Summer is just around the corner, it is time to get your dog ready for warm weather and beautiful sunny days!
Spring is in the air and our dogs know it. They are excited to get outside and breathe in the warmer air while splashing their way through the puddles left over from a rainy May. Longer days means more hours of potential fun in the sun with our four-legged family members and there is no doubt an exciting summer up ahead. Here are a four things we can do for our dogs to get them ready for a warm season full of fun, sun and laughter: 1) Bring your dog to your veterinarian for an annual check up.
Getting your dog ready for the exciting summer activities includes making sure that they are fit, healthy and up to date on their vaccinations. Consider using a minimal vaccine schedule
or testing their titers for levels of immunity
! Take this time to discuss your traditional OR alternative/holistic heartworm, flea and parasite prevention methods for the summer to keep your pet healthy and happy. 2)
Getting your dog groomed
is a great way to shake off the winter blues and embrace the warm, sunny days ahead! Whether you bring your best friend to the doggie spa or do it yourself at home, your dog will benefit from a bath and brush
. A seriously good brushing will help them shed their thick winter fur and keep cool in the heat, but it will also keep large amounts of fur off your floor while they are blowing their coat for the spring. Don’t forget to clean their ears and trim their nails, too! 3) Find a fun activity or sport to enjoy with your dog this season
. Jogging, running, camping, hiking and bicycling are excellent activities to include your dog in and the exercise will help keep them healthy and fit. Dog sports such as agility, obedience, herding or flyball are great potential hobbies to take on with your dog. The working partnership and fun exercise will strengthen the bond between you and your best friend while providing you both with fulfilling mental stimulation! 4) Buy your dog some new gear for hiking and camping
. Items such as a backpack, portable food and water bowls, a long leash and doggie water bottles will make taking your dog out on family occasions more enjoyable. A backpack can be a great way to give your dog a job to do by having him carry his own water bowl, water bottle, poop bags and treats. You may even be able to slip your cell phone and wallet in his backpack without him noticing.
The warmer months are full of fun and laughter and your dog is just as excited about it as you are! Including them in your spring and summer activities will provide everyone involved with enrichment, unconditional love and excitement. Just like with spring cleaning and getting a new haircut, helping your dog feel refreshed with the warm weather can have excellent benefits for their health and well being.Don't forget to LIKE K9 Instinct on Facebook to get news, more informative dog related tips, and all new blog updates!AngelK9 Instinctwww.k9instinct.com
Dogs love snacks, so give them something healthy! There is no reason to spend a lot of money either. Homemade recipes to fill your dog's kong with will keep them happy and busy while making your life a bit easier!
I love to keep my dogs busy, which is why I am constantly coming up with recipe ideas to fill their kongs with! Healthy alternatives to the expensive store bought filling and low quality treats they recommend you fill the stuff-able toy with. The kong, or similar toys, are an excellent way to provide mental stimulation and enrichment for your dogs. I especially love to offer a filled kong snack after a long hike or outdoor adventure, since it is a great way for dogs to wind down and enjoy a snack!
Cheesy Yoghurt Filling
Simple Honey and Yoghurt Filling
- 1 cup of plain yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup of plain yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon of honey (raw and local is the best!)
- 1 cup of mashed oven baked potato
- 1/2 cup of boiled ground beef
- 1/8th teaspoon of parsley
- 2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese
Electrolyte Boost Perfect for a hot day or following lots of exercise.
Macaroni and Cheese
- 1/2 cup of cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup of boiled sweet potato
- 1-2 tablespoons of unflavoured Pedialyte
Peanut Butter and Banana
- 1 cup of whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese
Fruit and Veggies
- 1/2 cup of peanut butter
- 1/2 cup of mashed bananas
Sweet Potato and Shredded Chicken
- 2 tablespoons of frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons of chopped banana
- 2 tablespoons of chopped strawberries
- 1 cup of boiled mashed sweet potato
- 1 cup of mashed boiled sweet potato
- 1/2 a cup of shredded boiled chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese
For more kong filling recipes, check out part one of this article
! You can also look at all my homemade dog cookie recipes here
!Don't forget to like K9 Instinct on Facebook to get new blog updates, news and other dog related tips!AngelK9 Instinctwww.k9instinct.com
(This is a Guest Blog by Josh at Far North Kennel!)
Sometimes I wonder if I decided to start training and breeding German Shepherd Dogs because of watching police dogs. Police dogs are absolutely fascinating to watch. Perfectly trained animals usually are. But there is something more about watching German Shepherds work with the police. Perhaps it is the way they look at their owners – they just can’t wait to please.
A year or so ago, I got to do a ride-a-long with a friend of mine who is a police officer in Anchorage, Alaska, where I live. We headed over to a park in search of a woman in diabetic shock who had run in to the woods. A police dog was there named MP. MP was a Belgian Malinois and was incredible.
The woman had come back and while the officer I was with helped get her in to the ambulance, I asked a few questions about MP. His handler gave me a baseball style trading card of MP. It was like I was 7 years old again - I was so pumped.
His handler told me that MP lived at home with him and his family. He told me that the dog is literally a part of the family. I can relate to this as every dog I have ever owned has literally been a part of my family. I put the baseball card in my pocket and put it on the fridge when I got home.
FBI K9 "APE"
Something happened in New York state on March 14th that got me really thinking about police dogs again. On that day, the FBI and State Authorities were after a man named Kurt Meyers who had shot and killed 4 people earlier in the week. Aware that the authorities were after him, Meyers holed up in a bar ready for a shootout.
Fitted with a canine bulletproof vest and a camera to show the FBI what was inside, an FBI Canine named Ape was sent in first. Ape was shot and killed. Shortly thereafter, so was Kurt Meyers. An FBI medic tried to save Ape’s life, but couldn’t and the FBI described Ape’s actions as nothing short of “heroic.”
A memorial service was held for Ape and his name was etched in to the wall at FBI Headquarters in Quantico, VA.
Then something was realized. In the state of New York, it was only a misdemeanor to kill this heroic canine. He went in before anyone else because it was what he was trained to do, much like firemen run in to burning buildings and police officers go towards the sound of gunfire.
The New York State Legislature acted quickly and made killing or injuring a police dog a felony. I think this is a great honor to the work Ape did. Ape was a part of his handler’s family. Just like any other law enforcement officer, he had his days off at home where he recreated and had his days where he went to work. When Ape went to work, he was protecting our safety.
In Alaska, where I live, it is already a Class C Felony to kill a police dog. However, in the state of Oklahoma it is only a misdemeanor. Littering and forgetting to renew your license plates for extended periods of time are misdemeanors. Killing a police dog is the same as killing a human police officer. It should be a felony.
By my count, it is only a felony to kill police dogs in 22 states. This lack of respect for the sacrifice these amazing creatures do has to change. It should be a felony in every state to kill or injure a police dog. This will never change if the knowledge of this issue doesn’t get out. I hope you will share this with a few of your friends and Follow this link to contact your legislators and tell them that this must happen!
Josh Brown is a dog lover, trainer and breeder in Anchorage, AK. He owns Far North Kennel and breeds German Shepherd Puppies
. Josh writes a Dog Blog with training and behavioral tips for owners of all breeds that you are invited to check out here.
A homemade dog food diet is an excellent, healthy alternative to commercial kibble. Homemade dog food can help promote health and well being in your four-legged family members by providing real food, wholesome nutrition and freshness you simply cannot get with kibble diets. Making your own dog food is easier than you think, and can also be quite inexpensive! Purchasing your meat on sale and buying bagged frozen vegetables will be cheaper than buying a high quality kibble!
This free homemade dog food recipe is balanced and complete to AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards. A complete whole food multivitamin is ESSENTIAL to every homemade recipe to replace any nutrients lost in the cooking process. To get my entire collection of balanced homemade dog food recipes, check out my Homemade Dog Food Recipe eBook
Beef and Sweet Vegetables
- 550g boiled beef liver
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup of boiled sweet potato
- 1/2 cup of boiled green beans
- 1/2 cup of boiled peas
- 1/2 cup of boiled carrots
- 1/4 cup of 2% fat cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 scoops of Nupro Gold Supplement
- Chop the beef liver into small pieces and boil until cooked. (Do not overcook!)
- Boil sweet potato, green beans, peas and carrots until tender.
- In a large bowl add the sweet potato, green beans, peas, carrots, applesauce, cottage cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Mash it all together and mix well.
- Add the boiled beef liver to the mash, mix it in.
- When the food cools, add 1 1/2 scoops of the Nupro Gold supplement.
FEEDING GUIDE FOR THIS MEAL
- 10 lbs - 208g a day
- 20 lbs - 350g a day
- 40 lbs - 589g a day
- 60 lbs - 798g a day
- 80 lbs - 991g a day
- 100 lbs - 1172g a day
Want more balanced and complete recipes? Check out my eBook: Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Don't forget to like K9 Instinct on Facebook
to get new blog article updates and other dog tips!AngelK9 Instinctwww.k9instinct.com
Nutrition plays a very important role in your dog's health and well-being during their life, and adding supplements and nutrient dense "extras" to their food bowl can have a big impact on their overall health. There are many different supplements pet owners can add to their dog's diet, but there are five specific supplements that I strongly believe every dog should enjoy the benefits of.
Supplements provide a nutritional boost when fed along with a balanced and complete diet, and can ensure that your dogs dietary needs are being met and potentially exceeded. By adding certain supplements to your dog's diet you can help prevent disease and fight illness. The reason why I recommend giving your dogs supplements is because I strongly believe in using nutrition as a preventive. When the body is strong and the body's systems are functioning properly (be it digestive, immune, cardiovascular, etc) the dog is better able to recover quickly from illness, avoid disease and handle physical and emotional stress.
OMEGA FATTY ACIDS
Omega fatty acids such as salmon oil, fish oil, flax seed oil, and borage seed oil provide many different nutritional benefits. Omega fatty acids are ideal for dogs with allergies, skin disorders or plain dry skin since these nutritious oils help add moisture, fullness and shine to any coat. These oils also promote healthy cognitive function as well as growth and development in puppies and young dogs. Omega fatty acids have also been proven to aid in promoting heart health and relief from arthritis and inflammation.
Read more about omega fatty acid oils with my article: The Benefits of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids For Dogs
PROBIOTICS / ACIDOPHILUS
Probiotics are an excellent way to significantly boost the digestive system and the immune system. Adding probiotics to your dog's diet will help them properly digest their food while improving nutrient absorption. Probiotics also help build immune system health by creating a proper balance of healthy bacteria in the body, making it easier for the body to fend off harmful bacteria and disease. Probiotics have also proven to be beneficial to dogs with allergies, digestive disorders and susceptibility to bacterial infections.
Read more about the benefits of probiotics with my article: The Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs
Coconut oil is a healthy,very easily digested fat that is quickly converted to energy in the body. Coconut oil is my third recommendation because of it's antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Coconut oil also helps condition the dog's fur to make it thick, glossy and healthy. Coconut oil can also be applied topically to hot spots, cuts and abrasions and can also be used as an all natural toothpaste!
Learn more about this powerful natural remedy with my article: The Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs
Acidophilus (Lactobacillus acidophilus) is a common, well known form of healthy bacteria (intestinal flora) that belongs in the digestive tract of every mammal, working with the body to protect it and aid in the digestion of food. These safe, necessary organisms are an important piece of the "total health" puzzle and can even help prevent disease and alleviate illness. There are a lot of phenomenal benefits that come with supplementing our dogs with probiotics, but the exceptional boost to their immune system alone is worth making probiotics an addition to your dog's nutrition program!
Supplementing your dogs diet with probiotics can act as a form of therapeutic treatment for a variety of health problems. It can also be a preventive measure against the bad bacteria overwhelming your dog's digestive tract which ultimately makes them sick. Many holistic veterinarians, nutritionists and traditional veterinarians will recommend probiotics to help combat and prevent bacterial infections and digestive disorders. By reinforcing the beneficial bacteria in your dog's gut, probiotics act as a safe way to keep harmful bacteria under control by allowing the strong beneficial bacteria to compete with the bad bacteria and ultimately prevent the wrong bacteria from flourishing.
Scientific research has been done repeatedly on the benefits of probiotics for dogs and the findings were great, showing that dogs did in fact receive significant benefits from the supplementation of probiotics both short term and long term. Veterinarians once believed that acidophilus could not survive passage from the dog's acidic stomach to the intestinal tract, but this was proven false. The healthy bacteria are strong and resilient, making it easy for dogs to nourish their intestinal tract with the bacteria designed to help them stay strong and healthy.
So how can probiotics benefit your dog? You'll be surprised by the many ways a strong and healthy digestive system can combat disease and prevent illness in our furry family members.
Supplementing puppies and young dogs with probiotics has shown to decrease the frequency and severity of allergies, increase healthy weight gain and growth, and decrease the frequency of illness and disease by providing a good foundation towards exceptional immune system health.
Probiotics are also ideal for dogs with digestive issues such as inflammatory bowel disease since this supplement promotes a healthy digestive tract. Ultimately probiotics assist in the breakdown of nutrients while aiding in proper digestion by encouraging the production of digestive enzymes. Probiotics help maintain a healthy, well functioning digestive system which is of vital important in dogs with digestive disorders.
Probiotics can also help alleviate symptoms of allergies by strengthening the digestive system and the immune system to prevent allergic symptoms from arising when the dog is exposed to allergens. A stronger immune system means the body is able to better handle the allergens the dog has been exposed to, ultimately soothing symptoms or even potentially eliminating allergies all together. When you remind yourself how allergic reactions work, it will make more sense to you. Allergic reactions occur when the weakened immune system detects something and labels it as foreign or a threat, which in turn creates a variety of symptoms as the body fights to get rid of it. A stronger immune system means better overall immune system function. A strong immune system is not prone to allergies.
Probiotics can be very beneficial in helping to treat bacterial infections by safely supporting a distressed intestinal tract. Providing the body with beneficial bacteria will help the good organisms overrun the bad ones, and can help your dog recover faster. Paired with a 24 hour fast and a few homemade bland meals
that are easy on the body, you may be able to let nature run its course safely and quickly. If your dog is suffering from a potential bacterial infection and shows no improvement or worsens after 48 hours, please go see your veterinarian immediately for a diagnosis and treatment. Our dogs may need help getting healthy again! Once your dog is healthy again, starting them on regular probiotic supplementation can help prevent more infections of the intestinal tract.Probiotics can help alleviate bad gas, prevent bad breath and will help make your dog's body function better. This occurs as a direct result of proper balance in the digestive system, which is where the very important absorption of nutrients occurs. Any dog of any age can enjoy the benefits of probiotics, so consider adding them to your dog's diet for a stronger, healthier body!SOURCES OF PROBIOTICS
- Plain, unsweetened yoghurt.
- Cottage cheese
- Acidophilus Capsules (Human grade is fine!)
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- 2 tablespoons of plain yoghurt, cottage cheese or kefir daily.
- 1 capsule of human grade Acidophilus.
- Multivitamin supplement containing probiotics (such as NUPRO GOLD or Sunday Sundae), best paired with extra yoghurt/cottage cheese/kefir.
Homemade, grain-free and loaded with nutrition! You can't go wrong with these super delicious dog treats made with coconut flour, peanut butter, unsweetened applesauce and a touch of honey! These moist treats make the perfect inexpensive alternative to buying training treats at home. Simply shape the dough into small bite-sized balls and use them for training!
Coconut flour is a tasty alternative to grain flours, the perfect ingredient for dogs who suffer from grain allergies and sensitivities. Coconut flour targets the skin and coat to help make a dog's fur soft, thick and healthy. If your dog has dry skin or dandruff, this is the perfect treat for them! Peanut butter and unsweetened applesauce provide flavour and aroma to make for a high value treat that can be used in training. Moist, bite-sized and quickly eaten - these treats are sure to help train even the most stubborn of dogs!
- 1 1/2 cups of coconut flour
- 1 cup of smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
- 3 eggs
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl add coconut flour, peanut butter, unsweetened applesauce and eggs.
- Combine thoroughly.
- Roll into bite-sized balls on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on your size of treat.
Easy to make, inexpensive, healthy and delicious! Any dog cookie with peanut butter and applesauce is sure to please your furry family member's tummy! I use these treats for tracking and training, and they have never let me down! Hunter will do just about anything for these. Don't have coconut flour? You can use 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 eggs instead! These homemade dog treats can be left on the counter for a maximum of two days before they will need to go in the fridge.
It's the price we pay for feeding whole food treats with zero preservatives! For more delicious homemade dog treat recipes, visit the "homemade treat" section of my blog!Don't forget to "like" K9 Instinct on Facebook for updates and new blog posts!AngelK9 Instinctwww.k9instinct.com
Packed full of real, wholesome meat, nutritious fruit and hearty vegetables, a homemade diet is the perfect way to provide your furry family members with real nutrition that will promote health and longevity. Second only to a Raw Food Diet for dogs
, a homemade diet is a made with love alternative to often unhealthy commercial kibble diets. A homemade diet is food you can make with your own hands, controlling what ingredients you feed your dog and what quality their nutrition is. Better nutrition means a longer, healthier life and ultimately less time your dog will spend being sick and less money you will spend at the veterinarian hospital! Making your own homemade dog food is a great opportunity to provide your dogs with a wide variety of different meat, fruits and vegetables which results in a nutrient dense diet!A homemade dog food diet is perfect for dogs suffering from allergies, since you can control what ingredients your dog is eating.
Adding supplements that improve skin and coat condition while feeding ingredients that do not create allergic symptoms in your dog can alleviate allergies or eliminate symptoms completely! People often notice their dogs smell much better, as that infamous "doggy odour" often goes away when dogs are fed a clean diet. Homemade dog food can also improve a dogs' physical condition, improve symptoms of various medical conditions, promote good dental health and strengthen their immune system to ward of disease!Homemade diet recipes are created with both cooked and raw whole food ingredients, looking much like meals you yourself would eat!
Homemade diet recipes use meat (muscle meat and organ meat) with processed (cooked or pureed) whole vegetables and a moist carrier (yoghurt, cottage cheese, kefir, tomato suace) to mix a multivitamin into. The multivitamin is of vital importance to a homemade dog food recipe because it replaces any nutrients lost during the cooking process and ensures complete and balanced nutrition. The multivitamin used in homemade dog food recipes must be specific, as some are not balanced or complete enough to be used in a homemade diet. There are several excellent choices, but it is best to consult a dog nutritionist
who can help you learn how to properly balance meals.
The omega fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6)
are a potent powerhouse of phenomenal health benefits that can dramatically improve the general health of people and animals alike. Originally recognized as an essential supplement for people, omega fatty acids are now being utilized to alleviate various ailments and improve general health in our pets as well!Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are labeled as "essential fatty acids"
because the body cannot produce them on it's own, so we must supplement them in our diet to receive the benefits of them! Omega fatty acids are required for biological processes and act as a fuel for the body. Sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 include fish oil (most notably salmon oil), flax seed oil, borage seed oil, hemp seed oil, leafy green vegetables, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and canola oil.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids have a wide variety of benefits to our dogs; benefits that have been proven and enjoyed over and over again by holistic practitioners and veterinarians alike.For dogs suffering from allergies, omega fatty acids can help soothe the skin and alleviate allergies. Adding omega fatty acids into your dogs diet will result in their coat becoming soft, full and luxuriously shiny. The most common benefit of these healthy oils shows itself in the spectacular condition of a dog's fur. The oils help to condition the coat and prevent dryness and dandruff, while helping heal various skin conditions - all of which can soothe an itchy dog!Omega fatty acids are ideal for young dogs and growing puppies, since Omega fatty acids play a significant role in promoting healthy brain function while supporting healthy growth and development. I always recommend puppies be supplemented with omega fatty acids until at least until they reach two years of age.Clinical evidence shows that omega fatty acids can greatly benefit dogs with various heart conditions, diabetes, arthritis, joint problems, inflammatory bowel disease, other issues with inflammation, cognitive decline, various skin conditions and cancer.Omega fatty acids are highly beneficial to dogs
, helping to alleviate various medical conditions while improving a dog's skin and coat dramatically. If you choose to offer only one supplement to your dog, my recommendation would be to add Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils! Every dog, at any age, would benefit greatly from this supplement. The best sources of these essential fatty acids are fish oils, hemp seed oil and flax seed oil.Appropriate dosage of omega fatty acids for dogs is 1000 mg of oil per 30lbs
of weight.Don't forget to like K9 Instinct on Facebook to get new blog updates and news!AngelK9 Instinctwww.k9instinct.com
Nothing beats a treat made out of healthy organic, raw ingredients! Brad's Raw 4 Paws
uses healthy vegetables, fruits and seeds which are dehydrated to preserve nutrients and living enzymes! These yummy cookies are kale-based, which is fantastic since kale is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with good stuff! You can feel good about feeding these treats to your dog, since they are GMO-free, grain free, gluten free, high in fiber, contain no animal products, are low on the glycemic scale. They are also "people quality", and yes, my husband once again sampled Hunter's new Brad's Raw 4 Paws
cookies! These delicious, highly nutritious treats are perfect for dogs with grain allergies and other food sensitivities. They are also made entirely in the United States.
Brad's Raw 4 Paws "Garden Gourmet" Dog Treats
Kale, Buckwheat Groats, Carrots, Coconut Oil, Parsley, Himalayan Sea Salt
Grain free, organic, kale-based, no animal products, people quality, high fiber, gluten free, low glycemic, no hormones, made in the USA!
I really like the concept of raw, not just when it comes to a dogs' diet but also in regards to treats; which is why I really love this product. Nutrients and enzymes get destroyed in the cooking process, so gently dehydrated these wholesome ingredients preserves all the goodness our dogs can seriously benefit from! Kale is one of my favourite greens to feed to a dog, it is full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, iron and calcium.