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Most Common Canine Health Issues

Dogs are a significant part of our lives. 

We live with them, we take care of them, and we develop a loving relationship with them. 

That's why it's so important that we make sure our beloved dogs are healthy. 

Several health issues will happen in a dog's life, just like humans. Many of these health issues are rather common and easily treatable. Others, however, are more serious. 

Let's go over some of the most common health issues that a dog might face throughout its life and what you can do to help your dog if they need it. 

Most Common Health Issues Dogs Could Face in Their Lifetime

Ear Infections

Ear infections aren't uncommon among dogs. 

You'll often see your dog shaking their head or scratching their ears. You may also see discharge or other substances oozing or coming out of your dog's ears. 

The substance may or may not have an odor. 

An untreated ear infection could lead to more severe problems. 

If you believe your dog has an ear infection, you should take them to the vet. You can also take a look inside their ears to make sure there isn't anything inside it that might be bothering them. 

Dogs with allergies are also prone to itchy ears, so it doesn't always mean your dog has an ear infection. 

Try cleaning your dog's ears regularly if they have allergies to prevent any sores from developing. 

Urinary Tract Infections

Uh oh.

Your dog just had yet another accident inside the house. 

Why is your dog backtracking on potty training and misbehaving?

Well, they might have a urinary tract infection. 

Dogs with urinary tract infections tend to feel the urge to pee frequently, have increased thirst, or be more lethargic. 

Has your dog started peeing in the house again even after they were potty trained? Take your dog to the vet to see if the problem is a urinary tract infection. 

You might notice a particular smell to your dog's urine as well, which could be a clue that they have an infection. 

Typically, urinary tract infections clear up quickly and are not a major health concern unless it goes untreated for a very long time. 

Obesity

Obesity is one of the fastest-growing health problems for dogs. 

The saddest part?

It's the most preventable health problem out there. 

Luckily, obesity is reversible with a change in diet and exercise for your dog. 

Obese dogs typically have more health problems because of their weight: the most common issues being diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. 

Your dog may have trouble getting up or standing for long periods. You may start to notice they have a lack of energy and have trouble getting enough exercise. 

Try to take your dog swimming if they have problems with their joints because of obesity. 

Swimming is an excellent exercise for obese dogs to enjoy. They can lose weight and keep their joints healthy until they lose some of the extra poundage. 

Vomiting

Vomiting is pretty common in dogs, so don't be concerned if your dog vomits inexplicably from time to time.

This is not a cause for concern. 

Dogs can vomit from something they ate or drank, from extra saliva, an illness, or from another unknown reason. 

Dogs can be especially prone to vomiting if they like to eat unknown things or dead animals they find in the wilderness. 

Dogs that live in the country might be a little more prone to vomiting because they have access to more things in the wilderness than dogs in the cities.

If your dog continues to vomit regularly, then you should start to get concerned, especially if it continues to be constant. 

Vomiting could be a sign of disease, a gastrointestinal blockage, or a parasite. 

Use your best judgment.

Occasional vomit is no need for concern, but continuous vomiting might require a visit to the vet. 

Parasites

Parasites love dogs. They are a perfect little host that a lot of parasites attach themselves to. 

Parasites include external parasites like ticks and fleas, or internal parasites like heartworms or intestinal worms. 

Prevention is a lot easier than treatment. Dogs that live in the country are at higher risk for parasites, primarily due to the nature that surrounds country dogs.

They run through tall grasses with ticks, are outside with mosquitos that carry heartworms, and they may eat dead or decaying things that could give them intestinal worms. 

If you think your dog may be at risk for certain parasites, get them on a prevention plan. Typically, this includes a monthly pill to prevent parasites. It's a simple plan and could save your dog from a lot of future problems. 

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is much like vomiting and shouldn't be cause for concern. 

Of course, it could be from something the dog ate, or it could indicate something more serious. 

If your dog has constant diarrhea, you should consider taking him to the vet. One or two episodes will probably pass but may be a sign of a minor illness or something bad coming out of their system. 

Hot Spots

Hot spots are little inflamed spots on your dog's skin. 

They are itchy and often become hot and inflamed. Your dog may constantly lick or bite the spots making them ooze or become more inflamed. 

These little lesions become warm to the touch, which is how they got their nickname "hot spots."

Hot spots can be caused by allergens or bug bites. They are not hard to treat and should be treated right away to prevent any discomfort for your dog. 

You can treat the hot spots at home, but you may need a prescription ointment to help heal the hot spots. 

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is most common in large dog breeds. 

The hip joint has a ball and a socket. If your dog has hip dysplasia, the ball will not fit properly in the socket. 

This causes grinding and rubbing instead of sliding together smoothly. Over time, your dog's hip can deteriorate and cause total loss of the joint. 

Hip dysplasia is genetic and hereditary. 

Again, prevention is easier than treatment. If your dog is at risk for hip dysplasia, they should be on supplements to try to keep their joints healthy and prevent the hip from grinding. 

Treatment could be losing weight if your dog is obese. However, more serious hip dysplasia is usually treated with surgery.  

Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of joints. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. 

Senior dogs will often have osteoarthritis, and it can be easily treated or managed. 

Your dog will need to be diagnosed with arthritis by your veterinarian. 

If you suspect that your dog has arthritis, take them to your vet to have their joints checked. 

Dental Disease

A dog's teeth are often overlooked. 

Believe it or not, bad breath in a dog is a sign of dental disease. The plaque and tartar buildup causes a foul smell.

The plaque and tartar on your dog's teeth can build up and cause a lot of problems for your dog. 

Your dog's teeth may be painful and cause trouble for them while eating. 

Before waiting until your dog's teeth are rotting to find a solution, try to take care of them. Give them things to chew on to keep their teeth strong and brush them every once in a while. 

Diabetes

Diabetes cannot be cured but is manageable. 

Early symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and increased appetite. 

Untreated diabetes can be life-threatening for your dog. 

The most common treatments for diabetes are diet and exercise. Usually, this is enough to keep your dog's diabetes under control, especially if they're overweight. 

Sometimes your dog may require insulin shots. It might seem daunting at first but owners can usually get the hang of it and create a routine. 

How to Chew on This Information

It can be concerning if your dog is acting a little differently or out of the ordinary. 

The important thing is that you keep an eye on them. 

Just like humans, a dog can get a minor illness and not feel their best for a couple of days. This doesn't mean you need to rush them to the vet. Give them some time and watch them closely. 

If there are any signs that you are concerned about, go ahead and go to the vet. Hopefully, your dog will be feeling better in no time! 

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4 Pumpkin Dog Treats You Can Make at Home for Your Pup

bulldog ate pumpkin

You know how much your dog loves getting treats. If you want some variety in the treats that your dog enjoys, you should look into making pumpkin dog treats in the comfort of your own kitchen.

If you're really getting into the spirit of autumn and enjoy having pumpkin and cinnamon scented candles around, why not extend the festivities to dog treats? The great news about pumpkin dog treats is that your dog will love them all year long, though. And when you make them yourself, you'll have a fun little project to enjoy, and your dog will definitely enjoy the treats as well.

If you're interested in learning how to make different types of pumpkin dog treats, you'll see how easy it really is. Considering that these can be very good for your dog and that your dog will enjoy them, what's the downside?

Is Pumpkin Good for Dogs?


dog ates pumpkin

Image via: Pixabay

There are many things that are bad for dogs. Chocolate is one thing that is notoriously bad, for example. Because of this, you might want to know if you can even give your dog pumpkin.

Pumpkin is actually very good food for dogs and has many health benefits. However, you need to keep in mind that you should use canned pumpkin for this purpose. It shouldn't be raw pumpkin, or the sugary and spicy pie filling that you use for Thanksgiving Day.

If you use plain canned pumpkin, it is full of both fiber and beta-carotene. Your dog's body will convert that to vitamin A. It's good for both diarrhea and constipation, which is pretty rare.

Vitamin A is good for your dog's vision. Pumpkin also has vitamin C, which is great for your dog's immune system and can protect their joints as they get older. The beta carotene and pumpkin can help slow aging in your dog's body as well.

However, this is one of those cases where they're definitely can be too much of a good thing. Too much vitamin A is toxic for dogs. As long as it's in small amounts, your dog will be better for it.

If you have a smaller dog, a couple of teaspoons a day should be fine. For a larger dog, a couple of tablespoons a day would be a good amount. You should ask your vet if you have any doubts about the perfect amount of pumpkin for your dog.

Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs


benefits of pumpkin to dogs

Image via: Pixabay

If you give your dog the right amount of pumpkin, it can produce all sorts of health benefits. That is one reason why pumpkin dog treats are more than just a piece of autumn fun for you.

In fact, you may not want to limit pumpkin dog treats to the autumn. These can be good for your dog throughout the year.

In addition to the serious health issues that it can help address, it can give your dog a shiny and healthy coat as well. Even though your dog probably doesn't care about this, it's always a good thing. After all, a healthy coat represents good internal health.

Helps this unwanted illness

One of the most common reasons why dog owners would use canned pumpkin is for dogs who have diarrhea.

Canned pumpkin has a lot of soluble fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. It's full of vitamins A, C, and E and also contains iron and potassium.

The content of canned pumpkin can work to slow down your dog's digestion by adding bulk to his or her stool. It absorbs water from the stool.

Experts would recommend mixing about a tablespoon of canned pumpkin into your dog's food, although of course, it depends on the size of the dog. A lot of dog owners have said that they're truly surprised at how quickly diarrhea goes away after introducing pumpkin into their dog's diet.

However, you should keep track of your dog's symptoms. You need to recognize if the diarrhea keeps going after you have added in the pumpkin. If this happens, you really should take your dog to the vet.

It's important that you know that diarrhea itself in a dog is not an illness but more likely a symptom of some other problem. If it's not resolved by a simple home remedy like adding pumpkin to your dog's food, it could be a sign of something else that you need to address with your vet. Remember, your dog's health always comes first.

Well, it's not hard anymore

It may not make sense that a food could be a solution for both diarrhea and constipation, but this is actually the case with pumpkin for dogs. It's actually just as good at easing constipation as it is a solution for diarrhea in many cases. Basically, if you naturally increase the amount of soluble fiber that your dog is eating, it'll help move things along your dog's digestive tract more comfortably.

Conventional drugs that you might give your dog to relieve constipation work in a much harsher way than pumpkin does. That can actually end up making a big mess. Pumpkin, in contrast, will be fairly gentle on your dog's body.

Experts would recommend that you add between 1 and 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin to your dog's normal food. Of course, again, you should consult with your vet to see what the proper amount is for your particular dog, taking factors such as size into consideration.

In addition to putting pumpkin in your dog's food or making delicious pumpkin dog treats, you should make sure that your dog always has enough water to drink. Dehydration can be a direct cause for constipation and will always make constipation worse if it's already the case.

Ouchie no more

There are a few different things that can cause an upset stomach in dogs. However, one of the most common causes is a change in their food. You should be aware that most dogs are going to have stomach problems if you just switch the food immediately.

One thing you should make sure to do if you are switching dog foods is to do it gradually, mixing the new food with the old food in higher and higher increments. Also, mixing in some pumpkin can help ease and comfort your dog's digestive tract. Just as is the case with constipation, 1 to 4 tablespoons of pumpkin should be a good amount for this purpose, although it would always be a good idea to consult with your vet before doing anything.

However, you should keep in mind that there are many things that can cause an upset stomach. If pumpkin isn't enough to soothe your dog's stomach, you should definitely try to get a real diagnosis from your vet.

An upset stomach could have any of many different serious causes, including gastrointestinal dysfunction, ulcers, or allergies. It's always more important to treat the problem rather than the symptoms.

Urinary health

It's not just pumpkin puree that's good for your dog. The pumpkin seeds come with a variety of health benefits themselves, such as the ability to promote cardiovascular health and anti-inflammatory properties.

Pumpkin seeds are full of nutrients, and they're actually an effective deworming agent with an ability to eliminate intestinal parasites in your dog. Worms are pretty common in dogs, and your dogs can easily get them when they drink contaminated water. If your dog may have worms, of course, you need to have them diagnosed by a veterinarian, but it is possible that pumpkin seeds can help eliminate them.

Pumpkin seeds also have antioxidants and fatty acids that can promote healthy urinary function in your dog. They can help prevent and treat conditions, such as urinary tract infections.

Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil can also be good for aging dogs who are dealing with an overactive bladder or incontinence. They can also prevent the development of kidney stones.

No more huffing and puffing for your pup

If your dog is obese or has weight issues, pureed pumpkin could be very helpful in this case as well. You love your dog no matter how svelte he or she is, but being overweight can be really bad for your dog and his or her quality of life.

You can replace a portion of your dog's normal food with pumpkin, which in many ways will be a good idea because pumpkin is low in calories but high in nutrition. Alternatively, you can just add pumpkin to your dog's food. It's really what your vet thinks is best that matters.

4 Pumpkin Dog Treats You Can Make


pumpkin treats for dogs

Image via: Pixabay

If you want to introduce pumpkin into your dog's diet, the simplest way might just be mixing it into his or her food. However, if you want to get more creative, there are different pumpkin dog treats that you can easily prepare in your own kitchen. These are fun, and your dog will love them!

1. Pumpkin dog biscuits

What you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the pumpkin and eggs in a large bowl with a fork. Add in the flour, milk, and salt, and mix the ingredients well. The dough should be very stiff at this point.

Sprinkle a little bit of flour onto your work surface, and roll the dough so that it's between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Cut out whatever shapes you want, and then put them on an ungreased cookie sheet, with about a half inch of space between them.

Bake them for 20 minutes, and then flip them over and bake them for another 20. Take them out of the oven, and let them cool off. Now, you can finally indulge your dog!

2. Peanut butter and pumpkin dog treats

Your dog will love this one, because it has both peanut butter and pumpkin!

In order to make it, you will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. You can add water as necessary to help make the dough moldable, but it should be stiff and dry overall.

Roll the dough into a layer that is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut it into pieces that are about 1/2 inch wide. Put it in your preheated oven to bake for about 40 minutes.

Once the treats cool off, you can give one to your dog to sample and enjoy!

3. Pumpkin oat dog biscuits

These fun and simple treats for your dog require:

  • 3 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of whole oats
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients, except water, together. Add in just enough water to make the dough rollable and workable.

Roll the dough out until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut it into whatever shapes you want. Put the shapes onto the baking sheets, with at least a half inch of space between them.

Bake these pumpkin dog treats for 30 to 35 minutes. Shut the oven off at this point, and let the biscuits it in there until the oven is completely cool. This will help to dehydrate the biscuits, so that you'll be able to store them for longer.

Now, you're free to give your dog one. He or she has been patiently waiting during this entire process, after all.

4. Frozen pumpkin dog treats

These frozen pumpkin dog treats are actually quite a bit simpler to make than the ones you have to bake. They're good for those warm autumn days when your dog needs something refreshing. You can even make them next summer if you want to!

Here's what you need:

  • Cup of yogurt
  • Mashed banana
  • Teaspoon honey

All you need to do is mix a can of pumpkin with a cup of yogurt, a banana (mashed), and a teaspoon of honey. Mix these ingredients well, and then spoon the blend into ice trays. Freeze these treats until they're solid.

Once they're frozen, they're ready to be enjoyed by your dog!

Are You Pumped for Pumpkin Dog Treats?


Let's face it, pumpkin dog treats are not only good for your dog. They're also fun to make. These recipes are all pretty easy, and they give you a product that can give you both you and your dog a lot of enjoyment for a while.

It's definitely worth it to make any of these pumpkin dog treats to get both you and your dog into the spirit of the season this fall. In fact, these treats will be good for your dog at any time of the year, so why limit them to this season?

Of course, if you have any doubts at all, you should consult your vet before introducing anything new into your dog's diet. Most likely though, pumpkin will only be good for both you and your dog!

What do you think of everything you've just learned about pumpkin in a dog's diet and how to make certain pumpkin dog treats? Share your opinion in the comments section!

Sweet Potato Dog Treats That You Should Go Make

fried sweet potato in a plate

How do you express the unique and immeasurable love you have for your dog to your dog? I bet ear scratches, tummy rubs, and treats are your first thoughts. I also bet your treat stash includes sweet potato dog treats, am I right?

If not, you should consider adding them. Sweet potatoes are not only safe for dogs, but they also provide a range of health benefits and are great for their digestive health.

You want your dog to live as long and as happy a life as possible. One way to help make that happen is by occasionally giving them healthy, and yummy sweet potato dog treats.

So, what are the benefits of sweet potatoes and how should you make some of those tail wagging (your dog’s tail, not yours) sweet potato dog treats?

Why Sweet Potato Dog Treats?

sweet potato puff in a bowl

Image via Pixabay

While sweet potatoes should not be the primary source of nutrition for your dog, they are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Eating fiber lowers the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer not only in humans but in dogs as well.

Sweet potatoes are low in fat and rich in vitamins A, B6, C, calcium, potassium, and iron. Each of these nutrients plays a vital role in your dog's overall wellness. Cooked sweet potatoes, with the skin removed, are a beneficial nutritional ingredient in dog treats.

According to the American Kennel​​ Club, you should never feed your dog raw sweet potatoes. Raw sweet potatoes can be difficult to chew, upset your dog's stomach, and potentially cause intestinal blockage.

I have yet to find a recipe for sweet potato dog treats made of raw sweet potatoes; nonetheless, it's useful information to know

Dr. Barrack of the AKC stresses, "Too much of a good thing can cause bone and muscle weakness, due to excessive vitamin A." So don't over-treat your fur baby.

Alas, that adage of "everything in moderation" being the key to health and longevity applies to dogs as well. Sorry, Fido.

4 Reasons Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats Are Better than Store Bought

I'm sure there are more than four reasons to make homemade dog treats, but I'm going to focus on what I consider the top four.

1. It's all about control

woman shopping in a grocery store

via Giphy

Undoubtedly the number one, and the most important reason is you control what ingredients go into those homemade treats. Other than not purchasing them, you have no control of the contents in store-bought treats.

Have you ever read the ingredient label on dog treats? Can you even pronounce those ingredients? How many of those ingredients grow in a petri dish or a chemists test tube?

Your homemade treats will be fresh with no need for harmful preservatives or chemicals.

Oh, and let's not even delve into the dangers brought about as to where purchased dog treats are made. Just one word should immediately send you to the kitchen pulling out mixing bowls and warming up your oven. The word? China.

Over the past decade, there have been several instances of contaminated pet food being recalled after pets have fallen ill. Since there are so many ingredients now only made in China, it's virtually impossible to be assured your purchased treats are safe.

2. Some bacon, please?

Making your dog's treats allows you the ability to adjust the amount and type of ingredients suited for your dog's individual and unique tastes, nutritional needs, and digestive issues. That’s not possible with store-bought treats.

3. Shoes and shirt optional

man dressing up

via Giphy

Admittedly, there are times this could take the number one slot, but the real number three reason is you don’t have to get dressed and drive to the store.

Your kitchen is available round the clock, with no requirement of shirt and shoes. You can enter your kitchen barefoot, sans shirt, and make the treats whenever the mood hits, or the treat bin is empty.

Plus, your dogs get to smell the yummy treats as you’re making them, which they have to prefer over smelling a cardboard box or cellophane wrapper.

4. Keep your arm and leg

Last word: cost. It is so much cheaper to make sweet potato dog treats at home. Homemade sweet potato dog treats will not cost you an arm and a leg.

All that being said, not making homemade sweet potato treats boils down to one of two reasons. Either you think it’s too difficult to make sweet potato dog treats, or you forgot to pick up sweet potatoes in your last grocery haul.

We can’t help you with the latter, but if you keep reading, we’ll change your mind on the former.

Here’s What You’ll Need to Make Sweet Potato Dog Treats

No need to panic at the thought of buying tools or ingredients. Most likely all the things you need, ingredients and tools, to make sweet potato dog treats are probably already sitting in your pantry.

The tools or equipment you will need, or not

If you are fortunate enough to have a kitchen full of the latest and greatest in tools and equipment, you have no excuse for not making sweet potato treats.

Even if your kitchen (like most) is missing some of those latest and greatest, you still have no excuse.

Lets quickly review what kitchen equipment and tools you will use in making sweet potato dog treats. Relax, it's a very short list.

First, you measure

white measuring cup in a table

Image via Pixabay

Unless you’re an experienced cook with an exceptional eye for measuring, you will need some measuring implements.

A measuring cup and some mixing bowl should take care of all the measuring needs of making sweet potato dog treats.

Then you mix

You will need something to mix the ingredients. That could be as simple as a mixing bowl with a spoon, and some muscle.

A Kitchen Aid is a bit easier on the muscles and takes less time.

However, if you are fortunate enough to have a stand mixer (I love my dog bone, btw), your muscles will have to wait for a trip to the gym, and it will take you no time at all to get everything all mixed.

Then you shape

It would be nice to have one of those adorable dog bone cookie cutters and one of those heart-shaped silicone molds.

If you have them, get them out and use them. Your friends will ooh and aww over how adorable your homemade treats look. But you do not need them.

It’s easy enough to roll the dough into balls and flatten them into discs. Your friends may not be as impressed with their look, but they’ll still be impressed that you made your pooches treats.

Your dog could care less about what they look like; they will happily scarf them down no matter how they look. I’m speaking from experience here.

Now you bake, chill, or freeze

doggie bones in oven

Image via Flickr

If you’re making baked sweet potato dog treats, you will need a pan or cookie sheet to bake them on. Silicone mats or parchment paper, while not necessary, do make cleanup easier.

Obviously, for baked treats, you will need an oven, although a toaster oven also works. Again, speaking from experience.

If you’re making the no-bake treats, you’ll need a refrigerator or freezer. Duh

And now the ingredients

It's pretty apparent that the star of sweet potato dog treat is the sweet potato. Except for the chewy treats, you will want to cook and mash the sweet potato before adding it to other ingredients

The flour or grain used will depend on your dog's sensitivities. Many dogs have wheat allergies, making oat an excellent grain substitute for making homemade treats.

raw eggs in a tray

Image via Pixabay

When the recipe calls for eggs, use the ones in your refrigerator. Eggs provide an excellent source of riboflavin and selenium, which are very digestible proteins.

A note of interest with eggs is that you always want to feed your dog cooked eggs as raw egg whites can cause a biotin deficiency in dogs.

When sweet potato dog treats call for a fat, you want to stick with fish, sunflower, flaxseed, coconut, or olive oils. All beneficial to your dog's overall health, pretty much just like yours.

Peanut butter is not only useful for hiding pills for your dog, but it is also a high-value occasional treat.

However, it is crucial to avoid any peanut butter, or any product, that includes Xylitol, a common sugar-replacement sweetener. While safe for humans, it is incredibly poisonous to dogs and poisons thousands of dogs each year.

How much time will it take?

As with most recipes, some are quick and easy, and some are quite elaborate and time-consuming.

The following three recipes are all quicker than a trip to and from the grocery store. And they're easy enough for those of you who aren't intimately familiar with your kitchens' abilities.

3 Easy Recipes for Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats

These three recipes for sweet potato dog treats are so easy the only excuse you will have for not making them is not having any sweet potatoes. So stock up on your next grocery run, both you and your dog will be happy you did.

Sweet potato chews

sweet potato chips

Image via Pixabay

These chews are also human-friendly, so you may either have to hide them in a "just for Fido" place or make more.

  • Prep Time: Five minutes
  • Cook Time: Three hours
  • Yield: approximately 40 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes (Seriously, that's it)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats, parchment paper, or lightly spray them with a non-stick spray
  3. Peel the sweet potatoes
  4. Use a knife or mandoline to cut the sweet potato into 1/4 inch slices**
  5. Arrange the sweet potato pieces in a single layer on the baking sheets and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours
  6. Halfway through the cooking time, flip each piece
  7. Continue baking until sweet potatoes are shrunken and dried out (some will be chewy, and some will be crisp)
  8. Let cool, then store in an air-tight container in the fridge for about three weeks

Could it be any easier? I think not.

**Note: depending on the size of your dog, cut across the sweet potato into rounds or lengthwise into oblong shapes. Round for small dogs and oblong for larger dogs.

No-bake treats

cookies on white plate

Photo by Jessica Castro via Unsplash

Sweet potatoes and oats are both excellent natural sources of dietary fiber. Natural peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats. And in this recipe, it acts as a binder holding each of the ingredients together.

  • Makes approximately 24 individual treats

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups oats
  • 1/2 Cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Cup sweet potatoes, cooked and softly mashed

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl
  2. If you are using a stand mixer, use either your flat blade or dough hook
  3. Mix all ingredients until well blended
  4. Divide dough into approximately 2-ounce portions, about the size of a golf ball
  5. If using a silicone mold, press each 2-ounce piece into the mold, making sure you have filled the mold cavity. If not using a mold, roll each portion into a ball, shape as desired (or leave it in a ball) and place on a plate
  6. Put in refrigerator or freezer and allow to rest and firm up for 30 minutes
  7. Gently remove from mold, if using, and place treats in an airtight container

These protein packed treats store well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. If storing for a more extended period, place in freezer appropriate bag or container and store in the freezer for up to three months.

Super easy baked treats

baked dog bones food

Image via Pixabay

By substituting oats for flour in this recipe you avoid an allergy trigger in many dogs. Oats are tolerated well by most dogs and contain anti-inflammatory, skin-soothing properties. They are also rich in silicon, which helps make bones strong.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Yields: approximately 34 snacks

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups oats, rolled or quick
  • 1/2 Cup cooked sweet potato
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Add the oats to a food processor or blender and process until the oats have a consistency of course flour
  3. Combine the oat flour, sweet potato, and coconut oil into a bowl and mix until well combined
  4. Add the water, 1 Tablespoon at a time mixing thoroughly with each addition, until you can squeeze the mixture with your fingers into a ball
  5. Empty the bowl onto either a silicone mat or lightly floured surface and knead until you have a solid ball of dough (use oat flour if your dog has wheat allergies)
  6. Roll or pat out the mixture to a thickness of about 1/8 to 1/4 inch or 3 to 4 millimeters (you may need to use light sprinklings of flour to keep the dough from sticking to the surface)
  7. Cut dough out into shapes with either a cookie cutter, overturned glass, knife, or pizza wheel
  8. Carefully transfer the cookies to a cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (pay careful attention to your cookies after 20 minutes)
  9. Cool on a cooling rack and store in an airtight container

Stored in an airtight container these will keep for approximately two months.

Final Thoughts Before You Head to the Kitchen

We've discussed three easy, yet different, recipes for sweet potato dog treats, what you'll need to make them, why you should make them, and the benefit of making them.

We've also told you nutritious treats can be made at your leisure, even in your pj's in the middle of the night.

So the only thing left is to ask just how many sweet potatoes are you going to buy the next time you're at the grocery store?

Let us know how your treats turned out and just how much your dog loved them. And if you have a favorite recipe for sweet potato dog treats, please share in the comments below.

Primal Cravings: What Did Dogs Eat Before Dog Food?

wolves

In my many years as a Coonhound wrangler, the one constant reminder that my dogs descended from wolves is their love of bacon. More accurately stated, their love of all things meat. So what did dogs eat before dog food?

I have had the rare good fortune to live among wolves. The contrast in the diets of my hounds and the wolves is striking -- but there are also many similarities.

The wolves in this small wild pack at a wolf sanctuary are fed five pounds of raw chicken twice per week. My hounds would not be pleased with the other five days.

So What Did Dogs Eat Before Dog Food Became Commercially Available?

The simple answer to the question of what did dogs eat before dog food was sold in supermarkets is meat. Raw meat was primary to their diets. Dogs are descendants of wolves, and like wolves, they eat mostly meat.

Before pulverized puppy nuggets from Purina, domesticated dogs ate a diet that resembled that of their ancestors. They are predators -- even a Chihuahua is a hunter bred from a wolf into a small domesticated pet. However, genetically they are not that different.

Domesticated dogs certainly have evolved friendlier dispositions. This has contributed significantly to them becoming "man's best friend." But when exploring the question "What did dogs eat before dog food?" we can be concise in saying meat -- they ate meat.

While it is a bit more complicated than that, the basic answer will always remain the same. Whole Dog Journal lays out concisely how we fed our pups before commercial dog food.

Surprisingly, commercial dog food wasn't available until 1860. If you had a dog, you knew what your dog ate, and you just fed them. Since the invention of commercially produced dog foods, we now have a wide variety of dry kibble and moist canned foods from which to select.

Veterinarians are quick to recommend their favored brands. We no longer have to wonder, "What did dogs eat before dog food?"

We stand in the dog food aisle and painstakingly read the long list of ingredients. Among the most popular brands, you see a mix of meat- and plant-based ingredients. In the end, your dog may eat it, or he may snub his nose at it.

There is much debate about what is the healthiest diet for our hounds. However, there is little debate about what they originally ate. They are not vegetarians.

Early Domestication Of Dogs

Scientists estimate that dogs were domesticated between 20 to 40 thousand years ago from wolves according to Science Daily. So we know dogs come from wolves genetically. Therefore a dog's diet should resemble that of their ancient kin.

Dogs were the first animal that humans domesticated. Before cows and sheep and other farm animals, there was a bond that formed between wolves and people.

Brian Hare, director of the Duke University Canine Cognition Center, discusses the physical changes that took place over the centuries for Smithsonian Magazine.

Physical changes began to appear in dogs over time. These include the familiar floppy ears and curly tails. These changes follow a pattern known as self-domestication.

Hare notes it is what likely happened as friendlier wolves entered into a mutually beneficial arrangement with humans. The most friendly animals of a species gain an advantage. Friendliness is associated with these physical changes. This can happen in only a few generations.

So the research indicates that "friendlier" wolves had a genetic advantage when it came to becoming man's best friend. And once you become friends with a wolf, you have to make sure they eat.

The Invention Of Commercial Dog Food

The first commercial dog food was invented in Britain by James Spratt. It later evolved into a profitable venture here in the United States where the main ingredient was horsemeat as described by the Pet Food Institute.

Spratt, after seeing dogs eating leftover biscuits from a ship, created the first dog biscuits.

They were a mix of wheat meals, vegetables, beetroot, and beef blood. Spratt’s business venture was a hit among dog owners. It particularly met demands for affluent English hunters to feed their sporting dogs.

A British public company began mass-producing Spratt’s formula. It wasn't too long before U.S. production began. Companies sprang up marketing their recipes for biscuits and dry dog food.

Ken-L Ration was introduced in 1922 as the first canned wet food. The main ingredient was horsemeat.

This did not have the same stigma as it does today. Our understanding of horses has evolved, and they are no longer considered an acceptable ingredient in dog food.

As we continue to grow as a society, our understanding of canines has increased as well. By examining the entire scope of the question "What did dogs eat before dog food?" we realize that changes are happening in the pet food industry.

As time progresses, the dog food industry is beginning to follow different trends. One of the newest trends is a raw food diet that coincided with the popularization of a more Paleo diet for humans.

Dogs Are Hunters

Domesticated dogs are still hunters. They are hardwired to hunt, much to our dismay. While we like to distance ourselves from our furry friends' instincts, dogs have it in them to chase squirrels and rabbits.

Nature made it this way, and you can not nurture this instinct out of the canine. A feral dog is going to survive by hunting. There are no two ways about this.

But a well-loved hound has no survival need to hunt if you feed it a healthy diet.

Dogs are omnivores as well. That is why they will happily eat your french fries or even a garden salad. But their teeth tell a story about their diet. They do not have the grinding teeth of an herbivore. Their teeth are meant to shred meat.

A dog is an opportunist and it will eat what is available. It is as simple as that. Before our evolution into suburban and urban living, dogs hunted. They also scavenge and eat what falls from our tables, as spelled out by the Pet Food Institute. They eat what we do.

woman with dog and gun

Image by pixabay

In most households during the middle ages and through the mid-19th century, little consideration was given to what dogs ate. A dog’s diet was much like that of its owner historically -- mostly consisting of table scraps.

In the mid-1800s, a dog's diet had slightly more variety in cities. People could purchase horse meat for their pets. Working horses died in the streets and disposing of their bodies was mutually beneficial to both humans and their dogs.

So, what did dogs eat before dog food and what gave rise to the popularity of commercial pet food?

How Did The Pet Food Industry Prosper?

animal food

Image by pixabay

After the invention of processed pet foods, the habit of feeding a raw diet to our animals slowly gave way to feeding a diet of processed dog food.

There are many reasons why the pet food industry blossomed and now prospers. Chief among them is the constant stream of waste from grain mills and slaughterhouses. The leftover dregs of human-food processing plants is a boon for the pet food industry.

This waste is the primary source of what we now feed our dogs.

This also leads to much debate about what we are feeding our pups.

Boutique Diets Rise In Popularity

A recent study has found that the trend in grain-free dog food presents heart health risks. However, this is somewhat controversial. Many dog owners swear by a grain-free diet as is evident from what is now available at any pet store.

University of California, Davis, veterinarians led a team that has found a link between some popular grain-free, legume-rich dog diets and a type of nutritional deficiency and canine heart disease known as taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy.

Researchers found a specific risk for dogs eating some of these boutique diets. They appear to develop taurine deficiency. Taurine is an amino acid necessary for heart health. A taurine deficiency can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy. DCM is a disorder of the heart muscle that can lead to congestive heart failure.

The study finds that the fillers used in grain-free food are insufficient for proper nutrition. Manufacturers, like Purina with their popular Purina Pro Plan, have been addressing this concern. Their formula gives the appropriate amount of taurine required for a dog's health.

We've been discussing raw food diets, and this is why.

The New Trend In A Raw Food Diet

Many research houses have been exploring the potential benefits and risks of a raw food diet. This new trend has played on the fears associated with processed dog food. It also allows us to feed them a diet more closely resembling what dogs ate before domestication.

Raw dog food diets are controversial. But the popularity of the diets, which emphasize raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables, is rising.

Many working breeds such as sled dogs have long eaten raw food diets. Incorporating those feeding practices into the life of the suburban dog is a more recent proposition.

Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst is known as the father of this movement. He named his recommendations the BARF diet. BARF is an acronym that stands for Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

Billinghurst believed that adult dogs would thrive on a diet similar to their wolf ancestors. This diet primarily consists of raw, meaty bones and vegetable scraps. Grain-based commercial pet foods, he contended, were harmful to a dog’s health.

The Diet Typically Includes Raw Meat, Vegetables, And Some Dairy

A raw dog food diet can vary, but these ingredients are relatively standard:

  • Muscle meat, often still on the bone
  • Bones, either whole or ground
  • Some dairy including cheese and yogurt
  • Organ meats such as livers and kidney
  • Broccoli, spinach, and celery, but no onions
  • Apples and bananas are fine
  • Raw eggs

The primary risks intrinsic to a dog's health with a raw diet is bacterial contamination. Many folks who feed their dogs a raw diet disinfect their meat -- particularly on the outer surface.

The idea that feeding a dog the same foods that a wolf would eat is rather obvious. A dog is a wolf that has become a Labradoodle.

So What Is The Right Thing To Feed Your Dog?

It is debatable. That is for sure.

In the end, it is most likely that how you love your dog matters most. There are undoubtedly many foods we eat that are taboo for dogs. For example, onions and chocolate can be toxic.

But if you want to know what a dog should eat, consider the diets of wolves. That is why knowing the answer to "what did dogs eat before dog food" matters so much. The genetic differences between your Lab and a timber wolf are minor. That is why they can interbreed.

That is also why their dentition and intestines are so similar. When it comes to answering the question "What did dogs eat before dog food?" we need only look at their teeth.

Dogs are what they are -- even if they do like broccoli.

What do you prefer to feed your furry friends? Share your favorite foods in the comments below.

Featured image: Pixabay license, by Comfreak via Pixabay

Eukanuba Dog Food Review: High Quality Your Pooch Will Love

Dog food on a silver bowl - eukanuba dog food review

Image from Pixabay

Giving your dog nutritionally balanced food is monumental, and that's the reason why you're likely looking at a Eukanuba dog food review. Just like people, dogs need proper nutrition to live long and fulfilling lives. It also happens to be one of the pleasures in life and boy do our dogs know it!

These furry friends spend their lives following us around by day and sleeping at the foot of our beds at night. We love them being a part of our lives and only want them to have the best dog food. But, what is the best dog food?

What Is High-Quality Dog Food?

Well, dog food should give our pets the proper nutrients that keep them strong, healthy, and energized. Dogs are omnivores and scavengers by nature, so they need a protein-rich diet.

Most dog food companies will use animal-based protein and then use other ingredients to give your dog the rest of the vitamins and nutrients they need.

About Eukanuba Dog Food

Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, 33 pounds. Bag

Image from Amazon

Before we take a deep dive into the Eukanuba dog food review, let's talk about some of the basics. Every dog has individual needs that you should consider as you learn which food is best for them.

Eukanuba dog food offers a variety of food types for your pet, including puppy, adult, senior, and breed specific foods. This high-quality food comes in a variety of flavors, but chicken is among the most popular. The company also offers wet food and treats, so there really is not much more you could want from a dog food brand.

For the sake of the most accurate Eukanuba dog food review possible, we will specifically focus on the adult, large breed food with chicken. This food is for dogs 15 months or older with a weight of 55 pounds or heavier.

It comes in a 33-pound bag and even specifies a range of how much you should be feeding your dog each day. They claim their food will improve your dog’s oral health, skin and coat, digestion, immune system, and joints and bones. They base this all on the nutrients they provide in their food.

Dedication to premium ingredients

When it comes to ingredients in a dog food brand, you want to avoid filler ingredients. That's especially true if the filler ingredient is first on the list. The number one item on the ingredients list has the most substantial presence in the food, so make sure the number one ingredient is high-quality protein.

The number one ingredient in Eukanuba dog food is chicken, and the number two ingredient is cornmeal. It's excellent that it has a quality protein, but some may not like cornmeal at all. However, if there are enough nutrients in the food, the added corn will help keep your furry friend satisfied.

That's when a useful Eukanuba dog food review becomes essential. While you can learn about dog food by looking at its main ingredients, you also need to look at the rest of the nutrients.

For one, Eukanuba uses animal protein, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine to promote muscle development and joint health. They also add DHA and vitamin E to support happy brain function. Last, there are enough fats and carbohydrates to fuel an active lifestyle.

If you want to find the best dog food, be sure to look at all of the ingredients. You should also perform further research on your breed to make sure the food is well-suited for them.

The customers’ Eukanuba dog food review

Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, 33 pounds. Bag
  • Eukanuba adult large breed dry dog food is complete and balanced nutrition for large breed dogs 15 months or older,...
  • Promotes lean muscle development and joint health in active adult dogs with a combination of animal protein, chondroitin...
  • Helps keep dogs sharp and supports healthy brain function with DHA and vitamin E

If you look at the ratings online, many people leave a great Eukanuba dog food review. Some customers had their local vet recommend the food to them, and some of them compare it to other high-quality dog food brands.

That includes well-known brands like Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo. Some of these brands are more expensive, but customers claim that you can get food just as good at a better offers.

When customers listed the dog breed they fed the food to, this showed that the food works for a variety of dogs. Even dogs with sensitive stomachs had no problems with this food.

One of the only complaints refers to their dog getting sick after eating the food. However, the customer admitted that they might have purchased the food from a non-reliable source. In order to prevent this, make sure to check the manufacturer before you make a purchase.

EUKANUBA Puppy Mixed Grill Chicken & Beef Dinner in Gravy Formula...

Image from Amazon

How This Dog Food Compares

No products found.

Image from Amazon

When you search for a Eukanuba dog food review on the internet, you will likely find other recommended brands as well.

For the sake of transparency and honestly, it's only fair to compare Eukanuba to the other top dog food brands. Some of the top competing brands include Taste of the Wild, Hill’s Science Diet, and Diamond Naturals. 

Be sure to look at each of the products, their ingredients, and other customer reviews so you can make an educated choice.

How We Reviewed

When covering a Eukanuba dog food review, we have your best interest in mind. When your pet becomes your furry best friend, you want to treat them with as much love as possible. This includes giving them food that will help them live a longer, healthier life.

We examined numerous customer reviews, other website reviews, and the manufacturers’ websites. Eukanuba and the other top dog food brands all have high ratings, and many customers recommend them. It's because of this research that we want to share this information with you.

Your dog only deserves the best, including the best dog food for their unique needs.

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Pacific...
  • A taste of the wild with SMOKED SALMON; REAL SALMON is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile, PROTEIN rich for...
  • Premium ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS;...
  • Ingredients From Trusted, Sustainable Sources Around The World; Made With No Grain, Corn, Wheat, Filler; No Artificial...

When you search the internet for high-quality dog food, you will likely see Taste of the Wild at the top of the list. Their Pacific Stream flavor, which includes smoked salmon and other fish. It even has Amazon’s Choice label on it.

One of the main reasons Taste of the Wild does so well is because their dog food does not contain any grains. While dogs can have grains, they act more as a filler and do not have as much nutritional value. To make their food bulkier, this company adds ingredients like sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, lentils, tomatoes, and blueberries.

Their ingredients provide a high amount of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants for your pet. All of these things help them to have healthy skin, a nice coat, and lean muscles. They even add probiotics to promote excellent gut health.

This dog food comes in a 30-pound bag. This bag is a few pounds less than the Eukanuba brand and still costs more. However, this is one of the best grain free dog food brands you can buy.

Sale
Hill's Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Large Breed, Chicken & Barley...
  • A dry dog food specially formulated to fuel the energy needs of large breed adult dogs
  • Supports your grown dog's joint health with natural sources of glucosamine & chondroitin
  • Maintain your senior dog's healthy skin and shiny coat with nourishing omega-6 fatty acids & vitamin E

Hill’s Science Diet for large breeds is another dog food that is worth looking into. Customers say their dog loves the chicken and barley flavor. It is also an Amazon’s Choice product, so you know it's a reliable one.

The first three ingredients include chicken, whole grain wheat, and cracked pearled barley. While some customers may not like the grains, this dog food also offers a rich source of nutrients including protein, glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-6 fatty acids, and vitamin E.

These ingredients will provide your dog with the energy they need throughout the day and help them to build strong muscles. It will also keep their skin and coat healthy, which gives them a lively shine.

The only complaint that some customers have about Hill’s Science Diet is that there may have been a slight recipe change that did not agree with their pet. This may indicate that if your dog has a sensitive stomach, they may have a harder time with this food.

Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog, Beef and Rice Formula, 40...
  • HIGH quality PROTEIN made with real PASTURE RAISED beef, tailored for adult dogs to thrive; optimal amino acid profile...
  • Premium ingredients with added vitamins & minerals; fruits and vegetables as SUPERFOODS for hard-working ANTIOXIDANTS;...
  • Nutrient rich and HIGHLY DIGESTIBLE with PROPRIETARY PROBIOTICS that survive and thrive in the GI tract; at guaranteed...

Another top dog food brand is Diamond Naturals. Their beef meal and rice flavor has over 2,000 customer reviews. Like the other two competitors, this dog food also has Amazon’s Choice label.

The first three ingredients in this dog food include beef meal, peas, and ground white rice. While it is great that protein is the first ingredient, beef meal is not the ideal type. That's because beef meal is merely a by-product and not what humans would eat.

However, the beef meal comes from pasture-raised cows and is of higher quality than other beef by-products. The food also comes with all the essential vitamins and nutrients dogs need. They can build lean muscle and have healthy skin and a shiny coat. There are also probiotics to promote good gut health.

This food comes in a 40-pound bag, which is the largest bag of all the competing products.

Eukanuba Dog Food Pros and Cons

There are several advantages you can find in a Eukanuba dog food review that will keep your pet happy and healthy for many years to come. However, there are some potential disadvantages that you will also need to consider. Be sure to weigh your own pros and cons as well before you decide to make a purchase.

Pros

  • High-quality protein as the first ingredient
  • Great variety for different dog breeds and sizes
  • Includes DHA and vitamin E for healthy brain function

Cons

  • Not a grain free dog food
  • May not be suitable for sensitive stomachs

Treat Your Dog with the Best Ingredients

For many people, their dog truly is man’s best friend. They always show love and loyalty, and they would be by your side forever if they could.

By feeding your dog a food that is high in protein, vitamins, and other nutrients, you are giving them complete nutrition for a healthy life. The best ingredients will affect all aspects of their life. And that includes running around the back yard or taking a nap at your feet.

However, in our research, we found that Eukanuba dog food offers a quality product that does a great job of meeting the nutritional needs of dogs. However, it's wise to continue to research after reading a Eukanuba dog food review and learn more about the product yourself. Your decision will change your furry friend’s life.

Do you use any of the dog foods included in this Eukanuba dog food review? Which is your favorite? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.