Category Archives: nutrition

Delicious And Easy No-Bake Dog Treats

Occasionally, I will make the rounds and read blog posts keeping an eye out for new things I can make or do to bring good things to my dogs, and one post stood out to me on the Chewy.com blog, it was a recipe for No-Bake Trail Mix Bars.

The blog is well done and includes a whole section for “DIY & Recipes” that are super easy to build and make for people of any skill level.

I’m a huge fan of easy recipes. and hate making a huge mess in the kitchen for any reason. This recipe was easy, little mess, full of high-quality foods that my dogs (and I!) enjoyed eating.

The treats are made from a base of peanut butter and oatmeal with dried fruit and coconut mixed in. The recipe calls for ingredients with no added sugar, so the overall taste was different than what I was used to in commercial human trail mix, but I agree that less added sugar is a good thing.

All of the ingredients were readily available at my local Wegmans grocery store, and the directions were very easy to follow. The Chewy.com blog post has a video and pictures that make completing this treat very easy.

Ingredients in the No-Bake Trail Mix Bars. All Natural, Unsweetened dried fruit
Ingredients in the No-Bake Trail Mix Bars dog treats

The two tricks I found to making this recipe succeed were:

  1. Use your hands to mix the ingredients. Using a spoon or spatula wasn’t efficient.
  2. Half of a cup of peanut butter wasn’t enough to make things stick together well, feel free to increase it.
Video produced by Chewy.com demonstrating their No-Bake Trail Mix Bars dog treats
Trail Mix Bar ingredients in the bowl, ready for mixing.
Using the spatula keeps your hands clean, but increases the mixing time.

Once you have the chia seeds soaked, add all the ingredients together. This recipe reminded me of a Christmas baking recipe from my childhood, peanut butter fruit balls rolled in coconut.

As a tip, ditch the spatula and use your hand. You can wear a glove or put your hand in a ziptop or sandwich bag to mix if you don’t want sticky hands.

No Bake Trail Mix Dog Treats in a pan with parchment paper
Ingredients mixed and pressed into the parchment paper-lined pan

The recipe suggests a 6×10-inch pan, which isn’t one I have. I swapped it out for a 9×9 which is a bit larger. Consequently, the bars that it created were thinner (which could have contributed to the crumbling I experienced). Feel free to use the size of pan you have. The trail mix consistency is think, dry, and light, so you could even use an empty snack cracker box that has a large side removed, or a clean take-out food container. This link will bring you to Amazon to check the price on their Pyrex glass baking pan set.

Broken bars and crumbs
Broken bars and crumbs

Once I had removed them from the pan, they started to fall apart. Increasing the peanut butter is highly recommended. The recipe says to wrap each bar separately in plastic wrap. Instead of that, I put all the bars (and crumbles!) in to an air-tight container. These ‘dog treats’ are just as edible for humans, so the dogs and I snacked on them in the upcoming days.

Australian Shepherd enjoying No-Bake Trail Mix Bars

Mickey was having a diva moment and didn’t want to stand up for his treat, so he devoured it lying down. I probably should have made him shake a paw or speak before he got it, but I was more concerned about his reaction to the taste than his training!

In conclusion, this was a very easy, quick, no-fuss, DIY treat that is nutritionally good for both the dogs and I.

If you are looking to make these at home, check out this link to Amazon for a Pyrex Glass Baking set.

CycleDog Plush Toys And Other Dog Essentials Made In America

Cycle Dog Earth Friendly Pet Company

Cycle Dog got their start in Portland making rubber-lined dog collars. Both eco-friendly and practical, they became popular quickly. The company has expanded to include manufacturing a variety of plush toys too. They haven’t lost their focus on the environment as the inside of their Duraplush SpringyBot plush toys have a filling made from recycled plastic bottles. Other products include their Eco Last post-consumer recycled rubber toys that are balls, treat dispensers, and fun critter shapes.

Cycle Dog Duraplush toys

 

 

2 Hounds Design

2 Hounds Design began as a one-woman business and has since expanded to help revitalize a lost textile industry, but also help improve the life of animals.

They continually add new designs to their lineup, and the most recent addition is the Paradise Cream which has soft a blue and green peacock pattern. Some of their collars and leashes come in matching designs so you can keep your pets ensemble coordinated!

2 Hounds Design Paradise Cream Martingale collar

 

Dogs Love Hummus Dogs Love Kale treats

Dogs Love Hummus Chews, from Dogs Love Kale, are dog treats primarily made of chickpeas, which are highly palatable and rich in protein. There are no animal-based protein sources in the chews, making them suitable for dogs with common food intolerances.

This chews have ingredients like turmeric and peppermint oil, to make a healthy, limited-ingredient chew that’s safe for dogs with allergies. Turmeric is an antiinflammatory herb.

Dogs Love Hummus Chews are fully digestible, are not hard enough to break teeth and emit unpleasant odors. The chewing action can help fight tartar buildup and added peppermint oil relieves bad breath.

They make a wide variety of products including these soft treats with turmeric Beef and Apple flavor.

 

 

Started in 1984, Up Country Inc started making upscale dog collars. Since then they have continued to add stylish designs and products which are made in their Rhode Island factory.

Their innovative Doggie Doorbells are a simple and stylish way to let your dog inform you of their need to go outside. Their door bells come in 11 colors and can be customized to match your house or your dog! Keep checking their store for the holiday version that will be coming out soon!

Up Country Inc Doggie Doorbell

 

 

Polka Dog Bakery Boston MA

Something new that I hadn’t seen before are clam dog treats. It is an interesting twist with an even funnier name – Clam Chowda. Made from slowly dehydrated clam protein in Boston, MA. They make lots of unique dog treat flavors including chicken jerky, and cod and haddock skin treats,

Polka Dog Bakery Clam Chowda Dog Treats Polkadog is obsessed with quality and sustainability. They are always looking for innovative ways to create new treats that are good for your pet and good for the planet. That means sourcing raw materials conscientiously from good people doing good work in our own backyard. Clams are one of the most sustainable protein sources in the ocean. They’re high in Omega fatty acids, low in calories, and filter the water they live in to feed. Low impact and delicious.

 

As you know, buying locally and domestically is a great way to help build and sustain our economy. It also draws on the innovative nature of our fellow countrymen. So many of these products were created out of a sense of entrepreneurship and innovation. Owners have asked themselves, how do I take what I have and turn it into a business. They ask, how do they take their skills and apply it to something they love.

All of these companies, Cycle Dog, 2 Hound Design, Dogs Love Kale, and Polkadog Bakery were all built buy people looking to do what they love.

Exciting “Made In the USA” Dog Products

Every pet owner is looking to provide the best and safest food and toys to their pet. With concerns about the safety of imported goods, and as we look to strengthen our economy and keep money in within the border, we look to Made-In-The-USA products to fill those needs.

These are some exciting new products that are Made In The USA. All of them are creative ways to stimulate and improve the life of our pets.

If you haven’t had a chance to read an earlier post about buying American, please take a minute to do so now. It outlines some of the reasons why it is the first choice we should be making when looking to purchase anything for our home.

Some of the links below will take you to the product pages on Amazon where you can easily complete your purchase. Most of the products feature free shipping for Amazon Prime members. These are affiliate links which means we receive a small percent of the purchase to help cover the cost of operating this blog. The price you pay is the same whether you use the links here, or go buy directly through Amazon.

Clicking on the company name will bring you to the corresponding company page.

loving_pets

Loving Pets make a canine dental treat, branded as Ora-Bone, features both breath-freshening ingredients, and textured surfaces to clean all areas of your dogs mouth. They are proudly manufactured in their American facility.

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Dogs Love Snapeas (from the makers of Dogs Love Kale) are award-winning, limited-ingredient treats made with no animal by-products. The three current varieties are Peas & Cheese, Peas & Chicken, and Peas & Beef. Check out their fun Facebook page too!

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The folks at Emerald Pet make their products in the USA from American ingredients. They have a full line of chews and toys, as well as Snug n’ Tug ultra tough toys.

 

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Earth Animal make a wide variety of innovative products, no-hide chews, and treats. How better can I say it than they do: “Earth Animal™ is proud to bring you our very own Veterinarian formulated vitamins & supplements, treats, chews, Wisdom Real Food, Organic Herbal Remedies, and Natural Flea & Tick Prevention Products. Each line of our treats has been carefully and thoughtfully sourced, truly made in The USA, and manufactured in a USDA Human Facility. They are safe and ultimately nutritious for your animals. Our protein is sourced by local farmers and our vegetables are real and organic.

fromm-family-foods-logo

The From Family operates all three of their facilites in Wisconsin from which they manufacture and test all their products. Their four lines cater to all stages of growth and diets. Customers rave about the high quality how even picky eaters will like this food.

One of their innovative products is Four-Star Parmesan Cheese treats. They are grain free and come in a resealable bag. Their Four-Star products come in a wide variety of dried, canned, and treat formats. Chicken with Peas and Carrots, Lamb and Cranberry, and Salmon with Sweet Potato, are just a few of the creative recipes they have formulated!

 

Be sure to check out the quality and durability of all these American-made products.

New ‘Made In the USA’ Dog Food & Toys

Providing the best and safest toy and food is always the most important part of taking care of our pets. Knowing the origin of the ingredients and components is one step to ensuring your pet says healthy for a long time.

These are a few new Made in the USA products I recently stumbled across, and are some that I will be checking out to see if my dogs will like them.

As I mentioned in a previous Made In the USA article, there are several important reasons to buy American. Not only do you know the source of the components, but you also help to support American jobs. Knowing that you are keeping your pet happy, and that you are also supporting your neighbors jobs, is satisfying on many levels. With domestic ingredients going into the product you buying, it multiplies the domestic benefits. Keeping money circulating in many communities.

Buying American is also great for the environment because all the products have shorter shipping distances, less fuel is needed to move it around; keeping the air clean as well.

Clicking the links below will bring you to either the manufacturer website or Amazon where you can research or purchase the products. Some are affiliate links. The purchase price isn’t higher, and the revenue from Amazon helps offset the cost of operating this blog.

fw-logo

One of my favorite products that I use all the time, at bath time, is FreshWorks dog shampoo. While some of their ingredients come from places outside the USA, their products are manufactured in Rising Sun, Indiana.

They have a complete line of all-natural home freshening products including dog shampoo! It has a great, fresh, natural smell and lathers just enough to manage, but doesn’t make bath time difficult.

 

dogswell

The jerky products by Dogswell are each formulated for a purpose such as Hip & Joint, Skin & Coat, Immunity and Defense. They are made from lean cuts of USA-sourced chicken breast, turkey or beef and are oven-baked in their own facility. Other products also include Norwegian salmon, New Zealand lamb, and European duck.

 

ruffdawg

RuffDawg is product line from Jefferson Rubber Works, a 50 person company in Worcester, MA creating a full line of dog toys and chews. Their Flying Fish Floating Dog Toy is fully recyclable, made of solid premium rubber, and from FDA-approved recyclable materials, free of phthalates, latex, and BPAs.

 

Evangers-Logo-240x80

Evanger’s is a family owned company started in 1935 and recently introduced a super-premium line of protein-based food for dogs and cats. Buying online saves lugging cans from the grocery store, but also is available from local pet stores Pet Supplies Plus.

 

indigenous-logo-sm

The people behind Indigenous Pet Products makes a kelp-based Dental Chew for dogs. They source USA-made ingredients, when possible, and have their manufacturing facility in Denver, Colorado. Kelp is a rich source of nutrients and is free from artificial colors and preservatives.

 

This is just a tiny sampling of products that help support the US economy, and help to ensure that we are feeding the best to our furry friends.

Easy Options For Fresh Dog Treats

I like to spoil my dogs with homemade dog treats from time to time. The ability to choose, and know, what ingredients go in to what they are eating puts my mind at ease. Losing all the additives and preservatives makes me feel like I am in taking responsibility for my dogs health.

The kitchen isn’t a strange place to me, and I have some baking skills, so whipping up a batch of treats in an afternoon is fun and relaxing, although with so many things on the ‘To Do” list, finding time can be difficult.

One of my favorite discoveries in the last few months has been Big Paw Treat Club. I pay full price for the shipments I receive. They are a dog treat subscription service which sends out one package of freshly made homemade dog treats right to your door each month. You can also order individual bags without a subscription. This ‘Treat Of The Month Club” ensures your pantry is always stocked!

Having the option to either bake my own – based on recipes I find online, or have them shipped to my door is a great option for when I feel like being adventurous in the kitchen, and the times that I’m not!

The most recent shipment was for Beef Barkers which are Grain Free, made with tapioca flour, and have flax and parsley. My dogs absolutely devoured these! I was able to find this recipe online for a similar treat from Kelly at her Primally Inspired blog.

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Each shipment from the treat club comes packaged nicely and with care. I know that if even half the thought that went into the packaging and presentation goes into the baking of the treats, that they will be absolutely delicious.

Do you like to bake your own treats? Or do you prefer to have them made for you?

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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!

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!