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Lessons Learned: How to Have Happy Holidays with the Hound

shutterstock_113454991This week’s post is by our guest writer and dog trainer, Deborah Rosen of Good CitiZEN Dog Training, whose franchises span from coast in coast in WA State, Denver, and Florida.

 Every year Deborah shares her list of helpful tips for the holidays, also known as “how to stay out of the emergency Vet Clinic” with your favorite canine companion! Make sure your holidays stay positive and mishap free, this year and every year!

 Tip #1 – Stow presents until Christmas morn!
Young dogs have energy to burn and enjoy exploring novel things. So, DO NOT put holiday presents under the tree until it’s time to open them. We love to display presents, but keeping them hidden beats the disappointment of a present destroyed before it’s been opened. And it’s certainly better than making a trip to the emergency vet to surgically remove whatever was ingested. No harm, no foul!

shutterstock_154188704Tip #2 – It’s All About the Food, Bout the Food, No Begging!
We know feeding the dog from the table will encourage begging. And, there’s nothing worse than a dog begging at the holiday table. And an occasional bit of turkey or holiday fare should be no big deal. But, if you multiply that bit by the number of people likely to be present you’ve got a serious problem. Of course, no one will admit to slipping the dog just a little tidbit. The only one who knows is the poor puppy with her belly stuffed with rich foods she’s not accustomed to eating. End result? You’re up with a sick dog and your merry holiday is now a wretched one involving you cleaning the carpet in the middle of the night. Good times!

I suggest the following with just a tad bit of mocking. Hang a sign above the dining table that says, “Human Food is for Humans Only!” When queried about this tell your guests that if the dog gets sick in the night, each person at the table will receive an immediate phone call to come help with the cleanup. Problem solved – on with the merriment!

shutterstock_124417567Tip #3 – Exercise and a little training!
Whether it’s raining, snowing, cold, or sunny and warm, exercise the dogs before your guests arrive. A dog that has not been attended to will be much more difficult to handle when your guests arrive. Dogs that jump up on guests will jump more if not given any exercise.

Better yet, do some advanced training leading up to your holiday event. Have someone ring the doorbell and insist that the dog “sit” at the front door before opening it. If the dog does this fairly quickly, deliver a treat along with a verbal praise. If necessary, put a leash on the dog and step on that to prevent the dog from jumping. Practice this every day for a week leading up to your event and, along with a good long walk, you’ll have a better chance of guests arriving without incident.

Tip #4 – Keep the licks and kisses coming up roses!
Are you a household with a variety of pets – perhaps cats? If so, the holidays are a busy time and the pets are often neglected while cookies are baked and presents are wrapped. Remember, if you do not attend to the kitty litter, the dog will! Whether the dog is hungry or well fed, cat poop (known in the dog training world as “kitty rocha”) will attract many dogs and your guests may be the unfortunate recipients of a kiss delivered shortly after feasting on kitty rocha. Eck! Do everyone a favor and put “clean the litter box” on the “to do” list for the day the guests arrive.

Tip#5 – Tidy Fido will make guests happy!
Store a dog towel by the doors where the dogs go in and out. When your guests arrive in their holiday finery, nothing will make you feel worse than having muddy paw prints all over your guests’ new clothes. People are good-natured, but why put a damper on the holiday by “muddying” things up? Attend to your dog’s comings and goings and wipe their paws when they come inside, especially when you live in wet areas like in the Northwest.

shutterstock_107786723Tip #6 – More About the Food, Bout the Food, No Trouble!
By now everyone knows that certain foods will make dogs sick. Chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, and garlic are some of the common foods that most people know will make dogs unwell.

Here are some others that are more obscure, but very dangerous, if consumed by dogs. Macadamia nuts and nuts, in general, may be toxic. Raw bread dough is another food that can make dogs very sick. According to the ASPCA’s website, “the warm, moist environment of the stomach provides an ideal environment for the yeast to multiply, resulting in an expanding mass of dough in the stomach.” The stomach may become so distended it becomes difficult for the dog to breathe. Keep bread dough that is rising in a safe place where the dog cannot reach it.

Christmas labsWhile you are preparing your holiday foods, it’s best to give dogs something to do. A frozen marrowbone or a bully stick or a stuffed toy is something that will keep most dogs occupied and happy and not looking for things that might make them ill.

 

In general, the holidays are a time when family is home, people are happy and the family dog is enjoying attention from everyone. By taking a few precautions and making time for a bit of extra training, the holidays can stay happy and healthy for everyone!

Feliz Navi-Dog!

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

Weekly Drool Recipe: Halloween Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Corgi halloween treats 

 

Let your dog join the festivities with these Halloween Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats! Pumpkin is a low-calorie, all-natural source of antioxidants, beta-carotene, key vitamins, and fiber, and  peanut butter provides essential proteins, antioxidants, and healthy fats!

 

What a great surprise for a Spooktacular Halloween treat!

 

A BIG thank you to Erin of Eating my Feelings for sharing this delicious recipe!

 

Ingredients:

– One 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree

– 2 eggs

– 1/2 cup oats (optional if your dog is on a grain free diet)

– 3 cups whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, or gluten free flour

– 3 Tbsp of all-natural peanut butter

– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pumpkin stuff

 

Directions:

For exact instructions on making these crazy-delish treats, please visit Eating my Feelings.

To see other nutritious and lip-smacking treats,  hop over to our Weekly Drool Recipes!

Bone Appetit! Bone Appétit!

9 Ways to Celebrate Fall with your Dog

The air has turned chillier, and leaves are turning color and starting to fall. Autumn is a wonderful season to enjoy time outdoors with your dog! Whether it’s going on a long walk in the park or a game of fetch in the backyard, your dog deserves some quality time in what many argue to be their favorite season.

Best Bully Sticks has put together a list of 9 Fall Fun Ideas below for you and your dog. We hope that you get to do one or all of these before winter weather sets in! (Click on the image to enlarge)

Halloween News: We have a special page just for Halloween! Check out Best Bully Sticks Halloween Sales leading up to October 31 for Spooktacular Savings on dog chews and other cold weather necessities.

FallDogChecklist-web

Click to enlarge!

Weekly Drool Recipe: Cheesy Hamburger Happiness

Cheeseburger Hamburger Happiness Dog Treat

Allow your four-legged best friends to finally enjoy the family barbecue, too, with Cheesy Hamburger Happiness treats from the Dog Treat Kitchen! Served whole for a large dog or cut up into smaller pieces for training, these hamburgers are sure to get your dog’s undivided attention!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup lean ground beef – about 1/3 lb.
  • 2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 Cup water
  • 1 6 Ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Directions:

For step-by-step instructions to make these delicious hamburgers, please visit the Dog Treat Kitchen.

To see other wholesome dog treats, eats, and chews, jump over to see more of our Healthy Dog Blog! With only your pooch’s best interests in mind, we know both you and your pup won’t be disappointed!

Bone Appetit!Bone Appétit!

Weekly Drool Recipe: Carrot Banana Dog Treats

Carrot BananaMade with only four healthy ingredients, these super-tasty, human-grade dog treats are ideal for spoiling your pooch while maintaining a healthy diet. And thanks to their bite-sized drool-worthiness, these treats are also perfect for training! Yum!

Thank you Doggy Dessert Chef for sharing this spectacular recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 Cup shredded Carrot
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Brown Rice Flour

Directions:
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Weekly Drool Recipe: No-Flea Dog Biscuits

no-flea-dog-biscuits-43-digThis week’s drool-worthy dog biscuit recipe by Judith at The Midnight Baker features a tasty treat made from brewer’s yeast to repel fleas! Brewer’s yeast is not only palatable to dogs, it promotes a shiny coat and is quite healthy, too. Your pooch will love these wholesome treats, and you’ll love knowing that fleas will be kept at bay!

Thank you, Judy, for sharing this fantastic recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup powdered brewers yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or any flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

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Product Spotlight: Think! Dog Louisiana Dog Treats

dog on dock

Picture slowly drifting along the water in a Louisiana bayou. It’s both relaxing and exhilarating.

Now think of the fresh shrimp, crawfish, and gator found in those waters. Well, we’ll leave that to the fishermen!

Your dog can experience the taste of freshly-caught Louisiana fish with 6 varieties of Think! Dog Treats.
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Crunchy Meaty Bites Dog Treats

crunchymeatybites Crunchy Meaty Bite dog treats by Zippy the Whippet are delicious DIY dog treats made with three ingredients! They provide your dog with a much-needed protein boost and a tasty treat all in one! They are very easy-to-make, and we are positive your dog will love them!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rice flour
  • 1 cup of cooked meat (we used steak and chicken)
  • 1 egg

Directions:
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Weekly Drool Recipe: Peanut Butter + Jam Freezies Dog Treats

Jam FreeziesSummer is getting pretty HOT! Let your dog cool off with these refreshing Peanut Butter + Jam Freezies Dog Treats from Laura Benn of Pawsh Magazine & Studio! They are a longer-lasting treat that will provide your pup with tons of tasty entertainment.  Peanut Butter + Jam Freezies are easy to make and will keep your pooch hydrated while providing healthy proteins!

Ingredients: 

  • About 12 medium to large strawberries (organic is preferable)
  • 3-4 spoonfuls of all-natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of cold water

Directions:
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Dog Care 101: Caring for a Sick and Dehydrated Dog

Got Water? Water is essential to humans and pets for a healthy & happy life. When dogs becomes ill, it’s very easy for them to become dehydrated & lethargic.

Canine dehydration is a serious issue that can become life-threatening if not properly treated. It is important to constantly hydrate your dog back to health.

Here are some simple tips on how to care for a dehydrated sick dog and get him on the road to recovery & back to his old tricks again:

1. Seek out a certified vet. Your dog may be too ill or dehydrated for you to nurse her back to health and may need vet observation of emergency assistance.
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