Five Dog Treat Ingredients with the Top Health Benefits

 

Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about February: the 20th is Love Your Pet Day, the 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day, and the month as a whole is National Pet Dental Health Day (according to the AVMA)! Although we believe every day should be Love Your Pet Day, why not use the excuse to give your pup some extra pampering? And while your buddy’s nails are drying, how about letting ’em munch on some dog treats that aren’t just tasty, but are beneficial to your dog’s health? This way, you can bust out your celebration guns and honor two holidays – plus a whole month’s theme – in one sitting. All doggos deserve to have shiny teeth and strong joints, and February has come around to keep all of us in check. Here are some of the best ingredients – all rich with health benefits – to put in your pup’s goodies. Every ingredient listed is paired with both recipe and store-bought options. Happy holidays, x2!

A dog can get many nutrients from carrots; one health benefit is improved eyesight! The better to see you with!

Photo by: Andy Carter 

1. Carrots

***SHOCKER ALERT***

Carrots hold a multitude of health benefits for your pup. In addition to being low-fat and low-calorie vegetables, carrots are very high in fiber. This will for sure help regulate a blocked-up digestive system (just watch out for the farts). These root veggies also contain vitamin A, which in and of itself has tons of health benefits that could add to your furry friend’s well-being. Vitamin A has the potential to strengthen your dog’s vision. This means that whether your pal is ten or two, they can soak up those benefits like a sponge. It’s actually just like skincare; you’re never too young to start! For an incredibly elaborate list of the health benefits of carrots, check out this article on OLEWO.com.

Freezing up some of these veggies is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Frozen carrots act as both plaque-removing chew toys and healthy snacks that will keep your energetic pup busy. The brand OLEWO carries all natural, GMO-free, dehydrated carrots that you can mix in with your dog’s food if you’re looking for a quick and easy supplement. Treat-wise, check out these organic apple and carrot dog biscuits from Wet Noses. For a more savory fine-dining experience, try these Fromm chicken, carrot, and pea treats. In addition, this recipe for carrot dog biscuits is very simple and has very few steps, so you can get your pup their carrot fix ASAP.

2. Coconut Oil

Wow, another ingredient Shailene Woodley would approve of! Not only is coconut oil delicious, but it can basically be added to any recipe imaginable. Another perk? Those health benefits are unstoppable. Coconut oil can help improve your pup’s digestion and increase their overall energy level – the latter could even lead to accelerated weight loss. Because of the healthy fatty acids within this ingredient, ingesting it can possibly slow cognitive dysfunction in some dogs. Plus, coconut oil may also contribute to the shininess of your canine’s coat! The Daily Treat has an entire blog post centered on the nutritional value of coconut oil, so if you aren’t already convinced, check it out. These berry coconut bones by Doggy Delirious honestly sound super tasty, and coconut oil is second on the ingredient list! These no-bake coconut dog treats also look amazing, and also a little like those munchkins from Dunkin Donuts. Has your pal been feeling a bit itchy lately? Hit up these cool lookin’ flea-prevention treats!

Pumpkin can provide the health benefit of weight loss for your dog!

Photo by: PSOIRTAL .pl

 3. Pumpkin

Even though it may seem taboo for us humans to eat pumpkin year round, this restriction doesn’t seem to apply to pups. Pumpkin is a super popular ingredient among the dog treat scene, and for a good reason. Because of pumpkin’s heaviness, it doesn’t take much to fill up your dog’s stomach. Since it’s also very low in fat, the combination of these two elements can accelerate weight loss. Pumpkin is also rich in fiber, which can come in handy for a pup with an upset tum-tum or constipation – and the seeds supposedly act as a natural dewormer. According to PetMD, the oils found within pumpkin seeds are believed to promote urinary health, which could be beneficial for dogs with incontinence.

For a more savory dog treat made with both pumpkin flesh and pumpkin seeds, try making these around Halloween time instead of tossing those guts in the garbage. If you’re not in the baking mood, Uptown Mutt and PLATO have your back.

 4. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is an ingredient perfect to feed your dog in small amounts – like in treats! Similarly to carrots, this vegetable is packed chock full of different vitamins and antioxidants. Yet, cauliflower also has components that aren’t commonly spoken of; it contains both phytonutrients and isothiocyanates, which can potentially help prevent cancer. Likewise, since cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, it contains the natural compound sulforaphane. This compound acts as an anti-inflammatory, which could help treat arthritis in both humans and dogs (just remember that pups cannot consume this vegetable in large quantities – they could get pretty gassy, if not sick). These cheesy cauliflower muffin bites are delicious for both you and your furry friend, and could actually serve as a healthier alternative to, say, that mash-n-cheese bowl from the most exquisite of fine dining locations, Wawa. Just add some salt and pepper to a separate batch for yourself, whip out a classy gingham picnic blanket, and have a Valentine’s-do-over with the real love of your life. Or just order up a bag of these Dr. Becker veggie bites, which are also cat-friendly!

Tip Time: To reap the very most health benefits from cauliflower, simply chop up the head into small chunks, steam, let cool, and let your pal munch away.

Keep your dog happy by feeding them foods with health benefits such as eggs!

Photo by: Toshihiro Gamo

 5. Eggs

So, this is kind of weird and sounds a little repulsive, but is also fascinating (like watching certain episodes of My Strange Addiction). But, it turns out that feeding your dog an egg in its entirety can almost entirely act as a complete food source. Purchase some organic eggs and dry the shells out; then grind them in a coffee grinder and mix the powder into a basic dog biscuit recipe. Eggs are also loaded with vitamins and protein and can act as an amazing supplement for a deficient dog. This site includes recipes for three different types of goodie recipes that include eggs, and these store-bought treats are grain, gluten, and soy free!

Happy snacking!

 

Six Ways You Can Help Animals Worldwide or Locally

We all want to help animals, learn how with our six ways to help worldwide or locally.
Photo By: Maji Beach

We are all passionate about a cause, a movement or we try to stand for something. Either because it hits close to home, or it may be a personal interest, or we simply feel very strongly about it; those of us especially keen on our animal counterparts understand. Any animal lover knows the unconditional respect and love for these special beings that share this earth with us, even more so if you have pets of your own. You understand they are intelligent, loving, loyal and honest creatures who deserve a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately, the reality is that not all live the best lives they can live. Therefore, put your love and passion to work and do your part to help animals, even if it is just one animal that benefits from your effort.

 

Here are 6 ways to do your part and help animals by getting involved!

 

Donating to a local shelter is one way to help animals locally.
Photo by: Tiani Taylor

 

1. Donating

Many organizations rely on donations and volunteers to keep their cause afloat.  Most animal organizations are non-profit and are set up this way for the simple reason of fully supporting their work within their cause. Instead of distributing its organization’s surplus income to shareholders for profit, they use its revenue to further achieve its purpose and mission. There are many noble organizations where your donation to help animals will be put to good use. To name a few:

Best Friends Animal Society whose motto is “Save Them All.” Their purpose is to work toward one day completely eliminating kill shelters so no animal ever has to die because they are considered too old, sick or problematic. They operate the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), established in NYC, whose message is “anti-cruelty.” They believe animals are entitled to respectful and kind treatment and protection under the law. Legally, there has always been an issue with how animals are viewed. Unfortunately, they don’t have the same rights as we do, going as far as calling them “property” rather than a living being. ASPCA combats that with their 3-step program of rescue, placement, and protection because they believe they should have the right to be treated with kindness.

LA-based rescue organization Hope for Paws was established to help animals suffering on the streets, in shelters, and often those who die because of abuse and negligence. They believe in second chances and the pursuit of happiness for every animal they rescue.

Any donation big or small is being put toward ensuring a better tomorrow and life for a very deserving animal.

 

2. Volunteering

As stated, organizations rely on the efforts of those invested. Go a step further to help animals and be at the heart of the movement yourself. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and understand more of what goes on behind the scenes. So change gears and check out your local shelters! Offer your time and service whether it is educating people about the great work that goes on or directly working with the animals themselves. Here are some local shelters/rescues you can help out!

St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center Noah’s Ark in Ledgewood caters to the care of dogs, cats and small animals rescued by animal control, natural disasters, abandonment or overcrowded shelters. They provide services such as adoption, pet food pantry, and low-cost spay/neuter. They even have two other locations in Madison and Somerville to choose from!

Eleventh Hour Rescue in Randolph focuses on saving animals from kill shelters giving them the necessary means of a foster home, medical attention and care until they find their forever homes. Their mission: “We rescue dogs and cats at their Eleventh Hour—when they are scheduled to be put to death by shelters that can no longer care for them…We will not stop until all of the cages are empty.”

S.O.S Pets in Rockaway is a small cat rescue group. Taking care of our feline friends they ensure they get the full service of being spayed/neutered, vaccinated, treated for illness and fleas and deworming. They also help animals by taking care of many feral colonies nearby!

Volunteer at a local shelter or rescue to help animals, big and small.
Photo by: The.Rohit

 

 

3. Fund Raising

If you’re the creative type that enjoys talking and engaging in projects, fundraising is the way to go to help animals! Pick a topic you’re passionate about or perhaps in which you want to see a change. You noticed the local lake hasn’t been looking its best and is flushing out the turtles that inhabit that area and you want to set up a cleaning expedition or re-location transport for the reptiles; or maybe you want to help out a local shelter or business that are doing great work for which you would like to flow in more traffic.

Check in with your township on any processes or requirements if it directly involves your town. Your enthusiasm and drive will get people involved and participate where they can. Make it fun, invite friends and their pets and make posters or flyers with reasons why this is important and why they should care. Talk, meet and interact with others who are just as passionate. All it takes is one spark to light the match.

 

 

4. Support Local Businesses

Perhaps time isn’t easily available to you to set up a fundraiser or volunteer. The next best thing you can do to help animals is to support your local businesses. Shopping at a pet store, using a doggy daycare facility or contracting a dog walking and sitting company, contributing to the businesses growth is a way to ensure that the work you agree with thrives. Local businesses blossom from the relationships and support their neighbors give. These companies are started and operated by people you know; maybe they really are your neighbor!

Canine Concierge, for example, prides itself in providing the highest level of care possible for your pet. Not only because it is morally right, but because we understand that a dog isn’t just a dog but an extension of your family. We understand the trust it takes to let someone else in on the care of your pet, therefore, we hold ourselves to high standards. This dedicated company was established 14 years ago by a local Parsippanian who turned her passion for animals into a dream and then into a reality. Supporting your locals in their business shows the utmost comradery that you agree with their mission.

 

 

5. Fostering

This next way to help animals is perhaps the most significant and hardest. Fostering directly puts you in the situation of seeing for yourself day-by-day what your efforts can do. You become the safe haven for an animal that needs it the most. Often you may take in an abused or neglected animal that really needs your time, attention and patience. You get the opportunity to build them up again and show them kindness. Fostering is a responsibility, therefore, one you want to make sure you are ready to take on. If you are, it is extremely rewarding when you see your efforts reflected in a happy and healthy animal. Most shelters help with daily/medical costs of the animal while they are in your care and often times forever homes are found quickly; hence giving you the opportunity to take in another soul that deserves a chance.

Tip: If fostering is something you can’t commit to at the moment consider sponsoring an animal. Whether that is a dog or elephant, you can do your part even if they aren’t physically in your home.

Help animals by sponsoring one, be it a dog or an elephant!
Photo by: C.E. Timothy Paine

 

 

6. Educate Yourself

Knowledge is the biggest beacon of understanding, while lack of knowledge is the biggest creator of ignorance. Getting involved and doing your part is only one aspect of your aid in any movement or cause. The biggest help you can do for any single organization is being an advocate; a walking billboard. It’s as easy as taking a class at your local shelter about dog behavior.

Example: Maybe one day you see someone having a tough time with their dog. Advocate for the dog, explain what you know, the possibilities of why the dog is exhibiting this behavior. Due to lack of knowledge, animals do get surrendered because their owners don’t understand the cause of something that with a little more understanding could have been resolved.

Read books, articles, take a few classes. Learning a little more about something will only have positive outcomes.

Help animals by fostering a dog from a local rescue.
Photo by: Stacy

 

 

Everyone has the right to live a happy, healthy and respected life. Be a part of a movement: a change that wants that for every living being across the board. Help in any ways you can. Any animal lover would agree that if animals could speak, it would be the greatest thing in the world. What do you think they would say? Let us know below.

5 Fun Indoor Activities To Do With Your Dog This Winter

 

A white dog yawning waiting for some fun indoor activities for dogs!

Photo By: Marco Armendariz

It can be difficult to think of ways to keep yourself and your pup entertained once winter comes around. When the temperature outside drops and rainfall turns to snowfall, not all of us are able to locate our inner Siberian Husky (or feral cat). The same goes for our non-Siberian doggies! That’s why we’ve put together this list of five fun, indoor activities for dogs and their owners to do together – none of which will expose you to the season’s uninviting elements.*

1. Create Artwork

Say hello to your new puppy Picasso! There are a variety of indoor activities for dogs that involve art projects you that you can do with your dog. These are sure to let house guests know who is your numero uno! With some water-based acrylic paint, a plastic tarp, a canvas, and your pal’s four paws, the two of you can create a painting of priceless worth. Not super keen on super abstract pieces? Then pretend it’s spring and make these adorable paw-print bouquets. Or if you dig being festive, whip out a sick paw-print vase of roses for Valentine’s day. Finally, if you’re a fan of improv, try making a pot of paw-shaped gold under a paw-print rainbow for St. Patty’s.

2. Doga (Dog Yoga)

Keeping your curious dog at a safe distance while trying out a new Jillian Michaels DVD can also be a struggle. So if you’re feeling restless and in need of some indoor exercise, why not try out pup-friendly yoga? Doga not only strengthens the bond between you and your companion, but can potentially help relieve stress for an anxious pup. In addition, it can teach your dog to become more comfortable with things like getting their nails clipped. And as doga’s popularity has grown, its accessibility has skyrocketed. Tons of instructional books and DVDs on practicing doga are available online. Help your dog reach dogi enlightenment!

A dog trying Doga: one of our ideas for indoor activities for dogs

Photo By: 8 Kome

3. Agility Training

If you have interest in building your own obstacle course indoors, The Bark can teach you affordable ways to DIY. This being said, there are many aspects to the world of agility training that make the hobby not simply limited to leaping hurdles and running through tunnels. One trick that has a lot of use in the agility scene is teaching your pup left and right. This can definitely come in handy if you happen to share a bed with your dog at night. Sometimes your furry pal will lay down on your side of the mattress, and it’s almost impossible to get them to move. Now all you have to do is say “left,” and Rover will scootch right on over. And if you’re particularly adventurous and feel confident that your dog’s weight and energy level aren’t going to compromise your safety, teach them how to jump into your arms! Indoor activities for dogs can benefit you both!

4. Brain Games

Playing brain games that place a strong emphasis on nose work is another one of our favorite indoor activities for dogs. As a result, these mentally-stimulating games will both reduce excess energy and prevent your pal from getting bored. Although there are a variety of puzzle toys available for purchase online or at your local pet store – such as this Tricky Treat Ball – there are loads of DIY tutorials available on the web that will enable you to further strengthen the bond between you and your dog. The muffin tin game is a classic and a great way to show your nose work rookie the ropes. To play, you place treats in a few of a muffin tin’s cups, then fill every cup with a tennis ball, and let your pup do the detective work.

L'il Scout enjoying one of our indoor activities for dogs

Photo By: Courtney Lennon-Wallish

 5. Spa Day

And of course the best of all indoor activities for dogs is saved for last. Feeling especially relaxed after that nice long session of doga? Keep the chill flowin’ with a doggy spa day. Run the bath and add some all natural, non-toxic, hypoallergenic bubble bath that smells like vanilla and oranges. After that, suds up your pup in the tub. Toss in a rubber cheeseburger plus this squeaky cupcake and watch your pal have a water-bound smorgasbord à la Templeton from Charlotte’s Web.

Then what?

It’s PUPicure time!

Maybe skip out on the nail clipping unless it’s absolutely necessary. Most dogs tend to despise getting their claws trimmed down to a non-hazardous state. (That’s not really what a doggy spa day is all about.) Instead, head straight to the fun part and purdy up those paws with some quick-drying Color Paw nail polish. Add a layer of this super opaque color to those adorable daggers and your pup is beyond ready for the dogwalk. Need a playlist? You’ll be good to go if you listen to this song on an endless loop.

Snuggly Sadie after a spa day, one of our ideas for indoor activities for dogs in winter!

Photo By: Courtney Lennon-Wallish

*Pro Tip: If you want to give your furball a full-on Six Flags experience, try all of these activities in one non-boring sitting!

 

D.I.Y. Outdoor Shelter for Feral Cats

Too much snow! This cat is using a snowbank as her outdoor shelter.

Photo By: Christa Gampp

These past two weeks have been an ice age, especially for the tri-state area. New York City even implemented a Code Blue to shelter anyone seen outdoors during the severe weather conditions. That got me thinking; what about the animals? Is there a system in place to shelter them, too? In our December blog, we addressed the dangers of the cold for dogs. What about the cats, specifically those who do not have a home? I decided to help where I could, by making an outdoor shelter for feral cats.

There is a neighborhood cat that roams around. He is friendly and accepts food, but never lets you get close enough to pet him, let alone scoop him up to bring indoors or to the vet. As much as I would like to think he has a nice warm hidey-hole to hibernate in, the reality is he may not. I have heard a lot of talk about outdoor shelters for feral cats and thought it was a purrfect opportunity to build one of my own. D.I.Y.-selfers rejoice! Here are step-by-step instructions on how to build your own shelter for your furry outdoor friends!

A cat was walking through the snow in Nygårdsparken this morning. Possibly seeking an outdoor shelter! You can make a DIY shelter following our easy instructions.

Photo By: Jill

Step 1: Gather your materials for Outdoor Shelter

To get started, you need supplies. A 20-gallon bin works best. Find it at your local Walmart, Target or even Dollar Tree. Heavy duty duct tape, some scissors, utility knife, a sharpie, a ruler, small animal bedding such as straw, a small cat bowl (optional) and a roll of reflective insulation from your local Lowe’s or Home Depot. Once you’ve gathered your materials you are ready to start building your outdoor shelter for feral cats!

Step one in building an outdoor shelter for feral cats: buy a 20 gallon heavy duty plastic bin with lid.

20 gallon heavy duty plastic bin with lid.

Step 2: Prep 

Using the sharpie and ruler, measure and draw a 5 X 7 rectangle onto the bin, leaving a few inches between the bottom line and the ground level; you just drew the door! Next, measure the width and length of the bin lid and cut those dimensions from your insulation roll. Measure the inside of your bin. To make life easier most product stickers have the dimension of the item already on there. If so, measure that onto your insulation and cut. Don’t forget the bottom as well! Lastly, cut out a 5 X 7 rectangle of insulation for the door. When you get to the point of taping down your cut insulation you will see if there are any extra pieces you’ll need to cut out to fill in gaps.

Step 2 in building an outdoor shelter for feral cats: Draw a 5 X 7 rectangle onto the bin leaving a few inches between the bottom line and the ground leve

Draw a 5 X 7 rectangle onto the bin leaving a few inches between the bottom line and the ground level

Building an outdoor shelter for feral cats: measuring insulation for the lid.

Measuring the lid.

Building an outdoor shelter for feral cats: Cutting the dimensions of the inner bin.

Cutting the dimensions of the inner bin.

Step 3: Assemble Outdoor Shelter

Using your utility knife, carefully cut out the drawn rectangle on the bin; if cutting proves difficult, heat the blade with a lighter and a smoother cut will be easier to achieve. Don’t toss what you cut! That will become your swinging door. Next, gather your cut insulation and begin to tape it down with your duct tape. Don’t be meager on the taping! Use as much as you need to ensure the insulation is well placed. This is going to help maintain the heat the cat will generate themselves while inside. The final step to the assembly of your outdoor shelter for feral cats is attaching your door. You want to make sure it swings both in and out so make sure to evenly distribute the tape inside and out, not favoring one side.  At this point, your bin should look like the inside of a spaceship!

Building an outdoor shelter for feral cats: Carefully cut out the drawn rectangle on the bin.

Carefully cut out the drawn rectangle on the bin.

Building an outdoor shelter for feral cats: Don’t be meager on the taping!

Don’t be meager on the taping!

The inside of your outdoor shelter for feral cats should resemble a spaceship!

The inside of a spaceship!

Step 4: Final touches

Now that your outdoor shelter for feral cats is constructed, the finishing touches will bring it all together. Place an even layer of straw at the bottom of the bin. I know it’s tempting to throw in a nice fleece blanket in there, but blankets, towels, and newspaper will retain moisture and actually make the cat colder. If you want to make it a little homier include a small cat bowl with some kibble for your guest.

Building an outdoor shelter for feral cats: Distribute the tape inside and out.

Distribute the tape inside and out.

Building an outdoor shelter for feral cats, make sure the door swings in and out.

Make sure it swings both in and out.

Your outdoor shelter for feral cats may include a small cat bowl with kibble.

A small cat bowl with some kibble is a nice touch.

Step 5: Placement of Outdoor Shelter

Your outdoor shelter for feral cats is complete and it’s ready to go for a spin; now it’s just figuring out where best to place it! You want to make sure it’s not directly on the ground. If you don’t have a table or stand to place it on, you can throw some two 2 X 4 underneath it to hold it up. If your shelter is on the lighter side, throw another 2 X 4 on top to help with heavy winds. An extra tip, slightly tilting the bin helps so if it rains the water will roll off rather than remain sitting on top.

How to place your outdoor shelter for feral cats outside: High enough off the ground; low enough to get in.

High enough off the ground; low enough to get in.

Whether you’re doing it for a specific animal in mind or just for any animal that is in need, rest assured that they will be grateful for the cozy home you have just gifted them. An hour of your time and $25 or less of your wallet could save a life (or lives) during these harsh conditions we’re facing and will continue to face. The best part is its usability. Once winter is over, you can store it away for the next winter or keep outside as a year-round shelter for whoever passes by.

A forever shelter for those who have yet to find their forever homes.
Feral cats will be thankful for your DIY outdoor shelter this winter!

Photo By: Paul Joseph

Have any suggestions to make the shelter even better? Some comments, questions or concerns? Let us know below!

8 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Dog

A happy black dog looking forward to embarking on his new year's resolutions!

Photo by: Jake Edwards

Who said New Year’s Resolutions were just limited to us humans? Animals have desires and goals just like we do. Perhaps their goals are simpler than ours, maybe finally discovering where their treats are kept or finally reaching that one spot they can’t quite scratch. Regardless of how big or small the resolution, it’s always important to look forward and want to better situations and/or yourself. With the closing of this year, reflect and set goals for yourself and the best friend who is always by your side.

 

Here are 8 New Year’s Resolutions you can help your furry baby achieve!

 

1. New diet

More and more people are becoming health conscious not only for the health benefits but also for the benefit of our planet. Include your pup in the mix! Switch up their diets; choose different brands, different textures and tastes. Give them the option of choices. Some may be more fickle than others when it comes to trying different foods but just like the old-time saying, “You won’t know if you like it if you don’t try it.” Want to go an extra step further? Make their food yourself! Next time you’re cutting up chicken for dinner cut up an extra one and mix in some veggies and quinoa. Make extra and freeze in Tupperware for the next few nights; a perfect homemade dinner for you and your pup and one of our new year’s resolutions most easy to stick to!

2. Timely Check-Ups

Life happens, we get busy and we try to keep everything up-to-date, but more than one fur baby parent will admit to being late here and there with check-ups and routine visits. Any doctor will say it’s important to make those annual visits just to be sure everything is up to par and functioning well. As parents we understand keeping up with vaccines, routine physicals and office calls for those sick days are a vital part of keeping our pet healthy. This new year make it a point to be on time in making those appointments and being up-to-date on any vaccines or necessary check-ups for which your pet is due. This is one of those new year’s resolutions you can use for both yourself and your pet!

3. Pet Fund

Any parent, fur or no fur, will tell you that things can get expensive. It is a commitment being a parent not only in the time department but also in the financial one. So start a pet fund this year for your best friend! Outside of the usual expenses of food and vet visits it’s nice to spoil your pet with toys and treats. Having a pet fund for them eliminates having to dip into their everyday expenses and gives you the flexibility of surprising them with new blankets, clothes, toys and treats. One of our favorite rainy day fund websites is SmartyPig! There are no hidden fees for withdrawals, so you can set up a fund and tap into it whenever you need.

4. New Friend and Sibling

Sometimes it’s true as the song, “One is the loneliest number…” The reality is we all work, whether it is away from home or at home, whether it is for a company or for ourselves or simply for your family as a homemaker. We have daily responsibilities that pull our attention left and right. Animals are very simple and they find happiness from the smallest things but they also get bored and unfortunately we’re not always around. Make a decision this year to consider adopting; giving your best friend the gift of company and another animal the gift of a family. If perhaps adopting is not something you can fully commit to, consider fostering an animal until their forever home is found. Your pet will be grateful for the forever friend they make. Check out Eleventh Hour Rescue and S.O.S. Pets for some local pets who need homes.

Two happy Huskies looking forward to embarking on their new year's resolutions!

Photo by: s k

5. New friend 2.0

As mentioned, we’re not always around and our pets have needs not only for companionship but also necessities. Maybe if having a new sibling or live-in friend really isn’t an option why not have one that can come and go? Animal care services are booming! Check out the services Canine Concierge offers. From playtime to dog walking, feedings, drop-in visits, boarding even sleepovers, your pet is taken care of and in the best hands. Hands of those who understand how important their well-being and care is to you. Not only are you giving your fur baby the company and attention they deserve but you’re also giving yourself peace of mind. 2 in 1, can’t get any better than that!

6. Quality time

An animal finds happiness in the simplest of things. They don’t care if you buy them gifts or spoil them with the tastiest food around. Sure, they won’t turn down a nice juicy steak but really what they want most is to spend time with you. The best thing you can give them is quality time. #6 of our list of 8 new year’s resolutions has them participating in your routine. Going out for a run before work? Bring your dog along! Grabbing brunch Sunday? Invite your dog as your date at a pet-friendly spot! Designate 15 minutes of undivided attention to them during the day. It is the simple things you can do to include them that mean the world to them.

7. Plan An Adventure

Who says vacations are just for people! Everyone always looks forward to planning a getaway or staycation, so this year plan it with your pet in mind. Next on our list of new year’s resolutions: come up with an itinerary that you and your dog will love. Giving yourself a break but also including your pet is important. Experience things together and take in new sights. A new year calls for new memories!

8. New Activity

Our final idea on our list of new year’s resolutions: a new year calls for new things so how about a new hobby? Just like we enjoy learning and doing new things so does your dog. Anything ranging from learning new tricks, setting up play dates or finding new hiking spots to hit will have you and your best friend entertained. What dog is not a foodie? Make it a tradition to check out new local pet-friendly spots every month or so. The ideas are endless!

 

However big or small your goals, desires, and new year’s resolutions are, make sure above all to keep your loyal friend within them! The best gifts they give are their unconditional love and companionship year after year so give them your best year and best self in return.

A dog keeping his eye out for exciting new year's resolutions!

Photo by: Lucas lima 91

Have more New Year’s resolutions to add? Comment below! From everyone here at Canine Concierge, Happy New Year!

5 Winter Safety Tips For Your Dog

Looking for winter safety tips? Follow these 2 snow covered dogs to find the answers.

Photo by: Morgan Mitch

Baby, it’s cold outside! As the December winds pick up and snow falls, the temperature keeps dropping. It’s a great time to brush up on your winter safety knowledge for your faithful friend. Even though your furry friend has a thick coat of fur, they are still susceptible to the common injuries or conditions to which we are exposed. Hypothermia and frostbite are true realities of what your canine could fall victim to if proper measures to ensure their safety in harsh weather conditions aren’t taken.

 

Keep your dog happy this winter with these 5 winter safety tips to ensure a happy and warm winter for your friend!

 

Limited Outdoor Time

As dog parents, we understand the importance of potty breaks and outdoor exercise. But consider this winter safety advice: your dog not only is in direct contact with snow and cold cement via their paws but their noses and ears are exposed as well. Shorten their walks or their outdoor activities; it’s an easy way to prevent any harm to your pooch. Even if your dog is very active, it is better to do multiple short trips outside than one extensive one. Most dog walking companies, such as Canine Concierge, have winter weather policies in place to keep your dog safe and comfortable.

 

Dress warmly

As mentioned, dogs have the one-up on us in being covered in fur; but not all fur coats are the same. Small breed dogs, puppies and elderly dogs need a little more attention during this time of year. Their fur isn’t as thick and in colder conditions regulating their body temperature could be a little more difficult for them. Luckily, not only is dressing them up fun for us, but also great for them. Make winter safety fashionable! Sweaters, coats and hoodies are a nice way to make them comfortable and help them retain some body heat.

Rocky used one of our winter safety tips and wore a sweater on his snowy walk.

Photo by: Katherine Lopez

Bulking Season

Not only are fur coats different, but so is body mass. We tend to put on a little more weight during the holidays (perhaps for different reasons like too much turkey and cookies), but why not your dog? Introduce more protein and fat into your canine’s diet. It’ll help them bulk up and keep a healthy coat to keep them safer during the winter season.

 

Paw Police

With snow comes many things such as ice, salt, antifreeze and de-icers, all of which can be harmful and toxic if ingested or exposed to your friend. After every outing, make sure to wipe down your dog’s paws. Check for cracks, bleeding or sores that could be caused by the ice on the ground. An added winter safety tip: trim the hair in between their toes to eliminate snow buildup.

 

Pet-Proof House

Who said a safe winter was only limited to outdoor conditions? Making sure your house is a safe environment for your pet is just as important as their time outdoors. Use caution when introducing space heaters, chimneys and heated blankets and pet mats. Dogs can easily burn themselves on a heater or open fire or possibly even start a fire if they accidentally tip over a space heater. If you have a heated blanket or mat for your pet, make sure to check it regularly as it can burn your friend’s skin. Traditional blankets and dog beds are a safe route and will the do the job just as well.

 

Outside of knowing what you can do to help your dog have a safe winter, it is also important to know what warning signs to look for. Being on the lookout for symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite can make all the difference for your pooch. Pay notice to any whining or changes in behavior, if your animal slows down or just stops moving all together and exhibits uncontrollable body movements such as shivering or weakness. Remember that the symptoms of frostbite can take longer to appear than those of hypothermia. Check daily for pale areas or unusual pain.

 

As they say “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” so take these extra winter safety precautions to make sure you give your furry friend a wonderful AND safe time of the year!

A snowy scene with a dog carrying a stick using our winter safety tips

Photo by: Vladimir

Have more ideas for a fun, safe winter? Suggestions, thoughts and comments welcomed below!

7 Unique Christmas Gifts For Your Cat Under $50

Two beautiful cats decked out in jingle bell collars, unique cat-themed Christmas gifts idea for under $50!

Photo By: K-nekoTR

 

Any furbaby parent will be the first to admit their little bundle of fur is at the top of their Christmas list. Dog-themed Christmas gits are rather easy to come across because dogs are just that: easy and laid back. A dog would be more than happy with a new tasty bone, maybe a new plush bed or a shiny new ball. But what of those who are a little more difficult? Finding the perfect unique cat-themed Christmas gifts may prove to be more difficult.  It will take more thought and maybe even a  game plan! Cats certainly have adapted a stigma for being more independent than dogs but also more fickle.

 

The holidays are coming, so make this year different! With Black Friday having just hit, it is time to take advantage of those sales and discounts! 

 

For all you feline lovers and parents who perhaps are stuck on what cool, creative and unique gifts you can get your sidekick, here is a list of seven unique cat-themed Christmas gifts under $50. Happy hunting!

 

#1 KONG Zoomgroom

KONG is a well-recognized and popular brand among the animal owner community. Ranging from toys to personal care they have it all! Speaking of personal care, cats are well known for being very hygienic. They’re not licking themselves because they’re bored, they want to look good! So why not help your little lion out. The Zoomgroom helps remove loose hair and stimulate natural oil production for those nice shiny coats and healthy skin. On top of that, you’d be giving one heck of a massage! Everyone wins here.

#2 Catit Senses 2.0 Self Groomer

Continuing on with the grooming kick, what happens if you’re not home? Who’s going to take care of the lion’s mane? Well, they can do it themselves! It was mentioned that cats are independent. The Catit Self Groomer gives your feline the accessibility of constant grooming. It’s no secret cats love to be brushed but unfortunately, we can’t sit for hours doing it. Catit Self Groomer includes a durable brush AND a catnip compartment. With adhesive strips just choose your corner to stick it on and your kitty will do the rest.

#3 The Original Scratch Lounge

Still looking for unique cat-themed Christmas gifts? Did someone say catnip? Well, that is what this next item includes! The Original Scratch Lounge is a dense 3-sided honeycomb padded cat scratcher. It is reversible, 100% recyclable and made from no harmful materials. It is the perfect spot for a cat nap and for those play times just sprinkle some of the complementary catnip that comes with each of these and watch your furball transform.

#4 OurPets Play-N-Squeak Backyard Cat Toy

Just like dogs, cats need lots of stimulation. While dogs are more physical in play, cats need the same exercise mentally. Even housetrained cats never lose that natural instinct of hunting and it’s important to make sure they fulfill that need. The Play-N-Squeak Cat Toy features a realistic squeaking bird noise to appeal to your little hunter’s instinct. The toys themselves are made with catnip inside so your kitty gets a little extra kick without the mess. Choose from a wide variety of styles ranging from birds to squirrels. This is a great little toy that’ll keep your cat mentally stimulated, healthy via exercise through play, and fulfill their hunting instincts.

 

Need unique cat-themed Christmas gifts? Try a homemade collar made of a holiday print like this cute kitty is wearing!

Photo By: K-nekoTR

#5 PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Dog and Cat Water Fountain 128 oz.

Ever seen a cat jump up on the counter and start drinking from the faucet when there’s a water bowl available? This is because cats associate running water with life; the theory goes that before cats became domesticated, they had to find their own fresh water and often times rivers were their means of survival. The PetSafe Drinkwell 360 will certainly take your feline back to those days. Its large capacity is great for multiple animals of all sizes. Your cat has the option of 1-5 changeable streams and great tasting water since an activated carbon water filter is included. It is dishwasher safe and BPA free.

#6 Cat Subscription Box

As fickle as some cats can be, it’s good to surprise them here and there. A monthly subscription box is a great way to introduce your kitty to different treats and toys. Subscription boxes are booming! It’s a great little service that allows clients the flexibility to customize the type of box they’d like to receive monthly and depending on the company many personalize the box based on your pet. Meowbox, Chewy and Kitnip Box are a few of the well-known ones out there. The best part is you can cancel the service at any time if your kitty is getting too spoiled or perhaps you want to try a different company.

#7 Cat Sitting and Pet Care Services

Sometimes the greatest gift is not materialistic, but simply having company. Cats are very independent creatures but they need just as much love and attention as the next furball. Registering for pet care services is an amazing way to ensure that your baby is taken care of by professionals who understand your love and the importance of your pet’s well-being. From drop-in visits to overnight stays, the services are personalized based on YOUR needs. You control the day, the time and the type of visit. Some companies such as Canine Concierge even provide text or email reports from your sitter of your pet’s day. Photo included! What better way to say “I’m thinking of you” than to gift your feline with their own personal sitter and soon-to-be friend!

 

At the end of the day, your cat doesn’t love you for what you can give them or whether you’re being lavish with materialistic things. But being able to give them something solely unique just like they are is a great little token for all the unconditional love and company they give year after year- especially this time of year. A pet might only be here for a part of your life, but to them, you are their whole life. Make it a memorable one with one of these unique cat-themed Christmas gifts!

Christmas Cat sitting on an armchair next to a decorated Christmas tree. An ornament with your cat's photo would make unique cat-themed Christmas gifts!

Photo By: Sarah Richter

 

Have some more ideas for unique cat-themed Christmas gifts? Suggestions and comments welcomed below!

A Thanksgiving Menu For Your Dog!

Thanksgiving dinner for a dog holding fork and knife (with hooman hands)

Photo by: Georgie Pauwels

 

Thanksgiving! That time of year is drawing near when relatives flock in and the kitchen is fully stocked. It is the time of year we reflect and look back at all we have and those who have given us unconditional love and support. Our furry friends make up that bunch! They are with us through thick and thin, but what happens during these busy and sometimes hectic holiday dinners? They get crated or separated in another room to avoid those wet noses on your guest’s laps once the main course rolls out.

 

So in return for their loyal companionship and love, include them in your Thanksgiving festivities; not as your pet, but as your guest!

 

As pet parents, is it easy to cave once we see those big chocolate chip eyes staring up at us saying, “Give me the chicken, hooman.” But during the holidays it is especially important not to cave and let your pet eat from your plate. Aside from food poisoning or allergies, we tend to cook fattier and richer foods during this time and that can certainly mean health complications for your best friend. So what’s a fur-baby parent to do, you ask? Create an a la carte menu for your pet!

 

Here is a four-course, limited ingredient Thanksgiving menu to include your pets in the festivities.

 

A Chalkboard illustration of a Thanksgiving menu for a dog

Cocktail

A lil’ bubbly, or in this case creamy! Blend together ½ can of pumpkin puree and ½ can of vanilla non-fat yogurt. Blend until smooth and pour into paper cups. Pumpkin is packed with fiber, so not only is your cocktail tasty, it’s also healthy. Any leftovers? No problem! Throw them in the freezer for a midnight snack.

Appetizer

To get your pet’s palette ready, you’re going to need baby carrots, sliced apples, celery and natural creamy peanut butter. Spread a dollop of peanut butter onto the veggies and fruits and arrange them into different assortments so you give your furry friend(s) options. You could even make these the night before and they’ll stay fresh for the following evening.

Entrée

The main course, finally! Once your turkey for your human guests comes out of the oven, cut a few slivers of white meat. Mix the turkey with chopped carrots and throw into a blender. Add cooked quinoa and blend until everything is mixed. Roll the mixture into ½ inch balls if your pet is small or 1 inch balls if your pet is larger and place on a non-stick pan. Bake for 15 minutes in your already preheated oven at 400°. Voila! A hearty healthy meal for your pet to eat alongside you!

Dessert

Save the best for last, they say. To bring this Thanksgiving meal home, you’re going to need 1 large cooked sweet potato, 1 banana, ½ cup of quinoa flour and ½ tablespoon of coconut oil. Bring down the oven to 350° and in a bowl mix the sweet potato and banana until blended. Add the coconut oil and gradually mix in the quinoa flour. Place about a teaspoon of dough on a non-stick pan and flatten lightly. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool before presenting them to your furry friend(s). The sweet without the sugar!

Nothing brings you closer than sharing a meal with loved ones, whether it’s the ones that walk on two legs or those that walk on four. Why not have your guests bring along their pets for an added bonus? Create your dream holiday this season, man’s best friend included.  If it is not an option to have your dog with you this Thanksgiving, boarding your dog at the home of a licensed pet care professional is the next best thing!

Thanksgiving Dinner time for this dog sitting at a table! Photo by: Trevor Wintle

 

Have tasty recipes to add? Ideas to make this Thanksgiving better than last year? Share your thoughts and comments below!

Top 5 Northern New Jersey Hikes For You and Your Dog

Top 5 Northern New Jersey Hikes For You and Your Dog

One of the biggest perks of living in New Jersey (other than Taylor ham) is the scenery. We are known as the Garden State for a reason!

With the end of October and colder weather drawing near, now is the opportunity to grab your furry friend and embark on an adventure.

New Jersey is home to some of the greatest trails, lush fields, fecund woods and beautiful views.

Here are our picks for 5 of the top Northern New Jersey hikes for you and your best friend.

 

A Pointer enjoying a break in a creek during his Northern New Jersey Hikes

Northern New Jersey hikes can be enjoyed with your dog during any season!

Photo by: Annie Thorne

Pack some snacks, bottled water, doggy treats and few tennis balls. Enjoy these Northern New Jersey hikes with your best friend!

 

BUTTERMILK FALLS, Mendham, NJ

Unfortunately no, the cascade is a not frothy pool of milk but it is a lovely trail that leads to a mini waterfall in the center of the woods. Located at the edge of Mendham NJ, Buttermilk Falls Natural Area is a moderate trail approximately 2 miles long. There are numerous trails to hike down, a swimming hole to take a dip in and even historic sites like the Lewis Mine.

 

POINT MOUNTAIN RESERVATION, Lebanon Twp., NJ

This trail is for those that are up for a challenge. With an elevation of 935 feet, you are in for some views! Point Mt. is a 3-mile hike up a steep rocky incline that brings you to an overlook panorama of the nearby farmlands and valleys of Lebanon Township. An added bonus, right below is the Musconetcong River which houses some of the best trout in the state for your inner wolf.

Point Mt. Reservation Northern New Jersey Hikes
 Photo by: Katherine Lopez

 

WILDCAT RIDGE HAWKWATCH, Rockaway Twp., NJ

If you thought the last elevation had a wow factor you will be even more impressed to learn Wildcat Ridge stands at 1,029 feet high! If you decide to venture here with your pup during migration season, you two may be in for a show of a plethora of different species of raptors that travel through the flyway. On clear days you can even see the Empire State Building steeple. If that is not enough to peak your interest, this trail also houses the largest bat cave in NJ.

 

HACKLEBARNEY STATE PARK, Long Valley, NJ

This beautiful park is for those looking for a relaxed, easy walk with their fur-baby. Hacklebarney offers not only the Black River but waterfalls, options of short and long trails that combine into other nearby trails, picnicking and restrooms. It is a comfort trail so it is busy year round. This is a great spot for a dog that loves to socialize!

Black River - Hacklebarney Northern New Jersey Hikes

Photo by: Jim Lukach

 

PATRIOT’S PATH, East Hanover Twp., NJ

Thrill seekers join together! About 35 miles of multiple terrains and area, Patriot’s Path will not disappoint. The best thing about this trail is that it links with so many others. That is why having a map handy with this one is very much advised. There are lots of nooks and crannies, so getting lost is a possibility. But that is an adventure within itself, right?!

 

Gear up, possibly consider investing in some doggy boots for your pal or gal and take lots of pictures to remember the amazing sights you are sure to see on your Northern New Jersey hikes. Who better to share it with than with your best friend?

A Lab enjoying some off-leash time on his Northern New Jersey hikes


Photo by: Dave H
 
Heard of even cooler places to explore? Have a great adventure story to tell? Share below!
Throw the Perfect Halloween Party For Your Dog in 7 Simple Steps

Throw the Perfect Halloween Party For Your Dog in 7 Simple Steps

 

Fall is a great time of year for everyone. Brisk weather perfect for walks, cozy blankets for snuggles, and the start of festivities with the first being Halloween. As fur-baby parents, the part we look forward to the most is the chance to dress up our furry companions in costumes. Therefore, why not go a step further and throw a Halloween dog party for your canine and their best friends?

Whip out the decorations, get baking and start your journey to host the best Halloween dog party of all time with these seven simple steps.

 

#1. A Halloween dog party is not complete without guests

Be creative with your invitations; this is the first impression your guests will have. Create your own online or stick to traditional paper invitations.  You don’t need to spend big bucks because funny and cute ideas are easy to come up with (especially with online inspiration) and they set a great tone for a totally howling Halloween dog party!

 

#2. Create the perfect setting

Pinterest fans unite! This is your chance to dabble in all the DIY decorations you want. Creating an ambiance for your canine guests is very important to ensure they have a great time safely. Provide dim lighting, make sure balloons are placed out of reach, and most of all, get crafty. Dog Halloween parties are the perfect chance to showcase your creativity!

 

#3. Full house, big appetites

Since it is pumpkin season, pumpkin-infused treats are a great way to go. Not only is pumpkin packed with fiber, it’s also healthy for your furry friends. Furthermore, Greek yogurt and apples make perfect additions for variety to your homemade treats. Frozen cubes of chicken broth make a great “cocktail” option for your Halloween happy hour.

 

#4. Release the hounds

Plan activities that engage your guests. Set up a runway where they can strut their best looks and crown the winner with the best costume! Or create your own “spooky” agility course! In addition, give prizes like gift cards or treats to the best overall winner. Then, take your Halloween dog party to the streets: plan a trick-or-treat walk hitting local shops around town.

 

#5. A memento for the night

Send everyone home with a little piece of the evening. Put together “doggy bags” of goodies and toys. Set up a Selfie Station to snap pictures of your guests that you can later send as thank you notes for attending your soiree.

 

#6. A perfect costume for your friend

Creating a costume for your canine is easy and costs less than you think! With so many ideas out there, it seems like your only dilemma will be deciding which one to pick! Create your own from scratch or go to your local pet / Halloween store to make sure your best friend looks his or her best.

 

To conclude your extravaganza:

#7. Capture the memories

Finally, make sure to capture the Instagram-worthy moments you are sure to have while hosting this Howl-o-ween bash. It’ll be one to remember!

 

Any tips to ensure an even safer and exciting night for all? Costume ideas? We’d love to see them! Please share your thoughts below.

 

photo by: andreaarden