Month: October 2017

YaDoggie Recipe 101: Lamb & Sweet Potatoes

Wondering what’s in the recipe? We are always happy to chat about what *exactly* gets put into YaDoggie dog food. We put a lot of thought and research into each recipe, and love to list the nutritional benefits so dog lovers and owners like you know what you’re doggie is eating. Below, we’re digging into the details of our Lamb recipe. Curious about our other offerings? Check out Buffalo & Duck, and (limited-ingredient) Turkey recipes, plus our all-natural Jerky Treats as well!

Does your doggie love our Lamb recipe? They have great taste. YaDoggie’s delicious food was created for dogs, by dog lovers – and our team has put a lot of thought and care into crafting a truly exceptional food for your dog. All of our recipes are grain-free, and packed with protein, vitamins, minerals to keep your doggie healthy and happy.

YaDoggie food is made up of the five following categories:

  1. Core Proteins
  2. Fruits, Veggies & Carbs
  3. Additional Protein Sources
  4. Other Important Ingredients (such as healthy fats & natural flavorings)
  5. Vitamins & Minerals

It’s important to note that doggie families living in the Western United States will have a slightly different recipe than those in the Eastern United States; this is due to product availability. We’ll note any differences below.

1. Core Protein
You know it’s a core protein if it’s written on the bag; for the Lamb & Sweet Potato recipe, the core protein is indeed pure lamb. Specifically, we use lamb meal for a flavorful dose of protein that’s also very highly digestible. What’s the difference between lamb and lamb meal? A “meal” is a concentrated (water and fat removed) version of a protein source. Most foods contain quite a bit of water, so the meal versions are concentrated and are far more rich, without being watered down. As a result, lamb meal contains 300% more protein than fresh lamb!

Note: The Meal Is Real
You might have heard “meals” are unhealthy or bad for your dog – this can be true if you don’t know what meat they’re made from. With our food, you know that “lamb meal” is made from fresh lamb, with no “by-products”, “digests”, or unspecified meats – just high quality concentrated lamb. Just like “pork meal” is a concentrated, nutrient-dense, highly digestible way to eat pork, and “herring meal” is all herring – and packed with omega-3s and omega-6s to promote a healthy coat. The meal is the real deal. We promise.

2. Fruits, Veggies & Carbs
No grains, just wholesome goodness. If you and your doggie live in the Eastern part of the States, your bag of Lamb food will be full of starchy carbs like sweet potatoes as well as natural protein and fiber sources: peas, lentils, and chickpeas. Then we sweetened the deal (and lamb meal) naturally with tomato pomace (a mixture made from crushed skins, seeds, and pulp), dried cranberries, and dried blueberries. Living it up on the West Coast? Your doggies is dining on peas, pea starch, sweet potato, tomato, and dried blueberries. You might be thinking, sure, but what is pea starch? It’s an extremely digestible, gluten-free, tasty carbohydrate that will give your doggie long-lasting energy.

3. Additional Protein Sources
Doggies in the Eastern United States dine on duck meal, salmon meal, and pea protein. Delish! Doggies in the Western US will enjoy Lamb recipe made with pork meal, dried egg, and herring meal. All of these are nutrient-dense sources of protein that are easily digestible for most doggies.

4. Other Important Ingredients
Here’s where we get to the good stuff – your doggie loves our food because we include healthy and hearty fats and natural flavorings to every single batch. Things like chicken fat, fish oil, dried kelp, and salt. We want your doggies to be satiated and satisfied with their meals, so we add a couple ingredients that deliver big time when it comes to bold flavors. Check them all out on our website – we’ve made sure to include every single ingredient.

5. Vitamins & Minerals
This is where we get into the nitty gritty. Your doggie has already gotten all the macro-nutrients they need: Protein, Carbs, and Fats. Now, we need to make sure your doggie is also getting proper vitamins and nutrients to thrive. We worked with experts to create the perfect blend so that if your dog only eats YaDoggie – they’ll get everything they need. Things like folic acid that’s good for blood building, and manganese sulfate, which is necessary for the development of strong bones. Take a look at our website for the complete list. And we know, some of these words are science-y and sound strange, we offer simple explanations so you know exactly what your doggie is getting.

Our goal is twofold: ensure all doggies across the land have access to the high-quality food – and that we empower their parents, owners, and caretakers with knowledge to feed them well. We love the doggies in our lives, and food is love. We want to make sure we show them love by feeding them with healthy, hearty, delicious dog food every day. If some of the ingredients are unfamiliar to you, please check out our website. We’ve listed out each ingredient, and it’s benefits, so that you know what’s in the bowl.

And if something is still confusing, or you’re curious about an ingredient – drop us a line! We’re always happy to chat about our recipes. Email us @

Get Your Doggie To Take Their Meds With These Tips and Tricks

Having a sick doggie is so sad – it sucks when our best buds don’t feel well, and it particularly stinks when you have to give them medicine they hate. There’s no explaining or reasoning with a doggie – you just gotta figure out how to get them to take the meds. Doggies are a lot like children in this regard.

Think about what would make your doggie happy and convince them to eat the pill… the answer? Their favorite foods. Treats. Meats. Things they rarely or never get to eat. What you need is a vessel, and these five options will help you camouflage any pill so your doggie takes the medicine and gets better soon.

Peanut Butter Makes It Better
If you’ve done “the peanut butter thing” with your doggie to great success – meaning, if you’ve let them lick peanut butter off a spoon and they’ve come back wanting more – this could work for you. Peanut butter has a potent smell and strong flavor, so it can mask many medicinal capsules. Plus, the consistency is great for containing a pill; since the butter is tacky, the pill won’t likely slip off the spoon or fall out of the doggie’s mouth. Simply scoop some peanut butter onto a spoon, then nestle a capsule in the middle, tucking it in so that it’s not visible. Then, offer the delicious bite to your doggie, and have a bowl of water nearby – they’ll likely be thirsty after that savory treat!

Sausages Are Super
If your doggie is a meat-lover, special sausages might be the perfect thing to use. Check the ingredients on store-bought variety, picking the cleanest one you can; you know how we are here at YaDoggie – we think food should be food, so steer clear of sausages containing artificial flavors, additives, and preservatives. (You can make your own at home, too, if you’re so inclined.) Warming up the sausage just a little bit will make it extra tasty and juicy, then just cut a chunk of it big enough to enclose the pill, and offer it up to your doggie. They’ll likely be so excited to have such a treat, they won’t notice the pill inside. The more tasty the vessel is, the more it will mask that medicinal flavor.

Cheese, Please
Another food that could work, especially and only if your doggie doesn’t have any dairy allergies, is regular old cheese. Try a plain piece first, to make sure your doggie will eat all of it without issue, and then use cheese to disguise pills whenever you need to. You’ll want to use a common semi-hard cheese, like cheddar or Jack – something you can easily push a pill into. Then, just cut a cube or two, give your doggie the cube without the treat to get them interested, and then follow up with the medical one. Two bites, and you’re done!

Homemade Pill Pockets
If you’re feeling up for a project on top of having a sick doggie – something to keep you busy while they’re resting could be making your own pill pockets. A quick search on Pinterest provides you with a variety of shapes and flavors and ideas to get those pills into your doggie’s system.  From straight-forward to rather ambitious, you can find a project that will suit you and your doggie.

Trick With Treats
If you have YaDoggie treats on hand (which obviously you should), or any of the options above aren’t working, you might need to trick your doggie with treats. Your doggie may have caught onto your motives, and now you need to get a little creative to encourage them to take their medicine. One way to go about this is to have multiple treats at the ready, and give them a few plain – no medicine. Then, slip them a bite with the medicine, either wrapping the medicine up in a treat, or using any of the examples above. After that? Follow up with another plain treat.  Basically, you’d get them interested in eating more, convince them that there’s nothing they don’t like coming, and then give them the pill. It’s not an ideal option, but sometimes you gotta do what works for you and your doggie.

Do you have tricks and special treats that help your doggie take medicine more easily? Let us know in the comments below.

How To Keep Your Doggie Warm In Cold Weather

Fall is here, and while that means some glorious days ahead for us, here on the California coast, we know many parts of the country are starting to see temperatures drop. When the weather turns cold, we humans bust out a new wardrobe, as well as change some of our routines and eating habits – it’s super important to do the same for our doggies.

If you live in a climate that gets cold and windy – we’re talking snow and ice on the ground, especially – think about how you’re going to keep your doggie happy, healthy, and warm this fall and winter.

Proper Attire
It’s coat and sweater season for everyone! Besides being distinguished and dapper, dress your doggie in a warm layer and they’ll feel warm regardless of the elements. Small, short-haired doggies have harder times maintaining a comfortable temperature when it’s cold, so definitely prepare to dress them well. Senior dogs and puppies struggle with this as well, so plan accordingly for those pups.

Proper Hydration
We often think of warmer months being the time to ensure one’s doggie is drinking enough water, but the truth is – hydration is crucial year-round. And in the cold and winter months, we need to make sure that doggies have access to clean, fresh water so their systems keep chugging along smoothly. Also, if their water bowls are typically kept outside,bring them in, or check frequently to make sure the water hasn’t frozen over.

Outside + Active
Keeping your doggie inside during the worst of the weather is your best bet. Even dogs with thick coats should not be exposed to freezing temps all day. Limit their time outside, and plan to be outside only when they are going to be moving – going for a walk or getting exercises in other ways. And, as noted above, bundle them up and make sure they have access to drinkable (i.e., not frozen) water.

Outside + Protected
If your doggies must stay outside for extended times during rough weather, you can do a couple things to keep them safe from the worst weather. Providing shelter from the wind is crucial, so a small a cozy dog house, raised off the ground, would be good. Plus, cover the door with something waterproof, like a heavy plastic, so keep out rain, sleet, and snow. Covering the floor of the space with hay or cedar chips will also cozy it up.

Clean Feet
Just like you’d wipe your boots after being out in the rain and snow, wipe off your doggie’s paws, too. Especially if you live somewhere it snows, ice, salt, and anti-freeze could be on your doggie’s paws. The latter is poisonous if doggies ingest it, and the other two would be just uncomfortable.  

Pay Attention To Signs
The biggest threats that inclement weather can bring to your doggies, are the same ones we humans face, too. Hypothermia and frostbite can happen to doggies, so watch your doggie to see if they are shivering, or trying to get warmer, or if they have painful patches of skin.

Does it get really cold where you live? How do you keep your doggie comfortable? Tell us in the comments below.

Doggier Owner 101: Housecleaning Hacks

When you share your home with doggies, you need to be ready to take on some extra tidying-up responsibilities. Whether there’s shedding or the occasional accident, it’s going to be a lot easier to keep on top of the housecleaning when you have a few helpful hacks to lean on. Here’s a quick list of our favorite ways to maintain a less-messy space so you can enjoy your doggie and your home, too.

Fur-Free Solutions
If you’re noticing hair and fur build-up on your rugs and carpets, or couches, these tips require simple household items and will make clean-up a breeze.

  • Did you know dryer sheets are like man’s best magnets for pet hair? One sheet can collect a big wad of fur, simply by wiping down the surfaces of your chairs and couches.
  • If your doggie’s been brushing up against you, it’s likely your pants are covered in fur. Use packing tape to pull dor hair off your clothes easily, just be careful not to use on delicate fabrics such as silk or intricately woven items.
  • If you have rubber gloves in the kitchen, give them a break from the dishes and get a hold of your upholstery. When you wet down rubber gloves, pet hair will stick to them.
  • Scrap down your rugs with a window squeegee and watch how much doggie hair you can collect with each go.
  • Of course, covering your couches and chairs with blankets, towels, or specially-made sheets would also help keep your furniture clean if shedding is a problem. Simply remove the covering, shake outside, and wash before replacing.

Urine Luck
Need new solutions to puddles of pee? Clean-up the mess, and take care of the smell with these easy tips.

  • If your excitable doggie has an accident in your arms, or somehow you wind up with urine on your clothes, don’t stress. Add some apple cider vinegar to the soiled load of laundry to clean away the mess and smell.
  • Find a wet spot on your rug? Pour over some baking soda, let it sit for 10-30 minutes, then vacuum it up. Baking soda is a great natural cleanser, and it neutralizes odors, too.

Scrape – Not Scoop – The Poop
Alas, cleaning up after number two is twice as involved as cleaning up urine. Still, a couple household items will make it easier. Put on those rubber gloves we talked about above, and get a dustpan, as well as something to scrape the poop – maybe a paint scraper? Try to scrape as much poop into the dustpan as you can, and dispose of it. Then, try to get the rest with wet paper towels or cloths. Once the area is clear of visible poop, using laundry detergent or carpet cleaning to treat it along with warm warmer and a scrub brush. Lastly, to nip lingering odors in the bud, blot the area with vinegar and pour over some baking soda. Let that combo sit overnight, then vacuum it all up.

Vomit Victory
Speaking of all the bodily functions, let’s not forget this one. It’s not fun to find a pile of throw-up anywhere, let alone inside your home. And while your gut reaction might be to burn the place down clean it up right away, it’s actually easier to clean up once dried-out and firmer. You can vacuum it up, then spot-treat the stain as you normally would.

How do you clean up after your doggie? Tell us your ideas in the comments below.

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.

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.

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.

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 Doggie

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.


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


  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.


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


  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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Old, long, clean sock
  • Tennis ball


  • 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.


  • 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)


  • 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!