Browsing articles in "General"

Angel and Mai Toy

Jan 12, 2013   //   by Boo Zehound   //   General  //  Comments Off on Angel and Mai Toy
Angel the dog and her toy Itt

Angel and Itt


Angel is a pit bull and (we think) Rhodesian ridgeback mix who absolutely adores squeaky toys. As sweet as she is, she’s no wilting wallflower of a dog. She’s a rough, tough tomboy who will rip almost every toy to shreds in a matter of minutes.

Not surprisingly, we don’t let her have those rubbery playthings for fear that she’ll swallow the pieces. That is, except for “Itt.”

About five winters ago Angel found a toy buried in the snow at the dog park. She was over-joyed with her treasure and, as no-one else was around to lay claim to it, brought the toy home.

We called Angel’s plaything Itt, in honor of Uncle Itt from the old Addams Family TV show and Itt has been Angel’s favorite toy ever since. She is incredibly gentle with Itt and extremely protective. When she’s not loving Itt we keep him on the mantle where no-one else can reach him and risk destroying him.

Anyway, I’m telling you this because Angel and Itt were the inspiration for the Mai Toy dogtail recipe in The BARKtender’s Guide, which I’m sharing with you here. I used a stand-in for Itt in the book. Not only is Itt looking rather ragged these days, but I just wasn’t sure whether Angel would be happy about her precious possession being used as a glamour model of sorts.

Mai Toy dogtail drink for dogs

What you need:

  •  1 cup frozen chopped seedless watermelon
  • ½ cup low fat plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup pure pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
  • 1 tsp carob powder
  • 1 tsp rice syrup (optional)
  • watermelon slices or blueberry stick for garnish

What to do:

  •  put all the ingredients in a blender, except the garnish
  • add 6 – 8 ice cubes and blend ’til slushy
  • pour into dogtail dishes (Fido’s fave bowl)
  • for the blueberry stick, thread fresh berries on a rawhide strip

By the way, if you haven’t already figured it out, the name of the drink is a spoof on the popular rum cocktail, the Mai Tai,

Dog Eggnog

Dec 13, 2012   //   by Boo Zehound   //   General  //  Comments Off on Dog Eggnog
Dog eggnog for Christmas

Dog Eggnog from The BARKtender’s Guide

The Dog Eggnog is a variation on the Angel’s Kiss (Angel‘s favorite dogtail). The recipe is designed to serve several pooches so invite all your favorite friends and have a pawty and include The BARKtender’s Holiday Pupcakes.

What you need

  • 2 cups low-fat or fat-free organic yogurt
  • 1 organic raw egg
  • 3 tbsp organic, sugar-free peanut butter* (room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 3 tbsp 100% pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Filtered water

What to do

  1. Add yogurt, egg, peanut butter, molasses and pumpkin to a bowl and whisk thoroughly (you can also put the ingredients in a blender)
  2. Add water and continue whisking ’til the consistency is like smooth eggnog
  3. Pour into a serving bowl and ladle small amounts into individual dishes for each dog, dusting with just a touch of cinnamon

NOTE: Always remember, these are treats, not a food substitute. Any time you are introducing a new food to your pet, give just a small amount; some dogs are sensitive to changes and may experience some digestive discomfort.


Holiday Pupcake Recipe for a Doggy Christmas

Dec 1, 2012   //   by Boo Zehound   //   General  //  Comments Off on Holiday Pupcake Recipe for a Doggy Christmas
Christmas holiday pupcake

Holiday pupcake from The BARKtenders Guide

It’s that time when you’ll be enjoying the feasts of the season including Christmas cake. So why not let Rover and Lulu in on the action with their own Holiday Pupcakes?

We’ve created a droolicious treat for your dog with healthy, seasonal ingredients. And guess what? These pupcakes are really easy to make and your pooch will really be good because he’ll want Santa to reward him with more. He might also like a little Dog Eggnog.

What you need

  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (eg. King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill)
  • ¼ cup potato flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 5 oz turkey puree (use baby food – we like Gerber – or puree your own)
  • ½ – 1 cup homemade turkey broth (see recipe here)
  • 1 organic egg
  • ½ cup 100% pure pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
  • 2 tbs blackstrap molasses
  • 4 oz fat-free or low-fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • tbsp fat-free plain organic yogurt

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Prepare a muffin pan by lining with baking cups. Foil cups add a festive flair
  3. Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix them together well with a wire whisk
  4. In a separate bowl, lightly beat all the wet ingredients (using just ½ cup of turkey broth) ’til they’re blended
  5. Add the wet ingredients, except the cream cheese and yogurt, to the dry and stir ’til thoroughly combined. If the batter is too stiff, use the remaining turkey broth
  6. Spoon the batter into the baking cups
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick in the middle of a pupcake and it comes out clean
  8. Cool the pupcakes on a wire rack
  9. While the pupcakes cool, make the frosting by whipping together the cream cheese and yogurt
  10. Top the pupcakes with the frosting so it looks like drifts of snow
  11. Refrigerate or freeze ’til ready to use
  12. Remember to remove the foil baking cup before serving to Fido

NOTE: Always remember, these are treats, not a food substitute. Any time you are introducing a new food to your pet, give just a small amount; some dogs are sensitive to changes and may experience some digestive discomfort.


How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Warm in Winter

Nov 13, 2012   //   by Boo Zehound   //   General  //  Comments Off on How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Warm in Winter

The first frost was on the old pumpkin the other day when I took the dogs for their morning constitutional. So it struck me that it might be a good time to suggest things we can do to care for our pets when the weather outside gets frightful.

1. Don’t leave pets outside when the temperature plummets.

Just because your dog wears a fur coat, doesn’t mean he’s impervious to the cold! And I’m not just talking about house pets. If you have a dog that generally lives outdoors, make sure there’s adequate shelter. It should be dry and draft-free with plenty of clean bedding* and preferably with the ability to safely heat it.

*Be wary of using blankets for bedding. Fido might play in the snow then lay on his blanket and a wet blanket can freeze, leaving Fido with no warmth. Better to use straw or hay as it allows moisture to evaporate, retains heat and is biodegradable. You can buy it from farm stores; just make sure it smells fresh and sweet, like new-mown grass.

2. Get the right pooch for the climate.

Of course, this isn’t always an option but if you’re now in the process of choosing a pet then it’s something to bear in mind; it’s pretty obvious that a husky will fare better in the cold than a hairless Chinese Crested.

Bear in mind, too, that animals need time to adapt to temperature changes, just as people do. A St Bernard coming from the tropical climes of south Florida isn’t going to be as resilient to frigid cold in Alaska as a native hound will be.

Biker dog Vinny

Vinny in his bomber jacket

3. Consider couture

Normally I don’t encourage dressing-up of pets; I’m more of the “au naturel” way of thinking. However, extreme weather calls for appropriate measures and, as you can see from the picture of my pup, Vinny, sometimes a cozy jacket is called for.

4. Don’t forget paws

Salt and other chemicals that are used to thaw roads and walkways can cause pads to crack and be sore. And, if ingested, these chemicals can be downright dangerous. Boots are one way to solve the problem but most dogs don’t like to wear them. Instead, be vigilant about washing your pup’s paws before he has a chance to lick them. And to prevent ice build-up on paws, rub a little baby oil on and between the pads before going outside. The pads will stay more pliable and resist the formation of ice. You should also keep the hair between Fido’s toes well-clipped and be sure his nails are short so that snow can’t cling and form ice balls, which can be quite painful.

5. Food and water

Pets who spend a lot of time outside in the cold will burn up calories to keep warm, so a little extra in the old feedbag is well-advised. However, Lassie may be spending a lot more time at home in front of the fire these days, or Rover’s walks may be shorter than in the balmier months. In that case, be careful you don’t overfeed.

As for water, dry winter weather leaves dogs more vulnerable to dehydration so fresh water is essential at all times. To help prevent outside water from freezing use a heavy plastic dish as this loses heat more slowly than metal. A deeper dish will freeze less easily; and keep the dish away from shaded areas or, better yet, get a bird bath de-icer. Most importantly, check the water often.

6. Keep pets dry

I already touched on this with regard to bedding but if Bowser or Lucy get wet, it’s also a good idea to give them a thorough rub-down before they settle inside. A wet pet will chill rapidly, just like you.

7. Honk your horn!

There’s always a possibility a dog may crawl under your car while the engine is still warm. (Cats and other little critters have a nasty habit of crawling into your car’s engine). Before starting your car you can honk your horn or bang on the hood to scare any animals away.

8. Frostbite

Frostbite is tissue damage, usually to the extremities, caused by exposure to cold. If it’s cold enough and exposure is long enough, the tissue can actually die. In animals it’s not the easiest thing to spot because of hair coverage, but check the ears, paws, tail and scrotum in particular to see if the skin is pale and they are very cold to the touch.

Treat frostbite by carefully warming the affected areas. Do not rub or massage the frostbitten tissue; you risk causing infection that way. Instead, use warm cloths, heat pads or heat lamps. Then get your dog to the vet pronto! As the tissue warms it can be very painful and will need to be monitored and your vet will likely prescribe painkillers. Severely damaged tissue may require amputation to avoid life-threatening conditions such as gangrene.

9. Hypothermia

This is a lowering of the core body temperature. Shivering is the first sign of hypothermia and, if heat loss continues, respiratory distress, paralysis and cardiac arrest can follow. Treatment involves rapid warming of the body. For mild cases keep a pet heating pad on hand, or hot water bottles, heat lamps, hair dryers and blankets. A warm bath can also do the trick but always follow-up with a visit to the doctor to check for any lingering problems. Severe hypothermia requires immediate veterinarian intervention.

10. Prevention is worth a pound of cure

It’s an old adage but oh so true. A healthy pet is the first and best defense against winter cold and any ailments it may bring. The young and the old, of course, are always at greater risk so be watchful and be prepared and, please, keep a more vigilant eye out for strays at this time. Try and get them to a safe place, or at least put some food out and set up a shelter so they have a chance to survive.

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”—Francis of Assisi


Waiting With Bated Dog Breath

Aug 18, 2012   //   by Boo Zehound   //   General  //  Comments Off on Waiting With Bated Dog Breath

The BarkTenders Guide dog treat recipe book


Dogs everywhere will be begging their pet parents to mark the calendar for the end of September, 2012. That’s when The BARKtender’s Guide to Dogtails and Pupcakes will be available.

Here’s a sneak peek at the book cover.

Stay tuned for a sneak peek at a couple of recipes in the next week or two.


The BARKtender’s Guide at BarkWorld

Jul 16, 2012   //   by Boo Zehound   //   General  //  Comments Off on The BARKtender’s Guide at BarkWorld

The BARKtender's Guide recipe book of dog treats

The BARKtender’s Guide will be exhibiting at this year’s BarkWorld Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. The National Social Petworking Concerence runs October 25 – 27 at the Buckhead Westin Hotel and features a pack of great people, dogs, information, even swag, for all canine entrepreneurs.

By attending The Pet Social Media Conference, BarkWorld, you’ll gain insider knowledge on:

  • Entrepreneurship for pet professionals
  • Home & healthy lifestyle tips for pet parents
  • Pet-related mobile apps & gaming
  • Non-profit and charity fundraising
  • Emerging social media trends, technologies and tools
  • How to make the most of  a blogger-to-brand relationship
  • How to produce your best podcasts and Internet radio shows
  • Social media & marketing best practices for businesses
  • Programming for our advance users
  • Content creation & time management
  • and, you’ll get to network with over 300 like-minded social networkers and brand