Easy Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats

Every fall, the entire universe turns to thoughts of Pumpkin-Spiced this or that. We’re fairly certain your pup wants in on that pumpkin action. So we created an amazingly easy recipe for homemade pumpkin dog treats that your pooch will devour.

Homemade Pumpkin Dog Treats Directions

This recipe uses only three main ingredients: Real pumpkin puree, a rich source of fiber, helping with digestion. Peanut butter, a healthy source of all natural fats and proteins. And Brown Rice Flour. The optional cinnamon is non-toxic to dogs and gives the treats a tantalizing aroma.
image2Here’s what you’ll need:
* 1/2 can 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree, not pumpkin pie filling, plain pumpkin.
* 1 3/4  Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour
* 1 cup Peanut Butter
* 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon (Optional)
* 1 or 2 Cookie Sheets
* Parchment Paper

Directions:
image11. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper while preheating the over to 350° Fahrenheit.
2. In a large bowl, first stir together peanut butter and pumpkin. Next, fold in in the flour 1/4 cup at a time
3. Once the dough is no longer sticky, roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4? thick.
4. Use a festive holiday cookie cutter to cut out the dough, like bat or pumpkin shapes, then place them on the prepared a pan.
5. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes.

Let cool completely before sharing with your pup. You can easily store and freeze these treats for 3 – 4 months  or until your next holiday celebration – or whenever that adorable fuzzy face comes looking for them.

5 Quick Halloween Pet Safety Tips

halloween cat safety

Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. With the excitement Halloween generates, it can be easy to forget the real dangers for your pets. Here’s a quick list of Halloween Pet Safety Tips you might want to keep handy this Halloween:

  1. Chocolate–  The darker the chocolate the more poisonous to you pet.  It contains caffeine and theobromine, can lead to various medical complications and even be fatal.
  2. Candy–  Large ingestions of sugary, high-fat candy can lead to pancreatitis, which may not show up for two to four days after the pet ingests the candy. Also, be cautious of candy covered in Xylitol, that powder substance you find on wrapped gum. It can be instantly deadly to pets
  3. Candy Wrappers–  Can get stuck in your pet’s airway causing them too choke. Wrappers can also damage or block the digestive system.
  4. Raisins–  Although a healthier treat for humans, it can cause kidney failure in cats and dogs.
  5. Costumes–  We all love to see a pet in a costume and some of us dress up our own.  However, be sure not to restrict movement, vision and more importantly airway movement.

These are just a very few of many safety tips and actions for survival that are covered in our PetTech First Aid and PetSaver classes.  If you want to know more about pet safety, wellness and pet first aid/ CPR, come sign up for a class by clicking here.

 

3 Simple 4th Of July Pet Tips

4th of July

It’s the biggest party of summer! July 4th brings about family and friends, cookouts, fireworks and fun. But your pets may not find the holiday as much fun as you. So we’ve compiled three simple 4th of July pet tips to help you out.

Fireworks make the Fourth of July holiday the number one day each year when pets are reported lost. The crackle and booms of fireworks draw oohs and aahs from humans, but they can be downright terrifying for dogs and cats.

Don’t let your pet add to the statistic this Forth of July. Take a few steps to ensure they are ready for the big celebration. Here’s a few 4th Of July oet tips to keep your happy safe this July 4th:

dog id tags1. Update your pet’s microchip information and secure their ID tags today: Start with the worst case scenario: your pet escapes during the fireworks display. Give them the best chance of being returned to you by updating their microchip information and add tags to their collar with their name, your address and phone number.

 

dog walking2. Walk your dogs and feed your pets late afternoon: Don’t wait until dark to take your dog for a walk. Take them out before sunset to do their business. Feed them early to help move along the process.

 

cat sleeping3. Create a safe zone in your home: Pick a room with few or no windows. Create a comfortable place for them with their favorite blanks, bedding or toys. Turn on the TV, radio, or use a white noise machine to muffle sounds. If possible, don’t leave your pet home alone. (If you are taking your pet along to a celebration, make sure they are not left alone. Keep them by your side and for dogs, bring lots of treats to reassure them during any big fireworks displays.)

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate with family. By taking these simple steps, you’ll create a holiday that’s enjoyable for you and your furry family members.

5 Fun Facts About The Chihuahua

ChihuahuaOne of the most popular breeds of dog in the world is the Chihuahua. They actually hover around the 20th most popular breed in the US for each year surveyed.

Small and spunkiness are the key features of this breed. They are also known to be loyal to a fault – it’s said a Chihuahua can die of a broken heart if separated from it’s owner.

Here are 5 Fun Facts you may not know about the much loved Chihuahua:

  1. Chihuahuas were originally known as the Arizona Dog, for the predominance along the present day Arizona and Mexico boarder.
  2. Archeologists have found remains of the Chihuahua in dog effigy pots buried deep in ancient Mexican tombs. Scientists have a consensus that the breed may be a descendent of the Techichi breed, who’s remains have been found dating back as far as 300 BCE.
  3. Chihuahuas are the smallest breed of dog with a average weight around 10lbs. For show dogs, the suggested weight is 6-7lbs. Chihuahua puppies can weigh just a few grams at birth!
  4. The “Taco Bell Dog” served as Taco Bell’s mascot from 1994 to 2002 and is credited with the breed’s popularity explosion over the last two decades. (Bonus Fact: The Taco Bell dog was a female named Gidget.)
  5. Small breed dogs outlive their larger counterparts, but the Chihuahua can live 10-18 years with many living a long and full life of 20 years.

5 Fun Facts About The Chihuahua If you’re considering adding a Chihuahua to your family, here’s a couple things to know about owning the breed:

  • These small dogs are susceptible to serious dental conditions. A program of brushing their teeth early on his a good way to prevent illness or sickness caused by gum and tooth infections
  • Known to be nippy and protective, a good dog training program is required from puppy to adolescent ages.
  • The Chihuahua is highly susceptible to separation anxiety and boredom. Lots of exercise and walking is key to the foundation of managing these conditions. A bored or anxious Chihuahua can also be very “barky” and aggressive towards strangers or other dogs.

 

Orlando Dog Trainer: The Positive Interrupter – A Tool More Powerful Than No

Nobody Likes To Hear No

Many people get frustrated when they can’t seem to communicate with their dogs. Often times they will fall into a cycle of saying, “No” “No” “No” when their dog is doing something they don’t like. Unfortunately, dogs don’t speak English.

Dogs can certainly tell by the tone of your voice that you are displeased. In all likelihood, telling or yelling “No!” over and over will increase stress in your pup. Most likely, Sparky may even tune you out.

This Orlando Dog Trainer Believes In Positivity

Orlando Dog TrainerLet’s do a little Classical Conditioning with your pooch. (Remember Pavlov’s dog?)

For the next few days make a kissing noise and give your dog a really delicious treat-for NO reason.

His behavior is irrelevant. He doesn’t have to look at you. He doesn’t have to sit. He doesn’t have to stop what he is doing.

Just walk up to your dog, make a kissing noise and give him a piece of grilled chicken or chicken hot dog. Make sure it’s something extraordinary, not his normal treat. Do this a dozen times a day for several days.

Happy Results

What you will notice very quickly is that when you make that kissing noise, your dog will swing his head around in anticipation of the really delicious treat. Now you’ve got a “Positive Interrupter” that you can use to get your dog’s attention away from unwanted activities and you can redirect him to something YOU want him to do.

Instead of inducing stress with “No!” You are interrupting him with the positive feelings of your Classically Conditioned kissing noise.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further, feel free to call me any time at 321-345-7387 ext 2.

Classical Conditioning: A Foundation Of Dog Training

2014-10-13_1413210572My dog, Chase is a “rescue” dog in the most literal sense of the word, rescue. We learned about Chase when we were just launching Big Paw Pet Care. All we ‘knew’ about him was from a frantic email exchange from a friend; an older German Shepherd Dog with a broken leg, and he had 15-minutes to live.

What we got was a one-year-old possible Australian Cattle Dog mix that had been living on the street with a dislocated toe and a huge fear of diesel trucks.

The Adoption

The exchange went down like a hostage swap in a Hardee’s parking lot halfway between Orlando and Sebring, FL. Chase was 35 pounds of skin and bones and looked like a malnourished coyote even after 10 days of dog-pound food . We found on the ride home, Chase’s fear of all things truck. When we would approach a semi truck driving down the highway, this soon-to-be 53-pound dog would try desperately to crawl under the back of the passenger seat of our Saturn Vue.

After letting Chase acclimate to his new ‘foster’-home, our first plan of attack to work on his fear of trucks was to try and create positive associations. We had to desensitize the poor little street urchin through Classical Conditioning.

What is Classical Conditioning?

Classical ConditioningClassical Conditioning is defined as: In Psychology, a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired; a response that is at first elicited by the second stimulus is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone.

Think Pavlov’s dog. Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist. A short version of what Pavlov did: Pavlov would ring a bell immediately before giving his dog food. He found after repeatedly pairing these two stimuli that when he would ring the bell, his dog would salivate even without the presentation of food.

Putting Theory To Work

With this in mind, Chase and I loaded up in the car with a stash of chicken hotdog bits and went out hunting down diesel trucks and semis. Every time we neared a truck, I would quickly start flipping little pieces of hotdogs into the back seat. It helped that Chase was extremely food motivated. Chase would squirm and get as far away and a low as possible when we got too close. But, it didn’t matter. As long as we were in the presence of trucks, hotdogs would fall from the sky.

Unexpected Result

A few short weeks later, as I was stopped at a stoplight and distracted with my own thoughts, I noticed Chase standing with his front paws on the center console. As I turned to him, I noticed a semi-truck directly next to us. In my blissfully unaware state, I had failed to see the truck pull up beside us.

But Chase didn’t. Chase knew that the truck meant something. In his mind, he was saying, “Hey, where are my hotdogs? Hotdogs should be falling from the sky!”

We successfully modified the association Chase had with trucks from one of fear to one of pleasure. Trucks no longer meant terror. Trucks meant something delicious.

Pet First Aid Month: Pet Wellness Assessment

In our Pet Tech First Aid Classes we show students how to perform a Snout-To-Tail Wellness Assessment. It’s a systematic method to set a baseline for your pet’s everyday health. The more you know about your pet’s body, normal bumps and lumps, the better prepared you will be if something abnormal appears.

Remember: Early detection means early intervention.

It is also a good bonding experience for you and your pet. You should be able to touch all parts of your pet without them becoming nervous or agitated. Doing regular Snout-To-Tail Wellness Assessments makes your pet comfortable with being touched and helps your pet be more comfortable being examined by the veterinarian.

The Assessment

IMG_2301Starting with your pet’s snout, check for any abnormal discharges or cracking in the nose, tenderness in the muzzle. Move on to the eyes- do they appear? Are they tracking together?

Next, its time to inspect the mouth, teeth and gums. Look for swelling, smells or odors. Followed by the head, skull, neck, spine and skin. Do you know what the signs of mites or infection may be? Chest and ribs should be free should be free of lumps, easily feel the ribs under the coat and breathing should be smooth, rhythmic and easy.

Move each of your pet’s legs independently to see if there’s any wincing or pain, they should move fluidly with no interruptions. Move on to the stomach and genitals. Giving slight pressure to the abdomen, check for signs of bloat. Do you know the seriousness of bloat and how it should be handled?

Finally, we’re at the tail. It should have a full range of motion, but don’t push your pet’s tail beyond it’s normal range.

Celebrate Pet First Aid Month: Take A Class

There you have it! A wellness assessment for your pet that’s easy, thorough and repeatable. The assessment is intended to find irregularities in the coat, skin, lumps or bumps that may have changed since your last assessment.

If you’d like to learn first hand how to complete this Snout-To-Tail assessment, sign up for our one of Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR or PetSaver classes today. It’s fun, interactive, informative and most importantly – hands on.

Windermere Dog Walkers Warn Pee Pads Cause Problems

Every morning I, like everyone else, scroll through Facebook to check up on family, friends and (sadly) catch a bit of news. With each view comes the obligatory ad or two for products you may or may not have heard about already. This morning an ad for PeePooPads.com scrolled through my feed. Pee Poo Pads promise to “save you money, protect your floors and make house training a breeze”.

The ad also stated that Pee Poo Pads are cheaper than dog walkers. But are they? [Read more…]

Walk With Your Dog: Help Yourself

walking with your dogWhen I was in the Air Force, we had to wear boots for work. I had never worn boots before. I left the Air Force after my first hitch. One thing I noticed immediately was my ankles had become very weak. My boots had been supporting my ankles for years and therefore my muscles hadn’t had to support my natural body movement. [Read more…]

Pet Exercise: Key To A Long Life

Does Your Pet Exercise?

Pet ExerciseSadly, 60% of pets in the US are obese. Most lead a very sedentary lifestyle, much like us humans. Truth is, not only does this cause stresses on your pets physical well being, but also on their mental wellbeing.

Rex and Mr. Pickles may appear to be healthy, but have you noticed increases in bad behaviors lately? Chewing clothing or furniture, excessive licking of paws (dogs), aggressiveness or short temperedness? These are all signs of a mentally “bored” pet. Dogs and cats require not only physical stimulation of exercise, but the mental stimulation that goes along with it.

There are Tools to Exercise Pets

For Cats: Consider buying a Cat Tree or climbing device. (Check out some examples by clicking the link) You can also hide treats in toys like this or that and place them around the cat tree or house. Make them earn their reward. Laser pointers are an easy stimulant that most cats love to chase.

Just be careful not to overdo it and keep play time limited to a few minutes at a time. Cats won’t give up a chase game easily and, for example, when a cat starts panting, it means you’ve played too hard for too long.

For Dogs: Today veterinarians are recommending no less than 60 minutes of walk time per day minimum. And no, backyard time doesn’t count – to a dog, the fenced in backyard is just another big, airy room in your home. Dogs need to get out and check their “pee-mail” on trees or fire hydrants, sniff the grass and track things.

Know this doesn’t mean you have to walk your dog 60 minutes at a time. For most of us, 15-minutes before work, 15-30-minutes after work and then another walk before bed is plenty opportunity to get up to that 60 minute mark. For those of you who work super long hours or have plenty of after school activities to attend, consider purchasing a daily dog walking package from Big Paw Pet Care to help fill in the times you may not be able to make it home.

It’s amazing how just a few extra minutes of walk time will improve your dogs temperament almost overnight.