Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from this curious little bunny!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Applesauce Dog Treats

Fall is a season for pumpkins and apples, so I made Chewy some treats combining the two. They are pretty easy to make: just mix everything together, form cookies, and pop into the oven. My recipe:

Preheat oven to 350°. 

Mix together the following until combined into a dough:
  1 cup whole wheat flour
  1 egg
  1 tbsp coconut oil
  1 tbsp flax seed
  1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1/4 cup sugar-free applesauce
  1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  1/4 cup oats

Form 1 tbsp balls of dough, and flatten onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350° until the edges are lightly golden brown, about 12-15 min.

Watching over doggie cookies is a very important job.

Remove from oven and let cookies cool on a wire rack. Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for no more than a couple days. Store in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain freshness.

Makes 18 tbsp-sized chewy cookies, but you can adjust size + baking time to your liking.

Cookie? Don't mind if I do!

I always find it difficult to tell if whole wheat cookies are "golden brown" because the dough is brown to begin with, so after they have cooled a little bit, I lift them up to see if the bottom is a bit more brown than the top, or if they are firm to the touch.

Also, this dough is rather sticky, so I wouldn't recommend using cookie cutters.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fruitables Skinny Minis Watermelon Flavor Review

A while back, we won a bag of Fruitables skinny minis Watermelon treats from Lindsay at Thanks, Lindsay!

Happy Chewy with his Fruitables
These watermelon flavor treats are flower-shaped, mini-sized, soft, and chewy. They are free of gluten, wheat, corn, soy and artificial flavors/colors, and are made in the USA. At just 2 1/2 calories apiece, they are great for pups who need to watch their caloric intake.

Big paw, tiny treat

They come in a convenient zipper pouch, and you get a big whiff of watermelon + pumpkin smell when you open the bag. Pumpkin is the first ingredient in this and many other Fruitables products because of its health benefits and palatability. The high fiber and low fat content of pumpkin makes it a great ingredient for weight management, and the presence of soluble and insoluble fibers can help soothe both diarrhea and constipation. 

Om nom nom...

Despite the small size, Chewy still chews each individual piece before swallowing, without generating crumbs! They are rather fragrant, and would be great for playing Find the Treat. Their size and non-crumblyness are perfect for stuffing a treat-dispensing toy.

More, please?

These treats were motivating enough to get Chewy to climb into a box and lie down in it. He simply followed a trail of treats while I blocked the side (so he'd actually have to step into the box to reach the treats, because Chewy is a pro cheater).

However, they weren't motivating enough to get him out of the box. He was a bit hesitant about how to step out, and he wasn't going to try just for some itty bitty treats.

Comfy cozy. I'll stay here, thanks.
They were definitely drool-worthy, though.

Overall, we give Fruitables Skinny Minis Watermelon Flavor treats 3 1/2 paws up. Chewy thought they were yummy, and I liked that they were healthy, low-calorie, and not messy. However, they were not the most motivating treats, which can be a problem during training sessions with a stubborn pup.

3 1/2 paws up for Fruitables Skinny Minis Watermelon Flavor

Disclaimer: We won these treats in a giveaway and were not asked to write a review. We did not receive any compensation for this post, and all opinions expressed are our own.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Applesauce for Doggies

A few weeks ago, we went apple picking and brought home a whole lotta apples. To use up some more of our supply, I decided to make some applesauce for Chewy. It was pretty simple- the most intensive part was peeling all the apples.

I used 6 large assorted apples (I have no idea what varieties they were) and ended up with 4 pint-sized jars of applesauce. You might want to work on a much smaller scale. Also, keep in mind that sweeter apples yield sweeter applesauce.

First, wash, peel, core and slice your apples. Apple seeds are toxic for dogs, so be sure to remove all of them. Some people simply cut their apples into quarters or eighths, but I figured it would be easier to stir smaller chunks. You can also use one of those apple corer/slicer gadgets to lesson the labor.

My selection of apples- peeled, cored, and chunked

Throw your apple slices/chunks into a pot, and add about an inch of water and some lemon juice (optional- it keeps the apples from going brown). Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil, then simmer with the lid on until the apples get mushy, about 30 min. Add cinnamon to taste at any point during cooking. I chose to add it towards the end so I could see what it looked like mixed in.

Add cinnamon as desired

Once the apples are soft and cooked through, remove from heat. Use a potato masher/fork to work it into a chunky applesauce, or use a blender/food processor to puree it.

Applesauce post-blender
You can then choose the canning route so your applesauce keeps longer, or simply store it in a jar in the fridge.

Once the applesauce has cooled, you can give your doggy a taste! It can be used as a topping for kibble, in treats, or eaten plain. Remember to serve in moderation.

I'm here for a sample!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Reminder: Our Full Moon Chicken Jerky Hip + Joint Health giveaway is still open!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Full Moon Chicken Jerky Hip + Joint Health: Review & Giveaway

Full Moon Pet just launched a new Chicken Jerky product for Hip + Joint Health, and they offered to let Chewy get his paws on it and bring you the scoop!

Full Moon Pet is a family-owned dog treat company. They use USDA approved human-grade meats sourced from family farms in the US. Their treats are made in small batches using simple, wholesome recipes in USDA inspected or FDA approved kitchens.

Full Moon Pet treats are:
  • 100% made in the USA
  • 100% made with human-grade ingredients
  • Free of fillers like corn, wheat and soy
  • Without artificial preservatives, flavors or colors

Chewy was very excited to try their new Chicken Jerky Hip + Joint Health, as Chewy LOVES chicken jerky. There was a lot of drool involved in obtaining the following pictures.

These treats are made from cage-free Perdue chicken, and contain USA-sourced glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate for maintaining healthy hips and joints. They also contain tumeric for reducing inflammation. Although they are made from 100% human grade ingredients, an asterisk says "made for your pet to eat, not for you!" Dog treats tend to taste incredibly bland to humans, so I did not wish to try them, anyway.

Image provided by Full Moon Pet.
Click image to view full size

Chewy was very focused on this treat bag whenever I had it out. It passed his sniff test with flying colors, and he even tried (unsuccessfully) to eat through the packaging on a few occasions...

The treats look and smell delicious, even to my human senses. They are nicely sized jerky strips and around 3/16" thick. They are pretty easy to break apart into smaller portions, but Chewy of course prefers to eat a whole piece at a time. He makes his throaty "please let me eat that" noise when I hold a piece in front of him, and the drool puddles start forming while he waits.

I'll take that, thanks!

And on to Chewy's favorite part, taste testing! The dryness of this jerky treat makes it rather crunchy, which Chewy certainly likes. Some smithereens inevitably fall out of his mouth (because uncivilized Chewy chews with his giant mouth WIDE open), but he always makes sure to pick up every last crumb.

*crunch crunch crunch*

Chewy definitely approves of the taste of these treats.

Lip-lickin' good!

I cannot attest to this treat's hip + joint benefits, as Chewy is still a limber young dog and thankfully has shown no signs of joint discomfort so far. My hope is that the glucosamine and chondroitin in these treats help Chewy maintain joint health in his everyday activities, but I have no way of knowing for sure. Perhaps it's an "every little bit counts" kind of thing? Honestly, if I wanted to make sure he was ingesting a beneficial amount of these supplements, I would be giving him daily tablets with much larger doses. To me, it's kind of like dog dental care. I brush Chewy's teeth every day with dog toothpaste, but I still give him the occasional dental treat for good measure. But don't trust me on this issue- consult your veterinarian on what is best for your dog.

Overall, I think Full Moon Chicken Jerky Hip + Joint Health is a great treat. It satisfies Chewy's love of meat and crunch, and it looks and smells amazing. Plus, it is made with all-natural human-grade ingredients. If it came in a people version with some added seasonings, I would totally eat it! I am unsure whether it did anything for Chewy's hips and joints, but it certainly didn't hurt. We give this treat 4 paws up!

4 paws up for Full Moon Chicken Jerky Hip + Joint Health

Full Moon Pet dog treats are available nationwide at various retailers, including Walmart, Kroger, ShopRite, Stop and Shop, Target, and Lowes Foods. They are currently offering $1 coupons on their website and Facebook page. You can use both for $2 off!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Mischief: Chewy vs. Lawnmover

The lawnmower was out to [attempt to] tidy up our lawn, and Chewy thought it might make for a great playdate. He kept trying to initiate a game of chase. He even pulled out all the moves, including barking, lunging, pouncing, and luring.*

Hi! I'm Chewy! Let's play!


- Time-out chew break -

I've got you cornered now!

Sometimes he would calm down and just walk along behind it.

♪ We're following the leader... ♫

Then, it was back to playtime.

Come and get me!


When all the mowing was done, Chewy decided the grass clippings would be fun to play with, too. 

Mmm...grass clippings

He dug around in the pile, and picked up the big clumps to shake out all over the place. So much for tidying up the yard...

*No Chewys or lawnmowers were hurt in the process.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Destructopup Case Files, Victims #1, 3-8: Rope Toy Collection

Chewy LOVES rope toys. They're great for chewing, playing tug, going shaky shaky, and most importantly, shredding. Sometimes he eats the little fibers that he rips off, and a day later, rainbows come out the other end.

Upon getting a brand new rope toy, Chewy runs around the house chewing in every single one of his favorite spots. Then he wants to play tug with it forever, and after a few days or weeks of innocent chewing, he finds a weak spot in the toy. That's when he enters DESTRUCTOPUP MODE, and we end up with one of these victims here:

That last orange one used to be in the shape of a bone, but he removed all the end bits - they promptly ended up in the trash. I have already shared the tale of Froggy before, so I will focus on the other ones here. If a rope toy has a tennis ball on the end and you leave Chewy with it unattended even for a few minutes, he will defuzz the tennis ball. If a rope toy has knots on the end, he will pull on the knots until he can undo them, then unravel the rope and shred the strings. If a rope toy has all its ends tucked in, you can bet that Chewy will eventually find and expose them.

I keep Chewy's rope toys on the counter when no one is around, so the destruction is a rather slow process. He is so happy when pulling apart his ropes, sometimes I just don't have the heart to tell him no. But once he has done a certain amount of damage, I take them out of his toy rotation and they end up sitting in the cabinet. Every now and then I bring one out when I need to keep him distracted, like while doing his nails, because his love of destroying rope toys is pretty all-consuming. I decided it was finally time to throw out this collection of dilapidated ropes, but I let Chewy play with them one last time. He was ecstatic, and wanted to hoard them all.

Oh, happy day!

But when I threw them all in the trashcan, he was not so pleased.

Not the garbage!

You're gonna buy me more, right?

We currently have one of those 4' ropes made from t-shirt strips. It has been holding up pretty well with only supervised play, but I'm sure Chewy has been plotting its demise for quite awhile. It's only a matter of time!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Mischief: Garden Mayhem

We added a few raised beds to our yard for planting veggies this spring. One of them is only 8" tall, and we use it primarily for planting carrots and radishes. Radishes are ready much sooner than carrots, so for most of the summer it was all carrots. Chewy of course caught on that there was food he liked in there, and it being a very convenient height, routinely hopped in to pick his own carrots. I planted them for him to eat anyway, so I let him feast to his liking.

When I planted my fall crop of carrots and radishes, I made a makeshift "fence" out of bamboo and string to keep my seedlings safe from the Chewy monster. Now that the plants are growing nice big leaves, Chewy's interest in the raised bed has been renewed, and my strings are no match for his love of carrots. He just crawls right under, or in some cases runs right through it.

Making his pick

The thing is, the big leaves all belong to radishes...

*rip tear shred*

And Chewy does not like radishes. They are a little bitter.


He does like to play with the leaves, though.

I'm innocent! ... Ignore the evidence!

Most of the carrots are still minuscule, but there are a couple nice ones hidden in there. Chewy just hasn't been able to find them yet.


The funny thing is, when our strawberries were growing, Chewy would sniff up and down the rows to find a nice red one to eat. With the carrots, he would pick haphazardly, often pulling up a spindly little one. Now with radishes in the mix, he just pulls out anything!