Well it is toasty out! What tastes better than a nice cold smoothie or ice cream on a hot summer day? Your dog thinks the same thing... trust us! Here is our homemade pooch smoothie recipe to whip up your dog a yummy, healthy, vitamin and protein packed snack to enjoy outside.
5.3oz Plain Greek Yogurt
1/3 cup Natural Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
handful of ice-cubes
water to thin and blend as needed
In a blender add the plain greek yogurt, banana, peanut butter, blueberries and ice-cubes. Add water and blend to a nice, easy-to-pour consistency (add additional water as needed throughout blending to thin out smoothie for pouring).
After you have made your smoothie, pour into silicone cupcake molds like these and put in the freezer. Your pooch smoothies will set up overnight. If you want to give them extra appeal, you can add in a treat like the picture below after a few hours in the freezer.
The silicone molds are freezer safe and will not stick to the smoothie! When you are ready to serve, peel the mold right off the smoothie and hand the yummy, cold treat to your pooch to eat! Wash the silicone mold and store until you are ready to make more.
This recipe will make ~6 large cupcake molds. Your pooch smoothies can store in the freezer for awhile so your dog can enjoy them over several weeks! Enjoy.
Playing on and in the water can be a carefree way to spend the day with your dog this summer, but keeping them safe is #1! Know these Safety Rules before taking them out:
1) Going to the lake or the beach? First, make sure you're taking your dog to a dog-friendly body of water. You don't want to end your day with a ticket or fine for having your dog in a "people only" area.
2) Make sure your dog hasn't just eaten. From throwing up to deep chested breeds like great danes or weimaraners developing bloat, it's best to be on the safe side and wait a few hours.
3) Once there, never throw them into the water. Introduce them slowly to get them used to it, and also to give yourself a chance to see/feel what's lingering below the surface. You'll be happy your didn't throw Fido in when you discover jagged rocks, sudden drop-offs, strong currents, or freezing water temps that could have led to an injury. Dog-proof the area if needed or find a new area that safer.
4) A lot of dogs love to go swimming or run into the lake or ocean after a ball, but not all dogs can swim, nor should they without proper attire. If you're out on the boat or plan on swimming off the beach, make sure you have a Coast Guard approved lifejacket for your pooch. Not all dogs are natural swimmers. Brachycephalic breeds like pugs, boston terriers, and english bulldogs cannot swim without the support of a life jacket. With their front-heavy bodies and squished faces it is easy for them to drown due to their lack of buoyancy and harder time breathing. Finding a life jacket for your dog is more than just grabbing one at the pet store. Check out this article on how to select the proper one for fit and function.
5) When it comes to skin maintenance, we have a variety of products to keep in your beach/boat bag! Our non-toxic Sunscreen Spray and Sunscreen Balm can easily be applied to your dogs nose and face. Also our Ear Cleaner Spray is a great way to clean out your dogs ears after swimming. It will help prevent infections and pull out any bacteria or "floaties" your dog may have picked up while swimming. And if your dog comes out smelling extra stinky use our Cologne Sprays to help get rid of that doggie smell while they're drying.
6) Make sure you have plenty of fresh drinking water on hand just for them and refill it regularly. Dogs will easily drink from the lake or ocean, but it doesn't mean the water is clean! Parasites, bacteria, algae, and salt intake can lead to a sick pooch causing deyhdration or giardia. Also, let your dog get some rest in during swimming or fetch on the beach... an exhausted dog is more likely to drown!
7) It is always nice to have dog treats and poop bags on hand too. We have individual poop bag rolls for easy on the go convenience and we have a great selection of gluten-free and grain-free treats. Lastly don't forget fun floating water toys! Things like tennis balls soak up too much water and can cause your dog to choke on the water while swimming. Our eco-friendly recycled rubber and hemp toys come in fun shapes and sizes. They float easily and won't take on water and are easy to dry out.
8) Lastly, make sure your dog knows how to get in/out of a boat or on/off a dock safely. You can find floatable ramps like these Doggy Docks ones to attach to your swim platform or dock to give them easy access in and out of the water. Also when driving a boat, teach them to ride safely by keeping them in a v-bunk, tied up on the deck with you, or sitting in your lap or next to you. The last thing you want is your pooch falling or jumping out and injuring themselves.
Making your dog part of your daily lives is the best way to strengthen your bond. Now get out there and take them for a trip to the beach or a boat ride... safely! Enjoy the summer weather.
Earth Day is coming up! It’s easy to think of planting trees for Earth Day, but how can you do more and make it count with your pet? Here are a few suggestions:
Take a Walk! An easy one to do that’s free, doesn’t emit exhaust fumes into the atmosphere, and allows you to experience Mother Natures at her finest. Stop to smell those roses! Although your dog may be showing their appreciation for the day by peeing or pooping on those newly planted trees…. make sure you have our biodegradable poop bags on hand! :D
Spring Clean! Not only should you spring clean your own closet, but do your pet’s. Recycle those used toys, leashes, and beds either at the recycling center or by donating them to shelters or pet owners who can’t afford new ones. Also spring clean your dog by giving them a bath with this natural rubber scrub brush.
Buy Green! Perhaps you need to purchase a new leash, bed, or toy for your pet anyway. Search for eco-friendly options made with recycled material, organic materials, non-toxic dyes, and to boot can be recycled themselves! Feel free to check out all of our eco-friendly toys.
Create an Eco & Dog Friendly Yard! If you are planning on doing some new landscaping or yard cleanup this year, check out this article on how to make it more eco and still fun for your pooch.
Local Events! Look for local Earth Day festivals in your area to get out and support Earth friendly businesses. Take your dog and make it a family day.
Enjoy your Earth Day and don’t forget to take in a big ol’ breath of fresh air.
Canine massage.... have you tried it? Learning massage techniques to use on your dog(s) is an easy and very therapeutic way to spend time with them. Massage can be used for a variety of ailments or just relaxation and bonding. Massage means using "purposeful touch" to manipulate the muscle tissue to heal, reduce stress, improve agility, detect stiffness, pain, or swelling, and to help your dog relax. There are different techniques you can use depending on what you're wanting to accomplish.
Now before you start your massage, you ideally you want to find a quiet area that can become your "massage zone." Help your dog get relaxed by providing a bed or towel for them to lay on or just let them stretch out in any position they want. You can also prep the room or area with our Calming Spray. When massaging a dog you can't force them into positions; you really just have to work with them in whatever position they're laying. This means when they move, you move with them. Also, listen and watch your dog as they will tell you when something feels nice and when there's an area they do not want massaged. Sounds of sighing and groaning or leaning into your hand can be signs the massage is feeling extra nice in that area. Pulling away, yelping, whining, or getting up and trying to move are signs you should avoid massaging that particular area and revisit it later. Aim to massage your dog for 15 minutes a day, if you only have five minutes available either focus on one area like the ears and head or hold off until you can give them more time and you're not distracted.
There are certain times that you DO NOT want to massage your dog. These would be immediately after strenuous play or exercise, if they have a severe injury, have a skin disease, underwent surgery in the last 3 days, or are sick with a fever. If your dog has a cyst, a torn muscle, small wound, acute swelling or sprain, or arthritis, it is OK to massage them above and below these areas (light touch will actually help speed up healing and relieve aches and stiffness).
There are several types of massage strokes you can use. Effleurage (long broad strokes) are often used to warm up the muscle or to encourage relaxation. Kneading and Friction are used to break up tight muscle fibers by squeezing, rolling, and lifting. Compression is pressing into the muscle on larger areas with bone underneath (ie. the hips and hind legs). Wringing can be used on the legs and limbs by gently using both hands to move up and down the leg like you're wringing out a washcloth. Lastly, Rocking is physically rocking your dog from side to side or up and down to stimulate calming. If remembering these terms is daunting, check out the drawings below from Lili Chin to follow while you are practicing your dogs massage! They are a great resource to print out and you can find them all on our Pinterest Page.
This is another helpful picture of a Dog's Muscle Anatomy:
Be sure to use our Joint Massage Oil to help with your massage and for extra healing properties. It is designed to heal and reduce inflammation in your dog’s joints and muscles. It can be used on arthritic hips, limping legs, pulled muscles or tendons, and stiffness found throughout the body. Yes it is safe to lick!
Remember, massage not only provides relaxation, but it's a great way to stimulate the body to naturally heal itself! Your dog will love you for it and you'll enjoy the bonding moment it creates. To learn more on specific techniques or canine massage in general, the book A Dog Lover's Guide to Canine Massage is a great one to check out! Happy massaging!
WOW it has been 10 years since I started PETfection! It has been an awesome journey that I hope continues for many years.
I started this company with one thing in mind--- safe, chemical free products for dogs and cats. Back in 2007, I was living in Colorado working as a chemist making solutions for pharmaceutical companies. I had to work with dangerous chemicals in a clean room environment and absolutely hated how bad they could be. Wearing respirators to work with ingredients that are found in toothpaste and ice cream really made me start paying attention to ingredients in my products!
My passion for dogs and cats goes back to when I was little, but more specifically to when I was 14 and thought I wanted to be a veterinarian. From volunteering at the vet hospital to eventually working there for a number of years, I learned I truly want the best for our beloved furry friends.
In 2007 Natural products for pets were just starting to emerge, let alone, Organic. Today there has been a huge shift towards more natural and more organic options for our family pets. Although it is awesome that consumers now have more safe choices, it can still be a tedious task to scan ingredient labels to make sure the product is full of natural or organic ingredients, and not just one or two mixed in with standard chemicals.
My first product was Paw Cream. My goal when creating it was to have every ingredient in it be non-toxic, pure, organic if possible, and effective at treating the specific ailment of healing and protecting dry paw pads, noses, elbows, and any other dry spot on the body. I wanted a customer to be able to read the label on the jar and understand the ingredients and pronounce them! With every product created my goal has stayed the same. I work with very reputable companies for my supplies and make sure the ingredients are sourced correctly and have analyses done of them. I am a believer in the effectiveness of essential oils, but I steer clear of certain ones that are either shown to be toxic to dogs/cats or show conflicting info on toxicity. The same goes for all the therapeutic healing oils used and every other ingredient in PETfection products. Every ingredient has been specifically researched and sought out to use for it's healing properties and for its non-toxicity.
PETfection products exist because of all the friends, family, and unknown customers who have been willing to give these products a try and reach for something better for their own four legged animal. I truly thank each and every person known and unknown who has supported this business! At the end of the day I want dogs and cats to be healthy and happy. I am in this for them and am SO grateful for the last 10 years.
-Sheena Michels (creator & owner)
Reading the labels on your pet's food is a great habit to get into. Scanning the ingredient list can tell you a lot about what your pet is consuming, but one thing it can't tell you is the amount of Carbohydrates. Carbs are the sugars and starches that make up a food and are the energy source your pet needs.
Everyone knows eating too many carbs can lead to weight gain in people. The same is true for pets. When you read your pet’s food bag you will see a percentage breakdown of protein, fat, fiber, minerals (sometimes called Ash) and moisture, but no Carbs!
The importance of knowing the percentage of carbs in your pet’s food is to help stave off further weight gain in overweight pets, help prevent obesity in pets naturally prone to it (for example pugs, bulldogs, and beagles), and help decrease the risk of diabetes. With a lower percentage of carbs in your pet’s food, your pet can lose body fat and become less insulin resistant. So if you have a pudgy pooch, chubby cat, or diabetic prone pet, definitely pay close attention! We are going to show you how to figure out the percentage of carbohydrates in your pets food.
For example purposes, here is a breakdown of percentages off a bag of dry dog food:
Crude Protein – 24%
Crude Fat – 15%
Crude Fiber – 4%
Moisture – 10%
*Minerals/Ash generally constitute for about 8% of food weight.
If you look at the percentage breakdown of protein, fat, fiber, minerals, and moisture on the bag, you can add them all up and see they won’t equal 100%. This is because of the moisture content. Having 10% moisture in food means the bag actually contains 90% food. To figure out the “correct” percentages of protein, fat, and fiber, you have to divide each of the percentages on our example bag by 90%.
In our case Protein is: 24% divided by 90%, which is 26.6% of protein weight
Fat is: 15% divided by 90%, which is 16.6% of fat weight
Fiber is 4% divided by 90%, which is 4.4% of fiber weight
Now that we have your correct percentages, we can calculate Carbs!!
Carbohydrates = 100% - Protein – Fat – Fiber – Minerals/Ash
In our example, Carbohydrates = 100% - 26.6% - 16.6% - 4.4% - 8%
Carbohydrates = 44.4%
You can do this calculation with multiple brands of pet food until you get a low carb percentage. Go ahead and pull out your pet’s food bag! Do the calculation and see how low the carb percentage is. 30% is usually the lowest you’ll find in a dry food.
If you still have questions or have a hard time calculating the carbs in your pet's food, please contact us and we'll be happy to help!
It is no surprise there are millions of dogs that suffer from anxiety and nervousness. According to the Cummings School of Vet Medicine at Tufts University, almost 20% of the nation's 80 million dogs suffer! Anything from a thunderstorm and fireworks, to garbage trucks and jackhammers can set dogs off. Behaviors can include barking, pacing, panting, hiding, and shaking. Symptoms generally start showing up between 1-3 years of age or can kick in later in life after years of being symptomless.
As a pet owner, it is always hard to deal with a dog that shows anxiety or nervousness. Working with a dog to overcome their behavior can be a daily, exhausting game. We are finding more and more people do not want to give their dog a tranquilizer from the vet to keep them calm. This is especially the case when the dog doesn’t show extreme anxiety or nervousness, but only minor or only in certain situations. With our Calming Spray, you can naturally put your dog at ease without worrying about knocking them out or making them loopy. Our spray works by the aroma; as the dog breathes in the relaxing oils it stimulates the brain to release neurochemicals to relax. Your dog won’t become real sleepy, but will instead chill out to a calm state. Customers report their dog will go from pacing back and forth and panting, to laying down in the living room. Others report their dog will stop shaking in their hiding spot and will seem more at ease (check out all of our reviews here).
The wonderful thing about our spray is you can use it virtually anywhere. We recommend spraying it onto the chest of the dog, their collar, or onto your hands and then rubbing it all over their snout. You can also spray it on their bed, crate, thundershirt, or “safe zone” without hurting them or the fabric/material. You can use this spray multiple times a day or just as needed. With the totally natural and organic, chemical-free formula you don’t have to worry about over use. Of course your dog can lick this spray too.
With the Fourth of July around the corner and thunderstorms already here, we hope you can give your anxiety prone dog some relief this year, and hopefully it will be with our Calming Spray!
February is Pet Dental Month. According to the American Pet Products Association, 54% of family members take care of their dogs dental health (compared to a veterinarian, a groomer, or someone else doing it). Most pet owners know their pets teeth should be cleaned, but don't necessarily do anything regularly.
Good dental health is very important; pets want their teeth just like we want our teeth! Imagine not brushing your teeth for days and years on end. All that grime and gunk builds up causing plaque to form, the gums to inflame and become sensitive, and the worst for pet owners--- bad breath!! Approximately 85% of cats and dogs have some form of periodontal or dental disease, and if left untreated can lead to kidney issues, heart troubles, and bloodstream infections.
There is nothing better than a professional veterinarian cleaning, but products can be used to help with breath and plaque on a regular basis. Our Breath Freshener Spray does more than freshening the breath; it will also help with gingivitis by reducing inflammation in the gums. The essential oils (hydrosols for cats) will help kill off bacteria that leads to bad breath and plaque buildup. It is easy to use on sensitive or senior dogs, and doesn't taste bad either!
We recommend using our spray in three different ways. One is to spray directly into the mouth and onto the teeth, two is to dump it on a cotton ball and wipe the teeth off... this will help remove buildup on the teeth, three is to stick a small child's (or babies) toothbrush directly into the spray solution, then lift the cheek to brush the teeth. Our spray is non-toxic so if you decide to add it to your pets water or spray it on a bone/chew toy, no worries that's OK too.
For pets with extremely bad breath or bad teeth, use our spray regularly, especially at the beginning. Start with two times a day and decrease as you see improvement. The number of sprays does not matter. Please make sure to purchase the corresponding spray for your pet! Cat's need the Cat Breath Freshener and dog's need the Dog Breath Freshener. If you have both a dog and cat, we recommend each of them having their own spray.
We hope these tidbits of information will give you the know-how and confidence to start taking care of your pets dental health. To learn more or read reviews click here.
Welcome the New Year and Your New Year's Resolution With Your Dog By Your Side!
5 easy resolution tips to share with your pooch:
1) Make it a Healthier New Year by committing to walking your dog at least once a day. The fresh air will do you and them wonders!
2) Commit to Quality Time with your pup. Spend 15 minutes each day fully concentrated on him/her. Play with an interactive toy, give them loves, talk, eat together, etc. They would rather have your full attention for a few minutes each day over semi-attention several times a day.
3) Decide to Go Green with your dog this year. Replace chemical cleaners with biodegradable ones. Purchase eco-friendly toys. Buy a hemp collar or leash. Switch to natural or holistic treats and food. Change to using organic shampoo over a chemical shampoo.
4) Natural Supplements for You and Your Dog. If you aren't currently taking supplements or vitamins, start to this year with the help of your dog. Say a Multi-Vitamin for yourself and a Hip Supplement for your dog?
5) Include Your Pooch on a Trip. Any travel plans this year? See about taking your pet along too. Look for pet friendly hotels, go camping, take a canoe trip, or jet set off on a plane. It is easier now than ever to take your favorite furry friend along!
Remember, resolutions don't have to be hard or time consuming. Take small chunks each day to work on your resolution; it will compound into a full year's worth of gratitude and bonding for you and your dog!!
With the line of holidays coming up, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Valentine's Day, it's easy to forget how they may negatively impact your pet.
The first holiday havoc to think about is FOOD. From Halloween chocolates to Christmas fruit cake, it's easy for your pet to pig out on something they shouldn't be. Give yourself a reminder on what foods are unsafe for pets so they'll be fresh in your brain when the sweets are out, and just because something isn't on the list doesn't mean it's ok! If anything, keeping food away from your pet will help them from gaining extra winter weight.
A second havoc is holiday PLANTS. Did you know there are almost 400 plants that are toxic to dogs and cats? With a huge list it is easy to become overwhelmed, so let's focus on the top holiday plants. Make sure to keep your Amaryllis, Poinsettia, Mistletoe, and Holly out of fido or fluffy's reach, and keep Pine Needles swept or vacuumed up regularly.
The third havoc is holiday DECORATIONS. It's fun to decorate the house and yard for the different holidays, but be sure there isn't anything your pet can get tangled in, electrocuted by, cut by, or anything for them to find as a nice snack. Ribbons, spider webs, tinsel, and wrapping paper are easy for your pet to ingest so clean up well and make sure they are hung up high. Holiday lights can also be tempting for pets to chew on so try and keep the cords protected or hidden. Any glass or sharp decorations should also be put up high and not in a place your pet can knock them over and then walk through.
Holiday havoc number four is LOUD NOISES. New Year's fireworks, screaming Halloween heads, and Christmas cracker poppers can startle your pet and send them running to hide. If your pet has issues with loud noises, keep them out of the room before the festivities start. We offer a few Calming options to help with anxiety and nervousness (Calming Spray and ZEN Licks vitamins). The last thing you want is to deal with a stressed out pet right in the middle of your celebration.
Our fifth havoc is holiday TRAVEL. While airlines and hotels are becoming more pet friendly, traveling with your pet or leaving them at home/in a kennel can pull on their emotional strings. Sure not all pets mind when you leave them, but many can become anxious, depressed, or destructive. If they will not be staying at someone's house who will give them them the attention and the exercise they need, look for a reputable boarding kennel in your area. Some kennels take dogs on walks, spend the night with them, have cat play rooms, and even provide in home pet sitting. Check out petsitters.org, care.com, or sittercity.com for in-home pet sitters. Also the AKC has some good questions to ask at your local boarding facility to make sure they will be a good fit.
Last, but not least, plan ahead and have your vets number on hand, poison control's number on hand, and know where the closest emergency vet office is just in case something happens.
Hopefully we these tips all of your upcoming holidays will be filled with cheer and happiness for you and your pet!