If you are like me there is nothing too good for your dog, from food to toys it makes a difference. I struggle with the simplest of decisions concerning nutrition and safety. Hobo the Wonder Dog is pampered with a chauffeur, manicurist, hairstylist, nutritionist, veterinarian, and a human companion twenty-four hours a day. Trust me — I realize I have gone overboard when it comes to caring for Hobo. I believe a dog’s life should be filled with travel, health, fun, and the most important — human companionship. Dogs are social animals, your love and friendship is all they want in good times and bad, and in sickness and in health. Let’s explore eight tips to lessen your stress when choosing toys, treats, and food for your dog.
American poet James Russell Lowell knew the true meaning of giving when he wrote “Not what we give, but what we share, for the gift without the giver is bare.” No truer words were ever spoken and especially when giving toys. Your dog wants to play with you, so the toy isn’t as important as the giver and the interaction. For Hobo the Wonder Dog a squeaky ball fills the bill, while Skyler wants something she can fling around. I stress over the safety of toys and follow these suggestions when considering a toy:
· Make sure toys are not choke hazards
· Appropriate for the size and age of the dog
· Do not have parts that could become dislodged and cause injury
· Use caution with stuffed toys, stuffing if eaten can cause serious injury
Remember, when you leave a dog alone boredom sets in and Fido can become hyper destructive. Observe your dog with a toy for a while before leaving them unattended.
Choosing a food for your dog is confusing, stressful, controversial, and overwhelming. The choices are seemingly endless — raw, canned, vegetarian, organic, freeze dried, or dry food. For Hobo the Wonder Dog, the most important consideration for food and treats are products made in the United States. I suggest the following four tips when selecting a food that is right for you and your pet:
· Budget. A budget narrows your search
· High-quality protein should be the first ingredient
· Avoid products containing corn, wheat, and soy
· Cross-reference products with the FDA’s recall and withdrawals at www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/recallswithdrawals
I use the same criteria for treats as I do their food and toys. Treats should be the appropriate size and texture as not to become a choke hazard. I buy locally homemade treats from River Dog Bakery. On special occasions I honor them with a labor of love and bake a batch of treats. Like children, your dog will circle the kitchen as they keep a watchful eye on the progress of the treats.
A pampered pet doesn’t have to have a chauffeur and travel the seven seas. A truly pampered pet is one loved and by your side. Follow the 8 Tips for Choosing Toys, Treats and Food, and lessen your stress when choosing what is best for your pets.
Remember as we finish out the Dog Days of Summer keep your pooch cool with plenty of fresh clean water and never leave them in a car unattended.
Try cooking up a batch of these Yummy Munchy Pup Cakes. Recipe compliments of the American Animal Hospital Association:
Yummy Munchy Pup Cakes
3 cups water
2 carrots, shredded
½ tsp vanilla
2 tbsp honey
2 ripe bananas, mashed
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, blend the water, carrots, egg, vanilla, and honey. Add the mashed bananas.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Pour the mixture into the carrot mixture and mix thoroughly.
Spray a 12 cupcake pan with non-stick spray.
Fill each approx. 3/4 full.
Bake 50-60 mins.
Cool before serving.
Hobo the Wonder Dog, Your guide to travel, health, and fun. Please follow Hobo on Facebook at Hobo the Wonder Dog or contact us at: [email protected]