IS YOUR POOCH PARTIAL TO GRAZING ON GRASS?

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WHY IS THAT?

It might be a bit worrying if you’re a first-time dog owner and your new canine companion starts eating grass, especially when they vomit afterwards – BUT rest assured this is a very common behaviour.

There are many theories as to why they do it:

1. Boredom – normally seen in puppies or young dogs (but let’s face it they have a habit of chewing everything!)

2. Some sort of deficiency in diet – grass is not eaten for any specific nutritional value (and it doesn’t explain why dogs on well balanced diets eat it too). However, it’s thought that it potentially may provide some additional form of roughage lacking in their normal diet.

3. Remedy for upset stomach – Dogs are not able to digest grass, so many do vomit after eating eat. However, there are plenty of occasions where my canine grass munchers show no other signs of gastric problems before or after eating it. I think they just like the taste – and it seems especially inviting when it has refreshing morning dew on it!

4. Many dogs just love eating and would like to eat more than they are actually fed (even though their body doesn’t need it!) – my old golden was proof positive of that! But apparently, it’s not necessarily the sign of a glutton, just that they like the actual process of eating, so tucking into a lush patch of grass is like having a snack in between their normal meals.

5. Interestingly, studies of wild dogs have also shown them eating grass, so, as far as most experts are concerned, it is inherently natural behavior for domestic dogs.

As wild dogs depend on good hunting skills to survive and feed their families, it’s believed that grass eating may actually help conceal their scent, in the same way rolling in their prey’s excrement or foul offal is thought to.

SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED?

1. At the end of the day, dogs are omnivores and have the capability to obtain the nutrients they need from both plant and animal origin.

Grass does not seem to harm dogs BUT you need to be careful if they are eating grass in an area that is sprayed with herbicides or pesticides, which can be toxic to your furry friend. If you think they may have ingested anything toxic, call your veterinarian or ASPCA immediately.

 

2. If your pal is constantly eating grass and being sick, then you need to remember that the act of being sick also brings up bile acid from the stomach. This acid can ultimately cause internal ulcers, which are invisible to us. So, if your dog has been doing this for a long time, it may be worth getting your veterinarian to check for existing or developing ulcers.

 

3. If there is excessive vomiting, vomiting not associated with grass eating, or other accompanying symptoms of illness, such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, lack of energy – get your best friend checked over by your veterinarian.

 

4. Research shows that dogs will eat indigestible matter if they are excessively hungry or if their nutrition is poor, so this must always be a consideration.

a. Veterinarians agree, many dog health issues are caused by processed dog foods and antibiotics are stripping your dog’s digestive and immune system of the vital good bacteria and the natural enzymes they need to maintain true lasting health. That’s where your furry best friend may benefit from a daily dose of probiotics (with prebiotic) to ensure their body is absorbing the nutrients from their food and restore good digestive health and immune system.

b. Also, if you are preparing homemade food, it may be useful to consult a professional to make sure the nutritional balance is correct for the size and breed of your canine companion.

 

5. While grass is not harmful, it may be among other plants that are toxic to dogs, which they then eat it by accident. Check out the ASPCA list at https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

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IMPORTANT

So, in conclusion, if your dog is chewing grass, this is normal doggie behavior. Please just be aware of the potential concerns above and if you think your pal may have ingested poison in the form of a plant or liquid in the process call Animal Poison Control on (888) 426-4435 or your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.

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

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Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

Better to have Loved and Lost than Never to have Known the Love of a Dog

This Sunday, June 11th, is World Pet Memorial Day and it’s true, dogs do leave pawprints on our heart.

Many of you may be like me and have always had pets as part of the family. It is a sad fact of life that we usually outlive them and the pain of losing them is so unbearable, you feel that you couldn’t possibly go through that emotional wrangle again.

I certainly felt like that but, after I allowed myself time to grieve my first canine companion, I realized how many other dogs were waiting for a loving home – one which I could easily (and happily) provide. I also realized that all dogs are unique, with their own little characters, so it was never a case of simply ‘replacing’ my beloved Barney with another dog, it was a means to fill the gap in my heart and bring happiness back into my life, that I have to say, only a dog can!

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It’s days like this that also remind us to just stop for a moment and appreciate what we have now, BEFORE it’s lost. So why not spend the day spoiling your pets and making some special new memories with your furry family?

If you love dogs (or any other type of animal for that matter) but are unable to have one of your own at the moment, for whatever reason, then why not just bring a little joy to a ‘forgotten’ animal at your local rescue shelter. This could be either becoming a volunteer dog-walker, giving them a cozy blanket or toy or making a donation in memory of a pet you have loved and lost.

One thing’s for certain the benefit will be mutual…and you may eventually find room for another furry love in your life.

Hope you all have a great Sunday to remember!

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Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

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Honoring our Brave Military this Memorial Day – We Salute You!

By Helen Broadley for FidoActive

Whilst Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, it is also a time to remember the brave men, women and animals that gave their lives for their country, so that we can enjoy the freedom to enjoy this ‘holiday’ with our loved ones.

The American Pit Bull was used by the U.S. military during the Seminole and Civil wars and became the poster dog for the World War I propaganda and recruitment posters, but over the years the breeds enlisted for service became as diverse as the roles they perform.

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Their super-human eyesight, hearing and sense of smell, make these canine compatriots an invaluable member of any team and they work tirelessly 60 hours a week, with on-call shifts 24/7 –  and all without a paycheck to go towards their retirement or pay for meds to ease the pain of health issues resulting from their intense and physical work demands!

BUT they were not trained to kill, they were trained to save lives, with roles including: transporting medical supplies, search & recue (on land & sea!), sentries, messengers, clearing buildings, explosives detection, tracking, tunnelling, narcotics inspections, customs and border protection and even pulling telephone wires under airfields and mined tunnels – to name just a few!

These courageous canines don’t volunteer, they are simply drafted, yet their loyalty and bravery knows no bounds, and they gladly put their lives on the line to protect their human service buddies.

Of course dogs are ‘man’s best friend’ and more recently they have been an integral part of the recovery process as companions for wounded heroes or those suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Many of these special service dogs were originally taken from rescue shelters and trained for active duties all over the world, but it is heart-breaking to think that many of them returned to shelters or euthanized at the end of their useful service.

It seems therefore very fitting that two big problems can become one mutual magical solution – Help every American hero and save every shelter or rescue animal from euthanasia.

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Companions for Heroes (C4H) provides companion animals obtained from shelters and/or rescues, who might otherwise be euthanized, free of charge to active duty military personnel, military veterans, and first-responders recovering from the psychological challenges they suffered during service to our country.

This amazing non-profit organization recognizes the incredible power of the human-animal relationship and seeks to support those suffering from psychological stress as they pursue recovery with the unconditional love of a pet. You can learn more about them at: www.companionsforheroes.org

Also, sadly even today, a service dog often finds that their handler is simply unable to take their service buddy home with them, once they retire from active duty.  We can only imagine the desolation and confusion those loyal dogs suffer, being separated from their devoted handlers.

The good news is that many of these special animals are eligible for adoption and are placed into appropriate and loving homes. So, if you think you could provide a happy retirement home for one of these loyal 4-legged patriots, you can learn more about it here:

https://petsforpatriots.org/about-military-working-dog-adoptions/

All of our country’s heroes and veterans served for us and deserve to be remembered by us, so just spare a thought this Memorial Day.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health and keep each other safe!

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About the Author:

Helen Broadley

Helen Broadley is co-founder of FidoActive, a small business of life-long dog owners and dog lovers who have been motivated, by their own experiences, to create superior, all-natural products that promote good health in all canine companions.

FidoActive also supports the amazing work of many community rescue shelters across the USA through product donations, to help get their furry residents in tip-top condition whilst waiting for their forever home.

The team believe wholeheartedly that the best way to reward their best friends’ unconditional love and loyalty is by helping them to have a healthy, happy and active life.

You can find out more about FidoActive on their website www.fidoactive.com

Fido means faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally

Active is what we want every dog to be!

 

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Make Sure Your Dog’s Bark is worse than their Bite!

By Helen Broadley for FidoActive

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Every year more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs across the country; one in five require medical attention and sadly more than half the victims of dog bites are children. The most alarming fact is that bites are often from dogs they are familiar with, or have even known and loved for years as part of the family. This just emphasizes the need to increase awareness and ensure we educate our children, friends and family to make them smart and safe around our canine companions.

Some bites are simply tragic accidents but the majority are normally a consequence of a particular situation, circumstance or environment and therefore can be avoided if we learn to understand our dogs better.

As responsible dog owners, we need to ensure our dogs are well socialized with both people (and other dogs) through positive, force-free education.

Dogs are undoubtedly man’s best friend and not many dog lovers can resist petting a pooch BUT there are certain times where this is NOT a good idea:

  • If they are chewing a bone or eating
  • When they are playing with a toy – do not try to try to take it away from them
  • When they are sleeping.
  • If they are ill, injured or in pain
  • Do not try to touch the puppies of a dog, if she is resting with them or is anxious about your presence.
  • Avoid petting the dog when he is barking or growling
  • If the dog is not with his owner or chained / tethered
  • Even if the dog is with the owner, ALWAYS ask the owner’s permission to pet the dog
  • Sudden loud noises may surprise or frighten them and may trigger an automatic defensive aggression
  • Don’t reach through a fence or gate, over a wall or into a vehicle to pet a dog – they often see this as territory that it is their job to protect for their human family
  • Don’t pet ‘Service Dogs’ – they are special working animals and shouldn’t be distracted from their important jobs
  • Like us humans, dogs often need some ‘alone’ time, so if they seem to be trying to hide or seeking a quiet place, give them some space
  • If a dog is barking excessively, growling, baring their teeth, fixated gaze with whites of eyes showing, then these are all signs that the dog is not comfortable and common ‘warning’ signs preceding a bite, so it’s important to look, listen and understand what a dog is telling you

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I know these precautions may all sound like simple common sense and they are, but I guess it’s often easy for us to be tempted by a four-legged fur ball or soulful face and not be aware that we may be unwittingly putting ourselves, others and the dog in danger.

Last, but not least, please remember that dog bites are NOT breed specific, they are behavior specific, so it’s vital to be observant to keep everyone safe and happy.

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Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team

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FINDING YOUR PERFECT MATCH…OF THE CANINE VARIETY!

By Helen Broadley for FidoActive 

May 1 is National Purebred Dog Day and there’s lots to celebrate about dogs, whatever their shape or size!

Often people want a pedigree because they have an affinity with a particular breed through family tradition or they have a specific requirement, such as a ‘no-shedding’ coat because of a human allergy or a specific purpose such as search and rescue. The main difference with a pure breed and a mixed breed is that their lineage is all the same breed. With that comes the knowledge of specific traits in both looks, personality, energy levels, behavior and trainability.

There are undoubtedly some beautiful pure breeds and their attraction is understandable BUT please remember to check with shelters first, such as Petfinder, who have a national register of pure breeds for adoption. https://www.petfinder.com/ 

CURLY

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This handsome boy is a Treeing Walker Coonhound, who arrived at the Pet Adoption Fund in Canoga Park CA with his brother Blue.

They lost their home due to a military family move. They love people and would love a hound-loving home to call their forever home.

They are super friendly, (they even tested well with cats) active and playful but would need a secure fenced yard. Ideally these brothers would love to be re-homed together but, if separated, they would prefer another dog to pal with or someone who is home most of the day.

When I was only 8 years old, my parents rescued an Irish Setter from a breeder who was retiring. Although his intentions were good, his standards were obviously slipping and ‘Rory’ (or “Conqueror of Glen Rory” to give him his proper pedigree name) was looking a bit defeated and underweight, with a lacklustre red coat. His brown eyes melted our hearts.

It was totally unexpected, as we were on vacation when we met him. In fact, we were actually on the way home; the car was packed with Mom and Dad, three kids, our poodle and all our camping gear, talking about our lovely encounter with Rory and none of us could bear the thought of leaving him behind – so my wonderful Dad turned the car around and we went to collect him. We didn’t even notice the cramped journey home, because we were all so besotted with our new family addition (including ‘Pogo’ our Poodle!).

That wonderful dog was both my friend and protector, so Irish Setters will always have a special place in my heart – I would therefore like to share with you a couple of examples of these handsome hounds that are looking for their forever home…

 

BAILEY

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This handsome 6-year-old Irish Setter is a former AKC show dog, but unfortunately his owner passed away and so he found himself at the ‘Luv Me again’ shelter in Bloomington MN looking for a new home.

How could you resist?

There are, of course, some more challenging cases that find their way to shelters, through no fault of their own. All they normally need is a bit of love, patience and understanding.

 

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AIDAN

This adorable Irish Setter is a 1-year old pup looking for his forever home. He’s house-trained, neutered and up to date on vaccinations, but needs an adult human prepared to give him the time and training required to undo the bad habits instilled by his previous owner.

I’m sure the rewards would be well worth the effort though!

If you have no luck in your shelter search, then the alternative is to find a RESPONSIBLE breeder – you need to see exactly where your puppy came from and how they were raised.

One way to find the pure breed dog of your dreams is via the American Kennel Club, an organization that has been an advocate for purebred dogs and breeding since its founding in 1884. They have a registry of breeders who adhere to the AKC’s Care and Conditions Policy and undergo regular inspections by the AKC, which ensure both the dogs and the kennels are in tip-top condition. Check this link for available pure bred puppies from AKC Marketplace.

Whichever route you take, I am sure you will find your perfect match and an unconditional love for life!

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Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

You can find out more about FidoActive and their all-natural products on their website: www.fidoactive.com

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DON’T LET YOUR FURRY BEST FRIEND BECOME A “LOST DOG” STATISTIC

By Helen Broadley for FidoActive

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Proper identification for your pet literally could be the difference between life and death.

The American Humane Society reported that approximately 10 million companion animals become separated from their owner each year, of which 6 – 8 million end up in the shelter system. Only 15 percent of the dogs without some form of ID are ever reunited with their owners.

This is a heart-breaking statistic for both the dog and their human family, as the odds of finding your dog at a shelter in the small window of opportunity are very slim.  While most states have laws requiring a minimum holding period for dogs, they have very limited space, so it may only be a few days or weeks, after which they may be euthanized, if they are not one of the lucky few to be saved by a local rescue center for re-homing.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! Not everything is in our control and accidents happen, whether that be a house or forest fire, someone leaving the gate open, fireworks exploding or a traffic accident. So, should any of these unfortunate episodes happen to you, and your dog runs off, their safe return really does depend on some form of identification.

Although ID tags have long been a tried and tested method for returning missing pets, recent years have seen an increase in the popularity of MICROCHIPPING – which is NOT painful for your pooch or your pocket! Most veterinarians have a standard low cost fee – it literally takes seconds to insert the tiny chip – and it can be even more cost effective to get it done at the same time as their normal health check/ vaccinations visit or when being neutered. The fee normally includes the registration in the pet recovery system too.

Having said that, some people may be reluctant to approach a dog without a collar, or haven’t the means to transport the dog to a local veterinarian or shelter, so we’d recommend you take the “belt & braces” approach and make sure your pooch has both a collar and a chip. Most people would be happy to make a quick phone call to try and track down the dog’s owner.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST – once you’ve gone to the trouble of tagging and microchipping it is essential that you keep the contact information up to date. Also, if you’re out of town for business or on vacation, ensure you put some temporary location and/or alternative contact details, to ensure you can be reached – even if it’s just for a few days! The short time it takes to ensure your beloved pet’s safety is well worth the effort and could save you a lot of heartache.

So, don’t delay – check your furry friend’s ID today!

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health always.

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Happy National Pet Owners Day!

Top 10 Legal Tips for Dog Owners

by Helen Broadley for FidoActive

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In my book, any day with my furry menagerie is a happy pet owner’s day but, I guess like Valentine’s Day, it just prompts us to reflect on how lucky we are to have them in our lives.

Any dog owner appreciates how rewarding a pet’s companionship can be.  But, just like your human best friend, your furry equivalent may also (inadvertently of course!) get you into some legal trouble if you aren’t too careful!

So, in celebration of National Pet Owners Day, let’s “paws” for a few moments to share some top legal tips regarding dog ownership, provided by the legal eagles at FindLaw.

#1. Driving with pets can get you a ticket. Some states have an outright ban against driving while holding an animal on your lap. Others may allow cops to ticket you if your pet is distracting your driving or if they’re not properly harnessed in. Keep your pet as safe as any other member of the family when you hit the road.

 

#2. Who gets the pet after a breakup or divorce? For the most part, pets are seen as property under the law, so whoever paid for or adopted the pet will probably be the one to keep it after a divorce or breakup. Pet custody arrangements can be made, however.

 

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#3. Service animals and apartments.Landlords need to provide reasonable accommodations for service animals and their owners, even if the building doesn’t allow pets. This is because service animals aren’t considered pets under the law.

 

#4. Phony service animal claims are illegal. Although service dogs aren’t required to wear specific identification tags under federal law, states may be able to charge dishonest owners who are passing off their dogs as “therapy dogs” with fraud.

 

#5. Consider creating a pet trust (if allowed in your state).  The law doesn’t allow you to leave money or property to your beloved pooch in your will BUT some states do make it legally possible by using a pet trust.

#6.ccc2 Workplace pet policies. Businesses that allow pets should have a written pet policy in place to avoid potential liability.

 

#7. Suing for your pet’s injuries. If your pet was injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to get compensation for the costs incurred.

 

#8. Breed-specific animal laws. Some states prohibit or require insurance for specific breeds, so make sure you do your research before you bring your pup to a new state – especially if your pup is a pit bull or another breed commonly deemed “dangerous” by lawmakers.

 

#9. Quarantines. If you’re flying, many foreign countries, and states, Hawaii in particular, have strict rules on pet quarantines, which can sometimes last as long as 120 days. There are ways to avoid this, however. Some requirements include confirming vaccinations and presenting a health certificate; you’ll want to check the rules and regulations for your destination.

#10. Your pets may be able to sniff out crime. Dogs may be able to spot the bad guys, but you’ll probably need some more tangible evidence to prove your case beyond your canine’s instincts.

[Reference credits: http://www.findlaw.com/]

So, make sure you stay the right side of the law and enjoy National Pet Owners Day!

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

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Helen Broadley & the FidoActive Team

 

About Helen Broadleyblog3

Helen Broadley is co-founder of FidoActive, a small business of life-long dog owners and dog lovers who have been motivated, by their own experiences, to create superior, all-natural products that promote good health in all canine companions. Helen has been surrounded by dogs since her childhood and been a dog parent all her adult life – from pedigrees to mutts – but she loves them all the same!

She regularly volunteers at animal shelters, often having that as her main vacation activity. FidoActive also supports the amazing work of many community rescue shelters across the USA through product donations, to help get their furry residents in tip-top condition whilst waiting for their forever home.

 

The FidoActive team believe wholeheartedly that the best way to reward their best friends’ unconditional love and loyalty is by helping them to have a healthy, happy and active life.

You can find out more about FidoActive and their all-natural products on their website: www.fidoactive.com

Fido means faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally
Active is what we want every dog to be!

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Easter time is fast approaching, and for most of us, that means one thing: Chocolate!

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While you might well be looking forward to involving your dog in your celebrations and Easter egg hunts, please remember (and tell the kids!) that chocolate is toxic to dogs and can lead to severe poisoning.

As we all know, our canine family members are very smart.  Their sense of smell may be as much as 100 times better than ours. Besides being able to discriminate between different smells, a dog has a phenomenal olfactory memory – they can remember smells long after being exposed to the original odor. That, coupled with their super-human hearing, explains why your pooch seems to appear from nowhere as soon as you start to tear the candy wrapper!

So be careful where you hide you chocolate stash! My friend once put hers under a beautifully decorated ‘Easter tree’ which ended up with an emergency trip to the vet, after their appropriately named hound ‘Snicker’ tucked into the whole family’s chocolate eggs!

While some dogs will get away with eating chocolate unscathed, it’s just not worth the risk. In the unfortunate event that they do manage to get their paws on a large portion of this forbidden candy, please seek the guidance of a vet immediately.

We therefore recommend that you keep some dog-safe treats or canine cookies to hand, so they don’t feel left out of the fun.

Why not try the canine cookie recipe below – you can knock up a batch in about half an hour. CARE: please ensure you use a peanut butter that is safe for pets and don’t end up replacing one poison with another! Look at the peanut butter jar ingredients list and ensure it does NOT contain the low-calorie sweetener xylitol which is extremely toxic to dogs.

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA DOG TREATS

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES

COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES

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All you need is 4 ingredients for these hypoallergenic treats! And the coconut oil makes these so HEALTHY for your pup!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats, or more, as needed
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (CARE: must not contain xylitol)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, bananas, peanut butter and coconut oil. Add an additional 2 tablespoons oats at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky.
  3. Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness then cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. (For a quick alternative to shape, simply roll the dough into small balls in your hands then flatten each with the palm of your hand or a fork to create small discs ¼ inch thick). Place onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.*
  6. Let cool completely.

*Baking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the treats. Serving size will also vary depending on the desired shapes and cookie cutters used.

Wishing you and your canine companion(s) a very happy Easter!

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Helen Broadley and the FidoActive team

You can find out more about FidoActive and their Products on their website: www.fidoactive.com

Fido means faithful & loyal– a quality that your dog gives unconditionally
Active is what we want every dog to be!

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