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!
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!
November is National Pet Diabetes Month
You may be aware of the staggering diabetes and obesity epidemic currently happening in America amongst humans (if current trends continue in the next 2 decades, 95% of Americans will be overweight and 1 in 3 will have diabetes), but you may not be aware that it is happening to our pets too. In fact, there was a 106% increase in diabetes claims in just one year, according to pet insurance provider, Trupanion. Is your pet at risk?
If your cat or dog develops diabetes, their body is either producing insufficient quantities of insulin or not utilizing insulin effectively. Insulin is a hormone whose job is to move sugar, fatty acids, amino acids and electrolytes into your pet’s cells (just as it does in our cells). So, if your pet is not producing or utilizing insulin effectively, their cells are starving even though there are nutrients just ‘outside the door’.
Diabetes most often affects middle aged or senior pets, however, just like in humans, diabetes is beginning to affect our pets at a younger and younger age. Symptoms of diabetes can develop slowly, so be aware of any of the following in your pets:
- Increased urination and thirst – your pet may even have accidents in the house or outside the litterbox.
- Excessive hunger while losing weight
- Cloudy eyes (dogs)
- Doesn’t groom (cats)
- Thinning, dull, dry hair
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Kidney Failure - especially in cats
- Weakness in rear limbs (cats)
The number one cause of diabetes in pets is obesity, typically stemming from to many carbohydrates in their diet. All carbs break down into sugar and excess carbs can result in diabetes. Here is where some confusions that exists: Grain Free and Gluten Free do not mean Carb Free. Yes, there are ‘better’ carbs that offer more nutrients and burn more slowly, but whether you or your pet are ingesting 50g of carbs from chickpeas or 50g of carbs from wheat, you require the same amount of insulin to process it. Ideally, you want to feed your pet a moisture rich, species appropriate diet high in a good quality protein and low in carbohydrates. For dogs, a diet high in fiber is important as well in order to slow digestion and the release of sugar into the bloodstream. It’s easy to add some canned pumpkin or steamed vegetables to accomplish this. A raw food diet is best and it’s easy now-a-days with so many options of commercially prepared raw food diets available. Next best is dehydrated and freeze-dried followed by a grain-free canned food and then a grain-free dry food that are low in carbohydrates and high in meat content.
A lack of exercise also plays a major role in whether or not your pet is predisposed to develop diabetes. Movement in the form of walks is great, especially as a starting point if you have an obese pet. However, you and your pet need more than that, aim for 20 minutes a day of having your heart rates elevated. I’m sure you can think of ways to do this with your dog (fetch, runs, etc), but what about your cat? How in the world are you going to get your cat’s heart rate up? Check out this article with tips and tricks to get your cat moving.
There is also more and more research connecting autoimmune disorders to Type II diabetes. If your pet is getting yearly vaccinations, their immune system can become over-stimulated. And if their immune system attacks their pancreas, diabetes can develop. If possible, work with a holistic or open-minded vet that will run titer testing to measure your pet’s antibody response from previous vaccinations. The results will tell you whether or not you need to re-vaccinate.
If your pet does develop diabetes, we urge you to follow a low-carb diet, increase their exercise and do yearly titer testing. But you will also have to closely monitor blood glucose levels and possibly do daily insulin injections. One of the most important take-a-ways from this article is this…TYPE II DIABETES IS COMPLETELY PREVENTABLE AND REVERSABLE IN MOST CASES. Just as it’s not easy at first, for us to give up pizza and ice-cream, it’s not easy for your pet to become less dependent on carbohydrates. I can’t tell you how many customers say that their cats, especially, won’t eat anything but a dry food diet. It takes time and patience to form new habits and tastes. But the alternative can be costly, both financially and in terms of your pet’s health.
Halloween can be so much fun. But put yourself in your pet’s shoes. The day is winding down and instead of snuggling with your favorite human, the doorbell keeps ringing. And ringing. And ringing. And your human keeps opening the door and strange little people, dressed in scary costumes are shouting something that sounds like “Trick or Treat”. You don’t know what’s going on, but you do know that this is no ordinary night.
We’ve got some tips to make Halloween a little easier, safer and hopefully more fun for everyone!
- Candy isn’t good for you, but it REALLY isn’t good for your pet!
Let’s start with the obvious. Chocolate can be dangerous, and even lethal, for cats and dogs. Xylitol can be poisonous as well. Vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, seizures and rapid breathing are all symptoms of chocolate poisoning. Even the smallest amount of xylitol can cause a rapid drop in sugar and a loss of coordination and seizures. Make sure to keep the candy out of reach of all pets – even those that can counter surf and open cupboards.
- Keep your dog away from the front door.
Whether you use a baby gate or tether your dog to you, make sure your dog can’t dash out the door when Trick-or-Treater’s come knockin’. If you have an anxious or territorial dog, it’s best to use a baby gate, crate them or keep them in a closed off room that they are comfortable in. As for cats, keep them in a closed off room that they feel safe and secure in. And make sure everyone is wearing their ID Tags, just in case they do make a run for it.
- Keep your pets inside – even in the days leading up to Halloween.
It seems incomprehensible to us animal lovers that this could happen, but vicious pranks involving teasing, stealing, injuring and even killing animals are known to come around during Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk. Did you know that some animal shelters won’t even adopt black cats out in October due to safety risks? It’s best to keep everyone inside, safe and sound.
- Pumpkin is great, but too much pumpkin is not!
Pumpkin is wonderful for pets. It’s so wonderful we wrote a blog about it! But think how you would feel if you at an entire pumpkin! Besides a horrible tummy ache, intestinal blockage can occur if larger pieces are ingested. Keep an eye on other fall foods, such as Decorative Indian Corn, which can also cause intestinal blockage if eaten.
- Jack-O’-Lantern’s and Pets Don’t Mix.
Keep the lit jack-o’-lantern’s outside and away from any pets. Pets can easily get excited, bump into them, and cause a fire or get burned. Try lighting your jack-o’-lantern with Pumpkin Lights or Glow Sticks and avoid fire danger altogether.
- “Please Don’t Make Me Wear That”
You may have a pet who loves playing dress up. But for every pet who loves it, there are 10 who hate it. Try out your pet’s costume a few day’s in advance of Halloween. If they seem to be comfortable, great! If not, try something smaller, like a Halloween Bandana.