Reasons You Should Feed Pumpkin to Your Dog

pumpkin for dogsIs there anything that says “Fall” more than a pumpkin patch? Down here in Florida it’s still in the 80’s and the orange pumpkins stick out like a sore thumb next to the lime green palm trees. But we still try to enjoy the Fall spirit, even though we don’t have a change of seasons. 

My whole life I’ve only associated pumpkins with Halloween and my favorite pie after Thanksgiving dinner. But recently I’ve learned that they are so much more than that! They’re a vegetable that some people will roast in the oven with salt and pepper as a side dish, puree as an ingredient for casseroles, and pumpkins even have multiple health and wellness benefits for dogs. 

Weight Management

Does this collar make my neck look fat?

Does this collar make my neck look fat?

There are so many dogs that are overweight. It’s so bad for their health, quality of life, mobility, and shortens their life span. Pumpkin is high in fiber and low in fat, so it’s a great treat for your dog. If your pup likes some flavor added to her dry kibble, try a little spoonful of pumpkin instead of wet food.

Digestive Health

I can tell Zoey has a full, happy belly  when she lays tummy-up!

I can tell Zoey has a full, happy belly when she lays tummy-up!

Is your dog prone to diarrhea or constipation? The fiber in pumpkin is both soluble and insoluble meaning it helps with both types of digestive problems. 

Urinary Health

Jem wasn't sure how she felt about being photographed during private time...

Jem wasn’t sure how she felt about being photographed during private time…

Pumpkin has Vitamin A, potassium, iron, and beta-carotene which support urinary health. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains more potassium and fewer calories than a whole banana! 

Immune System Support

The beta-carotene and antioxidants promote a healthy immune system for dogs of all ages.  

Allergy Friendly

Some people might not even realize that their dogs have allergies. They can be brought on by all kinds of food – especially corn, soy, or wheat ingredients. If you dog is itchy, has red skin, or bites at herself, she may have allergies. Pumpkin is great because it isn’t a common allergen. It’s a great substitute ingredient to use as a replacement for ingredients your dog is allergic to. 

It Tickles Dogs’ Taste Buds

Jem LOVES pumpkin! Whether its pureed, cooked, or raw!

Jem LOVES pumpkin! Whether its pureed, cooked, or raw!

Do you have a picky eater? Pumpkin has a wonderful flavor that dogs love. Add it to dry kibble to get her to eat her food. The smooth and creamy texture mixes great with dog food. You can even hide your dog’s medication in a dollop of pumpkin, or show your pup what a good girl she is with yummy homemade pumpkin treats.

When I set up a few pumpkins for Zoey and Jem, I never expected Jem to nab one of the small pumpkins…

IMG_0863Carry it onto the carpeting…

IMG_0638And proceed to gnaw on it like a bone or the best treat she’s ever tasted!

IMG_0692Zoey wasn’t so sure what all the fuss was about… and I couldn’t stop laughing!

IMG_0746As soon as I would take it away from her and put it back in the pile, she would spring up and run over to snatch another one…

IMG_0863She would have eaten them all until they were gone if I let her! 

IMG_0966Was it the flavor?

IMG_1162Or the texture?

IMG_1001Zoey and I will never know…

IMG_1184I had to take them from her before the overdosed. She missed them so much, she figured she would see what the corn was all about…

IMG_1202This really perplexed Zoey and I…

IMG_0942And when that plan failed, she tried her luck at the large pumpkins! They were just a little out of her league…


Who would have thought that she would love raw pumpkin so much? I thought I could get a couple cute pictures of them posing in front of the pumpkins, but I hadn’t set them down for 2 seconds before my little pumpkin thief swooped in!

Does your dog love pumpkin as much as Jem? Or is she more like Zoey and prefers it cooked into a treat or mixed in with her food? Has pumpkin improved your dogs health in any way?

Dog and Cat Foods That Have Never Had A Recall

Dog and Cat Foods That Have Never Had  A Recall NoticeThe #1 question I get from our readers is “what food should I be feeding my dog?”

I can’t describe how hard that question is to answer… Let’s be honest, we are pampered with lies every day from the pet food brands, and it’s close to impossible to know if we’re feeding our dogs quality or crap!

There are so many layers of the dog food “onion” to peel back before any sort of a reliable answer can be found! I’m still researching this issue every week because I want to give you honest answers (and get some answers for myself as well.) I think it’s going to take me months to understand which pet foods are truly healthy because of the misleading claims that so many companies make and the lack of quality control in the industry. 

One thing I have heard many times is to stay away from the “big box retailers” like PetSmart, PetCo, and Pet Supermarket. Hardly any of the BEST brands are sold in these stores, so you can bet that you’ll need to go to the local mom-and-pop pet shop to get good quality. Just because it’s a “top” brand doesn’t mean it’s the best quality brand.

Most people like the convenience of a dry kibble dog food, although experts still say that the raw food diet is far supreme. The following list contains dry dog food kibble brands that have NEVER had a recall!  That says something, right? Oh, and you won’t find any of these in a PetSmart, PetCo, or Pet Supermarket either…

Fromm – Cats & Dogs

Fromm Family Pet FoodsEach entree is prepared in small, controlled batches. It’s a 5th generation family-owned company, and they have a super-easy to use Q&A section of their website that helps you determine which food is the best for your dog not just any dog. You aren’t going to find this food in a PetSmart or PetCo… but it’s easy to find a local business that sells it!

Life’s Abundance – Cats & Dogs

lifes abundance pet foodQuality is assured with Life’s Abundance because they cook their food in small batches and use natural, wholesome ingredients. If you like to feed your dog grain-free, they have that option too. I don’t see any brick and mortar stores that sell it. But from my own experience, ordering dog food online can be so awesome! Having it show up at the front door means there’s one less errand to run – and that feels great. This company also gives back with their foundation to rescue neglected and unwanted pets.

Earthborn Holistic – Cats & Dogs

earthborn holistic pet foodThis company believes in producing a pet food rich with only high-quality ingredients that come directly from nature. They carefully select only ingredients that serve a purpose to support your pet’s overall health and well-being. Their website offers any easy way to find a store that sells it near you. Once again, you won’t find this quality brand at one of the big box stores like PetSmart, PetCo, or Pet Supermarket. 

Zignature – Dogs

zignature pet foodZignature recognizes how confusing the controversy over pet food nutrition has become in recent years: Grain or No Grain? Soy or No Soy? Gluten or No Gluten? Meat or Meat Meal? But they take a step back from the catch-phrases and believe your dog’s food should be created with the highest quality ingredients based on the nutritional science of the glycemic index.

They also believe nothing can beat the raw food diet, but they strive to come as close to it as possible in a dry kibble. Find a store near you to purchase.

Holistic Select – Cats & Dogs

holistic select pet foodThis company believes that your pet’s total health begins with digestive health. Their “Unique Digestive Health Support System” uses probiotics, fiber, digestive enzymes, and botanicals to make your dog’s belly happy. Find a store near you to purchase.

Eagle Pack – Cats & Dogs

eagle pack pet foodThis company is proud to bring consumers quality, natural nutrition without fillers or artificial preservatives for over 25 years. They strive to provide the right balance of protein, fat, carbs, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids for a shiny coat, bright eyes, good digestion, and an energetic spirit. If you’d like to switch to this brand, find a store near you that sells it.

Nature’s Logic – Cats & Dogs

nature's logic pet foodThis company makes kibble, canned, and raw food as well as treats, supplements, and cat litter.  They provide natural food rich in protein and nutrients so your dog absorbs more and wastes less. Its also free of allergens like corn, wheat, soy, rice, etc. Find a store near you or take advantage of online ordering. 

Canine Caviar – Dogs

canine caviar pet foodCanine Caviar was founded by a scientist whose Great Dane lived to be 17, the second-longest living Great Dane in history! His alkaline dog food is different than any other because it helps put more oxygen into the blood to allow the DNA’s self-recovery mechanism to function more effectively. It reduces the risk of your pet having kidney and liver problems as well as diabetes. They make dry food, canned food, and treats. Find a store that sells it near you, or conveniently order online

VeRUS – Cats & Dogs

Verus Pet FoodsThis “farm-to-bowl” company provides genuine, whole-health nutrition rich with omega fatty acids, live probiotics, and whole meats. They understand that you may want to make your pet’s food at home, but it’s hard to find the time. It’s also not safe for you to make your dogs food unless you understand the nutritional requirements to keep your dog’s diet balanced. Your dog is better off having a pet nutritionist to formulate the food and make it for you, which is exactly what VeRUS does for you. Home cooked meals without the hassle or risk. Find a store near you.

Annamaet – Cats & Dogs

Annamaet Pet FoodsAnnamaet makes food for cats and dogs and prides themselves in continuously analyzing the quality of their food using independent labs to “maintain their strict standards of quality control.” They use antibiotic free ingredients and natural methods to preserve the food. Find a store near you or conveniently order online. 

Pet Curean – Cats & Dogs 

petcurean pet foodsThis Canadian family-owned brand believes “the proof is in the poop!” They create their products with “passion and purpose” using only the best ingredients from their trusted network of farmers,  ranchers, and producers. Find a store near you or conveniently order online. 

Blackwood – Cats & Dogs

blackwood pet foodBlackwood provides super-premium recipes that are slow-cooked in small batches “because our family loves happier, healthier pets, too!” This company was part of an independent study to show that the time honored tradition of slow cooking creates a higher starch conversion which can lead to increased stamina and energy. Find a location near you, or get it delivered to your door from an online retailer.  


Please note that this list does not include ALL of the pet foods that have never had a recall. There could be other brands that are high quality and recall-free that are not on this list.

For example, I love feeding my dogs Darwin’s Raw Food, which you didn’t see on this list. I can’t say enough good things about this brand, and the change I saw in Zoey’s overall health, attitude, and energy has been remarkable. We were in and out of the vet’s office monthly before she switched to Darwin’s, and now I can’t remember the last time she had to go in besides for her check-up.

She used to flip her bowl over and refuse to eat because she hated her food (she probably is smart enough to know when it’s crappy food), and now with Darwin’s she eats faster than Jem, which we thought was impossible! 

Has the food that you’re feeding your pet ever had a recall? Check out the FDA’s recall list here.


Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats Are Super Healthy!

Homemade pumpkin dog treats are so healthyToday is our sweet Jem’s 3rd birthday! And for being such a good girl the last 3 years, she’s getting pumpkin cookies today! After all… it’s officially pumpkin season, so the dogs have been asking me where their pumpkin treats are! And in honor of Jem turning 3, these cookies are only 3 simple ingredients! Pumpkin is so healthy for dogs, and they go nuts for the flavor, so these treats are a win-win.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

homemade pumpkin dog treatsI know you’re busy with the day-to-day, and complex dog treat recipes that have a long list of ingredients are just too much to handle sometimes. I like to keep things simple, easy, with as little hassle as possible. If I can make a dog treat in my own kitchen for cheaper and in less time than it takes to drive to the grocery store and back, then it’s a good day! With only 3 ingredients, these cookies are a piece of cake to make, and they’re so healthy for our pups compared to the store-bought mystery meat treats.


  • 1/2 Cup peanut butter
  • 1 Cup canned pumpkin puree 
  • 1 3/4 C brown rice flour (or the flour you prefer)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Combine Your Ingredients 

Combine the peanut butter and pumpkin first:

homemade pumpkin dog treatsThen add 1/4 C of flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky and you’ve added a total of 1 3/4 Cups:

homemade pumpkin dog treatsMy helpers were especially interested in what was going on in the kitchen…

homemade pumpkin dog treatsThis is one of my favorite stages of making the dogs’ treats. They start to hear the noises coming from the kitchen, they smell the ingredients getting mixed together, and before long there’s 2 powerful noses seeing what I’m up to.

homemade pumpkin dog treatsTheir lickers are a great help with the clean up too! Somehow I think they know when I’m making a treat for them, and they can hardly stand to wait! 

homemade pumpkin dog treats

Step 3: Roll & Shape The Dough

IMG_0045If you want these treats to be super quick, then roll pieces of dough into balls and smash them flat on the baking sheet. No need for fancy shapes since the dogs won’t stare at them long enough to notice before chomping away. 

homemade pumpkin dog treats If you’re feeling creative like I am today because it’s Jem’s birthday, then feel free to roll the dough flat about 1/4″ thick and use cookie cutters to create shapes. 

homemade pumpkin dog treatsPlace the treats on a baking sheet, use parchment paper if you wish, and place in the oven.

Step 4: Bake

homemade pumpkin dog treatsBake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let the treats cool completely. You can store these in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and freeze for 3 months. You can also freeze the dough if your pup can’t eat all of these treats in 2 weeks and bake them whenever you have the chance. 

Step 5: Chow Down!

homemade pumpkin dog treatsThe dogs’ favorite part! And I have to say mine too… seeing them enjoy a treat so much that I made for them myself is really rewarding! Happy birthday Jem!

homemade pumpkin dog treats Once again the dogs went crazy over these treats! Zoey couldn’t contain her excitement…

homemade pumpkin dog treats

homemade pumpkin dog treatsZoey likes to enjoy her treats on the rug…

homemade pumpkin dog treatsWhile Jem scarfs them down one after another without wasting any time…

homemade pumpkin dog treats


homemade pumpkin dog treats

homemade pumpkin dog treats homemade pumpkin dog treats

Jem truly had a great birthday filled with cookies, licking the baking spoons, and tonight she’ll get a couple bites of steak! It’s a little tradition her daddy started on her 1st birthday. 

How do you celebrate your dog’s birthday? And does your dog love homemade treats as much as Zoey and Jem?


Dirtiest Place In Your Home: Your Pet’s Water Bowl!

Clean water for your pet - pet fountains from radiofence.comA clean water bowl is more vital to your pet’s health than you could imagine. A study conducted in 2011 by NSF International tested for the dirtiest places in our homes and found that our pets’ water bowl is the 4th dirtiest place in our homes! When you compare that to places like the toilet, doorknobs, shower drains, and garbage disposals, that really puts it into perspective just how dirty our pets’ water bowls are! Who would have thought?

What Kinds of Germs Are In My Pet’s Water Bowl?

The most common bacteria found in dog and cat bowls is Serratia Marcescens which has a peach/pink color to it. It commonly causes infection and pneumonia. Even if you don’t see a pink-ish color in the bowl, there’s a good chance the bacteria is there. 

IMG_2993You will also find yeast, mold, and coliform bacteria (salmonella and E. coli) in your pet’s water bowl. The fat in your pet’s food is the ideal fuel for germs like these, so food bowls are three times as filthy as the water bowls – so always disinfect with hot water and antibacterial soap between meals or in the dishwasher! Don’t forget to use that soap… according to a study published in a Canadian Veterinarian Journal, rinsing the bowls with hot water is so ineffective that it’s as if you’re doing nothing at all. You absolutely need antibacterial soap to kill the germs – and NO your pet won’t taste the soap just as you don’t taste the soap on the dishes you eat from. 

The NSF states:

Pet dishes should be washed daily, either in a sanitizing dishwasher or scrubbed by hand with hot soapy water, then rinsed. If hand washing, place the dishes in a 1:50 bleach rinse (one cap of bleach in one gallon of water) and soak for about 10 minutes once per week. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.

Rule of thumb: don’t expect your dog to eat or drink from something that would give you the ‘heebie-jeebies’ if you had to use it yourself. 

What Material Should My Pet’s Bowl Be Made Out Of?

IMG_2924Did you know that some materials are better than others at fighting the growth of bacteria and germs? You really want to stick to stainless steel or ceramic for your pet’s water (and food) bowls. These are the cleanest and safest – no plastic! Plastic is extremely porous and scratches easily which makes it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, algae, and mold.

Solution To The Dirty Dog Bowl Dilemma:

Get a pet fountain! They constantly filter the water so even the messiest drinkers will find a clean bowl of water the next time they go in for a drink. I’ve seen dogs that come inside with a face full of sand, bugs, mud, or whatever else they find outside. Then there’s those messy eaters that can’t keep their food out of the water bowl. And I wondered why the dog bowl was the 4th dirtiest place in the home because…? A pet fountain eliminates all of these bacteria causing particles. 

A pet fountain should be a necessity in every pet’s home… it’s just good hygiene! But there’s plenty of other reasons why your dog prefers a fountain over a typical water bowl.

Your Pet Wants A “Fresh Glass Of Water” Too!

Do you love to drink from a glass of stagnant water that’s been sitting out all day? Of course not! And neither does your dog or cat.

IMG_2911It wasn’t until the pet fountains were invented that I sat back and realized –  ‘Wow, I’m expecting my dogs to drink from a bowl of water that’s been sitting out all day (or a couple days) …but I wouldn’t drink from that!”

If I have a glass of water that I didn’t finish after a few hours, I dump it in the sink and grab a fresh glass and refill. So it’s funny that we are so accustomed to our dogs drinking in this way. Now after having that “a-ha” moment, it just feels like common sense to provide my dogs with the same “luxury” I’m accustomed to. Would you drink from the same glass for your entire life without washing it every day? 

Fountains Encourage Dogs and Cats To Drink More Water Which Improves Health

Research shows that one of the best ways to improve your dog or cat’s health is to get her to drink more water. Whenever I take the dogs to the vet for their check-ups, I share my concerns with him that I don’t see Zoey drinking enough water. Jem is obsessed with ice cubes and regularly takes big gulps from the water bowl, so I know she’s getting the hydration she needs. But Zoey seems so uninterested in drinking water, and she doesn’t like ice cubes, so I worry.

IMG_3039On those rare occasions when I see her drinking from the water bowl I’ll tense up, stop whatever I’m doing, and try not to make a sound for fear that I’ll spook her and scare her away from it! It’s that bad… So I was relieved to learn that fountains are clinically proven to encourage dogs to drink more water than they do with a conventional dog bowl. This is great news for a finicky drinker like Zoey!

IMG_3057Does your dog drink from a fountain? If not, do you think he or she would love one as much and Jem and Zoey do? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

As a thank you for being a loyal reader of the blog and educating yourself on your pet’s health, we’re giving you 5% off any fountain of your choice. Your dog deserves clean, healthy water every day! Use coupon code “FOUNTAIN” at check out. 


See Our Favorite Porcelain Fountains In Action:


Have you ever seen how dogs really drink water?


BarkPost uses our pet fountains to explain how dogs drink water:

Homemade Treats To Improve Aging Dogs’ Health

homemade treats to improve aging dogs healthWhether your dog is a senior with arthritis, or you want to start early preventative care for your young pup, these homemade treats are rich with ingredients that help with arthritis and inflammation, joints, digestion, skin/coat, tumors/cysts, cholesterol, cancer, and cataracts. They’re a great source of antioxidants, beta carotene, fiber, vitamin A,  potassium, iron, Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and B vitamins. This recipe is super easy, tasty, and so healthy for our dogs! The human members of your family may even like them too. 

Ingredients That Help Aging Dogs IMG_2682

  • Turmeric – a natural spice that has amazing health benefits for humans and animals. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties to help joints and is known to help with fatty tumors and cysts. Known to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and rich with antioxidants believed to prevent and fight cancer. It’s also packed with beta carotene which can prevent cataracts. 
  • Pumpkin – great source of fiber for dogs with an upset stomach, regulates the digestive system, and a source of vitamin A, potassium, iron, and beta carotene. 
  • Flax Seed Meal – incredible source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is great for dogs’ skin and coat. The antioxidants in flax seed are also an anti-inflammatory. 
  • Oats – a great bowel regulator, source of protein and B vitamins, calms nerves, and prevents tumors.
  • Eggs – excellent source of protein 
  • Meat – you can use ground turkey, venison, beef, pork, or chicken depending on what you prefer to use. I recommend a lean meat like turkey, venison, or chicken. 

Amount of Turmeric Depends on Your Dog’s Weight

You will need to adjust the amount of turmeric you use in this recipe depending on your dog’s weight.

If your dog is:

1-25lb = 1 Tb of turmeric

26-50lb =2 Tb of turmeric

51-75lb = 3 Tb of turmeric

75lb+ = 3.5 Tb turmeric 

Step 1: Mix All Ingredients In A Large Bowl

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


  • 1 C ground flax seed meal
  • 1 C of oats
  • 2 eggs
  • Turmeric (amount depends on your dog’s weight)
  • 1 can pumpkin

IMG_2685Your mixture will look like this once combined thoroughly. Next step is to add the 1 lb of ground meat:

IMG_2686Once you’ve added the ground meat, the mixture will be finished:


Form The Treats

IMG_2688The mixture will be slightly sticky, so rolling the treats into balls or using cookie cutters wouldn’t be an easy task. I simply grabbed globs of batter out of the bowl and plopped them down onto the baking sheet. I pushed down to flatten them, and they’ll taste just as good if they’re ugly as they would cut into pretty shapes!


IMG_2690Once the baking sheets are full of treats, place them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Depending on the size of your treats, they may need to bake for more or less time than that. I didn’t bake mine for long, because these are specialized for elderly dogs. A softer treat is better than a crunchy one on their teeth.

 Chow Down!

Turmeric can cause dehydration, so make sure your dog has plenty of water available when you serve these treats. 

IMG_2726 Jem and Zoey loved the smell of the treats coming out of the oven!

IMG_2743Of course Jem did her typical move: jump up onto the counter to investigate! 

IMG_2791And she loved what she smelled! 

IMG_2805Jem and Zoey loved these treats sooo much that I couldn’t even get a clear picture of the crazy girls! They went nuts! Safe to say this is a recipe for the record books. 

Storing These Treats

You must keep these natural treats in the refrigerator since they lack preservatives. They will last up to a week in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. You can also freeze the uncooked dough if you would rather not bake them all at once. 

Do you have any other tried and true methods for helping elderly dogs feel more comfortable or prevention for younger pups?