Dirty Doggie? We’ve Got Bath Time Tips

Keeping your doggie clean can be a challenge, especially if your doggie is large, or squeamish about getting wet. Many people leave this task to professionals, trusting dog groomers to keep their doggies trim and tidy. We’ve even met some dog groomers who have a portable business and come to your home, which is right up our alley. A quick internet search will let you know if there’s a local option available. If not, and if you can’t make it to the dog groomer – we’ve got a few tips to make the task easier and more enjoyable for you and your doggie.

#1 – Set The Scene
Being prepared is key if you’re going to bathe your doggie at home. Unless you have a teacup-sized buddy that you can bring into the bath with you (hey, #NoJudgement), you’ll need to gather up necessary items such as towels, tub toys, shampoos and cleaners, and treats. Also, get a non-slip mat to put in your tub, because paws and porcelain and plastic don’t always mix. You don’t need any scary, slippery, scrambling moments when you’re elbows-deep in wet fur and water.

#2 – Play, Play, Play
The goal is to make the bathtub or shower fun, so encourage your doggie to enjoy themselves with water-safe toys. When you doggie is more confident and comfortable in the environment, it’s less likely that they’ll panic on you. You want bathtime to be calming, or, at least, enjoyable. If it means you make or buy a couple specific bathtub-friendly toys that you bust out only to get the deed done, so be it.

#3 – Just Add Treats
Hey, we make delicious doggie treats for a reason. Use ‘em! Is your doggie happily playing in the bath – treat! Did your doggie do super well getting water poured all over them? Time for a treat! Are they all done and getting wrapped up in a big fluffy towel? Seems like a good time for a treat. While you don’t want to over do it, you definitely want to make bathing a rewarding experience. It’s good for doggies to get clean, and you can’t always make it to the groomer, so it’s great for them to enjoy a bath at home.

#4 – Have Some Help
Bathing your dog at home doesn’t have to be a stressful struggle – as long as you’re prepared and ready to reward your doggie for excellent tub behavior, it can be enjoyable for both of you. Of course, some doggies that are large, or have anxiety, might be a bigger challenge, so use your best judgement on how to proceed. We recommend having a helper the first couple of times you bathe your doggie, just for emotional, if not physical, backup.

Do you have any tips and tricks to make washing dirty doggies easier? Spill your secrets in the comments below.

Can My Doggie Eat This? People Food Do’s and Don’ts for Doggies

We’ll be honest, in a perfect world, doggies would only ever eat YaDoggie dog food and treats. Man, doggies would be so healthy if that were the case! It’s clean, it’s filling, it’s healthy. Win-win-win.

But, the reality is, human food makes it’s way into doggie mouths all the time. Whether you or your children drop something on the floor accidentally, or you intentionally give them pieces of food off your plate, the odds are, many doggies are eating people food. The thing is, you need to know which foods are safe for doggies, and which must be avoided.

Quick disclaimer – if your dog just ingested some food and you’re not sure it’s safe, please call your vet.

Alright – let’s take a quick look at people food that doggies can and can’t eat.

Animal Proteins: SAFE
Hey, YaDoggie dog food wouldn’t be here if this weren’t true. Doggies can benefit from the minerals, vitamins, and nutrients found in animal protein. Beef, lamb, duck, turkey, salmon, and tuna are all fine options for doggies when cooked and prepared properly.

Grains – SAFE
Whole grains, oats, quinoa, and corn are fine for most doggies. Making DIY snacks with these ingredients is generally fine. As with anything, please consult your vet if you have questions on specific grains and safe amounts.

Dairy: MOSTLY SAFE
Use caution, here, since some doggies lactose intolerant and we don’t want to go around giving our favorite friends tummy troubles. In general, a little milk and yogurt is okay. Eggs are fine, too.

Fruits + Veggies: MOSTLY SAFE
Apples, carrots, lemons, broccoli, corn – all good for doggies! Most veggies and fruits are fine, but alliums – onions, leeks, garlic – are not okay, and ingesting them can even cause anemia. Garlic is especially potent and can cause a doggie to become ill, so if you think your doggie might have had some, please call your vet.

Nuts – LIMITED SAFETY
Peanuts and peanut butter are both fine for doggies, and can be a great ingredient to use when whipping up a batch of homemade biscuits. If you need to give your doggie medicine, a spoonful of peanut butter is often a tasty and helpful vehicle to help your doggie swallow is down. But other nuts – almonds, macadamias, cashews – need to be avoided.

Sweets – LIMITED SAFETY
Chocolate? No. Ice cream? No. Honey? Yes – in small doses. Honey might actually mitigate allergies, besides being a sticky, tasty treat for your doggie.

Herbs + Spices – LIMITED SAFETY
Turmeric can help inflammation, parsley and mint can give bad breath a refresh, but cinnamon is a big-time no-no. No pumpkin-spice for your pup! Cinnamon can make a doggie’s mouth uncomfortable, and can even cause vomiting or diarrhea. It’s best to avoid it.

Does your doggie like to help themselves to whatever you’re having? Tell us your doggie’s favorite “people food” in the comments below.

5 Simple DIY Breath Fresheners For Your Doggie

Here at YaDoggie HQ, we’re all about the slobbery kisses from our doggies. A good cuddle sesh to brightens any day, and a well-timed lick on the cheek lets us know our doggies love us as much as we love them.

But wow – sometimes, bad breath makes these moments unbearable. (Theirs, not ours. At least we think ours is fine.) What to do when your doggie’s breath makes you want to gag? You can’t quit the cuddles for good, so take to your pantry and whip up some DIY toothpastes and treats to clean up your doggie’s mouth.

With some inspirational assistance from Pinterest, we’re featuring our five favorite ideas. Don’t worry, each one is super easy – you can’t mess these up.

#1 – Simple Toothpaste
Lots of folks report that making a paste of baking soda and coconut oil, plus natural flavors, works best and is healthiest for doggies. Some pet parents add essential oils, others lean on fresh herbs like parsley, and spices such as turmeric. Mix it all together and voila! A natural breath freshener that also cleans your doggie’s teeth. Reminder: you will need a toothbrush designed and designated for your doggie, so make sure you have one ready.

#2 – Minty Fresh Doggie Treats
While you have that coconut oil and parsley out, why not whip up a batch of minty fresh treats? We know pet parents that use out flour and eggs to bind together refreshing herbs (namely, mint and parsley), adding coconut oil for healthy fat and flavor and it’s special antibacterial properties. Your doggie shouldn’t have too many at a time, but when the breath is really horrendous, you’ll be glad you have one of these at hand.

#3 – Some Apple A Day
Did you know a couple slices of fresh apple after your dog eats is a sweet and simple way to freshen up their breath? The next time you catch a whiff of stinky breath, slice up an apple and share it with your doggie. The apple will help clean and whiten your doggie’s teeth, and will make their breath sweeter and cleaner smelling.

#4 – Refreshing Frozen Pops
If your dog loves to eat ice, why not customize a few ice cubes to be odor-eaters themselves? Using prepared and cooled chicken or beef stock as a base, mix in from fresh herbs we know work well to freshen up a stinky mouth, such as parsley and mint. Make sure you chop the herbs finely. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays, and freeze for four hours, or longer. When you notice your doggie’s breath could use some help, toss a few cubes into their bowl for a refreshing, hydrating, and nourishing treat.

#5 – Frozen Yogurt Pops
We promise you don’t need to use a paw-shaped mold to make these work – an ice cube tray or any mold will do. Using a sugar-free, protein-packed, full-fat yogurt and herbs, you can blend up a bad-breath-blasting treat in no time. Simply add yogurt to a food processor, toss in a handful of fresh parsley and mint, and blitz until the white yogurt is speckled and flecked with the greenery. Pour into your ice cube tray or mold, and freeze until solid.

Do you have any homemade, breath-freshening treat recipes to share? Tell us how you keep your doggie’s breath minty fresh in the comments below!

5 *EASY* DIY Toys and Games You Can Make For Your Dog

Getting new toys is always fun, whether you’re a dog or a human. But sometimes the best things are handmade, and in this round-up, we have five DIY ideas that you can do at home! Most of these are very easy, so don’t stress – you can totally tackle these for your doggies today, using what you already have around the house. All you need is a few minutes of collecting supplies and a little assembly time, and soon your doggies will be enjoying their brand-new toy. Which means you’ll be celebrating how big of a genius you are.

Ready to make your doggies’ day? Let’s get started!

#1 – Lasting Licker
Have we all seen the episode of The Office where there’s a stapler submerged in a mound of Jello? This is like that, but you don’t need to bother with the Jello. If you live someplace warm, your dog will love to cool off with this activity.

Supplies:

  • Freezer-safe bowl
  • Rubber dog toys
  • Water or Chicken Broth

Instructions

  1. Place rubber toys in bowl.
  2. Fill with water.
  3. Place in freezer for 6 hours, or until solidly frozen (we suggest overnight).

 

#2 – Bottle Socks
Guys.This is so easy. We’ve made 11 of them while writing this list. Want to be extra fancy? Add a bell to the bottle.

Supplies:

  • Empty water bottle
  • Big ol’ sock
  • Small jingle bell, if desired

Instructions:

  1. Place bell inside bottle, if using.
  2. Stuff bottle inside sock, making sure it goes all the way to the tippy toe of the sock.
  3. Tie a knot above the bottle, enclosing it inside the sock.
  4. Marvel at how easy and amazing that was.
  5. Make a bunch of them to use up all the loner socks you’ve lost the pair to, and plan to give them away for the holidays.

 

#3 – Tug Toys
Have an old shirt that you don’t mind getting chewed up? If you cut it into strips and braid it, you can make a tug toy for your pup at no cost to you! If all of your shirts are ready to wear, pick up some fleece or t-shirt fabric at your local store to make this doggie toy at home.

Supplies:

  • Old, clean, t-shirt, or multiple shirts if you want the tug toy to be different colors.
  • Scissors
  • Brute strength to tie to strong knot.

Instructions:

  • Cut off sleeves and discard, cut along the seams of the shirt to make two solid pieces of fabric.
  • Cut the t-shirt into strips, discarding the strips that have the collar section.
  • Gather all the strips together and tie into a knot at one end.
  • Group the remaining strips into three sections, and braid. Pinterest has lots of ideas for simple to intricate braiding patterns.
  • Tie a knot at the base of the braid to keep all the fabric together.

 

#4 – Sock + Ball
Honestly, it can’t get easier than this. This is the DIY dog toy for the anti-DIY crowd. You need exactly two things, that you most likely already have.

Supplies:

  • Old, long, clean sock
  • Tennis ball

Instructions:

  • Place ball inside sock and push down to either the middle or the toe.
  • If the tennis ball is in the toe-area of the sock, tie the sock in a knot about the tennis ball, trapping the ball inside. If the tennis ball is in the middle of the sock, tie the sock in a knot on either side of the tennis ball, locking it in place.
  • Throw it to your dog and be bemused as they play with this simple thing for hours.

 

#5 – Knotty Rope Games
Okay, time to level up your skills. You could certainly buy some rope toys the next time you’re at the pet supply store, but making your own is pretty easy once you know how. The trick is in the type of rope you use, and the know you make. We found this method is the best to keep the rope from unraveling.

Supplies:

  • Rope, cotton-preferred, the right thickness for your doggie. (Small doggies would do well with ½” – ¾” rope, whereas a large dog could chew on a 1½” rope.)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Tape to cover the ends while looping and making knots (optional)

Instructions:

  • Cut your rope to your desired length, leaving 16-18 inches of rope for the knots on the end (8”-9” each side). For example, if you want your dog to have 5 inches of room to gnaw between knots, you’ll need a length of rope that is 23” long, to begin with.
  • Unravel the rope at each end and tape each independent strand.
  • Using this method as a guide, tie each end in a Matthew Walker knot.
  • Toss to your dog, and have fun!

Do you handcraft any toys for your doggies, either with specialty materials, or upcycled household items? Tells us your genius DIY doggie toys and games in the comments below!

5 Games To Play With Your Pup Using YaDoggie Treats

We know your doggies are loving the YaDoggie Straight-Up Beef and Beef & Sweet Potato treats we debuted this fall, but are you making the most of each morsel? We don’t think dogs should work for their meals, but it can be fun for them to play with their food. We’ve rounded up 5 ways you can incorporate YaDoggie treats into playtime with your pups.

Caution, some DIY suggestions lie ahead, but we promise they are actually doable, and not just fancy Pinterest ideas. Check ‘em out!

#1 – Mad About A Muffin Pan

Cover some treats with tennis balls and let your dog sniff ‘em out.

Supplies:

  • 1 regular-sized muffin pan that can make 12 muffins
  • 12 tennis balls
  • 1-2 bite-sized treat pieces

Instructions:

  1. Place your treats in as many muffin cups (put one piece in one cup, two pieces in two separate cups, etc.).
  2. Cover each cup with a tennis ball
  3. Serve to your pup like the Fun Time Magician you are, and watch them try to figure out where the treats are.

 

#2 – Puzzling Ball

Yes, another tennis ball project!

Supplies:

  • 1 tennis ball
  • Scissors
  • As many treats as you want

Instructions:

  1. Cut a tennis ball open a little bit; it should look like PAC-MAN.
  2. Fill said PAC-MAN mouth-hole with YaDoggie treats.
  3. Give to dog for puzzling fun!

 

#3 – Puzzling Bottle

Same basic concept: stuff treats in something and let dog try to get them out. This time, with a water bottle! Your pup will paw the bottle around trying to get the treats out and will be so thrilled when they do!

Supplies:

  • 1 water bottle
  • Scissors
  • As many treats as you want

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry bottle thoroughly.
  2. Using sharp scissors, cut small holes in the plastic (3-5 holes)
  3. Fill bottle with treats in pieces that can fit through the holes.

 

#4 – Hide n’ Sneak A Treat

We’d all want to play hide and seek if it meant we got a treat at the end, right? This game makes it happen. All you need are plastic cups or cones, and the treats themselves.

Supplies:

  • 5-10 plastic cups or cones
  • As many treats as you want

Instructions:

  1. Set up the cones and cups on the floor (open side down).
  2. Pick up one or two cups or cones, and place treats inside – hiding them from your pup.
  3. Watch your pup go hunting, trying to find the hidden treasure.

 

#5 –  Hide And Seek A Treat

One of our personal faves, especially when played among kiddos and dogs, is hide and seek. All you need are people to play the game, and treats, and really – you and your dog could do this just the two of you. Quality bonding time, and quality treats (for the dog – sorry, you can’t eat them).

Supplies:

  • As many treats as you want.
  • Willing and able human participants.

Instructions:

  1. Tell your dog to sit and stay, then go hide (whoever is playing with you needs to hide at this point, too). If your pup is new to this game, think like a toddler and hide in plain-ish site. Make sure your pup can see your feet, or your back, or part of your body so they know to come find you. The more you play, the better your dog will become at this, and the more inconspicuous you can become.
  2. When your dog finds you, or anyone else playing the game, they get a treat! Ta-Da!

 

Do you have games you like to play with your pup that use treats? These can be great ways to train your dog, or keep their brains busy when they might otherwise be bored on a rainy or quiet day at home. Tell us your ideas and ways your use YaDoggie treats in the comments below!

7 Ways To Make Your Walks Rock

Look, we love walking our doggies, right? We love getting our in the open and getting that burst of fresh air. It’s awesome, until it’s not. It’s okay, this is a safe space – we can all admit that sometimes? We don’t want to walk the dog. Sometimes…? Maybe? We barely want to leave the couch for our own bathroom break. But a dog will wait for no man, woman, or responsible child to walk them, and so we must.

Most dogs require exercise in the morning and at night, some breeds needing more or less activity. If you’re having trouble taking it to the streets, here are seven tips to encourage you to leash-up, and get to stepping.

#1 – Natural Beauty
Nature is magical, and you’ll find more of it outside your house. Science tells us our brains do well with fresh air to breathe, and pretty things to look at; heading out to a park, field, forest, beach, or other green space will give you an opportunity to soak up some much needed natural good vibes. Gotta drive to get to paradise? No worries, plan to head to your favorite spot a couple times a week to get your green on.

#2 – Multitasking Moment
Need to grab a couple groceries? Return a library book? Drop off a small package at the shipping center? Your dog totally wants to come, too. Grab a backpack for your small items, and map out a multitasking route so you can drop-off and pick-up what you need, all with your dog in-tow. Just don’t forget the poop bags, especially when you’re out in public spaces.

#3 – Treat Yo’ Self (and Yo’ Pup)
After a long day, or, frankly, before one, sometimes we humans like to indulge in a special little nosh. Hot day? Ice cream. Cold day? Hot chocolate. Big day ahead? Super fancy coffee from adorable artsy coffee house. By all means – go to town. Literally, take your pup with you to town when you go get yourself some delicious snacks. Just don’t feed them to your dog – bring some YaDoggie treats along with you so you pup can munch away which you sip your special beverage.

#4 – Get In Your Head
Many dog owners report that they love their walks for the time it gives them to think, daydream, or listen to music or audiobooks. Your dog just needs to move, so it’s okay if you’re spaced out and thinking about whether Martians would play football or rugby (rugby 100%), or listening to Hamilton Mixtape again. It’s cool. You need a brain-break, your dog needs a walk. These things can happen at the same time. Don’t look at your phone, plug-in or unplug, and just enjoy the time.

#5 – Get Together
Not feeling the solo journeys? No worries! Many dog owners would love a little human company on their walk, so find a neighbor who can come out with you. We know of a pair of pals that live on opposite sides of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Twice a week, they meet in the middle of the park and walk, together, to one of their houses for a cup of coffee (read: beer), before the other person returns home, alternating houses. They get a great walk this way, complete with solo time AND a social outing. And once a week, the coffee (beer) is free. #genius

#6 – Walk For A Purpose
If you want to maximize your walk for the greater good, why not bring a bag with you and pick-up trash along your route? Or you could volunteer to hang fliers, or pass out papers for a local organization. There’s no rule against giving back while getting your pup some exercise; and you’ll feel like a do-gooding genius when you give back while giving your dog a chance to stretch their legs.

#7 – Pupparazzi
Is your dog an Instagram Icon yet? Whether your pup is Insta-famous, or an up-and-comer, take your walk as an opportunity of the best kind – a photo opportunity. Everyone loves pics of pups (ahem! We do! Send them in!), so snap some shots of your dog out and about, and you might be the Next Big Thing on social media.

Do you have tips and tricks to make walking the dog more fun? Let us know in the comments below!

15 Reasons Why Dogs Rule

Confession: We almost titled this post “How To Convince People They Need A Dog.” Why? Well, show of hands time: Who has sent links of adoptable dogs to loved ones with the subject “WANT!” or “We need this guy/girl” or “Look who I found” or similar?

We’re definitely guilty.

As far as we’re concerned here at YaDoggie HQ, it doesn’t matter how many dogs you have – you definitely need another one. You know who needs a dog the most? People who are not allergic to dogs, but who don’t yet have one.

WE know your friends and family would benefit from having a dog. YOU know your friends and family would benefit from having a dog. But THEY are the stubborn ones who can only think of all the hard work dog ownership can be. Yes, having a dog takes effort – dogs gotta eat (ahem), walk and play, and get bathed, you know – normal dog stuff. But the benefits far outweigh the bummers, so if you’re looking to convince your roommate, your spouse, your parents, or your co-worker that having a dog would make their life exponentially better – which it will! – here are your talking points.

Behold!

YaDoggie’s 15 Reasons Why Having A Dog Rules

#1 – Dogs Are Cute As Hell
For real, come on. Dogs are adorable and looking at them brings joy to our hearts. It’s hard to stay in a bad mood when you see a sweet pup’s face.

#2 – Dogs Are Good For Your Mental Health
Feeling stressed? Simply petting or playing with your pup will help. It’s science! Interacting with a dog “can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol”.

#3 – Dogs Ownership Means More Natural Exercise
Dogs need to move, and they typically need someone to be with them when they do. Dog ownership brings with it more motivation to get and stay active because your dog needs to walk, run, and get fresh air. Their needs benefit both humans and canines, alike!

#4 – Dogs Help Your Heart Health
Turns out all those extra steps you’ll get from walking your dog will keep your heart happy and healthy. Owning a dog could help prevent heart disease… can’t say that about a goldfish. (Not that there’s anything wrong with goldfish.)

#5 – Dogs Will Welcome You Home Like The Magnificent Person You Are
What other creature will come bounding to the door at the mere jingle of keys on a keychain? If you’ve had a bad day and need a pick-me-up, the endless love your dog will shower upon you will restore your faith in yourself, and in life. Speaking of life…

#6 – Dogs Won’t Judge Your Life’s Choices
Your dog won’t tell you to change your shirt, smile more, stop watching that show, nag you about playing that video game, or give you a bad time about your lunch (unless they want some). In all fairness your dog might be judging you hard for a lot of what you do, but you’ll never know it and can carry on with confidence of being a brilliant human being, beloved by your best pal pup.

#7 – Dogs Help With Social Interactions
Two truths: awkward silences suck AND your dog can provide endless topics of conversation. If you find yourself lost for words and stuck at social settings, you can either A.) start telling a story about your dog or B.) excuse yourself because you need to tend to your dog. A dog is really the perfect partner for the extrovert and introvert alike!

#8 – Dogs Could Save Your Life
Lassie might have been fictional, but  there have been countless stories where a dog saved it’s human from harm. From sensing something is wrong, to literally getting humans out of harm’s way, a dog is humankind’s best friends because they always have our backs.

#9 – Cuddles. Just, All The Cuddles.
Unabashed, glorious cuddles. Remember back up at #2 and we talked about how dog petting a dog releases “happy” hormones and reduces stress hormones? Cuddling works, folks. Cuddling. Works.

#10 – Dogs Are Inherently Entertaining
Kids might say the darndest things, but dogs actually do the darndest things. They are silly, playful, cocky, and the don’t care who knows it. They love to entertain and be the center of your attention, so enjoy your dog’s personality, and enjoy your life more.

#11 – Dogs Are Great Selfie Buddies
Dogs can’t take a bad picture – and by that we mean, all dogs are either adorable or hilarious or adorably hilarious in every single photograph. Adding your dog to your selfie will only make your selfie game stronger.

#12 – Dogs Are There For You When You’re Feeling Lonely And Want To Be Alone
Need some alone time to mope in bed? Who hunkers down with you for a snuggle? Your dog. Want to get lost in nature to think through life’s big questions? Who is by your side on the trails? Your dog. If you need a little tenderness or time with your thoughts, having a pup to keep you company is a really great idea. A dog is a great way to be alone, without getting too lonely.

#13 – Dogs Can Help You Break Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Ever wanted to be someone who went to the beach for fun, or took a walk before work just to see the sun shine? Now’s your chance. Your dog will get you out of your house and in the open. Thought you’d never hike or spend an afternoon playing frisbee? Maybe you didn’t anticipate making dog treats from scratch. Whatever you want your “new thing” to be, your dog can help you get there, either sitting by your side while you learn to play the guitar, or making a new habit of walking to get coffee every Sunday.

#14 – Dogs Make Holidays More Fun(ny)
One word: COSTUMES. Now, with all due respect to dogs, and without wanting to embarrass or humiliate dogs (yes, that’s a thing that can happen so please be cautious), putting your dog in a costume or themed attire can be wholly satisfying. And don’t get us started on matching looks for humans and pups. Because we’ll be here all day.

#15 – Dogs Make You Sexier
It’s true! Like, in a subjective kind of way. Don’t believe us? Let’s break it down: One of the definitions of sexy is “generally attractive, interesting, appealing.”  First, you are generally attractive – just own that fact now. Then, you are fundamentally interesting because you always have something to talk about (your dog) AND you possess the appealing characteristic of being able to take care of others (also, your dog). BOOM. Sexier. Embrace it.

Did we miss any of the reasons why having a dog is the best ever? Let us know what makes you thrilled to be the proud parent of a sweet pup in the comments below.

Dog Bloat: Know What To Look For and What To Do

Okay, guys, #RealTalk time. Dog bloat is a super serious illness that can be life-threatening to our pups. It’s wise to familiarize ourselves with what it means, what the causes are, and what do if if our furry friends start showing symptoms. We want our best buddies to be with us for as long as possible, which is why dog bloat, or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), is so terrifying. The onset can be immediate, and the outcome deadly, so every dog owner should know the signs and factors involved.

We asked our favorite expert on furry friends, and seasoned veterinarian, David Shuman, DVM, what we need to know, look for, and do about dog bloat.

What Is Dog Bloat?
Dog bloat, or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), is a swelling in the stomach of gas, food, or liquid. It can expand so much that it puts fatal pressure on other vital organs and arteries. In extreme cases, the stomach not only expands, but flips (termed gastric dilatation volvulus) which blocks blood-flow and causes severe cardiovascular shock.

Why Does Bloat Happen?
There are many factors, here, and even the experts aren’t totally sure why this happens. While research is still undergoing, there are a few things that can increase the risk of bloat:
– Eating one large meal a day instead of more, smaller ones.
– Rapid eating – when a dog inhales their food and doesn’t take their time.
– Eating from a raised bowl – it’s best to keep it on the floor.
– Running or playing too hard immediately after eating.
– Being related to a dog who suffered from bloat (sibling, parent).
– Being of a large breed with a deep-chest, which has shown to be more at-risk.

What Should We Look For?
Dog bloat can go from bad to worse very quickly, so it’s important to know the signs, and familiarize yourself with the local vet and emergency veterinary office near you. If your dog is showing signs of bloat, please don’t hesitate to bring them in right away. Here are the common symptoms:
– Acutely painful abdomen.
– Swelling in the stomach.
– Focus on the stomach – if your dog keeps looking at his tummy, it probably hurts.
– Trying to vomit, but not succeeding.
– Acting restless, pacing, looking anxious.
– Weakness, your dog may collapse.
– Shortness of breath, or trouble breathing.
– Increased heart-rate; if your dog is weak and acting tired but his heart is racing, something is wrong.
– Gums will go pale.

If your dog comes and finds you and is acting off, uncomfortable, weak, or abnormal, we suggest contacting or going immediately into your local vet’s office. Normally we like to keep things light here at YaDoggie HQ, but dog bloat is scary, and it can strike quickly. Please pay attention to your dog and their signals, and you might be able to help them before it’s too late.

Is Bloat Treatable?
The brutal truth is that yes, sometimes it is… and no, sometimes it’s too late. Your dog might be in shock, or their stomach might have flipped, so your vet will decide what procedures are required – X-rays, or otherwise. Depending on the stage and severity of bloat, your vet might be able to operate on your pup and solve the issues surgically.

Is Bloat Preventable?
The brutal truth here is that it may not always be preventable but there are things we can do to decrease the risk. If a dog was related to another dog that had bloat, the risks are increased. However, there are things you can do to give your dog the best shot at a bloat-free and happy life:
– Offer them multiple small meals throughout the day, instead of one or two large ones.
– Make sure they get a normal amount of water – no long dry spells followed by guzzling.
– Keep food bowls on the ground, not raised.
– Don’t let your dog run and play hard before or after meals. Encourage them to have some downtime to process the food.

Which Breeds Are Prone To Bloat?
We mentioned that there are certain deep-chested and/or large breeds that are prone to bloat. Dr. Shulman notes the most common breeds are Great Danes, Standard Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers. In addition, the Whole Dog Journal references a study from Purdue University about breeds and bloat, noting that Akitas, Basset Hounds, Bloodhounds, Borzois, and Boxers are prone to GDV. Read more here.

We wish you and your pup a long and happy life without any bloat! Stay healthy, our friends!

Is Your Dog Bored? How To Know If So + How To Help

Growing up, we used to hear “if you’re bored, you’re boring,” and we had to keep a list of things that we enjoyed in the event we declared there was NOTHING to do. This stopped the flailing on the floor, complaining about our sad, sorry lives, or getting into things that weren’t intended for us. We couldn’t nag or fuss, we didn’t run amuck all over the house, leaving a trail of chaos in our wake. Having planned tasks ready in the wings for that boredom epidemic really helped. Because, let’s face it – kids can be pains in the neck when they’re bored. But, heck, so can adults. Have you ever gotten stuck in the loop of “what do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” with a partner, friend, or spouse? #boring No thanks. The difference is that when adults get bored, we can choose to phone a friend, go outside, watch a show, do a chore, and, the fan-favorite, take to the mighty distraction/occupying/procrastination powers of the Internet.

Dogs are much more like children, however, they need help occupying their time and expelling excess energy. If their energy isn’t being used up appropriately, it will burn up in a bad way. Like children, they can and will get into everything once deemed off limits -, they will complain at you repeatedly, nagging you to entertain them. Or, they might make themselves busy and eat all the food you have for them, tucked away. And we know that could add up to be an expensive, unhealthy bummer. We know you don’t want to be barked at, or worse, nipped at, by a dog who isn’t “bad,” but just bored, so make sure you know the signs, and have a plan, to help your dog combat boredom.

Know The Signs
#1 – Idle Paws
There is one main common tell among bored dogs: idle paws get into everything. If your dog hasn’t pilfered through your closet in ages, and suddenly if tearing through it, that could be a sign of boredom. Same goes for digging through the trash or over-digging in the yard. [Note: It could also be a sign of anxiety, so you might want to consult your family vet if this behavior begins suddenly and is abnormal.]

#2 – Barking Bully
The human child version of this is “Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mom. Mama. Mommy. Mom! Mommy!!” or “Daddddddddddddddy” ether shouted sadly from another room, or right up in your face. Dogs do it, too. They want your attention and if your dog is demanding you interact with them through continuous barking, it’s a literal cry for help.

#3 – Sad Shadow
If your dog hasn’t left your side, and is constantly right where you need or want to be, they are signalling that they need you, and need some stimulus. If you don’t want to trip over a dog who can’t seem to be anywhere but your feet, you gotta help them expel some of that energy.

How to Help A Bored Dog
#1 – Run It Out
The best thing you can do for your dog if they appear bored is to take them outside for fresh air and activity. Especially if they are going to be home all day while you’re at work, you need to run them before they have the house to themselves for hours. A nice long (45 minutes, at least) walk is great, and if you’re shorter on time head to a dog park or open space where you can throw a ball or frisbee and ensure your dog gets to sprint. A solid workout in the morning will help your dog want to rest during the day. The morning isn’t going to happen, schedule a walker to take your dog out during the day.

#2 – Doggy Daycare
Another great option is to send your pup out for a day with pals. The stimulus of playing with other dogs, being in a new setting, having new humans to engage with can work wonders for a bored dog. A quick online search can help you find local options.

#3 – Make Feeding Fun
Have you seen those food dispenser-puzzle gadgets at the store or online? Why not put some Ya Doggie kibble in one of those and let your dog toil away at it for a while. Doggie food-focsed puzzles are a hit with many pups we know.

#4 – Update Your Toys
Again, dogs are like kids – and sometimes it helps to swap out toys to keep them engaged. We’re not saying to need to keep buying new toys all the time, but you could add some to your collection over time, and take away a few of the older toys, saving those for another day. We know a family that keeps a few toys on hand, just for days when the dog will be solo in the home for longer than normal. These special toys come out on those days, and then return to storage until the next time they’re needed.

#5 – Get Another Dog
Okay so we’re half-joking, here. But dogs love company – and if you one have one, you might consider getting them a buddy so they can play together.

Do you have any tips and tricks to keep your pal’s boredom at bay? Tell us your genius ways in the comments below! Also, we need to note that if you’re really struggling to solve for boredom, please consult your family’s vet for even more ideas.

Sun’s Out, Tongue’s Out! 5 FROZEN *DIY* Treats To Keep Your Canine Cool

Dudes, you say, it’s September, I don’t need to worry about heat waves in these here parts, and my dog is doing just fine. Which is awesome! But here at YaDoggie HQ, we’re heading into the warmest time of the year. September and even October bring really high temperatures to the San Francisco Bay Area, so we’re prepping our pups with frosty treats that will help them stay hydrated, and keep their cool. We’ve already told you about our five favorite DIY doggie treats, but today we’re prepping for those scorching hot days – the literal dog days of summer, even if it’s technically fall. Hey, we make really good dog food, we don’t control climate change.

So, here goes. Remember: making your pup’s treats at home can be really great for your wallet, and good on your pup’s tummy, since you can choose the best available ingredients. Snacks and treats make from the heart, and with the freshest foods offer nutrient-dense, flavor-packed options. Snacks and treats are exactly that, however, and none of the following ideas below are to be substituted for meals. Please maintain your dog’s Ya Doggie mealtime plan, and incorporate snacks and treats for rewards when training, or on highly active and hot days, in-between meals. As always, please talk to your dog’s doctor if you’re concerned about nutritional needs, calorie counts, or any adverse reactions to ingredients.

Here are five cool and refreshing recipes to help your pup stay hydrated and happy on hot days.

#1 Frosty Fresh Breath Dog Treats
We’ve already told you about the easy, breezy, breath-freshening bites you can make any old day, but what about when it’s hot as blazes? Take your ingredients (usually a healthy oil, like coconut oil, some fresh herbs and maybe some protein such as Greek yogurt), blitz in a blender, and pour into ice cube trays or adorable molds. We won’t judge you for being super freaking cute about your dog’s snacks. Well, some of our team won’t – but they’re just jealous no one is making these for them.

#2 Frozen Apple Snacks
We don’t know how to say this without sounding like smug, apple fanatics, but apples can kind of do everything, y’all. Dry ‘em out for chips, and blend them with Greek yogurt and water, then freeze them for a delicious, frosty treat that’s also child-friendly. Just sayin’.

#3 Doggie Ice Cream
Seeing your favorite furry friend all sprawled out on a hot day is hard, and knowing they’re uncomfortable is the worst. You can make everyone feel better by serving a bowl of delicious, all-natural ice cream. And it’s fast. And it’s easy. And this is a great way to use up ripe bananas, while hydrating your dog in a healthy way, on a hot day. Most recipes we’ve seen include bananas, Greek yogurt, and peanut butter, all blitzed together in a food processor, then frozen in a plastic dog bowl, and served on a cool kitchen floor. Enjoy the happy slurping sound that’s sure to come.

#4 Frozen Peanut Butter Bites or Bones
Cute dog bone mold is totally optional, here. As we already made clear, we love you and your cuteness with your doggie! But if you want to do the ice cube tray scenario, we’re down for that, too. Honestly, your dog will not turn up it’s nose however you serve these. Blend peanut butter with whatever you want and freeze it. It’s that simple. We’ve seen: peanut butter and coconut oil, peanut butter and pumpkin, as well as peanut butter and banana.See what you have on hand, then mix, then freeze. We know your dog will love it.

#5 Bone Broth Pup-sicles
The benefits of bone broth for your dogs are many – not only does it contain countless nutrients and vitamins, broth or stock can be very healing for your pup’s gut. We’re toying with our own concoction, but until it hits the market, it’s super simple to make your own. On a regular day, you can add bone broth to your pup’s kibble for a special meal, on a hot day, we suggest freezing the broth into cubes that your pup can nibble on in their bowl as a refreshing, hydrating, and nourishing snack. If you haven’t made bone broth before, it’s easy! Remember to keep it simple for canine cuisine – no onions or garlic. All you need is bones (leftover cooked ones, or raw), water, and splash of something acidic – like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. We make ours in a slow cooker throughout the day, cooking on low for 12+ hours. You could also bring to a boil on the stove, then simmer all day. Once the broth is cooked and cooled, freeze into trays for future use – either cold pup-sicles, or defrost to add to kibble!

Cool? Cool. We hope you and your pup love these frosty treats and snacks! Did we miss any of your dog-friendly faves? Tell us in the comments below! Feeding your dog in warm or stormy weather is our goal, so let us know what they love.

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