Dogs can benefit from snacking on fruits and veggies too!

Dogs can benefit from snacking on fruits and veggies too!

There is no question about it, dogs love treats! As soon as you reach into the cupboard with just the thought of giving them a treat, their ears perk up and within seconds your furry friend can be found by your side waiting to see what delicious snack is coming their way (don’t get us started on the crackling of a plastic wrapper – those can signal a dog from an entirely different area of the house!). But even though they can’t get enough of their beloved dog treats, it doesn’t mean that is all they will enjoy. Sometimes you don’t need to look any further than the fruit and vegetables you have in the fridge to find a quick and healthy treat for your furry friend.

Fruits and vegetables are not only nutritious and vitamin-rich, they are tasty too, which is really the only requirement for dogs when it comes to their food. To take some of the guesswork out of your day, here is a list of just some of our dogs’ favorite treats.

Carrots
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and are an enjoyable crunchy snack. Cut them up into small pieces to reduce choking hazards and give them as a treat or a food topper. As an added bonus, carrots will help keep their pearly whites clean and tartar free.

Cooked sweet potato
Peeled and cooked (NEVER raw) sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin A and an ideal treat once in a while. This high-fibre treat not only tastes great but can also help dogs maintain regular, healthy bowel movements.

Broccoli
No matter how you serve it – raw, steamed or cooked, most dogs love broccoli! And even better, this popular snack is naturally rich in vitamin K, potassium and calcium!

Cooked pumpkin
Pumpkin is a quick and easy way to treat your pup while also giving them the nutritious boost they will love! Canned, unseasoned pumpkin is best for dogs and can help benefit their digestive tract as well as help promote a healthy coat and skin.

Blueberries
Blueberries are a quick, easy snack that are high in vitamins C and K as well as fiber. They are perfect on their own or on top of their food.

Banana
Bananas are a healthy, occasional sweet treat for your dog! Though they are high in natural sugars, they are also packed with vitamin C, potassium as well as magnesium.

Strawberries
Like bananas, strawberries are a sweet snack that your dog will love – and they also happen to be rich in vitamin C! Keep in mind strawberries are high in sugar, so give these sparingly when you really want to treat your pup.

Some fruits and vegetables are better than others, while some are actually toxic including grapes, avocado and onions. If you are ever unsure, you should always check with your vet prior to giving them to your dog. Keep in mind that whenever trying out a new food, it is best to err on the side of caution by starting with a small portion to ensure it does not upset your dog’s stomach. Now let the fun begin and start testing out what new snacks will be your dog’s new favorites.

What are Pet Food Toppers?

What are pet food toppers (and how can you use them)?

 

Have you noticed lately that your dog or cat is no longer interested in their food?  Just like humans, our pets can become bored or otherwise disinterested in what’s on the menu! Food toppers are a great way of adding a little pizazz to their food and an extra boost of nutrition.

Food toppers can be added to your dog or cat’s kibble to add an extra layer of nutrition and flavor. They come dried, wet, in gravies, or even freeze-dried.  When looking for a food topper for your pet, keep the following 5 things in mind!

 

  1. Added Hydration

Wet food toppers are a great way of adding moisture to your pet’s food for added hydration. Male cats, for example, don’t often drink enough water and a wet food topper can benefit them.

Try: Open Farm Harvest Chicken Bone Broth

 

  1. More Protein

If you’re looking for a simple way to get more protein into your pet’s diet, a food topper made with natural and simple proteins can  give the added boost you’re looking for.

Try: Primal Lamb Butcher’s Blend Topper

 

  1. Help finicky eaters

Sometimes our pets are just a little finicky and may need an added incentive to eat their regular kibble. Food toppers can  add extra and new flavour to existing kibbles to help picky eaters!

Try: Primal Edible Elixir Winter Squash Puree

 

  1. Extra nutrition

To boost the nutrition value of your pet’s everyday food, adding additional nutrients and vitamins with a simple food topper can  help increase your pet’s immunity.

Try: Primal Edible Elixir Healthy Green Smoothie Immunity Boost

 

  1. A tasty treat

While Food Toppers add nutrition to your pet’s diet, they can also be used as a treat!  They are healthy and nutritious and pets find them delicious!

Try: ORIJEN Original Freeze-Dried Dog Food

 

If you’re looking to try a food topper for your furry friends, check out our wide variety of food toppers for both dogs and cats — you can order online or pick up in-store!

 

5 Easy Ways to Entertain Pets When Working from Home

Working from home with your pet

Keeping our pets entertained while working from home can be challenging, especially when you’re working long days or are always on a Zoom call! Despite how busy we might be, our pets need mental stimulation to help keep their minds sharp and to nurture their instincts, especially as they grow older.  Let’s take a look at 5 simple yet effective (and fun!) ways you can keep your pet entertained while you work from home.

 

Give your dog something to chew

Dogs love to chew, so let’s give them something to gnaw on (besides the couch!). Provided the chew toy is the appropriate size for your dog, this will keep your dog busy and entertained while avoiding any destructive behavior. Try one of our quiet Hush toys or Benebone’s to keep your pup busy when you are!

Try interactive toys for your cat

Cats are tiny little hunters, and they love trying to hunt down and catch things! To stimulate their
senses and their hunting instincts, you can use interactive toys like puzzle toys lasers, and
interactive tunnels to keep them busy (and their instincts busy, too).

Give them treat puzzles

Treat puzzles are a simple yet effective way to entertain pets as they hunt for treats and will keep
them busy for hours. They’re also a great way to train your dog’s or cat’s minds!

Get longer walks in earlier

If your dog appears to be bored while you’re working from home or has lots of energy in the
morning, consider taking them for a long walk or jog in the early morning. This will help them burn
off excess energy and give them a daily dose of exercise.

Make pet popsicles!

Not only are pet popsicles a great way to make healthy, nutrient-rich treats for your pets at home,
but dogs and cats alike will be kept busy licking and eating their popsicles while you’re on work calls
or getting projects done! Pet-healthy ingredients like bone broth, goat’s milk and
other nutrient-rich foods right from your fridge can make popsicles delicious and good for your pet!

With these 5 simple yet effective ways you can keep your pet entertained all day!
If you’re looking for new and healthy toys, treats, and accessories for your furry friend, stop by our
store or shop our variety of products online. We have an array of goodies for your pet that will keep
them entertained and stimulate their senses!

Travelling With Your Cat and Dog

Your Cat’s Vaccinations

Vaccinating your Cats and Dogs

Why Cats Make the Best Pets

No… it’s not our intention to stir up controversy so early in the new year in…

How to train a cat in 10 days

Well, maybe a little longer…but it can be done! ?

There’s a great book out by Sarah Ellis and John Bradshaw called The Trainable Cat. Sarah Ellis was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air which is when this training came to our attention, and we were so impressed that we knew we had to share the insights you! Through training, Ellis is able to call her cat to come, get it to walk into its carrier to go the vet (any pet owner knows that this can be a daunting task!), take medicine and be friendly with her dog and baby. Pretty impressive! Below we share the highlights of this great interview, which you can listen to in full here.

Having a cat as a pet is a rewarding experience—they are intelligent creatures, with bold personalities and offer love and affection, but they can also be stubborn, and difficult to control. Ellis purports that although the process takes a bit more patience and understanding than with a dog, cats are creatures of habit, and will pick on training swiftly. The key is adopting training early, and being consistent.

Cats are a creature of their own kind

Cats and dogs are very different creatures. Where dogs will soak up affection and tend to be sociable and trusting by nature, cats have a tendency to be very territorial and they need to create a place where they feel secure by becoming very familiar with it. This is why when you take a cat to the vet, for example, they have a very hard time adapting to the new surroundings and also are insecure when they return home. Ellis believes that this anxiety can be reduced through a very simple means: familiarizing your cat with its carrier, so that it feels comfortable with it, and sees it as an extension of its personal space.

“So the first thing we would want to teach a cat – I think every cat should be taught this as a life skill – is that the cat carrier can become a portable place of safety and security. It is a safe, secure place and is part of the cat’s normal territory. And now we have a portable item of security, just like for the dog, its owner, for the cat, its cat carrier. And that’s the foundation, I think, for training in terms of novelty.”

Most people put their cat carrier out of sight when it’s not in use, however, Ellis says that leaving it out in an area that the cat can access is a good way to familiarize it, so rather than it being a signal that change is coming, the cat feels protected by the space, and comfortable within it.

Live in the moment

Rewards and punishments are another way in which cats perceive their human owners and the treatment they receive from them. Cats tend to live in the moment, so you need to create an association between the action and the moment it happens. In terms of rewarding your cat, Ellis explains:

“If you wait a couple of minutes, what you’ll, in effect, be rewarding is the behavior that’s happening in those couple of minutes later. So cats really, really are a little bit unforgiving, if you like – as are many other animals – in terms of if you are not good with your timing of your training. And by timing, I mean the delivery of the reward because they need to have the two things happening very, very close in time to know that the association is between those two things. And that’s classical conditioning. That’s not necessarily unique for the cat. That’s the same with any animal.”

Ellis is not an advocate of punishing a cat for poor behaviour as she believes it can be very damaging to the owner-pet relationship. Again, this goes back to the idea that cats live in the moment, so if the timing of your punishment is off it will be misperceived by the animal

“…the cat will associate that punishment with you and may not associate it with the actual act of what it’s doing because you’re very salient in that environment, at that time, and you are the one delivering the punishment. And so all you’re doing then is teaching your cat that you are not a very good person to be around, that you deliver quite unpleasant consequences and, therefore, the cat will start to avoid you rather than stopping to do that behavior.”

Rather than punishing your cat by spraying it with a water bottle, try instead to redirect its focus onto what you would rather it be doing. So if Felix is scratching the heck out of your couch, redirect its attention to a scratching post—something it is allowed to do.

More than just a name

Pretty early in life, cats get to know their name and they associate it with you needing their attention. To train a cat to come on command, rather than just to answer to their name, Ellis recommends thinking of a specific word —come, here, etc.—that you will use to train the cat, and start working with the cat in close proximity to you, about 1 to 2 metres away, with its favourite treat on hand.

“The cat should come to you purely because it knows you’ve got food, and it’s motivated for that food. So choose a time when the cat’s hungry. Choose a food it really, really likes. So as soon as the cat gets up and starts to walk towards you – and we’re only talking, at this stage, a few steps – you then give that cat that reward. And you repeat that in different locations, in different places in the house, and you gradually increase the distance between you and the cat.”

Cats, and animals in general, respond to trained behaviour so rewarding them for their hard work—remember: in the moment—and showing them all the love and affection they deserve can go a long way in building your relationship with your cat and to them having a happy life.

Again, if you want to learn more consider buying the book The Trainable Cat or listening to the podcast.