BONUS HOLIDAY RECIPES
The countdown is on. Christmas is in just a few days! Imagine looking forward to a nice, quiet evening of enjoying the new book you received for Christmas. Cozying up by the fireplace sounds great, after all the forecast is for snow! While you’ve been busy unwrapping presents, socializing with family and friends and getting the holiday dinner together, your dog has been patiently lounging around. So, just as you are ready to sit down to relax, he bounces up, ready to play. It’s been a long day and he’s ready to go!
Throw on that jacket and bundle up. Your pup deserves to frolic in the snow, at least for a bit. After a frigid frolic, you head inside and reach for your book. But first you reach inside the freezer and grab the last present of the day…a stuffed, frozen holiday treat for your pup. You’ll enjoy the peace and quiet it brings you and your dog will be ecstatic to have a delicious treat.
Struttin Pup has a free e-book of delicious recipes to stuff a Kong or Soda Pup toy. You can grab your copy here. As our holiday present to you, here are some bonus festive recipes that your dog will dig (and some will make you drool too!). Have a wonderful holiday!
Holiday Bow Wow Bark
- Mix Sunbutter or Almond Butter with Goat’s Milk (which is great for digestion and so much more. Check out our blog about the benefits of goat’s milk here
- Add crushed freeze dried fruits (like raspberries and blueberries) to your mixture
- Stuff mixture inside your Soda Pup or Kong
- Sprinkle with dehydrated pumpkin
- Top with cinnamon
- Freeze and serve!
- OR, instead of stuffing your Soda Pup or Kong, place mixture in a shallow dish, sprinkle with dehydrated pumpkin, top with cinnamon, freeze and break into pieces of bark. This makes a great holiday treat for your pup as well as his neighborhood friends.
Holly Jolly Bites
You can use the following directions to stuff a Soda Pup or Kong OR you can use a fun shaped ice-cube tray and show off your culinary art!
- Place dried cranberries, mint leaves and blueberries in the bottom of your tray to create a holly berry.
- Add plain, organic yogurt
- If you are using a stuffable toy instead of an ice-cube tray, just mix all ingredients together and stuff…your pup doesn’t care what it looks like!
- Freeze and serve!
Pumpkin Pie Pupsicles
- Mix together ½ tsp of cinnamon with a small amount of unsweetened applesauce and as much canned pumpkin as it takes to fill your stuffable toy (check out our blog about the benefits of pumpkin too!)
- Stuff your Soda Pup or Kong
- Add a spear of carrot or sweet potato as your popsicle stick.
- Free and serve!
- Mix plain, organic yogurt with the following:
- “Charcoal” (Wholesomes Charcoal Dog Biscuits) taken from your snowman’s buttons
- Carrots taken from your snowman’s nose
- Freeze and serve!
Trimming your dog’s nails is not for the faint of heart. If you’re lucky and you started training your dog from a young age, it may not be that bad. But for a lot of us, our dogs start to tremble when they see us take out the nail trimmers, then we get nervous that we’re going to cut the nail too short and it will bleed and the process becomes not fun for anyone! You can always opt for Struttin Pup to come to the rescue. Our groomers, who are here 7 days a week, are more than happy to trim your dog’s nails. Sometimes your dog will even behave better for our groomers than they do for you (kind of like a young child!). But if you want to learn this skill, here are some easy tips and tricks to guide you through the process.
Start with treats and start slowly. Many dogs are too scared to take a treat during the nail trimming process, but most will take a treat afterwards, making it a positive experience. Slightly freezing a jar of baby food and having someone hold it for your dog to lick while you trim can also be a great distraction. Also, remember that you don’t have to do all the nails at once. My dog, Sage, is 4 years old and I still typically only trim the nails on one paw at a time. It’s just easier and less stressful for both of us.
Make sure to use good quality trimmers that are sharp and the correct size for your dog.
Look at your dog’s foot from the back and the bottom. Keep in mind how their joints work. If you’re pulling their leg to the side to make it more convenient for you to trim the nails, your dog could start pulling away. You may interpret this as them being fearful of nail trimming when it’s simply that their legs don’t move that way! A great visual is to imagine a farrier working on a horse’s hooves. If you can move the dog’s leg like a farrier moves a horse’s leg, you’ll be golden.
Hold the handle of the trimmers flat against the toe pad and cut straight across the nail. This cuts the nail so that it sits just above the ground. Cutting this way also makes it unlikely that you will cut your dog’s nails too short.
Black nails? Not a problem. Cut where the nail gets thin, not where it is thick. And take little snips at a time until you see a black dot in the center of your dog’s nail.
“Oh no, my dog is bleeding!” Preparation and attitude are the keys to this tip. Make sure you have corn starch, styptic powder or a styptic pencil on hand. Even a bar of soap will do in a pinch. Some say that cutting the quick, which is the vein that runs into the nail, is like ripping off a human hangnail. It can be quite painful, but you both will survive. Remember to stay calm. Your dog can feed off your emotions and if you are stressed, they will stress too! Simply plug the nail with the corn starch, styptic powder or pencil or soap, praise and give your dog a lot of treats!
Remember to be positive and patient. Unless you’re lucky and just walking your dog keeps their nails short, most dogs’ nails need to be trimmed every 2 weeks. So, learning how to trim your dog’s nails is a great skill to have. Also, feel free to drop by with your dog and have one of our groomer’s give you a tutorial. We love to help!
I have been trying to get into the holiday spirit lately. The weather is finally getting colder and nighttime is mesmerizing with all the Christmas lights that are up already. It was obvious what the content of this week’s blog should be – the holidays of course! But then I got an email from our good friends at LightShine Canine Rescue. They are hosting an event this weekend in Longmont and asked me to help spread the word. The evening includes Hors D’oeurves, Silent Auction/Prize Drawings and a presentation with KC Willis. Sounds fun, I thought but “who is KC Willis?” I asked. Their email response I received left me in awe.
KC is the founder of LightShine Canine. She was working with the grandmothers on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Before we get to what KC and LightShine Canine Rescue does, I want to paint a picture of Pine Ridge Reservation. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is an Oglala Lakota Native American Indian reservation. It is the eighth-largest reservation in the United States, larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. Pine Ridge is also the poorest zip code in the United States. It is more similar to the third world than it is to what we typically experience living in United States. Homes are often overcrowded and without running water or sewer. The un-employment rate is 80-90%. Per capita income is $4,000. 1 in 4 infants are born with fetal alcohol syndrome or the effects of it. The suicide rate is more than twice the national rate. Life expectancy on Pine Ridge is the lowest in the United States and the 2nd lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Only Haiti has a lower rate. Yes, you read that right…Haiti.* Yet, even amongst the poverty, the Lakota people are positive, kind and compassionate. This is where our story continues…
The Lakota grandmothers kept asking KC if she could help with the dogs that they kept seeing who were looking sicker and sicker. KC started working with Nebraska rancher, Jean Parker, who had been rescuing dogs off the reservation for 27 years. Together they started rescuing many, many pups. In 2014, Amy Simms, of Erie, CO, adopted a dog from KC. In November of that same year, an eight year old girl on the reservation was attacked and killed by a pack of feral dogs. It was then that KC decided that she had to expend all her energy on rescuing as many dogs as possible, most of them going to Minnesota (where they have about 26 rescues that take these fabulous rez dogs). With so many dogs to rescue, Amy stepped in to help with fostering and adoption, bringing LightShine Canine Rescue to our community.
LightShine Canine Rescue is ALL about the strength and compassion of the people on the reservation. They are the ones calling LightShine and letting them know where the dogs are, taking them in until they can get there, and doing the pick up and transport of the pups. There are school teachers at the reservation schools who take care of the starved dogs who come looking for food until LightShine can get there. They are the ones scaling down ravines and jumping in dumpsters to rescue the dogs so that they can have a better life. They are the ones feeding them what little food they have.
I often feel torn when it comes to the white man’s involvement with indigenous Americans. Let’s be honest, our involvement has typically ended up in betrayal and sorrow for the original people of this country. On the surface, this works seems like the right thing to do. But that’s from my perspective – as a white woman. How do the indigenous Americans feel? Are we helping? There is a quote from one of the grandmother’s that makes me realize just how important the work that LightShine Canine Rescue does. She said, “Don’t ever let people tell you that helping the dogs isn’t helping us, because it is. When you take this puppy out of my front yard that’s starving, that I can’t take care of, you are relieving my heart. You are removing a visible sign of helplessness, because all of these puppies represent the chaos that my community is in, that this is okay.”
This holiday season has been a time of reflection for me -a time to stand up for my convictions. And if you’re reading this, you too are probably pretty convicted about at least one of two convictions – the plight of indigenous Americans and the welfare of animals. Either way it comes down to compassion, and isn’t that what this time of year is all about? We hope to see you at Saturday night’s event!
While it certainly doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner, they are! Before you know it, we’ll have a house full of guests, be traveling, or at the very least, we’ll be a little stressed ourselves with all the things that need to be done for the holidays. What does this mean for your pets? As pet parents, we don’t need studies to tell us that our pets can feel emotions (but there are some cool studies about dog’s emotions…check it out!) And just like us, our pets can feel the stress of the holidays and easily become overwhelmed. Here’s some quick tips and products to help you and your pet have a more stress-free holiday!
- Get Ready For Guests – If you’re planning on having guests over during the holidays, a refresher course in manners is a good idea. Excited dogs can jump, bark, beg and otherwise annoy your guests who may not be as dog crazy as we are. At the very least, give your dog lots of exercise before guests arrive. You may want to create a safe room for your dog or cat where they can escape the chaos. While in their safe room, keep your dog busy with a stuffed Kong (download or FREE recipe book!).
- Routine – To decrease stress levels, stick to your regular routine. Make sure meals, walks and playtime happen at the same time every day. Set reminders on your phone so that you don’t have one more thing to remember this holiday season!
- Essential Oils – When properly used, essential oils are a great way to help calm us and our pets. Make sure to attend our free class on Saturday, November 12th from 10-11am as Chrissy Messick teaches us how to use essential oils to keep us all calm! Call (303-665-3038) to RSVP and claim your free calming spritzer!
- Pet Releaf – For situational anxiety issues like big holiday parties and traveling, whole plant CBD oil is wonderful – although it is not 100%. Nothing is 100%. Often times, the CBD will allow them to “chill out” or get enough of the anxiety under control that they can function. CBD does this by modulating the hyperactive transmission in the brain. Struttin Pup offers Pet Releaf Edibites, Hemp Oil and Hemp Oil Capsules.
- Stress Mints – While pets come first at Struttin Pup, we don’t forget about humans! One of our most popular ‘human products” at Struttin Pup are peppermint lozenges that help relieve physical and mental tension, settle digestion and restore energy during hectic times, like the holidays!
Here’s to happy and safe holidays for all!