Thursday, August 29, 2013

11th Week of Summer: Throw a Party

Labor Day is the symbolic end to summer, the kick-off to football season, and the start of a new school year. But why do we celebrate Labor Day? 
Labor Day is celebrated in honor of the economic and social contribution of workers.  It’s a national holiday that recognizes all the work you do and the contributions you make to society.  In other words, it’s your day to relax and enjoy life.

Most holiday weekends, one might try to get away, but sometime you just can’t.  If you can’t get away this Labor Day, why not throw a dog-friendly get-together?

You are cordially invited….

You can invite any one you like, whether they have a dog or not.  For those without a dog, make sure they are comfortable around dogs.  For those with a dog, make sure their pup is dog and people friendly before inviting them.


This party doesn’t have to be a big production.  In fact, most the attention will be on the dogs so you don’t need any decorations, fancy outfits, or party favors.  Keep the food simple (and dog themed if you like) with hotdogs and chips. Or do a pot luck and ask everyone to bring an item to feed 10 people (or less, if your group is smaller).  Don’t forget plates, plastic ware, napkins, cups, and a couple of trash bags.


While you could throw a Labor Day party whenever you like, it would make the most sense to throw one sometime during the Labor Day weekend.


Of course, your home would be the first place that comes to mind, but if your place is too small or you don’t think having a bunch of dogs there is a good idea, you can always host your friends and family at a local park or even at the dog beach.  Just keep in mind that it’s a holiday weekend, so you’ll want to get there early to reserve a spot.

In addition, you can make a special treat for the pups to enjoy.  You could make a pup-tini, baked biscuits, or frozen pup pop for them.  There are countless easy-to-make dog treat recipes available online, that you could whip up the day before. (For frozen treat ideas, check out last week’s article listed below). Just be sure you let the other pet parents know the ingredients before you serve them.  Some dogs may have a food allergy or sensitive stomach and will not be able to partake.

And lastly, if you do plan on being outside that day, be sure to bring sunblock for everyone (dogs too if needed), plenty of water for the pups, and a blanket and chair to sit on.  Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend; you deserve it!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

10th Week of Summer: Cool Down with Homemade Pup Pops

August is always the hottest month of summer.  And just when we look for relief in fall, most times it doesn’t come until the end of October.  Here are some cool treats you and your pup can make together to help beat the heat until winter.

Enjoy one last summer ice cream cone with your pup.  He’s bound to love this Peanut Butter and Carob Swirl.

Ingredients:   32 oz plain yogurt (low-fat or non-fat); 1 cup natural peanut butter; and ½ cup carob chips

1. Divide the yogurt evenly into a 6 cup muffin pan. 

2. Pour the peanut butter into a small bowl. 

3. Melt the carob chips gradually in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl. Stir every 15-30 seconds.

4. Pour the melted carob into the peanut butter. Stir until combined.

5. Place a spoonful of the peanut butter mixture on top of the yogurt in each cup of the muffin pan.

6. Using a toothpick, gently stir or swirl the peanut butter with the yogurt.

7. Freeze until solid, then let your pup enjoy a cup at a time!
These homemade cold dog treats will last about 2 months in the freezer.  If you don’t want your dog to eat them all within 2 months, feel free to share them with other dog owners.

Back-to-school time calls for a good ol’ fashion PB & J sandwich. And now Fido can enjoy a similar treat too with this Peanut Butter and Jelly Frozen Smoothie Pops recipe.

Ingredients:  4 cups plain yogurt (low-fat or non-fat); 1 ripe banana; 1 cup of blueberries; 3 tbsp natural peanut butter; 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Stir all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl.

2. Pour into a blender and puree until smooth.

3. Pour the smoothie into an ice cube tray(s) and freeze.

If you’re using a ½ inch ice cube tray, this recipe will yield about 32 treats. These homemade dog treats will last 6 months or more in the freezer.  And while this recipe maybe a little tart for humans, you can add some sugar or honey to taste and enjoy the same treat as your pup.  

Even though the heat will most likely still be with us in October, we can cool down with a fall inspired frozen treat, Pumpkin Pops.

Ingredients: 1 (1 oz) Natural Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix; 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice; 1 cup milk (low-fat or fat free); 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1. Whisk the vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, and milk together until dissolved. (Approximately 2 minutes).

2. Fold, or gently stir in the pumpkin puree.

3. Scoop the pumpkin pudding into small paper cups, small plastic cups, or a plastic popsicle mold.

4. Place them in the freezer and let them freeze completely (about 3 hours).

5. Before serving, let it sit on the counter for 5 minutes. Then release from the mold and serve.

These homemade dog treats will last for 3 months in the freezer.  You can also keep them in the refrigerator as a pudding, but it will only stay fresh for 1 week.

These recipes and more are available on You can also buy and download their Easy Dog Treat Recipe Book for even more great dog treat recipes all year long.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

9th Week of Summer: Help an Animal in Need

It is said that charity will make your heart feel lighter.  Booker T. Washington said, “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”  John Holmes said, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” And John Bunyan said, “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”   So this week, why not lift your spirit and your dog’s spirit by helping another in need.
August 17th is International Homeless Animals’ Day, which seems like an appropriate time to help an animal in need.  What is it, you may ask?  In 1992, ISAR (International Society for Animal Rights) originated the idea that every year on the third Saturday of August, concerned citizens should come together to commemorate all the animals who lost their lives the previous year because there weren’t enough homes for them.  Activities held in honor of this day usually entail a community candlelight vigil while some organizations hold spay and neuter fundraisers, rallies, or even walks, to help raise awareness.

You and your pup can get involved too. Even though you may not have the time or resources to put on a community event, you can help in other ways, like helping your local animal shelter care for the hundreds of animals they currently have.   Every animal shelter has a ‘Wish List’ of supplies they are always in need of.  While some shelters may have very specific wants (such as specific food, treats, litter, or bed types) here is a list of some of the typical supplies needed by an animal shelter: 

·         Litter

·         Brushes or Combs for Cats and Dogs

·         Shampoo & Conditioner

·         Nylabones

·         Durable Toys (like Kong toys)

·         Cat & Dog Treats

·         Cat & Dog Food

·         Hot dogs

·         Chicken broth

·         Timothy Hay

·         New & Used Blankets

·         Small Animal Woodchips or Bedding

·         Cat Scratchers

·         Cat Toys

·         New or Used Towels

·         Slip leads

·         Food & Water Dishes

·         Newspaper

·         Bleach

·         Etc.

Look up the nearest animal shelter in your area to find out their specific needs.  And don’t feel like you have to go out and purchase these items or give away everything in your house.  You can ask neighbors, family, and friends if they have any of these items that they wouldn’t mind donating.  You and your pooch can go around making collections and drop-off the donations together.
Shelters are also in need of volunteers, so if you’re too shy to ask for donations, you could volunteer your time instead.  You can also help your community but participating in Trap-Neuter- Release (TNR) programs. These types of programs humanely catch feral cats, spay or neuter them, vaccinate them against rabies and then return them to live out their lives.  This has been shown to be the least costly, as well as the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing feral cat populations.  You can help by alerting your local animal shelter of the location of feral cats in your neighborhood. 

And one more way you can help a homeless animal is by spreading the word.  Share the importance of spaying and neutering pets to help reduce pet overpopulation and resulting euthanization.  Help find a homeless animal a new forever home by sharing a local shelter’s dog or cat of the week via e-mail or social network posts.  Become a fan of an animal shelter Facebook page or follow them on Twitter to be sure to get the latest updates and great information to help better the animal community. 
However you decide to get involved this week, remember this quote from Mother Teresa, “Charity and love are the same -- with charity you give love, so don't just give money but reach out your hand instead.”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

8th Week of Summer: Go for a Walk

This week take the opportunity to join in the camaraderie of the dog community.  Interact with other dog lovers and dogs by walking through an outdoor farmers market or by walking for a cure.

Dog Days of Fullerton
The Fullerton Market is a favorite among locals, and rightly so.  Operating weekly, the market offers fresh produce, prepared foods, arts and crafts, jewelry, novelty and gift items, live entertainment, kid’s activities, and a beer garden.  

This Thursday, August 8th, you and your dog can experience the renowned market for yourself as the Fullerton Museum Center Association hosts Dog Days at the Fullerton Market.

Dog Days at the Fullerton Market is a great opportunity to not only get a taste of the Fullerton but to join in the local fun with other dog owners. This special dog market will feature many dog-related vendors and activities to make sure you and your dog have a good time.   

The fun takes place this Thursday, August 8th, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Downtown Fullerton Plaza located at 125 E. Wilshire Ave., in Fullerton.   

You and your pup can give back to the community and help those in need simply by going for a walk.  Yes, it’s as easy as that.  So get the leash, the poop bags, and some water for you both and head out to Fountain Valley this weekend to participate in the “Bark for Life” walk for cancer. 
Bark for Life of Orange County

The annual Bark for Life of Orange County will be held this Sunday, August 11th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center & Sport Park located at 16400 Brookhurst Street in Fountain Valley.
“The American Cancer Society Bark For LifeTM is a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer.” –

·         Approximately 1 out of every 3 women in the U.S. will develop cancer in their lifetime.

·         Almost 1 of every 2 men in the U.S. will develop cancer in their lifetime.

·         1 out of every 9 dogs in the U.S. dies of cancer each year.

·         Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the U.S., exceeded only by heart disease.
By supporting or participating in Bark for Life, you help the American Cancer Society raise much-needed funds and awareness to help save lives and reach their ultimate goal, which is to “create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.”  If you were to donate to the American Cancer Society you would be providing support to cancer patients and their families in the community.  With the proper funding, the American Cancer Society will be able to offer a broad range of essential programs and services at no cost to the recipient. To donate, log on to the Bark for Life website.

The Bark for Life welcomes dogs from all walks of life to join in the fight against cancer.  Online pre-registration (before August 9th) is $25 per dog. After August 9th, it will be $30 per dog.  Day of registration and check-in begins at 9 a.m. and the event kicks off with the walk at 10 a.m. 

There is lots to do and see after the walk as well, such as a peanut butter eating contest, bobbing for tennis balls, largest and smallest dog contest, and an agility course from Zoom Room Huntington Beach.  There will also be a silent auction, pet-related vendors, food, adoptions, and more!  On top of all of that, you won’t want to miss the special guest, New York Times Best Selling Author of "The Dog Lived and So Will I". 

Participating in this event is a great way to support a good cause while bonding with your best friend.  For more information, or to pre-register your dog, log on to the Bark for Life website.