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Dog Care 101: Tip #169: Doggy D.I.Y.: Soap & Toy

Best Bully Sticks knows that trends come and go, but one thing remains constant: saving a buck here and there is always a great thing. In today’s culture, one trend that is making a comeback is the concept of making our own household goods from “scratch” instead of buying from a store. Do-It-Yourself culture is returning and Best Bully Sticks hopes it’s here to stay! It might take a little more time, but in the long run a unique, cost effective, and homemade product is worth it. This week BBS will show you some of the neat-o Doggy D.I.Y. projects you can make for your pup!

Today we’re covering a couple simple projects: a dog-friendly soap & a quick and easy tug toy!

 

 

 

Herb & Peppermint Soap
Bathing your dog is essential for a lot of reasons; keeping flea and ticks away, a better smelling and feeling Fido and a happier, more comfortable pet just to name a few. This D.I.Y. soap recipe is full of beneficial ingredients to keep your dog healthy and pest free, like herbal shampoo and peppermint oil. This soap can substitute for any current dog shampoo or soap you’re using. Plus, it’ll make Fido smell GREAT!

You’ll Need:
4 oz melt and pour base or soap flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons of herbal shampoo
10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil
Soap molds

Process
1. Melt your soap down using a double boiler method.

2. Once your soap is melted add the shampoo and essential oil.

3. Make sure you don’t stir too vigorously or the shampoo will become frothy.

4. Keep stirring until completely mixed and then pour into your soap molds.

5. You can use some dog-shaped molds or bone-shaped molds for these soaps.

 

T-Shirt Tug Toy

Some dogs that are of the aggressive playing persuasion can chew up toys like it’s going out of style.  Buying new toys for your dog might be a permanent line on the shopping list. So why not save a little cash while recycling some of your old t-shirts? This T-Shirt Tug Toy D.I.Y. is so easy that your kids or grandkids could put it together! Check out this great toy your dog is sure to love!

You’ll Need:
20 1 inch x 20 inch (2.5cm x 50cm) Recycled stretch knit from pants or tops in assorted colors. (You can use recycled stretch knit from old t-shirts or pants or if you like or you can use new fabric.)

Process
1. Cut the fabric into 20 pieces that measure approximately 1 inch x 20 inches (2.5cm x 50cm) for a large dog. For smaller dogs reduce the length and quantity but not the 1-inch width.

2. Lay your pieces together in 2 sections of 10. Twist the 2 sections together and tie a large knot at each end as shown in the picture. Your knot should be tight and secure. There is no need for gluing or sewing.

3. Alternatively you can plat your strands together or add extra knots depending on your dog’s desire.

 

For more Doggy (& a few cat) D.I.Y.’s check out Best Bully Stick’s Pinterest “Pet DIY” Board. We feature lots of great exclusive content on Pinterest and this board is all about “doing-it-yourself” for your pets! Tutorials include everything from a pet ramp, doggy origami and even instructions for assembling a doggy cake! Check out our Pinterest page for more great content!

 

Dog Care 101: Tip #162 – Dog Water Safety Tips

Now that it’s warming up, Best Bully Sticks knows you’ll be flocking to the water. Any body of water will be teaming with folks looking to cool down. And why not take Fido along too? A lot of dogs enjoy the cool water too but owners need to be aware of the potential hazards of the water. Best Bully Sticks gets you and your dog ready for fun in the surf with these handy dog water safety tips!

Hang Out With Your Dog
Don’t leave your dog unsupervised. You brought your dog to the pool, lake or “swimmin’ hole” to hang out with you, right? Make sure you keep an eye on your dog. Not all dogs are good swimmers.

Buy & USE A Dog Life Jacket
Your dog might be an excellent swimmer, but he will eventually get tired, or be distracted or get a cramp. Buy and use a dog life jacket so your dog is always protected. Rip currents or undercurrents can also be a problem in larger bodies of water. You’ll always be happy you bought and put your dog in a life jacket.

Fun In The Sun & Surf
Best Bully Sticks offers a lot of great dog toys to bring out to the water. Floatable, durable and loads of fun, your dog will thank you for a great water toy! Check out BBS’s entire line of Balls for Dogs that will be great for the water. The West Paw Huck or Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Medium Orbee are both great choices!

Provide Shade & Comfort
Sun and therefore heat is more intense around bodies of water because of the sun’s reflection and humidity. Make sure you dog has a place to escape to, such as a towel on the beach (hot sand can blister paws), or shade to get out of the sun.

 

Water, Water Everywhere, But Not A Drop To Drink

Make sure you have fresh, clean water for your dog to drink. Chlorinated pools or lake water can both cause serious health issues for your dog. Chlorine is poisonous to dogs and natural water can contain parasites. Keep a gallon of water and a pop-up bowl for your pup when he’s romping outdoors!

BBS has a great portable water solution. Check out the Handi-Drink Portable Bottle/Bowl for your next trip out to the water!

More Water After The Water
After you and your pup with your fun in the sun and surf, rinsing your dog with clean water is important. This will ensure that your dog won’t keep any unwanted chlorine, salt or water parasites. Make sure to take off and let your dog’s collar dry as not to cause any hot spots.

Do your dogs like to romp in the water? Tell us your favorite water story in the comments section!

Dog Care 101: Tip #160: The Benefits of Coconut Oil For Dogs

Best Bully Sticks knows that when it comes to dogs, there’s no such thing as a miracle drug. There just seems to be some issues dog owner’s deal with sometimes. However, there’s been a lot of talk lately about supplements, oils and such. But how do you make sense of it all? This week BBS will take you through the amazing benefits of coconut oil and you just might be surprised at what it will do for your dog!

What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is produced in tropical regions like Jamaica, the Philippines, Thailand, Fiji and Mexico. There are few different ways in which coconut oil is produced, but we’re going to talk about “virgin” coconut oil, which is made from fresh coconuts. This type of oil is hand pressed using traditional methods of baking to dry, then pressed, then heated to remove all water. The mixture then ferments, which removes the natural oils from the water. Good quality coconut is colorless when liquidized.

Coconut oil’s health benefits are derived from the medium-chain triglycerides present in the oil. Former University of Maryland biochemist and dietary fats researcher Mary Enig, PhD says, “The lauric acid in coconut oil is used by the body to make the same disease-fighting fatty acid derivative monolaurin that babies make from the lauric acid they get from their mothers’ milk. The monoglyceride monolaurin is the substance that keeps infants from getting viral, bacterial, or protozoal infections.” read more…

Dog Care 101 – Tip #159: How To Choose A Good Dog Groomer

When the air turns warm, we humans shed our winter coats and don filp-flops, tank tops and shorts with the intention being comfortable outdoors. However, humans aren’t the only ones shedding winter coats. Our pups are getting rid of that winter fur too and want to be outside as much as we do!

Best Bully Sticks knows that warm weather and thick fur don’t mix and so it’s up to you, the loving owner, to help your pup shed their winter coat. Many owners groom their pups themselves, but not all owners have the know-how, tools, experience or even physical ability to groom their dogs properly. That’s where a groomer comes in. But how do you know how to pick a good and trustworthy groomer? Best Bully Sticks will help the tips and tricks of choosing a good groomer!

Grooming can consist of brushing, combing, bathing, clipping nails, cutting out matted hair, cleaning ears and medicated baths or treatments. So, don’t just think of grooming as a hair cut. It can meet a lot of different needs.

Finding a groomer should start with asking your trusted friends, your vet, boarding kennel, dog trainer or local animal shelter who they might recommend. All of these people might have a good “go-to” groomer they trust. Checking online for “Pet Groomer” or the National Dog Groomers Association of America’s website is a good option, too. Calling the Better Business Bureau for any registered complaints is also a safe step to take. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #158: Preventing & Treating Canine Obesity

Best Bully Sticks knows that you love spoiling your dog, but you might want to reconsider feeding Fido those table scraps during dinner. It seems that pet obesity is a growing problem in the U.S., a fact made clear by a recent article published by WebMD, which listed obesity among the top five issues facing pets. There are a number of reasons why owners may unintentionally allow their dog to plump up; dogs may not get daily exercise, they could overeat, or they could be eating food unsuitable for a healthy animal diet.

Pet obesity can cause complicated medical problems if left untreated. It’s proven to be a contributing factor to heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems and bone and joint issues. An overweight dog is not a happy, healthy pet no matter how many treats you give him.

Unfortunately, many people remain ignorant about what their dogs can and cannot eat on a regular basis. This may simply be because dog obesity isn’t a widely covered issue and owners may not think twice about proper dietary and exercise for their four-legged friends. Let’s take some time to recognizing canine obesity and addressing basic preventative methods so you can enjoy your dog’s company for a long time.

How can you tell if your pet is overweight?
Too many owners confuse a fat dog for a healthy one. As stated before, pet obesity is serious business, so if you have any suspicion that your dog is overweight, check for these few key signs. read more…

Dog Care 101 Tip #157: Allergy Relief For Your Dog

Last week Best Bully Sticks covered how allergies affect our pooch pals and how a reaction will most likely look. (To find out more, read “Recognize Your Dog’s Allergic Reactions”) This week’s tip focuses in on how to treat your dog’s allergic reactions as they pertain to skin symptoms.

Allergy Testing
The first step may be figuring out exactly what is causing an allergic reaction. This usually entails a trip to the vet’s office and a blood or skin test to determine the offending allergen. The next step, of course, will be limiting exposure to that allergen.

Preventative Measures
After you know how to recognize the reaction and exactly what it is, there are some avoidance measures you can take to help cut down on your pet’s reactions. For instance, keeping your dog out of the room for several hours while vacuuming and changing furnace filters will aid against house dust allergens. When treating a dog with sensitivity to pollen, keep them out of fields, keep your grass cut short, rinse your dog’s feet after being outside and keep your dog inside when high pollen counts have been forecast. read more…

Loving On Your Dog Means Caring For His Teeth

Best Bully Sticks wishes you and your pup a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!  For this day of love we chose to talk about doggie dental care.  It may not seem to have any connection, but we know that truly loving your dog means really caring for them as well.  February 14th is the day of love, but the month of February recognizes National Pet Dental Health.

National Pet Dental Health Month is dedicated to educating pet owners about good dental hygiene for their furry friends. If you didn’t know, poor oral hygiene in dogs and cats can lead to serious health complications such as periodontal disease so upkeep of your pet’s teeth and gums is very important.

“Most people have no idea that dental health is so important to their pets, and that’s why Pet Dental Health Month is such a great idea,” explains Dr. Larry Corry, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “In fact, veterinarians report that periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem in dogs and cats.

Proper pet oral hygiene helps your dog & cat ward off bad breath, tarter build up, plague, sickness, periodontal gum and heart disease. If proper dental care is not taken seriously, dirty plaque can be the breeding ground for bacteria which can wreak havoc on your dog’s bodily systems and cause heart, liver and kidney problems. So, during your grooming & teeth brushing sessions check for pain, swelling, redness, abscesses, foul odors (halitosis), and loose or broken teeth in need of immediate vet attention. If your dog is having trouble chewing and swallowing then a dental checkup is in order.

Tips for Top-Notch Teeth!

Regular teeth cleanings are very important. You should clean your pets teeth 2-3 times per week. Purchase a special pet toothpaste & toothbrush. Never use human toothpaste since pets cannot spit or rinse. The key to successful teeth brushing is to start your pet off slowly so your pet can adapt. Teeth brushings aren’t normal for dogs, so be gentle and use positive reinforcement. To make teeth brushing easy for the both of you, it is important to acclimate your anxious & often fearful pet. Start by placing toothpaste on your fingers and gently rubbing them in your pet’s mouth. Not only will this get your pet accustomed to the taste of toothpaste and fingers, it will be a lot easier to introduce a toothbrush.

Also, plan a yearly physical which includes an oral checkup from your vet. Your vet will let you know of any oral hygiene issues you might have missed. Your vet might also suggests a professional cleaning if they deem it necessary. Consult with your vet further about any specific health risk for your pet prior to procedure since anesthesia will be used. Remember each pet’s circumstance is unique.

Another great and way to help your pup’s dental health is chewing bully sticks from BBS! Our bully sticks and most of our other treats act as natural flossers for dogs and help clean tarter and bacteria off of teeth and gums. We’ve pulled together a list of perfect dental dog chews for all shapes and sizes of pets at on our website to show how much oral health means to BBS.

 

101 Dog Care Tips – Tip 147: Keeping Your Canine Companion Warm This Winter

At Best Bully Sticks, we believe snuggling up with a dog on a frigid winter night is one of the greatest joys in life.  However, during the winter months your dog might need a little extra warmth.  Shivering, curling up into a tight ball, or getting closer to heat sources are a few signs Fido is cold.  Here are a few tips to help your dog stay nice and cozy this winter.

More Dreaming, Less Shivering: Keeping Your Dog Toasty Through the Night.

One thing to keep in mind is the placement of their bed, so make sure it’s out of the way of drafty windows or doorways.  As owner’s we wear socks in the winter to keep our feet off the cold floor, but the floor being where you pup sleeps, he might need a little extra padding as well. So if your dog’s bed is thin, provide an extra bottom layer by placing a towel or blanket underneath.  Also, some dogs like to burrow into blankets and by giving them an extra blanket on top of their bed, they’ll be able to stay warm through the night.

A Home of My Own: Winter for Outside Dogs.

If your dog is outside in the winter months, make sure they have good shelter and can stay out of wind and precipitation. The shelter needs to be sturdy, with no possible areas for leaks.  A good bed of fresh straw or cedar chips make good bedding.  If it ever becomes exceptionally cold for prolonged periods of time, bring your dog in for added warmth.


Chilly Dog Navy Alpine Handmade SweaterAn Extra Layer of Fur: Dog Sweaters & Jackets.

Whether your dog is out for a walk or needs a little warming up around the house, a sweater is the right answer.  Bundling up your dog is just as important as bundling up yourself during the winter months. A good knit weave is a favorite option among dog owners but if you live in a snowy climate, a nylon material will keep the moisture at bay.  If winter brings ice your way, all-weather doggie booties, like Rubber Dog Boots, will keep your pup’s paws warm. Even something as simple as Mushers Secret Paw Protection will help protect your dog’s paws and pads on the harshest winter day.

A Little Can Go A Long Way: Feeding Your Dog A Bit More.

Dogs burn extra calories throughout the winter to maintain warmth. By feeding your dog a little extra, they keep warmer easier. A little bit means a little bit.  You don’t want to overfeed your dog.  As always, keep your dog’s water bowl filled up too. They always need a good amount of water each day.

 

New Year’s Pet Safety Tips: 101 Dog Care Tips- Tip 146

New Year's Pet Safety TipsIt’s almost time to ring in the New Year! As we count down to the New Year, it’s time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. With a little bit of “puparation” you and your pet can look forward to 2016. Because nothing spoils the festivities like a sick or runaway pet.  Here are a few New Year’s pet safety tips to keep your pet out of danger and ensure your pet does not get lost while the ball drops. Let the celebrations begin and the good times roll!

1. Be observant of your animal’s response to loud noises. Thunderstorms and fireworks are the best known causes for pet anxiety, but celebration party favors and popping champagne corks can be just as traumatizing. If you are hosting a New Years Party, make sure your pets are placed in a comfortable area that is separate from the activities. Make sure they have plenty of water and are comfortable. When possible, refrain from keeping them outside, as fireworks and other neighbors celebrating can lead to the same ruckus and worry.

2. Always keep your pet’s tags on. In the case they do get spooked and bolt for an open door or gate, an ID tag will be imperative to getting them home safely.

3. Beware of alcohol! Many pets can be drawn to glasses of beer or liquor that has been left behind after the celebration is over. Consumption of alcohol can be highly dangerous for animals, and even deadly. Make sure to thoroughly clean up the area before you allow your pets to enter. Always keep a close eye on them, and never give them any alcohol as a treat or joke.

4. Be aware of party decorations. Balloons, streamers, party hats or confetti can be unhealthy for an animal if ingested. While decorating for your party, keep the animals in a separate area where they do not have access to the decorations. If they do get into them, consult a veterinarian immediately.

Everyone at Best Bully Sticks wishes you and your pet a very happy and healthy 2012!

Happy New Year 16

 

8 Pet Toxins & Poisons In Your Home

Do You Know What Pet Toxins & Poisons Are In Your Home?

There is a growing pet epidemic on the rise. Each year thousands of dogs and cats suffer from accidental poisoning from the ingestion of household cleaners, plants, medications, common foods and pesticides. There is a lot of truth to the proverb “curiosity killed the cat” but we can’t forget that dogs often fall victim.

Understanding your pet’s health risk and dangers is part of being a responsible pet parent. You play a crucial role in providing your pet with a safe home to grow, fetch, sleep and play.

So what are the most common top pet toxins to BE-WARE of?

1. Acteminophen in pain medicines: Although a great pain reliever and fever reducer for humans, if ingested, it is lethal to pets. It only takes one pill to kill a cat and can cause kidney one liver failure in dogs.

2. Ibuprofen: common brands include Advil, Midol, Motrin.

3. Plants: they can be poisonous and deadly if ingested by your pet.

Here are a list of plants to avoid:

*Amaryllis
*Azaleas
*Christmas tree pine needles
*Daffodils
*Easter Cacti
*Holly
*Hyacinths
*Mistletoe
*Oleander
*Poinsettias
*Tulips
*Lilies

4. Human Food include avocados, chocolate, coffee, raisins, nutmeg, onions, grapes,  garlic, raw salmon and sweetener Xylitol found in sugar free candy and gum. 

5. Household Cleaners can cause serious chemical burns if licked and consumed. cleaning product

6. Anti-freeze with its sweet smelling aroma can prompt pets to lick away.

7. Pesticides

8. OTC flea medication contain the insecticide pyrethrin and permethrin, which can be just as harmful as the fleas that plague your pet. Opt for a more all natural flea preventive route. Always consult your vet before using any type of medication.

Remember that your pet is not invincible and can become seriously ill and die from ingesting household hazards. Many of them lurk under kitchen cabinets, in garages, driveway, backyards, trash cans and pose as beautiful floral centerpieces.

Here are a few tips to help in the prevention of accidental poisoning and keep your inquisitive pet safe and toxic free.

1. Bag and Cover it! Use covered trash cans to prevent access to empty cleaning bottles, table scraps, leftover foods, and disposed medications.

2. Not a Pet Zone. Keep pets out of garages and sheds and away from oil and anti-freeze leaks. Pets can be tempted by the spilled sweet smelling scent of anti-freeze in your garage, driveway, on the street or in parking lots.

3. Store cleaners away safely out of paws’ reach. Keeping a clean house is important for the health and well being of your family. So be careful where you store potentially hazardous cleaning products. You see, pets are sneaky and quite resourceful and will use their smarts to gain access to your cleaning stash found in lower cabinets or empty bottles in trash cans.  If storing your cleaners under your cabinets, make sure it is under lock and key. Better yet, opt for more eco-friendly, safe and toxic free household cleaning alternatives (Greenworks, Method, Mrs. Meyers, 7th Generation)

4. Ain’t no Watering Hole! During Christmas, cover tree water so pets are not tempted to take a sip. Pine needles are poisonous to dogs and cats.

As always, if you suspect your pet has ingested a poison, seek vet emergency help quickly . Please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Frenchie with teddy

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