Thursday, July 28, 2011

Healthy Skin & Coat

Wow, your dog’s fur is so soft and healthy!  What kind of shampoo do you use?  We hear this question frequently.   We are quick to explain that the health of his coat is the result of good nutrition rather than a particular grooming product.  Healthy fats and high quality food is the key.  Dogs can develop dull coats due to nutritional deficiencies associated with low quality commercial dog foods.

 Most quality dog foods are high in omega-6.  These fatty acids help replace the oils in the skin and give some shine to the coat.  Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and flax seed oil can be beneficial for skin problems.  They have anti-inflammatory effects and can relieve itchy or inflamed skin.  Make sure not to give too many fatty acid supplements.  Excessive amounts can cause upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea.  Expect to see improvement in your dogs coat in 6-8 weeks after starting omega-3 supplementation.  It is important to discuss any supplements with your vet before giving them to your dog. 

Of course, diet isn’t the only reason a dog might develop a dull coat.  Dogs that are bathed too often can lose oil from their skin leading to irritation and scratching.  Again, be sure to discuss any concerns about your dog’s health with your vet before starting a supplement.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats

The hazy hot days of summer are here!  Looking for a refreshing homemade summer treat for your canine companion?  Try this frozen yogurt treat.

16 ounces organic plain yogurt
1 ripe to very ripe organic banana
2 ounces organic peanut butter
1-2 ounces water

Combine yogurt, bananas, peanut butter and water in a blender and puree on high until well mixed. If mix is too thick to pour add a little more water.

Divide between eight, 4 ounce plastic containers with lids (like the ones you find in a grocery store) Only fill ¾ full to allow room for expansion when they freeze. Put in freezer until frozen.

When it’s time to give them a treat just pop off the lid and set the container down.  Your dog will slowly lick it until the cup is empty.  We put the cup on a rug for Thumper otherwise he tends to push it across the floor until it ends up under a piece of furniture. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Meet the kids...

Welcome!  First, we must introduce our furry friends.   Here we have Java.  She's nine years old and full of energy!  Our little destruction machine....she has yet to meet a toy she couldn't destroy. 

We adopted her from a local shelter when she was7 months old.  She is a sweet, smart girl but still a little fearful of new situations and new people.

Next we have Thumper.  He is about 11 years old.  He too was a rescue and came up to Maine from Louisiana.
He has his summer haircut in this picture and looks like a pup.  Thumper is the face of The Growlin' Gourmet.  He love love loves to go the the Saco Farmers Market with us, where he draws quite a crowd of admirers.