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BBS Training Tip #7: Finding and Choosing an Obedience Trainer

Obedience classes offer dogs a way to learn basic tricks while picking up important social skills along the way. BestBullySticks suggests starting obedience classes while your dog is still a puppy. In fact, training should begin as soon as your dog shows interest in receiving treats. Of course, old dogs are welcome too! It’s never too late to learn new tricks or reshape undesirable behaviors. Before you try and get your dog to jump through hoops, there are a few factors to consider before choosing an obedience class.

Finding Your Trainer

The best way to find a reputable trainer is to get a referral from someone you know. This could be a friend who’s a dog owner, family members, your veterinarian or even a neighbor. While it’s great to get a personal referral from a trusted source, it isn’t always possible. In case you can’t find a recommendation for obedience classes in your area, consider searching online or contacting your local SPCA. Many SPCAs even hold obedience classes of their own.

Quality of instruction is a very important factor to consider when choosing your obedience class. If possible, try and locate a certified trainer. Certified trainers and animal behaviorists are more thorough in their training. read more…

Weekly Drool Recipe: Turkey Woof Balls via Sweet Paul Mag

Give your dog a barking good treat! This great dog treat recipe from Sweet Paul Mag is a take on traditional Swedish meatballs made specifically for your pooch! Made with lean turkey, brown rice and vitamin-packed broccoli, your dog is sure to love this flavorful treat! Plus, these treats are really simple to make! 

Ingredients
(Makes 10-20All depends on how big you make them)

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup cooked broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped oregano
  • butter

Directions 

1.Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. 

2.Roll into large meatballs, there should be enough for between 10-20. All depends on the size of your dog. 

3. Fry them in a pan with butter on medium heat until done.

Bone Appétit & Enjoy! 

To find the perfect pooch snack browse all of our healthy dog treat recipes in our Weekly Drool Recipe category. Or, go with a tried and true favorite like a bully stick!

(Recipe courtesy of  Sweet Paul Mag & Photo courtesy of Colin Cooke.)

BBS Rescue Spotlight: Bella-Reed Pit Bull Rescue

It’s impossible to deny animal rescues are doing a great service to homeless and hurting dogs around the country. BestBullySticks is grateful for all their work. Bella-Reed Pit Bull Rescue out of Southampton, PA is a great shelter helping pittie pups in their area, making a difference for this stereotyped breed. Their accomplishments shouldn’t be overlooked. However, in their minds, as long as a dog is saved at the end of the day, whether by them or another organization, it’s been a great day. Read more about this humble Pennsylvania dog rescue in BestBullySticks Rescue Spotlight on Bella-Reed Pit Bull Rescue.

When & Why did you start?

We started February 21, 2012 as an educational/advocacy group on Facebook. At that time we were Bella-Reed Pit Bull NETWORK. We then decided we wanted (needed) to do more for this amazing breed and turned it into a rescue on January 26 of this year. We have only been up and running as a nonprofit rescue for a little over 4 months and have adopted out 11 of our dogs to AMAZING homes!

BRPBR president Melissa Mariner adopted her first pit bull back in ’05 (McCready, AKA Reed, one of the mascots of the rescue). He has changed many minds to this day and Melissa had become aware of what a bad rap pit bulls get and decided to form the network back in 2012. Her lifelong dream was to have a rescue, and with the most amazing board directors and volunteers, BRPBR was formed. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #218: Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool This Summer

Summer is now in full swing! It’s prime time for cookouts, trips to the beach and loads of other great outdoor activities. Including your dog in outdoor activities is great exercise. But when the summer heat hits, it’s crucial to take extra precautions to keep your dog safe. So in the name of summer safety, BestBullySticks has thrown together this quick and easy guide focused on key areas of concern all owners should keep an eye on.

Heat Stroke

Getting dehydrated during the hottest months of the year isn’t too much of a challenge. This is especially true if you’re spending a lot of time outside. And while minor dehydration only causes minimal discomfort and the occasional headache, it’s still a very dangerous and slippery slope. Minor dehydration leads to more serious issues like heat stroke. It’s much harder for dogs to cool off than people so keep a close eye on your dog this summer and get familiar with the early signs of heat stroke:

  • Heavy or excessive panting and breathing

  • Vomiting

  • Exhaustion

If you think your dog is showing symptoms of heat stroke try and cool the dog down by bathing him/her in cool water. Get your dog to drink room temperature water (ice cold water can shock the stomach) and apply rubbing alcohol to their paw pads. When in doubt, seek veterinary attention right away. It’s always best to play it safe! read more…

I Know This Dog by Christine Kozanda

Today, BestBullySticks is proud to share with you our 1st Place winning “If It Weren’t For Fido” essay.  When we read Christine Kozanda’s story around our offices, we were all brought to tears when reading about the long suffering friendship of dogs and how rewarding those friendships can be. We know you’ll enjoy reading Christine’s story. 

••••••••••••••

I answered my phone one afternoon to an unknown caller (which I never do) in April of 1999 to hear the voice of a friend start off the conversation with “I know this dog”. She went on to tell me about a sable colored female German shepherd that was in dire need of a home. In her 5 short months on this planet she had already had 3 homes and it seemed no one was willing to give her chance. I’ve had GSDs all my life but have never been a fan of the sable color nor ever wanted a female. But to appease my friend I said I would come out to the boarding kennel she was being kept at and check her out.

After my hour long drive I arrived and already had it in my head that I was not interested and not leaving with this dog. My home was dog free at the time and I was busy with a 1000 other things I had going. That all went out the window when Cara came walking out of her kennel carrying her ball, plopped it in my lap and proceeded to assault my face with kisses.

On my way home I called my husband and told him congratulations you’re a father, start dog proofing the house. In the following weeks that we had her home the quirks started to come out. My alleged sweet dog was a fear biter, a growler, territorial, hyper and any other thing you could think of. To top things off she was also not your standard size female GSD. Someone forgot to tell her to stop growing and she was 3+ inches over standard for the breed so not only did I have an ornery dog I had one the size of a small pony.

••••••••••••••

One afternoon while getting ready for a walk I reached up with her leash in hand to adjust my hat. She dove for the floor yelping in fear; someone had hurt this poor animal with a leash. At that moment I decided that no matter what happened this was going to be her 4th and final home, I was going to fix this. It took years of training, behavioral specialists, medication and good old fashioned patience before this hell on paws and I finally reached an understanding with one another but it was well worth it.
 

She became my partner in agility, even though I could never keep up. She shared my pillow at night even though I never got to have much of the bed. Most of all she became my best friend. I always said that crazy dog would outlive us all and I would come to regret my choice of words.

In 2010 at the age of 11 I took my furry friend to the vet because she was starting to dribble a little urine and I assumed it was just a weak bladder, which is common in older females. The vet called me in the back room to show me her X-ray and as a nurse I know what cancer that has spread looks like. My poor girl was diagnosed with a splenic hemangiosarcoma that has also spread into her lungs. He told me she had no more than 30 days to survive and I should enjoy what time I had left with her and to call when I thought it was time. What a decision to have put in my lap that I had to be judge jury and executioner to my friend. Two weeks to the day of our vet visit Cara spent the day in the yard running with her brothers (Yes, my dog free home had turned into a zoo once again as the years went on) and enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner for a treat.

At 2am that morning, which was Mother’s Day, Cara climbed on my lap to lay her head and quietly passed away. She had spared me the task of having to make the tough decision of when it was her time. I think this was her way of saying thank you to me for never giving up on her. I will always cherish the time I had with her and will never regret my decision to keep her. If it weren’t for Cara I would never have learned the massive rewards that being patient can bring. I am proud to say “I know this dog”.

Congratulations to Christine on winning our “If It Weren’t For Fido” Essay Contest! Stay tuned for the next two weeks to read our 2nd & 3rd place winner’s essays! 

BBS Product Spotlight: Smiling Dog Rabbit & Duck Treats

BestBullySticks is now offering great treats from our friends over at Smiling Dog. Their Rabbit & Duck Freeze-Dried Dog Treats are made from simple high-quality ingredients. Designed with maximum nutrition in mind, these great treats are free of nasty artificial additives, grain-based fillers or artificial preservatives.

In fact, dog treats don’t get any simpler than this. Made with only four all-natural ingredients (freeze-dried rabbit, duck, broccoli and cranberry) these treats offer up some great nutritional benefits. Both rabbit and duck lend ample amounts of protein while broccoli and cranberries give your dog a healthy source of fiber and powerful anti-oxidants.

Meat-based treats with added fruits and vegetables are the most nutritionally balanced dog treats around. Canine diets require higher amounts of protein and fewer carbohydrates. And that’s precisely why Smiling Dog has formulated treats dense with protein and vegetables while staying light on carbohydrates by leaving out starches altogether! Specifically designed to be closer to a dog’s natural scavenger-carnivore diet.

Made in the USA with domestically sourced ingredients, Smiling Dog treats are second to none providing a safe source of nutrition and flavor in a variety of flavors. Check out Smiling Dog’s full line of all-natural treats made in the USA.

Don’t forget to follow BestBullySticks on FacebookTwitter to catch the latest news, product giveaways and specials!

BBS Breed Spotlight: Bull Terrier

Known for their uniquely shaped head and small triangular eyes, the Bull Terrier holds a very unique place in the world of dogs. With a proud and almost intimidating stance, many people mistake this happy dog’s protective demeanor as an overtly aggressive attitude. Despite appearances, the Bull Terrier is a tremendously playful and people-oriented breed well suited for family life.

A breed which defies all expectations, BestBullySticks is excited to put the Bull Terrier in this week’s Breed Spotlight!

Origins

The product of Bulldogs and a mix of terrier breeds, the unfortunate circumstances for this dog’s rise has luckily been left behind. During a time when dog fighting was far less frowned upon by Western societies, breeds like the Bull Terrier were high demand. By the 1830s, the “sport” of dog fighting in England was centered around two breeds — the bulldog and the terrier. The unsavory practitioners of dog fighting mixed these breeds in an attempt to create a tougher and more agile dog.

However, as luck would have it the Bull Terrier wasn’t the champion fighter they were looking for. Instead, this breed found its fate in the hands of an English breeder by the name of James Hinks.

By 1860, the breed — with its all white coat — became known as the “White Cavalier” whose demand became strictly fashion over function. Hinks’ involvement with the breed was instrumental to creating the family oriented dog we know today.

The Bull Terrier would become a trendy fashion symbol for the wealthy and encouraged Hinks to introduce more variety into the breed’s coat by crossing them with brindle Staffordshires. Sure enough, popularity soared and by 1885, the Bull Terrier had hopped the pond and made its way into the American Kennel Club!

While the physical appearance of this breed hasn’t changed much over the years, the aggressive attitudes have been completely bred out of the Bull Terrier. Even still, competitive at heart and scrappy by nature, the breed still retains its rough and tumble personality. read more…

Weekly Drool Recipe: Grain & Gluten-Free Tomato & Spinach Dog Treats via DoggyDessertChef

There is nothing tastier than garden fresh veggies! Give your dog this same taste with today’s BestBullySticks Weekly Drool Recipe from DoggyDessertChef, Grain & Gluten-Free Tomato & Spinach Dog Treats! Tomato (just the red parts!) and spinach both give your dog lots of great vitamins and minerals like Vitamins A, B, C, K and lots of great fiber, beta carotene and lycopene! Because these treats are gluten and grain-free, you can feel 100% guilt-free in treating your dog to this scrumptious snack!

Ingredients

  • 1 (6 ounce can) Tomato Paste (Make sure that the only ingredient in your tomato paste is tomatoes. A lot of brands add garlic and other spices for taste so make sure to avoid those.)
  • 1 cup frozen Spinach, thawed
  • pinch Parsley
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheese
  • 1 cup Potato Flour

 Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients one at a time, kneading well after each addition.

3. Knead dough into several balls and roll onto a floured surface 1/2 inch thick. Dough is very thick and a little difficult to roll.

4. Cut with the cookie cutter of your choice.

5. Place on your prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate.

Makes 2 to 3 dozen rounds.

Recipe Note: These dog treats are meant for occasional snacking. The fruit (only the red part) of tomatoes is perfectly safe for dogs, but avoid feeding any green portion of a tomato plant as it is toxic to dogs. Dogs with sensitive stomachs may be more affected by tomatoes, so feed sparingly.

Bone Appétit & Enjoy!

Thank you once again to Tenille at DoggyDessertChef for sharing another great dog treat recipe!

To find the perfect pooch snack browse all of our healthy dog treat recipes in our Weekly Drool Recipe category. Or, go with a tried and true favorite like a bully stick!

Dog Care 101 #217: Top 5 Dog-Friendly People Foods

 

BestBullySticks is committed to providing our customers’ dogs with healthy, nutritious chews and treats. However, our interest in providing all-natural, healthy dog treats extends beyond the occasional snack and all the way to food! Maintaining a healthy diet is the biggest factor in maintaining long term health, staving off disease and enhancing general well-being.

Many store bought dog foods are nutritionally poor and contain scarce amounts of beneficial nutrients. Others are healthy and do provide complete nutrition. Either way, there’s always room to supplement. As the saying goes, you are what you eat!

All Food Isn’t Created Equal

Many pet owners get up in arms if you tell them you feed your dog food from the table. But the fact of the matter is many of the healthy whole foods we eat for dinner, are pretty good for Fido too! Of course, there are some exceptions. But on the whole, we’ve got a lot in common with our canine companions when it comes to food. For today’s post we’ve selected five dog-friendly people foods — great for both people and dogs — that stand out among the rest.

5 Super Foods for Dogs

1. Fish – Oily fish like salmon, trout and tuna pack the highest nutritional punch for your dog. These fatty fish have higher levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids — two nutrients proven to reduce the risk of heart related illnesses. Additionally, fish is a rich source of healthy low-calorie protein and it’s also easy to digest! Making fish part of your dog’s diet twice a week is a great way to offer them some long term health benefits. read more…

My Only Friends by Sarah Payne

If It Weren’t For Fido Essay Contest Grand Prize Winner

Today, BestBullySticks is proud to share with you our Grand Prize winning “If It Weren’t For Fido” essay.  When we read Sarah Payne’s story around our offices, we were all reminded of the ways dogs truly transform our lives. We know you’ll enjoy reading Sarah’s story. 

••••••••••••••••

Some folks just seem to know how to be humans. I think I was standing behind the door when that was being handed out. I miss a lot of the cues of what people mean beyond what they say and it makes it difficult to find friends. That’s a lonely way to live. I’ve been lucky, I met a man that some how gets me but that doesn’t help me to understand things better. Even as a child, my only friends were animals in general and dogs in particular. I remember many family get togethers where I ended up alone in a corner or basement with my aunt’s dogs. It sounds lonely but I fit better with them.

As an adult, my husband and I have always had dogs. We have rescued any critter needing a home from three legged hamsters to crazy cats to abused bulldogs. We’ve never had a home without a dog. It makes me feel more at ease and I love the larger breeds. When I come home to a wagging tail it some how makes the day in the human world easier. I might be awkward out there but home with a dog snuggled beside me it feels okay that I’ve always had trouble connecting to people.

We had planned to have children. That’s what people do. We grow up, fall in love, get married, have kids, look forward to grandkids. I think a part of me has always hoped that if I had a child that I’d some how find I could understand people better. That maybe, somehow, by watching my child grow up and learn how to navigate the big, wide, world I’d learn too. I could see my husband, my kids and the dogs playing in the yard and it seemed like a good dream. read more…

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