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Happy Mutts Day!

Dear Readers,

Today Best Bully Sticks celebrates Mutts Day. Since celebration should have reason and understanding behind it, we beg the question: why are we celebrating? We don’t know who came up with Mutts Day; there isn’t a named founder or creator.  Mutts Day is likely little known to much of the world. It’s not as if it’s a highly notable day, per say, but in the least it is fitting to say that every day with a mutt is a great day.

What are mutts? Mutts are the product of two or more dog breeds, creating a unique hybrid of dog. The word “mutt” historically has a negative connotation, but as any owner with a mutt knows, it’s just a word and nothing more. Technically called “half-breeds,” these dogs bring so much joy into the lives of their owners, no purebred status or high price tag matters. In fact, BBS would say most mutt owners would willingly pay the high price tag yet still keep their mutt-owner status.

So, again, why do we celebrate? Best Bully Sticks is celebrating Mutts Day to recognize the wonder that these dogs bring into our lives. Just as their lineage is indiscernible, so is the effect they have on our lives and it’s simply incredible. And maybe we love mutts because they are a reflection of us, of humankind. We are all a little mixed up ourselves and maybe we need an animal to show us just how joy can be found in any family or background. Mutts show us the past can truly be the past and the future is bright. Just like many other holidays, honor and recognition shouldn’t be confined to just a single day. Neither should it go without saying at all.

Best Bully Sticks also knows you can’t have Mutts Day without appreciating all dogs. All dogs, no matter their pedigree or history bring joy into the lives of their owners. Purebred or half-breed, dogs are intrepid animals. It’s been said that in even in the worst circumstances, dogs don’t know that life is unfair. Tail wags greet you at the door. Face licks aren’t gross; they’re welcome and cherished. And if your pup likes to snuggle, those moments are invaluable.  These fascinating creatures love us. We should love them and honor them every day.

Happy Mutts Day, Bully Fans!

 

Dog Care 101: Tip #174 – Fruits You Can Share With Your Dog

Best Bully Sticks knows it’s easy to forget that our dogs were once wild animals. They didn’t sleep half the day, they didn’t chase after plastic bouncy balls, and they didn’t wear clothes, go to the groomer or get their toenails painted. Your sweet pooch is a descendant of wild dogs and before that, wolves! You have to remember that trapped somewhere inside that cute, cuddly exterior is a wild animal! You live with a wild animal! Isn’t that more than a little strange to think about?

That being said, your dog’s descendants definitely didn’t eat that dry brown food that comes out of a bag. Not that bagged dog food isn’t good. A good food provides all the necessary vitamins, minerals and proteins your dog needs. However, owners forget that dogs are natural hunters and scavengers and ate as much vegetation and roughage as they did meat.  Dog owners sometimes have a stigma of offering their dogs human food, thinking that it isn’t good for them. The fact is, there are some very nutritional and wholesome foods that are great for your dog and you shouldn’t be afraid to share. Over the next three weeks Best Bully Sticks will take you through some natural, “human” foods that will feed your dog and his wild side. Today we’re talking about fruit!

Banana
Most families have bananas on hand in their house for a healthy and quick snack. Your dog can benefit from the same high potassium levels, fiber, magnesium B6 and C vitamins as well as all the good antioxidants in bananas that you will when eating this berry. In a pinch, bananas can help remedy a troubled doggy stomach and you can easily mix banana in with your dog’s dry food to make it more appealing. However, some dogs don’t like bananas because of the compounds that make this berry smell, well, like a banana.

Cantaloupe
This great summer melon is cool and refreshing, so give your pup the benefits of vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants and fiber that cantaloupe offers. Make sure you remove all seeds when serving to your dog. You can serve fresh or even mix it with other fruit, freeze and serve as a doggy popsicle. You might even join in on that! read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Airedale Terrier

The “King of the Terriers,” the Airedale Terrier is not only the largest of the terriers, but has been called the dog who can do it all. Plus, isn’t he just adorable!?  Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight on the Airedale highlights the regal, unique looking yet beautiful English breed and we know you’ll love learning about this terrier.

History & Background: First called Waterside or Bingley Terriers, the modern Airedale looks very different from the Airedale of the past. The breed originates from the Valley of Aire, a dale in West Yorkshire, England where the river Aire flows through the land. The first Airedale’s were used as all-purpose working terriers. This dog was mostly a hunter and was bred by crossing a black and tan terrier, bull and terrier dogs, and otterhounds. Hunters soon noticed this dog was adept at almost all hunting aspects; speed, quickness, cornering, following a scent and was even great in water.

When the World Wars came to Europe, the Airedale was again used in a myriad of ways. They carried messages to soldiers, transported mail, guarded camp, and found wounded soldiers on the battlefield. After their work in war, the Airedale transferred to police work. Before police forces started adopting German Shepherds for their work, Airedales were used extensively.

Airedales came to North America in the 1880s, but increased in popularity after WWI. The tales of Airedale bravery on the battlefield inspired dog lovers to have this breed in their own home. Another reason for gain in popularity was the Presidential owners of Airedales including Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding. It’s said President Harding’s Airedale, Laddie Boy, was the first celebrity White House pet. Mr. Harding even had a custom chair made for Laddie Boy to sit in during important Cabinet meetings. By the 1920s the Airedale was the most popular dog breed in the USA and continued to peak until 1949.

The Airedale is mostly a companion dog today, but is still used as a working dog in some parts of the world. The AKC recognized the Airedale in 1888, and the breed standard was approved in 1959. read more…

Weekly Drool Recipe: Rustic Root Vegetable Dog Treats by Silver & Chalk

One of the most exciting moments on the Best Bully Sticks Healthy Dog Blog is discovering the ingenious recipes that dog lovers whip up in their homes! What’s even more wonderful is that they give us the opportunity to share them with you!

That being said, this Wednesday’s trip into Best Bully Stick’s recipe book is a gift from the blog Sliver & Chalk. This blog, created and curated by Megan VanSchaick, a freelance writer and a lover of whimsy and art. She posts many craft projects and recipes, including the one she shared with us, Rustic Root Vegetable Dog Treats.

Here is Megan’s original post along with wonderful photos of her process and her beautiful dogs, Draya and Bronx.

“A few months ago, in the midst of my sourdough bread flurry, I decided to try my hand at homemade dog treats. I’ve never felt great about dog biscuits.  Also, we have lots of veggie scraps in this house, even with keeping a stock bag in the freezer. And my dogs love fruits and vegetables. Draya would shank you in the back to get a piece of banana; Bronx seems to feel the same about carrots.

I had a kitchen disaster this week, while attempting beet chips, which led to lots of raw beet scraps. And I always keep a jar of chopped carrot peels in the freezer. Then there was that lone banana, staring at me from atop the flour tin, accusing me of not eating it before those spots showed up. Whatever could be done?

Dog biscuits. (Don’t you think Rustic Root Vegetable Dog Treats sounds so much more Martha-y than Vegetable Scrap Dog Biscuits? Me, too.)

There are a billion dog treat recipes on the web (beware: many of these contain a lot of sugar and salt), but I use a super simple base that I can alter according to what veggies I’m using.

My base is just cornmeal, flour, a bit of oil or applesauce, and egg. Everything else is determined by what I have on hand, usually. read more…

Love Mutts? It Could Win You Free Bully Sticks For A Year!

It doesn’t even matter. Your dog isn’t a purebred, and that’s more than fine with you. In fact, it’s Mutt-tastic! Best Bully Sticks loves our breeds, our mutt breeds, that is! To celebrate our Mutts and the week leading up to Mutt Day on July 31st Best Bully Sticks has gone to the Mutts! We know people have very strong feelings about their non-pedigreed dogs and we want to celebrate and show them off with a photo contest!

We’re not putting down purebreds in any manner. We love all dogs to an equal degree!

Upload a good photo of your mutt to the OfferPop app, and include their “mixture.” The mutt photo with the most votes by Tuesday, July 31th  @ 5pm est wins free bully sticks for a year! Second place wins free bully sticks for a month! 

Best Bully Sticks Rules & Regulations

Only U.S. Residents, 18 and older, are eligible to win contests.

We do not condone cheating. Any suspicious activity will be monitored by contest managers. If we in the least are suspect of any person, we will remove the entry. Voting exchange votes are NOT allowed. Only one vote per person. No votes from profiles that are being maintained as pets will be allowed to vote. Humans only, people. We reserve the right to remove any derogatory comments. No purchase necessary to win. You must meet the requirements of the contest to be eligible. This means that your photo entry must be a mutt, not a pure bred dog. If you, or an organization you represent has won a Best Bully Sticks contest in the past 6 months, you will not be eligible for any prizes.

Because of Facebook Policy, any comments that appear to be votes and are outside or our OfferPop Photo Contest App on Facebook, will be deleted to comply with Facebook Promotion Guidelines.

Contest begins Tuesday, July 24th @ 9am est and ends Tuesday, July 31st @ 5pm est.

Best Bully Sticks is the sponsor and administrator of this contest. Best Bully Sticks is located at 1221 Admiral Street, Richmond, VA 23220

How To Enter

1. Upload a photo of your mutt to the OfferPop Photo Contest App.

2. Include your dog’s name and what you think/know their “mixture” is.

Winning

Winner(s) will be determined by the photo that has received the most votes. The first place winner will receive a lump sum of bully sticks for a year. This is 30 6 inch bully sticks per 12 months, equaling 360 bully sticks. This is a retail value of $406.80 The photo with the second amount of votes will receive odor free bully sticks for a month, or 30 6 inch sticks per 1 30 day period. This is a retail value of $33.90.

Participation & Release

Upon entering the contest, each entrant is releasing their information for use to Best Bully Sticks and is held responsible to Best Bully Sticks contest Rules & Regulations.

 

Rescue Spotlight: Animal Compassion Team

There must be something about California and Animal Rescues! All three of the past Best Bully Sticks 1-Day Animal Rescue/Shelter Giveaway winners have been from California! We’re glad West Coast pups are benefitting and we’re glad that we could help out! On July 17th, Animal Compassion Team was added to the ranks of those winners. Hailing from Fresno, California, this rescue is a highly organized and well-networked group of people who are making a difference in their community and beyond. Best Bully Sticks talked with Brenda Mitchell, President of Animal Compassion team about their wonderful rescue. 

When & Why did you start? 
Animal Compassion Team (ACT) was founded in August 2009 by a group of like-minded individuals who were volunteering for the local high-kill animal control shelter and felt that there had to be a more humane and proactive solution to the animal control and care issues facing our community.  ACT founders set out to save as many lives as possible through rescue, adoption, spay/neuter, trap/neuter/release programs, and community education.

What’s different about your rescue? 
ACT is a non-profit, all breed rescue.  We also engage in a variety of activities outside the normal “rescue & adopt” model, such as trap/neuter/release of some feral cats, community education, and “owner foster” programs in order to maximize our impact.  We are also run completely by volunteers, and have a group of approximately 80 foster parents who care for homeless animals.  We have successfully saved approximately 4,000 animals in the three years we have been operational. read more…

Dog Care 101: Tip #173 – Common Dog Training Mistakes

You just got a new dog. Congratulations! He’s so cuddly, cute and he’s got that funny but strangely wonderful puppy breath. You just can’t get enough of him. It’s Puppy Love.

Best Bully Sticks knows that this beautiful beginning is full of “Aww, how cute!” moments. However, the unspoken danger is that cuteness can also lead to oversights in development. Those, “Aww, how cute! He’s trying to put my shoe in his mouth!” moments soon become, “Aww! Why does he always chew up my shoes?”  New dog owners can’t forget that the first years of a dog’s life are developmentally important to train and teach your dog. Many dog owners overlook important training opportunities, or train incorrectly. Read about these common dog training mistakes below.

Procrastination & Inattention
Of course you don’t think of it as procrastination at the time, but as we said before, if you don’t introduce positive behaviors to your dog immediately, it could be too late. Walking on a leash, basic commands, house training and socialization all need to be a part of your pup’s life from day one.

It also needs to be said that behaviors you think are cute now, may not be so cute later. It’s important to always think ahead to when you dog is full grown. For instance, if you have a large dog, you don’t want to allow certain habits to form, such as sitting in your lap, or jumping up on people.

One Eye On The Puppy
When you have a new dog, it’s very important to keep an eye on him at all times. Young dogs are full of energy and curiosity and you have to remember, they don’t come preloaded with a sense of what items in your house are off limits. Zero boundaries are set, so you have to set them. Thus, the importance of having your eyes on him at all times.

The best way to correct a dog is while he is in the act, and not after. If a dog is chewing on a shoe and you only find it after the fact and scold him for it, that dog has no idea why he’s getting in trouble. You can only positively set boundaries if you correct mistakes as they happen. Your dog doesn’t “grow out” of chewing and jumping. They’re bad behaviors, not a life stage. read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Silky Terrier

Called a terrier yet classified as a toy breed, the Silky Terrier is a joyful, active dog that loves to snuggle as much as play. This little breed truly is the best of both terrier and toy worlds. A beautiful coat and a lively personality, this dog is a pleasure to have in any living environment. Find out more about this versatile breed in the Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight on the Silky Terrier.

History & Background: First called the Sydney Silky, this breed hails from Australia and is the product of interbreeding the Yorkshire Terrier and the Australian Terrier. The goal of this breeding was to improve upon the Australian Terrier’s blue and tan coat. The Silky and Australian Terrier were recognized as the same breed for a long time and the Silky is very often mistaken for a Yorkie. After much breeding, the Silky Terriers were identified as a breed of their own, standards were set and the breed was officially called the Australian Silky Terrier.

After WWII, American servicemen brought home Silky Terriers and then hundreds of Silkies were imported from Australia after gaining popularity in the states. The AKC recognized this breed in 1959. This dog is primarily used as a companion dog, but still exhibits the terrier tendencies for hunting small animals, such as rodents.

Height: 9-10 inches

Weight: average 10 pounds

Coat: Just like the name gives away, the Silky Terrier sports a single, glossy and silky coat. The length of the coat falls below the body outline but isn’t so long that it touches the ground. A Silky has so much hair on the head that it seems to form a topknot. These dogs are groomed so that the hair around the face is parted down the middle and continues this way toward the full length of the body ending at the base of the tail. Despite the profuse amount of hair, the tail is covered, but not plumed and the ears are completely devoid of longer hair. The feet and legs of the Silky should have short hair and shouldn’t be covered up by the body coat. read more…

Weekly Drool Recipe: Bacon-Cheese-Barley Burgers

Summer time means grilling time! When you fire up the grill for you and your family, don’t forget Fido! Best Bully Sticks knows these Bacon-Cheese-Barley Burgers are going to have your pup’s sniffer going crazy well before they’re ready to eat. Your dog will feel truly apart of the summer time festivities with this great, drool-worthy burger recipe!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup pearl barley (If you don’t have barley, substitute 1-cup white or brown rice.)
2 cups fat-free chicken broth
2 slices lean bacon
1 large egg
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
1. Over high heat, bring barley and chicken broth to a boil.

2. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until barley is tender (about 20 minutes.) Drain excess liquid and let cool in a medium bowl.

3. While the barley is cooking, cook the bacon over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet until bacon is crisp (about 4 minutes). Keep bacon fat for cooking the burgers.

4. Finely chop bacon and add to the cooled barley.

5. Mix in egg, bread crumbs and cheese.  After mixture is evenly combined, divide into 4 patties.

6. Reheat the bacon fat and cook the burgers for 4 minutes per side on medium heat.

(top image and recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray)

Check out all the great Weekly Drool Recipes on the BBS Blog! Summer recipes are a-plenty every Wednesday throughout the season! Fresh Watermelon Salad, Bully Stick Popsicles and Blueberry Pie Dog Treats are just a few great summer recipes that are sure to please your pup this summer.

 

Best Bully Sticks says, “Prepare for Pet Fire Safety!”

Home fires are the most preventable, yet one of the most common family disasters in America. The American Red Cross responds to more home fires than any other disaster. 88% of American families say that their pets are an integral part of the family unit, yet house fires affect 500,000 pets every year. In fact, pets start approximately 1,000 house fires each year!

July 15th marked the 3rd annual National Pet Fire Safety Awareness Day. Best Bully Sticks believes that you can prevent fires in your home and protect Fido from fires by following these easy tips.

Extinguishing & Unplugging
You should be following this rule anyway, but make sure when you leave the house, there are no open flames or high heat appliances in use. Open flames in a fire, stove or even a candle can incite a curious dog’s mind.  High heat appliances can include heat lamps or space heaters, which keep your dog warm in the cooler months. These might be a great idea, but when you leave home, it’s the best idea to turn them off.

Blowing Out Candles
Going back to the “Extinguishing” rule above; make sure you have all candles blown out when you walk out the door. Investing in flameless candles are not only a money saver, and even more possibly a house saver. read more…

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