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Homemade Dog Treat Recipes

Do you ever feel like spoiling your dog? You could take him on a special walk or a ride in the car, but if your dog is like mine, he loves treats. He usually loves Greenies treats but it’s obvious he sometimes gets bored of the same treats time after time. Homemade treats are very easy to make and my dog loves them. Not only are they healthy for him, but it’s a bonding experience for us as he sits at my feet anxiously awaiting his special treats while I make them. If you want to do something extra special for your dog and you have 30 minutes to spare, consider making your four legged pal some homemade treats!

Whether you’re an experienced baker or not the following treats are an easy and quick way to show your pooch some extra love:

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • 1 Tblspn. Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Tspn. Tumeric
  • 1/2 Tspn. Cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Wash and peel sweet potato. Cut into long skinny french fry like pieces evenly sized.
  • Toss sweet potato pieces with coconut oil and spices.
  • Evenly distribute sweet potato pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Flip sweet potato pieces over and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Cool and enjoy!

Frozen Apple Treats

Ingredients:

  • 2 Apples
  • 1 Cup Greek Nonfat Plain Yogurt
  • Water

Instructions:

  • Slice apples into small pieces removing the seeds and core.
  • Mix the apple pieces with yogurt and a splash of water. Blend in a food processor or blender until ingredients form a liquid consistency.
  • Pour mixture into ice cube trays and freeze for 3 hours or until hard.
  • Enjoy and keep frozen!

Banana Almond Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 Cup Unsalted Almond Butter
  • 1/3 Cup smashed banana
  • 1 Tspn. Ground Cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix all ingredients until well blended.
  • Drop small nickel sized spoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, rotate pan and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Allow treats to cool and enjoy!
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What You Need to Know Before Adopting a Turtle

Turtles make wonderful pets. Despite not being cuddly like a dog or a kitten, Turtles are fun to watch and care for and make a great addition to any family.

If you are considering adopting a Turtle it’s important to understand that Turtles and Tortoises are not the same. Turtles mostly swim in water and have webbed feet. Their diets consist of both plants and animals making them omnivores. Tortoises have defined toes and live on land. Their diets consist of primarily plants making them vegetarians.

Like any other pet adoption, it’s important to understand what your Turtle will need and ensure you can commit to taking care of them. Here are some quick Turtle facts you may or may not already know that can help you decide if a pet Turtle is right for you:

There Are 270 Types of Turtles- Before bringing a Turtle home it’s best to do research on the type of Turtle you’re considering adopting. They may require a particular diet as well as a certain temperature in their environment. Not all Turtles are the same, so this can vary greatly.

All Turtles Carry Salmonella- Salmonella is a type of bacteria that many reptiles carry in their intestinal tracts. While Turtles are not harmed by this, they shed Salmonella in their waste and if other pets or humans are exposed to it, it can make cause terrible gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting. Anyone who handles a Turtle or cleans it’s tank must wash their hands thoroughly afterwards to avoid Salmonella.

Turtles Need Their Space- While a Turtle may look like a small creature to you, they require ample amount of space. Their tank needs to be five times the length of an adult Turtle as well as contain two and a half times as deep of water that the Turtle is long. In addition, it’s important to have a filter in the Turtle’s tank to keep the water clean.

Turtles Need Dry Land- Turtles spend most of their time swimming but still need to dry off sometimes. Therefore, your Turtle’s tank should have a large rock they can bask in when they need to be dry.

Turtles Have Long Life Spans- When Turtles are taken care of properly they can live for decades. This is a critical factor to remember if you’re considering adopting a Turtle as a pet. You will need to ensure you can commit to caring for a pet for many years.

Turtles Require Veterinary Care- It’s important to be on the look out for any physical changes in your Turtle. If you notice your Turtle is avoiding eating, has swollen eyes, or their shell is discolored, they will need to be evaluated by their veterinarian who specializes in Reptile care.

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April Is Heartworm Awareness Month

The month of April is dedicated as National Heartworm Awareness Month. Heartworm disease is a disease that is very concerning and can possibly be fatal in pets. It can affect both cats and dogs. The disease itself involves foot long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs, and associated blood vessels of infected pets, that may cause heart failure and damage to other organs in your pet’s body.

The disease is primarily carried by wild species that live in suburban areas such as coyotes. However, the mosquito plays a huge role in the heartworm life cycle. Mature female heartworms living inside of an infected pet or wild animal, produce tiny babies called microfilaria that live in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites an infected animal or pet, it picks up these microfilaria which mature and become infective. When the infected mosquito then bites another animal, the infected microfilaria are deposited onto the animal’s skin and enter the animal through the mosquito’s bite wound. This cycle results in heartworm being difficult to control.

Heartworm Disease in Cats

Heartworm disease in cats varies greatly from dogs. Cats are not typical hosts for heartworms, but the presence of heartworms may still exist causing great damage if left untreated. Most worms in cats do not survive as the cat matures. However, a few may remain causing a condition known as heartworm associate respiratory disease (HARD).

Symptoms of Heartworm Disease in cats includes coughing, attacks mimicking asthma attacks, vomiting, decreased appetite, or weight loss. Heartworms in cats can possibly migrate to other parts of the body such as the eyes or brain. The symptoms of heartworm disease in cats are much harder to detect than dogs. This means testing is crucial to not allow a cat to go untreated if affected by heartworms.

Heartworm Disease in Dogs

Dogs are common hosts for heartworms. Heartworms can live inside a dog long enough to mature and create their own offspring. This easily allows several hundred worms inside a dog’s body. If the disease is left untreated, the numbers of heart worms may increase inside a dog’s body creating damage to the heart, lungs, and arteries.

Symptoms of heartworm disease include a mild cough, fatigue, lessened appetite, and weight loss. As the disease evolves in a dog, a dog may experience heart failure.

Testing and Treatment

The sooner the disease is detected and treated, the better the outcome. Heartworm testing administered annually by your veterinarian will determine whether your pet is infected or not. In addition, heartworm preventative medications for dogs and cats are a must.

All dogs should be tested annually for heartworms during routine check-ups for preventative care. Dogs under 7 months old should start a heart worm preventative, but should be tested for heartworms after 6 months to ensure heartworms are not present. Dogs over 7 months old and not previously tested or on a preventative medication must be tested prior to starting heart worm prevention.

Even if your dog is currently on heartworm preventative medication it is crucial they are tested yearly for the disease in the event they have been infected. Missing a dose, or skipping a dose of heart worm preventative medication can leave your dog susceptible to the disease.

In the event your dog is diagnosed with heartworm disease it’s important your dog’s disease is stabilized and treated by their veterinarian.

It’s vital to understand that the medication used to treat heart worm in dogs cannot be used in cats. There is no approved heartworm treatment for cats, therefore early detection is crucial. Having your cat tested yearly for heart worm will make a great difference as well as preventative heartworm medication.

To learn more about heartworm disease, click here.

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Easter Safety Tips

Easter is a few days away and we hope everyone enjoys the day with their friends, families, and fur babies. Whether you celebrate at home, at a park, or a friend’s house, we thought this would be a great time to remind our readers of some key tips for keeping their pets safe this Easter.

Easter Lilies Are Poisonous

The Easter Lilly, is an Easter staple. While it’s gorgeous, it can be potentially life threatening, especially to cats. Exposure to its pollen, leaves, or even the water the flower is kept in, can cause vomiting, frequent urination, and possible kidney failure. If these symptoms go left untreated, death can occur fairly quickly. Dogs may experience gastrointestinal distress if exposed, but nothing life threatening like cats do. It’s best to keep Easter Lilies away and out of reach from all pets.

Table Scraps Can Be Deadly

We know how cute our fur babies can be begging for leftover food, but giving them even small amounts can potentially be fatal. The ingredients used, spices for flavoring, and fat contents can make your pets incredibly ill with nausea and diarrhea, to the point hospitalization is needed. For example, the high salt content in ham can cause pancreatitis in dogs. This makes dogs incredibly sick and can be life threatening. It’s best to avoid giving your pets table scraps all together, no matter how cute they look asking for them.

Keep All Easter Candy up and Away from Pets Reach

Chocolate is bad for pets to ingest and in doing so it can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Many candies these days are made with an artificial sweetener called xylitol. Small amounts of xylitol can be fatal to pets. It doesn’t take much exposure to cause tremendous harm. This makes it so important to keep all easter candies up and out of reach of pets.

Easter Grass and Confetti Are Dangerous to Pets

If you plan on decorating with confetti, or Easter grass you may want to think twice. Confetti and Easter grass is not easily digested by pets. These items can be easily be mistaken as normal grass prompting your pets to ingest these items. Ingestion may cause a great amount of damage. Damage can involve the confetti or grass becoming lodged or blocked in the intestines or stomach, extreme discomfort, and possibly internal punctures which may require surgery or result in death.

VetDepot wishes you and your family a happy and safe Easter!

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Celebrating Easter with Your Pet

Easter is this week! Wondering how to celebrate? There are many pet friendly ways to celebrate Easter with your special pal.

Local Activities- Check with your local community to see if there are any pet themed Easter events being planned. Many communities will host costume contests and meet ups to celebrate Easter. If none are planned, consider getting together with some friends at a local pet park or hosting a play date at your place.

Host a Dog Friendly Egg Hunt- An egg hunt will be a fun treat for your dog and his pals as long as it’s done safely. The eggs used should be hardboiled only. No plastic eggs, plastic grass, or candy should be made available as they can potentially be a life threatening hazard. Make sure you count the number of boiled eggs you put out to be hidden so that none are left behind.

Dress Your Pet Up- Make or buy a cute Easter themed costume for your pet to wear. Simply putting some bunny ears on your pet will do the trick. Think of all the cute pictures you’ll have! If you’re already planning on taking your kids to have a picture taken with the Easter Bunny, see if your dog can be part of the picture as well.

Easter Baskets Aren’t Just for Kids- Consider giving your pet a pet friendly easter basket full of pet friendly treats and toys. Fill it up with all your pet’s favorites as well as some new things to try. Ensure the basket does not contain plastic eggs, candy or plastic grass.

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Spring Gardening Safety Tips

With Spring comes warmer weather and lots of sunshine. Not only is it the perfect time to get outside with your pet, but it’s also gardening season. If you find your green thumb itching to do some gardening, it’s important to remember what’s planted in your garden should be safe for your pets. Consider the following three tips when you get ready to plan this Spring’s gardening:

Steer Clear of Certain Plants- Some plants are toxic to pets. If you’re going to be adding new plants to your garden, do some research first to ensure they are safe for pets. A few popular spring choices to avoid include the Azalea, Tiger Lily (and most Lilies in general, like Calla Lilies), Crocus, Amarylis, Carnations, Cresanthemums, and the Tulip. Other plants to watch out for include most types of Aloe, select palms such as the Sago, Begonias, most types of Laurel, select Ivy and Fern varieties, and even most Pine trees!

A good rule of thumb is to remember that if a plant is waxy or has waxy parts to it, it’s dangerous for your pet if ingested. If you choose to have a plant in your garden that is potentially harmful to your pet, it’s important to not leave your pet unattended in the yard or garden. It’s better to be cautious than for your pet to become ill and you not know what they consumed.

Fertilizers and Pest Baits Can Be Dangerous- Ingredients in pest baits can be fatal, causing brain swelling, kidney failure, or blood clotting disorders. Pesticides, insecticides, weed killers, and herbicides can cause pet poisoning. Depending on the ingredients, ingestion of fertilizers can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from gastrointestinal irritation to seizures and death. Fish fertilizer, blood/bone meal and cocoa mulch are highly toxic to pets, so seek immediate veterinary care of you suspect your pet has ingested a dangerous substance.

Choose Decor Wisely- Dogs are known to try and eat or chew anything they can get their paws on. It’s not unheard of for dogs to eat or chew on stones, flags, light fixtures, and other decorative pieces. To be safe, assume your dog would eat or chew anything.

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Spring Cleaning

Spring has officially arrived. You may find yourself in the mood to spring clean around the house. If you do, don’t forget to include your pet’s area and belongings in the house. Think of all the shredded and dirty old toys laying around the house and how much dust that pet bed is collecting. Want to get started on cleaning and organizing but not sure where to start? Don’t fret, try out the following suggestions to get started:

Toy box- Start with your pets toy box. It’s most likely been some time since you’ve washed your pets toys right? Many toys are washable and can be placed in the washing machine on a delicate cycle. You can put them inside of a pillow case to prevent them from coming apart, especially if they’re your pet’s favorite toy that they destroyed but still love dearly! Toys made from rubber and harder materials could probably do with a good soaking in a disinfectant to get the layers of dirt, hair, and other stuff off of them (this is something can you can do year-round too).

However, toys that are broken, especially if they have stuffing and squeakers inside them, should be thrown away and replaced. If your pet is particularly fond of a particularly toy, it’s a good idea to stock up so that you can replace regularly and keep the fun and games going in full swing!

Bedding- Wash all pet bedding and throw blankets. If beds have lost their support or are looking a bit shredded, now is a perfect time to shop for something new and take advantage of new styles and designs that are ultimately aimed at pet comfort If your pet’s bed is still usable but you want to shop for a new one, consider donating your pet’s bed to an animal shelter/humane society.

Medications- This is also the time to check through your pet’s medications, supplements, flea and tick products and various toiletry items to ensure that they are still fresh, and haven’t passed their expiration date. It’s important to remember that supplements and products lose their effectiveness after a while and need to be thrown away and replaced.

Spring is the perfect time to have everything all fresh and clean for the summer, so start tidying and cleaning. It can be quite a daunting task, but don’t be overwhelmed, take the process slowly and patiently, it isn’t a race. Your pets, family members, and even yourself will thank you for all of your hard work!

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Your Pet

Wondering how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your pet but not sure how? Try these fun ideas:

  • Bake up some healthy treats. Try these yummy St. Patty’s Day recipes.

 

  • Throw a party. How much fun would it be to invite all your pet’s pals and their humans over for a few hours? Not only will you enjoy catching up with your friends, but your pet will enjoy catching up with theirs as well. Step it up a notch and host a costume party! Make sure to keep all non pet friendly treats up and out of paw’s reach.

 

  • See what activities your community has planned. Many communities will host pet events to celebrate the luck of the Irish. From festivals to costume contests, your pet will have a blast!

 

  • Take a special trip. Take your pet out for a special stroll downtown or to a pet park. Your pet will love getting out and spending extra special bonding time with you.

 

  • Treat your pet to something green. Take your pet to a local pet store or buy them a special green themed toy or outfit!
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St. Patrick’s Day Treats

St. Patrick’s Day is this Saturday and it’s time to celebrate! You may typically eat corned beef and cabbage for dinner, but unfortunately due to the high sodium content, sharing it with your dog can be very dangerous. To keep your pooch safe, why not make a special treat especially for them? Even if you and your dog aren’t Irish you can still have a blast whipping up a special St. Patty’s Day treat for him or her.

The following two recipes are a delicious alternative for your four legged fur baby:

Minty Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine the water, egg, and coconut oil. Fold in the flour and mix until dough forms. Once dough is formed add the parsley and mint to the mixture until combined.
  • Roll out the dough and cut out shapes with your choice of cookie cutter. Place biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Let the treats cool and enjoy!

 

Green Bean Snackies

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups frozen, cut green beans
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Toss green beans in olive oil and spread evenly on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake green beans for 20-30 minutes. For extra, added crunch, turn your oven broiler on low during the last 5 minutes of baking and toss as needed to ensure beans don’t burn.
  • Allow the beans to cool and serve.
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6 Reasons to Love a Pug

The amount of reasons to love a pug are endless but here are our top 6:

1.) They make you smile and will constantly entertain you. Pugs are little clowns who love to make everyone chuckle. Their cute little shaking booty and big ‘ole eyes make them irresistible. They love toys and will play for hours with their most prized toys.

2.) They are so adorable! Who can resist a smushy face? Their curly tails look just like cinnamon buns and their endless rolls make you want to hug them immediately! They are great snugglers that will keep you warm and cozy.

3.) They come in many different colors. While most of us are accustomed to the standard fawn colored pug, there are also black, apricot, and albino pugs!

4.) They are the best listeners. Have anything heavy on your mind or just need a friend to talk to? Pugs are the friend for you! They will listen intently, never judge you, and most of all, never spill any of the deepest, darkest (or embarrassing) secrets you divulge.

5.) They are down for anything! Whether it’s a road trip, watching movies on the couch, playing, or dressing up, they will do it. Literally, they will do anything as long as they are with their loved ones. They love to spend quality time with their owners no matter where that may be. However, it’s important to note that due to its short trachea, a pug can become easily overheated and doesn’t do well in heat.

6.) They are loyal fuzzballs and make great guard dogs. Guard dogs? Yes, I really did say that. Pugs are all about stranger danger. If a stranger shows up at your house they will bark loudly until they know the stranger is safe to be there. Don’t let their small stature fool you, they can pack a loud, strong bark that will deter any intruder.

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