Posts tagged ‘dogs’

February 10, 2014

Treats for Your Sweets–Homemade Love

dog with heartsAre some of your favorite valentines of the furred or feathered persuasion? Mine too! Because I’m a cat mama, I’ve often wondered what tasty treats I could fix that are also gentle on our cats’ sensitive stomachs. I know our fur children are spoiled rotten, but I can’t help myself! In rooting around for pet-friendly recipes, I found all kinds of cute ideas. Here are a few recipes to get you started treating the treasured beasties in your life. Note: Before you strap on your apron, it’s always a good idea to first check with your vet about foods your pet cannot or should not consume.

Furry Felines

black and white vcat heart

Baked Tuna Hearts: Take canned tuna, shape into little hearts, and then bake in the oven until warm. For a little extra craziness, you can add a bit of catnip to the hearts. Remember, all cat treats should be shared in small doses—too much unaccustomed food, fat, sugar, or anything can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion for your kitty.

Heart-Shaped Melons: You can use fresh watermelon or cantaloupe and cut the melon into heart shapes, if you like. But if you don’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, a sharp knife will do—and as we all know, cats couldn’t give a flip what shape their fruit is in. They want the sweet treats, pronto!

Mashed Frozen Banana: Sounds good enough for us people to eat, right?  Just slice a banana, freeze it, then when you are ready, blend the frozen banana into a creamy, icy treat. Or you can thaw the banana a bit and mash with a spoon.

More Ideas: The Pet Café (part of the Cockatiel Cottage site I mention later in this post) has lots of ideas not only for your feline friends but also for dogs and, of course, birds. Love it!


Doggie Love

dog with treats

Warning: There are a few foods that you do NOT want to use. Dogs can become very ill if they consume chocolate or cocoa (use carob as a substitute), grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, alcohol, onions, coffee grounds, and potato leaves/stems/sprouts.

Sweet Dog Treats


  • 1 c. whole-wheat flour
  • ½ Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ c. natural peanut butter
  • ½ c. low-fat milk
  • Heart-shaped or bone-shaped cookie cutter


Start by preheating your oven to 475 degrees. next, combine flour and baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter with the milk. Add the wet mixture into the large bowl and mix thoroughly until it creates a dough.

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface until it is about ¼-in. thick. Use your cookie cutter to cut out treats. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for 12-14 minutes. Make sure to let them cool before giving them to your pup friend! Recipe courtesy of Aromatic Delights and the Austin Humane Society.


More Ideas: Scampering Paws is packed with great information on all kinds of dog-related issues, and they have a fabulous amount of dog-friendly recipes. Check them out at

Another great site is the pet-centric division of PopSugar, aptly named PetSugar. Here’s the link to 8 pet-friendly recipes, including 1 for cats and another for birds. Super cute!


Feathered Friends

blue love birds

We don’t want to forget the bird owners out there, do we? Alyson Burgess, from About.Com, came up with this wonderful recipe:

Honey Banana Birdie Bites
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


* 2 Whole Bananas
* 1 Egg
* 1/4 cup Honey
* 3 tbsp. Banana (or other fruit) Baby Food
* 1/4 cup Millet, Oats, or Chopped Almonds
* 1 tsp. Vegetable Oil

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet with 1 tsp. of vegetable oil and set aside. Peel both bananas and slice them into discs with a sharp knife. In a medium sized bowl, combine the egg (shells optional), honey, and baby food. Dip banana discs into the mixture and place on the cookie sheet. Once you have all the discs in place, top them with millet, oats, or chopped almonds. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, and then let cool to room temperature.


More Ideas: The Cockatiel Cottage is another charming site I discovered. It is simply bursting with anything you could possibly imagine about caring for your cockatiel. What I really loved was the massive recipe index for cockatiels or other birds in your life. This whole site was a delight!

As you can see, there are so many great ideas out there for delighting your animal companions this Valentine’s Day. I’ll bet you find something really scrumptious!

Purrs & kisses, Brooke

My Tiki

My Tiki–he looks thrilled, doesn’t he? Ha!

May 12, 2013




What if your kid is furry and has more than 2 legs? Whether you were blessed with children or not, let’s not forget the moms who take care of our pets at home. It is still a nurturing job. From feeding, to walking, to playtime, to love, it is still a job that a pet mom still needs to be recognized for.

Rockstar and Paris

Rockstar and Paris

I personally don’t have children of my own due to major fertility issues, so I have the next best thing: dogs. My sweet little pets are treated like my children. I have 3 wonderful loving little Pomeranians named Playboy, Rockstar (Rocky for short), and Paris. I call my Pomeranian pack the Doodles. I love my doodles so much they make my heart jump for joy when I see them. I love how they always put a smile on my face.

We always dress them up for Halloween!

We always dress them up for Halloween!

These happy little creatures are so spoiled and demand a lot of attention and I am guilty to catering their every little need. I love how they communicate with me! The let me know if they need to go outside, when they are hungry, when they want to be picked up, when they are scared, and when they want to play. Believe it or not, all 3 communicate differently and I love their unique personalities.

Paris hamming it up for the camera

Paris hamming it up for the camera

We got Rockstar and Playboy first about 8 years ago. Rockstar and Playboy are from the same litter. These 2 brothers are always competing to see who is pack leader on a daily basis. So funny to see them compete against each other yet team up when they need each other. Rockstar is my little side kick. He follows me everywhere on the house. Watching my every move, he is very aware where I am at all times. Playboy could care less. All he cares about is lounging on the spiral staircase watching people walk by and when his next treat is. Playboy prefers his space. He will come to you when he needs something, otherwise, leave him alone.

The Doodles with Santa!

The Doodles with Santa!

Paris came a couple years later after we had the boys. My husband saw her and fell in love with her and we had furry family member #3. She is such a sweet pea. Probably the biggest lover out of all 3. She has those puppy eyes that make your heart melt, therefore she gets whatever she wants whenever she wants. It’s like having a 3rd child who is the baby of the family and gets a little more special treatment than the first 2 kids. My husband and I are guilty of spoiling her a little more than the boys. Don’t ask us why. We love them all very much, but there is something about her sweet little nature that we never say no.

Paris as a young pup and her Daddy Doodle!

Paris as a young pup and her Daddy Doodle!

So to all the pet mom’s out there who treat their furry family members like kids. Happy Mother’s Day! I know that they appreciate everything that you do for them especially love them!

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!


December 15, 2012

Happy and Safe Howlidays!

sweet doxy

Hi, there! This is Brooke, your pet-loving gal here. The holidays are in full swing, and you are probably up to your eyebrows in things to do, cookies to bake, and cards to send—I know I am! Here are some tips on keeping your cherished pets safe and happy during this festive season.

Christmas Trees

This is an example of a bad kitty!

This is an example of a bad kitty!

  1. Make sure to anchor your trees from adventurous kitties that climb and dogs with crazily wagging tails—you don’t want all your hard work “decking” the tree to come crashing down in the middle of your eggnog!
  2. If you have a live tree, keep your animals from drinking the tree water, which may be full of pesticides as well as bacteria from the stagnant water. Ingestion of these nasty things can cause diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach.
  3. Regardless of whether your tree is real or artificial, be sure to clean up the dropped needles often. Curious pets will eat those needles faster than you can say “No, don’t—!“ They are toxic and will cause vomiting, even if fake (trust me on this).
  4. Do not leave pets unattended with the Christmas tree, if possible. A fully decorated tree comes stocked with all kinds of dangerous “toys”:
    • Hot light strands can burn or electrocute dogs or cats, which have a tendency to chew on things. Keep light strands secured and covered or away from the lower levels of the tree.
    • Be sure to put glass or metal ornaments higher up on the tree, and watch for broken ornaments with sharp hooks or attachments—little paws can easily step on these items.
    • Tinsel may be beautiful, but it’s a big no-no, especially for cat households. Cats will ALWAYS find stringy, dangly items, and tinsel (along with other strings or wires) can be ingested and can get tangled in the stomach or intestines, leading to scary emergency surgery or even death if not caught in time. No thank you!!

Holiday Plants

Many plants that make our houses cherry and bright this time of year are bad news for our furry family members. For a more extensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants, check out this link from the ASPCA: If you suspect your pet has gotten into anything suspicious, whether plant, food, or otherwise, be sure to call your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic IMMEDIATELY. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year: (888) 426-4435.

Common Holiday Plants Your Pets Should Avoid

  1. Lilies: deadly to cats, can cause kidney failure
  2. Mistletoe (especially the berries): highly toxic, causes upset stomach and potentially fatal heart problems
  3. Holly: causes nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy
  4. Poinsettias: not as toxic as often thought, these should still be avoided as they can upset pets’ digestive system
  5. Amaryllis: causes diarrhea and vomiting
  6. Certain species of ivy, namely English ivy: can be extremely harmful if ingested

Forbidden Food and Drinks

fridge danger

We all know that your animal friends are very skilled at watching you pitifully as you shove another yummy treat in your mouth. Their doleful eyes entreat you to share a bit of delicious food with them. Don’t do it!! You can show your pets that you love them in so many healthier ways.

  1. Be sure and feed your pets before dinner or party guests arrive—that way, Spot will have a full tummy and be less likely to beg for scraps from your guests. Also, give your animals some special treats made just for them when they have been good (or just because), and politely ask your guests to avoid passing along tasty morsels to your pets.
  2. This shouldn’t even need to be mentioned, but be sure to keep the dogs and cats (and any other small creatures) in your house out of the booze and smokes. Even accidental ingestion of alcohol or nicotine by a curious pet can be deadly, so if your party is getting very merry—be careful!!
  3. Some foods that can be harmful to your furry friends are:
    • Turkey skin and gravy: can cause pancreatitis
    • Onions and onion powder: can destroy red blood cells, causing anemia
    • Chocolate: can damage the nervous system and urinary tract as well as the heart muscle; can be deadly
    • Grapes and raisins: grapes, especially, can cause kidney failure (who knew?)
    • Cooked bones, especially poultry bones: can tear or block the intestinal tract; these injuries can be fatal
    • Not a food but food items: strings that are used in turkeys or roast, as well as the little  “pop-up” thermometers; discarded aluminum foil; food and fixings garbage—make sure to keep these items picked up and thrown away, with garbage sealed tightly

Joy to the Animals

Christmas rat

We can absolutely include our furry or feathered family members in the holiday festivities—we just have to be smart pet parents. Stuff your pets’ stockings with worry-free toys, like rubber dog toys, indestructible Kongs filled with special treats, durable rope “bones”, size-appropriate balls, catnip mice, interactive krinkle mats, and even nesting boxes and soft hammocks for your favorite little rat!

Ok, you guys. Get to jingling those bells, and stay warm!



November 2, 2012

Heavenly Bakery for Your Dog

It’s Brooke here, wishing you a happy Friday! As soon as you walk into Three Dog
Bakery, one of four things may happen: 1) your spirit lights up like you’ve
just walked into Disneyland; 2) you break into a large and very goofy smile; 3)
you immediately turn green with envy because you want to sample all the delicious, rainbow-colored treats for
yourself; and 4) you start mentally cataloging all the things you have to buy
(argyle sweater, sparkly pink collar and leash, blue furry squeaky toy, doggie
biscuits of every description)—but wait! You don’t even have a dog!

These were my reactions when I stepped into the nirvana that is Three Dog Bakery in
Plano, Texas. What a wonderland of every dog treat, biscuit, bone, chew, bowl,
leash, sweater, and accessory you could possibly wish for! I quickly began
running down my mental list of all the dogs in my life who I could buy for—sadly,
there are not many. I tend to run with the cat crowd. But I certainly didn’t
let that spoil my fun.

Three Dog Bakery was founded in 1989 by two men and their three dogs on the premise
that wholesome, 100% natural food made with top-quality human-grade ingredients
would allow dogs to live longer, happier, healthier lives. All products are
created without adding salt, sugar, artificial colors, additives, preservatives,
or fillers (like soy, corn, or wheat). Also, all biscuits and baked treats are
baked slowly in the oven, gently locking in flavor while filling the air with
smells of deliciousness. As I marveled at the selection of freshly baked treats
tucked behind refrigerated glass cases, the array of cookies and cupcakes with
edges dipped in pastel colors or chocolate caught my eye.

They were so beautiful, but the red alert of DANGER: CHOCOLATE! flashed in my head. When I asked Emily, the friendly sales associate, about this concern, she told me that the “chocolate” is really carob, which is safe for dogs. Carob does not contain theobromine or caffeine, stimulants that are toxic to our dog friends. Also, the pale pink, green, and yellow “icing” that elegantly tipped the ends of other treats is made by adding beets, spinach, or carrots, respectively, to the recipes. What a great idea!

In addition to the bakery items, Three Dog creates top-quality dog food and treats at their headquarters that can be shipped almost anywhere. The bakery has locations all over the United States and Hong Kong. If you are able to visit the store, you can load up on the bulk treat bar to spoil the special canine in your life. And if you don’t have a pup in your life directly, you can certainly purchase one of the beautiful, personalized cakes for a loved one’s pet or give the gift of kindness by donating to the Three Dog Foundation. This foundation offers financial assistance to not-for-profit, licensed agencies focused on rescuing dogs and cats. You can give this gift in honor of a friend, family member, or a beloved animal friend.

Cyrus and Emily

With the holiday season upon us, it’s nice to know that you can still treat your animal companion to healthy, dog-friendly delights (instead of table scraps from the holiday meal—don’t do this!). And for you cat lovers out there, Three Dog does have a small section for you—be sure to check out the We Pity the Kitties cat treats! The name is really fun to say!

For all kinds of information about Three Dog Bakery and their business of catering to canines and the people who love them, check out their website:

Have a super weekend!


October 26, 2012

Making Halloween a Happy Time for Your Pets

Hello, everyone! It’s that special time of year again. Yep, it’s almost Halloween! The cool, crisp air of autumn has finally crept into Texas, just in time to chill us as we meander around the town in search of ghoulish good cheer. Though most of us agree that Halloween night is full of creepy fun, our pets may have a whole different opinion of it. Imagine your pets relaxing in your home day in and day out with their comfortable routines and normal sounds and smells . . . and then suddenly, the air is filled with continual knocking and ringing of the doorbell, along with heightened commotion and wads of strangers at the front door every few minutes. Who’s there? A scary lobster? An overgrown cat? And what is that—a witch looming behind that fairy with the nice face? Someone tell her, quick! Should I attack or save myself?!?

Imagine the scary confusion your pets face during this time. You can definitely make this night more fun for your animals by remembering a few helpful tips:

Trick-or-Treat: Unless your pets are super social and LOVE people and hubbub, kindly keep them closed in a quiet room away from Treat-or-Treat Central. The stress of constant costumed strangers can cause nervous diarrhea, fear, or even aggression, even in normally friendly pets.

Candy Cautions: Be sure to keep all your yummy treats away from the fur kids, no matter how sadly they peer up at you. Also, keep that candy hidden and off of counters or tables—even if you have no intention of sharing your candy haul with your pets, they are notorious for nosing out the sweet stuff. Chocolate is extremely toxic (and sometimes fatal) to animals, dogs especially. Signs of chocolate toxicity include nervousness, tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and in some cases, seizures and death. Even “sugar-free” candies, gum, mints, chocolate, and baked goods containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, are poisonous. Ingestion of these tasty treats can cause rapid hypoglycemia and liver failure—yikes! If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate or any other treat, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Jack-o-Lanterns: Carved pumpkins definitely make Halloween more festive, but be careful if you decide to add a candle to your jack-o-lantern. Wagging tails and zooming cats can easily knock over a lit pumpkin, and candles always pose a danger to curious animals. A good way to have your candle and, um, “eat” it too is to buy battery-operated votives and column candles. Isn’t this time of year nicer when you can relax with your artificial candlelight? Hmmm.

Dressing Up: It’s very tempting to dress your pets in costume, but if you do, just take a bit of care to ensure they are as excited about the prospect as you are. If your pet is scared of that absolutely adorable outfit you bought her, please be kind and don’t force her to endure the costume for your entertainment. If she is up for the adventure, make sure the costume is not annoying or unsafe. You want to be sure she can see and hear her surroundings easily, and watch out for elastic parts—they shouldn’t be too tight on her skin and fur. Also, keep an eye out for small, easily chewed pieces like buttons, strings, and feathers—you don’t want to end your night of merriment in emergency surgery with your pet! Lastly, do not leave your costumed pet unattended at any time.

Collars and Tags: With your front door opening and closing all evening, always be sure your pets have ID tags on. All it takes is a few seconds of distraction, and your beloved pet can slip quietly out the door. That’s a very scary thought!

 Animal Safety: Be watchful of your animal’s safety, especially if you have a beautiful black cat. Often, pet stores and humane societies will not allow adoption of black cats around Halloween (sometimes even during the whole month of October) because of potential animal cruelty by pranksters or other sick individuals. If you see any act of animal cruelty on Halloween or any time of the year, please call your local police department immediately. If they are unable to assist, call your local animal shelter or humane society. Animal abuse is illegal in all 50 states (and a felony in 46). If you make a report of alleged animal abuse, the responding agency is required to investigate. Because animals cannot speak for themselves, it’s up to us to keep them safe and happy!

Ok, friends and fellow animal lovers, have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy the spooky season! See you here next week!

XO, Brooke