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    Now That's Interesting! | A Blog by Coco + Pistachio

    “PUPPY LOVE” TREATS by Devan Bechtol

    “PUPPY LOVE” TREATS by Devan Bechtol

    These “Puppy Love” Treats are for that furry, special someone in your life, because we can’t forget our pets on Valentine’s Day! Can you believe these adorable little dog treats are only THREE ingredients?

    The hardest part is cutting the darn banana slices into hearts. Surprisingly, though, this really isn’t that bad! Just cut a small triangle in the top of the banana slice with a sharp knife, then cut the bottom into a point. You can also round the corners with a knife a little if you want. You can probably tell I didn’t have too much patience to try to make them all uniform, but your fur baby won’t be able to tell the difference and they will still look cute! After they’re sliced, throw them in the freezer to firm up.
    healthy dog treats - by devan bechtol blog coco + pistachio
    In a food processor, combine some fresh strawberries and plain Greek yogurt until you have a beautiful pink coating for the banana hearts. It must be a texture thing, though, because she gobbled this puréed strawberry yogurt up! Dip the frozen bananas into the yogurt, and then put them back in the freezer.
    healthy dog treats - by devan bechtol blog coco + pistachio

    I love Emmy’s tongue in this pic! She went so crazy for these!!

    Embarrassingly enough, I didn’t even think about how these are also human-friendly snacks until the day after making them, but I can confirm that I also think these are delicious!

    These adorable and nutritious dog treats are made with just three ingredients!

    You'll Need...

    • about 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 3-4 strawberries, sliced
    • 2 bananas, sliced

    Directions

    1. Cut the banana slices into hearts by cutting a small triangle out of the top, and then cutting the bottom so it comes to a point. You can round the edges slightly with the knife if you would like.
    2. Place the banana hearts on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
    3. Add the strawberries and Greek yogurt to a food processor. Blend until well combined. You can add a tiny splash of water if it seems too thick.
    4. Dip the frozen banana hearts into the strawberry yogurt with a fork to coat. Tap off the excess yogurt and place onto the baking sheet again. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
    5. Store the treats in the freezer for when your fur baby needs a special snack!

    Enjoy!

    Devan Bechtol

    Make sure to check out featured Blogger Devan's Bechtol and more of her healthy tasty recipes on her site at Eating With Emmy Lou. Happy Valentines Furbabies!

    Photography by: Devan Bechtol

     

    What You Need To Know About Your Pet's Joint Health and Arthritis

    What You Need To Know About Your Pet's Joint Health and Arthritis

    Joints are the connection between two or more bones. The end of bones are covered with cartilage. Because the cartilage does not have any blood supply of its own, it receives nourishment from small blood vessels in the underlying bone and from the joint fluid surrounding the cartilage. There are two major categories of joint problems: developmental and degenerative. With developmental issues, such as hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia, the joint does not develop properly. With degenerative issues, the articular cartilage may gradually deteriorate and degenerate over time as our pet ages, which is referred to as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD). 

    Common signs of arthritis
    Dogs can exhibit many different signs when they have DJD, and they do not necessarily demonstrate the same signs all the time. The most common signs dog owners may notice include:
  • Difficulty getting up and down
  • Walking stiffly
  • Lameness in one or more legs
  • Reluctance to go up or down stairs
  • Reluctance to jump up or down
  • Stiff, swollen, or sore joints
  • Reluctance to be touched on some parts of the body
  • Loss of stamina
  • Unexpected aggression towards other dogs or towards humans
  • Should I start my dog on a joint supplement for arthritis and inflammation, even if I don't see any signs?
    You may be thinking inflammation is only a problem for dogs with joint disease … but chronic, hidden inflammation is everywhere in the body.  It’s the root of most diseases. Cancer, arthritis, allergies, kidney disease, dental disease, gastrointestinal disease … can all be caused by inflammation. Not all inflammation in the body is a bad thing. If your dog is exposed to viruses or bacteria, acute inflammation will release white blood cells to the body tissues and start the healing process. But chronic inflammation – the kind of low-grade inflammation that stays for weeks, months and even years – is the real culprit behind most degenerative and inflammatory health issues in your dog. And they’re finding that chronic low-grade inflammation is a major driver of joint disease. 
    What should I look for in a joint supplement?
    The three major ingredients you should look for are Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM. Some effective natural anti-inflammatory ingredients include turmeric, green lipped mussel and yucca root.
     
    WHAT IS GLUCOSAMINE?
    Glucosamine, derived from shellfish, is a natural compound made of an amino acid (glutamine) and a sugar (glucose), and is an essential building block of joint cartilage. Ordinarily, the body produces its own glucosamine, but during periods of extensive or prolonged cartilage repair, results in a decreased production of glucosamine. Pets with lameness can show significant improvement when treated with glucosamine. Other potential indications for glucosamine include the treatment of intervertebral disk disease, recurrent cystitis, and severe inflammatory bowel disease. 
    What is CHONDROITIN? 
    Chondroitin sulfate is the major glycosaminoglycan (GAG) found in cartilage. It promotes water retention and elasticity in the cartilage, helping to ensure adequate shock absorption and adequate nourishment of the tissues that line the joint. Chondroitin decreases inflammation that can be destructive to joints. Animal cartilage is the only dietary source of chondroitin, although it can be synthesized from its glucosamine precursor. Commercially available forms of chondroitin sulphate include bovine cartilage and shark cartilage. Shark cartilage supplements are not recommended because they possess no distinct advantage over bovine cartilage, and pose a significant threat to the integrity of the world's oceans.
    WHAT IS MSM?
    MSM, (methylsulfonylmethane,) is a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain killing) product. It is also used in humans to treat pain, inflammation, allergies, arthritis, and the maintenance of normal keratin levels in hair, skin and nails.
    WHAT IS TURMERIC?
    Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin – its active ingredient. Curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing and anticancer activities. It can help fight diseases like arthritis, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and gastrointestinal issues. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that slows down aging, degeneration and even increase lifespan. Adding turmeric to your dog's diet is incredibly beneficial and can revolutionize his body from head to paw.
    WHAT IS GREEN LIPPED MUSSEL?
    Perna canaliculus, or green-lipped mussel, is an edible shellfish found off the shores of New Zealand. Perna mussel contains glucosamine, a GAG precursor and one of the building blocks of cartilage. It contains natural anti-inflammatory agents and many essential building blocks needed to rebuild the necessary components in joints.
     
    WHAT IS YUCCA ROOT?
    Yucca is an all-natural steroidal supplement. It reduces pain with minimal digestive side effects and is used for arthritis, joint problems, soft tissue swelling, and digestive problems. Yucca also is said to promote circulation through damaged tissue, reducing waste build-up while also helping in the removal of waste from the liver and kidneys. The increased circulation also provides more tissue-repairing nutrients.  
    WHAT IS FISH OIL?
    Fish oil supplementation may be helpful for pets with inflammatory diseases including allergies, arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, and many types of cancer. It also benefits your dog's skin and coat to alleviate itchiness and shedding.
     
    Author: Michelle Dulake, DVM
    Co-Founder of www.ferapetorganics.com

    5 Dog Safety Tips for Summer

    5 Dog Safety Tips for Summer

    Summer’s almost here! Here are some tips to help your dog enjoy this beautiful weather too.

    1. Paws Off The Hot Pavement: Do you remember as a barefoot kid, jumping to walk on the white lines since they were cooler than the pavement? Our dogs are not the fierce predators of old. The foot pads, especially on puppies and apartment dogs, are prone to very uncomfortable burns. Always reach down and keep your hand firmly pressed to the pavement for a while to be sure it’s not too hot. If you can’t comfortably keep your hand there, your dog may need to take a different path, or to wear protective boots.

    2. Don't Leave Me In The Car: Speaking of hot places, please don’t ever leave your dog in the car alone in warm weather. Dogs can’t sweat like people do, and their fur coats don’t unzip. Even with windows cracked, the inside of a car can reach deadly temperatures in less than 15 minutes. While you could leave the air conditioning running, more than one family has returned to find an empty car with a window unwittingly rolled completely down by a paw.

    3. Keep Me In The Shade: When you tie your best friend’s leash while you play some ball with the kids, be sure he can reach some shade and has plenty of water available. If he’s digging, chances are he’s removing the top warm layer of dirt to get to the cooler layer below. Pay attention to this plea that he needs some relief from the heat.

    4. Water + Dog = Happy Cool Dog: Speaking of water, dogs LOVE to have their own kiddy pools to cool off in! When looking for a pool, consider how often you will want to be changing out the water. Dog’s tend to get the water muddy faster than kids, and some pools are too flimsy to easily dump. Your dog doesn’t need a huge pool. Better to get a smaller one that’s easy to dump. If you have a dog that absolutely loves to get into deeper water, consider a plastic stock tank, These tanks, usually used to water horses and other livestock, are easier to dump than kiddy pools and have the option to attach drainage hoses. When introducing your dog to the pool, never force entry. Instead, play around the pool and throw toys and floating treats into the water. Always use an appropriately safe water level for each dog

    5. Cooling Treats: You can create amazing ice treats for your dogs! Choose some favorite treats: pieces of carrots, kibble, spoonfuls of peanut butter, etc. Fill a plastic container with water. (Depending on the types of treats and how large you make the ice, you may want to freeze in layers.) Add treats into the water, freeze solid, dip into warm water to release, let your dog enjoy the “pupsicle” outside!

    And don’t forget to stay current on heartworm preventative. This preventable deadly disease is much cheaper to avoid by using pills than to treat an infection. The heart worm parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes. Warm weather brings mosquitoes, as well as forgotten pools of water breeding more of the bloodsucking bugs. Let your vet guide you in getting your dog started on the very easy, one pill a month, protective pills.

    Be safe, have fun, and give your dog a scratch for me!

    About The Author: Lesa Scheifele is a behavioral consultant who specializes in exotic animal training

    THE MAKINGS OF THE SHIBORI BANDANA

    THE MAKINGS OF THE SHIBORI BANDANA

    The Makings of the Shibori Bandana. Each Shibori Bandana is individually made from the dying process to the stitch detail.

    We first begin, by washing the raw fabric.

    Then we tie it to get it prepared for the dye process.

    Once it's ready to be dyed, we dip it in the indigo dye several times. This process can take up to 3 hours. After it's dyed, we hang dry it.

    Which usually takes a day. After it's all dry, we wash it again about 5 times to get all the excess dye off. Then we hang dry again. The picture above is unwashed. The indigo will get a lighter once it's washed.

     

    After it's all dry, we add a heavy stitch detail that is all done by hand. This is the stitching you see going across the center of the bandana. It can get tricky to get the stitch to be straight when you are hand stitching, so we take our time to make sure it's done nicely.

    After we hand- stitch it we sew the hand stitch secure and sew the rolled hem and it's finally finished! It's a process that usually take an additional 2-3 days to make as oppose to the other bandanas. It's a beautifully crafted Bandana. If your looking for a special gift for your pup that is unique you won't be disappointed with the Shibori Bandana. We hope you enjoy reading about The Makings of the Shibori Bandana :)