Archive for the ‘Pet’ Category

DIY Frozen Dog Treats

Friday, July 9th, 2021

DIY Frozen Dog TreatsBeat the heat with these DIY frozen dog treats!  Ice cream can be hard for dogs to digest because milk and cream are the base of most ice cream recipes. And for some dogs, the lactose in dairy can cause stomach upset and other digestive issues like gas or diarrhea. Not to mention that too many sweet treats can lead to weight gain.

But, that doesn’t mean your dog has to be left out of your icy, sweet treat. (Kissimmee Valley Feed also offers plenty of other sorts of dogs treats: check out our pet selection here.)

Instead of leaving your dog out of the frozen fun here are some recipes for ice cream alternatives. Feed these treats in moderation, adjust your dog’s everyday food calories accordingly, and feel free to modify the recipes with other dog-safe foods.

Hide and Seek Ice Cubes:

Any dog-safe tasty liquid can be turned into a frozen treat. Simply pour into an ice cube tray and freeze so your dog can have a cube or two whenever you like. Consider your dog’s taste buds and try something meat-flavored like no-salt-added beef or chicken broth. For an extra-special indulgence, create hide and seek treats.

First, only fill the trays halfway before freezing the liquid. Once frozen, place a small treat like a blueberry or piece of freeze-dried liver in the middle of the cube.

Second, fill the rest of the tray with the remaining liquid. Once the entire cube is frozen, there will be a tasty surprise waiting inside when your dog licks or chomps the ice.

For a longer-lasting treat, consider filling your dog’s hollow rubber toy. (Just be sure to block all the openings but one before pouring in the liquid. You can use a hard treat like a cookie as a cork or plug holes with peanut butter.) After filling, stand the toy upright in the freezer until the liquid is ice.  The chilly toy will cool down your dog on a hot day. Subsequently, the work it takes to get every last drop of broth will keep your dog occupied for longer than other types of treats. Plus provide welcome mental stimulation.

Soft Serve Treats:

For an ice cream alternative with the same texture and consistency as the real thing, try blending frozen fruit with plain, unsweetened yogurt. Watermelon is safe for dogs and most love it, so it makes a perfect choice for this recipe. Cantaloupe chunks are another excellent option. Be sure to remove the rind from either melon, and always feed sweet fruit treats in moderation, taking the calories they provide into account with your dog’s regular diet.

First, cut the fruit into bite-size chunks, removing any seeds as you go.

Second, place the fruit in the freezer for at least four hours until frozen. If you spread out the chunks on a cookie sheet or in a freezer bag it will prevent them from freezing into a single clump.

Once the fruit is frozen, place it in a food processor or blender with about ¼ cup of plain, unsweetened yogurt for every 2 cups of fruit.

Third, blend until smooth, tweaking the amount of fruit and yogurt until you have the thickness you would like. Place in a bowl, on top of your dog’s dinner, or stuff in a hollow rubber toy and serve right away. (For more of a challenge, stuff this mixture inside a hollow rubber toy, then pop it back in the freezer to solidify.)

Feeding frozen yogurt may seem no different than feeding your dog ice cream. However, unless they suffer from lactose intolerance, plain yogurt is safe to eat for most dogs. It’s usually better tolerated than ice cream, plus the bacterial cultures in yogurt are great for intestinal health. Just be sure to choose plain yogurt without any added flavors, fruit, sugars, natural sweeteners, or artificial sweeteners. Read the label carefully to be sure the product does not contain toxic Xylitol.

If your dog doesn’t handle yogurt well, consider other options. This includes lactose-free, dairy-based yogurt or dairy-free yogurt made from plant products. Coconut milk can also be used if liquid is needed to thin out a recipe. Always read the label to avoid any unsafe additives or ingredients.

Frozen Pupsicles on a Stick:

For a frozen fruit smoothie on a stick, make bananas the foundation of your dog’s treat.

First, slice a few bananas then freeze the pieces for several hours.

Next, mix the fruit with a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt in a food processor until you have a smooth base with the thickness of a milkshake. Now you can blend in whatever mix-ins your dog would love. Consider bacon bits for a meaty treat, frozen strawberries and blueberries for a red, white, and blue celebration.

Third, when all the ingredients are blended together, pour into ice pop molds or paper cups, insert a “stick” in the middle and freeze.

To release the pupsicles from the molds, let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes or run warm water over the mold for a few seconds. If you use paper cups, simply peel the paper off before serving. If you have a toy breed, try mini water cups instead of full-size drinking cups.

For the pupsicle sticks, you have many options. You can use bone-shaped dog biscuits, salmon skin rolls, bully sticks, or any other stick-shaped, edible chew. For a safe yet non-edible stick, consider nylon chew bones. The stick will give your dog something to hold on to while licking and chewing the pupsicle. Plus, chewing the stick will provide even more fun for your dog when the smoothie is gone.

Cold and Sticky:

Peanut butter is safe for dogs and unsalted, no-sugar-added varieties are a great addition to frozen dog treats. So long as you read the label to confirm there’s no Xylitol listed. The stickiness of the peanut butter gives recipes a thick, ice-cream-like texture.

First, mix a small amount with plain yogurt and fruit, or blend it with mashed bananas to add extra flavor and density to the final treat. If the peanut butter is too thick for the blender, warm it first or add some liquid such as meat broth to the mix.

You can also make peanut butter the star ingredient. Simply layer peanut butter in the bottom half of ice cube trays, ice pop molds, or paper cups.

Next, top off with a layer of yogurt or meat broth and freeze. Pop the layered frozen treat out of the tray or mold or peel off the paper cup before serving. For fun icy treats, consider using silicone baking molds in exciting shapes like dog bones or dinosaurs. The peanut butter should slide right out of the mold once it’s frozen, and your dog will love cooling down with a cold and sticky treat.

Enjoy these DIY Frozen Dog Treats!

Source: American Kennel Club

 

Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Friday, June 11th, 2021

Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including furry friends.

While it may seem like a great idea to reward your pet with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality, some festive foods and activities can be potentially hazardous to him.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:

Fourth of July Pet Safety Tips

Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma as a result. Consequently, death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.

Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates. Chlorates could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases.

Lighter fluid can be irritating to the skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.

Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements.

Keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt, and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.

Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions. Intestinal blockage could also occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

Keep citronella candles, insect coils, and tiki torch oil products out of reach. Ingestion can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

Never use fireworks around pets! Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets. Even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic, and other heavy metals.

Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, who can become frightened or disoriented by the sound. Please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities, and opt instead to keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

Be prepared in the event that your pet does escape by keeping your pets’ IDs up to date! It’s a good idea for all your animal companions—even indoor-only pets—to always wear a collar with an ID tag that includes your name, current phone number, and any relevant contact information.

In conclusion, July 1 is National ID Your Pet Day, which serves as an annual check-in to make sure your pets’ identification tags and microchip information is up to date.

Content by ASPCA

The Nutritional Needs of Large and Giant Dog Breeds

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

It’s no surprise that any dog extraordinary in size and stature has unique dietary needs. But those precise needs might look different than you’d imagine.

In order to ensure your dog can perform at its peak, it’s important to choose a recipe that matches their breed size.

Large breeds, classified as dogs who weigh between 51 and 90 pounds as full-grown adults, include German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Great Danes, among many others. Dogs that weigh over 90 pounds at maturity are often considered giant breeds. Included in this designation are the St. Bernard, Newfoundland, and the Giant Mastiff.

Throughout all life stages, large and giant breed dogs have different nutritional requirements compared to small and medium breeds.

As puppies, bigger breeds grow quicker and over a longer period of time. As such, large breed puppy diets should contain lower levels of energy and protein. With the wrong type of food, large and giant breeds will grow faster than their bones can support them, causing orthopedic issues. Furthermore, bones that grow too fast are less dense and can lead to long-term issues.

For example, if large and giant breed puppies have a diet with a protein/fat ratio of 30/20, they could have excess levels of calcium and phosphorous. They are essential in certain quantities, but too much of these will negatively affect bone and joint development. This could potentially lead to bone disease and other orthopedic problems later on in life.

Instead, choose a recipe like Nutrena’s Puppy Large Breed Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe. It has a protein/fat ratio of 26/14 and optimal levels of calcium and phosphorous to support a slower growth rate so that their skeleton has time to develop enough strength to support their greater weight. Our Puppy Large Breed Recipe also contains natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate which support healthy joints.

While some small breed puppies are fully grown at nine months, it can take up to 18 to 24 months for large and giant breeds to mature. You’ll need to keep your larger breed dogs on puppy food longer than your small and medium breeds.

Weight management, joint health help large breed adults achieve longevity.

As dogs mature, nutritional concerns shift to weight management and joint health. As the dietary differences remain between small and large breeds into adulthood, the path to get there is also different.

Compared to smaller breeds, large breeds require fewer calories per pound, so they need a less nutrient and energy dense diet. Thus, these larger breeds need recipes with lower amounts of energy.

It’s especially important for joint health and longevity that they consume a recipe that meets their needs. The wrong balance can create weight management issues which could affect your dog’s health and longevity. Overweight adult dogs can develop a number of health issues including joint problems, osteoarthritis, diabetes, among many others. In addition, look for a recipe that has L-carnitine to help burn fat and support a healthy weight, and includes Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate which helps support joint health.

Whether your large breed is young or old, protecting livestock, herding, or doing a little bit of everything, they need a diet that helps them perform at their best.

This post was originally published at nutrinaworld.com.

Dog Training Tips

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

When you bring a puppy or even an adult dog home for the first time, the idea of training probably means potty training. But after they chew up that pair of shoes and run-away off leash for the first time, you realize there is a bit more training you need to do. Here are a few things to consider when training your puppy or adult dog:

  1. Establish house rules for the dog.  Just like your children have house rules so should your dog. Will you allow your dog on the couch when you are binging Netflix? Will they be allowed to sleep with you on the bed or in the crate in another room? It’s important to establish rules for the puppy or adult dog before they arrive so that everyone and your furry friend know what to expect.
  2. Find a Training Class.  Most dog owners find puppy training classes a good idea. Depending on where you live, classes are typically held at a local dog training facility or pet supply store. There is a fee associated with these class so make sure to research the trainer before you register to ensure they have experience and excellent references. In the class, your puppy will typically learn basic commands such as sit, lie down, come, and stay and how to walk on leash.
  3. Start socializing early.  When you bring home your puppy or adopted dog, getting them use to their surroundings and interacting with people is an important part of the training process. In some areas, you can even sign up for a puppy socialization class to help your puppy learn how to interact with other dogs and people. It’s important to do this as soon as possible to avoid any set-in fears and anxieties. If you have an adopted dog, you can socialize with frequent walks around the neighborhood, having people over, and taking them to a dog park.
  4. Reward good behavior. When your puppy or adult dog does the right thing, treats and praise help reinforce the behavior you expect. Dogs are people pleasers and want to please their owners. Positive praise helps build trust between you and your furry friend and ensures they develop into a confident, well-adjusted dog.
  5. Be patient. It can take three to four weeks of consistent training before it becomes a habit. With puppies, you need to exercise patience during the training process by implementing short training sessions every day. If you are bringing home an adult dog, they can be easier to train than young puppies as they can focus for a longer period to time.
  6. Give daily exerciseA bored dog tends to get itself into trouble. Daily exercise not only keeps your furry friend healthy but also helps provide needed mental stimulation while reducing common behavioral problems such as chewing, digging, and barking.  

This article originally appeared on nutrinaworld.com.

Self Serve Pet Wash July Savings

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Looking for a self serve pet wash station? Does your dog need a bath?pet wash

Come by Kissimmee Valley Feed for the month of July and save $2 off on our climate-controlled self serve pet wash station. BYOD (bring your own dog) or bring in your pets, large or small and make bath time simpler. Price is just $8 from July 1st-July 31st, including shampoo, rinse, and blow-dry. Towels and gloves are provided too at no extra cost! To help prevent the wet doggie smell, take advantage of our self serve dryer. The grooming table allows you to brush out your dog or pet, so they are tangle-free. Best of all, we clean up the mess for you!

The pet wash station takes cash or credit cards and is available during business hours. If your pets need a wash, come see us! Also, take advantage of our new punch cards. Each time you stop in and utilize our self serve pet wash station, you will be credited for your visit. Once you fill up your card make sure you let an associate know and receive a special goodie! So beat the heat this summer and stop in for a washing session at a discounted price for the month of July!

You’ll find Kissimmee Valley Feed pet wash station inside store number 2, 215 13th Street, St. Cloud, FL 34769. Phone: Phone: 407-892-4040.

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