Friday, June 26, 2015

Tips to Help Your Dog Cope with Seasonal Allergies

It's that time again!  No, not party time - seasonal allergy time!  OK, I get it, no cheers for allergies - I suffer from them and they are nothing short of annoying.  I have compiled a few of my favorite tips for coping with canine seasonal allergies to hopefully help you provide relief to your itchy pup.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links.  Please read my legal stuff page for more information.

Signs of Seasonal Allergies

In my experience, seasonal allergies have presented themselves in a very obvious manner with these symptoms being most prominent:
  • Constant itching, licking, or biting in the same area(s) (my area is the side of my chest)
  • Pink(er than normal) skin, particularly around the eyes and ears (for me, at least)
  • More than usual chewing on paws or legs
I can always rock a tutu, no matter how itchy I get!

What you can do

There are a few things that my humans do at home to help me cope with seasonal allergies, and I am hopeful that they will help you, too:

  • Anti-Itch Baths.  OK, these are not a cure all.  In fact, we have tried many different anti-itch shampoos and our favorite (so far) is the FURminator Itch Relief Ultra Premium Shampoo .  It is not going to cure the allergies, but it will provide some relief.  We [try] to do an anti-itch bath once a week to help calm the itching down.
  • Wiping paws after walks.  It takes a little extra effort, but it helps to clean any grass, pollen, or other offending material off of your pup's paws. Make sure to use a hypo-allergenic bath wipe (we use Earthbath All Natural Hypo-Allergenic and Fragrance-Free Grooming Wipes - they even sell wipes for cats ) and clean all of the grooves in dog's paws.  Doing this regularly should help reduce the amount of allergens that your dog brings into the house after a walk.
  • Hypoallergenic Food.  If your pet's allergies seem to require more than regular cleaning, you may want to consider a hypoallergenic food.  Your vet should be able to discuss this option with you (and, quite frankly offer better prices in some circumstances).  I recently started on the Royal Canin Potato Whitefish Formula and it has worked wonders!  Again, not a cure all, but it has definitely provided relief.  Plus, it tastes awesome (from this dog's perspective, at least)!
  • Talk to your vet.  If the allergies seem to be making your dog uncomfortable (like mine), and none of the above remedies seem to help, please talk to your vet.  (S)he can discuss different prescription options to help give your pet some more relief.  Be prepared to do some trial and error:  the first medication that I took made me really aggressive and essentially turned me into the hulk. Even the neighbors noticed.  

Have patience, seasonal allergies is something that many dogs deal with and overcome.  The seasons will change, and the allergies will get better!  Do you have any allergy-coping tips that I haven't mentioned?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Daisy's Peanut-Butter Bacon "Pup"cake Recipe

I'm just going to say it: a birthday Barkday party without cake is not a party at all.  To help you avoid hosting an epic failure of a party, I have created an awesome "pup"cake recipe to help make your Barkday party special AND delicious and will undoubtedly leave your canine guests begging for more!

A few pointers:  hire your local pug to do the dirty work.  Make sure that she is festively dressed while she is baking the pupcakes.  You want to be able to taste the barkday excitement!

Also, make sure to savor the beauty of these amazing bakery creations.  Once served, they'll be gone in the wag of a tail.

Now that you are drooling all over your computer, I present to you the top secret recipe for Daisy's Peanut-Butter Bacon "Pup"cakes!

(Oh, P.S. - to read about my entire Barkday party celebration - and to see where I bought my awesome party digs - click here note: clicking this link will take you to the Petco website).

Thursday, June 18, 2015

DIY Father's Day Gift for Pet Dads: Paw Print Keepsake

Shopping for dad is hard enough, but add on the fact that you are a dog (or other valued member of the animal kingdom) and shopping is nearly impossible! No thumbs, no cash, and legs too short to reach the gas pedal.  There's no need to panic!  I have come up with an awesome, creative salt-dough project that you can make for your dad, with a little help from your human.

First, gather your ingredients to make the salt dough:

1 c. flour
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. table salt
A few drops of food coloring (optional)

You should also have these materials handy:

Oven preheated to 250 degrees
Cookie sheet

Next, combine all of your ingredients in a large bowl.   I usually borrow my human for this step; her fingers are way better for mixing than my paws. 

I always wear my smock - have to keep my fur looking good!

Once your ingredients are combined and a smooth (albeit slightly tacky) dough has formed, pull off a small chunk and roll it into a ball and then press it down to flatten it.  (Again, a human's hands will make this step a little easier).

Firmly (but gently!) press your paw (or your dog's paw, whichever) into the center of the flattened ball of salt dough.  Make sure to wash your dog's paw thoroughly when you are finished with this step! 

[Note:  at this point, you can use a straw to poke a hole at the top of the circle if you would like this to be a hanging keepsake or ornament.  Just string some pretty ribbon through the hole when the keepsake is completely dry.]

Place the paw print onto the cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet into the oven.  Bake for 2 hours.  You may need to let it air dry a little longer depending on how thick your keepsake is. 

I promise, your pet dad (or pet grandpa, or pet uncle, or pet neighbor) will love it!!  I'd love to see pictures of your finished keepsakes - don't hesitate to contact me!

[Disclaimer:  even though all of the ingredients in the salt dough recipe are technically edible, please do not let your dog eat it.  Besides tasting bad, it is not good for them.]

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

K9King Silicone Dog Bone Molds and Patriotic Pupsicles

With summer temperatures heating up, why not help your pooch cool down with an ice-cold "pup"sicle?  Using the K9King silicone dog bone molds, you can make your pup a healthy, delicious, and fun treat to help them beat the summer heat.  As you know, I love pupsicles, so I was excited to give this new product a try.  I was even more excited to learn that the product can also be used for baked treats.  Two treats in one product?  Count me in!

[Note:  this post contains affiliate links. Check out my Legal Stuff page for more information.]

About K9King

I love when I have the opportunity to promote family-owned or small businesses, especially those that cherish dogs as much as I do (I know, I'm a little biased being a French Bulldog and all but, hey, I really do LOVE dogs!).  I am not sure that there is a company more dedicated to dogs and community than K9King.  A small family business, K9King is owned and operated by a K-9 Bomb Dog Handler (a BOMB DOG HANDLER) with 22 years of K9 handling experience, and his family.  Inspired by the passion for their K-9s, the K9King company was created and now hosts several amazing dog products.  I had the opportunity to try out the K9King Silicone Dog Bone Mold and I think it is a really great product for any dog lover.

Silicone Dog Bone Molds

Clearly, I love treats (pretty obvious, I know).  As much as I love treats, I love treats that are healthy and nutritious, which is why I love to occasionally get my paws dirty in the kitchen and make my own special snacks.  Traditional pupcakes and cookies are fun, but sometimes they can get boring (even for us dogs).  That's why I get so excited when I find a product like the K9King Silicone Dog Bone Mold; now I can make some of my favorite recipes in a new, fun (and dog friendly) shape.

The mold itself is made out of 100% FDA approved (that means its safe) non-stick silicone and is dishwasher safe.  The mold can be used to bake treats in an oven, or to create frozen treats in the freezer.  Living in Florida, I use any excuse I can to make a pupsicle; and my new K9King molds were the perfect excuse.

Patriotic Pupsicles

I was so inspired by the K9King company and its owners' dedication to serving their community, that I created a special recipe for this post:  Patriotic Pupsicles (recipe below).  First, let me start off by saying that making pupsicles in the K9King Silicone Dog Bone Mold was so easy!  The mold itself is the perfect size for my freezer, and it makes 15 (15!!!!) perfectly shaped treats at once, which is great for my epic pool pawtys.  Removing the pupsicles from the mold was incredibly easy, as well. (Seriously, all I did was pop the pupsicles out of the mold.)

I really love this product, and the K9 company, and plan on making many more delicious treats with it in the future.  I also love that buying this product helps to support a family that has dedicated so many years of K-9 service to their community.  You can help support this family and their K-9s, too, by purchasing your own K9King Dog Treat Cake Pans, Silicone Bone here inch or by clicking on the photo below.  Also, if you are not a member of Amazon prime, now would be the perfect time to Try an Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial!  I cant wait to hear about all of the delicious treats that you make with this wonderful product!

Here's the recipe for my patriotic pupsicles:

Remember, I am not a veterinarian nor am I a professional animal health specialist.  If you are unsure about whether it is safe to feed your pet the recipe featured in this post, please consult your veterinarian or animal health professional.

[Disclaimer:  I received a free K9King Silicone Dog Bone Mold in order to create this post.  The free product did not sway my opinion, nor did any actions by K9King or any third party.  The opinions, and recipe, contained in this post are purely my own.  I only share products with my audience that I feel are relevant or beneficial, or that I personally use myself.] 


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Caru Natural Treats Help You to Nourish Your Pet With Love

I love treats.  No, I LOVE treats.  But, with so many treats on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult.  Caru makes it easy:  with wholesome, high-quality ingredients, Caru Natural Dog Treats are the perfect snack for me (and any dog, really)!  Made in the U.S.A., I know I am snacking on a safe, nutritious product.  Let me tell you a little more about my new go-to treat.

About Caru

Operated by two Canadian medical professionals, Caru is a company that seeks to provide healthy and high quality dog food and treats to their customers.  Meaning "to love" in Welsh, this appropriately named company truly does love animals, and cares about their well-being.  This is shown in the care and quality of every single product that they offer.  I am personally impressed that Caru stews, formulated specifically for dogs, are comprised of 100% human-grade ingredients according to the FDA (the FDA, folks!) and produced in a human-grade facility in the United States.  Dogs, pay attention, forget digging a hole in the backyard for your favorite bone - you need to HIDE your Caru products; it is very likely that your sneaky humans will steal them while you sleep.

 Look at those delicious bits of goodness.
Natural Treats

Packaged in a sleek, resealable pouch, these grain-free, non-GMO squares of goodness are irresistible.  The minute my human showed me the package, I just could not help myself - they just smelled SO GOOD.  The first flavor that I tried was the Venison Recipe; and with real venison listed as the first ingredient on the package, I felt like a high-class canine as I savored every last crumb (who am I kidding, I nearly swallowed that delicious baked bite whole!).  I even decided that I had to dress up for the occasion - I mean, really, how often does a DOG get to eat VENISON?  REAL. VENISON.  I rest my case.

 "Jeeves, be a lamb and fetch me some more Caru Natural Treats."

These treats were so good, I made my human take a sniff.  Normally, she has a really sensitive gag reflex when it comes to smelling dog treats but she actually took a second whiff of these super-awesome snacks packed with nutritious ingredients, such as blueberries and cranberries.  I was afraid that she was going to lock herself in the bedroom and eat the entire bag keep my snacks for herself, so I gave her my menacing death stare and tried my best to levitate the treats right out of her hands.  I think she got the hint (you never know with humans), and she gave my treats back.  Now I keep my eyes on my Caru Natural Treats at all times.

 "Back away from the Caru Natural Treats and no one gets hurt."

I think you know what my verdict was after enjoying these delicious and nutritious morsels from heaven:  BUY ME ANOTHER BAG, HUMAN!  As if you had any doubts, the Caru Natural Treats scored a 100% on my Treat-Buying-Checklist.  Take a look:

Stop drooling on the screen, and go get yourself some Caru Natural Treats!  For more information on where you can get your own pack (because let's not kid ourselves, I am not sharing mine), visit Caru's website, and connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have some more Venison snacks to devour.

[Disclaimer:  I received a free package of Caru Natural Treats:  Venison Recipe Baked Bites for the purpose of performing this review; however, no other compensation was received and the opinions contained in this review are purely my own and were in no way swayed by Caru or any third party.]

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Top 5 Tips to Train Your Frenchie

It is a well-known fact that Frenchies can be, well, sort of stubborn.  We do things in our own time, and in our own way; but, that doesn't mean that we can't be trained.  Training a Frenchie isn't incredibly difficult, it just requires some patience, and a large bag of treats.  (I seriously will do anything for a Beggin' Strip - and, I might add, they are currently on sale at through 6/14/15...excuse me while I go order a few bags).  So, get your pen and paper ready (does anyone use pen and paper anymore, or is this just an irrelevant saying like "hang up the phone" - who actually hangs up a phone anymore?  I digress....) - here are Daisy's Top 5 Tips for Training Your Frenchie!

[Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Visit my "Legal Stuff" page for more information.]

 1. Train the HUMAN first.

It is well known that us Frenchies need our beauty sleep, and lots of it.  It is important for the human to understand and be patient.  The human must first learn that teaching your Frenchie manners or new tricks is not going to happen overnight.  This is especially true because Frenchies sleep at night - we need our beauty sleep, remember?  (I crack myself up.)  Seriously though, plan on working a little bit at a time over a long period of time to obtain the results that you are seeking and take queues from your Frenchie - when your Frenchie has had enough, let them do something else for awhile.  And make sure to schedule plenty of breaks.  Oh, and also make sure your Frenchie has a comfortable bed to get beauty sleep in; I sleep in a memory foam dog bed.  Basically, train the human to hold the presses until the Frenchie is good and ready to participate.  Just kidding, sort of.
 Sweet Dreams are Made of This....
2.  Build Trust
Don't forget that Frenchies are actually French Bulldogs.  We stand our ground and don't let anyone - or anything - push us around, including our humans.  That being said, we are also fiercely loyal - once our human has earned our trust and respect.  In order to earn that trust, we require consistency and routine.  Sticking to routines is like following through on a promise; the more you keep your promises, the more your Frenchie will trust you.  And without trust, your Frenchie will not want to cooperate with any of your training shenanigans.
What works in our house is nightly walks and regular play time.  Everyday my humans and sisters and I go for a walk; we talk with the neighbors, explore new routes, and just generally enjoy spending time as a "pack".  I count on this bonding time; it is my special time that I get to enjoy my humans without any other distractions.  Our nightly play time works in a similar way.  Frenchies depend on routine and, quite frankly, like to be the center of their human's attention.  SO PAY ATTENTION TO ME DAGNABIT!  Sorry, lost my cool there - that was so bulldog of me.
 Come on, human, let's go!
3.  Start Small

I think this is somewhat self explanatory - don't start with trying to train your Frenchie to jump through a ring of fire while riding a unicycle and wearing a tutu.  First of all, training your Frenchie to do anything with fire is really not a great idea.  Unless you are training them to fire up the grill.  (JUST KIDDING.  I'M KIDDING.  REALLY - don't put your Frenchie near a grill for heaven's sake.)  Start with the basics:  sit, stay, come, lay, and drop it.  Then you can move on to giving the paw or speaking or other unique "tricks".
Many of you have asked how my human gets me to take all of my crazy photos.  Well, here's a #FunFact, my human has actually taught me to respond to the word "photo".  No, really, it's true.  All she has to do is say the magic word and point to where she wants me to go, and I come running over and strike my best pose.  I also growl at anyone who walks near my "set" - this was an unintended side effect of training me to become a diva, I suppose.  After a few shots, I get my treat and I'm on my way.   Once you start small, your Frenchie may surprise you with what he or she learns to do, as well!

Fire up the grill!  
4.  Keep Working at It
Like humans, Frenchies will not succeed without consistency and repetition.  Think about training for a marathon, or learning an instrument:  without regular practice, you won't reach your goal.  Frenchies (and most dogs, for that matter) are the same.  Be consistent with the training, as well as the reward.  Be prepared to spend a lot of time working on the first command; the more commands your Frenchie knows, the easier the training may get (notice how I said "may get" - some Frenchies are a little more stubborn than others.  Just saying.)  Also, make sure to tell your Frenchie how proud you are when they achieve a goal - not like you needed a reason to kiss your Frenchie though.  If the human has patience and determination, the Frenchie can learn to do anything.  Well, except ride a bike - our legs are too short.  Unless you have a sweet 3-in-1 Smart Trike like me.
Sing it with me now:  "I'm on the hiiiighway to bacon..."
5. Have Fun 
If you take training too seriously, you are going to get frustrated.  And if the human is frustrated, imagine how that compact bulldog ball of energy is going to feel.  Take a step back and enjoy spending time with your Frenchie, and let the training be a by-product of your bonding.  If you take that approach, you won't feel pressured or stressed about training.  In fact, it might become something that you look forward to.  And trust me, if the human is excited about teaching (AND BRINGS BACON SNACKS - HINT HINT) the Frenchie will undoubtedly be excited about learning.  
Sometimes, my human likes to set up games (like my St. Patrick's Day treasure hunt) in order to train me different commands or tasks.  For example, she has set up a hidden treat game where she hides treats under cups and I have to go find them.  The catch is, I can't start tearing apart the cups until she tells me to do so.  I also can't growl at my human brothers when they want to help.  All of these caveats and all I want is my treat.  It's a ruff life, I tell ya.
"Daisy stole the cookies from the cookie jar.  Who me?  Couldn't be!  Then who? Blame the pug."
Well, we have come to the end of my top five tips, and I hope I have inspired you to enjoy your Frenchie and train them while you're at it.  Have any other suggestions to share?  Leave me a comment - I'd love to hear about it!

[**Disclaimer:  I am NOT a professional trainer or dog behavior expert.  I am a French Bulldog.  This article contains my opinions and not expert advice, except when it comes to choosing a treat.  Mmm bacon....**]

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Boat Service

Photo from our recent "trip" to Walt Disney World.  Here we are waiting to catch a boat back to our hotel after a long, fun day at EPCOT!  We love staying at the EPCOT resorts - the walkways and boat transportation are awesome!

Focused on the Magic

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Super Easy Bulldog Bacon-Cheddar Bites

Tasty most favorite day of the week!  I really love Tuesdays because I get to eat all of the food try out new recipes and share them with you.  This week, I want to share my latest creation with you:  Bulldog Bacon-Cheddar Bites.  Did you really think I would make a recipe without bacon?  I mean, come on, bacon is my favorite smell, taste, color, get the idea.  Mmm bacon....

[Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Visit my "Legal Stuff" page for more information.]

First things first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F) and gather your ingredients:

1 c. Flour
1/2 c. Rolled Oats
2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
1/2 c. Hot Water (not boiling!)
1/4 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Strip of Bacon cooked and crumbled

You can lick the bacon if you really want to, I won't tell.  Oh, and you don't really need a whisk for this recipe. I was just keeping it close by in case the pug decided to crash my baking session.

Next, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and using your hands or paws, gently knead the ingredients until a soft dough forms.  I like to knead with my tongue.  It helps me taste the bacon get the right consistency.

Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to your desired thickness.  I rolled mine to about 1/4" thick.  What?  You look like you've never seen a French Bulldog sitting on a counter using a rolling pin before.

Now, using a small cookie cutter (I used something similar to these ) cut out the bites and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Make sure to admire how beautiful those little bites look!

Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes (less time if you want them softer).  Beware of Bacon-Cheddar Bite Burglars.  You should guard your oven for the entire 20 minutes that the bites are baking.  I never take any chances when it comes to my Bacon-Cheddar Bites!

FINALLY, after all of that work, the bites are done.  Please make sure to let them cool completely before digging in - we wouldn't want any burned tongues!  (This in no way prohibits you from staring at them and pouting while they cool.)


Here's the Recipe:

**Clearly I am not a veterinarian - I am a French Bulldog!  If you are unsure about feeding a particular food to your beloved pet, please contact your veterinarian or pet health professional.**