Tag: Sarah

The two of us!

A guest post from Sarah.

I have only recently made the acquaintance of Sarah’s blog The Two Of Us but it already has been a delight. So much so that I reached out to Sarah and asked if she would like to be a guest author. I am delighted to report that Sarah was pleased to do so.

First, let me add a little more about her blog. The Two Of Us has a sub-title of A college student and a Border Collie stumbling through life.

Next, Sarah explained in an email to me that:

I’m Sarah and my dog is Brèagha. She’s a Border Collie and I’m a college student hoping to become an animal behaviorist of some sort. Brèagha and I have been together for 3 years, and they have been the best three years of my life so far.

So with no further ado, here is Sarah’s guest post.

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Every breath you take

By Sarah, November 6th, 2020

One of the things you get used to when you have a herdy type of dog (especially a Border Collie) is the staring. They stare. And they stare intensely. Your own personal stalker.

One of those things that might be rated “annoying” for some but definitely falls under “endearing” for me.

I love every last weird thing about her.

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Now that last picture reminds me of a recent post on Learning from Dogs, namely The dog world! where I republished the scientific work by  Associate Professor of Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University.

In her report Ellen said, and I quote an extract from that post:

A recent study found that dogs that have been deprived of food and owners choose to greet their owners before eating. Further, their brain’s reward centers “light up” upon smelling their owners. And, when your eyes meet your dog’s, both your brains release oxytocin, also know as the “cuddle hormone.”

All of this research shows that you can make your dog happier with just one ingredient: you. Make more eye contact to release that cuddle hormone. Touch it more – dogs like pats better than treats! Go ahead and “baby talk” to your dog – it draws the dog’s attention to you more and may strengthen your bond.

So that second photograph of Brèagha is a prime example of her meeting Sarah’s eyes and should be held as long as both dog and human can manage.

Wonderful!

Toys and Treats, Part Two

Top 5 Homemade Treats and Dog Toys for Powerful Chewers

Continuing Sarah’s guest post. Part One was yesterday.

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Here Are Some Heavy Duty Dog Toys You Can Make Yourself

#1: “Indestructible Dog Toy (Made with Dried Sweet Potato)

sweet-potato-ring-toy-6
I love this toy because it’s both healthy for my dog and has no unnecessary additives. It’s a great chew toy and treat all in one.

Shesparticular on instructibles.com came up with this idea for a DIY chew toy for her mom’s dog. Her mom’s dog, Molly, loves to play. She says when Molly plays it “usually involves rounding up all her toys and ripping them to shreds.”

In Shesparticular’s pictures of Molly, you can tell she’s a little dog. It may seem surprising, but little dogs can do just as much damage as big ones. So this recipe she’s come up with is pure genius if you want to make strong dog toys that are healthy for your dog.

Here’s what you’ll need and instructions on how to make this toy at home:

  • Hemp or jute rope. Nine 2 1/2 foot ropes braided together to make a larger rope works for medium sized dogs. You’ll need to adjust the length of the rope based on your dog’s size.
  • Sweet potatoes or yams. One potato for a smaller toy, two for a medium toy and three to four for a larger toy
  • Sheet pan and parchment or foil
  • A sharp knife
  • Round cookie cutter a bit larger than the diameter of your rope
  • Vegetable peeler (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Wash your sweet potatoes well. Peeling them isn’t necessary unless you prefer it.
  3. Slice the sweet potato into rounds approximately 1/2″ thick 
  4. Using the cookie cutter, remove the center of each round
  5. Place rounds on cookie sheet and bake for 2 1/2 hours then flip them over and bake for another 2 1/2 hours.
  6. They’re done when they’re dried out and hard. If there are any soft parts, bake them longer and check them every 30 minutes.
  7. Once they’re done, allow them to cool. 
These sweet potato rings look like hollowed out dog bones, without the risk of splintering
These sweet potato rings look like hollowed out dog bones, without the risk of splintering

Once your sweet potato rings have cooled, you can start making your toy.

Start by tying a knot at the end of your hemp rope. If you’re using many thinner pieces, braid them together. This will make it easier to string the sweet potato pieces on. 

String two potato rings onto your rope then tie a knot in the rope. Continue adding two rings at a time and tying a knot after each pair until you reach the end of the rope.

When you’ve finished, hand this toy over to your dog and watch them chew for hours.

# 2: Knotted Hand Towel Toy

I have so many old hand towels that I didn’t know what to do with until I saw this clever idea.
I have so many old hand towels that I didn’t know what to do with until I saw this clever idea.

This toy’s so easy to make, even a dog could do it. Taylor Martin from cnet.com came up with this simple way to repurpose old linens and make a great dog toy. 

All you have to do is take an old, tattered hand towel and tie a knot in the middle. You can even use a full sized towel and make several knots. 

My dog is a Pitbull mix, so though this is a tough toy, he would likely still rip it to shreds. The good news is, it doesn’t cost a cent. So even if it only lasts a few days, you didn’t lose any money on it.

#3: Ring Dog Toy

Just looking at this toy, you can tell it’s tough. No way my Pitt mix will be able to destroy this.
Just looking at this toy, you can tell it’s tough. No way my Pitt mix will be able to destroy this.

A user called J3443RY at instructables.com designed this indestructible dog toy. This is just a basic rope knot toy. 

If you know how to tie a crown knot, all you need to do is create two lengths of rope by tying 4 lengths of rope in crown knots. All you need to make this toy is some nylon repelling rope. 

Here are some step by step instructions for creating this toy

  1. Cut 4 equal lengths of rope. You can adjust the size of the toy based on the size of your dog. 4 Inches of rope is equal to 1 inch of the finished toy. For example; for a 6 inch finished knot you would need 24 inches of rope to start.
  2. Use 2 of the 4 ropes to create a 7″ long finished crown knot. 
  3. For step three, the user has included an instructional video. This will help you to combine the two finished knots into one ring.

When you’re finished with this toy, you will have a nearly chew proof dog toy that your dog can enjoy for hours.

For more advice on caring for your dog and other great recipes, visit metroeastrba.com.

Now Check Out Some Cool Doggy Dental Treats

#4: Darla Cook’s Homemade Greenies

I can’t get over how adorable these little tooth brush shapes are.
I can’t get over how adorable these little tooth brush shapes are.

Darla Cook is a blogger and a lover of culinary arts. She is a student at The Culinary Institute of America, so you know her recipes must be the best.

Darla’s blog focuses on general cooking and there aren’t many dog recipes on her blog. But I found a pretty great recipe there for homemade Greenies for dogs. She calls these adorable toothbrush shaped treats Franks Breath Brushes.

If you’re a pet owner, you know that Greenies are a great dental treat for your dog, but they’re expensive to buy. 

If you want to save money and have more control over what goes into your dog’s treats, make them yourself at home.

Here is Darla’s recipe.

Franks Breath Brushes

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 brown rice flour plus 2 cups more (rice flour for crunch)
  • 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal (I opened 12 capsules for 1 tablespoon.)
  • 4Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Liquid chlorophyll (whole foods/health food store)

Instructions: 

Preheat over to 400F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the charcoal with 3 1/2 cups brown rice flour and set it aside.

Put parsley, mint oil and 1/4 cup of broth or water into food processor. Process until chopped, like pesto. Add 3-4 droppers full of chlorophyll. Pulse a few times to mix. Add this green paste to flour mixture and mix well. Beat egg and mix in. Knead adding the rest of water/broth. By this time you should have a sticky dough ball. Flour the work surface and knead dough until an even green color. Divide dough into workable portions and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Add flour to the work surface and dough surface as needed to take away stickiness as you work. Cut out with your favorite shapes, and dock with a fork to keep puffiness down. Bake for 25 or 20 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

I will be trying these treats on my dog, for sure. I feel much more confident in the treats I feed my dog when I can make them myself and I know what's in them. 
I will be trying these treats on my dog, for sure. I feel much more confident in the treats I feed my dog when I can make them myself and I know what’s in them.

#5 DIY Doggy Breath Mints

These treats look good enough for even humans to eat.
These treats look good enough for even humans to eat.

I’ve found yet another great dog breath freshening recipe. This recipe, by Clifford Genece at skinnyms.com, has something in common with Darla’s recipe. It doesn’t contain any wheat flour.

It is so important to avoid giving your dog anything that contains wheat flour. Many dogs are allergic to wheat products. It can cause some pretty intense itching and skin irritation.

Rather than using flower at all, this recipe calls for oatmeal. This recipe also calls for eggs. So Clifford even provides advice for people whose dogs are allergic to poultry products. 

Here’s Clifford’s simple recipe for these yummy treats.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup of water, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (unrefined extra-virgin is best)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325° F

Add oats to a blender and pulse to a flour like consistency. In a large bowl whisk together diced parsley and mint, egg, water, and oil. Add oat flour and stir to combine. Knead dough a few times then turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten dough to about 1/8″ thick. Using a cookie cutter or knife cut out approximately 40 (1-inch mints) mints. Place mints about 1/4-inch apart on a parchment lined or non-stick cookie sheet. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Allow mints to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.

Tip: For dogs with allergies to chicken products, substitute one large egg with 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce.

These are some of my favorite DIY dental treats and dog toys for powerful chewers. These treats and toys are a great way to keep your dog’s jaws strong and breath fresh. Don’t forget to take a look in your dog’s mouth every now and then and make sure their teeth are in good condition. 

Description: Dental treats and dog toys for powerful chewers can be expensive, so why not make your own at home? Give these helpful recipes and DIY dog toys a try.

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 Don’t know about you but we think this has been a very valuable and useful article from Sarah!

We must do the best for our beloved dogs!

Toys and Treats, Part One

I was contacted by Sarah a few weeks ago with regard to her writing a guest post for you good people. For reasons that have escaped me I kept overlooking to publish it. That is now being corrected; indeed it has so much great information that I am splitting it over today and tomorrow.

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Top 5 Homemade Treats and Dog Toys for Powerful Chewers

I’ve never met a dog that didn’t love to chew, but it’s not just a fun canine pastime. It’s necessary for their dental health and for training Fido to stay away from your shoes. Are you too busy to brush your dog’s teeth every day? There’s no need to feel guilty, I am too.

Not everyone has time to do a full dental routine for their dog every day. However, there are other ways to ensure your dog’s dental health. I’ve done some research and found that there are many ways to do this without lifting a finger. Including some dog toys for powerful chewers and even some yummy dental treats.

Why Your Dog’s Dental Health is Important

Dogs aren’t in the habit of brushing and flossing. Most dog owners don’t even realize how important a dog’s dental health is. In fact, I didn’t even know that it was necessary to brush my dog’s teeth until I did some research on the subject.

There are other things you can do to keep your dog’s teeth sparkling if you don’t have time to brush them every day. You need to give them fun things to chew on and snack on in place of regular brushing. Such as some sturdy dog toys or rawhide chews.

According to PetMD “Actively encouraging the dog to utilize chew treats that require some “exercising” of the teeth, such as is provided by compressed rawhide chewies, hard rubber or nylon chew toys, can assist in keeping the mouth structures vital.”

If you do have time to brush your dog’s teeth, it’s important that you do it correctly. Here is how you should do it, according to Banfield.com.

  1. Use a toothbrush that is just for dogs.
  2. Never use your toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth. There is toothpaste that you can buy just for your dog that is not toxic if swallowed.
  3. Give Fido a small sample of the toothpaste so that they become familiar with the flavor.
  4. Lift your dog’s lips to expose the gums and teeth. Brush the teeth like you would your own, but be gentle.
  5. Most dogs won’t allow you to brush the inside surface of the teeth. Focus on the outside surfaces.
  6. The molars and canines tend to build up tartar, so make sure you give them a good brushing. And of course, reward your dog for letting you put them through that. They are likely confused to why you were all in their mouth, so pats, play, and healthy treats are in order.

Now that you know how to brush your dog’s teeth, let’s learn other ways to improve their dental health.

Rawhide Treat Benefits

Dog tired of waiting to eat a treats
Dog tired of waiting to eat a treats

Rawhide treats and chews are a tasty way for your dog to keep their teeth clean and jaws strong. It’s good for cleaning their teeth and keeping their breath fresh but it also gives their jaws a good workout.
All dogs need to chew. Providing treats like rawhide keeps them from chewing on your nice leather shoes.
There’s not a whole lot of risk to letting your dog chew on rawhide. But there are some risks you should know about. For example, rawhide can sometimes contain small amounts of chemicals, according to Pets. WebMD. Your dog can even come in contact with E. Coli or Salmonella when chewing on rawhide.
Some dogs can be allergic to rawhide anything that’s used to make rawhide treats. This can cause unpleasant discomfort associated with diarrhea.
Sometimes rawhide can be a choking hazard. If a piece breaks off it can become lodged in the esophagus. If this happens, in some cases, a vet can remove any lodged pieces through the throat.
You should always talk to your vet before you decide to introduce any new treats into your dog’s diet.
Here Are Some Heavy Duty Dog Toys You Can Make Yourself

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Come back tomorrow to learn how to make these great toys.