Doggy Desserts: 125 Homemade Treats for Happy, Healthy Dogs by Cheryl Gianfrancesco is a Must-Buy this Holiday!

Are you baking cookies this holiday season? How about making some delicious treats for your pups? Doggy Desserts: 125 Homemade Treats for Happy, Healthy Dogs is a must-buy! I am looking forward to using it next week to bake some yummy cookies for the special dogs in our life. I love this book because it has some really great recipes and you do not have to go out and find complicated ingredients. Two of the recipes I am looking forward to making this holiday season are the My Honey Boy Bones and the Peanut Butter Banana Cookies.

For dog owners who are concerned about controlling what’s in their dogs’ food or who are looking to find low-cal, low-fat options for their slightly plump pups, Doggy Desserts provides many tasty options. From carob peanut butter crunch balls, sweet potato biscuits and liver oatmeal bones to granola bars, applesauce spice cake, and watermelon dog sherbet, owners will be tempted to try each of these delectable delights before serving to their dogs.


Here’s a great one in the book:

Oatmeal and Cheese Bones

1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked

4 Tbsp vegetable oil

11⁄3 cups water

1⁄2 cup powdered skim milk

1⁄2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

1 egg

1 cup cornmeal

1⁄2 cup wheat germ

3 1⁄2 cups whole wheat flour

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients. Knead the dough on a floured surface. Roll out the dough to 1⁄2-inch thickness, and cut out shapes with a dog bone cookie cutter. Put the cookies on a baking sheet, 1⁄2 inch apart. Bake at 300 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. When done, the cookies should be firm to the touch. Turn the oven off, and leave the cookies in for 1 to 2 hours to harden.

Yield: Approximately 100 two-inch cookies.

Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to facilitate this post. Images and recipe were provided.

Atlas is Pet of the Week!

Atlas may be as strong as the mythical Titan he’s named for, but the shelter staff call him Lover Boy! He’ll run to you to give you kisses! He’s jolly and loves being with people, and he knows “sit” and “stay.” Atlas came in as a stray and his family didn’t come to look for him, but he’s not one to carry the world on his shoulders, like his namesake. Make his holiday happy—meet him at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A591640.

Credit: (The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)


Jack is Pet of the Week!

Jack December 7 Pet of the Week

Noble, stately, dignified, loyal—they all describe Jack, a 6-year-old male boxer mix with brindle fur. Jack knows some commands, loves treats and loves people as well. He seems to be waiting for his people to come back for him—but they won’t. They left him at the shelter and went away. Can you make the holidays happy for him? He’ll return the favor a hundredfold. Meet Jack on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A545759.

 (The usual suspects contributed to this rescue)

Credit: The Companion Animal Village.

Sandy is Pet of the Week!

Sandy, Nov. 30 Pet of the Week

Sandy, a female German shepherd mix, was found tied up in a brush-covered area, skinny and thirsty. She cooperated beautifully with the animal control officer, and she’s had a lot of good meals, a cleanup and lots of love. But she also has entropion, an extremely painful condition in which the eyelids are rolled inward toward the eye. Surgery is needed to correct it. At only 5 years old and as sweet as she is, Sandy deserves better. Meet her on the shelter side of the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A599950.

(The usual suspects—and some unusual—contributed to this rescue)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

Holiday Bucket Full of Toys from Sniff & Barkens/Hartz Updated! You can order until December 10th!


Imagine a holiday gift that will delight dogs … and their two legged parents!
Envision a 5-gallon easy-to-open, yet dog-proof reusable Bucket covered with delightful dogs created by TADO and celebrated designer, Paul Budnitz, sure to become a collectors’ item.
Visualize this Bucket is filled with six favorite dog toys from Hartz!  The toys include the Hartz Tuff Stuff Nose DiversQuackersSqueakerZDura Play BallDura Play Bone and Chew ‘N Clean.

What you’ve imagined is Barkens Bucket, a Bucket full of goodies named for one of the signature dogs in possibly the fastest growing dog-focused social media platform in the last two years: Sniff & Barkens.

“Our passion for pets is at the forefront of everything we do and we are excited to partner with Sniff & Barkens on this Holiday Bucket, which will benefit the Pilots ‘n Paws Rescue that helps animals in need,” said Stacy R. Kisla, Senior Director of Marketing for The HARTZ Mountain Corporation.
10% of the proceeds from each Bucket helps save innocent displaced animals!

Sniff & Barkens, along with presenting sponsor Hartz, created this Bucket full of toys as a unique holiday gift that also helps save dogs’ lives.  This $50+ value is being offered to Sniff & Barkens’ millions of followers for $34.99, with a portion of the proceeds going to Pilots N Paws, a nonprofit organization that provides life-saving transports and rescue missions for dogs.
 “Our goal is to bring joy to furry family members while supporting an organization that helps save the lives of other dogs,” said Joe Pappalardo, founder of Sniff & Barkens.  “We’re delighted Hartz came on board as our presenting sponsor, helping us raise funds for Pilots N Paws, which provides invaluable services, especially in times of crisis like the recent hurricanes that devastated communities and displaced not only thousands of people but also thousands of dogs.”

The Barkens Bucket will be available for order at until December 10th.
Credit: Sniff & Barkens/Hartz. I may have received samples to facilitate this post.

Frost, Thanksgiving Day Pet of the Year!

Frost, Thanksgiving Day Pet of the Week

“When the Frost Is on the Punkin,” a poem by James Whitcomb Riley, evokes warm, cozy, quiet feelings even in our hot California weather. It makes you think of a sleepy morning, a cup of tea or coffee, a silent room and a cat purring on your lap. Frost would be perfect to complete this picture! He’s the color of frost but warm as toast. He was found as a stray and has warmed up to the staff and volunteers, as he will to you. He’s only 3 years old and has lots of Thanksgivings ahead of him! Meet Frost at the Companion Animal Village at 7700 East Spring St., (562) 570-PETS. Ask for ID#A598051.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Credit: Courtesy of the Companion Animal Village.

“Play Ball” with Chrysler & Sesame Street

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s important to remember the real reason for the season – giving back! Chrysler and “Sesame Street” have always promoted the essential values of acceptance, caring and sharing, and their latest video collaboration “Play Ball” is no different. In this installment, Abby and Elmo learn about Mork’s important work as a Canine Companions® service dog, which includes helping Wallis into an upfitted Chrysler Pacifica.

Chrysler is a proud sponsor of both “Sesame Street” and Canine Companions for Independence, both organizations doing good in their own way.

Credit: Chrysler and “Sesame Street”. This is a courtesy posting, no compensation was received.

9 Simple Tricks You Can Teach Your New Puppy

Many people think that puppies are too young to start basic training.


But just because your puppy is walking around aimlessly without a clue in the world, that doesn’t mean you can’t get those mental juices flowing.


Starting puppy training early is a good investment in your new best friend. It will ensure good communication, trust and balance throughout your relationship with your puppy.


The following nine tricks are super simple to teach, and your puppy will pick them up quickly during its first six months.


Here goes!



The first and easiest trick to teach your puppy is sit. You can teach her to sit within five minutes, and it will take about three days for your puppy to sit at command without a treat. Simply hold a treat closed in your hands at nose level and only open your hand when she sits. Once she sits, praise her and then repeat the exercise twice more.


Take it & Leave it

The “take it” command is an easy one to teach, which is why I placed it second. “Take it” and “leave it” must be taught together so that your puppy can learn the distinction. Hold a treat close to your puppy’s face. When she tries to take it, gently steer her snout away from the treat with your finger while saying, “Leave it.”. You’ll have to do this about 10 to 20 times before your puppy gives up. Then say, “Take it” and allow your puppy to take the treat. Praise her for doing so well and repeat the exercise.



The “stay” command will take some patience, but once your puppy catches on, it’s a very rewarding experience. This should be taught incrementally. Start by making your puppy “stay” while you slowly back away a few paces. Then start backing away further and further, always giving your puppy a treat if she has successfully stayed put. If not, lead her back and start over until she’s comfortable with the distance you’re at.


Lie Down

Dogs with dominant personalities struggle with this one. They see it as a highly submissive move, so when you’re training your puppy to lie down, make sure you’re offering big rewards. Use hand signals to indicate that you want your puppy to lie down. You may have to help her the first few times, but once she works out what you want she’ll be working hard for those treats.


Roll Over

Once you’ve taught your puppy to lie down, you’ve already accomplished half of the “roll over” command. Use a circular hand gesture to indicate rolling over, and help your puppy to understand the command by rolling her over the first several times you give the command. And as always, reward with a treat for success.


Find it

This is a fun one and should always be included in your puppy training! You can teach your puppy to use its nose to find toys or treats. Make your puppy wait somewhere while you hide items around your garden or house. Then say, “Find it!” excitedly and watch as your puppy explores the possibilities of her nose.


Give Me Your Paw

Cute and easy trick to teach your puppy is, “Give me your paw”. Simply take your puppy’s paw after giving the command and praise her with a treat and some kind words when you’re holding it up. After a while she’ll do it on her own.


Play Dead

This was by far the hardest trick I ever taught my dog. It took three months because of his predisposition to stubbornness! But today, Diego plays dead like a pro. Start this command off with “Lie down” and then gently show your puppy what playing dead looks like. Keep rewarding with treats while she’s down.