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BBS Product Spotlight: Keeping Cool in the Summer

Outdoor summer activities with pets are a great way to spend the warm summer days ahead. Unfortunately, summer comes with a few health concerns. Seasonal pet safety is hugely important to BestBullySticks so we’ve put together a short list of products to help your pup beat the heat.

Luckily for us, we can strip down to bathing suits to stay cool — but Fido is stuck with the fur! A dogs don’t sweat either, the only way they can cool off is by panting. Unfortunately for breeds with longer hair, painting isn’t quite enough to cool down during the dead of summer.

Hydration is key — but sometimes it’s hard to keep a fresh bowl of water on hand. Thanks to the Handi-Drink Portable Bottle/Bowl, fresh water is no longer out of reach for dogs. Designed to fold for storage and small enough to fit into a cooler, it’s an easy way to give your dog cold water on a hot summer day.

Besides keeping cool water on hand at all times, consider some summer apparel for your pet. TechKewl’s Phase Change Cooling Dog Coat can help cool your dog down on even the hottest of days. Simply place it in the freezer for 30 minutes before use and it’ll keep your pup chilled out for hours! If you’re lucky enough to own a dog who takes to water like a duck, the dangers of overheating can be minimized. Swimming not only gives dogs a great way to cool off, it’s loads of fun too! Just make sure you supervise your dog during pool-time.

Surprisingly enough, dogs can get sunburned too! Look for pet-safe sunscreen formulas and apply it to less furry areas like the nose, tips of the ears and belly. Sunscreen for pets isn’t terribly effective — the best way to prevent overheating or UV damage is to provide ample shade. read more…

BBS Breed Spotlight: Doberman Pinscher

Instantly recognizable by it’s proud stance and watchful gaze, the Doberman Pinscher is a remarkably intelligent and loyal breed. Often stereotyped as ferocious and aggressive, this even-tempered breed defies all expectations earning it’s place place as a favorite among owners today.

Originally bred for protection and commonly used in working roles, the Doberman has proved itself a loving and loyal family companion as well. Find out more about the Doberman Pinscher on this week’s BestBullySticks Breed Spotlight.

Origins

Hailing from the German town of Apolda, the first Doberman Pinschers were bred by Louis Dobermann in the late 19th century. First presented in a 1876 dog show, the Doberman hastily caught the attention of dog enthusiasts and earned American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition by 1908. Legend states Dobermann himself, a tax collector and manager of the local dog pound, sought protection from bandits and thieves during collections. Seeking a balance between strength, loyalty, intelligence and ferocity, Dobermann utilized his easy access to a wide variety of dogs to develop this new breed.

Produced by crossing existing stocks of the old shorthaired shepherd, German Pinschers, Rottweilers, and Beaucerons, Dobermann kept the best qualities of each breed producing an easily trainable guard dog ready and willing to please and protect at a moments notice.

Appearance

The unique appearance of the Doberman Pinscher makes it easily identifiable — notably cropped ears and a docked tail — and rarely confused with other breeds. There are only two specific color genes for the Doberman, black and red. However, a “dilution gene” sometimes comes into play adding blue and fawn colored coats to the mix. If this gene is carried, blue and fawn coats are produced from black and red coats respectively. Medium in size with a square muscular build, the Doberman stands between 24–28 in (61 – 71 cm) tall and weighs 66 – 88 lbs.

This renowned and unique appearance has undoubtedly helped popularize the breed. However, the Doberman’s proud stance and intimidating build has also contributed to misleading stereotypes about reckless aggression and unpredictability. Admittedly, the breed’s history has a lot to do with these these misconceptions — however, things couldn’t be further from the truth. read more…

Weekly Drool Recipe: Very Berry Doggy Granola Bars via 3M Bakery

BestBullySticks Weekly Drool Recipe is from Jude and the 3M’s (aka 3M Bakery). No, they’re not a singing group, but a health conscious doggy mom and her three pups, Mac, Maesie and Matilda. She shared an amazing wheat-free and gluten-free dog treat recipe with us and we of course wanted to share it with you. Chock-full of healthy ingredients, this great recipe is sure to become a new treat favorite in your house. Jude also gives these great explanations of the great ingredients in her treats!

Coconut contains No Trans-Fats, is Gluten-Free, Non-Toxic, Hypoallergenic, and also contains Antibacterial, Antiviral, Antifungal, and Anti-parasitic healing properties.

Cranberries contain a unique array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients and research is continuing into what appears to be excellent anti-cancer properties. They are well known in protecting against Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) in your pet.

Cherries provide beneficial properties for a range of inflammatory-related conditions in your pet. A recent study by University of Michigan researchers revealed a cherry-enriched diet reduced inflammation markers in animals by up to 50 per cent.

Pumpkin seeds are known to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis without the side effects of using anti-inflammatory drugs. They are also a natural treatment for tapeworms and other parasites.

Sunflower seeds are incredibly rich sources of many essential minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper. Many of these minerals have a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.

Sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.

Maple syrup is an antioxidant powerhouse. Researchers at the University of Rhode Island found that maple syrup is filled with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that may help prevent several chronic and inflammatory diseases like diabetes and cancer. It settles digestion issues and helps with muscle recovery as it is an excellent source of manganese, which helps repair muscle and cell damage; it also keeps bones strong and blood sugar levels normal. read more…

BBS Rescue Spotlight: Second Chance Wildlife Rescue

When Nick Guginsky contacted BestBullySticks about supporting his local shelter, we told him we would place his favored organization, Second Chance Wildlife Rescue, in our 1-Day Animal Rescue/Shelter Giveaway pool. Every time these contests were held Nick tirelessly emailed us to ensure Second Chance was included. We knew he was dedicated, but little did we know Nick was a 14-year-old who loyally supported Second Chance every moment he could.

BestBullySticks had the honor to donate to Second Chance recently and in speaking with Michelle Mulnard Curtin, she told us more about Nick. Nick has his own Second Chance dog named Popi who he loves immensely.

He is such a terrific kid.  He is so dedicated to the animals.  Not just ours, animals in general.  He loves to help in anyway he can.  His family adopted a senior Chihuahua mix from one of our large-scale rescues and he loves his Popi!  He is always thinking of ways to raise money, advocate for the rescue, get blankets and towels etc. He is an amazing young man.  He loves to enter contests and win or lose he has such a great time.  He has won product for other rescues he has won paintings for his kid sister, he has won things for our rescue on a few occasions.  Some of which he has asked us to share with other people and other rescues. Of course we are happy to share as long as it helps the animals.  How can I say no? Nick is always doing good for the animals, we want him to continue. If spreading the wealth is what he wants, he has earned the right to make that request in deed!

Michelle also told us more about Second Chance: read more…

BBS Celebrates: Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!

BestBullySticks hopes you’re making the most out of this history-rich and important holiday. Originally celebrated to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the American Civil War, this holiday has grown to honor the men and women who’ve died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Memorial Day celebrations usually consist of visiting cemeteries and memorials of fallen soldiers. Often, these memorial services are followed by a potluck style meal or cookout. The common practice among many Americans to have a potluck-style dinner or cookout originated from a pre-Civil War tradition to have a “dinner on the ground” as part of a religious service.

People all over the country have family members proudly serving in our military. And while these fine folks have earned great respect for their duties, there are some heroes who often get overlooked — dogs!

Military Dogs

Dogs have played pivotal roles in the military dating as far back as 600 BCE. Trainable, loyal and fearless, many breeds were well suited for military service. While there are few breeds entirely excluded from becoming a service animal, there is an explicit preference for certain breeds. German and Dutch Shepherds are the most common because of their high intelligence, dependability and trainability.

Officially called Military Working Dogs (MWD) or K-9, service dogs fill a huge variety of roles and bravely stick by the sides of their handlers. Ancient military dogs were even seen in the front lines of battle, often covered in armor and charging the front lines in an attempt to break enemy ranks! However, the role of the MWD has changed as militaries have evolved. Now, militaries now use dogs as scouts and sentries because of their comparatively heightened smell, hearing and sight. read more…

BBS Product Spotlight: Salmon Paws Treats

This week BestBullySticks is offering up something a bit different! There aren’t too many treats out there made from seafood, however our friends at Salmon Paws have come up with some tasty, healthy and nutritionally rich treats — they’re even Made in the USA!

Salmon Paws uses only human-grade, wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Farm raised fish lack the nutritionally rich properties of wild caught fish. High in protein, low in fat and all natural, people have increased their consumption of salmon in recent years because of its rich omega-3 fatty acid content.

With offerings like Omega Stix with Organic Wheatgrass and Salmon Jerky with Organic Broccoli, the entire line Salmon Paws products make a great alternative to meat and animal by-product based treats.

There is even strong evidence suggesting omega-3 can not only boost heart health and lower cholesterol, but also decrease the risk of cancer and reduce free-radicals in the body. And with fatty fish being only place you can find both DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, Salmon Paws products are the perfect way to pass on the amazing health benefits of salmon to your pets. They’re great for cats, too!

Salmon Paws treats are handmade and produced in a FDA approved facility. Slow cooked at low temperatures to seal in nutrients, there’s nothing fishy about these treats!

You can browse Salmon Paws’ entire line as well as other great products on BestBullySticks.com

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

 

BBS Training Tip #4: Training Methods Part 2

Last week BestBullySticks tipped off our discussion on dog training with the first installment of our Training Methods blog series. In today’s followup post to Training Methods Part 1, we’re delving into specific training methods.

Origins of Modern Dog Training

Modern dog training developed dramatically during the 20th century. Most notably, advances in psychology furthered dog training and led to the creation of new training methods. BestBullySticks recently talked about this fascinating evolution in our post on The History of Dog Training.

In recent years, older training methods have been labeled overly aggressive or unnecessarily physical. In some instances this may be the case— BestBullySticks encourages all dog owners to use their discretion in the matter. Just be sure to avoid any training methods that are outright abusive. There are many factors to consider when training your dog — refer to our post on How Dogs Learn to gain some more insight into what your pup has on his mind!

Corrective Training

A training system that would fall into this category is the Koehler Method. The cornerstone of the Koehler Method is to let dogs make their own mistakes. In doing so, it gives the owner the opportunity to provide consequences for both desirable and undesirable behaviors. The punishments of the Koehler Method are generally more physical, sometimes advocating “alpha rolling,” where a dog is pinned on his back to assert dominance.

It should be noted, this “alpha rolling” technique, while still used today —and even by big name trainers— the “natural” action it is supposed to mimic is an action where submission is actually given, not forced.

Dominance-based training methods like the Koehler Method rely on the theory that dogs are in fact wolves and there are hierarchies in their pack with an alpha-figure at the top. However, the Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) has argued against this idea of aggressive-submissive positions. Additionally, attempting to physically exert dominance could cause your pet to lash out. read more…

If It Weren’t For Fido Essay Contest

How did your dog change your life? It’s not a simple question, and there isn’t a simple answer, but Best Bully Sticks knows you have poignant and weighty words to say about your special four-legged family member. BBS is asking you to tell a story about how your dog altered your thinking about life or even how you live.

By sharing your story in Best Bully Sticks If It Weren’t For Fido Essay Contest, you could:
-Have your essay published on the BBS Blog
-Win Free Bully Sticks For A Year or other great BBS Prizes
-Have BBS donate to the Animal Rescue/Shelter of your choice

To Enter:

1. Like Best Bully Sticks on Facebook.

2. Submit a typed, 1,000 word max submission to the Offerpop App.

3. Submission must be creative non-fiction and address the prompt “If It Weren’t For Fido”

4. Submissions will be up for voting by others. The 3 most voted on Essays will receive BBS Gift Cards valued at $100, $50 & $25. BestBullySticks will also reward one essay with the Grand Prize of Free Bully Sticks for a Year. This prize will be determined by a panel of BBS Judges. Grand Prize also includes a donation to the Animal Organization of the winner’s choice. All winning essays will appear on the BestBullySticks Healthy Dog Blog.

Quick Rules & Regulations:

  • Must be a fan of Best Bully Sticks to enter or vote
  • One submission per rescue
  • Entires must be turned in by 5pm est, May 17th, 2013
  • Entries must address the topic outlined.
  • No Voting Exchange Votes
  • No Votes from Duplicate, International, Children or Pet Facebook Profiles
  • BestBullySticks does use an application that requires “granting access.” We do this to monitor any cheating or foul play during the contest.
  • It is up to each person to remind those voting for them about these rules and regulations. We do not wish to dock a for an entry because someone voting for them isn’t playing by the rules.

How To Stand Out In A Crowd: Essay Writing Tips

Stick to the theme of the contest. You may have an amazing essay in the bottom drawer of your desk, but if it doesn’t cover the contest theme, it’s not going to win.

Don’t feel the need to parrot back the exact wording of the contest theme in your essay. For example, if the theme is “What was the most important day in your life?” try not to begin the piece with “The most important day of my life was…”

Check your spelling and grammar. It may sound silly, but PLEASE read your entry multiple times before you submit it. As many as one in five entries has multiple misspellings.

Avoid clichés.

Try writing on a less-expected subject. What makes your story different? Give us a unique angle. 

Enter here: http://bit.ly/107B62B

BBS Rescue Spotlight: Big Fluffy Dog Rescue

All dogs need a helping hand; whether it’s as a small puppy in a new home or as a rescue dog in need of medical treatment or socialization. When we look at the heart wrenching videos and photos on the web, many times we see small creatures that are weak and helpless, but one rescue shows that big dogs need love, too. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue’s mission is pretty self-explanatory—help big, fluffy dogs in need. Find out more about this Nashville-based rescue in the BestBullySticks Rescue Spotlight!

When & Why did you start?

Big Fluffy Dog Rescue is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping giant breed mixed breed dogs in need. We value dogs of all breeds, but we specialize in what the name says: big, fluffy dogs. We have volunteers in several states in the South and New England who work to help homeless big fluffy dogs find a home to call their own. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue works to save Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernards, Newfoundlands and their mixes from euthanasia.

Our dogs come in to rescue for many different reasons. Many were abandoned at high kill shelters in the South, some were turned in by owners who could not properly care for them, and still others are failed livestock guardian dogs. Regardless of their origins, our goal for every dog we have is the same: a safe, happy home where each dog is a well-loved member of the family. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue has its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. We have volunteers in several states in the South and across New England.

What’s different about your rescue?

Big Fluffy Dog Rescue has a “No Dog Left Behind” Policy. That means if we take a big fluffy from a kennel at the shelter, we take any dog that is in there with him or her. We always take Momma’s with their babies. No Dog Left Behind! read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #214: Caring for Senior Dogs

As we near the end of “Be Kind to Animals Month,” we at BestBullySticks thought we should set aside some time for a very special group of dogs — seniors. For aging canines, there are special considerations that need to be kept in mind. Keeping a keen eye on behavior and general health in addition to some fine tuning in diet is all that’s needed to maintain healthy living into the senior years. Old age comes at different times for different breeds, though. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to not only identify aging, but also how to properly care for your dog as a senior.

Expectations

Knowing what to look out for is half the battle. If you’re able to spot signs of health complications early, there’s a good chance the damage can be minimized. Here are some common health issues to watch out for:

Graying: Of course, there’s nothing dangerous about going gray, but it is a good indicator of middle-age and early seniority. It should be noted, some dogs go gray early despite still being quite young.

Vision & Hearing: Inevitably, vision and hearing deteriorate with old age. For vision, some signs to watch out for are increased clumsiness and cloudy eyes. Cloudy eyes, which are often harmless and a normal process of aging, are the product of lenticular sclerosis. This is sometimes confused with cataracts — a clouding of the lens inside the eye — which is very detrimental to sight. If a clouding of the eyes occurs, make sure you promptly pay a visit to the vet. read more…

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