Healthy Thanksgiving Treats for Pets

Thanksgiving is a special time of year where people prepare delicious foods to share with their loved ones, but a lot of these dishes are not safe or appropriate to feed to your pets. Surprising to many of us, there are quite a few human foods that are very dangerous for pets to consume. You may already be aware of some of the harmful foods such as chocolate and items containing caffeine, but did you know that citrus is also dangerous for pets? The fruit, stem, and seeds contain citric acid which can cause damage to their nervous system in large amounts. Even smaller quantities can cause an upset stomach. Also, grapes and raisins can be quite toxic to pets and can even cause kidney failure. But one of the most concerning substances is something called xylitol. It can cause liver failure and is very serious if consumed even in smaller amounts. One of the reasons this particular ingredient is so dangerous is that it is in so many products like gum, candy, and toothpaste. It’s even in some peanut butters – a food that is often given to dogs. So, make sure that you always, always double check food labels before sharing anything with your pets.

Thankfully, there are tons of foods that are very healthy and beneficial for your pets, so you don’t have to leave Rufus out of the holiday food fun. Foods high in protein like chicken and eggs are an excellent addition to their diet. Treats made of peanut butter or cheese are also great choices. A lot of dogs love to eat veggies like carrots and green beans, and most cats will go bonkers for a little salmon in their bowl. Your pets will be so thrilled with these tasty treats, that they’ll have no idea that they’re so healthy! And you’ll be thrilled with their healthy coats and teeth.

Check out this quick and easy recipe that you can share with confidence this Thanksgiving with your fur-babies!

Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Dog Cookies

Sweet potatoes are a classic dish on the Thanksgiving table and as it turns out, they’re also amazing for Fido! Rich in vitamin A and fiber, they’re a great addition to their diet.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Large Sweet Potato

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

½ Cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal

¼ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

2 Eggs

¼ Cup Natural Peanut Butter

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stab sweet potato several times with a fork or sharp knife to make numerous holes.

2. Place sweet potato in microwave on high for approximates 5-7 minutes until fork tender. Carefully peel the skin off sweet potato (potato will be extremely hot, so please use caution!). Then, mash the sweet potato and place about 1 cup in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the remaining ingredients to the large mixing bowl and combine until a dough forms. Place dough onto a floured surface and roll dough out to about ½” thick.

4. You can use a knife or pizza cutter to cut dough into treat-sized pieces, or you can use fun cookie cutters. Small biscuit cutters work well also. Arrange treats on an ungreased baking sheet.

5. Bake until nice and crisp, about 35-45 minutes. Allow treats to remain on the pan for 10 minutes after baking before moving them to a wire rack to cool.

These cookies are sure to be a hit in your home this holiday season. Keep them in a sealed container like a cookie or mason jar and they’ll keep well for weeks. They’re full of beneficial nutrients for your dog and are also nice and crunchy so they’re great for their teeth. Plus, it takes almost no effort to throw a batch together. These also make a wonderful gift! Simply place them in a clear jar and tie a festive ribbon around it – voila! Enjoy!

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Enjoy a Safe Summer with Your Pets

fireworks

Celebrating with fireworks can be stressful for our pets

The glorious warm weather is time to get outdoors and have fun with your pets. However, outdoor activities can be detrimental to your pets’ health and welfare if you’re not aware of these common summertime hazards.

Exercise in the Heat of the Day

While it’s fun to get out and walk, run or bike with your dog, be sure to do so when the temperatures are moderate. If your small dog has to run while you walk and it’s hot, your dog can overheat. Also, your dog is walking ‘barefoot’ and is closer to the pavement which can make it much hotter for your dog than for you.

Brachycephalic (flat faced) breeds can have a hard time getting air, and breathing can be harder in hot humid weather. If you have a pug or bulldog type dog, be sure to get out in the early morning or late evening to avoid heatstroke or breathing problems.

Dog parks can be fun for you and your dog, but be aware that with all the stimulation of canine friends, your pup may overdo the running and playing in the hot summer sun. Watch your dog carefully and bring her into the shade to drink and cool off before she gets too hot and risks heatstroke. Dogs who love to retrieve or play Frisbee will keep running – risking heatstroke – so be sure to moderate their activity.

You may be tempted to run errands on your way home with your pet, but don’t leave your dog in the car when it’s hot. The heat in a car – even with the windows cracked can reach lethal temperatures in a very short time. If your dog is already hot from playing, heatstroke can occur quickly. Take your best friend home to rest before stopping at the store.

Boating and Water Sports

Some dogs love the water and will gladly go boating with you. Sporting breeds can be strong swimmers, but just like with you, the water poses hazards. When you take your dog on your boat, be sure to provide a life jacket or PFD appropriate for your dog’s size.

Take time to train your dog to stay in the boat, so he doesn’t jump off after wildlife. Depending on your location, your dog may be tempted to chase poisonous snakes or predatory wildlife – which could be disastrous for your pet. Giving your dog a designated space will decrease the likelihood of your dog getting underfoot or tangled in fishing lines.

River and ocean currents can pose special dangers to your pet, so be ready to help him out when swimming in these waters. This is when the flotation device can be a lifesaver because there’s usually a handle on the back of the PFD to grab and haul your pet to safety.

Insects, Snakes and Wildlife

When you’re out hiking the wilderness or taking a walk in the woods, you should be aware of the dangers lurking there. Besides the obvious insects: mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks there can be venomous snakes that are potentially hazardous to your dog’s health.

Wildlife usually run away when humans and dogs approach. But they might stand their ground if defending young, and they can hurt your dog. Depending where you’re enjoying the great outdoors, you could have a run-in with coyotes, wolves, lion, deer, elk and moose. Because skunks and porcupines can’t move too fast, they have defense mechanisms to deter attack that can cause your dog pain. If you have a small dog, keep him close to you as eagles have been known to attack small dogs.

Fireworks

More dogs are lost during the Fourth of July celebrations than any other time of year. If your dog or cat is reactive to the noise and lights of this festive time, be sure to create a safe haven in your home where your pets will not be bothered. Because the sensitivity can come on suddenly, be aware if your pet is bothered by thunder and lightning before she runs away in panic.

When you do take them out, be sure to keep them on a leash if there’s any chance they might bolt in fear. When you have a Hale Pet Door, you can securely lock them in the house with the security cover, so there’s no chance of losing them while you’re out celebrating our nation’s birthday.