Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Favorite Dog Treat

No more left over turkey?

No problem, this recipe can be made with ground meat.

Dogs love it!

Jerky Turkey Dog Treats


1 lb. raw ground turkey (or chicken)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh herbs such as thyme or parsley (optional)


1.Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
2.Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree the mixture.
3.Line a jellyroll pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper (it makes clean-up easier) and pour the mixture into it.
4.Spread evenly.
5.Bake two hours with the oven door slightly ajar to allow the moisture to escape.
6.Remove from oven and using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into small, individual-sized portions.
7.Place pieces back in the oven, flipped over, and bake an additional one to two hours, or until the treats are dry and leathery.
8.Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Monday, November 29, 2010

For Dog Lovers Only

Yes, I know you have begun the holiday shopping. By any chance do you have a dog lover on your list? I came across a game for dog lovers only.


The traditional board game you love, with a fun new twist. It is all about DOGS! And if that is not enough, you can get the version that is all about your favorite dog breed; there are 14 breeds available.

Check it out here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dogs and Christmas Trees

Today I saw my first Christmas tree strapped on the roof of a car. Turkey leftovers barely gone and now the focus is Christmas.

Here are ten safety tips about Christmas trees and dogs.

Hope they are helpful.

1. Choose the Right Spot. Pick an area where the tree can be enjoyed by the family but so much in the center activity that it can be easily knocked over. An area by the wall or in a corner is ideal and out of the traffic flow pattern of the house. Try to place the tree near an outlet so you do not have to run electrical cords long distances.

2. Prepare the Area. Lay down plastic sheeting or buy a "tree bag." This is an extra large trash bag used for live trees. Center the tree on the bag. When the season is over and you have removed the tree ornaments, pull the bag over the tree. This will catch the pine needles as they fall from the tree – and prevent them from being chewed or swallowed by your pet.

3. Secure the Tree. Many trees have been sent swaying by a rambunctious dog or puppy. Dogs can knock over a tree by rubbing against or playing under it. Your pet can be injured if the trees or ornaments fall and break. You can place the tree in a corner and secure it from two sides to small hooks in the walls. Another trick is to place a small hook in the ceiling above the tree and use clear fishing line from the top of the tree to the hook. Apply gentle tension and tie. The clear line is invisible.

4. Hide the Cords. Electrical cords are a grave danger to pets – especially puppies that tend to chew on anything. Cords can cause electrocution and serious injury or even death. Secure the cords by positioning them higher than the pet can reach or hiding them with special covers.

5. No Hooks. Check your ornaments and replace hooks with a loop of string tied in a knot. Ornaments often fall from the tree and pets may catch their mouths on or swallow the hooks.

6. Choose Safe Ornaments. There is no perfectly pet-safe bulb, as any ornament can be ingested and cause an intestinal obstruction. Glass bulbs on the lower limbs can be especially dangerous. If broken, pets can step on them and cut their feet or worse yet – treat the bulbs like a ball and chew on them causing them to break, resulting in mouth or throat trauma and bleeding. Many pet owners have learned the hard way not to place any ornaments on the lower limbs. Ornaments made of food may be especially attractive to pets.

7. Ribbons. Big red velvet ribbons are a lovely addition and may replace tinsel and garland that can be eaten by dogs and caught in their intestine.

8. Presents. Dogs love to investigate and most do not understand that the presents are not meant to be opened before Christmas Day. Decorative ribbons and string can be ingested, gifts can be destroyed by a playful pet. Consider storing the presents in a safe area until right before the holiday or make sure your pet is always supervised while investigating and searching for his special gift.

9. Sweep and Water. Sweep up the pine needles. Ingestion of needles can cause vomiting and gastric irritation. Keep the tree watered and only turn the lights on when you are at home. Risk of fire is always there with a live tree. Do not allow your pet access to the tree water to drink.

10. Supervise. The safest thing to do is to allow your pet access to the tree only when supervised. Pets that continue to want to bother the tree should be encouraged – using positive reinforcement – to leave it alone. Bitter apple can be sprayed on low branches for persistent chewers.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Do you treat your dog with Thanksgiving leftovers?

It can be fun to keep our dogs with us as we enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, but it is so hard to resist the temptation to share Thanksgiving dinner with them.

Turkey bones are a definite "no-no".

Turkey skin is something dogs love to eat, but consuming fatty food like poultry skin can lead to gastric distress and Pancreatitis, a serious inflammatory condition of the pancreas that causes vomiting and dehydration.

If you think you must share some of your Thanksgiving feast with your dogs, do it safely....

A sudden change in diet, like a big bowl full of turkey and all the trimmings could cause an upset stomach and diahrrea.

Add a few pieces of boneless, skinless turkey meat to their regular food.

Make something special to give your dog like Turkey Loaf or Turkey Gobbler Treats:

Turkey Loaf for Dogs

2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup cooked mixed vegetables
1 T. garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup barley
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup canned low-fat gravy

Preparation -
Grease a 9" loaf pan; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, vegetables, garlic powder, egg, barley and oats. Mix the ingredients together well and place the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Press the mixture to flatten and level, then use a table knife to cut a few shallow slits on top. Pour the gravy over the loaf and bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until nicely browned on top. Cool, then cut the loaf into about six slices. Wrap in plastic wrap or foil and store in the refrigerator. To feed - Break the slices into bite-size pieces.

Turkey Gobblers

2 cups cooked turkey, cut up or shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 T. parsley , finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 T. brewers yeast
2 T. vegetable oil

Preparation -
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked turkey, garlic, grated cheese and parsley. Mix well. Add beaten eggs; mix again. Add flour, brewers yeast, and oil and mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well-blended. Drop by rounded teaspoons full onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a preheated oven at 350ยบ for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Move to wire racks to cool and harden. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

These treats sound good enough for me to eat!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dog Wisdom

I just finished reading a delightful book that acknowledges the wisdom we learn from our dogs. Not only that, but it is about one of my favorite people, Deepak Chopra.

The book, Walking Wisdom; Three Generations, Two Dogs, and the Search for a Happy Life, is written by his son, Gotham Chopra.

Gotham is a new father and he is contemplating the influences he wants to draw on for his own son. Not only will he impart the wisdom gleaned from his father, but he also understands the wisdom that his two dogs have taught him.

In the book, Gotham shares stories of his "walks and talks" with his dad relating to the dogs in their lives. They realize that the qualities that they observe and admire most in their dogs are values we humans would do well to nuture in ourselves.

Dogs do teach us!

I love this photo on the back of the cover. Listening to a podcast of Gotham talking about his book, he mentioned this photo. He was most concerned about what his dog, Cleo, was going to do about the lolly pop. Meanwhile, the only one looking at the camera is his famous dad. In the interview, Gotham laughs at his dad focusing on the camera.

I think it is a very sweet photo.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dog Art

Very clever and just in time for the holidays.

A paint kit for dogs!

It works like this. First, you place plastic down on the floor, and then the canvas. Apply some paint to the canvas followed by a top layer of clear plastic. Your dog can now walk and play over the canvas. By the way, a toy is included to help encourage your dog to "paint".

Presto, your dog has created a work of art!

Ready for this.........it is called Pup-Casso!

Check it out here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Best Dog Grooming Tool

For those of us with dogs that shed, you cannot be without this grooming tool.

I love the name......the FURminator.

At first I did not believe that this one brush could be better than others I have used. My son let me try his dog's FURminator on my dog, Ebony. I am a believer!Immediately, I went to the local pet store to purchase the FURminator.

The problem with shedding is simple: It is not the hair you see that causes the problem. It is the hair you do not see. Your pet's undercoat can become a dense mess of loose, dead hair - and the major source of shedding. But the patented design of the FURminator's unique stainless steel edge reaches down through your dog's topcoat into the undercoat where it grabs and removes loose hair quickly and easily, without cutting. It is totally safe and will not hurt your pet.

The FURminator removes more loose hair from your pet than any other grooming tool. Regular use promotes a healthy skin and coat, and reduces shedding by as much as 90 percent. And the more hair you remove from your pet, the less hair you will need to remove from your couch, your clothes, your floors, your carpet, your car and your home.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pets Can Help Us

Tests have shown that owning a pet can help people attain a better level of physical health. Petting an animal can lower your heart rate and your blood pressure and even promote healing. Also, recent studies show that having pets at work lowers stress levels and makes employees more productive.

But pets can help us in other ways, too. They help us to relax and focus on things other than our problems.

Pets fulfill the natural craving we have for emotional relationships. Whenever we do something for another living thing, we feel better about ourselves. Here are some other ways pets make us feel better:

A Cure for Loneliness

Pets can help us to feel less lonely and isolated. Feeling needed also works to foster positive feelings. Pets give a sense of purpose; they always need something – food, a walk, a stroke, and a kind word, and they are usually appreciative. As an added benefit, if you leash up your dog and take a walk through the neighborhood or through a dog-friendly park, more than likely someone will talk to you. Studies have shown that people walking with a dog talk to new people far more often than if the dog was not with them.

Coming home to your pet gives you something to look forward to. Dogs may score highest in "greetings," but most pets are delighted to see their owners walk through the door and will show it in some way. If you have a pet, you are not alone.

Someone to Love

If you love your pet, that love comes back to you tenfold. It is love of the best kind – unconditional and enduring. Animals offer this love, along with reliable companionship – often for a lot less trouble than having a relationship with a human. No matter how cranky you get, your pet always forgives you and continues to show affection.

Physical Contact

Cuddling and stroking your pet is good for you and helps you to forget about your day at work or your boredom. Petting an animal helps to promote a sense of pleasure and calmness.

Someone to Talk To

It is a known fact that talking things out relieves a lot of internal pressure, but just having someone to talk to makes a difference, too. Talk about anything – your pet will listen, and, even better, he will not disagree. Share your thoughts, feelings, troubles, worries – or say something stupid – your pet will still love you.

Sense of Security

Certain animals promote a sense of safety. Your dog will bark to warn you of impending danger. But the sense of having someone with you is often enough to make you feel less anxious and more secure.

Motivation to Move

If your pet needs to be walked every day, you will be exercising – whether you want to or not. Walking with your dog also helps you to deal with the physical stress of the day. Walking gives you an opportunity to get outside and breathe fresh air.

The Human-animal Bond

The strength of the human-animal bond is not a myth. Although life with a pet is not always easy, the joy of pet ownership can be a wonderful experience. A slurpy kiss from your dog promotes very special feelings and creates a human/animal bond that can last for many years.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November - Senior Pet Month

Most dogs are considered "senior" at around 7 years of age. This number may be higher for small breed dogs and slightly lower for large breed dogs.

It is hard to believe that Ebony, my black lab/border collie who still acts like a puppy, has now hit the "senior" age bracket. She has begun to get some gray hairs around her chin, too.

"Senior" Ebony with Beard

If your dog is five years old, does that means he is the same physiologic age as a 35-year-old person? Not exactly. The theory that every year in a dog's life is the same as seven years in ours is commonly known, but not very accurate. Size and breed play a major role when considering the age of your dog.

For a more accurate comparison between physiologic age of dogs, follow this formula:

A one-year-old small or medium sized dog is about 15 human years old. When the dog reaches two, he is the equivalent of a 24-year-old person. After that, each year is about four human years. This means that a seven-year-old dog is about the same as a 44-year-old person.

Large and giant breed dogs initially age slower but then age quickly. At one year of age, the dog is about the same physiologically as a 12-year-old child. After that, each year follows the standard seven human years. For giant breed dogs, five years old is considered the beginning of old age.

The average canine life span is around 12 years but differs from breed to breed. By the time most dogs reach seven years of age, they are entering their senior years. The record for the longest canine life span is 29 years.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Downward Facing Dog

It is astounding to me how a dog effortlessly preforms the yoga pose downward facing dog. For most of us who practice Yoga, this position can be challenging to hold.

If you are not familar with the pose, dogs look like this:

The human version by an experienced yoga practioner:

Recently, I learned that there are Yoga classes for both you and your dog. It is called Doga and you work together on yoga poses.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Guide Dogs

There are approximately 314 million visually impaired people in the world, whose daily routines can be made easier and possible by guide dogs. Currently 1,750 Seeing Eye® dog users in the U.S. and Canada and hundreds of organizations around the world that offer this specialized form of training and assistance.

The Seeing Eye is one such organization.

Since 1929, The Seeing Eye in Morristown, New Jersey, has partnered with people who are blind who seek to enhance their independence, dignity, and self-confidence by providing them with and instructing them in the use of Seeing Eye dogs. On their 60-acres of land in the Washington Valley, about 325 dogs reside and train to be seeing-eye dogs.

All of the dogs used at The Seeing Eye are bred within the program. Every dog is specifically matched to meet the individual needs of each student. Matches are made based on handler/dog compatibility in strength, pace, temperament, and home environment.

The Seeing Eye matches about 270 dogs with blind or visually impaired owners each year. The program involves a 90-day, 12 class training program, where the dogs train in a variety of situations. The owners also go through a three to four week course. After these weeks and months of rigorous training are complete the dog and owner can return home together.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fact and Fiction About Aggressive Dogs

I came across an interesting article about dog aggression. It outlined the facts and clarified the fiction. Unfortunately it did not mentioned where they got the statistics.

Here is the scoop:


Each year, 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs. (There are 58 million dogs in the United States.)

Children are three times more likely to be bitten than adults.

Over 500,000 people per year receive medical attention for dog bites.

There are about 10 dog bite fatalities per year.

Dog bites have reached epidemic proportions.

German shepherds and chow chows are more likely to be involved in biting incidents than other breeds.

Male dogs are six times more likely to bite than females.

Sexually intact dogs are 2.6 times more likely to bite than neutered dogs.

Rottweiler and pitbull breeds account for 67 percent of human fatalities.

The top 10 breeds involved in lethal dog bite attacks, accounting for four or more human deaths each over the last 20 years, are: pitbull-type (66), Rottweiler (39), German shepherd (17), husky-type (15), malamute (12), Doberman (9), chow chow (8), Saint Bernard (7), Great Dane (7) and Akita (4).

Twenty-five breeds have been involved in 238 dog bite fatalities over the past 20 years.

About 82 percent of deaths involved unrestrained dogs either on (58%) or off (24%) the owners' property

True and False

All dogs may bite – its what dogs do. (TRUE)

Dog bites can largely be prevented by proper training and management. (TRUE)

Dog bite fatalities are relatively uncommon. (TRUE)

People are more dangerous than dogs. (TRUE)

Chronically irresponsible dog owners are to blame for many of the problems. (TRUE)

The owners, rather than the dogs, are the main problem. (OFTEN TRUE)

Children should be taught never to play with or approach a strange dog, and to avoid direct eye contact with unfamiliar dogs. They should also never play with a dog without adult supervision. (TRUE)

The breed of dog involved in the deadly San Francisco attack, the Presa Canario, has been banned in several countries throughout the world. (TRUE)

To single out certain breeds as potentially more dangerous is canine racism. (FALSE)

For a more in-depth look at the issue,
see Aggressive Dogs and Society.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

When Dogs Enter Your Life

I am an avid follower of Deepak Chopra and David Simon. When I went to one of their workshops in Whistler, British Columbia, I met Davidji.

Davidji is a delightful being. I enjoy his presence and guided meditations.

This month in the Agni Newsletter there is an article about Davidji and his dog Peaches the Buddha Princess.

The article will put a smile on your face.

Read Davidji and Peaches the Buddha Princess.