Kennel vs. Pet-Sitting – What to do with Your Dog While on Christmas Vacation

Kennel vs. In-home Pet-sitting

Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones, packing your beach bag and a book to head for a tropical vacation this cold holiday season.  Or perhaps you are one of the unlucky ones and have to travel to Northern Canada where it is even colder, to visit with your nitpicky in-laws over Christmas.  Regardless, if you are going away over the holidays it doesn’t always work to bring your furry friend with you.  Often, dogs get lucky in the summer and get to tag along for family camping trips at the lake, but the holiday season is a more common time where travel is focused on visiting family afar or a sunny vacation destination, in which it is not possible to bring the family dog.  Dog owners are often perplexed as to what to do with their pets in these situations, trying to ensure the most positive experience for their dog during this separation.  There are many options available, but the two most common scenarios are in-home pet-sitting, or to board your dog at a kennel.

Pet-Sitter

First, a pet-sitter can come in different forms. A pet-sitter could simply be asking a close family member or friend to take your dog for the time you are away. Your dog would pack his suitcase with his bed, food, leash, favorite toy, and medication, if required, and go for a multiple day sleepover at a friend’s house.  This scenario is likely the most cost effective way of finding care for your dog and is simple as you don’t need to do a complete background check for the caretaker of your precious fur baby. Chances are your dog would already be familiar with this pet-sitter and maybe even the environment.  You would be able to pack your own bag and leave on your jet plane with ease of mind. However, not everyone has the luxury of knowing someone kind enough to take on such a responsibility.

Alternately, there are people (like us!) that you can hire as a pet-sitter.  This would often be done in your own home in which a professional pet-sitter would come to your home while you are away.  At Pet City Canada, we come to your home ahead of time to meet your pet(s) and make sure our pet sitter is a good fit for you and your pet(s).  This option is also favourable as it doubles as a house-sitter and keep your home secure and safe while you are away.  If you have more than one dog, chances are it will be easier to hire someone to come to your home than shipping multiple dogs to a friend’s house. Also, for dogs that are nervous with new places this option keeps them secure in their own familiar environment, with their regular routine, toys, sounds etc.

Boarding Kennel

A boarding kennel is another option available. This type of boarding is very different than pet-sitting and once you look around at different options, you will find kennels vary greatly between themselves, as far as environment goes, and what is offered and/or available to your dog.  Basically, a Kennel is a larger environment which provides temporary housing for animals (typically cats and dogs) for a fee. Kennels typically are very busy and offer room to run around and play indoors and outdoors.  This environment will keep your dog entertained and exercised, and likely will have 24 hour staffing onsite.  A kennel is better suited for dogs that are already socialized, have basic obedience training in place, and due to the number of dogs in care at a time, are up to date with their vaccinations.

Kennel vs. In-home Pet-sittingKennels are like hotels and in essence could be rated on a 1 to 5 scale with stars depending on the extra luxuries and frills that are offered.  A variety of amenities that could be available include picking up and dropping off, daily walks, toys available, included obedience training, grooming before going home and of course the option of having a plush blanket available.  Perhaps 1000 count sheets on the doggy bed are available at a 5 star kennel?!  It’s up to you as a responsible dog owner to decide which star rating would be most appropriate for you and your dogs needs, but there are a few critical things to look for when choosing a kennel including the cleanliness of the overall environment, whether there is proper ventilation in place, if there is caring staff on site, and how many staff are available at any given time.

 

 

Now you know the basic differences between kennels and pet-sitters, how do you decide?  The following items are what you need to consider when making this decision:

  1. Needs of your Dog – Does your dog have separation anxiety and needs to be in a familiar environment? Is your dog used to more one on one attention?
  2. Health of your Dog – Does your dog need regular medication? Does your dog often require trips to the Veterinarian for ongoing health issues?
  3. Personality – Does your dog like to be busy or prefer a quieter environment? Does your dog do well with other dogs and people?
  4. Owners Desires – While us dog owners may love to know our pups are snuggled up in high thread count cotton at night, quite honestly these frills typically don’t mean anything to your pup. So choosing the number of fancy frills available to your pup is for what you as a dog owner desire for them to have in your absence.
  5. Cost – Likely there will be a cost difference between your neighbour’s teenager staying at your place for a few days and sending your crown wearing golden retriever to the 5 star Pet Resort. Clearly, cost will be something to consider when choosing appropriate temporary care for your pet that suits all your needs.

Key Things to Consider When Booking your Pet’s Care

  1. References – When leaving your Dog in care of someone you don’t know, ALWAYS check references. You want to ensure this individual/business is equipped to deal with this responsibility and is a good match for your dog.
  2. Provide Relevant Information – It is also important to ensure you educate your dog’s caretaker on any relevant information about your dog such as behavioral concerns, health issues, medication requirements, and dietary requirements to ensure your dog will be in the best care possible.
  3. Contact numbers – Always leave detailed contact information with the care provider so they are able to contact you, if required, your veterinarian and even a back up care provider in case they are no longer able to watch your dog while you are away due to an emergency.
  4. Dog’s Comfort Level – When possible you want to do what you can to make sure your dog will be as comfortable as possible in your absence. Bringing them for a trial stay at a kennel or pet-sitters home will make the next stay more comfortable.
  5. Book in Advance – As you can see there is a lot of things to consider when looking for appropriate care for your dog before you head for the white sand and warm water, so do your research ahead of time and book in advance to limit the stress!

We’re expert pet sitters and have experience minding more than dogs! We’ve taken care of reptiles, birds, cats, and rabbits (to name a few!). If you have any questions about in-home pet sitting, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

5 Helpful Tips to Stop Unwanted Barking

5 Helpful Tips to Stop Unwanted Barking

Dogs bark, birds chirp, cats meow, and cows moo. While listening to these sounds of nature can be soothing, they can often also be irritating. It is important to remember this is one of the ways animals communicate to each other and to us. While barking is a dogs way of sending a message, it doesn’t mean all barking is warranted. Just like other unwanted behaviors, such as chewing shoes or jumping on guests, dogs can be trained to stop barking when not justified.

First, you want to understand why your dog is barking. Dogs bark for many reasons including warning of danger (protective barking), because they are alarmed, they may feel lonely, they may want to induce play, or even seek attention. Clearly some of these reasons, such as warning of an intruder or a natural response to being alarmed, make sense and many of us have dogs for this extra protection. However, the other reasons for barking, such as seeking attention, greeting guests, or even being constantly alarmed by every movement outside, can be very irritating. There are many gadgets and training techniques that you can try to break your dog of unwarranted barking.

  1. Train Your Dog to be Quiet

Teaching your dog to be silent on command is a very useful tool and will come in handy to stop unwanted barking. However, to teach your dog to be silent, first they have to be trained to speak on command. This may sound a little backwards, but this technique has proven to be successful. Once they learn the command for “speak,” they can learn the command for “quiet” (also known as “time to stop barking!”). Ask your trainer for tips on this training or check out some valuable resources here.

  1. Prevent Boredom

5 Helpful Tips to Stop Unwanted BarkingA lot of the time dogs are home alone while their owner is working and during these 8 to 10 hours they can get easily bored if they are not provided with enough stimulation. This boredom could lead to barking just for the sole purpose of your creative dog trying to amuse them self. Ensure your dog has enough toys to keep him/her stimulated while you are out to prevent boredom.  Check out dog puzzlers for dogs that need that little extra challenge! You can also hire a dog walker (hint, hint) to ensure your pet is getting enough exercise and attention throughout the day. This is especially a great idea if you live in a small space, like an apartment.

 

  1. Alter the Environment to Rid of Barking Stimulants

5 Helpful Tips to Stop Unwanted BarkingThe truth is that there are some stimulants that will trigger some dogs to bark regardless. For example, barking in response to an intruder may be a natural response. However, if your dog is watching at the window as people are walking by, how does he/she decipher whether this is a guest, a dangerous intruder, or just a friendly mail man. If these types of things trigger your dog and he is not able to identify the different situations, then you might try to remove the stimulants. Inside you can create a barrier by closing the curtains so your dog is not able to see each passerby. In the yard, if possible have privacy fencing, or if that isn’t possible sometimes planting hedges and taller plants around the boundaries, will help avoid these extra barking stimulants. In addition to visual stimulants, certain noises will also trigger barking. You can use fans, noise machines, a radio on to attempt to mask some of these outside noises that can be problematic.

  1. Train Appropriate Greeting/Play Behaviours

If your dog uses barking as a greeting, or barks excessively as part of playing, it could be quite irritating for you, your guests, or others in close vicinity. Training appropriate greeting and playing 5 Helpful Tips to Stop Unwanted Barkingbehaviours could eliminate this unwanted barking. To train greeting behaviours, it must start with you, as the owner. Once they have this down pat, start introducing visitors to ensure they have an acceptable way of greeting everyone who comes to the door. Maintain calmness when you approach the dog at the door and have special place for them to sit. Your calmness and expectation of your dog to remain calm will go a long way. Of course, initially, rewarding this behavior with treats will get you off to a great start! Remember consistency and patience is crucial!

This will come in handy for dogs that barks out of pure excitement when playing and will give you more control of their barking during these fun times too. There are a lot of resources online to teach your dog the quiet command, and it’s always great to enlist a professional trainer for assistance in properly training your dog to ensure positive behaviors.

  1. Use Aids

If your dog’s barking is chronic, disruptive, and problematic you might need immediate assistance to keep the peace with a Bark Control Aid.  There are many different types of aids that will eliminate barking quite quickly such as Electronic Bark Control Collars or Spray Collars. When the aid is triggered by barking it will emit either electric vibration, an ultrasonic noise, or an unwanted scented spray that will give a negative association as a result of barking. Theoretically, the dog will learn to stop barking as the result will not be positive (see Pavolvian Conditioning). Important: keep in mind these tools are not to be used in place of training, daily exercise, and play.  They are available to help with other tools when in a problematic situation.  Always consult your trainer for appropriate use of these aids.

Remember to stay calm, consistent, and patient and don’t hesitate to seek external help when dealing with problematic dog behavior! And, of course, call Pet City Canada for your pet sitting and dog walking needs to ensure your dog is getting a healthy amount of exercise and stimulation.

 

How to Keep Your Pet Safe on Halloween

How to Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween Pet City Canada

 

Halloween is a time for kids to get dressed up as their favorite princess or scariest character and go out to collect candy from neighbours and friends. This cherished holiday, by kids and adults alike, can lead to a night full of sugar, fun, and memories.  Costumes, forbidden treats, scary sights, and loud noises are not as exciting for pets; this night can actually be traumatizing and dangerous for pets when precautions are not made to keep them safe. The following are some tips on how to keep your pet(s) safe on Halloween.

 

  1. Keep Animals Confined

    How to Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween Pet City CanadaSome people live in condensed neighborhoods where they could get as many as 500 trick-or-treaters on a given Halloween night! For those of us who have dogs who react every time a someone comes to the door, can you imagine the doorbell ringing this many times could cause distress!  Again, the noise and racket this creates could lead to a lot of anxiety for pets.  Add on the sight of odd costumes and you could have a recipe for disaster.  Pets could take this opportunity to bolt out or respond in a protective manner, not knowing the difference between real danger and a dress up event.  Although 500 doorbell rings may seem to be exaggerating and not realistic for your neighborhood, keep in mind that just a few knocks and rings may be too many for your pet.  The best thing to do is keep your pets away from the constant opening and closing of your front door, preferably in a crate or at least in another room they can’t get out of.  Make sure your pet has a spot they can get cozy in, and hopefully with a toy or blanket that they are familiar with for a sense of security.

 

  1. Stay Away From the Treats

    We may all have a goal of avoiding the mini candy bars and tootsie rolls our kids bring home on this evening, but more importantly, you need to ensure your pet doesn’t get into these tasty treats. Many treats contain xylitol which can be toxic for dogs and cats.  In addition, chocolate poisoning can be lethal and not something a pet owner wants to endure.  It’s also important to ensure candy wrappers get put away so that your furry friends don’t ingest the packaging, which could lead to a life-threatening bowel obstruction.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween Pet City Canada

  1. Loud Scary Noises

    The loud crackling of fireworks is a common noise on a Halloween evening. Animals are often quite frightened by these loud noises and with heightened sensitivity, these events can lead to high stress and anxiety. As we cannot prevent this experience, it is important to know how to protect our precious pets during these situations.  First of all, ensuring your pet is confined so they don’t respond to the noise by fleeing is crucial.  Keeps dogs and cats inside and other small animals in their protected cages.  Dogs and cats will retreat to different hiding places throughout your home, so ensure these exist and allow them to go there as they wish. Next, closing windows and curtains and playing music or having the TV on will help in muffle the sound.  With small animals in cages such as rabbits or guinea pigs, you can place a blanket over the cage to muffle the sound even further.  Remember that animals such as dogs require reassurance from their owner, therefore ensuring you stay calm is important to send them the message that everything will be ok.

 

  1. Identification! 

    While our intentions are hopefully always in the right place, and no responsible pet owner would want anything negative to happen to their pet on Halloween night, accidents do happen.  As previously discussed, pets can be spooked quite easily with all the chaos and the natural tendency is for them to flee.  In case this does happen, it is so important to make sure your pets have proper identification on them.  A tag with name and number of the owner, or even a microchip, will lead to an easier time locating a pet that has fled further than intended.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween Pet City Canada

 

Halloween is meant to be a fun and safe occasion. You can help make keep it that way by following these guidelines to ensure your pet’s safety. If you are really worried about the anxiety level in your pet on Halloween you could always try leaving a bowl of candy outside of your door, to avoid having multiple knocks throughout the night. Stay safe and have fun!

5 Benefits of Regular Dog Grooming

There are so many luxuries available to pets these days that most of us may roll our eyes at such as themed pet parties, pawdicures, fur extensions, and private personal training (no, not behavioral training, but personal training to help those dogs that have a few extra pounds to lose and need the support of a professional!).  These extravagant services may be out of reach for those of us that don’t reside on Hollywood’s popular block, but regular grooming, albeit a trip to the puppy spa, is a responsibility all dog owners have. Having your pets regularly groomed is not only beneficial for esthetics, but for their overall health. Professional groomers (like the two amazing gals we have at Pet City Canada!) are trained to look detect health ailments as a part of the grooming process. So, if you think grooming is done just to get rid of Rover’s odour, think again; we’ve compiled a list of 5 important benefits of having your dog regularly groomed by a trained professional.

  1. Early Detection of Health Problems (Prevention)

A professional groomer will look for abnormalities with your dog’s anatomy such as lumps, rashes, lesions, inflammation, or infections that a dog owner may not notice right away.  Therefore, when you take your dog to a groomer regularly, there is a greater chance that early warning signs of health complications will be noticed. Just like in humans, the earlier problem is found the easier it is to treat and the greater chance of recovery.

Remember as a dog owner, preventative health care also includes annual physical exams with your Veterinarian, proper nutrition, regular exercise, parasite control, dental care, and of course lots and lots of love.

Pet City Canada - 5 Benefits of Regular Dog Grooming

  1. Maintaining Beautiful Healthy Fur Coat and Skin

It’s safe to assume that the majority of humans would not choose to go out with matted, dandruff-filled hair.  It’s also safe to assume that dogs don’t particularly like this, however, they aren’t able to just hop in the shower for a good scrub, brush, and blow-out their hair on their own!  As a responsible dog owner, apart from taking your dog to the groomer regularly, it is crucial that you brush their fur regularly and bath them immediately if they have found a messy treasure to roll around in.

Regular brushing (every few days) is crucial to avoiding mats in their fur.  Mats are balls of knotted hair that end up pulling the skin tight and causing discomfort and even pain.  Besides extreme discomfort, mats can lead to serious problems such as skin ulcers or abrasions. Brushing your dog regularly will also help to bring out the natural oils in the dog’s fur while removing dead hair, dirt, and dandruff.  The oils brought out during a good brush will give the coat a healthy shine.

The benefits of bathing your dog, with of course the most appropriate pet shampoos, include stimulating the dog’s circulatory system.  Who doesn’t like the mini head massage your hair dresser gives you during your appointment?!  Regular baths will keep your pet’s skin clean and healthy.

  1. Healthy Nails

Pet City Canada - 5 Benefits of Regular Dog GroomingNot only do long nails contribute to joint pain, but they are also the leading cause of chiropractic problems in dogs.  Keeping nails trimmed and preventing them from curling, will stop germs from accumulating; this is another step in the prevention of further health complications. In addition, this will avoid a common dog owner’s frustration of floor scratching. Investing in proper nail clippers for your dog will make the process of keeping their nails trimmed much easier.

 

 

 

 4.     Less Hair, Better Aroma

Is it possible to have a pleasant smelling, clean house when you own dogs?  Regular dog grooming will keep your dog clean and smelling good, so your home doesn’t pick up the “dirty dog” odour. Also, regular grooming and brushing will remove much of the loose hair stuck in your dog’s fur, so the process of shedding becomes more controlled.  Apart from picking out the perfect hairbrush for your fur baby, if you have a dog that seems to shed non-stop, make sure you check out the de-shedding tools available in today’s pet market.

While the extra hair and dirt are eliminated through regular brushing, we are also eliminating the chance for fleas and ticks to take up home in the extra debris. Humans can catch illnesses from these parasites, so regular grooming will protect your family’s health too!

5.     Mental Health

Of course, we all know it’s what is on the inside that counts. But really, just like humans, when a dog feels they are looking good, with good hygiene, and a tidy haircut, they feel good! The better the mental state, the better the behaviour. A happy dog will be friendlier, more predictable, and more energetic. And of course, happy dog = happy owner.

Pet City Canada - 5 Benefits of Regular Dog Grooming

 

As you can see, there are many benefits of having your pet(s) regularly groomed, not only for them but for your whole family. Our groomers, Cori and Lara, have over 45 years of combined experience. If you have any questions about grooming your pet(s), they would be happy to help you.

6 Ways to Keep your Dog Cool in the Heat

Heat in the summer months can be very appealing to most of us, as we enjoy the outdoors and soak up vitamin D. However, dogs don’t always cope with it like us humans do. Dogs do not regulate their body temperature the same way humans do; when we get hot, we automatically sweat through glands all over our body. In addition, we can find some shade and fetch ourselves a cool drink (no pun intended!). Dogs, however, have a small number of sweat glands on their body, on the pads of their paws, and in their nose; sweating is not an efficient way for them to cool off, this is why we often see them panting in the heavy heat. By panting, they are breathing to circulate the air through their body faster in an effort to cool off. Seeing a dog panting is a warning that you need to help them find a way to cool off. Below are some fun and interesting ways that can be essential to keeping your furry friends cool in the summer heat:

  1. Water, water, and you’ve got it, more water!

6 Best Ways to Keep your Dog Safe and Cool in the HeatKeeping your dog hydrated in the heat is crucial, as dehydration can lead to a series of health complications. For more specific information on dehydration in dogs click here.  So how do you ensure your dog is staying hydrated?  First, make sure they always have fresh, cold water available to drink.  You need to have a clean, full water bowl available in the house and outside in the yard. What about taking your dog for a drive or a hike in the summer? There are many portable travel bowls you can bring so you can provide your best fur ball with cold water on the go.  Travel Collapsible Bowls are commonly seen clipped onto a hiker’s belt or personal water bottle that allows you to easily provide water wherever your adventures may take you.

 

  1. Beat the Heat with Frozen Treats

Who doesn’t get excited when they hear the bells of an ice cream truck coming into the neighborhood?!?!  Humans aren’t the only creatures that enjoy a yummy treat in the summer.  Dogs can certainly enjoy frozen treats too!  However, giving a double scoop, waffle cone ice cream isn’t recommended for dogs because most of them are lactose intolerant.  BUT… there are many frozen treats a dog can enjoy, there is even ice cream made for dogs available at some local markets! Homemade frozen dog treats are easy to make on your own.  Check out these recipes!

  1. Provide Sufficient Shady Areas

We don’t all have air conditioning in our homes and sometimes, depending on the structure of our house, the yard is the coolest place to be.  Make sure that if stuck outside during the warmest hours of the day, your dog has a cool place out of the direct sun to retreat.  If you don’t, by default, have a shady area in your yard (such as big trees, or access underneath a deck)6 Best Ways to Keep your Dog Safe and Cool in the Heat you will want to consider building a homemade shade for your dog or investing in a product such as the Pet Cot Canopy.

  1. Take a Dip!

We all know how nice a cool swim in lake feels when temperatures are scorching in the summer. This is also a great way for dogs to cool off. An added benefit is the energy your dog will expel during this activity! However, not all dogs know how to swim or are strong swimmers. If this is the case for your furry friend, look into purchasing a dog life jacket. For those that don’t live close to a fresh body of water, a kiddie pool or “doggie pool” is another great way to allow your dog to cool off in the water.

 

  1. Cool Surfaces

6 Best Ways to Keep your Dog Safe and Cool in the Heat
Have you ever noticed your dog gravitating to the “coolest” floor in the house after a long walk or fetch activity?  Ensuring your dog has a cool surface to lie on in the house can provide a way to keep them cool.  Tile floors work well for this, but if you aren’t about to renovate your home solely for this purpose you can purchase a cooling mat for your dog to rest on. Cooling mats function by absorbing the heat from the dog and dispersing the heat into the environment.  Much cheaper than redesigning a kitchen or bathroom and these mats are typically designed to also be used as a travel accessory.

 

  1. NEVER, EVER, EVER!

Lastly, while keeping your dog cool is crucial for their health and safety in the summer, the easiest way to prevent overheating in dogs is to NEVER leave them unattended in a hot vehicle. It is so easy to overestimate the amount of time it takes for the interior of a vehicle to heat up to dangerous temperatures. As a rule of thumb, NEVER leave your precious furry friend in this situation. In addition, if you see a dog left unattended in a hot vehicle please look for help!

Leaving your dog tied up in the hot sun is just as dangerous, as is walking them on hot pavement. These two situations can also lead to overheating AND burning extremely quick.

As you can see, there are many different strategies (and cool gadgets of course) to tackle the heat when it comes to keeping your furry friend safe and comfortable. Remember, a cool dog is a happy dog! If you know your dog will be stuck in the heat (inside or out) consider booking our doggy daycare, where they can enjoy air conditioning or head outside to play in the water with their friends. Learn more here: http://petcitycanada.com/services/#daycare.

6 Best Ways to Keep your Dog Safe and Cool in the Heat

Top 4 Reasons You Should Try Making Your Own Dog Food and Treats

 

Making your own dog food and treats not only eliminates the “unknown” ingredients but is also more cost effective. “Who has time for that?!” you’re thinking. Your homemade dog food doesn’t have to be fancy, let’s face it, most dogs will eat anything! The main goal here is to make food that is HEALTHIER, not fancier. Many recipes are super easy, with only 4-8 ingredients that you probably already have at home. They can also be made in large batches and frozen for later consumption.

Research has shown that the chemicals and preservatives found in dog food and treats can cause harm to their brain, impede behaviour, and even cause aggression in some cases. According to www.petsafe.net, an international pet food crisis was to blame for kidney failure causing death in cats and dogs in 2007 because of melamine contaminated food from China. This grain by-product is a cheap alternative to protein but is a component of PLASTIC!

The best way to eliminate fillers, chemicals, and hormones from your pet’s food and treats is to make your own so you know exactly what is going into it. We try to be conscious consumers by checking labels, monitoring salt and sugar intake, and monitoring processed food intake for ourselves, so why not do the same for our little fur babies? Here are the top 5 reasons you should give making your own pet food a try:

 

  • THERE ARE FAR TOO MANY RECALLS

In the first 6 months of 2017, there have been more than 15 recalls on dog foods and treats in North America. You can sign up to have these recalls delivered right to your inbox from Dog Food Advisor: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recalls/. These recalls occurred because of “possible chemical contamination”, “possible salmonella”, and one even says “product may contain elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone”.

The reality is we cannot control the ingredients in these foods and treats, nor does every single person who purchased them receive the recall notice. The best way to avoid them is to make your own food and avoid purchasing commercial food and treats as much as possible.

 

  • YOU CAN TAILOR THEM TO BE HEALTHIER

Homemade dog treats are healthier because you can tailor them to your pet’s specific dietary requirements. If you have an overweight dog you might try making heart healthy snacks. You can also try ingredients that will help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. Commercial chews are usually made from starches that are gummier and have the opposite effect. You can add in more vegetables and make crunchier treats which will aid in removing build up on their teeth. With the help of websites like www.balanceit.com, you can create custom meals based on your pet’s dietary requirements.

 

  • YOU CAN SAVE MONEY BY MAKING THEM AT HOME

You get what you pay for when it comes to most things in life and dog food is no different. If you’re looking for chemical-free, grain-free, and hormone-free treats you better start saving your pennies. Since you can choose which meat you are using, watch for sales and markdowns at your local grocer. Pair up with a friend and make a double batch to save even more. By making your pet’s food at home, you can save yourself money.

 

  • YOU CAN LEAVE OUT THE FILLERS

YOU CHOOSE WHAT’S IN THEM! Wanna add some omegas? Go ahead! Thinking of adding in glucosamine? Go for it! (Always check with your vet first!) You can make their food and treats super tasty with their favourite foods while maintaining the nutrition level their body needs! Some common fillers you could find in your dog’s food and treats are soy, wheat, corn, nut/seed hulls, citrus pulp, modified corn starch, weeds, and feathers. FEATHERS?! Dogs are not able to digest grains very well, so these fillers can be very harmful and lead to obesity and diabetes. They will leave your pet feeling full but they truly aren’t receiving much, if any, nutrition.

 

As you can see, doing your homework when purchasing pet food and treats is important to avoid unnecessary fillers and chemicals. It is equally as important to do research into the appropriate portion sizes and ingredients when making your pet food at home. There are so many easy recipes online for making your own pet food and treats. If you don’t know what foods are best for your dog’s breed, talk to your vet; they can give you good direction on how to maintain a healthy, balanced diet for your pet.

 

Here’s an example of a dog food recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks.
  3. Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely.

 

Here’s an example of a super easy dog treat recipe:

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup peanut butter

Directions

  1. Melt the peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl
  2. Combine the yogurt and melted peanut butter
  3. Pour the mixture into cupcake papers
  4. Place in the freezer