Recipes for Dog Foods: Make Your Own Dog Food

Dog Food RecipesJust like with people, one of the easiest ways to keep a dog in good health is to feed them food that is healthy! Instead of processed foods and treats, home made dog foods with all natural ingredients can keep a dog healthier and more energetic – not to mention the potential cost savings that goes along with making homemade dog food!

Dog owners can make their own food for their pets. Just like for people, homemade meals can be better for dogs than pre-packaged food, because they are free of dyes, preservatives, or fillers. You’ll know what’s in your dog’s belly because you put it in the bowl. You can choose ingredients to keep their skin, teeth, bones, immunity, and digestion healthy.

It’s easy to find dog food recipes online!

My dog always seems to love meats like chicken and turkey. I can’t ever recall her turning any meat product down – especially home made dinner leftovers. You can choose from a variety of beef, chicken, and fish, or get in touch with their wild side with turkey, rabbit, or venison. Meat contains nutrients that most dogs can use for energy.

The grain debate. With food recalls and animals being diagnosed with organ failure and pancreatic cancer, many wonder whether to include grains in their dog’s diet. Many grains contained in commerical products are complex carbohydrates, which are difficult for animals to digest. Grains, such as corn and wheat are common allergens to dogs. My advice is to avoid grains if possible.

If you have any questions about potential allergies or health problems, always consult your dog’s veterinarian!

Below are a few recipes and some tips to keep in mind.

Salmon loaf

1 pound salmon
1 cup oats
1 cup diced vegetables
2 eggs

Mix ingredients and bake at 350 degrees.

German Shepherd Pie

1 cup chicken
1/2 cup steamed vegetables
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup no-sodium chicken broth

Put chicken, vegetables, and broth in a pan. Dollop the potatoes on top and bake at 375 degrees.

Always serve your dog appropriate proportions. If you are not sure, consult your vet.

Photo: Flickr

The Importance of Daily Walks for the Health of Your Dog

Walking your dog on a daily basis is one of the most important things you can do to keep your dog healthy.

The Benefits of Daily Dog Walks

Walking your dog provides several benefits.

  • Daily walks burn calories for your dog, helping to keep your dog fit and lean and helping to avoid obesity, the number one nutritional problem seen in dogs.
  • Daily walks relieve pent up energy, helping to avoid behavioral issues that result from lack of adequate exercise.
  • Daily walks stimulate your dog and keep him entertained, helping to avoid boredom and the stress that accompanies it.
  • Daily walks will help keep muscles and joints supple and healthy. Even for dogs with health issues such as arthritis, walking can be beneficial.
  • Daily walks help create a bond between you and your dog, allowing you and your dog to share an activity that you both enjoy.

Considerations When Walking Your Dog

Though walking your dog is important, it is also crucial to consider how to keep your dog safe while walking.

How long and how far your dog needs to walk daily will depend on your individual dog. Factors such as your dog’s breed, size, age, health and stamina will enter into the decision. For instance, smaller dogs will likely not need to walk as far as a larger dog to get the same benefit. Elderly dogs may tire more easily than a younger, more active dog and not need to walk as long. Dogs with arthritis may benefit from more moderate exercise than a very active, healthy dog.

The weather will also impact when and how far you should walk your dog. Very warm weather can put your dog at danger of heat exhaustion if he is exercised too heavily. In these extremes, consider walking your dog early in the morning or in the evening after sundown when the temperature has moderated a bit. Also consider carrying a water supply with you during your walk if you are planning a long walk during this type of weather.

Cold weather also can have a negative effect on your dog under certain circumstances. Avoid walking your dog in areas that have been heavily salted during icy conditions. Some of these products can burn your pets feet and can also cause health problems if swallowed. Clean your dog’s feet when returning to your home during these conditions.

Use caution when walking your dog if he is a short-nosed breed. These breeds are known as brachycephalic. They can experience respiratory difficulties more easily than other breeds, especially in warm and/or humid weather. 

Lorie Huston, DVM has been a practicing veterinarian for 20+ years. She is a talented free-lance writer specializing in pet health and pet care topics. She is also a blogger and is available as a consultant in the fields of blogging, social media and SEO strategy. She can be found at her blogs: the Pet Health Care Gazette, a pet care blog, Social Savvy Pets, which focuses on blogging and social media for pet professionals.

Start a Gourmet Dog Treat Business

Dog TreatsAlmost everyone knows how much people love their pets and how indulgent some pet owners are to their little furry companions. Americans spend approximately 52 billion dollars every year on their pets. Just for dog treats alone, owners spend an average of $70 each year on each dog. Considering there are about 78 million pet dogs in the United States, that is a considerable amount of money spent on dog treats.

Many dog owners are no longer satisfied to just buy treats off the shelves and are now beginning to demand healthy, nutritious goodies for their canine friends. All of this means that this is a perfect time to start a gourmet dog treats business because there is a big market for it. You can learn all about starting this type of business online.

People are becoming more health conscious for their pets as well as for themselves, and are objecting to the chemicals and additives in expensive commercial treats. At the same time, good, wholesome dog treats can be made for just pennies from natural ingredients. Though inexpensive to make, they sell for many times more than it actually costs to produce delightful, good-tasting treats for special pets, creating a great profit margin.

The first step in planning to start any business is to determine what, if any, permits you need and ask about any zoning restrictions in your neighborhood. Check with local city or town offices to ask what the local requirements are.

If you already have a business centered around pets, such as dog walking or dog grooming, then you may already have the necessary permits or license. Branching out into making homemade treats will be quite simple in that case. Even if you are not already in business, it will be quite easy to start a gourmet dog treats business.

After the paperwork is completed and you are ready to start, you need to do a little advertising. Print flyers from your computer and put them around town. Give out free samples and ask family and friends to tell everyone they know who has a pet, what you are doing. Keep working at it, and you will be successful in your new venture.

You will be able to set your own hours, work from home and make good money when you start a gourmet dog treats business.

Photo: Flickr

VOTE: Dog Halloween Costume Poll

It’s almost Halloween, and the dog Halloween costume advertising and sales have started. Companies like Target, PetSmart, and Amazon are promoting their dog costumes right now. Here are 5 top popular Halloween costumes for dogs in 2011 include:

  • Bugs (Bumblebee, Caterpillar, Ant, Fly…etc)
  • Star Wars Characters
  • Fairy
  • Animals (Duck, Frog, Bird, Cow…etc)
  • Ghost

Do you plan to buy a Halloween costume for your dog this year?


Dog Safety on Halloween

Halloween Safety for Dogs

Tips to keep your dog safe on Halloween

Halloween can indeed be a scary and confusing time for dogs and therefore, for their owners. With so many people ringing the doorbell, wearing costumes, screaming “trick or treat,” and possibly behaving strangely, it is easy to understand why a canine could become frightened. I believe there are several concerns about Halloween night that make it scary for dogs, and dog owners need to be cognizant of them to keep their pet comfortable.

Trick-or-Treating (or as your dog sees it: Costumed strangers coming into your private territory). This is probably the scariest thing for dogs about Halloween. If you are staying at home with your dog, you must be prepared for how your dog views strangers coming up to your door, as this will be a very frequent occurrence on Halloween night.

Make sure that your dog is either properly trained, or safely stowed away during this time. Otherwise, your dog could rush to the door to greet (or jump all over) the trick-or-treaters, or even run out the door and into the street.

Some dogs become alarmed when the door bell rings, and on this night, many people will ring the doorbell, hollering “trick or treat.” Someone from the family should stay with the dog to comfort him, or the door should remain opened, so people don’t have to ring the door bell. Turn off the front light if it becomes clear that the dog is in distress, or if you decide to leave your dog home alone, and that should be a signal to trick or treaters that nobody is home to give out candy.

If you have your dog with you when you visit other homes to go trick or treating, be sure that they are properly trained so that they will remain seated and not give in to instinct to become aggressive towards the trick-or-treaters.

Walking around on Halloween night can be scary for the dog and also dangerous. Just like any other night, your dog still needs a walk. Give yourself and your dog enough time for your walk before costumed trick-or-treaters emerge in earnest. Not only will this be easier on your dog, it will help get rid of restless energy that could contribute to bad behavior later. Keep in mind that some people may accidentally drop candy outside, so be mindful of that on Halloween eve and the day after Halloween.

Be sure to keep all the candy (especially chocolate) safely out of reach of your dog. Consuming candy can be hazardous to their health. You need to keep track of your children’s candy bags/sacks as well as the candy you are handing out to visitors.

Make sure that your dog is wearing his or her collar and that the identification tags are on and visible. In the worst case of them getting out in the madness, they have a better chance of safely returning. Happy Halloween!

VOTE: Will you buy a Dog Halloween Costume?

Photo: Flickr

SF Walk With Me

SF Walk With Me provides professional dog walking services. Our dog groups are set by compatibility and size. We provide on and off leash walk and mainly use trails with an occasional beach trip. All varieties of dogs are welcome.

Dog sitting at your home for regular clients.

Member of the San Francisco Professional Dog Walkers Association (PRO DOG).

Licensed and Insured.

Should You Dress Your Dog in a Halloween Costume?

As Halloween approaches, children and adults of all ages are preparing for trick or treating, Halloween parties, or even simply staying at home to hand out candy. No matter what you’re planning to do on the 31st, it will likely involve wearing a costume. With so many people walking around dressed up, pet owners may wonder about whether or not they should dress up their dog to take part in the fun. Before deciding, be sure to consider the following pros and cons.

Con: Not All Dogs Like Costumes

If your dog has a very independent and dominate personality, they may not enjoy costumes. This is because, in the wild, dogs show dominance by climbing on top of each other. If your dog has a bulky costume on their body, they may feel that their dominance is being threaten. This can result in your dog becoming scared and freezing up, or in acting out to regain their dominance, by attacking the costume on them.

Con: Bathroom Breaks

If your dog is wearing a large costume, such as a flowing ghost costume, they may find it hard to go to the bathroom. This can lead to accidents inside or urine or feces getting on their costume.

Pro: Prepares Dogs For Winter

If you live in an area that gets lots of snow in the winter, wearing a Halloween costume is a great way to prepare your pet for winter. Many dogs will need to wear sweaters or boots to protect their bodies from frost bite. By wearing costumes, even if it’s only for a night, will help get them use to the idea.

VOTE: Will you buy a Dog Halloween Costume?

Shelter Dog Walkers: Benefits that Outshine Profit

Walk DogsIf the idea of walking dogs appeals to you, but you are not interested in dealing with hassles such as obtaining licenses or procuring clients, volunteering to walk dogs for your local shelter can be a perfect opportunity to express your love and compassion for animals. Offering your services makes a positive impact on your community and a huge difference in the lives of many homeless dogs.

Because of space limitations, many dogs housed in shelters or rescues live in cramped areas. The one-on-one attention they are given is limited because of the sheer number of animals that must be tended by an often small, busy staff. Health and behavior problems can develop if dogs do not get adequate exercise and interaction with humans, and these problems can lessen their chances of eventual adoption. You could help make them happier and healthier today and more likely to find a forever home tomorrow.

Volunteering at shelters has many rewards. It is great motivation to exercise and get fresh air. The companionship and affection returned by grateful animals is priceless. You may even meet up with like-minded people who could become great friends. If you have not pursued dog-walking as a business because you do not have much experience handling dogs, the shelter staff will likely be willing to educate you and offer tips. It’s free hands-on experience that you can apply to future career choices or personal interests. In the process, you will make the world a kinder place for many lonely, abandoned and homeless animals.

To become a volunteer, simply look in your phone directory or search online to find local animal shelters. Opportunities may be listed as animal protection agencies, breed rescues, animal control offices, or humane societies. The staff will be grateful and happy to hear from you.

You may not be able to rescue every dog, but you can give homeless dogs extra love and attention that they need desperately!

Photo: Flickr

Why a Dog Walking Service May Want to Try Groupon or Living Social

Existing services businesses and newly formed entities often rely on repeat customers or word-of-mouth forms of advertising to acquire additional clients. Some service businesses spend portions of their advertising budget toward campaigns that lack sufficient methods for tracking measurable results. Businesses such as a dog walking service could benefit from advertising with Groupon or Living Social, and some of the reasons are outlined below.

Increased Business

Groupon and Living Social provide daily specials for restaurants, as well as a variety of retail and service-oriented businesses. Advertising messages are generally directed toward a specific city or zip code. A professional dog walking service could use the marketing influences from these industry powerhouses. Using proprietary information Groupon and Living Social could blast your advertising messages toward dog owners in your city or zip code.

Promotional Opportunities

Groupon and Living Social will include information, such as your company name, phone number, services provided, discounts and your daily promotions. You can include your company’s web address on each offer and potentially increase the search engine ranking for your website. Groupon and Living Social can provide data that reveals the number of users who clicked your promotional offer and their geographic location.

Branding

Your dog walking service may become more recognized as a result of advertising with Groupon or Living Social. Any logo’s or company slogans promoted during your campaigns may gain consumer recognition online as well as offline. Dog owners who remember certain features or prices that you promoted, might inquire about your services or refer other pet owners to your company.

Specials

Consumers typically welcome promotional items of value. Some customers may try your service due to a daily Groupon or Living Social special promotion. Dog owners who opt to use your services on a promotional basis could become regular customers.

Disadvantages

If you operate on a solo basis, you could receive more appointments than you’re able to handle, as Groupon or Living Social may provide too many requests for a small operator. A professional dog walker who targets an entire zip code through online marketing efforts should receive greater responses versus flyer distribution within a one or two-mile radius; however, travel distances could also be a concern for large cities or zip codes.

Additionally, you may end up with one time customers who ultimately pay you far less for a dog walk than you would with other customers acquired in a traditional manner. For instance, if your $20 walk is offered for $10, you’ll probably make around $5 for every deal. It’s not bad if someone becomes a customer and pays you more over time, but there will likely be people who only stick around for the daily deal.

Fur-Get Me Not

We’re a family owned business established in 2000. Our mission is to provide quality pet care service by caring for our client’s pets as if they were our own. We’re an all employee-based company and take pride in hiring and training pet loving, responsible care givers. We offer a variety of pet care services including dog daycare and boarding, dog walking, pet sitting, DIY dog wash, and dog training.
Top reasons to give our dog walking or pet sitting service a try:

* All of our dog walkers and pet sitters are employees. Each employee goes through a multi-step screening process and criminal background check. We’ve refined our hiring process over the 10 years we’ve been in business to ensure only pet loving, responsible people join our team.

* Employee training does not stop once they’ve been hired. Hiring employees versus using contractors to care for your pets, not only allows us to initially train everyone how to care for a pet properly but also allows us to continue our team’s training throughout their employment. Our management team works hard to resolve issues and ensure each employee has the support and knowledge needed to deliver higher quality care.

* Our proprietary systems and procedures ensure consistent care. When you hire Fur-Get Me Not, you are hiring a dedicated pet care team. Our management, office, and dog walking / pet sitting teams work together to ensure that if your primary walker or care taker is unavailable due to illness, vacation, or any other reason, a qualified employee will be able to step in for that reservation. Our teams have proprietary tools to securely record and share your pet care instructions and additional notes detailing your pet care team’s experiences.

* We provide one on one pet care. We ensure your pet(s) receive individual attention while in our care.

* We know pets. Our owner is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) and attention to pet behavior is incorporated into everything we do. Our Dog Training team works with our Dog Walking / Pet Sitting team to provide helpful advice when needed.

* We focus on building long-term customer and pet relationships. Our dog walkers and pet sitters will communicate with you through daily journals on your pet’s activities during their visit. Our management and office team will work with you to ensure your pet is receiving their care the way you want and are pet care resources for you. We strive to exceed your expectations and if we don’t, we will do our best to work with you to make it right.

* We are family owned and operated and support the local community. Fur-Get Me Not started as a one-woman business and has grown by focusing on the individual needs of both the pets in our care and their owners. Fur-Get Me Not works with a variety of pet related non-profit organizations and we participate in several charity events each year. We strive to help educate pet owners and give back to the local pet community.

You can learn more about our dog daycare, dog boarding, dog wash, and dog training services on our web site.

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