Help Your Dog Love Bath Time in 3 Easy Steps!

Train Dog To Like BathsSome dogs love the water whether it’s jumping after a stick into the lake on a hot day, jumping in the waves at the beach, or leaping into the pool to swim with the family. Other dogs are not so thrilled at the idea of getting soaking wet, feeling the pressure and hearing the noise of rushing water, or fearing that they’re trapped inside a big tub with no escape. Our dog Jem is one of those dogs that absolutely freaks out at the sign of water, so bath time has always been a chore to say the least. 

If your dog is one of those that absolutely hates bath time, fights and scratches to avoid it, and thrashes water all over the house in protest, don’t worry – there’s hope! Every dog wants to hear those two magic words: “good dog!” They love to be obedient, feel comfortable, and make their parents proud. It just takes a little bit of training on our end to get them to that point. 

Luckily there are tried and true methods for training your dog to love bath time and feel comfortable. It only takes a few 3-5 minute training sessions!

Step 1: Practice Being In The Tub

For some dogs, the act of standing in the tub is intimidating enough, nevermind having the water rushing out of the faucet and getting soaking wet.. The slippery texture and surrounding walls are unfamiliar and scary for some. If you practice having your dog just hang out in the tub to start with, this will give her a chance to get used to the environment. 

"Peanut Butter Kong?! Count Me In!"

“Peanut Butter Kong?! Count Me In!”

Putting down an inexpensive bath mat can make all of the difference in the world for your dog. This will make it so the tub isn’t slippery and gives your pup a stable place to stand. Sometimes the slipperiness is one of the most intimidating parts of bath time and can be resolved easily with this simple trick. 

I bought a bath mat for $5.00 that didn’t have too much texture. I didn’t want any of the “massaging” ones that would feel weird on her sensitive paws. 

Step 2: Associate The Tub With A Tasty Treat

The fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The same is true for your dog! If your dog associates being in the bath tub with having his favorite treat, then he is sure to look forward to bath time! It’s best to choose a treat that will last awhile and require your dog to do some work.

Peanut butter solves everything!

Peanut butter solves everything!

A bone or peanut butter-stuffed Kong works great! I let Jem sniff her Kong before introducing her to the bath time to catch her attention. I placed the Kong in the tub, and she practically jumped in by herself to get to it. I placed her in t he tub, and once Jem got busy working on her Kong her anxiety about being in the tub slipped away within a few minutes. While your dog relaxes and works on the treat, gently and calmly brush her so she associates getting cleaned/groomed as a positive experience. 

A peanut butter Kong and a back massage?! Heavenly!

A peanut butter Kong and a back massage?! Heavenly!

 Repeat this process until she becomes calm, relaxed, and comfortable with the experience of being in the bath tub. Her anxiety will subside as long as you take things slow and practice this process on several separate occasions until she shows signs that she is comfortable.

Time to search the house for more peanut butter Kongs!

Time to search the house for more peanut butter Kong’s!

Jem became comfortable being in the tub and wanted to stay in during this part of the training until her Kong was out of peanut butter, and then she was on to the next adventure! She jumped out of the tub which I was happy about. If I can get her used to jumping in and out by herself, then she can feel like she’s more in control and relaxed. She did so great after only her first session! I was thrilled that such a simple trick made all of the difference in the world for her. And on our first try!

Step 3: Gradually Introduce Water

Rather than turning the faucet on and drenching your pup from the get-go, which can be intimidating, have a container of warm water ready to gently and slowly pour onto the floor of the tub. And before you have your dog get in the tub, wet the bottom of the tub so she can get used to the floor being wet and a little more slick. 

Pouring water indirectly onto the bottom of the tub is non-threatening

Pouring water indirectly onto the bottom of the tub is non-threatening

 Introducing the water slowly will make your dog feel like she is still in control of her emotions without shocking her with too much too fast. I poured a little bit of water next to Jem slowly and pulled back when she showed signs of fear. When she looked like she wanted to jump out of the tub, I would pause and let her step back into the comfort zone of chewing her Kong. She slowly felt comfortable with me pouring more and more water close to her. She even let me pour it on her foot and the Kong!

Jem quickly became comfortable with more water poured next to her

Jem quickly became comfortable with more water poured next to her

A running faucet can bother some dogs because the sound affects their ears. Repeat this process of introducing water and increase the length of time spent in the tub until your pup feels comfortable having the water poured onto her side, back, or feet. You can gradually introduce more water until you’ve moved on to having a full bath from start to finish. 

Jem went from a skittish, and scared pup to a dog that loves baths!

Jem went from a skittish, and scared pup to a dog that loves baths!

I was honestly surprised at how well these training techniques worked with Jem. She’s by far our most skittish, nervous, and fearful dog when it comes to water. The trick was to take the training slowly and trust her to show me how quickly she wanted to progress through the training steps. It required me to be patient and confident that she would learn to love bath time at her own pace. I remained calm and positive while giving her positive reinforcement and words of encouragement every step of the way. If Jem the “scaredy-cat” can learn to love bath time, I believe any dog can!

Does your dog love or hate bath time? And do you know any tricks to make the process more enjoyable for both pups and pup-parents?

These training techniques were adapted from

Jerky Dog Treats “Made In The USA” Still Not Safe jerky treats made in the USA and china are not safe

By now we’ve all probably heard about the toxic dog treats from China that have caused so many tragic dog deaths and complications. Since 2007, that FDA has received more than 5000 reports of illnesses believed to be related to consuming jerky treats. Since these tragedies, there has been a mass movement to take all treats that are made in China off the store shelves and most pet parents have been paying attention to where the treats are made before giving them to their dogs.

jerky treats from china recalledBut come to find out… even if the treats have the “Made In The USA” sticker/label, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the treats are healthy for your dog to consume. One of the scariest facts about this whole issue is that the specific toxin or poison that has caused all of these illnesses and deaths hasn’t been determined. The FDA believes that there is an association between these illnesses and the treats made in China, but it has not been proven that this is the cause. The truth is that they still haven’t determined the cause of these deaths. 

china treats recalledThe FDA warns consumers that until they can determine which ingredients in jerky treats are poisonous, there may not be a single jerky treat brand on the shelves that is safe for consumption. “I don’t recommend pet owners feed their pets jerky treats until the FDA can actually tell us what in the jerky treat is actually causing the sickness,” said Studio City veterinarian Dr. Julio Lopez

Jerky treats at Petco - some make claims of their ingredients being sourced in the USA

Jerky treats at Petco – some make claims of their ingredients being sourced in the USA

The FDA warns us that jerky treats labeled “Made In The USA” may pose just as many health risks as the treats made in China because while many of these treats are “assembled” in the United States, they are likely to include ingredients from China. The Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer for the FDA explained that “manufacturers do not need to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products.”

"Family-Owned Spot Farms" makes it known that the chicken is raised in Kentucky

“Family-Owned Spot Farms” makes it known that the chicken is raised in Kentucky

Los Angeles residents Henry Alvarez and Lynn Thanarajakool say they’ll never feed a pet a jerky treat again, no matter where it’s manufactured, after their beloved Dachshund Kingsley died within days of eating a treat from a package labeled “Made in China.” “I only gave him one treat and it was Wednesday night and he started feeling sick by I would say noon the next day,” Alvarez recalled. The veterinarian ruled Kingsley’s cause of death as kidney failure which is a consistent symptom that the FDA associates with feeding pets chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats. 

The FDA is continuing to investigate all jerky treats and the causes of these illnesses and deaths. If you choose to continue to feed your dog jerky treats purchased in stores, the FDA warns:

  • Adhere to weight guidelines listed on the package: smaller dogs may be more vulnerable to health problems related to the treats
  • Monitor your pets for signs of sickness
  • Report any serious symptoms to the FDA and your vet 
  • If your pet gets sick, keep the packaging so the FDA can track the origin of the ingredients if your

For more information from the FDA on jerky treats, visit this website.

Homemade, organic, locally-grown, inexpensive, quick & easy... what more could you ask for?!

Homemade, organic, locally-grown, inexpensive, quick & easy… what more could you ask for?!

 We make homemade jerky treats for our dogs because it’s much less expensive, we can be sure where the ingredients are coming from and that they are healthy ones, and our dogs have given us clear and obvious signs that they prefer their treats homemade – can you say spoiled?! Zoey was given a treat at a friend’s house the other night that was made by a family company in Texas and kept putting it in her mouth, spitting it out, putting it in her mouth, spitting it out, and so on. She only ended up eating it because the other dogs wanted it and were trying to take it from her! She didn’t want the treat, but she wasn’t going to surrender her treat knowing that another dog would get to enjoy it – typical alpha dog behavior. 

I’m confident that I can make homemade jerky treats for less money than the store-bought kind and with less hassle than going out to the store, so why would I take the chance on the store-bought treats when we don’t know what’s causing these deaths? Have you or anyone you know experienced anything out of the ordinary with treats or dog food? And do you trust the store-bought brands?

For more of our healthy homemade treat recipes:



Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treat Recipe

Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treat RecipeAll of our homemade treat recipes are human-tested, dog approved! As you’ve probably read in my other posts, we believe whole-heartedly in homemade organic dog treats. And the dogs love them too! Zoey, Jem, and Laci can hardly keep their composure when they see me making dough and smell it baking in the oven. They know it’s treat-time and can’t believe their fortune!

There’s nothing better than knowing the quality and source of the ingredients in your dog’s treats. They love the freshness and you can sleep well at night knowing there are no preservatives or toxic ingredients in your pup’s belly. The icing on the pupcake? They’re so much cheaper than store bought!

Step 1: Find Your Ingredients

Homemade Organic Sweet Potato Dog Treats from RadioFence.comWhat you’ll need:

  • Honey
  • Flour (wheat or gluten free)
  • Oats
  • 3.5 oz container of sweet potato baby food
  • 1 egg 
  • Optional: cookie cutters

You may also already know that we purchase all organic ingredients (when they’re available to us), but you certainly don’t have to. Non-organic ingredients will work also. The 3.5 oz jar of baby food is bigger than the ordinary sized jars, so you have to look for it. 

Step 2: Measure & Mix Your Ingredients

Homemade organic sweet potato dog treats from RadioFence.comYour measurements:

  • 3.5 oz sweet potato baby food
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 1 tb honey
  • 1/4 C oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the baby food, flour, honey, and oats in a mixing bowl until combined. Crack the egg in a separate dish and beat – this will be brushed on top of the treats before they go in the oven.  The dough will be semi-dry and a little tough to mix together. 

Zoey and Laci Sniffing Out The Homemade Dog Treats from RadioFence.comI hadn’t even mixed the ingredients with a spoon yet when Zoey and Laci sniffed out what I was doing and came running over to give their seal of pre-approval. They were already so excited!

Homemade sweet potato dog treats from RadioFence.comThis is what your dough should look like after you mix the ingredients. At this point I realized that with 3 dogs I wanted to make more, so I doubled the recipe. Without doubling the recipe, you will get about 24 small cookie-cutter sized treats. 

Step 3: Roll Dough & Cut Shapes Homemade Sweet Potato Dog TreatsYou’ll want to flour your surface area, roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it’s about 1/4″ thick. The thickness of your dough isn’t that important – it’ll just depend on how crunchy or soft your dog like his treats!

Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats Recipe from RadioFence.comThe next step is using a cookie cutter to create the shape of your treats. This part was my favorite because I just ordered customized cookie cutters from HomePrint3D on Etsy and got to use them for the first time! 

Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats from RadioFence.comI’m so in love with these cookie cutters! You don’t have to take the time to cut shapes into your dough if you don’t want to. After cutting these shapes, I decided to roll the rest of the dough out and just rip misshapen pieces off of it. After all, your dog isn’t going to appreciate the shape but the taste instead! This is the only semi-time consuming part of this recipe and can easily be avoided in a time-crunch. 

Step 4: Brush With Egg Wash

Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats from RadioFence.comTime to use that beaten egg we set aside that we almost forgot about. Lightly brush the treats with a little bit of egg wash so they’ll get a beautiful golden brown in the oven. 

Step 5: Bake and Enjoy!

Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats from RadioFence.comBake on a cookie sheet (using parchment paper if you’d like) for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. You can bake for less time if your dog prefers a softer treat, or longer for a crunchier treat. Twenty minutes will give you a pretty good crunch to this treat. 

Bone Appetit!

Bone Appetit!

It’s munchin’ time!

Jem from Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats RecipeI love how patient they try to pretend they are. Jem can’t hide her enthusiasm… that tongue always gives it away!

Jem Laci Zoey homemade dog treats recipeJem says “I’m ready for one – just toss it in my mouth!”

Laci and Zoey from homemade sweet potato dog treatsThe anticipation is killing them!

Zoey from homemade sweet potato dog treat recipeZoey got to try her first cookie with her name on it!

Zoey from homemade sweet potato dog treatsAnd she absolutely loved it!

Jem from homemade sweet potato dog treatsJem was so excited to take her cookie she became a blur!

Laci from homemade sweet potato dog treatsAlthough Laci was a little left out because her cookie cutter hasn’t come in the mail yet… she was still super excited about this recipe and loved them just the same!

 Enjoy our print-friendly recipe card to add to your recipe collection and share with friends:

Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Yields 24
Homemade, preservative-free, inexpensive, and easy to make!
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 3.5 oz jar of sweet potato baby food
  2. 3/4 C flour
  3. 1/4 C oats
  4. 1 tb honey
  5. 1 large egg, beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine baby food, flour, oats, and honey and mix until blended together
  3. Crack egg in separate bowl, beat, and set aside for later to be brushed onto treats
  4. Roll dough out to 1/4" thick onto floured surface and create treat shapes with cookie cutter: rip misshapen pieces from the dough if you don't want to use a cookie cutter
  5. Bake for 20 minutes
  1. You can bake these treats for less time if your dog prefers a softer treat. This treat will be crunchy when baked for 20 minutes.
Adapted from The Little Epicurean Blog

For more of our homemade treat recipes:


Puddles Are Dangerous For Curious Dogs

Puddles Are Dangerous For DogsWith the rainy season approaching or already upon us in some parts of the country, there are many challenges our dogs face from being scared to go outside during rainfall to the dangers of playing in puddles once the storm passes.

Whenever we go for our walks, Zoey seems to walk out of her way to find the puddles and wade through them. Sometimes she’ll put her snout in the puddles, but most of the time she just likes to dip her paws in and walk through as if to say “I can, so I will.” 

But I’ve always wondered… what hidden dangers are lurking in the puddles? Is a simple stroll through the stagnant water harmless or something to deter dogs from? And most importantly is it dangerous for our pups to drink puddle water?

Experts warn us that as fun as it is to watch our dogs splash in the puddles, we need to be cautious of the health hazards.


Leptospirosis is a bacteria that thrives in wet climates. Wild animals like deer and rodents and some domesticated farm animals like cows, sheep, and pigs can carry leptospirosis. They aren’t affected by the bacteria, and they pass it into the environment through their urine. 

Dogs can contract this bacteria by drinking the water in puddles if the urine from an infected animal is present. Puddles that have formed from rain run off are a common source of this bacteria. Scientists have studied the prevalence of leptospirosis in dogs and found a direct correlation between the amount of rainfall and the number of dogs infected with the bacteria. This means that as the amount of rainfall increases, the cases of leptospirosis in dogs also increases. 

Leptospirosis Symptoms

The most common side effect of leptospirosis is kidney failure. The symptoms of kidney failure include:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite 

The disease also commonly affects the liver and lungs. The vet diagnoses the disease by testing the blood and urine. 


Successful treatment for the disease includes antibiotic medication and fluids. 

Vaccine Prevention

If you live in a rainy area and can’t realistically be with your dog 24/7 while he explores outside, the vaccine is a good precaution for you to take to prevent your dog from becoming infected with the disease. 

Jem, Zoey, and Laci exploring the puddles after a fresh rainfall

Jem, Zoey, and Laci exploring the puddles after a fresh rainfall.


Giardia is a microscopic organism that lives in the intestines of domestic and wild animals that are shed into the environment through their feces and readily contaminate water in the environment. These are the same organisms that require humans to drink filtered water. Experts found in 2012 that dogs that frequent dog parks are more likely to have Giardia. 


The most common symptom of Giardia is diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. 

Diagnosis and Treatment 

Your vet will diagnose Giardia by taking a stool sample for testing. To get rid of Giardia in a dog’s intestinal tract, there are multiple medications that work. The two most common are:

  • Metronidazole 
  • Fenbendazole

If one of your dogs is diagnosed with Giardia, the vet will probably advise that all of the dogs in your household be treated because it is highly contagious between dogs and can be transmitted to other species including cats and people. 

Laci jumping in the puddles.

Laci jumping in the puddles.

Antifreeze in Puddles

It only takes a very tiny amount of Antifreeze to have devastating consequences on your dog. Ethylene glycol is the active ingredient in antifreeze and causes irreversible kidney failure. Antifreeze used to have a sweet taste which made it appealing to dogs and children. In 2012 manufacturers were required to add a bitter taste to antifreeze to help prevent ingestion. However, it only takes a small amount of antifreeze to infect your dog, and she may not notice the bitter taste of it when it’s mixed in a large puddle. Antifreeze is commonly found in puddles because it leaks from the undercarriage of cars. 

Symptoms of Kidney Failure From Antifreeze

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Coma
  • Seizures

Diagnosis of Poison From Antifreeze

Your vet will make a diagnosis using your pet’s previous medical history, urine and blood testing, and possibly a kidney biopsy. The horrible reality is that no matter what aggressive therapy the vet tries, most dogs that are poisoned from antifreeze can’t survive. 


Zoey trying to drink from the puddles in our neighborhood.

Advice For You And Your Dog Concerning Puddles

We definitely don’t want you to avoid taking your dog outside after it rains, keep her on a short leash, or keep her inside after reading this article. The best thing you can do after reading this is become aware of the symptoms and be conscious about your dog’s health condition after your dog has been around puddles. The easiest way to help avoid antifreeze poison is to avoid puddles that have formed near parking lots and parked cars. If you follow that general rule, your dog should be just fine! And if you are going for a long walk or hike, bring a portable bowl and some fresh drinking water so your dog doesn’t feel desperate to drink from puddles.

Does your dog like to drink from puddles? And have you ever experienced complications?

Dog “Germs” Could Make People Healthier

Mabel and Kynley - Two Nieces In Our Family

Mabel and Kynley – Two Nieces In Our Family

You haven’t met the two little ones in our title image yet – Mabel is the newest furry addition to our extended family (Mabel is Zoey and Jem’s cousin). And Kynley is the sweetheart that Mabel is giving kisses to that we are happy to call family! 

We’ve probably all heard that having a dog has some great health benefits. Studies have shown that dogs reduce stress, anxiety, and lower blood pressure. Their incredible sense for our wellbeing goes as far as detecting low blood sugar, seizures, and even cancer. But the latest study is testing whether having a dogs in our homes actually boosts our immune systems and makes them stronger than they would be if we didn’t have dogs! 

Zoey loves kisses!

Zoey loves kisses!

Scientists at the University of Arizona are conducting a study to see if the natural bacteria that dogs have encourages the growth of beneficial microorganisms in people. They believe living with dogs could be causing our bodies to create enough microorganisms to reduce sneezing, itching, and hives from allergic reactions. Imagine if our dogs are the natural remedy we’ve been needing for our allergies!

Jem loves getting her "germs" all over our bed!

Jem loves getting her “germs” all over our bed!

I have a friend that has been severely allergic to dogs her whole life. She fell in love with a dog that sheds at the shelter, adopted him, and named him Meeko. She recently told me that she’s still allergic to some other dogs she’s around, but she seems to have built up a “tolerance” to Meeko’s hair and doesn’t have a reaction to him anymore! This has me thinking that our bodies really do create beneficial microorganisms as a result of being around them that fight against our body’s allergic reactions. Amazing!

Jamie and Meeko's first beach day - No allergies!

Jamie and Meeko’s first beach day – No allergies!

The study to test this theory is going to analyze the blood and skin samples of people and their dogs for three months to track health changes. Scientists believe that the deep connection we have with our dogs goes beyond the surface. We don’t just love them for their cute, fluffy, tail-wagging exterior. And they don’t just love us as a food-source and a door-opener to the backyard. The bond between us goes so much deeper than anyone can put into words – and this connection could be one that our health depends on. A doctoral student participating in the study says, “is it just that they’re fuzzy and we like to pet them, or is there something else going on under the skin? The question really is: Has the relationship between dogs and humans gotten under the skin? And we believe it has.” 

Moments like these are worth all the "germs" in the world!

Moments like these are worth all the “germs” in the world!

It’s completely understandable that dogs share their unique bacteria with us in our home over time. Households with pets have more bacterial diversity than homes without pets, which is great news for humans because exposure to a variety of microbes builds a stronger immune system. “We think dogs might work as probiotics to enhance the health of the bacteria that live in our guts. These bacteria, or ‘microbiota,’ are increasingly recognized as playing an essential role in our mental and physical health, especially as we age,” Dr. Charles Raison, professor of psychiatry at the university and the principal investigator for the study, said in the statement.

Buddy the rescue pup hasn't wasted any time sharing his "germs" with our family, and we love it!

Buddy the rescue pup hasn’t wasted any time sharing his “germs” with our family, and we love it!

Just when I thought I couldn’t love dogs any more than I already do… now there’s the possibility that they actually make me healthier! This is great news. I’m excited to see how this study goes and what incredible connections the scientists find between dogs and people. Researchers are still raising funds for the study and finding volunteers between ages 50-80. Looking forward to the results! 

We love Jem "germs" in this family!

We love Jem “germs” in this family!

The more germs the merrier in this family! All of our dogs get an overload of cuddles and kisses in this household.