Doggie Ingredient Tuesday: Yogurt

Well, I missed a week. I told you I'd be bad at this. Didn't I? If I didn't I should have and now you know. Fall gets to be a busy time (mostly cause I spend all my extra time baking yummy treats for myself......dogs get them all the time so I should too right?)

So I have decided to talk about yogurt today. I try to talk about ingredients that I use either in my treats, or just in my dog's diets. And they LOVE YOGURT!



Another great thing about it, is it's easy!

I buy containers just like this one and keep around just for the dogs. They love it with an afternoon snack or as a topper for their food at meal times!

As always, I reference Dr. Khalsa's book "Dr. Khalsa's Natural Dog: A Holistic Guide for Healthier Dogs." And it has a list of the beneficial bacteria:

lactobacillus acidophilus
lactobacillus bulgaris
lactobacillus bifidus
streptococcus faecium
bifidobacterium bifidum
lactobacillus casei
lactobacillus salivarius

These kinds of bacteria help with bad breath and all kinds of stomach issues (gas, indigestion, constipation etc).

You just need to be aware of the kind of yogurt you and buying and make sure it has some beneficial bacteria in it.
This Dannon yogurt lists that it has lactobacillus acidophilus :)
I am sure yogurt purchased from a health food store will contain more natural cultures and beneficial bacteria (Dr. Khalsa recommends this), but I simply can't afford it and I think this at least helps them and is a very easy way for me to incorporate something beneficial and yummy in their diet!!

There ya go! There is yogurt for this Tuesday!

I don't have any treats that contain yogurt, but my frosting is all natural and yogurt based if you wanna check out some yummy treats :)

www.treatdreamsthedogbakery.com


Doggie Ingredient Tuesday: Pumpkin

Well today was only a high of 85 degrees and when I stepped outside I was pleasantly surprised by these "cool" temperatures. It made me excited for the approaching fall weather (in two months or so). Then I took a stroll through Hobby Lobby and saw all of their Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations and then I decided, that I indeed was excited and ready for all, and am going to pretend it is right around the corner and it won't be too long until I get to wear my boots :)  **wishful thinking!!**

To celebrate this "cooler" weather and Hobby Lobby decorations, I will discuss what I have found helpful about pumpkin when it comes to dogs eating it.



My dogs LOVE pumpkin!! LOVE IT! What is nice about pumpkin, is that it's easy!! I have not found anywhere that says fresh is better than canned or yada yada...which is good news for us, cause that means we can find the same great benefits of pumpkin in a can without having to grow pumpkin in our backyards! :)


Benefits:

Constipation: What I read everywhere is that pumpkin is good for constipation in dogs. They recommend adding it straight from the can, to the dog's food, or even serving several times during the day. Anywhere from 1/4 cup - 1 whole cup every day.

Weight: Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber for your dog and is great when trying to achieve weight loss in your dog. I have cut back in small amounts on my dogs food before and substituted pumpkin to help my dogs lose weight in the past.


How to use?

Like I said, I just (and have read) that it is as simple as opening a can of pumpkin and scooping it onto your dogs food, or just feeding them by the spoonful! I keep pumpkin around all the time (one, because I use it in my dog treats), but also because it is so easy to just scoop on top of my dogs food to give them a boost of fiber and the nutrients associated with this wonderful vegetable!

So there ya have it, PUMPKIN!!! YUM! My dogs love it, and I have to admit, I love it too! I can't wait to start making some goodies with it, although, I think I do need to hold off a little. It is hard to enjoy a nice pumpkin chocolate chip cookie while I am still sweating from the heat :)

Here are some of my pumpkin dog treats! I mix pumpkin and blackstrap molasses to create the ultimate autumn dog treat! They are delicious!




DIY Caramel Apple

Well if you know me, you know I love chocolate. A bonus, is taking something healthy (apple) and making it unhealthy (chocolate/carmel apple) !

Between these things and my love for everything that has anything to do with fall, comes one of the best ideas I've ever had!

I love chocolate/carmel covered apples! I usually get them at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, but we do not have one of those anywhere near where I live. So I thought...."it can't be THAT hard...right?"

Actually, it isn't hard, but it is messy and I would do it a lot differently than I actually did it....so here it is.....a story of my mess....but man did they taste good!!!!!


First, I collected the main ingredients:
Caramel squares (hindsight, I wouldn't get the individually wrapped ones)
Apples


Those are the makings of a caramel apple, but I wanted more...so I just decided what other ingredients I wanted on mine:

Pecans
Milk Chocolate
White Chocolate
Dark Chocolate
Oreos

Then I stuck my apples with these kabob sticks. Some people use craft sticks, but I had these on hand, so I used them. I would imagine that craft sticks work better because they are thicker and shorter to the apple. These sometimes got away from me because they were not really sturdy. 

Before I started melting my caramel. I made sure all of my other ingredients were ready. So I chopped up my oreos so they would be crumbly, and chopped up my pecans so I could roll my apple in them. 

I had read to heat the caramel on medium, but mine started to burn. So I would advise you start it on low, at least until most of the chunks have softened to melt, then turn it up. Keep an eye on it the whole time and stir continuously! 
Again, hindsight, I did not let my caramel get hot enough so that it was not so thick!! So make sure you get it hot enough where it thins out. It will make dipping your apple in way easier and eating it way more enjoyable! :)

I have no pictures of dipping my apples, it was a scary enough process as it was, much more with only one hand! So basically, I just took one apple at a time and dipped and rolled it in the caramel. I scraped the bottom of the apple on the pan to scrape off the extra caramel. 

**IMPORTANT** If you are going to roll your apple in anything (in my case, nuts and oreo crumbs) you need to do it right after you dip it. I dipped all of my apples, then tried to roll them, but they weren't sticky anymore. I should have dipped one, then rolled it in nuts/oreos, then set it aside and started another one. 


Instead I had to slather on extra fresh caramel at the bottom to get my oreos and pecans to stick! (MESS MESS MESS!)


Now comes the fun part of drenching them in every kind of chocolate imaginable!!! 
So I took my chocolate chips and chocolate bars and melted them all in separate mugs. Trying to figure out a way to get this "drizzle" effect on my apple, I decided to then pour the melted chocolate into zip lock bags. Then I cut the tiniest piece off the bottom corner of the bag, so that I could sort of decorate with the melted chocolate.



I did it with the dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate. I just took the apple, held it, started at one spot and worked my way all around the apple. 

Some of the apples have all three kinds of chocolate, some have only two. It is all up to who wants what!!
I would recommend they sit for several hours before eating them so that the chocolate can harden (otherwise you will have MORE MESS!)
 

I hope you enjoy! I know my friends and family did! I already have requests for more!!


Bring on fall weather and I will be set!

Halloween Dog Treats

I cannot believe it is time to start talking about Fall and Halloween! We are starting into my favorite time of the year! I am way more into scarves, boots, coats, candy, pie, cocoa and Christmas than sunscreen, shorts, sweating, tanning (ha!) and popsicles. I am so excited that I have already completed my Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas dog treats! I will keep my Christmas treats hidden until the appropriate time, but here are my Halloween treats!




                                         




I am so very proud of these! They are made of my grain-free pumpkin recipe so everything about them screams FALL!!! They look and smell soooooooooooooo incredible! 

It just makes sense does it not? It is called trick-or-TREAT!! Dogs want their share of the fun too! 



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