Category: Feed and Fuel (page 1 of 2)

Doggie-Friendly Instant Pot Bone Broth – A Perfect Topper For Dry Food!

When the winter wind blows, we need to keep our favorite furry friends warm and cozy. One easy way to do this is by making a bone broth “topper” for your YaDoggie dog food. Have you ever made your own broth or stock before? It might sound hard and complicated, but it really couldn’t be easier. Simply put bones (chicken, turkey, beef, or a combo) in a pot, cover in water, add a splash of something acidic, like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, and cook. For hours – even days, for the ambitious.

While some folks like to have it simmer on the stove all day, here at YaDoggie HQ we make ours in a slow cooking device, such as a CrockPot. Except then somebody* scored an Instant Pot over the holidays, and has been going to town whipping up doggie-friendly dishes. Do you have one? It’s a pressure cooker, and can make things like bone broth or stock in a couple hours. It’s amazing.

However you cook your bone broth, you’ll simply spoon it over your doggie’s serving of food in their bowl for serving. Note that it’s nicest if you can have the broth slightly warmer than room temp, but not hot. No scalding mouths, please! It shouldn’t be anywhere close to steaming. As for serving portions, depending on the size of your doggie, a few tablespoons to half a cup would be a good place to start.

Also, if it’s not cold where you are, you can freeze broth into ice cubes, and give them to your doggie for a nutrient-dense, yet refreshing treat.

Here’s a recipe for slow-cooked doggie-friendly bone broth we like from our pals at Rover.

If you’re interested in using your Instant Pot, we like this tutorial for human-focused recipes. We’ve adapted a doggie-friendly version from that article.

Instant Pot Bone Broth for Doggies
Adapted from Instant Pot Bone Broth by Amy+Jacky
Ingredients:
Optional: 1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds animal bones (turkey, chicken, beef)
8 cups water
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
Handful of spinach
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Optional First Step: Sautéeing The Bones

  1. Sauté your bones in olive oil using the saute function on your Instant Pot. This step creates a depth in flavor that is nice but not necessary.
  2. Once the bones are browned, deglaze the pot with ½ cup of water, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon and stirring them in.

Regular Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients (minus olive oil and ½ cup water if you skipped the optional sautéeing step) in the Instant Pot.
  2. Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 2 hours.
  3. Next, allow for a Full Natural Release (~45 mins).
  4. Strain the broth through a colander, into a large pot or bowl.
  5. Allow broth to cool, and skim as much fat as you can; discard the fat.
  6. Serve slightly warmer than room temp, poured over dry YaDoggie dog food, and store as ice cubes, or in a sealed container in the fridge.

*It was Sol.  🙂

YaDoggie Recipe 101: Treats

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 the recipes for our all-natural Jerky Treats. Curious about our other offerings? Check out Lamb, Buffalo & Duck, and our (limited-ingredient) Turkey dog food recipes as well!

Does your dog love the taste of smoky, tender, meaty treats?

Of course.

Of course they do – the answer is always YES.

Yes, you dog goes crazy for smoky, tender, meaty treats. In fact, our treats are so good that when you (human dog parent) smell our Jerky Treats, you will want some of your own. Apologies, folks, we only make treats for dogs because dogs are our favorite.

You might be wondering what exactly goes into our jerky treats – well, we have two flavors:

YaDoggie is all about feeding our doggies the best, most nutritious ingredients we can get out hands on. We don’t add filler and junk to our dog food, and we sure aren’t going to add any garbage to our treats. We’re proud to say that both Straight-Up Beef and Beef & Sweet Potatoes has only the good stuff, and no nonsense foods.

  • Both are made from grass-fed beef.
  • Both are high in protein.
  • Neither bag contains grain, corn, wheat, or soy fillers.
  • There are zero artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in the treats.
  • We never add nitrates or nitrites to our treats… because gross.
  • Treats come in bite-sized snacks great for dogs of all sizes.

In fact, both recipes contain a very simple list of ingredients, including: Beef, Brown Sugar, Garlic Powder, Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar, Paprika. Add sweet potato for the bag of treats that doesn’t claim to be “Straight-Up Beef.” Want more details? Head to our website to get the full breakdown of nutrition and ingredients.

Our goal here at YaDoggie 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 its 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 @ hello@yadoggie.com.

YaDoggie Recipe 101: Turkey & Pea (Limited-Ingredient Recipe)

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 limited-ingredient Turkey recipe. Curious about our other offerings? Check out Lamb and Buffalo & Duck recipes, and our all-natural Jerky Treats as well!

Does your doggie require a carefully-crafted meal made from high-quality, but limited ingredients? Maybe you’re looking for a lower calorie alternative to our other foods? Well,  we have good news for you! YaDoggie’s Turkey & Pea dog food is grain-free, and features a streamlined list of ingredients for doggies with more sensitive systems. And at 340 calories per cup, it’s the lowest calorie dog food we make.

As you know, our dog food is made for dogs by dog owners. We love our doggies. We love feeding our doggies. And we want to give them the best food to fuel their bodies. YaDoggie Turkey & Pea recipe is grain-free, and packed with protein, vitamins, minerals to keep your doggie healthy and happy.

YaDoggie Turkey & Pea dog food is made up of the five following categories:

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

1. Core Protein
We call it a core protein if it’s written right there on the bag, so turkey it is! Since we wanted to make a recipe for selective or sensitive doggies, we wanted to keep it simple. Tukey & Pea features both turkey meat and turkey meal as the first and second ingredients listed. This tells you that the main source of protein is coming straight from pure turkey, in its natural form, and meal form. What’s the difference?  The meal is essentially a concentrated (water and fat removed) version of the protein source. Most foods contain quite a lot of water, so when we take that out, you’re left with nutrients and rich flavor. As a result, turkey meal contains 300% more protein than fresh turkey meat.

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 “turkey meal” is made from fresh turkey meat, without any “by-products”, “digests”, or unspecified meats – just high quality concentrated turkey. Our meal is the real deal. We promise.

2. Veggies & Carbs
No grains, just wholesome goodness. Keeping it simple here, too – we don’t want your doggies with a more selective palette or sensitive digestion to scoff or suffer at the flavor of our food. We only added peas, pea starch, and dried beet pulp to the recipe, keeping the flavor clean and sweet. Plus, peas and beets will help fill your doggie up on fiber, and keep their energy going thanks to clean carbohydrates. Plus, the natural sweetness derived beets will make for fantastic flavor.

3. Other Protein Sources
We know your dog might have digestive issues or allergies, but we want to ensure they get all the protein they need, so we include pea protein in this recipe. A vegetable based protein source loaded with high quality, palatable, and digestible proteins, pea protein also has a fair amount of important amino acids.

4. Other Important Ingredients
Every doggie’s favorite category: other important ingredients include healthy fats and delicious, natural flavors. Poultry fat, sunflower oil, and flaxseed provide beneficial nutrients and boost the flavor for your doggies. Herbs like rosemary extract and a little salt, too, will make this mix a hit for doggies at home. 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
Ready to talk supplements? 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 calcium Iodate that protects and helps to build healthy bones and teeth as well as maintain a regular heartbeat and prevention of muscle cramping. Or Vitamin B12 supplement that helps to prevent anemia, and protects the nervous system. 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 its 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 @ hello@yadoggie.com.

YaDoggie Recipes 101: Buffalo & Duck

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 Buffalo & Duck recipe. Curious about our other offerings? Check out Lamb and (limited-ingredient!) Turkey recipes, and our all-natural Jerky Treats as well!

Bring on the buffalo! And duck. And all the other deliciousness doggies like. Today we’re talking about our Buffalo & Duck recipe – which doggie doesn’t love this one? It’s rich, it’s meaty, it’s hearty — we’re sorry you can’t have it for lunch. As you know, our dog food is made for dogs by dog owners. We love our doggies. We love feeding our doggies. And we want to give them the best food ever. For many doggies out there – that’s means our Buffalo & Duck recipe; it’s grain-free, and packed with protein, vitamins, minerals to keep your doggie healthy and happy.

YaDoggie Buffalo & Duck dog food is made up of the four following categories:

  1. Core Proteins
  2. Veggies & Carbs
  3. Other Important Ingredients (such as healthy fats & natural flavorings)
  4. Vitamins & Minerals

1. Core Proteins
We call it a core protein if it’s written right there on the bag, and in this case Buffalo & Duck features meal made from? You guessed it! Buffalo AND duck. Buffalo meal is a unique, exotic, and highly-digestible, nutrient-dense source of protein. Duck meal is also super easy for your doggie to digest, and has a low fat content. Duck is hypoallergenic, too, meaning that Duck is proven to cause less allergic reactions in dogs as compared to other more common proteins like chicken. It also provides essential fatty acids and minerals. What’s the difference between the animal and the meal? The meal is essentially a concentrated (water and fat removed) version of the protein source. Most foods contain quite a lot of water, so when we take that out, you’re left with nutrients and rich flavor. As a result, buffalo meal contains 300% more protein than fresh buffalo meat, just as duck meal contains 300% more protein than fresh duck meat!

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 “buffalo meal” is made from fresh buffalo meat, without any “by-products”, “digests”, or unspecified meats – just high quality concentrated buffalo. Just like “duck meal” is a concentrated, nutrient-dense, highly digestible way to eat duck meat. Our meal is the real deal. We promise.

2. Veggies & Carbs
No grains, just wholesome goodness. We’re talking chickpeas, green peas, lentils, dried beet pulp, dried carrots, and dried spinach. All of these veggies and naturally starchy carbs fill your doggie up with fiber, and keep their energy going thanks to clean carbohydrates. Plus, the natural sweetness derived from each ingredient boosts the flavor in every bite.

3. Other Important Ingredients
Mmmmmmmm healthy fats; chicken fat, fish oil, and flaxseed will make this recipe taste super delicious to your doggie. Add a little turmeric for anti-inflammatory properties, and salt for flavor, and your doggie will be begging for more. 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.

4. Vitamins & Minerals
Okay, let’s get down into the details. 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 biotin that promotes healthy skin and coats, or zinc sulfate,a source of zinc which is essential for insulin formation and immune function. 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 its 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 @ hello@yadoggie.com.

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 @ hello@yadoggie.com.

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.

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 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!

Doggie 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!

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