet stairs can provide life-changing relief for your dog. There are so many instances when we wish they could talk and tell us what they need, and if they could they would ask for a set of pet stairs! Your dog needs help getting onto the couch, bed, or into the car. Stairs are recommended by veterinarians for all dogs to prevent injury and arthritis from excessive jumping and are necessary for small, older, or disabled dogs. There are also pet ramps for easily getting in and out of the car.

 

There are so many amazing dog products that improve the lives of our furry best friends as well as our own lives tremendously. This holiday season is the perfect opportunity to spoil your dog and yourself. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family at RadioFence.com to yours!

Our Dogs Jem and Zoey - Christmas 2013