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Can Dogs Eat Potatoes? Everything You Need to Know

Can dogs eat potatoes? Yes, they can! So long as they’re well cooked, are not green and served up plain—sorry, pups, no fries for you!—your dog can enjoy potatoes boiled, mashed, steamed or baked. And potatoes can also be a healthy treat in moderation.

We spoke with Dr. Amanda Williams, chief veterinarian and medical director of Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch, for tips and advice on how to include potatoes in your pup’s diet.

Benefits of Potatoes for Dogs

Are potatoes good for dogs? Yes! When fed in moderation, potatoes can provide your dog with several nutritional benefits.

  • High in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps eliminate potentially harmful free radicals and can help reduce inflammation and cognitive aging.
  • Good sources of vitamins A and B6, which help support your dog’s immune and nervous systems, among other benefits.
  • Potatoes also contain beneficial iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Risks of Feeding Potatoes to Your Dog

While dogs can eat potatoes as a treat or mixed in with their regular food, Dr. Williams has a few things to keep in mind before feeding your dog potatoes:

  • Dogs should only eat cooked, plain potatoes. While those mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving dinner are delicious for humans, they’re not good for dogs. Avoid feeding your dog any potatoes that have milk, cream, butter, oil, cheese, salt or other seasonings.
  • Portion control is important. Consuming too many potatoes, which are high in carbohydrates, can cause obesity and other health problems for your pooch. Potatoes, and treats in general, should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
  • Raw potatoes can be dangerous. Potatoes are in the nightshade family of vegetables, which means they contain solanine, a compound that is toxic to some dogs. Cooking potatoes reduces the level of solanine, making them safer to eat. Raw potatoes are also difficult to chew, so they’re a choking hazard and may obstruct the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Peel potatoes before cooking. While potato skin isn’t toxic to dogs, it contains oxalates, a naturally occurring compound that can harm your pup’s kidneys if eaten too frequently or in large quantities.
  •  Never feed your dog potatoes with green skin. You can detect an elevated level of solanine in a potato by examining its skin. If the skin is green, that means there is solanine. Look for a potato that doesn’t have green skin, and peel it before feeding it to your dog.
  • Start small. If your dog has never eaten potatoes, start by feeding them a small amount to see if they have a negative reaction, like an upset stomach or allergic reaction. Then you can slowly increase the quantity over time.

How to Feed Potatoes to Your Dog

You should always consult with your vet before serving potatoes to determine the right portion size for your dog. Even a healthy treat like potatoes should be factored into your dog’s optimum daily balanced diet. Dr. Williams says potatoes can be:

  • Baked, steamed, boiled or mashed. Just make sure you serve them plain.
  • A small snack. Go ahead, let your pup lick the spoon!
  • Mixed in with their regular food. Williams recommends hiding the potatoes underneath their dry or wet food, so they must work to get to it—meaning they’ll eat their dog food on the way to reaching that yummy treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:Can dogs eat sweet potato?

A:Yes, in moderation, dogs can eat sweet potato. In fact, sweet potatoes are healthier for dogs (and people!) than white potatoes. However, just like white potatoes, sweet potatoes need to be cooked and peeled first. You should never feed your dog raw sweet potato since they can be difficult to chew, upset their stomach or may cause intestinal blockage.

Q:Can dogs eat potato chips?

A:No, dogs should not eat potato chips because they are cooked in oil. Many packaged potato chips also contain a lot of salt and other seasonings that are not good for dogs.

Q:Can dogs eat potato skin?

A:No, Dr. Williams doesn’t recommend potato skin for dogs since it contains oxalates, a naturally occurring compound that can harm your pup’s kidneys if eaten too frequently or in large quantities.

Q:Can dogs eat mashed potatoes?

A:Yes, dogs can eat mashed potatoes if they’re plain, meaning they don’t contain salt, cream or seasonings that can be toxic to dogs like garlic and onion powder. Dr. Williams says to avoid instant mashed potatoes because they require milk, which can cause digestive problems for dogs who are lactose intolerant.

Q:Can dogs eat French fries?

A:No, dogs should not eat French fries because they are cooked in oil and fried. French fries are often seasoned with salt, too, which is not good for dogs.

Top Dog Food & Treats with Potatoes

Potatoes (either the white or sweet kind) are a common ingredient in dog food and treats. Here are some of our favorites:


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A Savory Stew

This thick and chunky stew has potatoes, beef, carrots and peas all cooked in a yummy gravy for a taste that dogs love.

Shop now!


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Dehydrated Sweet Potato Chews

Have a dog who loves to chew? Try these 100% all-natural, dried sweet potatoes with a texture that satisfies your pup’s craving for chewing.

Shop now!


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A Potato-packed Meal Topper

This variety pack has two irresistible recipes, one with potato and another with sweet potato, that’s the paw-fect way to add some extra flavor to your pup’s balanced diet.

Shop now!


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Milk-Bone Trail Mix

Your dog will love the mixture of crunchy biscuits and chewy sweet potatoes, and you’ll love that your dog is getting fiber, protein and other vitamins and nutrients!

Shop now!

Before incorporating any new foods into your dog’s diet, always consult with your veterinarian to make sure it’s a safe addition to your pet’s diet given their health, diet needs and current medications. Your vet will tell you if your dog can eat potatoes and the appropriate serving size. If you suspect your pet is sick, please call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your regular veterinarian when possible as they can make the best recommendations for your pet. (If you need help finding a vet near you use this link.)

Expert input provided by Dr. Amanda Williams, Chief Veterinarian and Medical Director, Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch in Jupiter, Florida.

The post Can Dogs Eat Potatoes? Everything You Need to Know appeared first on BeChewy.

Catnap Approved: How to Choose the Best Cat Bed for Your Pet

You know your cat loves to sleep, but do you know what type of cat bed they’d prefer for their catnaps? There are many to choose from, including hanging cat beds that attach to windows (perfect for bird-watching), covered cat beds for shy felines who dig privacy as they snooze, and heated beds to help soothe achy bones. Felines can be picky, and the best cat bed for one pet may not work for another. To find the perfect cat bed for your pet, you’ll want to take their personal preferences into account as well as other factors, like their age and size. Then find a bed that meets the criteria.

It’s also a good idea to get a few different cat beds, not just one, to give your cat options. They love choices, says Jennifer Van de Kieft, a certified advanced feline training and behavior professional in Brooklyn, New York. “Anyone who’s had a cat knows—one week they want to sleep on your bed and then the next week they’re sleeping on the box in the living room. It’s like they’re always changing spots.”

Ready to find the cat bed of your kitty’s dreams? First, let’s cover the questions you should be asking yourself before you even start shopping.

What to Consider Before Buying a Cat Bed

You don’t want to waste your hard-earned money on cat luxury beds your kitty will spurn, so ask yourself these questions as you shop around for the purr-fect picks for your pet.

  • What does your cat like to snooze on in general? “Cats have individual preferences. They definitely like things that are soft and plush, but then they also like cardboard boxes, paper bags and packing paper,” Van de Kieft notes. So look at where your cat likes to go to doze and try to replicate that in at least one of the cat beds you pick. Remember, cats like variety.
  • How big is your cat? The best cat bed is one that’s just a few inches longer than your cat, explains Van de Kieft. Cats feel more secure in small spaces, but they also need room to change positions and move around, she notes. So measure your cat and get a bed that will let your cat curl up comfortably but still feel cozy.
  • How firm is the bed? Cats generally don’t like to feel as if they’re sinking, says Van de Kieft, but they also like to knead—it’s their way to self-soothe. So you’ll want to find a cat bed that’s on firm side but still has a bit of give to it. It can be difficult to tell just how firm a cat bed is when shopping online, so be sure to read the reviews to get a good sense.
  • How thick is the bed? Some cats like softer, plusher fabrics to nap on as long as the bed is firm enough to avoid the sinking feeling, says Van de Kieft. Look for a cat bed that’s between one to three inches thick, depending on your cat’s taste. Bonus points if the bed has an extra pillow or padding.
  • How cozy is the bed? Cats crave heat, says Van de Kieft, which is why self-warming cat beds or ones with removable heating pads are like catnip to felines. Or go for a Sherpa-lined bed, which will also make for a cozy and warm resting place.

Now that you have a better understanding of cats’ preferences in general and your cat’s individual tastes, you’re ready to check out your options.

Heated Cat Bed

Heated cat beds run on low-wattage electricity and have an internal thermostat, so they warm cats up without overheating them. K&H Pet Products Mother’s Heartbeat Heated Cat Bed also provides the soothing sound and vibration of heartbeats—a plus when easing stress in new or nervous cats.  

Self-Warming Bed

The special materials in self-warming beds use your kitty’s own body heat, not electricity, to stay toasty for as long as they doze. Van de Kieft recommends self-warming beds to clients, especially if their home is on the cool side. Frisco’s Round Self-Warming Cat Bed has the added bonus of being machine washable. 

Cat Cave Bed

Cat cave beds offer enclosed spaces for timid cats that want a hidden place to snooze. Frisco Felt Removable Hood Cave Cat Bed is like two beds in one—the hood gives your cat privacy, but comes off when your pet craves a change of pace. The plush cushion is washable. 

Cat Window Bed

“Cats love to see what’s going on outside,” says Van de Kieft. Cat window beds satisfy that urge because they fasten securely to the window or sill, with some able to hold up to 50 pounds. Attach K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Thermo-Kitty Window Cat Bed to a sun-filled window with these industrial-strength suction cups.

Elevated Cat Bed

Cats like to be off the floor, which tends to make elevated cat beds a winner. And unlike tall cat trees or cat shelves, they’re not so high to make them unreachable by elderly cats or small kittens. This one from Frisco has a cushion made of soft, eyelash yarn for comfier catnaps. Plus, you’ll like its chic look.

Orthopedic Cat Bed

Orthopedic cat beds have foam bases designed to give pets more support and relieve pressure on the joints—and they don’t lose their shape. The foam base plus a comfy Sherpa-covered cushion makes this Frisco Sherpa Orthopedic Cat Bed a good pick for cats who like bolstered edges to rest their heads.

Pillow Cat Bed

Pillow cat beds are cushion-shaped beds that can be placed anywhere around the house. They don’t have bolsters or brims, so your kitty can stretch out to sleep. At 10 inches high, Frisco Sherpa Cube Pillow Cat Bed allows cats to get off the ground while dozing on a Sherpa-covered, poly-filled bed. Zip off the cover when it’s time to wash it.

Bolster Cat Bed

“Cats like to be able to snuggle up against the side [of beds] and feel secure,” says Van de Kieft. That’s why she recommends bolstered beds, which have raised sides that cats can their rest heads and necks against. The Casper Bolster Cat Bed also has a durable memory foam base, which makes ideal for cats who like firmer beds.

Quick Cat Bed Tips

Choosing the best cat bed for your cat’s needs is only part of the puzzle in ensuring a good catnap. Van de Kieft suggests scattering the cat beds around your home in various sunny spots. Just don’t put the cat beds on the floor (unless it’s an elevated cat bed). “Cats don’t like to be on the floor. If you put the cat beds on a vertical space, like on a shelf or on your bed, then it’s much more attractive because cats like to be up high,” she says.

If your pet ignores their bed, it might be because it’s new or smells unfamiliar, says Van de Kieft. To speed up the acclimation process, she suggests trying the following:

  • Moving the bed(s) around to new spots
  • Placing the bed on the sofa or side table since cats like high spots
  • Putting cat treats, catnip or silvervine on the bed to lure your pet over to the bed
  • Throwing a cat toy onto the bed or playing near it so your cat associates the bed with something fun and positive

Cats spend a lot of time sleeping, so a cat bed—or two or three!—is a worthy investment. Taking the time to understand your cat’s individual needs and preferences before you buy will make the shopping process a lot less overwhelming—and ensure your cat will log plenty of catnap hours in their new bed.

The post Catnap Approved: How to Choose the Best Cat Bed for Your Pet appeared first on BeChewy.

Can Dogs Eat Corn? Everything You Need to Know

Can dogs eat corn? Yes! Not only can they eat it, corn can be good for dogs, too. According to Dr. Brittany Caramico, associate veterinarian at Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch, there’s a common misconception that corn causes significant allergies in dogs; however, it’s estimated that only about 4% of dogs have a corn allergy.

We spoke with Dr. Caramico for all the details on this nutritious and delicious food, as well as tips and advice on how to safely include it in your pup’s diet.

Benefits of Corn for Dogs

Is corn good for dogs? Yes! When fed in moderation, corn can be a nutritious addition to your dog’s balanced diet. Dr. Caramico says corn:

  • Is a good source of protein and carbohydrates.
  • Rich in insoluble fiber and healthy fats to promote gut health.
  • One ear of corn is about 90 calories with 3 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat and 19 grams of carbohydrates.
  • Contains linoleic acid, an essential omega-6 fatty acid.
  • Contains carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin to promote eye health.
  • High in vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage.

Risks of Feeding Corn to Your Dog

While dogs can eat corn as a treat or mixed in with their regular food, Dr. Caramico has a few things you should keep in mind before feeding your dog corn:

  • Only feed your dog plain corn. That means no butter, salt or pepper!
  • Never feed your dog corn on the cob. The hard cob is extremely difficult to chew, so it can cause life-threatening intestinal blockage if ingested and poses a choking hazard.
  • Start small. When introducing a new food, always do so with a small portion to monitor for any gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea. As a rule of thumb, 90% or more of a dog’s total daily caloric intake should be in the form of dog food. Corn, and human food in general, should never exceed 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake.
  • Avoid canned corn and creamed corn. Most canned vegetables contain high amounts of salt which is not good for dogs. Creamed corn has ingredients like milk, cream and butter that can cause gastrointestinal upset.
  • Factor calories from corn into your dog’s daily recommended totals. While a healthy treat, always consider calories.

How to Feed Corn to Your Dog

You should always consult with your vet before serving corn to determine the right portion size for your dog. Even a healthy treat like corn should be factored into your dog’s optimum daily balanced diet.

  • If you’re using corn on the cob, wash it well, cook thoroughly in unsalted water, and then use a knife to scrape the kernels off the cob. (Don’t forget to discard the cob in the trash, preferably outdoors if your pup is a garbage digger.)
  • Frozen, bagged corn purchased from the grocery store can be a fun, crunchy food topper for your pup, but make sure there are no added ingredients like salt, which is not good for dogs if consumed frequently.
  • Sprinkle a few pieces of corn on top of your dog’s regular food—or hide it underneath their food to make them work for their treat! You can also give them a small handful as an occasional snack.
  • Mix it into homemade treats or smoothie bowls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:Can dogs have sweet corn?

A:Technically yes, but sweet corn doesn’t have as many nutritional benefits as regular corn. Sweet corn has higher sugar content and is starchy. Plus it’s difficult for a dog to digest. If you feed your pup sweet corn, give them small amounts and only on occasion.

Q:Can dogs have corn on the cob?

A:No, never! Corn on the cob can cause life-threatening intestinal blockage if ingested and poses a choking hazard. If your dog does eat a cob, call your veterinarian immediately or take your dog to the emergency clinic as soon a possible, especially if you notice any vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, difficulty pooping, stomach pain or lethargy.

Q:Can dogs eat corn bread?

A:A small bite isn’t likely to harm your pup, but Dr. Williams suggests avoiding feeding your dog corn bread since it’s usually made with butter, milk and/or cream, which can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Q:Can dogs eat corn chips/tortillas?

A:Chips in general are not good for dogs because they’re prepared in oil and often have seasonings that dogs shouldn’t eat, like salt, onion powder and garlic powder. Corn tortillas can be high in sodium and should be avoided, too.

Q:Can dogs eat hard, unpopped corn kernels?

A:No. Dogs teeth aren’t the shape needed to properly chew and break down those hard corn kernels, so dogs tend to swallow them whole. Kernels are difficult to digest and can lead to gastrointestinal upset.

Top Dog Food & Treats with Corn

If you’re looking to give your dog more of the nutritional benefits of corn, you’re in luck! There’s a lot of dog food and treats with corn as a main ingredient. Here are some of our favorites:


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PupCorn Plus Salmon & Sweet Potato Treats

In addition to corn flour, these low-calorie treats have prebiotics and probiotics to support healthy digestion.

Shop now!


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Farmhouse Blend Dog Food

This complete and balanced dry dog food is made with beef, corn and other nutritious veggies to give your dog a boost of protein, antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids and more.

Shop now!

Before incorporating any new foods into your dog’s diet, always consult with your veterinarian to make sure it’s a safe addition to your pet’s diet given their health, diet needs and current medications. Your vet will tell you if your dog can eat corn and the appropriate serving size. If you suspect your pet is sick, please call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your regular veterinarian when possible as they can make the best recommendations for your pet. (If you need help finding a vet near you use this link.)

Expert input provided by Dr. Brittany Caramico, associate veterinarian at Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch in Jupiter, Florida.

The post Can Dogs Eat Corn? Everything You Need to Know appeared first on BeChewy.

Is This Normal: Why Do Cats Hate Closed Doors?

Q:Sometimes I need a minute to myself, but my cat freaks out when I close the door. Why do cats hate closed doors? Is that normal?

A: Yes, it’s probably a bit of FOMO: They want to know what you’re doing in there.  

The members of iconic British punk band The Clash have never really explained the lyrics to their classic track “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” but it’s probably safe to assume that they weren’t thinking about cats. Regardless, several of those lines—especially the “If I go there will be trouble/If I stay it will be double” part—seem to go through our cats’ heads every time we open or close a door inside the house. If they’re in a room, they want to get out. If they’re outside the room, they want to get in… until you start to turn the doorknob. Then they want to stay right where they are.

Alright, what’s my cat doing? Is it possible that they’re just messing with me?

“Anything is possible, right? I mean, there are people who have claimed to see the Loch Ness Monster,” says Dr. Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB, owner and a veterinary behaviorist at Florida Veterinary Behavior Service. “The reality is that cats are super-smart, and that we don’t always know what they want.”

There a several reasons why cats hate closed doors:

  • They are curious creatures and want to know what’s on the other side.
  • They feel trapped.
  • They want to be where the action is.
  • It’s a learned behavior.
  • They have separation anxiety.

And those reasons may change depending on the day. Cats are complex little animals. We don’t always have the same motivation for repeating a particular behavior, so we can’t expect that our cats do either. Dr. Radosta breaks the possible reasons down for us further.

why do cats hate closed doors

They’re curious.

Your cat may simply be curious about what lies on the other side of the door. As Dr. Radosta explains, maybe your cat is in one room, but decides that they want to see if a second room is different from the one they’ve been sitting in, so they’ll sit at the closed door and meow until you open it.

“She looks inside the other room, and [thinks] ‘Nope, it’s about the same,’ so she leaves,” Dr. Radosta says. “The pet parent attaches emotions to that when it was simple curiosity.”

They feel trapped.

Another reason why cats hate closed doors is that they may not feel comfortable being confined to one room all day. They feel trapped, and in the words of another British band, Queen, they want to break free.

“She may like that room, but she doesn’t want to stay there all day,” Dr. Radosta says.

The cat may not even want to actually leave the room, rather they just want to have the option of leaving. Dr. Radosta describes this scenario: Your cat was napping when the door was shut, and much to her surprise, wakes up to see that the door is closed. She was never taught to stay in a room, and this feels stressful. She meows, and you open the door. Your cat’s immediately relieved that she isn’t shut in.

“She doesn’t necessarily have anywhere to go, she just didn’t want to be shut in,” Dr. Radosta says.

They want to be social.

Sometimes cats aren’t the ones locked behind a closed door. Sometimes we’re the ones who are behind a closed door—say, if we just wanted to use the bathroom without making eye contact with them—and our cats don’t like it.

While no one really knows for sure why a cat may not like their human being behind a closed door, Dr. Radosta says a potential cause would be FOMO (the fear of missing out).

“Cats want to be involved in the goings on with the family too,” she says. “Ever notice how they lie on anything new, or on your computer as you’re trying to work? Being left out isn’t fun for anyone!”

It’s a learned behavior.

Believe it or not, you may have accidentally helped your cat make the connection between “I meow, you’ll open the door for me.”

“When my cat is accidentally closed in a bedroom, for example, he cries and I’ll let him out immediately,” Dr. Radosta explains. “This is reinforcing that behavior. If that has happened even intermittently over the pet’s life, that’s enough for him to continue to display that behavior when he’s deliberately confined.”

They have separation anxiety.

Cats who hate closed doors may feel anxious when they’re separated from you, or when they are alone in general. Or it may be that they have never been trained to feel comfortable with confinement—even if they just feel “confined” in a hallway while you’re in the bathroom.

“We think that it’s just natural for animals to accept certain things, but that just isn’t true,” Dr. Radosta explains. “Kittens and newly adopted cats should be taught to accept confinement from the beginning, so they won’t be stressed when they’re confined in the future.”

Gotcha. Is there any way to help cats feel more comfortable with a closed door?

Yes. The trick is to train the cat to see an empty room, a hallway or their own “sanctuary space” as a place of fun and comfort, and not as a punishment, says Dr. Radosta. If there’s a particular room that you’d like them to feel comfortable in when the door is closed, she recommends filling it with their toys, their litter box, and food and water.

“We want to teach our cats to accept confinement in a slow and systematic way. The room should be fun and have all that they need in it to be comfy,” she says, adding that ideally you’d start this when they’re a kitten or the adult cat is newly adopted.

Go ahead and make it extra special by sometimes hanging out in that room with your cat, playing with certain toys only in that room and feeding the cat in that room.

Should I be concerned that my cat hates closed doors?

Maybe. If the cat’s behavior suddenly changes, Dr. Radosta says it could be a reason for concern. “If the cat is persistent, the vocalizations are consistent with distress, or if there are physical signs such as hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhea, or panting, then the pet parent should assume that their kitty is stressed,” she says.

At that point, it’s probably best to open the door, and schedule an appointment with your vet, or with a veterinary behaviorist to find out what is going on.

So, uh, should I stay or should I go?

That’s up to you. Or maybe it’s up to your cat.

The post Is This Normal: Why Do Cats Hate Closed Doors? appeared first on BeChewy.

4 Ways to Make Winter Dog Walks So Much Better

For some pet parents, not even a pup’s most adorable “Pleeeaaase?!” look can excite them about walking their dog in winter. Let’s be honest: Chilly winds and icy sidewalks just plain suck. And for some dogs, going for a walk in cold weather can be miserable for them, too.

But it doesn’t have to be all that bad! With a little preparation, walking your dog in winter weather can be enjoyable (or at least bearable).

1Walk During the Warmest Part of the Day

Before you head outside, check the weather and plan your walk around the warmest time of day.

While humans can handle some pretty cold temps, dogs should usually stay indoors if the temp dips below freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit), says Isabella Riso, a trainer and vet tech at The HIT Living Foundation, a Los Angeles-based animal welfare organization.

But even if it’s above freezing, other factors like the wind chill, precipitation, how sunny it is and what’s on the ground (snow, ice, etc.) are important to consider, says Sarah Dougherty, DVM, a veterinarian with the Digital Health division of Kinship. Trust us: Walking your dog on a sunny 32-degree morning with a little snow on the ground is likely going to feel a lot better than on a rainy and windy 40-degree morning, even if you dress appropriately.

Dr. Dougherty suggests timing your walk for the warmest part of the day. Simply check out the hourly forecast on your phone’s weather app or an online using a site like The Weather Channel. Usually, the warmest part of the day is around mid-afternoon, specifically at 3 p.m. If your dog needs to go out earlier, limit your outdoor time to just a quick bathroom break and save the exercise for the mid-afternoon.

2Shorten Your Walk

If you’ve determined that it’s too cold for your regular walk with your pooch, remember that short walks are better than no walks at all, says Katie Lytle, DVM, MPH, MS, veterinary channel manager at Wisdom Health in Vancouver, Washington.

But if you know your dog typically needs a little extra time to do their business, Riso has a helpful little life hack for you: “Play with and exercise your dog indoors for the approximate length of time that you would need to walk them before they do their business outside,” she says. “Once you’ve gotten your dog’s blood pumping and metabolism moving, take them outside to do their business.”

If you know your area regularly gets too cold to go outside even for a short while, consider purchasing indoor potty grass where your pet can do their business. And always ensure that they get their daily dose of exercise if you can’t go out. Consider going out more frequently, but limiting your time outside to just a few minutes. Alternatively, these 15-minute games for dogs are a great way for pups to burn off energy indoors.

3Stay Warm With Cold-Weather Gear

The right attire can help both you and your pooch stay toasty warm while braving chilly weather.

As far as your cold-weather gear is concerned, look to down or down-alternative parkas (check out the REI Co-op 650 Down Parka 2.0), thermal socks that hold in heat (see Heat Holders Socks), fleece gloves (bonus points if they have touchscreen-compatible fingers, like Under Armour’s ColdGear Infrared Fleece Gloves, so you can’t have to take them off if your phone pings) and cute and warm headgear (try the Cozy Chunk Knit Beanie from The North Face).

Protect Your Pup with These Coats, Booties and More

Just like their humans, dogs in certain climates can benefit from an extra layer in the winter. Check out these coats, booties and more for dogs.

Winter Coats for Dogs

“In most climates, dogs won’t need clothes because they have a build-in fur coat. But if you live in extreme conditions or your dog is very small, has minimal body fat or very short hair, then I would recommend a sweater or rain jacket,” says Dr. Dougherty, adding that many dogs aren’t comfortable with the idea of wearing clothing, so it may take a little practice and positive reinforcement. (Learn more about getting your pup comfortable with clothes here.)

Here are a few of our favorite cold-weather coats for dogs:


Winter Dog Walk

Frisco Cinching Insulated Dog Parka

$20.99

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Winter Dog Walk

Hurtta Body Warmer Dog Bodysuit

$74.76

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Winter Dog Walk

Frisco Chevron Dog & Cat Turtleneck Sweater

$11.99

Shop now!

Paw Balm & Wax for Dogs

Winter can be harsh on some dogs’ paw pads, but paw balm and wax can help protect them from any cracks or fissures, Dr. Lytle says.

Some sidewalk salt is also very irritating to dog paws, according to Denise Herman, founder and head trainer at Empire of the Dog in New York City. She suggests using a wax to help insulate and protect them from the elements—although limiting contact with irritants is really the best plan.

To pamper your pooch’s paws, consider Warren London Dog Paw Defense Wax. This wax-based cream is formulated with vitamin E to help moisturize your furry love’s paws. Project Paws Nature’s Butter Dog Paw Balm is another indulgent option: With protective and moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil, this salve is designed to naturally remedy dry, cracked paws.


Winter Dog Walk

Warren London Dog Paw Defense Wax

$11.99

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Winter Dog Walk

Project Paws Nature’s Butter Paw Balm

$15.99

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Winter Booties for Dogs

While some dogs absolutely hate wearing booties, they can be beneficial in the winter for those who can tolerate them. (Learn how to train your dog to feel comfortable in boots here.)

“If your dog is walking on a cold slab of concrete with their bare paws, they are going to get cold much faster than if they were wearing booties,” Riso says. “Booties trap heat from your dog’s paws and help to keep their overall body temperature much higher than if they were to be walking without them.”

If you want to gift your dog some fancy footwear, check out Ethical Pet Fashion Lookin’ Good Fleece Boots (with 100 percent polyester fleece, they’re designed to be soft and cozy) and Kurgo Blaze Cross Dog Shoes (the rubberized sole is made with durability and paw protection in mind).


Winter Dog Walk

Ethical Pet Fleece Boots

$8.60

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Winter Dog Walk

Kurgo Blaze Cross Dog Shoes

$62.95

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4When in Doubt, Talk to Your Vet

Whether or not a winter walk is going to be comfortable for your dog all comes down to your specific dog. Breed, age, size and health definitely matter, notes Riso. If you have any questions about taking your dog on walks this winter, talk to your vet.

Remember, when it comes to walking your dog in winter, your and your dog’s comfort is everything. With these helpful tips and tricks, you and your pup might just learn to love winter walks!

The post 4 Ways to Make Winter Dog Walks <i>So</i> Much Better appeared first on BeChewy.

How to Puppy Proof Your Home Without Sacrificing Your Aesthetic

Sorry not sorry, but that white plastic doggy gate and wire dog crate just don’t jive with your aesthetic. But what’s a new puppy parent to do? Puppy proofing your home is right up there with choosing a dog name and posting a pic to the ‘gram when getting a new furry family member. It’s absolutely vital in keeping dogs safe, and ideally should be done before you even bring your little floof home.

Fortunately, you can be the best pet parent to your new fur baby without sacrificing your home’s carefully curated style. How? Simple. Just let a certified professional dog trainer and an interior designer lead the way.

We turned to trainer Irith Bloom, CPDT-KSA, CDBC, who laid out a step-by-step puppy proofing checklist new doggy parents should follow to ensure that their home or apartment is safe for their pup. THEN, we recruited the ultra-talented Steph Musur, interior designer and owner of Illinois-based Steph Musur Designs and 610 Home, for all her tips and tricks for designing a dog-friendly home that’s both safe and chic.

Ready to puppy proof your space without saying goodbye to style? Start ticking off the to-dos below.


Puppy Proofing

iStock.com/Mikhail Artamonov

Opt for decorative pet gates and other barriers.

“It’s OK if your puppy’s world is small for now,” says Bloom, who encourages pet parents to block off rooms in their home that are full of possible doggy disasters—such rooms with expensive furniture or that are fully carpeted, as well as stairs. Bloom explains that as your puppy gets out of their chewing phase and masters housebreaking, you can give them more freedom. But in the meantime, don’t think you’re stuck with bulky plastic gates.

“I think it’s imperative in my line of work to make sure all the family members are included in the design process,” says Musur. “This … includes thoughtful touches for our furry family members.” For Musur, that means incorporating dog-friendly touches, such as custom doggy gates that match the room’s wood railings, paneling and stains.

Or, if shopping for ready-made pet gates and pens, look for complementary colors and unique design details, such as the arched top on this pet gate from Internet’s Best, available in both white and espresso tones, or the geometric panels of the Cardinal Gates Decorative Freestanding Dog Gate. Need more options? Shop all of Chewy’s stylish pet gates and barriers here.


Puppy Proofing

iStock.com/gradyreese

Sweep and (stylishly) store.

Suss out potential hazards while puppy proofing your house by getting down on their level. “Get down on your hands and knees and look at everything from that perspective,” instructs Bloom. “Basically, everything you see is a potential puppy chew toy,” she says, so keep your belongings off the floor and secure them out of reach. These include:

  • Shoes
  • Bags and purses (and everything that’s in them)
  • Jewelry
  • Breakables
  • Small choking hazards (think: those bobby pins you’ve never bothered to pick up)
  • Medications
  • Batteries
  • Cleaning supplies
  • House plants (find a list of poisonous plants here)

For stylish storage solutions, Musur uses functional-yet-decorative wicker bins in her own home, being sure to place them on high shelving. (Check out those babies below!) Find more fashionable-yet-functional storage solutions here.


Puppy Proofing

Design & Photo by Steph Musur Designs, LLC

Invest in washable-yet-fashionable area rugs.

Washable rugs > hard-to-clean carpeting. While we know you’re going to start house-training your puppy ASAP, it might take a little while for them to get the hang of it. “Ideally, you should have areas in your home that have pet friendly flooring for easy cleanups,” Musur says. “During the potty training phase of puppyhood, there will be inherit mishaps.”

While you can gate off fully carpeted rooms, you can still add color and comfort to hardwood or tiled floors with washable rugs. “In this mudroom, I used one of our outdoor area rugs that can be thrown in the wash and line-dried.” Musur also suggests sisal area rugs, which are durable and can be spot cleaned.


Puppy Proofing

iStock.com/SolStock

Hide all wires and cords (including blind cords).

“Hide all electrical and computer cords, or tuck them into a space that is completely inaccessible to the puppy,” says Bloom. “If you have no other options, get cord wrapping.” These can be found at many home improvement and home design stores, and have the plus of keeping unattractive tangles of cords out of sight.”

This advice also goes for blind cords, which pose a strangulation hazard and should be raised up and out of reach.


Puppy Proofing

iStock.com/simonapilolla

Put invisible child-proof locks on lower cabinets.

“Puppies can be pretty creative if they want to get into a cabinet,” says Bloom, who says to put child-proof locks on your lower kitchen cabinets and to keep food high up and out of reach. “So no leaving food on the coffee tables!” she says.

No one likes the look of those large plastic child-proof locks, though, so look for noninvasive magnetic locks or latches that are installed inside the cabinet to keep them hidden from view.


Puppy Proofing

Design by Steph Musur Designs, LLC; Photo by Erin Allen 

Choose pet-friendly upholstery and paints.

“Pet friendly fabrics have come a long way!” Musur says. “Do not shy away from light fabrics because you have little ones or pets—just get the right fabric. The industry standard for making fabrics family-friendly is becoming the norm.”

“If you want full-proof light fabrics, stick with cowhide, as depicted in this entryway bench. Pets love it and it’s the most stain resistant fabric out there to date,” says Musur, who also suggests using satin finish paints on walls and trim. “This finish is one of the most durable for wiping off almost anything you can throw at it—from muddy paws to accidental art projects,” she notes.


Puppy Proofing

iStock.com/Serghei Starus

Keep trash out of sight (and out of mind).

Keep your pooch from pigging out on garbage by ensuring that all trash cans in your home have covers, or, even more aesthetically pleasing, are safely stowed away in a kitchen cabinet. (And then throw another invisible child-proof lock on it!)


Puppy Proofing

Design by Steph Musur Designs, LLC; Landscape & Hardscape by Outdoor Upgrades, Inc;
Photo by Mikes Boone Photography 

Design a dog-friendly yard.

If you have a yard, be sure it’s properly fenced in and any poisonous outdoor plants and pesticides are removed. Also, speak to your veterinarian about vaccinations and flea and tick prevention before you let your pup explore the great outdoors.

While puppies should be supervised while outside, Musur also recommends finding a doggy door that blends in seamlessly with the exterior of your house. “Dog doors truly are a blessing and, as an interior designer, I don’t think they need to be unsightly either,” she says, citing the doggy door she installed for her own pup, 9-year-old Georgie, as proof. (We bet you can’t even spot the dog door in the above pic!)


Puppy Proofing

iStock.com/gollykim

Keep outside doors, windows and bathroom doors all closed.

This one is pretty self-explanatory: Keep all windows and doors that lead to the outside securely closed to keep your puppy from escaping. It’s also a good rule of thumb to keep the bathroom door shut as well to prevent your puppy from chewing on toilet paper, notes Bloom. (The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020 is still very fresh in our minds…)

If it isn’t a habit already, be sure to start closing the toilet lid too, to eliminate this potential hazard in the event that the bathroom door is left open.


Puppy Proofing

Design by Steph Musur Designs, LLC; Photo by Erin Allen 

Provide a space especially for your new little love.

This is now your puppy’s home, too, so while puppy proofing your house, be sure to provide them their own special space. “For this client who absolutely adores her dog, Bailey, I wanted to design something extra special,” explains Musur. “I had this custom daybed upholstered in a teddy bear fabric that matches her coat. The rumor is that this is Bailey’s favorite spot in the whole home. I think she has impeccable taste!”

To create your own canine corner, choose a similarly stylish bed and chic blanket. “My favorite Chewy pet picks would have to be the Pendleton Crater Lake National Park Pillow Dog Bed and the Pendleton Shearling Throw Blanket,” Musur says.

“I adore those asymmetrical stripes on the dog bed. It’s so colorful, too!” she gushes. “This would complement just about anyone’s home décor.”

As for that ultra-elegant throw, Musur says that “it’s neutral enough to work with any sofa and cute enough to make the cut.”

Whether your vibe is boho, modern or farmhouse chic, you can shop for pet supplies that match your home’s design aesthetic here.

“You can be stylish and functional—that’s a win/win in my book every time,” Musur says.

The post How to Puppy Proof Your Home Without Sacrificing Your Aesthetic appeared first on BeChewy.

DIY Dog Treat: Low-Fat Green Machine Treats

Every dog deserves treats—that’s just a fact. But managing your pet’s health and their taste for not-so-nutritious biscuits and chews can be a difficult balancing act. A treat loaded with fat and tons of calories might make your pupper happy in the short term, but in the long run, dog obesity and other health issues could have them feeling sluggish or worse, with risks including the development or worsening of pancreatic, orthopedic, hepatic, urinary, pulmonary and skin diseases, as well as diabetes. So why not bake up a DIY dog treat that’s both delicious and good for your dog?

These “green machine” DIY dog treats have just 3 percent fat, thanks to lite ingredients like fat-free yogurt. Plus, these healthy dog treats are also packed with nutrient-rich veggies like asparagus, green beans and spinach. Added bonus: You can eat the leftover veggies yourself, using them in a salad or roasting them in the oven. Now both you and your dog are on your way to living your best lives thanks to these healthy dog treats!

What you’ll need:


Full width image

Photo: Chewy Studios

Ingredients

  • 1 stalk of asparagus
  • 1 green bean
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tablesoons fat-free yogurt, plain
  • 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, plus 1/2 cup for rolling
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Supplies

  • Food processor
  • Large bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • 1-inch round cookie cutter (could also use a bottle cap)
  • Baking sheet
  • Spatula

Yield:
35 treats

Serving size:
One treat per pup

Prep time:
10 minutes

Bake time:
20 minutes

Calories per treat:
15. 4

Protein calories:
14%

Fat calories:
3%

Carbohydrate calories:
83%

Instructions

1

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop asparagus and green beans into 1-inch pieces.


diy dog treat - low fat treat with veggies


diy dog treat - low fat treat with greens

2

Put asparagus, green beans and spinach into food processor.


diy dog treat - low fat treat with veggies


diy dog treat - low fat treat with veggies

3

Process until the mixture resembles small flakes.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

4

Transfer processed vegetables into a large bowl.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

5

Add yogurt and applesauce. Mix well.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

6

Add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to the mixture.

Mix well after each addition.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

7

Use your hands to knead the flour and wet mixture into a ball of dough.

Add flour if necessary.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

8

Spray your baking sheet with nonstick spray.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

9

On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a sheet 1/2 inch thick.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

10

Using the cookie cutter, cut the dough into small rounds.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

11

Place the rounds 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

12

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

13

Remove from oven and use spatula to transfer the treats to a plate. Let cool.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

14

Spoil your dog with the DIY dog treats!

These healthy homemade dog treats can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


diy dog treat - low fat with veggies

This recipe was reviewed by a veterinarian. It is intended as a treat or snack. Treats should only constitute a small percentage of your pet’s daily food, less than 10 percent. Feeding more than that can lead to nutrient deficiencies, especially for dogs undergoing active weight loss. If your pet has health issues or if you have any concerns, consult your pet’s veterinarian before offering this food item.

Read more:

By: Ciara LaVelle
Ciara LaVelle is a writer, editor and mama to two tiny humans, rescue pup Zeno, super cat Manny, too many fish to name, and a garden full of succulents. She lives and writes in South Florida.

The post DIY Dog Treat: Low-Fat Green Machine Treats appeared first on BeChewy.

6 Winter Dog Fashion Trends to Suit Every Style Hound

Cue those wagging tails! Our pawsome runway report for fall/winter fashion for dogs is here. Learn what colors, styles, fabrics and finishes are trending this season, and then shop from our expert curations to find the perfect designer-inspired styles for your furry fashion fiend. Whether you dress your sweet sidekick in an eye-popping primary-colored parka, a retro corduroy dress, a collegiate cardigan or an animal print coat, they’re destined for best dressed status.


fall winter fashion for dogs - primary colors trend

The Trend: Primary Colors

On the Runway: This season’s biggest color trend is brought to you by kindergarten art class. Primaries—red, yellow and blue—made an eye-catching comeback last year, seen in collections by Hermès and Carolina Herrera, and continue to color the catwalk.

On your Furbaby: The bright palette is perfect for sporty pieces and can make a traditional knit more modern. Mix with geometric patterns, like stripes, to reinforce the back-to-basics appeal.


fall winter fashion for dogs - sustainability trend

The Trend: Sustainability

On the Runway: Designers, such as Stella McCartney, are striving to make fashion less damaging to the earth by using manufacturing processes and fabrics that minimize negative environmental impacts while conserving natural resources.

On your Furbaby: Decrease your environmental paw print and cut down on what gets sent to the landfill by looking for knits and coats made from recycled materials.


fall winter fashion for dogs - animal print trend

The Trend: Animal Prints

On the Runway: Animal prints never really go out of style thanks to their incredible outfit-making prowess. But this season, designers like Michael Kors and Anna Sui managed to make the patterns look new again and created pieces that run the gamut from classic to punk rock.

On your Furbaby: The king or queen of your backyard deserves to be dressed to the nines in a sophisticated leopard print coat or sporty hoodie. Make it pink for a fresh, girly take.


fall winter fashion for dogs - corduroy trend

The Trend: Corduroy

On the Runway: A staple of the 70s, corduroy has a nostalgic feel that’s perfectly in step with what’s happening in fashion right now. Corduroy might be having a moment, showing up in collections by Tory Burch and Tod’s, but it’s long been a winter wardrobe staple.

On your Furbaby: A muted mustard overall dress captures the fabric’s retro vibe, while a hooded vest gives it more of a sporty feel. If it’s preppy you prefer, we suggest a canvas coat finished with a corduroy collar.


fall winter fashion for dogs - metallic trend

The Trend: Metallics

On the Runway: Shine and sparkle may scream red carpet or big night out, but this season, gleaming gold, copper, and silver pieces were shown for daytime, too. Metallics shimmered on stage for brands like Balmain and Dolce & Gabbana, adding drama to everyday apparel.

On your Furbaby: Your pet will feel like a superstar strutting down the block in a full-on, high shine parka. Or choose a neutral jacket dotted with gold if subdued is more their style.


fall winter fashion for dogs - collegiate trend

The Trend: Collegiate

On the Runway: Ivy League style (Think: cardigans, pearls and plaid) is making a comeback. The preppy look has been loved by brands like Ralph Lauren for years, but other designers like Lorenzo Serafini for Philosophy and celebrities (no one rocks a sweater vest quite like Harry Styles) are embracing the trend.

On your Furbaby: Get Professor Pup ready for office hours in a cardi, sweater vest or tweed coat. Wood paneled library sold separately.

Take a walk, but make it fashion in these great-looking pieces inspired by fall/winter 2021’s biggest trends. Not only are these styles what’s happening right now, they’re also classic enough to be worn for seasons to come.

The post 6 Winter Dog Fashion Trends to Suit Every Style Hound appeared first on BeChewy.

The New Pet Parent Guide to Finding a 5-Star Vet… and How to Be 5-Star Client

You just welcomed a new pet into your family—congrats! Having a new furry, feathered or finned friend in the home is exciting and as you can probably attest to, involves a good deal of prep work. While you’ve stocked up on pet food, pet-proofed the house and bought more chew toys than you can count, there’s still one more thing you need to do: find a veterinarian. Finding a vet is important because they will be your partner in ensuring your new addition stays as healthy (and happy) as possible.

OK, but how do you even go about finding a vet in the first place? Don’t fret. This guide on how to find a good vet can help. You’ll learn where to search and what questions to ask, plus how you can be the best parent-patient to make sure your pet ultimately receives the very best care.

When to Start Your Search for a Vet

If you already brought your new pet home and are just now starting your search for a veterinarian, we’re sorry to say that you’re already a step behind.

“You want to interview veterinarians for the potential puppy or kitten you don’t have yet,” says Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM, Oncology), staff doctor at NYC’s Animal Medical Center.

Not only does this preparedness ensure you have a plan in case an unforeseen illness arises—especially common with animals arriving from shelters or rescues—but it also avoids having to wait several weeks for an initial vet appointment, she explains. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, limited operating hours, staff shortages and a large influx of new pets entering homes, Dr. Hohenhaus says it’s not surprising to see veterinary practices booked six weeks in advance.

But hey, it’s OK if you’re still trying to find a veterinarian for your dog or cat. What’s most important is that you are doing it! Now that you know there’s no time to waste, the next step is to identify a practice where you’d like to take your pet, and to ask about how you can get on their new patient appointment list.

Where to Look When Finding a Vet

The first step in finding a vet is to do you research. Start your search close to home (figuratively and literally).

  • Ask a fellow pet parent: Talk to your neighbors, friends and coworkers about vets they’ve had good experiences with for their own animals.
  • Search online: A Google search can bring up nearby veterinarian offices. Many local and state veterinary medical associations have online directories you can search. There also are directories available for specialty veterinarians. Did you know there are 46 specialties officially recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association? For example, you might be surprised to learn there are actually vets just for cats, or vets who specialize in emergency medicine, cardiology and epidemiology to name a few.
  • Keep it local: Stay within 5 miles of where you live, says Dr. Kevin Kelley, DVM, emergency medicine veterinarian at BluePearl Pet Hospital in Clearwater, Florida. The last thing you want is to have to drive hours when your pet needs medical attention. You also want to find a veterinarian that can accommodate your work schedule, he adds.

Questions to Ask a Potential Vet

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, there are a bunch of questions that you can ask to help you choose a vet. Here are five common questions to ask as recommended by our veterinarians:

  1. Do you have evening and weekend hours? If you work a 9-5 job, this may be essential.
  2. Does the practice hold any certifications? The most common would be from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). AAHA-accredited practices are evaluated on a slew of quality-assurance standards. Fear-free certifications, which denote anti- fear and -anxiety protocols are used in the practice, are also becoming more common.
  3. What is your protocol in case of emergencies? You’ll want to know if the practice can adequately handle emergencies in-house or outsources urgent care and if there is a doctor you can speak to 24/7. (Don’t expect overnight voicemails to be returned unless explicitly confirmed by your practice.)
  4. Do you have a list of referred specialists? Whether it’s a breed-specific issue or an acute or chronic illness that needs special attention, specialists will likely be a part of your pet’s health care. “Most good quality veterinarians, if there’s something beyond their comfort zone or skill set, they’re going to know who to send you to,” says Dr. Kelley. “We live in an age of specialists for good reason.”
  5. How many vets are part of the practice, and will I see the same vet every time? “If they have more veterinarians on staff, they might have more availability,” says Dr. Kelley. A larger practice may be helpful with scheduling, but this also means you might not see the same vet every time—something to note if this personal relationship and consistency matters to you.

When should you start your search for a veterinarian?

Learn More

Ideally, how close should the vet’s office be to your house?

Learn More

True or false: There are cat-only veterinary practices.

Learn More

Best Practices for Being a Good Pet Parent at the Vet

Finding a vet is one of the biggest initial hurdles you’ll face as a new pet parent, but after you’ve settled on a practice you can trust, you’ll want to remain engaged and informed to make the most of every visit. After all, vet visits don’t come cheap. (P.S. Pet insurance can help offset the costs of health care, emergency services, and unexpected surgeries. Here’s what you need to know about getting pet insurance.)

Whether it’s routine vaccinations or something more concerning, here are a few best practices from vets to ensure your four-legged family member always receives the best care:

  • Bring samples/paperwork: If you’re coming in for a routine checkup, bring fecal and urine samples. We know—gross! But the vet will almost certainly ask for this, and bringing them with you prevents the need for a stressful retrieval or another drop-off visit. If you’re changing vets or visiting a specialist, make sure you come prepared with your pet’s full medical record.
  • Have a checklist: Want to have a lump checked? Has your cat been extra itchy lately? Need prescriptions filled? Have a running list so you don’t forget anything during your appointment. “Show up at a visit with your veterinarian with a plan,” says Dr. Hohenhaus.
  • Be open-minded: Remember that at the end of the day, no amount of dog mom-instinct or Googling can compare to the medical expertise of your vet. While you might want to feed your dog a raw diet or grain-free diet, your vet might not agree. Stay open-minded to their philosophy, and if you ultimately want to seek a second opinion, that’s an option. (Here’s more advice on how to choose the best dog food, BTW.)
  • Remain patient: Vets are busier now than ever before, so there may be a delay during your appointment. “We’re doing the best we can to help you and your pet as quickly as we can,” says Dr. Kelley. And for some much-needed perspective, know that oftentimes, if you’re waiting, “it’s generally because there’s an animal sicker than yours, and we’re doing our best to help them,” he adds.
  • Ask questions: “You [want to] find a veterinarian who communicates very clearly and who understands how to educate you about your questions and problems,” says Dr. Kelley. Ask for clarification on anything that’s unclear so you can understand what’s going on and why before you leave.

If you do forget to ask your vet something or a question comes up after hours—say you’re not sure if your cat is getting enough exercise or you’re having trouble potty training your puppy—you can still get expert advice through Chewy’s new Connect With a Vet service. It essentially puts expert docs at your disposal for any and all questions—big, small, gross, weird… ask them anything!

“A service like this can really help you understand the severity of what you’re facing, whether this is something that you can wait to schedule an appointment for, or whether this is something that you need to deal with right now,” says Dr. Katy Nelson, DVM, senior veterinarian with Chewy Health.

Connect With a Vet is available daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, and allows you to chat with a licensed veterinarian “within seconds,” says Dr. Nelson, either for a fee or, if you’re a Chewy Autoship customer, for free. This real-time advice makes managing anxiety over your dog eating a banana or staring blankly at the wall (aka hovering ghost) so much easier if you can’t get in to see or speak with your primary vet for days or even weeks.


Bottom line: When finding a vet or speaking with your new vet, it’s important to ask questions. Even veteran pet parents will have questions, so don’t be afraid to ask them! Being an informed pet parent will help you advocate for the best care for your family member who can’t “point to where it hurts.”

The post The New Pet Parent Guide to Finding a 5-Star Vet… and How to Be 5-Star Client appeared first on BeChewy.

Make These Pet-Safe Holiday Cookie Recipes For Dogs

‘Tis the season to bake cookies! 

Get your pup into the holiday foodie tradition of baking treats with two pet-safe holiday cookie recipes for dogs that we’ve created just for you.

The first recipe for dogs is a take on the classic crispy, crunchy iced and decorated or stamped “sugar” cookie that is sure to prompt plenty of happy woofs and wags. The second pet-safe cookie recipe for dogs is a nod to a chewy, chunky “kitchen sink” cookie that has all the flavors of a great holiday meal in one snackable, healthy treat. To each recipe we’ve added ground-up kibble and dog-safe bone broth for extra nutrition.

Both recipes were created by cookbook authors and co-founders of Trunk Pop Dinners Marge Perry and David Bonom. Vet-approved, easy to make and super yummy, these can be whipped-up during the festive season or really for any holiday (or just because want to spoil your furry bestie!)

Crank up the carols, toss on a holiday sweater and spend an afternoon making the ultimate holiday treat. Bake extra—these make thoughtful gifts to share with other pet parents. And, we’ve included downloadable pet-safe holiday cookie recipes for dogs that you can share on Pinterest or with friends.

(Crispy or chewy? What’s your favorite type of holiday cookie? Tell us in the comments below.)

“Sugar” Cookie DIY Holiday Dog Treat


Image

Ingredients

1 cup Stella & Chewy Wild Red Dry Dog Food, finely ground in a food processor

2 and 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (plus extra for rolling dough)

1 cup bone broth for dogs (like The Honest Kitchen Daily Boosters Turkey Bone Broth)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons real maple syrup (do not substitute imitation maple syrup which can contain Xylitol which is toxic to dogs)

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

1 ounce Neufchâtel cheese, softened

Drops of natural food coloring if desired (we recommend McCormick Nature’s Inspiration Food Colors)

Supplies

Food processor

Hand mixer

Mixing bowls

Measuring cups and spoons

Rolling pin

Baking sheets

Parchment paper

Cookie cutters

Letter stamp kit

Piping bag and tips

Download Printable Recipe Card

Yield:
12-24 cookies

Serving size:
1 treat

Prep time:
20 minutes

Cook time:
25 minutes

Instructions

1Make cookie icing.


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  1. Mix cornstarch and water in a bowl until dissolved.
  2. Add softened Neuchâtel cheese and beat with a hand mixer on medium until smooth.
  3. Add food coloring to mixture*. If you want white icing with colorful accent, pour some of the prepared icing into a smaller bowl and just tint that amount.
  4. Allow to sit at room temperature while the cookies bake, or chill if making icing well in advance.

*Note about food coloring: We advise using a natural food coloring which is pet safe.


2Assemble ingredients and make cookie dough.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine ground kibble and whole wheat flour in a medium bowl and mix well.
  3. Combine re-constituted bone broth, beaten egg and real maple syrup in a small bowl.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well to combine. Mixture will come together to form a ball of raw dough.


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3Roll dough, cut out shapes and bake.


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  1. Gently knead dough in the bowl until smooth.
  2. Place ball of dough on a floured surface and roll out using a flour-dusted rolling pin.
  3. Dip cookie cutters into flour and press firmly into rolled dough to make shape.
  4. Cut out all shapes in prepared dough and pull away excess to reveal cut out portions.
  5. Gather dough scraps into a ball, roll out on a floured surface and cut again with floured cutters.
  6. If using letter stamp kit, assemble words and then press firmly into dough.
  7. Place all cut out shapes on the parchment-lined baking sheet.


4 Put tray into pre-heated oven and bake until lightly browned and the cookies are fairly hard, about 25 minutes (check at 20 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.


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4 Time to Decorate Cookies!


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Decorating cookies is easy (we promise).

  1. To fully cover a baked, cooled cookie with icing, spread prepared icing with the back of a spoon. This is known as “flooding”. If icing is too firm, thin with a drop or two of water, mixing well.
  2. Let icing harden, about 20 minutes.
  3. Decorate with additional icing that has been put into an icing bag with the tip of your choice.
  4. Pipe icing onto the cookies into a pattern you love.
  5. Let piped icing harden about 20 minutes.



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So, now that you have some super glammy “sugar” cookies to serve up or share, the next of our pet-safe holiday cookie recipes for dogs is a totally different vibe, but equally scrumptious. Inspired by all of the flavors of Thanksgiving dinner, it’s so simple to make that it doesn’t even need photos!

“Kitchen Sink” DIY Holiday  Cookies for Dogs

We know you will enjoy making the rolled cookie, but maybe you’re also looking for something fast and easy that provides a different texture to your cookie platter. Our second of our pet-safe holiday cookie recipes for dogs is a fun drop cookie that’s chewy and chunky and chockfull of good-for-dogs stuff. Because it contains meat, this cookie that must be kept refrigerated after baking. Ready? Let’s bake!

Ingredients

2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup bone broth for dogs (we used The Honest Kitchen Daily Boosters Turkey Bone Broth)

1/4 cup natural peanut butter (do not substitute sugar-free or any peanut butter with Xylitol which can be toxic to dogs)

3 “bacon” strips, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (we used Blue Buffalo Sizzlers with Cheddar Bacon-Style Dog Treats)

1/2 cup finely chopped skinless turkey breast

1/3 cup diced apple

1/3 cup (we love Stella & Chewy Wild Red Dry Dog Food) finely ground in a food processor

3 tablespoons fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped

Supplies

Food processor

Mixing bowl

Measuring cups and spoons

Chopping knife

Sheet pans

Parchment paper

Download Printable Recipe Card

Tightly sealed storage container

Yield:
About 3 dozen cookies

Serving size:
1 treat

Prep time:
10 minutes

Cook time:
35-40 minutes

Instructions

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2Place flour, broth and peanut butter in a medium sized bowl, mixing until moistened. Add chopped “bacon” pieces, turkey, apple, kibble and cranberries and mix well.

3Drop by slightly rounded tablespoons onto prepared sheet pan. Slightly flatten each mound to approximately 1/2-inch thick. 

4Bake until browned and the outside of the cookies is slightly crisped, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. 

We hope you treat your favorite very good boys and girls to some holiday treats this year and beyond with our pet-safe holiday cookie recipes for dogs. What we love about both of these recipes is how they can be used all year round. Don’t save them for the holidays!
To ensure proper food safety, refrigerate prepared cookies and consume within 3-4 days or transfer to a freeze-safe container and store for up to 1 month. These recipes were reviewed by a veterinarian. They are intended as a treat or snack. Treats should only constitute a small percentage of your pet’s daily food. Feeding too many treats can lead to nutrient deficiencies. If your pet has health issues (including sensitivities to fats) or if you have any concerns, consult your pet’s veterinarian before offering these food items.

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