Category Archives: Pet Health

National Dog Biscuit Day

Happy National Dog Biscuit Day to all of our furry canine friends! Easy on the butt scratches today… Treats are in order! These days, there are a slew of different types of dog biscuits available at stores all around the world. Homemade treats are becoming very popular as well. At the end, I will share some easy recipes that you and your puppy pal can make at home. I also have a few favorite commercial brand biscuits to share.

But, first – Did you know that the dog biscuit first started out in England in the 1800’s? It was an accident! A butcher in England was trying to create a new biscuit recipe (for humans, of course) that turned out horribly wrong. He fed them to his dog, who loved them and so it began! The dog biscuit didn’t catch on in America until much later in the 1800’s, the infamous bone shape was created in the states in 1907. When we think of a bone-shaped dog biscuit, we probably imagine a Milk-Bone, right? The Milk-Bone was created in 1908 by F.H Bennett Biscuit Company and is still going strong today. The biscuit consists of mostly meat products and milk. Sounds appetizing? To your canine, it does!

One of my favorite brands on the market is Blue Dog Bakery. The company offers several different varieties of sizes and flavors, ranging from puppy training sizes to mastiff approved bites! They also offer treats without any source of protein, which I appreciate since I own a pup that is allergic to poultry. Another favorite are Hill’s brand treats. They also offer plenty of variety, but what I like most is that there are treats specific to different medical needs. It ranges from hypoallergenic to cardiac and renal disease. They even offer a metabolic treat for those pups that might have had a few too many treats on the last National Dog Biscuit Day! Our not-so-healthy pups deserve a treat as well and this brand helps to make that happen. To make sure your pup doesn’t over eat, you’ll want to remember that treats should only make up around 10% of their daily caloric intake. I like to break a larger treat into smaller pieces and feed throughout the day. Dogs don’t typically care about the size of their reward, as long as they receive one! Today, there can be an exception. Hint hint, wink wink!

Easy Recipes to Make at Home:

Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Biscuit

  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff.
  • Roll the dough into a ½ inch thick roll. Cut into ½ inch shapes/pieces.
  • Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.
  • Allow to cool.

Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Biscuit

  • ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2¼ cups almond flour or whole wheat flour (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Beat the chicken broth and peanut butter until creamy and smooth. Add the egg and beat. The mixture will look smooth and sort of fluffy.
  • Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until the dough comes together.
  • Stir in the crumbled bacon. Knead the dough a little to get the bacon pieces evenly distributed throughout.
  • Press or roll the dough out to about ¼” thick.
  • Cut the dough out using cookie or biscuit cutters and place on an ungreased baking sheet about an inch apart.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, flip the treats, and bake for 15 more minutes.
  • Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Using Essential Oils Safely around Pets

Written by: Erika Lombardo

 

As the use of essential oils gains popularity, it is important to be aware of safety precautions surrounding their use around pets. Animal lovers always want what is best for their pets and often will search the internet for answers but it is important to note that not everything seen on blogs and social media is necessarily true. When trying to evaluate which essential oils are ok for use with your pet, please consult with a certified aromatherapist with additional training in animal aromatherapy. In addition, consult with your veterinarian if your pet has any health problems, as some essential oils are not appropriate for pets with certain health conditions.

 

Avoid using essential oils around the following:

  • Cats (more on this later)
  • pregnant or nursing animals
  • fish, reptiles, or amphibians (due to pH levels and their aquatic environments)
  • Pocket pets such as rabbits, ferrets, and small rodents
  • Birds

 

Why are certain essential oils not good for our furry friends? It is not just about the fragrances! There are chemical compounds that make up each essential oil. Cats especially have problems with essential oils because they have a very sensitive metabolic system. Cats lack a detoxification enzyme called glucuronosyltransferase which mean that their liver and kidneys can’t break down certain substances. If you suspect that your pet might be having an adverse reaction to an exposure to essential oils, please call your veterinary office or contact Pet Poison Helpline at (855)764-7661.

 

Some symptoms of exposure include (but are not limited to):

  • excessive drooling
  • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
  • confusion/disorientation
  • lack of coordination/stumbling/temporary paralysis
  • dermal/mucous membrane irritation or inflammation at the site of improperly used essential oils (i.e. topical application or internal use)

 

When using essential oils, take the following safety precautions:

  • always dilute essential oils when using on pets
  • some oils should absolutely not be used in pets such as tea tree oil. As little as 7 drops can cause severe poisoning and 10-20 drops could potentially result in death.
  • Diffuse oils for short periods of time (5-10 minutes)

 

Keep in mind that when using essential oils, less is best. More of a good thing is not necessarily better!
For more information, check out the following links:

https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/blog/essential-oils-cats/
https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/blog/essential-oils-dogs/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1595932084001505/

 

 

A perspective by Gertie Lombardo

Hey Guys! It’s your resident blogger, Gertie Lombardo. You may remember me from my blog about Chihuahua Appreciation Day. Today, I am here to talk to you about pet obesity. It’s no surprise when I tell you that human obesity rates are higher than ever. I suppose you may have heard the notion that pets often resemble their owners and that is reflected in the following statistics:  53% of adult dogs and 55% of adult cats are overweight or obese. How can your owner tell if you are a healthy weight? Your owner should be able to feel your ribs easily when they gently press your sides. Being overweight comes with a host of other health issues.

ChihuahuaAs with our owners, being overweight can affect a pet’s health in many ways. Obesity can result in arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, certain cancers, as well as heart and respiratory disease. Obesity can take two years of your four legged friend’s life- that’s like 14-18 human years! I know I would like to live with my owner for as long as I possibly can! She feels the same way and that’s why she had to make some serious decisions last year when Dr. Montgomery recommended that I slim down a bit. I don’t actually eat that much so my mom was hesitant to cut back on my food for fear of malnourishment over time. I was put on a scientifically formulated diet that helps me with safe weight reduction and I didn’t have to cut back on the amount of food I eat!

If you suspect that your pet may be overweight, then it’s time to have a discussion with your veterinarian.  In addition to specially formulated diets, some other things that your pet parent can do to help you lose weight include the following: measure meals appropriately, establish a feeding schedule, limit snacks (I know this is a hard one!), choose low calorie treats, and most importantly, get moving! You might even help your owner drop a few pounds and get healthy like you! As for my weight loss journey, I was told to lose three pounds (hey, that’s a lot for a little Chihuahua) and I am down two. It’s always that pesky last pound that is the hardest to lose! I even got into my old bikini this past summer. Gotta go- time to grab the leash and take my mom for a walk!