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BBS Recognizes Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Tomorrow is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day! BestBullySticks.com won’t shy away from an issue that needs to be addressed, especially when it comes to our dogs. That’s why we’re following the lead of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and sticking to the facts and dispelling the myths. You might be surprised by some of the statistics.  

The Facts
The 2010 Pet Obesity study conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association found that 43 million U.S. Dogs are estimated to be overweight or obese (16 million obese.) There are 77.5 million dogs in the U.S. This means 55.6% of all U.S. dogs are overweight or obese. 

An overweight or obese dog is at risk for these serious health issues:
Osteoarthritis
Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Heart and Respiratory Disease
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
Kidney Disease
Many Forms of Cancer
Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)

Excuses
Many dog owners simply make excuses for why their dog is overweight. Some dogs do have health issues that could cause weight gain, however, many veterinarians find pet obesity a hard subject to broach with their clients. Unfortunately, you just might fall into this category. Here are some excuses that dog owners give for their pet being overweight or obese. Here are the “buts.”

 “But my dog doesn’t overeat. He eats very little each day!”
Overeating isn’t the only contributing factor to a dog’s weight issue. A sedentary lifestyle for your dog isn’t good because, just like you, bodies need to exert energy given by food. Dogs should be exercised each day to maintain healthy body functions. The life of a dog used to be one of work and now most dogs “work” through play, a walk or exercise with you!

“But my dog is always hungry!”
If you dog always acts hungry it’s because it’s either learned or instinctual. Your dog’s ancestors never knew exactly where their food was coming from, but your dog will usually get two meals a day. Discipline and a schedule is a good thing for your dog.

“But my dog will starve”/”I can’t bear to know my dog is suffering.”
If you are feeding your dog regularly, they won’t starve. If you put them on a diet they won’t starve. Overfeeding your dog is doing more harm than good because it puts the rest of their body in danger. Physical pain and discomfort from joints that are too weighted down from body fat is a terrible thing for your dog to endure. Do the right thing; alleviate your dog’s pain. It’s the best thing for them.

“But when my dog loses weight, everybody tells me they’re too thin!”
Your dog should have a clearly definable waist and you should be able to just see their ribs. The AKC states, “You should be able to feel the ribs below the surface of the skin without much padding.” read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #184 – Dog Sports: Obedience Trials

Sit. Stay. Down. If your dog learned these commands easily, then Obedience Trial competitions may be perfect for your pooch. Through trust and training, your dog can be the next great Obedience Champ! BestBullySticks.com outlines the Dog Sport of intelligence and patience today on the Healthy Dog Blog.

What are Obedience Trials?
This dog sport asks dogs to complete a series of predetermined tasks from cues by a handler. However, according to the AKC the purpose behind Obedience Trials is to show dogs are not only purposeful to humans but can behave well in the home, in public and around other dogs.

Dogs and humans both need mental and physical stimulations, and Obedience Trials can give that. Intensive and thorough training is required for these trials and asks a dog to improve on and go beyond the standard “sit, stay, down, come” commands. The training process can be highly rewarding for handler and dog, providing a great hobby and closer bond for the human/dog team.

History
Obedience Trials have been around since the 1930s and are due to the credit of one woman, Helen Whitehouse Walker. Walker was the breeder of poodles who often had to fight the stereotype that poodles were only a pretty haircut. She wanted to prove the intelligence of these dogs, so she borrowed an idea from the English; competitive test used for Police, Army and Herding dogs.  After months of hard work, Walker held the first “test” in 1933 with 2 Labradors, 3 Poodles, 2 English Springer Spaniels and 1 German Shepherd. After the initial competition, interest in this sport gained momentum. She wrote this in the AKC’s newsletter:

Test classes could become popular-not only to prove the value of developing a dog’s brain, but also in interesting the average visiting public at a show.  The judging of dogs in the breed classes is a mystery to many, but a series of tests displaying the dog’s brain is something they can actually see. read more…

BBS Weekend Reader: October 6th & 7th Edition

Did you miss any of BestBullySticks.com BARK-tastic blogs this week?  If you did miss any of the Dog Athletics/Dog Rescuing/Pumpkin Eating/Old English Dog fun catch up before Monday with all of this week’s great BBS Blogs!

So snuggle up to your favorite pooch (or pooches) and read the BBS Healthy Dog Blog! Happy Weekend Reading! Click the links below to find out more about:

Dog Sports: Disc Dog • North Mississippi Great Dane Rescue • Gluten-Free Cheddar Pumpkin Treats • Breed Spotlight on the Old English Sheepdog

Also in your free time this weekend, check out our fun Pinterest Page! We’ve got TONS of great dog videos, adorable dog photos, funny dog photos, DIY dog project and more!

Best Bully Sticks Breed Spotlight: Old English Sheepdog

Old England: a green, luscious and pastoral place that reckons back to the family farms and quaint homesteads. The dog that fits into this scene is one that is old, English and friendly to boot. BestBullySticks.com spotlights the Old English Sheepdog, a dog with lots of fur and lots of happiness to share with his family.

History & Background: First simply called “The Shepherd’s Dog,” Old English Sheepdogs originated as working dogs in pastoral England. Most speculate this dog was developed from the Bearded Collie and Russian Owtchar.  Farmers quickly learned these dogs were highly intelligent and used the dogs as drovers and herders. Farmers began to dock these dog’s tails as a symbol the dogs were used for working purposes, which earned them a tax exemption. Just as the farmers would shear the sheep, the dogs were shorn as well and their coats make into warm blankets and clothing.

In the late 19th century, this dog was first shown in Birmingham, England and gained popularity throughout England shortly after. This dog has changed very little since then. Exported to the U.S. in the 1880s, the breed quickly became a household pet in 5 of the 10 wealthiest American families.  To this day, Old English Sheepdogs are commonly seen as family pets and in the show ring.

Height: Males: 22-24 inches; Females: 20-22 inches

Weight: Males: 65+ pounds; Females: 60+ pounds

Coat: An Old English Sheepdog has a lot of hair, which covers the whole body, but not so much hair as to make this dog look overly fluffy or even appear fat. The texture of the coat is shaggy and coarse, not straight or soft. The undercoat is waterproof but is sometimes removed in grooming or nonexistent during warmer seasons. The coat is also a good guard against cold, heat and moisture. The body of the OES is well coated including the skull. The ears have medium-length hair. In confirmation showings, only the feet and rear are trimmed, otherwise this breed is show in its natural state.  read more…

BBS Back To School Pop Quiz WINNERS!

We only had 2 contestants to make an “A” in our BestBullySticks Back To School Pop Quiz! Diane Stana (1st place winner!) and Brittany Lefebvre (2nd place winner!)

Diane will receive a $150 BBS Gift Certificate and Brittany will receive a $50 BBS Gift Certificate. Congratulations to these two good students! 

If you missed an answer, check your answers against our key. 

Questions & Answers

1. Name one of the two most recent winners of BBSs 1-Day Animal Rescue Giveaway. (It Takes A Village or North Mississippi Great Dane Rescue)

2. What year was our company started? (2007)

3. Who is BestBullySticks.com’s owner? (Avrum Elmakis)

4. What are the names of the pugs who were the inspiration for BestBullySticks.com? (Espy & Sushi)

5. When was BBS’s first blog published? (November 10, 2007)

6. BBS is on two new Social Media websites. Name one of them and how many followers we have. (approximately Pinterest 696 & Instagram 234)

7. Who was BBS last Newsletter Photo Contest Winner? (Misha)

8. What is the biggest bone Best Bully Sticks offers? (Monster Bone)

9. What is the Name of the newest Dog Toy brand at BestBullySticks.com? (Ruff Dawg)

10. What’s your favorite Best Bully Sticks product? (No Correct Answer, just let us know!)

Weekly Drool Recipe: Gluten Free Cheddar Pumpkin Treats

It’s pumpkin season! Pumpkin patches are springing up in towns all over. BestBullySticks.com knows if pumpkin hasn’t already made an appearance in your meals and desserts already, it will very soon. So don’t leave Fido out! Pumpkin is a great food to share with your pup and dogs love it! It’s chock full of tasty vitamins and nutrients both you and your dog can enjoy! And being gluten-free, these dog treats are extra healthy for your pooch! Whip up these gluten-free Cheddar Pumpkin Treats from Doggy Dessert Chef and get in the pumpkin spirit!

Ingredients
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 cup Oats
1/2 cup Soy Flour

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.

3. Spread by hand onto the prepared baking sheet 1/4 inch thick. Take a pizza cutter and score the dough horizontally and then vertically to make a grid.

4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned at the edges.

5. Cool and break into pieces then refrigerate.

Thanks, Doggy Dessert Chef

Be sure to check out all of Best Bully Sticks Weekly Drool Recipes to find a great homemade treat for your pooch! We’ve got lots of great Fall recipes coming up in the next couple weeks so stay tuned! 

Every Dog Has Its Day Charity Photo Contest

The sad truth is that not every dog will have its day. Not all dogs are lucky. But that’s where Animal Organizations come in. And BestBullySticks.com is here to help, too. We want to help make a difference in the lives of needy dogs. That’s why we’re donating 3 prizes totaling 2.5K to 3 lucky organizations that rehabilitate, care for and love on these special creatures. We hope to help make a difference in the lives of these animals because even the smallest difference means much to the animal that was saved. 

So, attention all Shelters, Rescues and Care Facilities! We want to help you with your efforts!

How It Works

1. Upload a photo of your organization’s “spokes-dog.” This dog should embody what your shelter is all about.

2. Add a brief description about your shelter and your featured dog.

3. Have your friends, family, fans and followers vote for your organization and the “spokes-dog.”

Please Read Rules & Regulations before participating! read more…

BBS Rescue Spotlight: North Mississippi Great Dane Rescue

Large hearts sometimes come in big packages. That’s what we at BestBullySticks.com know for a fact, especially in the case of North Mississippi Great Dane Rescue. We have the honor of highlighting this great rescue for the second time this year and we’re truly amazed at NMSGDR. They aren’t a big rescue. They don’t have endless resources. But just as the gentle giants they rescue, NMSGDR has big hearts and a willingness to love unconditionally. They get the job done. Here is their story. 

When & Why did you start?
While our official start is April of 2010, we began our operations in 2009 due to a need in the community for help saving Great Danes in need.  A couple of ladies who would become our future officers, Trista, spent 2009 helping out a few Dane families in need, fostering their Danes short term or fostering Danes found by the local shelter until they could be reunited with their families.  In early 2010, one of those ladies received a call regarding a puppymill raid in rural Tennessee, and many of the Danes were being housed across the Mississippi River in West Memphis, Arkansas.  Those same ladies stepped up to help without batting an eye, and it was at this time that they decided to commit to starting a rescue in the North Mississippi/Memphis area.  Since April of 2010, NMSGDR has been in official operation, growing every day in volunteers, friends, and happily ever after stories!

What’s different about your rescue?
We love the efforts of all rescues, particularly the Dane-specific ones, and respect our fellow rescues, as this is not an easy work or way of life.  We do pride ourselves on being special needs friendly, though!  We cannot turn down a white Dane no matter what space (or lack thereof) we have.  For those who may not know, Danes who are mostly white, are generally born blind, deaf, or both.  This is usually done through the breeding of Harlequin to Harlequin or Merle to Merle breeding, which could easily be avoided.  Many of these special needs babies find themselves in homes that do not understand them, as many of them are given away or sold at a cut rate, unfortunately, often not bringing the best families.  Many are beaten, neglected, or dumped prior to coming to rescue. We love love LOVE matching deaf Danes with amazing families and watching these once broken and misunderstood babies blossom and thrive.  Since our official inception in 2010, we have placed at least 7 Deaf Danes with amazing families!  That’s about 8% of all of our adoptions!    read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #183- Dog Sports: Disc Dog

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! What is that flying through the air!? Why, it’s a dog with a disc in its mouth! BestBullySticks.com continues in the great realm of Dog Sports this week with a look into Disc Dog!

What is Disc Dog?
A game of high intensity fetch with a flying disc. You throw. They catch. That’s the basic concept.  However, the details of this dog sport do get a bit more complicated. This sport is all about teamwork and training. But more on that later!

Why aren’t we saying “Frisbee?” The word “Frisbee” is actually a trademarked word for a specific brand of flying discs. In this Dog Sport the term “disc” is preferred.

History
The rise of Disc Dog goes hand-in-hand with the rise of flying discs in the early 1970s. However this sport was popularized after a very smart and gutsy college student jumped the fence at a nationally televised baseball game. Alex Stein, then 19, hopped over the outfield fence at a Los Angeles Dodger and Cincinnati Reds game in 1974. He and his dog, Ashley Whippet, immediately dazzled the crowd with their high intensity, fast-moving routine. Some of Ashley’s stunts included 9 foot leaps into the air!  After performing for eight minutes, Stein & Ashley were finally escorted off the field. But it was too late. His exploitation of the national audience paid off and Disc Dog was a new national phenomenon. Stein & Ashley preformed at many high profile venues and events after their publicity stunt including the White House and the Super Bowl.

Ashley Whippet is still a legend in the Disc Dog sport today. He is the standard by which all other competitive Disc Dog’s are measured. Today, at least four continents organize Disc Dog competitions to enjoy this great way to bond with their dogs!

Play
There are two basic types of play. Each is a one dog/one person competition. read more…

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