Homemade treats: Peanut butter “donuts” with carob

November’s BarkBox included a fun recipe for Homemade dog treats. Titled Protein-Packed Peanut Butter Mini Donuts (recipe on BarkPost through the link) the treats are very easy to make, look great!, and certainly passed the (many) taste tests.

The recipe has just seven ingredients (flour, egg, baking soda, milk, peanut butter, carob powder and water). 

Mixed together, the dough is quite stiff. The recipe recommends using two spoons or a pastry bag to fill the mini donut pan. My Ziploc bag with the corner cut out wasnt strong enough and the dough popped through, so I reverted to using spoons.

I doubled the recipe, and in three amout of time the first pan of donuts took to bake, the remaining dough had risen so the second batch was fluffier than the first.

Rather than create a mess by drizzling the carob-water glaze on the donuts, I made the glaze thicker and dipped the donuts in. This gave me the classic donut look without glaze being all over them.

Happy baking!

AquaPaw, Soggy Doggy Towel & Fresh Wave Make For Easy Bath Time

Bathing dogs has never been fun. Two challenges are the mess that is created with water, and cleaning the entire dog. Using a combination of the AquaPaw and Soggy Doggy Towel makes for a super-easy bath time. Fresh Wave shampoo makes a wonderful all-natural ‘Made In The USA’ pet shampoo which leaves them with a shiny coat and subtle natural smell.

AquaPaw was started as a project on Kickstarter and they ave shipped their initial production run. I purchased mine full-price and just received it yesterday. I liked the idea of being in control of the water, and I think the massaging ‘fingers’ on the device make rinsing and lathering in dense fur very easy.

The unit comes shipped in this clamshell packaging that is heat-sealed in six place. I used scissors to clip away the sealed portions, and was able to easily open it.

For some background, the AquaPaw straps around the palm of your hand like a glove, and has a shower head type of opening embedded in the glove with a valve, so you can push the valve to start the shower of water – all with one hand.

The contents of the package include, the AquaPaw handheld unit, a shower head extension, a quick-connect coupler, and some plumbers tape.

I was impressed by the quality of the construction. Clearly, a lot of effort had gone into the design of the unit. The connections seemed sturdy, and – while the actual open/close valve is buried in the unit – it sounded and felt sturdy as I tested it before installation.

Installation was very easy and required only one tool, a set of pliers, to loosen and re-tighten the shower head. Everything else you need is included in the package. From start-to-finish, the installation took 5 minutes, if I’m being generous. The illustrated directions were easy to follow and I was successful the first attempt. The thread of the plumbing that my shower head attaches to is slightly askew from the threading on the AquaPaw so the quick-connect coupler comes out the top of the extension, rather than below it. It is more of an aesthetic thing for me, and is completely outside the control of the designers, but it is a subtle observation.

The instructions also show you how to connect it to a garden hose if you desire.

I don’t need a high-pressure stream of water, so it turned the water supply to about 50%, checked the temperature, and activated the shower lever. The extension has a slider to indicate if the water should go to the AquaPaw unit, or the shower head. Sliding the indicator to expose the blue end causes the water to go to the hand unit, while exposing the black end sends the water to the shower.

The extension is plastic and easy to use; it feels sturdy. It does lower the shower head a bit, but not by much.

 

Overall, this product is well-designed, well-constructed, and makes easy work of the worst parts of bathing a dog.

When the wash and rinse is done, the Soggy Doggy Towel takes over and using this innovative pocketed chenille towel makes quick work of drying your pooch. Even before Dexter was out of the tub today, I could see his coat was already drying. Ordinarily I would bring out the hair dryer and finish drying him that way, but I brought him outside in the sun, finished up with the towel, and he was quickly dried.

My favorite shampoo for dogs is Fresh Wave. It has a nice, natural scent, and is safe for their coat. It isn’t a gel, more of a thick liquid (like the consistency of cough syrup), and doesn’t get too sudsy. I didn’t need to use a lot of shampoo to get Dexter clean, and having a lower amount of lather made it easy to control around his face.

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National Ride The Wind Day

Today is National Ride The Wind Day, a carefree day near the end of summer to kick back, let the breeze through your hair, and float above the clouds.

Dogs can celebrate this day in their own way, literally, by floating through the air, using their skills to help their fellow animalkind. 

National Geographic has this coverage of skydiving dogs in Africa. Partnered with a handler, they float down from a plane then begin pursuit of poachers, mostly of ivory.

Take a second today, kick back and enjoy the fresh air, pet a puppy, and read this inspirational article.

httpp://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/wildlife-watch-skydiving-dogs-poaching-training-program-johannesburg-elephants/

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Teeny Treats, New Toy, and Ready To Run!

This week a lot of great things happened. 

I was reading on Lapdog Creations of the ASPCA Virtual 5k and, in an effort to stay active, signed up. I’m looking forward to training early in the mornings. This summer ended up being rainy and miserable so I’m optimistic this fall will be nice.

Registration included a numbered bib, a finishers medal for me, and I opted for finishers medal for Dexter. 

The 5k doesn’t have to be done on a specific time or date, and because Dexter gets fairly winded after 1.5 miles, we’ll break up the walk into two sessions. Our team page is here, and our goal is to raise $100 for the work the ASPCA does for animals across the country. Look for pictures when the registration package arrives and when we complete the walk!
Today was grocery day and while at Wegmans shopping picked up some fun things: more Buddy Biscuits, some Bag Balm for Dexter’s foot, and a new toy: a blinking chewy toy.

Buddy Biscuits come in two sizes (regular and Teeny Treats). The Buddies come in two flavors Roasted Chicken, and Peanut Butter, Grilled Beef, and Bacon and Cheese. All of the flavors have limited ingredients, and are equally addictive!

Buddy Biscuits regular size and Tiny Treats

I use the Teeny Treats in a puzzle toy. They fit great and are a huge motivator!

Both dogs at home are chewers. We can’t seem to keep enough to in the house! This fun made by Nerf feels durable, about 7-inches long, and has flashing lights in each end. There package doesn’t give any indication that the batteries are replaceable, and there aren’t any places to access a battery- which is probably a good thing!

Lastly, Bag Balm is a petrolium jelly great got chafed skin, and minor scrapes. Will out on a walk, Dexter got excited and pulled on the leash which ended up in him scraping one of his pads on the asphalt, causing a scrape he was tendering. Bag Balm is useful for people hands and dog (and cat) paws. 

As I’m writing this, a Slow Cook Pork Carnitas rost is cooking away and the house is smelling great! The dogs are going crazy begging for some. Super easy and hard to wait for!

The Soggy Doggy Towel Makes Bath Time A Breeze

First of all, you are probably wondering, what is the Soggy Doggy towel? It is essentially a 33″ by 14″ shammy made from chenille.

The two unique attributes of this towel are it’s shape and it’s construction.

An overview of the Soggy Doggy Towel showing hand pockets

An overview of the Soggy Doggy Towel showing hand pockets

The Soggy Doggy towel features two hand pockets to make drying easy

The Soggy Doggy towel features two hand pockets to make drying easy

The Soggy Doggy towel has built-in pockets on either end for your hands. This allows you to control the towel more accurately. I was able to guide the towel down Dexter’s legs and reach all the way under his belly. This allows the towel to absorb more water than a standard bath towel.

The second interesting feature are the hundreds of little nubs that increase the surface area of the towel which allows it to absorb more water. The packaging claims it can “hold up to 7 times it’s weight in water”. After using this towel, I believe that!

Opening the Soggy Doggy Towel

I ordered this towel from Amazon but they are available at several retailers. It arrives in two days. The packaging want amazing but it did the job; a plastic bag with a fold-over cardboard hang strip. It had all the use and care instructions printed on it.

Soggy Doggy Towel information tag

Soggy Doggy Towel information tag

Soggy Doggy Towel information tag

Soggy Doggy Towel information tag

Soggy Doggy Information tag

I don’t have a dedicated pet sink or tub so my dogs get bathed in the bathtub. It’s a confined space which means I often get wet as they shake. The towel is light and easy to add to my collection of things.

I currently use Tropiclean to suds up, and a little plastic storage container to rinse. I have a five dollar hair dryer just for dog drying. The towel is a nice addition because it doesn’t mean I need to use a bath towel as well.

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A soggy doggy ready for his Soggy Doggy Towel

Dexter was just groomed so his fur isn’t that long. Typically he would have a for length of four inches but he was much shorter this bath. After the usual wet/lather/rinse routine, it was time to try out the towel.

It was very easy to use. My adult hands had lots of extra room in the pockets. As I mentioned earlier, the towel is easy to control as you move it over the dog. I would hold Dexter’s belly in with hand and rum my other hand down his opposite leg. The towel let me fully circle his leg which maximized drying.

I can’t speak for him, but I bet he enjoyed the massage of hundreds of little towel ‘fingers’.

Almost dry after a few rubs using the Soggy Doggy towel

The amount of water removed from this dog is amazing. While I mentioned he had fairly sorry hair this bath, even before he left the tub he had mostly dried. It took only there it four minutes with the hair dryer to finish the job and fluff him up!

When finished, I hung the towel to dry. I hang most of my clothes to dry (no sense using the drier when Mother Nature will do it for free, without the shrinking), and the towel doesn’t take up much space on the rack; less than a standard towel.

The washing and drying instructions are as follows:

Machine wash cold
Wash separately
Do not bleach
Dry low
Do not dry clean
Do not iron

This towel is great for baths, but here in the Northeast we get rain often, and snow in the winter and I have no doubt that this towel will be useful during those times as well.

Soggy Doggy also makes several variations of a doormat, a slop mat for under food bowls, big and fluffy beds, and a humorously titled “Slobber Swabber” which is essentially a shammy on a stick. Check them all out on the Soggy Doggy website: https://www.soggydoggydoormat.com

Dogs and Dog Products Are The Stars on ABC's Shark Tank

ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ Unleashes Hit Pet Products

Avid followers of the hit ABC television show Shark Tank are already aware the incredible platform the show gives to up and coming companies who are looking for their ‘big break’.

Contestants on show bring their products in front of a panel of millionaire (at least!) judges, or “sharks” as they are referred to, in the hopes of landing an investment. Often times, profitable companies will appear on the show looking for the injection of knowledge and industry connections that the sharks bring, and not just a financial investment.

The panel of Sharks is comprised of a panel of investors (namely Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Marc Cuban; along with a few guest ‘sharks’) have evaluated business investment opportunities from every-day inventors and small business owners.

While not all of the contestants leave the ‘tank’ with an investment, some do, and go on to reap the benefits of the years of knowledge (and cash!) that the Shark/investor have accumulated.

Wondercide product photo

Wondercide is a natural flea and tick and pet control products for pets and people. The company was founded when Stephanie Booth was not satisfied with the current flea and tick sprays on the market.

“I thought I was keeping Luna safe by using flea & tick control prescribed by a vet, but when she experienced devastating side effects ranging from skin issues to organ failure, I knew there had to be a better way. ” – Stephanie Booth

They were full of toxic chemicals and were mostly water. She developed a formula which was made from food grade ingredients, which was safe to use on pets, children, and around the house. Their online sales soon skyrocketed and long before they entered the Shark Tank, they were profitable. The hurdle they needed to overcome was retail stores. While their online sales were stellar, they didn’t have a retail presence. In today’s ‘instant gratification’ society, they needed to put bottles on the shelves, so customers could use the product immediately.

That vision came to fruition when Shark Lori Greiner stepped in with the expertise they were looking for. Wondercide is now available in stores across the United States and, of course, online.

Wondercide has a great post about their journey on Shark Tank, what the process was like, and how the experience impacted them. It is a great read for any companies looking to go on the show.

Looking for an update on how the company is doing after Shark Tank? Check out this great read from the Gazette Review: What Happened After Shark Tank?

ICPooch Logo

ICPooch is an interesting case study. While the idea for the product was ahead of her time, it seems like inventor Booke Martin may have pioneered the wifi-treat dispensing industry. She took this idea from the early Kickstarter stages, through development, shipping, and onto Shark Tank, only to have no investors bite.

Today, however there are a wide variety of such products available that allow pet owners to not only dispense treats, but also meals, and allow them to see their pet through a device-mounted camera while away.

In another post here, I assembled a list of the Top Automated Pet Feeders. Not all of them are wi-fi enabled, or can even be considered “connected” devices, but it is a great list to start with for finding the best automated pet food dispenser.

The Ringer has a great article on the State of the Connected Pet which tries to figure out why pet owners are flocking to technology.

The ICPooch website states the company is no longer in operation, but the spirit behind it lives on.

Himalayan Dog Chew Cheese Treat

The team behind the Himalayan Dog Chew is certainly unique. The brought their experience with this “people snack” from Nepal and adapted it to a “dog treat” in America.

The product itself is quite unique. Take some yak and cow milk boil it, add salt and lime; press it in burlap and age it for a few months. After, it is cut into strips that dogs enjoy chewing on, similar to a Nylabone, but this is edible! When your dog chews through it, leaving a small end, it can be microwaved and will ‘puff’ into a cheese treat.

Not all offers in the Shark Tank end in a deal. The creators of this product couldn’t reach an agreement with any of the sharks, but they certainly have gone on to success. Their pre-Shark Tank revenue was over $5 million and since then they have expanded their product line significantly to include Yaky Charms “dog popcorn” which you microwave like traditional popcorn; and fabric chew toys.

They have a very cute Twitter feed full of pups and cheese sticks: https://twitter.com/himalayanpet

fresh patch grass delivery service logo

Arguably one of the most interesting pet products to ever dare visit the Shark Tank is Fresh Patch.

This company delivers two sizes of grass segments which are used indoors as a replacement for pee pads, and synthetic grass. Their premise is that dogs naturally gravitate to peeing on real grass, and due to the location or conditions, not all dogs can conveniently make it outside to do their business on naturally-occurring grass.

The solution? Turn to Fresh Patch which will regularly send you (on a subscription model) a ‘fresh patch’ of grass. They sell optional frames for the grass to sit in; though you can leave the grass in its shipping container during use.

While the founder came into the tank with just over 500 subscribers, after the show aired, he was shipping over 1000 ever day!  His partnership with Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran has certainly paid off!

While there are several competitors offering a similar product (live grass delivered), there are also alternatives including newspaper inserts, synthetic grass, and absorbent pee pads.

 

To summarize, there are all kinds of outcomes contestants on Shark Tank can leave with. Some come in looking for money they desperately need to continue or grow their business (for example, ICPooch), others come looking for the exposure (as in the case of Himalayan dog treats), while a third group come to the show to learn from the Sharks and bring their products to new markets (Wondercide).

Its no secret that this show has certainly become a hit, and done a lot of good for several entrepreneurs which speaks to its ability to attract viewers and participants.

The best part of this show is building the Entrepreneurial Spirit of everyone watching at home. How often do we have frustration completing a task and say “there must be a better way!” Taking the lessons learned by the Sharks and by the contentions appearing on the show, we can make “the better way” a reality, and take our solution to an every day frustration and turn it into a business.

Watching Shark Tank will give you the basics of what is required for a successful business, but the Sharks have shared their knowledge in the books they have written. In those books, you can learn from a  lifetime of experience. Check out the titles below for some interesting, and inspiring! reading.

Easy Homemade Dog Treats With Simple Ingredients

While browsing through a number of blogs, I found a post on Two Little Cavaliers on a simple recipe for dog treats.

I like recipes with simple ingredients. I try to eat simple food and ensuring I do my best to keep my dogs food as uncomplicated as possible is important as well. 

This recipe has only six ingredients and is very simple to prepare and bake.

The original recipe instructed to use a cookie cutter, however, both of my dogs are small and I wanted to keep the portions small as well. Combined that I only have a Halloween bat-shaped cookie cutter on hand led me to find alternatives.

I used the metal cap for a liquor bottle I had which measured 1 3/4″ in diameter. The dough, when baked, does not rise or spread so the end result is very close in size to the original shape.

Using every piece of dough, I was able to make approximately 83 pieces when using my small circular “cookie cutter”. The treats fit nicely into a Mason jar that I can keep in my treat basket.

Here is a link to the original recipe. 

You will need:

  • Whole wheat flour
  • Coconut oil
  • Water
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Ginger
  • (Optional) Carob chips

The author gives more instruction on how to use carob to make the fancy decorations, but I chose to omit that.

Because of the spices, the house smelled wonderful as the treats we’re baking. When I fed a fer cooled ones to my pups, they continues to ask for more! This recipe is a real winner!

Preparing the ingredients

Mixing in the wet ingredients

Refrigerated dough ready for rolling and cutting

All cut into circles and ready for baking

Lined up in rows on parchment paper, ready for the oven!

Fully baked and now cooling

Cooled and ready for eating! The bottle cap made them the perfect size for snacks

Packed in a Mason jar in the treat basket, ready for good dogs!

Dexter ate the treat so fast the camera missed it!


Looking for another treat!

Two Little Cavaliers has a lot of great recipes for simple homemade dog treats for you to make for your furry friend!