National Hairball Awareness Day


If you are a cat owner you don't need any more awareness about hairballs.  I know I have seen more than I care to.  We all assume that hairballs are a natural part of being a cat.  Well, yes and no.  A cat does ingest its fur while grooming itself.  A hairball is a result of to much fur being swallowed.  Ingesting to much fur can cause medical issues, like constipation.

Regular grooming will help prevent hairballs. Get on a schedule for a brushing session with your kitty.  Take advantage of this time with your fur baby, and bond over a brush.



It is World Penguin Day

On April 25th we take a moment to honor our tuxedo wearing friends. This day marks the Adelie penguins Antarctic annual northward migration. The reason the migrate north is because the days in the Antarctica become dark.  Penguins do not see well in the dark, so they move north to hunt for food.

Do some thing penguinish today.  





Homemade Applesauce - You Can Do It

 

One of my favorite things to make here at the Doggie Cakes kitchen is our applesauce.  I use it in a variety of treats and doggie cakes.  I started making it myself to eliminate any extra salts, sugars and preservatives from our teats.  I found this simple and delicious recipe.  It is so yummy I always keep a small container just to snack on myself.  You can also substitute the apples with pears, for a wonderful pear sauce.

Simple Slow Cooker Applesauce
Ingredients 
  • 10 to 12 apples (I like to use Fuji but whichever you like best would be fine)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

  1. Core and peel the apples.  
  2. Place peeled apples in slow cooker
  3. Pour water over apples
  4. Set slow cooker to low and let cook for 6 to 8 hours
  5. Mash apples with a potato masher
  6. Add ground cinnamon and stir
  7. Let cook for 1 more hour
  8. Enjoy!


Please remember that apple seeds are toxic. Apple seeds contain cyanide.  The symptoms of cyanide posing include vomiting, listlessness, and excessive drooling. 

The Tradition of the Pet Blessing

This past Saturday, Doggie Cakes had the opportunity to attend a pet blessing at the Unity Truth Center.  I have never been to one and found the experience to be interesting. (Jason has attended several). I began to wonder where this tradition began. To the internet I went for some research....

It seems that the tradition grew out of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  I could not find a date for when the first one might have occurred. They are normally held in October. This celebration evolved into honoring our beloved animal companions.  St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and ecology.  After his death in 1226 many stories associated with animals sprang up. These included a few legends documented in "Fiuretti" (Little Flowers). One of the most well known is St. Francis' prayer to the birds.  according to Thomas of Celano, Francis was walking along a road with some companions, where he came upon tree filled with many species of birds.  Amazed by what he saw he asked his companions to wait while he preached to his sister birds.  The birds surround him to listen.  The birds stretched their necks and extended their wings to allow Francis to touch and bless them.  From this day on he vowed to invoke all birds, animals,  and reptiles to praise and love their creator.  St Francis emphasized that creation included more then humankind.  His connection to animals so strong, it has been said that on his deathbed he thanked his donkey for carrying him and helping him throughout his life.  As he passed, his donkey wept. You probably know his image as the statue with the bird on his shoulder.  Now I know why that bird is there.  

In our modern times, we seem to come out with our faithful fury family members to honor their life and offer them a the peace of the blessing we feel.  The tradition is not just for Catholics.  If  you google to find a pet blessing near you, you will find that all faiths and denominations have them.

I found the day to be enjoyable and peaceful.  I met dogs, cats and a few birds all happy to be spending their day with their humans.  Not only the animals present were honored, but the ones who had crossed over the rainbow bridge. I reflected on my own furry kids and all the joy they have added to my life.  I am blessed by pets.


Every Pet Owner should have a Pet First Aid Kit



I just learned that April is pet first aid awareness month. I started to think about what I could do be prepared if one of our fur kids needed some basic first aid.  I took a look in our first aid kit and quickly saw that it came up short.

Everyone who owns a pet should have a first aid kit specifically for their pet. Now is the time to get it ready, before there is an emergency. Some suggest having one for home and one for traveling. One of the best places to store it would be with your human family's kit. Here is a basic checklist you can use to create one.

  • The phone numbers for your family's veterinarian, the closet emergency veterinarian, and Animal Poison Control (888-426-4435)
  • Gauze, non-stick bandages (Telfa pads), and adhesive bandage tape, cotton balls, and ace bandage to dress wounds
  • Self-activating hot packs and self-activating cold packs
  • Scissors
  • Latex-free gloves
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%) to help clean and treat wounds.  It can also be used to induce vomiting, but do not do this without consulting a vet or Animal Poison Control
  • Saline solution to flush out eyes and it can also be used to clean wounds
  • Tweezers to help remove splinters and other foreign objects
  • Tic removal tool
  • Styptic to help stop bleeding on small wounds
  • Toenail trimmer to trim torn nails
  • Large eye dropper to flush wounds or administer fluids by mouth.
  • Large bottle of water to help hydrate your pet
  • Towels for use as a blanket or extra bandages
  • Small flashlight and extra batteries to look for injuries in mouth or blockage in their throat
  • A muzzle because even the most gentle pet can become aggressive due to shock or pain
  • An e-collar to prevent them from licking or biting a wound.  You can by soft version for easier storage.
  • Anything that your pet might need to meet their special health issues
Once you have all of your supplies they can be easily stored in a plastic tub.  I also recommend becoming familiar with how to use the supplies of your first aid kit.  In our techno friendly word there are a few smartphone apps available. The one most highly recommend is from Jive Media's Pet First Aid available both for iPhones and Android phones.  To take being prepared to the next level take a pet first aid class.  The American Red Cross offers pet first aid training, check their website (Redcross.org) to find a class near you.

Be prepared before the emergency happens, so you and your fur kids can get care quickly.  Please also make sure to follow up with your veterinarian.

Earth Day and your pets Carbon Paw Print



Tomorrow many us will be taking part in the 42nd Annual Earth Day.  I remember learning about the environment and the effect we all have on it.  For years, I have tried to change small habits in my daily life to become more green and reduce my own carbon foot print.  What about my pets?   There must be better choices I could be making to have greener pets.  After some research, I found a few simple things I could do.

  1. Use biodegradable poop bags. 
  2. Spay and neuter to reduce the overpopulation
  3. Making your own dog food from locally grown or organic vegetables.  This eliminates all the chemicals and bi-products released into our environment during processing. 
  4. Use chemical free pet shampoos and conditioners.
  5. Use natural flea control products. Did you know that according to the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) some flea control products pose cancer risk to children up to 1000 times higher then the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) acceptable limits?
  6. Re-purpose your pet's hand-me downs. Most shelters gladly welcome your donations of gently worn toys, collars, leashes and beds.
  7. Switch to a non-clumping clay cat litter.  The clay is strip-mined and the clay contains carcinogenic dust that your cat can digest.  

Start with one and make it a habit, especially number two.  We all can make this earth greener.

What is Carob?


A carob doggie birthday cake made here at Doggie Cakes
The two typical questions I get, from customers are, "That's not chocolate is it?" and "What is carob?"  Carob is not chocolate and is OK  for both your dog and yourself.  It is free of the alkaloid and addictive effects of caffeine and theobromine present in cocoa. The tree (Ceratonia siliqua) is from the legume (pea) family. It grows anywhere citrus can be grown. Typically it is found in the Mediterranean. You may have also heard carob trees called St John's bread or the locust bean.
The carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua)

Carob comes from a tropical pod that a contains sweet, edible seeds. The fruit of the carob tree is a pod (legume) 6 inches to 12 inches in length. It has been cultivated for at least 4000 years. Carob was eaten in Ancient Egypt. Dried Carob fruit is also a tradition on the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat. Some even believe the seeds were used  to weigh gold and jewels, hence the word carat being derived from the word carob. Records indicate that carob was introduced to the U.S. in 1854.  Then in 1873 the records show the first seedlings being planted in California. 

Most people who have heard of carob just know it as a chocolate substitute and incorrectly often think it's synthetic.  It is naturally sweeter than chocolate.  One tablespoon of carob powder has 25 calories, not fat, not saturated fat, no cholesterol, and 6 grams of carbohydrates. On average carob is 80% protein (if you are watching your dog's protein intake stay away from carob treats). It does contain many vitamins and minerals including; magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, barium, copper, nickel, A, B, B2, B3 and D.  Carob does have more sugar then chocolate, but from its own natural sugar similar to honey and fruit. Carob was an important source of sugar before sugarcane and sugar-beets became widely available.

It is believed to have some medicinal uses, which included the treatment of coughs and diarrhea.  Formally singers chewed the pods in belief that it helped to clear the throat  and voice.

For use in food and dog treats the pod is ground up into a powder.  From the powder chips, syrups and a locust bean gum are made. These ingredients are used in cakes, cookies, doggie treats and as a substitute for chocolate.




If your doggie has a sweet tooth, carob is a good choice for an occasional extra special treat.  Now you know what carob is.

A Moment to Enjoy the Local Sunset


As Jason and I both were having one of those days, we decided to take a moment and enjoy the beauty of our local sunset.  A short drive over to Robert K. Rees Memorial Park in New Port Richey, FL was just what we needed.

Jason wading in the water. It was low tide.

The shore had many seaweed and sand creations this evening. What a lovely mermaid. 

Snapped a photo of this hermit crab before returning him to the water.
"So, glad I live here." - Trina
  

Google your zip code and the word sunset to find out what time your local sunset is and get out to enjoy it.








Meet Cosmo Kramer

  
It is hard to believe that it has been almost 12 years since Cosmo Kramer came into our lives. He was tiny but full of mouth.  Oh yes, he has always had a lot to say and never been afraid to tell you what is on his mind.  He was not your usual Mini Pinscher.  Never one to play with toys or go for a good run, Cosmo prefers to cuddle up on the coach under a cozy blanket, of course a good butt scratch is always appreciated.    Ever since he was young he has been a foodie.  Always willing to try anything, and usually loving it. This trait actually had some unhealthy effects for him.
Our little boy became not so little at 23 pounds.  What had happened?  With some observation, we figured out he did not stop eating until all the food was gone.  We had been filling the food dish and just letting it sit, so he could get at his leisure.  That is was not a good idea.  Our veterinarian gave us advice on what his daily food allowance should be and after a year and a half he was down to 13 pounds.
 
His face has become grayer, but is love continues to lighten our days.  He gets to try all of the test batches of treats here at Doggie Cakes, but only small pieces.  He likes to come out for meet and greets at the events we attend.  Cosmo Kramer Director of Tasting here at Doggie Cakes.

He is the star of this YouTube video, which showcases his water bowl feet wetting techniques. He does this anytime the ground is hot and he needs to cool off his footies.


Senior to Senior Program


Senior pet with a senior citizen

At the Pawfest event here in Largo, FL we meet a wonderful lady named Fran.  She volunteers with the Pinellas County Animal Services for a program called Senior-to-Senior.

Tragically as the shelters  fill  during these years of economic hardship, the number of senior pets has also increased.  They are relinquished due to ill health, incontinence, other age-related issues, lack of funds, or the owner passing away.  These older pets are very likely to remain in the shelter for the remainder of their life or be euthanized to make room for more adoptable animals.

This great program is trying to help these loving pets enjoy their remaining life in a happy home.  It matches up a senior pet with a senior citizen. Pinellas County Animal Services is committed to placing the right pet into the right home, both in compatibility and energy level.  The Senior pet lover must be over 50.  The participants receive a discount on the normal adoption fee. The pet is spayed / neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations, tested for heartworms and FELV / FIV before leaving the facility.

Both the seniors benefit from these adoptions. Studies have show that pets increase the health and happiness of seniors citizens. Pets encourage the senior to take better care of themselves as they care for their new pet.  Pets help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.  In return the senior pet gets love and care and a place to belong.  People of all ages appreciate the loyalty of an older pet, and seniors - both two and four legged have a lot of love to share.

We are happy to live with two senior dogs, and two senior cats in our household of eleven furbabies / one feather baby (who is the uber-senior citizen). We would definitely continue to adopt senior pets in the future. They have a lot of love to give, and they know how to relax and live the good life.

Thank you Fran for letting us know that there are programs like this and people who care like yourself. Call (727) 582-2600 Pinellas County Animal Services, for additional information.

Doggie Cakes Now Available at Amazon.com

We proudly present our Doggie Cakes Amazon.com store where we join companies such as 1-800 Flowers, Omaha Steaks, Harry and David, Wine.com and many others. We had a soft opening on February 1, 2012.

Doggie Cakes was asked by Amazon.com to be a part of it's seller program, where our products would be a part of Amazon.com search results and shopping cart ordering. Amazon.com was very helpful in providing instructions, rules, and ongoing support in the weeks before our launch.  They gave us the kick in our pants to upgrade some of our treat photos for the DoggieCakes.com store as well.

We started with 24 types of Doggie Cakes dog cookies and a few dog sweaters, but are encouraged by Amazon to grow to hundreds and thousands of products at our desire. If you have other shopping to do, remember you can pick up some Doggie Cakes treats, that best-seller, and any product in the Amazon.com website and we'll bake and ship your treats upon order. It's a great time to use that Amazon gift certificate to buy some fresh-baked Doggie Cakes treats.  Exciting times and can't wait to see how we grow with Amazon.

Check out our Amazon button on this blogs header bar.  It will take you right to our company page.

Pet ID Week 4/15/12 - 4/20/12


Did you know there was a Pet ID week?  Lets take advantage of it and learn why your pet should have some kind of  identification.

The best chance of having your pet returned safe and sound is through their ID.  One out of three pets get lost at some point in their life. Sadly 90% of pets without current ID are never returned to their families.  There a few different types to chose from.

1.  Dog Tag - They are usually plastic or metal with your pet's name and your contact information.  I recommend using your cell phone number.  Think about it.  Most likely you are out searching for your pet, not sitting at home. The tag is really your first line of defense.  Some people are more likely to help a lost / stray pet with a collar and tag.  They feel, "He most belong to someone and the certainly want him back."  They might also feel they will not get stuck with the pet or have to turn it into a shelter.  Don't forget to update the information if your phone number or address changes.

2.  Microchip - This is a permanent tiny chip inserted behind the pets shoulder blades.  Scanned by a vet or shelter the owner's information can be retrieved.  A great option to have along with the collar and tag.  The collar can become lost.  However, I hear over and over again from rescues how the information in the microchip is not accurate.  Once you have your pet microchipped you have to call or go online to register their information and your current contact information.   Included as much information about your pet that could be useful to help in their return.  This includes a photo.  Many of the microchip companies will send out alerts to their registered users (in the area where the pet was reported lost) and the local vets that carry their chips. Which also means that if your pet is lost - report him missing to your registered company.   If you do find a pet without an ID tag take them to your local shelter or vet.  They will scan for the chip and be able to retrieve the owner's information.  One last suggest, if you have adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue group the pet normally will already have a microchip, make sure you contact that company and have the information changed over to you.  I will admit that I am at fault for this and did not do it until years later after my new veterinarian reminded me. My Minnie Meows was still thought to be at the shelter with the name of Midnight. HomeAgain and AVID and the most common found through your veterinarian's office.

3.  Tattoo - A tattoo is also a permanent form of identification.  A simple code is tattooed on a pet's belly or inner thigh. It must be registered into a national database to be of any use. The major disadvantage of a tattoo is the person who finds a lost pet has to be aware of it or know which registry your dog is signed up with. If you want to have your dog tattooed, consult your vet or local humane society to find out more about the various registries and the tattoo they suggest. The National Dog Registry is the one of the largest for the tattoo ID.

4. DNA Swab - Done by your veterinarian, a mouth swab is take and a DNA test is run and the information is added to a national registry.  The idea is if some one finds your pet they can have them tested and find the owner information in the database.  This is definitely the most costly and time consuming method of ID.  It certainly is not the most effective, hardly anyone will think to check the DNA to return your lost pet.   Hopefully you remembered to keep your owner contact information current in the database. The World DNA Pet Registry and the American Kennel Club (only for purebreds)  are a two of the more well known registries.

5.  Nose Prints - Like human finger prints your pets all have a unique nose print.  You can make a print of their nose and enter it into a virtual database for future comparison. Again, not the best option if you are wanting some one to contact you about your lost pet.  Who is going to know this and how to contact the database.  More than 60 years ago, the Canadian Kennel Club began accepting nose prints of dogs for identification purposes.

6.  Current County / City License - Some cities and counties have a searchable database of the licenses number. If you find a lost pet with a curent license you could call or visit Animal Services to see if they could retrieve the owner's contact information.  Don't rely on this option, because again collars can be lost while your pet is out on his own trying to find his way home.

The American Humane Associate estimates that over 10 million dogs and cats are lost and stolen in the USA every year.  Take a few minutes this week to make sure your pet has some kind of ID or better yet a combination of a few.  If they already have one, make sure it has your most current contact information.


International Moment of Laughter Day 4/14/12

If you have a pet in your life everyday will have laughter filled moments.  At our house every morning our one year old pooch Patches O'Houlihan and our newest member The Great Bazinga engage in some playtime.
 To much fun to watch!







Happy Doggie Day!


It has been several years since Doggie Cakes has been actively blogging.  No fear, we have not stopped baking our treats and cakes.

I am happy to say we have been getting "social" on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even Pinterest.  The interaction has been great.  Hoping to keep the fun and interaction going we are returning to our blog.  We have been working hard to update the design.  What to you think?  We have added an event calender and plan to grow a fan gallery and event gallery.  We will keep you updated on how you can submit your photos for the galleries.

The blog will introduce you to us and our furry board members.  That's right!  We hope to share new products and fun events with you.  Some guest authors will offer some expert advice.  My personnel wish is to interview some animal business, rescue groups and animal lovers.  Hint, hint to any of you out there.

Thanks for joining us back in the world of blogging.  Make sure to subscribe by email to keep up with all the Doggie Cakes news.