TERRORIFIC DOG TREATS FOR HALLOWEEN

Pumpkins come but once a year, so don’t forget to include your furry friends in the seasonal fun and festivities. For many pooches, the ‘trick or treat’ circuit with the kids may be a bit overwhelming, but not many would need to be tricked into gobbling up these doggielicious treats! 

So, when you’re preparing your pumpkin pie for the family, why not set aside some pumpkin puree and try one of these recipes for your canine companions too. They’re so easy even the kids could make them! (Just click the link below or the image for recipes)

NOTE: You can, of course, use canned pumpkin instead but please remember to only use plain canned pumpkin. It should not be pumpkin pie filling, and there should not be any added ingredients. You just want pure pumpkin puree in a can. 

Easy Frozen Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats 

Ingredients 

• 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 
½ cup natural peanut butter
• 
1¼ cup pumpkin puree
• 
Small Milk Bones 

Instructions 

1. Place ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into ice cube trays, dixie cups or molds of your choice.
3. Place a small Milk Bone in the center of each and freeze for 5 hours.
4. Once frozen, pop out and share with your pup!
5. I placed them in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn for safe keeping up to 3 months. 

 

Frozen Pumpkin Dog Treat Recipe 

Makes 40 small-sized treats 

Ingredients: 

• 1 cup plain yogurt
• 
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
• 
1 teaspoon honey 
• 1 banana 

Directions:
1. In a blender, add banana and puree until smooth.
2. In a large bowl, add yogurt, pumpkin puree, mushed banana and honey. Stir until well combined.

3. Spoon mixture into ice cube trays. Once each mold is full, wrap in plastic wrap or place in Ziploc bag to avoid mess. 
4. Place in freezer and let freeze completely, overnight. 

Note: When using canned pumpkin, only use plain canned pumpkin. It should not be pumpkin pie filling, and there should not be any added ingredients. You just want pure pumpkin puree in a can. 

 

Pumpkin Pupper Treats 

Ingredients 

• 1 egg
• 2/3 cup pure canned pumpkin
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour  

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
Combine the egg, pumpkin and cinnamon. 
Slowly add in flour until the dough is nice and stiff. 
Put whole wheat flour on the counter and roll the dough out to ¼ inch on top of it. 
Use cookie cutters to cut out your favorite shapes. 
Place cookies on a no stick or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 
Bake cookies for 40 minutes. 
They should be nice and crisp before you take them out. 

Drool, while you let them cool, and serve.  

 

Pumpkin Spice Muffins for Dogs | Halloween Dog Treats 

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Muffins 

• 1 Cup of Gluten Free Cake Flour
• 1 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 Egg
• 1 cup Water
• 1/2 cup coconut cooking oil
• 1 cup Pure Pumpkin 

Directions 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves and ginger. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and add all remaining ingredients.  Mix together until well blended. 

Spray your pumpkin pan with a non-stick cooking spray (we use bakers joy).  Fill the cavities 2/3rds full.  Bake for 15 minutes.  And that’s it, you are done!  You can also frost these if you like.  I choose not to this time, but I would have used whipped cream cheese just for fun. 

 

Wishing you and your canine companions safe and happy celebrations! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

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Preventing Bloat Could Be Your Dog’s Life-Saver

It is vital that you do everything you can to prevent bloat in your canine companions. It isn’t just a “bit of wind” that will exit their body through flatulence!  

Bloat is the commonly-used term for a life-threatening condition in dogs called gastric dilatation volvulus, or canine GDV. The word gastric means ‘of the stomach’, dilatation refers to the abnormal enlargement of a part of the body, while volvulus means a twisting of the intestine causing an obstruction. Put simply, bloating involves excessive amounts of solids, liquids or gas in the digestive system and GDV occurs when the stomach fills with gas (bloat) and twists around on itself. 

If this happens to your furry friend then there is no relief for them. There is no chance of defecation, belching or flatulence. The only answer to this problem is to rush your pet to the veterinary immediately!  

Wherever possible, we prefer to look at prevention rather than cure, so in this article we will help you to reduce, even eliminate, dog bloating and hopefully avoid you ever having to deal with the worst-case scenario. 

How is Bloat in Dogs Caused? 

Let’s face it, most of our furry friends have no ‘full’ control when it comes to eating and will happily devour what you put in front of them. The most common reasons for bloating are overeating, eating too fast or drinking water too quickly.  

Another thing that can create bloating is a lot of activity right after a meal. Most of us learned when we were kids to let our food settle down before we went out to play. This was very good advice and the same applies to your furry friend.  

Which Dogs are Most at Risk of GDV? 

A bloated stomach can be a problem for any dog, both male and female. Studies have shown the risk of GDV increases with age and is five times more likely in pure-bred dogs than in crossbreeds. Body weight is also strongly associated with increased odds of GDV. Dogs weighing more than 40kg are significantly more likely to suffer from the condition than those weighing less than 10kg. Also, the most severe forms of bloating and GDV usually occur in adult dogs and senior dogs. It does not normally happen to puppies. 

Some breeds are more susceptible to this than others, especially large, deep-chested breeds. Here are some of the breeds that are most at risk: 

• Boxer
• Saint Bernard
• Rottweiler
• Great Dane
• Doberman
• Bernese Mountain Dog
• German Shepherd
• German Wirehaired Pointer
• Poodle
• Cane Corso
• Great Dane
• Mastiff
• Greyhound
• Labrador Retriever
• Bassett Hound
• Weimaraners
• Setters 

What Physically Happens When a Dog has Bloat? 

The distended stomach presses on the diaphragm and other internal organs, causing problems with the circulation and respiratory system.  This makes it difficult for your dog to breathe and for their heart to get blood and oxygen around the body, as it should.  Your dog will very rapidly go into shock.  While the stomach is twisted, the blood supply to the stomach and also sometimes the spleen is affected meaning that the stomach wall and spleen can start to die. 

What are the Symptoms of Dog Bloating? 

The most obvious symptom of bloating is where your dog’s tummy goes hard or swells up like a balloon. A dog with GDV is likely to feel pain when you press on their belly. But there are signs that are not obvious, such as them trying to vomit or defecate but unable to. Also watch out for your dog walking around aimlessly on a continual basis. 

Sometimes a pooch with a bloated stomach problem hardly moves at all. They can also start breathing heavily. If the bloating is really getting severe then their gums turn pale, they may froth at the mouth and their heart starts to race.  

What Treatment is Available for Dog Bloating? 

GDV is one of the most serious of all pet emergencies.  

To remove a twist in their stomach, a vet needs to perform surgery so that entrance and exit points are cleared and the stomach functions normally again.  

After receiving treatment for a twisted stomach a number of dogs end up going back to the vet again because the problem returns. If this happens a vet can perform a gastropexy where they pin the stomach to the abdomen wall so that it cannot twist in the future.  

If left untreated, dogs with GDV will almost certainly die. However, the survival rate of dogs who undergo surgery after being diagnosed with GDV is as high as 80%, which is why it’s vital you contact your vet if you suspect your dog has bloat. 

What Can You Do to Prevent Dog Bloat? 

Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to protect your pooch from stomach bloating. It is often simply the result of poor feeding habits so AVOID the following: 

• Using a raised bowl to feed your pooch
• Giving your furry friend too much food or water at a time
• Only feeding once a day
• Giving your dog dry foods that are high in oil or fat (slower to digest & exit the body) 

10 Easy Steps to Prevent Dog Bloating 

Research at Purdue University attempted to identify the causes of dog bloating. They recommended that dog owners take the following steps to prevent bloating: 

1. Give your pooch a number of smaller servings throughout the day
2. Place the feeding bowl on the ground
3. Avoid foods where fat is one of the top four ingredients
4. Don’t just give your furry friend dry food
5. Avoid moistening dry food
6. Wait at least one hour after exercise before feeding your pooch
7. Wait at least two hours to exercise your dog after eating
8. If your pooch is a fast eater purchase a special dish that slows the eating down
9. Never give more than one cup of dry food per 30 pounds of body weight at each meal
10. Introduce probiotics (Note: must contain prebiotic) into your dog’s diet 

How Can Probiotics Help Prevent Bloating? 

A major source of abdominal bloating comes from gas that is produced by bacteria that feed on undigested food sitting in the intestines. The longer the food takes to digest, the more gas is produced. There are many different types/strains of bacteria that reside there, and they can vary between dogs. 

Probiotics are essentially strains of “good” bacteria to help break down the undigested food more quickly, regulate bowel movements and relieve the pain caused by pressure in your dog’s gut.  

Please note that for maximum efficacy any probiotic supplement must contain a prebiotic too – prebiotics are nondigestive carbohydrates which feed the probiotics.  

Once they have the right probiotics in their gut, it’s important to keep them strong in order for them to have a positive effect. FidoActive’s Advanced Probiotics supplement (with Probiotic) is in powder form, odorless and tasteless, so super easy to introduce into your dog’s daily regime – easily mixed into their regular dry or wet food and suitable for even the pickiest of pooches!   

Probiotics with prebiotic supplements can have numerous other benefits, so they are definitely worth trying out. They can take a while to start working though, so be patient, but they will do your pooch the power of good in the long run. 

However, please remember, while probiotics can restore digestive health and more, they are not a replacement for poor diet – they go hand in hand (or should that be paw in paw) with a healthy balanced diet.  

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Beware: Doggie Dangers Lurking in the Leaves

When the colourful leaves first fall from the trees it is a sight to behold and the leaf piles are simply an open invitation for dogs to hide and play in. BUT as these dog-magnets become a wet, soggy mess and start to decompose, they can pose a real threat to our furry best friends. 

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t dream of suggesting we deprive them of such fun! But please just be mindful of the potential dangers highlighted below and be sure to take the usual simple precautions. 

Common Dangers Lurking in the Leaves 

1. Bacteria and mould-can develop in piles of leaves. If your dog ingests these it can lead to gastrointestinal upsets. 

2. Mushrooms and Toadstools– We all know toadstools are poisonous but some mushrooms are also toxic to dogs. Even mycologists (the fungi experts) find it difficult to differentiate, so best to steer fido well clear of them all. 

3. Insects and more – Ticks and fleas become more active at certain temperatures and they particularly thrive in woodland and grassland areas at this time of year – particularly piles of leaves that create a little hub of warmth 

They’re not the only creatures who love that environment – sow bugs/pill bugs, worms and spiders will all be sharing the leaf piles. Other residents may also include, snakes, frogs, toads and rodents. There are number of diseases that can be transmitted by rodent droppings and Leptospirosis is on the rise in the wildlife population. 

Don’t let the Kissing bug steal your dog’s heart!  

The Kissing bug is one deadly bloodsucker you need to be especially aware of – it doesn’t kiss it bites! – but is so called because it often bites mucous membranes, such as the lips. They’re also called cone-nosed bugs, bloodsuckers, cinches, and triatomine bugs.

 

 

Like mosquitoes and ticks, they need blood to live, from either animals or humans. HOWEVER, Kissing bugs sometimes have a parasite (Trypanosoma cruzi) in their feces that can cause Chagas Disease, which can lead to serious heart problems or disease in the intestines for your beloved pet. 

Your pooch can come into contact with this in the following ways: 

1. The kissing bug bites your dog then leaves infected feces in the wound 

2. Your dog ingests a kissing bug, or the faces from a kissing bug  

3. The parasite is passed on from the dog’s mother 

4. Your dog eats an infected prey animal (e.g. rodent, opossum) 

Sadly, there is no known cure for Chagas disease in dogs, nor is there any vaccine available for its prevention. Although several drugs have resulted in somewhat limited improvement, there is still a lot to learn about this disease and the prognosis is not good for any dog. 

Veterinarians have discovered that infected dogs, less than six months of age, may experience clinical signs such as pale gums, anorexia, diarrhea, and sudden death. 

In contrast, older dogs infected by Chagas, are often asymptomatic for long periods. However, once symptoms emerge, veterinarians have noticed that older dogs are more at risk of developing heart diseases. In addition, geriatric dogs may also develop problems with their nervous and respiratory system. 

4. Acorns– The oak tree is majestic to look at but the acorns are potentially tragic for your dog. The acorns contain a toxic ingredient, tannic acid, which can cause damage to their liver and kidneys. Ingested acorns and nuts or seeds from other trees can also cause an intestinal blockage. Signs include vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and lethargy.  If your dog displays any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

5. Animal Eliminations– If your dog is tempted by the leaf pile, you can bet your bottom dollar there will have been other dogs before them, potentially even foxes, who will have all left their pee/poop “calling cards”. These are transmitters for a variety of diseases at worst or a foul- smelling pooch at best! 

 Preventative Precautions:  

• Check them over thoroughly once playtime is over, including inside their ears, nose and between their paw pads.  

• Maintain their shower/bath time regimen, although you may need to move it indoors (for both you and your dog’s comfort!) and always ensure they get dried thoroughly in a warm area. 

• Clean and disinfect their dog house on a regular basis. 

• Year-round flea preventative treatment is a must. 

• Include a daily dose of probiotics with prebiotic in their food, to strengthen their immune system and resilience to viruses/infections.  

(N.B. FidoActive Advanced Probiotics for Dogs also includes the added benefit of D.Earth (Diatomaceous Earth), which is a natural parasite and worm remover. It causes a healthy elimination of parasites and worms without chemicals.) 

 

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Canine Joint Supplements Are Just That – SUPPLEMENTS!

Just like humans, as our dogs get older, they get to the point where the mind is willing but the body isn’t quite as able!  

Not surprisingly it’s the joints that take the brunt of it, as they have to support the body 24/7, whether at work, play or relaxing. I know that our glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM based supplement for dogs helps alleviate the pain and increases the flexibility in damaged or arthritic joints. 

Unfortunately, many people think they are being kind to their ageing, aching pooch by curbing their exercise and giving them a supplement to help ease the pain, without realizing that they could actually be making things worse for the pet they love so much. Joint supplements MUST go hand in hand (or paw in paw!) with exercise, which is so important to break the vicious circle of joint decay. 

In addition, there are other things you can do to help take the strain off your old faithful’s joints and prevent painful accidents that could worsen their condition. 

So, if you’ve got an ageing pooch suffering with stiffness or arthritis, or one that has previously undergone surgery for broken bones or torn ligaments, please check out the top tips below and see if you can help stop your furry best friend suffering in silence. 

Top Tips to Help Ease Your Dog’s Painful Joints 

⋅ Exercise for shorter periods but at regular intervals
Exercise is so important to break the vicious circle of joint decay.  
Pain reduces mobility, which leads to muscle wastage and weakening of the surrounding ligaments and tendons; the joints then become less stable, leading to more wear & tear, more joint decay and more pain. 
Exercise is therefore essential to keep the muscle tone necessary to support the joints, prevent the decay from worsening and lessen their pain. 
Keep your fido active but take care not to over exert – your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the length and frequency of exercise based on your furry friend’s condition. 

⋅ Provide a cushioned bed and position away from drafts

Most dogs sleep 12 hours a day.  Ease your pet’s pain by adding extra fleece or blankets to their bed, and be sure to keep their bed away from windows and other drafty locations.

⋅ Apply a warm water bottle for 15 minutes twice a day

This relaxes the muscles and also promotes blood circulation for faster healing. You can easily tuck one under their blanket when they go to rest after exercise and believe me, dogs love this comfort just as much as us humans!

⋅ Help them with obstacles and heights  

So they can continue to enjoy their exercise and woodland walks, why not treat them to a harness coat with a strong handle, so you can help them out of water, lift them over obstacles like fallen trees, in and out of vehicles and up steps, without putting pressure on painful joints. Also, attaching the leash to the harness provides more control, helps to stop them pulling and relieves strain on their neck. Another great bonus is the harness will help keep them dry, warm and promote good blood circulation at the same time!  

Jumping up onto porches or even into the car trunk can be even more difficult and painful, as they put more weight on their hind legs. For larger dogs, lifting them up may not be an option if they are too heavy for you (or you may be suffering from aching joints yourself!) In this case a ramp is an ideal solution to provide a gradient they can manage and help you at the same time. 

⋅ Provide traction on slippery floors

Dogs, especially those with hip dysplasia, often have a hard time on slippery floors, such as vinyl, polished wood, tile or laminate, so lay carpet down or put a pet gate to keep them out of the area.
If your dog doesn’t travel in a crate, then you can install carpet or a non-slip liner on the back seat or cargo area of larger vehicles, SUVs, station wagons and vans, to provide better stability for your 4-legged friend and prevent them from being thrown around when you’re on the move.  

⋅  Hydrotherapy

Swimming allows the natural movement of muscles and joints in a buoyant environment and helps to build muscle around diseased joints, which in turn relieves the pressure on them when walking or running. The water’s warmer too so blood vessels can do their job properly, supplying healing nutrients to muscles and skin. It certainly helped my dog’srecovery from a cruciate ligament operation and it’s also a fun way to help a slightly porky pooch lose weight!  

Important: Ask your veterinarian about your dog’s suitability for hydrotherapy, just in case there’s a valid reason why they should not swim. 

 ⋅ Massage

Massagethe muscles around your dog’s hip joints, gently rubbing in a circular motion with your fingertips for ten minutes at the most. BUT pay attention to your companion’s response – If massage seems to irritate your dog’s hip, don’t continue. 

⋅ Healthy Balanced Diet

Weight control is very important as extra weight puts more stress on the joints. A FidoActive supplement nugget can be given as a healthy treat instead of their normal titbits, so your best friend won’t think they’re in the ‘dog house’!

⋅  Positioning of feeding stations

Dog arthritis can be prevalent in any major joint; if your dog has shoulder or neck pain, raise up their water and food dishes so they don’t have to bend over. 

⋅ Keep your dog out of damp, chilly weather

It’s not actually the cold and wet that causes the problem but fluid pressure within the joint. It’s the drop in atmospheric pressure that allows the joint tissues to swell, causing stiffness and discomfort. It’s not always possible to walk your dog at the most favorable times of the day, so just make sure they are kept warm or maybe consider indoor alternatives.

⋅ Regular Check-ups

Remember to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian – not all conditions are visible to the eye in the early stages and you could save your best friend a lot of unnecessary pain.

I hope you find some of these tips help you to manage your dog’s pain and also help them enjoy a more active and happier life. 

 

 

 

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always!

Is Your Dog House Up To Scratch?

We’re not advocates of keeping pets outside 24/7; to us our pets are part of the family and, as such, spend as much time with us as possible – and that includes sleeping inside! 

However, like many families, there are times when it makes sense to let fido have the run of the yard, with a place to shelter from the sun and keep the elements at bay during the colder months.  

Whether your dog house is indoors or outdoors always make it the best that it can be. Your furry friend needs a place to escape to just like we do sometimes. Some dogs suffer from bouts of anxiety and it is good for them to escape to their special place when things get a bit too stressful for them. 

If your pooch likes their second home outside, then you need to do everything that you can to make sure that it will protect them from the weather, come rain or shine!  

Over time it will need some repairs or upgrading, so now is the ideal time to do a maintenance check to make sure it’s up to scratch. It’s also a perfect opportunity to spend some time with your furry best friend, who will no doubt love supervising the work….and testing it out!  

Your Essential Dog House Checklist  

#1. Is your Dog House the right size? 

If you purchased your dog house a while ago when your furry friend was a puppy then you need to check that it is still large enough now that they have grown. They must have enough room to be able to turn themselves around and allow them to lay flat in their house without part of their body protruding outside. 

However, you do not want your dog house to be too big for your pooch either. They will take a lot of comfort from being able to snugly curl up and warm their “den” from their body heat. The best term to use here is “cozy”. Yes, they must be able to stand up and let the air flow in, but the house should not be too big so that there is a continual draft. 

#2. Is the floor of your Dog’s House Elevated? 

If there is no elevation of your dog’s house then air circulation can be a problem and so can water ingress. In the hotter months your dog may want to retreat to their house to cool down and if there is elevation then air circulation improves. In the colder months your dog’s house will be warmer if it is elevated as the floor will keep dry. 

#3. What kind of Walls does your Dog’s House have? 

These days you can purchase dog houses with walls made from metal, fiberglass and plastic and we recommend that you avoid these as they can get really hot in the summer. The best material for the walls is wood but be sure NOT to treat the wood with harmful chemicals. 

Common Dog House Repair Tasks 

Every summer (at least!) we recommend that you check the following aspects of your dog’s house:

The Roof – you need to examine the roof for leaks. If shingles need replacing then make sure you do that. Be careful with nails and avoid them going through the roof. In some locations it is actually against the law for a dog house to have a roof that is not waterproof. The inside of your furry friends retreat should be dry all year round. 

The Structure – wooden structures are prone to rotting so examine the walls and other elements carefully and replace any wood that is rotten or close to rotting. If there are chipped or faded areas of the structure then repaint them.  

The Interior – OK this is not strictly a dog house repair but you will want to check regularly that the bedding that you have provided for your pooch is warm and dry. You want your dog to be snug and comfortable in their retreat don’t you?

The Entrance – If your furry friend uses their house all year long then consider the installation of a vinyl flap to the entrance so that it is easy for your dog to go in and out but you will keep the elements out so they will be warm.

Insulation and Waterproofing – To make your dog’s house even warmer you can install insulation. We also recommend waterproofing if your area experiences a lot of rainfall or snowfall.

Area Around the Dog House – How is it looking around your dog’s house? Are there a lot of weeds or the grass too high? If this is the case then get busy getting rid of those weeds and cutting the grass, which can attract annoying and harmful insects.

Clean Regularly – This is not just a summer activity. Be sure to empty out your furry friend’s home often and vacuum or sweep it to remove dirt, spider’s webs and hair. 

 

If you are looking for some inspiration, then check out these 25 easy DIY dog houses you can totally make! 

https://www.crystalandcomp.com/diy-dog-houses/ 

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – and hope you have as much fun with these projects as we are! 

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

 

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