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!
Yes, Struttin Pup sells biscuits. We carry a lot of biscuits. A lot. But this time of year is, for some, the only time that the rolling pin comes out of the drawer. So, this year, while you’re making up a batch of holiday cookies for humans, how about baking some for your favorite dog or dog lover on your list? We’ve put together a roundup of some of our favorite, natural dog biscuit recipes for you to make this holiday season!
Fleas aren’t usually a big deal here in Colorado, nor are they a problem this time of year. But these grain-free biscuits have the added bonus of keeping your pup flea free PLUS they help reduce bad breath!
GRAIN FREE DOG TREATS by the WHOOT
How cute are these? Make them more seasonal by using red, green or blue dyes. We would also recommend using Color Garden Pure Natural Food Colors in lieu of artificial food dyes.
IRRESISTIBLE DOG DONUTS by Irresistible Pets
This recipe is perfect for anxious dogs this time of year. Now we just need a human version!
LEMON-LAVENDER DOG BISUITS by Doggy Dessert Chef
You’ll find a million gluten free holiday cookie recipes for humans but gluten free dog recipes are a little bit harder to find. Here’s a great one that would make a beautiful gift.
GLUTEN FREE DOGGY STICKS by 3mbakery
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.
Here at Struttin Pup we are more than just a pet store. We build community by providing fun and informative events. These events are a great opportunity for humans and fur babies to socialize. Some dogs are cool as a cucumber around other dogs and people. Other dogs are shy, fearful, aggressive or hyper when around other dogs and people. Whether you have a social butterfly or a wallflower, we have put together some helpful tips that will help ensure that everyone has a great time, most especially your dog!
1. Always ask the owner if it is ok for you and your dog to interact with their dog before meeting.
2. Remain Calm. Your dog can sense your anxiety through your body language. Keep your dog’s leash loose. Sometimes tension on the leash will communicate to your dog that you are nervous and will, in turn, make them nervous.
3. Have some high value treats (Struttin Pup will always have plenty of treats for you at our events) that can distract your dog’s attention back to YOU. Treat your dog often for remaining calm and focused on you.
4. Pay attention to body language. If your dog (or the dog you are meeting) stiffens their bodies, stares into the other dog’s eyes with their hair raised and teeth bared or lunges (even in excitement), put some space between them and give them time to calm and get used to each other from afar.
5. Don’t feel guilty if your dog isn’t a social butterfly. Your dog doesn’t need to be the life of the party, but he does need to BE social and NOT aggressive with other dogs. Keep a close eye on your dog and always keep him on leash. If you think that he’s starting to feel overwhelmed, it’s best to be a wallflower and take a break from the action!
Though our pools won’t be much more than ankle deep, our upcoming Pool Party on Saturday, August 27th got me thinking about dogs and swimming. I have a Golden Retriever that won’t swim. She obviously never got the memo that she’s a water dog. Though we assume dogs are natural born swimmers, not all breeds (or all dogs, even if they are “water dogs”) are. Some breeds can’t swim at all and will sink without a floatation device. It’s a great idea to introduce your dog to water when it’s a puppy. But, regardless of age, these steps below will help get your dog swimming in no time (or at least they’ll be more comfortable with water!). Some dogs may take to swimming quickly, but if yours doesn’t, don’t worry. These steps can be done over a period of several days so they don’t get overwhelmed.
Breeds That Are The Worst Swimmers
1. English Bulldog
3. French Bulldog
6. Bull Terrier
7. Basset Hound
8. Chow Chow
1. NEVER throw your dog into the water for her first swim. This will only ensure that she’ll never want to swim again.
2. Start somewhere quiet and shallow so that you can walk in the water beside your dog. Keep your dog leashed until they are able to swim unassisted and consistently come back to you when called. If needed, have them wear a life vest (especially if they are one of the breeds listed above). Let them get used to getting their feet wet. You know how shocking it can be when your toes hit cold water initially. It takes time for your dog to get used to it too!
3. Bring some favorite toys or treats to help coax her farther into the water.
4. This next step can be tough with Colorado’s cold water temperatures, even in the summertime. But using lots of verbal praise, take her deeper into the water until she has to start paddling to stay afloat. If she needs a little extra support, put your arm under her belly. This will help her use her rear legs along with her front legs. She’ll tire more easily if she is only using her front legs to swim. Support her until she is using all four legs to swim.
5. If your dog starts to panic, go back to shallow water, calm down and try again!
ltThree years ago, after bringing home my new pup, Sage, I asked my holistic vet about safe and long lasting things to give her to chew on while she was home alone. Her number one recommendation, hands down, was a stuffed and frozen Kong.* (For those wondering, raw bones came in a close second.)
Many people think that Kongs are meant to be stuffed with peanut butter and anything else that Kong, itself, manufactures. Not true! First of all, that much peanut butter isn’t good for anybody – including your dog. Can you imagine how much peanut butter it would take to stuff a Kong? Even a small Kong would take at least half a cup! That’s just asking for a tummy ache. Personally, I like almond butter (the Paleo world has influenced me, I suppose!) and my dog, Sage doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, she runs to the kitchen whenever a jar of almond butter is opened! While I don’t recommend stuffing an entire Kong with almond butter, it is a great option to start or finish stuffing a Kong with, as it makes a great seal (so that the gooey ingredients listed below don’t fall out). It’s also a good idea to use your fingers to line a little bit of it inside your Kong – this will really keep your dog busy trying to lick it out!
So, if using jars and jars of nut butters as a stuffer for your dog’s Kong is out, what are you suppose to use? Here’s a quick list of our favorite foods that can easily keep your dog happy and busy when stuffed and frozen in a Kong:
- Organic, Plain Yogurt
- Natural Baby Food
- Fruits such as bananas, apples slices, strawberries, blueberries and watermelon (just remove the seeds first)
- Veggies such as carrots, green beans, cucumber slices, or zucchini
- Pumpkin (canned)
- Leftovers – salmon, chicken, beef, veggies that are going to go bad in your crisper drawer despite your best intentions to eat them yourself, etc
- Broth (low sodium chicken or beef broth is a great choice and makes an excellent teething treat for a puppy)
- Kibble or Canned Dog Food
- Dog Treats
- Don’t Feed it to the Dog Lis!
Above are my suggestions for WHAT to stuff in a Kong. As to HOW to stuff and freeze them – simple! I like to take as many Kongs as I have (usually 3-5), place them in a large Tupperware container so that the large openings are at the top, and start stuffing! The Tupperware will catch any spills (especially if you’re using something “leaky” like broth or yogurt). Place the Tupperware full of Kongs in the freezer and, viola, you’re set for the week!
Where you give your dog its’ Kong may depend on what you stuff it with. Keep in mind that what freezes, must thaw! And while your dog may be lightning fast at emptying out the Kong, chances are you won’t want to give Fido a Kong stuffed with canned pumpkin and plain yogurt on your brand new oriental rug. So, perhaps its crate, a tiled or hardwood floor or the backyard are the perfect places to let your dog go to town.
Really, once you have a Kong, the ingredients are quite inexpensive, especially when you compare the cost to other chews like bully sticks! It’s a great idea to rotate through different kinds of chews, but your dog will love a stuffed and frozen Kong and this is a great opportunity to get creative in the kitchen! Bon Appetit!
* Throughout this article I use the word “Kong” to describe a toy that can be stuffed with treats to keep your dog busy. Kong is a wonderful option but other options exist, like my favorite – SodaPup. It’s made in the USA out of natural rubber that is sustainable, non-toxic and biodegradable. Think of Kong as the Kleenex of dog toys. While Kong makes a great product and has dominated the market for years, there are other great options available.