Monday, September 14, 2009

You Are What You Eat

We're talking treats. With a pack of ten you go thru a lot of treats There are the ones given in the morning after everyone takes their medications. There are treats given during training sessions. There are treats at bedtime and there are treats just for being good dogs. Special occasions call for special treats.

Sometimes I bake treats for the dogs, usually in the winter and I'll share some of their favorite recipes later in the fall. Since the pet food recall a couple years ago, I've been much more choosy about what treats my dogs get. I read labels and do comparisons. I want them to have a healthy as well as tasty experience.

Lucy in her later years started getting a little forgetful. It happens to the best of us. Her vet suggested giving her blueberry capsules. Blueberries have been found to have good effects on brain function. We tried, but due to Lucy's size, twelve pounds, she couldn't handle the capsules and had a couple of unfortunate accidents leaving blue stains on the carpet.

Then one day an order from Sit-Stay arrived and inside was a sample of Little Lulu biscuits in peanut butter and blueberry flavor. When I checked the ingredients I found they used dried blueberries and natural blueberry powder in the biscuits. I offered one to Lucy and she thought they were great. They were also a small size that she was able to deal with comfortably. She ate them every night at bedtime for the rest of her life.

Monty was a tough customer. He ate his dog food and his flavor snacks and that was it. He wouldn't try any other treats that I brought home. He wouldn't try fruits, veggies or the things most dogs love such as pizza crust, popcorn or chips. He would gently accept those thing from Rob or me, carry them into a place where he could guard them for a while, then let Morgan have them.

The only human foods Monty liked were ice cream, corn bread, cheese and turkey. I roasted a turkey about four times a year so I could freeze the pieces and use them as treats for Monty. While researching Little Lulus, I discovered that Robbie Dawg biscuits came in a turkey sausage and romano cheese flavor. There were two of Monty's favorites in one biscuit. I ordered them and he thought they were great.

Robbie Dawg products are made in Brooklyn, NY with all natural ingredients. The dogs love them and I like that they are made in the US and that they use quality ingredients.

I did find another treat that Monty approved of. The first time I offered him a Newman's Own biscuit, he accepted it and ate it. He never refused them, so they must be pretty good.

Newman's Own not only use high quality ingredients in their biscuits and make tasty treats that the dogs like in an assortment of flavors, but the company donates the profits to various organizations that I approve of.
Some examples are Angel Memorial Hospital in Boston, MA.
North Shore Animal League IN Long Island, NY
Friends of Animals in Darien, CT
The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN
AKC Canine Health Club Foundation in Aurora, OH
Hearts United For Animals in Auburn, NE
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT
Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, CA
Arizona Humane Society in Phoenix, AZ
Humane Society for Seattle/King County in Bellevue, WA
Each of these pet charities was chosen to receive a $10,000 check from Paul Newman, plus my dogs like the treats. Win-win!!!!

For training situations I love Charlee Bears.They are a small size that the dogs can eat quickly without stopping and chewing for a long time.Class can proceed without a lot of stops and starts.
Because you want to treat generously while training it's good to have a low cal treat and Charlee Bears have only 3 calories per treat. The taste good, I've tried them and my dogs love them.
I have to admit that I first bought Charlee Bears because I thought it was a Portuguese Water Dog on the label. I was only partly right. In 1985 a man named Steve Brown decided to produce a new breed of dog combining the Portuguese Water Dog and the Soft Coated Wheaten. He called his new breed Charlee Bears. The breed never really caught on, though they are still being bred. The dog biscuits he developed for the dogs did catch on and we use them today.

A treat that is fairly new to us is also a very popular one with both dogs and humans in the household. Sammy Snacks are made in Charlottesville, VA, use high quality ingredients and taste really good. The package says that they're snacks for people and dogs and they mean it. The ones we've tried have rolled oats, cranberries and pecans. I sometimes have to remind Rob to share with the dogs.

Finally, there are those special treats for special occasions, birthdays, obedience school graduation, not messing up at the dog show, or whatever you celebrate.

For our very special celebrations there's nothing like Three Dog Bakery. We have a shop here in Springfield and the treats in the display cases look as yummy as any bakery I've ever been to. I generally buy the boxed cookies with the 'frosting' inside. My sister-in-law sent us a jar of carob chip cookies for Christmas and when we opened them Rob and I each had to try one because they smelled so good, think fresh chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven.

What could be more festive than one of those cookies and a cup of Frosty Paws straight out of the freezer. Frosty Paws is a little delight that we discovered years ago in Maryland. It only recently came to Springfield and our dogs tried them for the first time in February for Fudge's birthday. They are small paper cups of a frozen substance that looks like vanilla ice cream. The dogs think it's the best thing ever invented, but trust me they don't taste like ice cream to humans.

Tsar says "Bon appetit".


LizzieJane said...

What great information Sue. I must confess it has made me want to go and snack on something! Frosty Paws does indeed look like real ice cream and I will take your word on it that it doesn't taste so!.
If I were a dog I would most definately love to live in your house.

Anonymous said...

I have had dogs all my life and they just loved food and little treats but not Charli. I have spent so much money trying different treats and things for her breath but she won't have any of it. She only eats out of necessity. I hope you post your recipes because maybe if she sees me baking it she will try it.Your dogs are adorable :>)

Unknown said...

I totally tried to make my dogs lick the filling out of those sandwich cookies when you sent them to us.

I'm lucky - because with the exception of giving Beau good stuff with his kibble - my dogs will eat just about anything.

Cracks me up about Monty. Too funny.

SissySees said...

I'm going to have to try the couple there that are new to me. However, finding truly "bite-sized" training treats for Gretchen is a struggle...

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

You are right, we have to be so much more careful with what we buy commercially for our pets. We do make a few of our own and we love our Happy Hearts - The nice Happy Hearts lady has some with blueberries and bananas too.

Thanks for sharing all your ideas.

Woos, the OP Pack

Lapdog Creations said...

I'm going to have to find some of those Robbie Dawg treats... of course, Three Dog Bakery is always big in our house, although we don't get them as much as we used too.

Marjie said...

You certainly know your treats! Thor will only eat Bites & Bones dog food, but he has hurt feelings if he doesn't get some human food with his dinner. Rice and pasta are always winners, and he'll wolf bread (home made is preferred, of course) as fast as we throw it. My kids always buy him many boxes of treats for Christmas and his birthday.

Martha said...

We try to be careful with the food and the treats. You certainly have a great selection there. We do make some treats ourselves and freeze them - we will look forward to your recipes.
Neither Bailey nor Martha like ice cream and seem really shocked that it is cold!
They both have had limited exposure to treats in their previous lives so perhaps they will acquire the taste. We have tried bananas, apple, corn etc however they prefer meat based treats!

silfert said...

Oh, to be a dog now that calories are here! That is some intense research, and I'll bet a lot of folks will appreciate it. :)

Rufus and Indie said...

Now we need to eat some snacks!:)
"Delicious" post!
We can't wait to see your recipies!

Rufus and Indie

Sam said...

What a great post! We use Charlee Bears here all the time. Marge can't get enough of them, and they're so great for sticking in my pocket to go on walks.

We had a Porti join us at agility class tonight. Marge was not too thrilled by him, as he was a ball of excited energy that just wanted to run around and play with everyone. I thought he was cute though.

Astrid Keel said...

what a great post! I have been in a rut with Brownie's treats... :)

Stella said...

My Mom says I am Not a Food Driben dog, so I eat my breakfast (with some finely grated cheese on top) and supper (maybe with a few bits of hot dog in it). I get two small treats before I go to bed. Maybe little Happy Hearts or a couple of slices of hot dog. Hot dogs are my favorite eating things in the world!

We will be glad to see your home made recipes too.