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Dog Care 101: Tip #172 – Choosing The Right Dog For Your Children

It’s a picturesque scene: a child and their dog, growing up together and forming a lifelong bond. It’s a great experience for children and families alike, but this experience isn’t right for everyone. Best Bully Sticks knows that thoughtful and dog-loving parents want to give their children a four-legged companion to excite and enrich childhood, but as parents, you’ll want to consider carefully how brining a puppy into your child’s life will affect your entire family. Today BBS will guide you through some considerations for choosing the right dog for your children.

Lifestyle & Environment
The first aspect to start considering is your day-to-day life and schedule as well as your environment. Do you live in a rural area where your kids stay at home? Do you live in an apartment and your kids are at sporting practices three days out of the week? These will help you determine how much time you and your family will have to put into training and caring for a new puppy.

Other things to consider are health issues and personal preferences. Do any of your children have allergies? Does your child want a particular type of dog? Do you mind grooming or would rather have little to no maintenance at all? Will the puppy be an inside dog or an outside dog? Here is are some of the preferences you’ll want to consider:

-Grooming
-Exercise / Activity Level and Energy
-Size
-Physical Characteristics
-Temperament
-Assertiveness
-Pure breeds vs. Mixed breeds
-Buying from Breeders vs. Adopting from Rescues
-Budget

Research
If you have determined what your schedule allows and you have preferences nailed down, then start researching. You’ll want to pair your lifestyle, environment and preferences with a dog that is compatible with these factors. Adding all of these up should lead to a narrow field of contenders. read more…

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Brittany

Today Best Bully Sticks highlights the Brittany.  Easy going, easy to please and easy on the eyes; the Brittany is a sweet and beautiful dog with a hunting instinct in its veins. A favorite of hunters and field trial competitors, the history of the Brittany is to hunt, point and retrieve game. The Brittany will also be a loyal companion in any family and because of this breed’s all around good nature, has been gaining a lot of popularity outside the hunting world. Read more about the loveable Brittany below!

History & Background: Named after a French province, the Brittany is a skilled hunting and pointing dog, and has been depicted in paintings and tapestries from the 17th century. The first written account of this breed was from a Reverend in 1850 speaking of the wonderful hunting abilities of a bobtailed dog. There isn’t much known about the breed history of the Brittany but it’s suggested that a French hunting dog was bred with English Setters producing a modern Brittany. With their uncanny resemblance to Welsh Springer Spaniels, it’s said both these dogs have a common ancestry.

A Brittany was first shown at the Paris Dog Show in 1900 and the first breed standards were outlined in 1907. In 1931, the AKC recognized this dog and approved them for the show ring and field trials in 1934. In fact, the Brittany has more dual championships in America than any other breed.  Before 1982 this dog was called the Brittany Spaniel, but they are now know as simply “Brittany.”

Height: 17 ½ – 20 ½ inches

Weight: 35-55 pounds, Males; 25-50 pounds, Females

Coat: A Brittany has a dense, single coat that is flat or wavy but never curly (by the breed standard.) The texture of a Brittany’s coat isn’t wiry nor is it silky. The coat does feather at the ears, front and hind legs, but again, the breed standard prefers less than more fringe. read more…

Weekly Drool Recipe: Bully Stick Popsicle

Summer is fully upon us and many areas of the country are going through early heat waves! Best Bully Sticks headquarters in Richmond, VA has experienced first hand the hot and humid temperatures, and we’re soaking up every bit of air conditioning and cool drinks as we can!  Now imagine this: what if you had to deal with all the heat, and you were covered in a thick layer of fur! Sounds pretty uncomfortable right? That’s what your pup is putting up with right now!

To help your pup beat the record setting heat this summer, make sure you give him plenty of water, keep him indoors and to be extra nice, make him a cold treat! This week’s Weekly Drool Recipe comes from an ingenious reader and customer, Deb Eldredge! Deb, a DVM, lives with three Belgian Tervurens, with whom she participates in just about every dog sport! She writes about Belgians for Examiner.com, which is where her recipe first appeared. Thank you so much Deb for sharing this recipe and the great photos of your Belgians! Deb used this recipe for her Belgians, but any dog will love this icy and tasty Bully Stick Popsicle recipe!

“This recipe is easy to make with ingredients you may already have at home and gives your Belgian the added benefit of some chewing exercise. By using organic yogurt and bully sticks from grass fed South American or US beef you are also providing a chemical free treat.

Make up 2 cups of low salt beef bouillon. Because Belgians tend to cool off by panting and only sweat via their paws, they don’t lose the large amounts of electrolytes that people and horses do when sweating. Low sodium is healthier for your Belgian.

Mix this in a large bowl with about half a large container of organic low fat plain or vanilla yogurt. The low fat version is healthier than the no fat versions that generally contain some additives. Stoneyfield is a good and readily available brand. You can add more or less yogurt in the future as you see what consistency your treats end up and what mix your own Belgian prefers.

Put about 1/2 cup of the mix into small bathroom cups. You could also use popsicle molds. Then add a four-inch bully stick (Best Bully Sticks is a favorite brand). Put the cups into a pan to hold them upright and set on a shelf in your freezer. Leave overnight.

The next day, the cups will have hardened but aren’t as hard as ice cubes. It may be easiest to simply cut the cups and pull them off before feeding. Ideally your Belgians will eat these in their bowls but that is not always the case, so be prepared for a little mess. This makes a great “cooling off” treat for Belgian of all ages from seniors to puppies.”

Thanks, Deb!

If you have your own version of a bully stick recipe, we’d love to hear more about it! You could be featured in the BBS Weekly Drool Recipe as well!

Check out all the Best Bully Sticks Weekly Drool Recipes!

Best Bully Sticks Rescue Spotlight: Pupz N Palz

Since 2009, Pupz N Palz Rescue in Modesto, California has been searching for those dogs who no one else will take. They rehabilitate those dogs that have slim chances. They care for those dogs no one else will care for. Over tears, joyful or sorrowful, they are changing and rallying the community to better love their four-legged friends.

Pupz N Palz recently won a $500 Product Donation from Best Bully Sticks by participating in a 1-Day Animal Rescue / Shelter Giveaway. We congratulate this rescue not only on their winnings but their hard work and successes. We talked with Karri Husman about her love affair with rescued dogs. Find out more about Karri and Pupz N Palz below. 

When & Why did you start?

I first began rescuing as a very young girl and would drag home every stray dog or kitty off the streets who I assumed needed my help. Kids and animals have always been a passion of mine so when I saw an ad about 7 years ago to help foster animals I jumped at the chance. 

The very first dog I was given to foster was a severely emaciated, very sick and depressed, 3 month old Cattle Dog mix puppy that was filthy and was found in the back on her kennel at the shelter and had given up. They handed me this poor sweet, dirty, emaciated, very sad dog and I, at that point, had no clue what I was going to do with, but my love for animals prevailed. I was so excited to get my first foster dog that I hadn’t eaten anything all day. It was around 3 in the afternoon I guess and so I stopped and grabbed a couple drive through tacos on the way home. When I got the new foster pup home she wouldn’t even come out of her kennel, but she smelled the tacos. They had given me some special diet, bland food as they had just started to get her to eat a little and suggested I give her that to start. The smell of the food drew her out, and I looked into her sad eyes and figured, “you need it more than I” so I tossed her a taco and she devoured it like she hadn’t eaten in days so she got the other one too. From that point on we formed a bond and she started trusting me. I got her to eat regular puppy kibble and gave the rescue back their “blank diet.” They wanted to know how I got her to eat and I told them “a little love, and a small bribe” and that’s all it took. My first foster was such a success that I wanted to do more. I worked with several different rescue then about 3 years ago felt I had learned enough to start my own and formed Pupz N Palz Rescue. read more…

Dog Care 101: Tip #171 – Doggy D.I.Y. Pt 3: Dog Beds

Dog beds can be expensive. And Best Bully Sticks knows that even if you have the means to buy one, some dogs just have a “tear-it-up” gene in them. So, why not make a cushy, sturdy dog bed that you can easily make at home? Other than a little easy sewing and some scrap materials, this bed only takes time. Making pet products at home gives you a sense of accomplishment, more money in your pocket and a stylish looking place to rest for Fido. Today, BBS will show you how to make a trendy vintage suitcase bed and a patchwork sweater bed.

This is the last part of Dog Care 101’s DIY series. If you haven’t seen BBS’s other trendy and easy craft projects visit our DIY tutorials on Dog Soap & Tug Toy as well as a Doggy Ball Cap!
 

Trendy Vintage Suitcase Dog Bed
There are some really great elements of this uber stylish dog bed, but maybe the best is that you can most likely make this bed for under $20! BBS will demystify the complicated look of this great bed so you can dazzle all your friends with your craftiness!

Materials:
Vintage Suitcase
Hammer
Screwdriver
Pillow (that fits your suitcase)
Pillow Sham

Directions:
1. Open the suitcase and examine how it is hinged together.

2. If it is screwed together, then you just need to unscrew the top half of the suitcase from the bottom half. If it is attached by some other means, then you will have to break out the hammer. You might need a “handy-man” for this step if you don’t have the muscle power yourself!

3. Discard the top half of the suitcase.

4. Cover a pillow with the sham of your choice. If you have an old, unused sham at home, it would be perfect to use!

5. Place the pillow in the suitcase and tuck the corners in. We lucked out because our suitcase was the perfect size for the pillow we used. If this is not the case, you can make your own custom pillow. read more…

Dog Days of Summer Scavenger Hunt

The Dog Days of Summer are tough. If you’re relaxing inside to get some relief from the summer heat, why not have a little fun with Best Bully Sticks!

Come along on the Dog Days of Summer Scavenger Hunt! You might just win a $200 Gift Box from Best Bully Sticks full of great summer products!

Read the contest Rules and Regulations before you begin! Then starting hunting for those Summer Suns!

How it Works
Follow each clue to where you think it’s leading. All wording in clues is very important. All answers to clues are found within bestbullysticks.com. You’ll know you got it right when you see a numbered Summer Suns within a product posting! Summer Suns can be anywhere on the page!

Submitting Your Answers
Submit your answers in numbered format (1-12) IN ORDER. We won’t take unnumbered or misnumbered entries. Answers should be the web address of the page where the Summer Sun appears! Email your entries to callie.bestbullysticks@gmail.com by Friday, July 13th @ 5pm EST! Only one entry per person. 

Winning
If more than one person finds all 12 Summer Suns, we’ll pick a random winner. Winner will receive a $200 Summer Gift Box! We’ll announce and contact the winner personally on Friday, July 13th as soon as the contest is over.  If you are not contacted, please assume you have not been selected for the grand prize. We will also announce the winner and the correct clues here on the Blog and on Facebook.

Example Clue & Answer
#1 Clue: “Easy Enough: Just Go Home!”

Your submitted answer:
1. Homepage: www.bestbullysticks.com

DOGS DAYS OF SUMMER SCAVENGER HUNT CLUES!

#1 Clue: Dog’s can’t have sugar! But this is one Little Lollipop they’ll LOVE!

#2 Clue: Want to know the very latest way BBS can spoil your dog? You’ll find out here.

#3 Clue: If you have a groovy dog he’ll say, “This is one cool pad, man. Coool.”

#4 Clue: Have you ever heard of the rare species the Happy Wooly Dinosaur?

#5 Clue: That’s a bunch of Mumbo Jumbo! That stick isn’t smelly or little!  

#6 Clue: It’s a perfect Fit, and it keeps vacuuming the couch down to a minimum!

#7 Clue: Don’t let pollen get your pooch down! Check out this group of treats!

#8 Clue: Not the same ole watering hole. Quite on a Platinum level, actually.

#9 Clue: It’s Large, Jolly and Red but it’s not Santa!

#10 Clue: Make dinner for your dog’s “inner wolf.”

#11 Clue: Where you get on board with Best Bully Sticks bi-weekly insider bargains!

#12 Clue: It’s not grilled veggies and Meat on a Skewer for you! It is the summer treat of your dog’s dreams!

Remember! You must submit your answers as web addresses and in numbered order! Good luck and happy hunting!

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Kishu

Sometimes called the Kishu Ken or Kishu Inu (Inu and Ken meaning “dog” in Japanese), this dog is very rare and isn’t seen often outside of its native homeland of Japan. Best Bully Sticks wants to share the beauty and sprit of the Kishu Ken in today’s Breed Spotlight. We think you’ll enjoy reading about this ancient, stealthy and beautiful breed!

History & Background: Bred for 3,000 years in Japan, the Kishu is an ancient breed. Originating in the southern most island of Japan, (Kyushu) the Kishu line has stayed pure simply because of the geographical limitations of living on an island. This dog was first used as a hunter of deer, boar and sometimes bear. This dog’s hunting skill is sometimes described as “one dog, one shot” describing the Kishu’s ability to stalk and keep the prey at bay until the hunter could approach close enough to kill the prey with one shot.

The Kishu was named a “Memorial of Nature” in 1934 by the Japanese and because Japanese culture truly appreciates their national treasures, exportation of this breed is severely restricted. There are only two breeders of Kishu’s outside of Japan—the Netherlands and Texas. The AKC has the Kishu listed on their Foundation Stock Service list and recognizes this dog in some of their agility and obedience trials.

Height: 17 to 22 inches

Weight: 30 to 60 pounds

Coat: The Kishu’s coat is short, straight and coarse. The undercoat is very dense and makes this dog have a downy looking coat.  A Kishu’s fur feathers on the back legs and cheeks and the tail is plumed. read more…

Weekly Drool Recipe: 4th of July Blueberry Stars With Blueberry Icing by Yuki + Rocket

Happy Fourth of July! Today we celebrate the independence of our country, barbeque with friends and family, and have a day off work! As you’re preparing to go to your family get-together or barbeque down by the lake, don’t forget Fido! Today’s drool-worthy recipe comes from Yuki + Rocket, and of course their mom, Melissa. She’s shared this perfect blueberry cookie recipe that is perfect for your pooch’s taste buds! We know your dog will enjoy this star-spangled dog treat!

Blueberry Stars
Ingredients
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp flaxseed
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened or naturally sweetened)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries, defrosted (preferably organic)
1 tbsp honey
Non- fat milk 

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, flaxseed and oats. Add the applesauce, blueberries (setting aside the blueberry liquid that forms after the defrosting), and honey. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough just begins to hold together.

3. Knead the dough on a floured surface. Roll out the dough to desired thickness and with whatever cookie cutter shape you have chosen, cut out the cookie.

4. Place cookie cut-outs on a silpat or lightly greased baking sheet. Put in oven for about 30 minutes. You need to flip the cookies over halfway through the baking time and also rotate the pan. Let cookies cool completely before icing.


Blueberry Yogurt Icing

Ingredients
One 4 oz., individual serving of non-fat yogurt (I used an organic vanilla yogurt, sweetened with organic sugar)
Reserved blueberry liquid

Recipe Note: If you don’t use a sweetened yogurt, you might want to consider adding a little honey to the yogurt.


Directions

1. With a small whisk, mix the yogurt until there are little to no clumps. Slowly add the blueberry liquid, teaspoon at time. Careful not to add too much, you don’t want it to become runny.

2. Pour yogurt into some sort of icing decorator. I spooned the yogurt into a plastic squeeze bottle.

3. Store cookies in the refrigerator, icing will set better if left in for a few hours.

Recipe Note: I suggest feeding your pup the cookies the same day they are made or you can store the cookies and yogurt icing separately, if you want to feed them to your pups the next day. If you leave the cookies with yogurt overnight, the yogurt will dry up.

Your dog is sure to see fireworks with these festive treats! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and the photos with us, Yuki + Rocket!

Dog still hungry? Check out all of Best Bully Sticks Weekly Drool Recipes

1-Day Animal Rescue / Shelter Giveaway 7/3/12

It’s that time again! TODAY ONLY Best Bully Sticks is holding a 1-Day Animal Shelter / Rescue Giveaway! These giveaways are open to those shelters that haven’t won a donation from BBS in the last six months, and have actively participated in giveaways. Visit the OfferPop App on our Facebook Page to find out if your shelter made this list! The rescue with the most votes by 5pm est on July 3rd (today) will win $500 of BBS product! 

If your rescue doesn’t appear on the list, please leave a comment below nominating your favorite Animal Rescue or Shelter. We will add your favored organization in our next giveaway. 

Simply put, Best Bully Sticks loves dogs. That is why BBS hold fun and engaging giveaways not only to giveaway our products to needy animals but to educate our fans on local shelters and their missions. 

Best Bully Sticks Salutes: Assistance Dogs

On the Fourth of July, Americans think back to the revolution in our great country and the independence it gave us. As Americans, we should appreciate the freedoms our country offers and that’s why the Fourth is so special. However, some Americans are still not totally free—disabled Americans. Yes, Americans with disabilities have all the same constitutional freedoms as the rest of us; yet, imagine having a disability that keeps you from being free in the day-to-day world. Being blind, deaf or even having mental ailments such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) limits many Americans.  Today Best Bully Sticks salutes those dogs that return freedoms that most Americans take for granted every day—assistance dogs.

The American Disabilities Act of 1990 defines an assistance dog as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.”

Assistance dogs are usually used in three different ways: hearing dogs, guide dogs, and service dogs.

Hearing Dogs
Hearing dogs assist deaf and hearing-impaired Americans with day-to-day tasks by alerting them of noises that need attention, such as an alarm clock, a baby crying or a doorbell.  These dogs interact daily through physical contact and are usually marked by their orange collars or vests. Hearing dogs can be selectively bred dogs or mixed breeds taken from a rescue or shelter.

Guide Dogs
Blind and visually impaired Americans use Guide Dogs to help them navigate the world. Tasks like stopping at curbs, stairs and generally avoiding obstacles are some of the main functions of a guide dog. These dogs wear a harness with a U-shaped handle for communication between the dog and the handler. Guide dogs are most commonly selectively bred as Labrador and Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds.

Service Dogs
Service Dogs are used to assist many different types of impairments or ailments. These can include mental disabilities such as PTSD or “alert” dogs, which are trained to sense a diabetic’s low blood sugar, or an epileptic’s oncoming seizure.  Service dogs can even be trained to work with people in wheelchairs to open doors or retrieving an out of reach object. Service dogs are can be bred selectively or rescued from an animal shelter.  A backpack or harness usually denotes a service dog. read more…

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