Doggie Pumpkin Pie

November 12, 2011

I have blogged previously about how good pumpkin is for dogs. So, why not make your doggie a special pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving?

You'll need:
- 1 can of pumpkin (NOT pie mix)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup of skim milk (or unsweetened soy milk)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (it IS a holiday, after all!)
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 wholewheat pie shell

Whip all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a wholewheat pie shell and bake at a preheated 375 degrees F for 60 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

This puppy pumpkin pie will be rich, but not too sweet for your pooch to enjoy!

(Thanks to The Daily Dog Tip for this recipe!)

(Thanks to www.juliaicenogle.com for the picture!)


Homemade Fleece Dog Toys

November 6, 2011

Not too long ago, I was shopping in the pet department at my local dollar store. I saw a box of simple dog toys that were being sold for $2 each. These toys consisted of three different colored strips of fleece that were braided together and knotted at each end. I loved this easy-to-DIY idea for a washable dog toy and decided to see if I could expand on this simple idea to come up with other slightly more intricate patterns. Following are two examples:

The "LEGS" Toy
I call this toy "Legs", because, as you will see, it seems to have four legs that hang down from a center knot.

Start with six 3.5" x 30" strips of fleece in three different colors.

Knot the end of each set of three strips.

Braid each set and knot the other ends to hold the braids in place. Remember, the tighter the braids & the knots, the more durable the toy.

Bend each braid in the middle and then loop the bends together.

Knot the center using Leg #1 & Leg #2. Then, tie another knot in the center using Legs #3 & #4. Next, tie a center knot using Legs #1 & #3. Lastly, knot the center by using Legs #2 & #4. The result should be one very large center knot.

"Legs" toy - Finished product.

This is a great toy for larger dogs. I call it the "Double Knot" toy due to the two large knots used to make the shape.

Start with three strips of fleece. Each strip should be a different color and approx. 4" x 60" long.

Knot all three strips together at one end.

Braid the three strips together and knot the other end to hold the braid in place. Remember, the tighter the braid & knots, the more durable the toy. Then bend the braid at the center.

Tie a knot about 4-5 inches from the top, to create a loop.

Tie a second knot approximately 5 inches down from the first knot. And there you have it - the "Double Knot" toy!
Our dogs thoroughly enjoy their fleece toys! And when they get dirty, we just throw them in the washing machine! If you find that you have plenty of extra fleece left over, why not make 5, 10, or even 20 of these toys for your local animal rescue or Humane Society. I'm sure the dogs would appreciate it!

Just remember, as with all toys, these toys are for supervised use only. If you see that your dog is able to chew off and swallow pieces of the fleece toys, it is time to replace them.


Humane Society's "The Fast & Furriest" 5k Run/Walk

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thanks again to The Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County for inviting Knick Knack Patty Whack to participate in their 2nd annual Fast & Furriest 5k run/walk!

In addition to providing free problem solving tips for unruly dog owners, we were able to raise approximately $90 for the purchase of mentally stimulating / interactive canine puzzles for our Humane Society dogs. We will soon be implementing a new mental stimulation program for the awesome HS dogs in order to decrease stress and build confidence. Thank you for your support!


Humane Society Videos

October 7, 2011

So, you've likely been wondering what KKPW has been up to since our frequency posting to our blog has almost halted. As many of you know, we are Humane Society group leaders the Friday night dog walkers' group. There are lots of wonderful, adoptable dogs at our local Humane Society that need forever homes. Unfortunately, many adopters that come through the doors do not realize that the way a dog acts in a kennel envirnoment is not typical of the way the dog behaves in a less stressful environment, and the dogs suffer as they are not given a second look.

Because of this, KKPW gained permission from the Humane Society to create videos of each of the dogs. These videos will be linked to a QR Code (example below) which we have affixed to each corresponding dog's kennel card. The potential adopter need only to scan the QR code with his/her smart phone, and they are taken immediately to the dog's profile containing a video of the dog playing in the yard, frolicking with other dogs & people, and doing tricks!

If you would like to view some of our most recent video creations, visit the links below:

Kennedy: http://www.youtube.com/user/PattyWhackDogs#p/u/14/HcKqMIcmCN0

Winston: http://www.youtube.com/user/PattyWhackDogs#p/u/2/T-Zlp7aRNaQ
Fuddle: http://www.youtube.com/user/PattyWhackDogs#p/u/0/N769mCRaN_o
Brownie: http://www.youtube.com/user/PattyWhackDogs#p/u/9/FEw7531erk0

Rebel: http://www.youtube.com/user/PattyWhackDogs#p/u/5/m5EOVxh96Iw

It is our hope that these efforts will highlight how awesome these shelter dogs really are! Interested in adopting one of these sweeties? Visit http://www.memphishumane.org/ for more information!


The Importance of Mental Stimulation

October 1, 2011

Though many owners understand a dog’s need for physical stimulation (i.e., exercise), they often fail to recognize that mental stimulation for their canine companion is of equal importance. Dogs who lack proper mental stimulation often become bored, which can result in numerous behavior problems, including some destructive behaviors, such as chewing, digging, escaping, etc. Owners of healthy, well-balanced dogs combine mental and physical stimulation in their dog’s daily activities.

Mental stimulation can come in many forms. It can be something as simple as changing the route of your daily walks so your dog can sniff new smells and get a change of scenery. Or, it can be something more complicated like canine treat-dispensing puzzles. Teaching, practicing, and improving basic commands and tricks is also another form of mental stimulation. A general rule is, the smarter the dog, the more creative and/or complicated the mental stimulation that you provide needs to be.

In this article, I will list various forms of mental stimulation that is suitable and appropriate for most breeds.

Games & One-on-One Stimulation
Dogs that thrive on human companionship and affection are often easy to train, as they just want to please their human companions. With other dogs, you may need to find other motivation such as treats or a favorite toy. Just remember, you don’t choose what motivates your dog. Your dog chooses this.

Teaching your dog basic commands, and then expanding on those commands, is a great way to provide mental stimulation. Take, for example, the Hide & Seek game. Once your dog knows the “Sit / Stay” and “Come” commands, put him in a “Sit/Stay” somewhere in your home. In the beginning, it helps to have another individual to stay with the dog and make sure he stays put. Now, you calmly walk away and hide somewhere in another part of the house. I like to have a tasty treat with me while I’m hiding. Now loudly say the word “Come” or “Find” so your dog can hear you. Once he finds you, ask him to “Sit” and then reward him with praise and a treat or favorite toy, depending on what motivates your dog. In the beginning, your puppy may need some coaxing to help find you, which is another reason why a second person may be helpful. Remember to keep your energy level excited, to make it more fun for your dog!

Another fun game to play with your dog is the Hidden Treasure game. This is a simple game and can be played anywhere your dog is allowed off leash (assuming there are no other dogs around). Take a scoop of your dog’s favorite kibble and toss it out in the grass. Your dog, assuming it has been at least a few hours since his last meal, will spend a good 20 – 30 minutes trying to locate all the kibble. We like to play this game with our dogs when we have a good snow on the ground. The kibble will fall a good 2-3 inches into the snow and our dogs have to use their nose to find it and dig it out!

Follow the Leader is a good way to teach your puppy to remain focused on you and can eventually be used to teach your dog to “Heel”, if you’re sure to keep your dog on the left side. With very tasty treats in your hand, say to your dog, “Let’s Go” and then begin walking. In the beginning, you may need to hold the treat down near your dog’s nose to keep him motivated to follow you. Don’t give him the treat yet, though. When he least expects it, suddenly stop walking, turn around and ask for a sit and then reward with a treat. As soon as he finishes chewing, say “Let’s Go!” and repeat the game again. In the beginning, you may need to reward your dog with a treat after every few steps in order to help him learn this game. If your dog gets bored, you may need to “up the ante” with tastier treats.

These are just some examples of some one-on-one games you can play with your pooch, in order to provide that much-needed mental stimulation. If your dog seems to get bored with the game, try increasing the reward value (i.e., use a tastier treat). And remember not to play the games so long that your puppy becomes bored with them. You want to give your puppy plenty of mental stimulation, but you also want to leave your puppy wanting more so he will look forward to the next time the two of you play the game together. The best thing about these games is it also helps to solidify a life-long bond!

Treat Dispensing Toys
Twenty minutes of a dog playing with an interactive/treat dispensing/puzzle toy is equivalent to a one hour run, according to The Association of Pet Dog Trainers. This is due to the amount of energy expended when your dog works his/her brain. This, of course, is not a substitute for good physical exercise, but when used in connection with exercise, you are much more likely to have a well-behaved dog. A favorite line among us trainers is, “A tired dog is a good dog.” This is SO true. Just remember, when puppies are young, their stomachs are more sensitive. Accordingly, some of the things discussed below may be inappropriate for very young dogs. IMPORTANT NOTE: Always supervise your dog while he is playing with toys.

The Kong is an old faithful for dog trainers and is a perfect example of a treat-dispensing toy, which is a great way to provide mental stimulation. This toy is top-shelf dishwasher safe, so be sure to clean and sterilize it after each use.

INDOOR USES: Make sure you purchase a Kong that is appropriate for your dog’s age and level of aggressive chewing. For young puppies, purchase a small puppy Kong. For large-breed adult dogs who are aggressive chewers, you may want to try a large black Kong. Other dogs fall somewhere in the middle – so a medium, red Kong will more-than-likely be suitable. Start with an easy treat, such as peanut butter – stuff the peanut butter into the Kong. If your puppy is still young, only fill the bottom ½ of the Kong with peanut butter. As your dog gets use to this, you may want to increase the difficultly level by freezing the peanut butter inside the Kong for 4 hours. Your dog will then have to work harder to get out his tasty reward! Just like people, dogs get tired of the same old thing. To prevent your dog from getting tired of the Kong, you may want to eventually rotate in some other treats – or even use multiple treats in the Kong at the same time. Just make sure that whatever you put in the Kong, the pieces are small enough for your dog to get out of the Kong. (For some more Kong recipes, visit our previous blog entry: http://www.pattywhackdogs.com/2011/06/magnificent-wonderous-kong.html)

OUTDOOR USES: For Hot days, try the Kong Frozen Jerky Pops! Smear a small amount of peanut butter over the small hole at the top of the Kong. Fill the toy with cool water & add a pinch of bouillon. Place jerky strips inside the Kong. Cover the top hole with peanut butter. Freeze. Some dogs love the water. If yours is one of those, you can place the frozen Kong in a children’s size swimming pool for a fun day of “fishing” for your dog.

If you have some strong rope, thread your Kong and tie a knot at the top, so that the Kong will hang upside down by the rope. Then, tie the Kong in a way that it hangs, upside down, just above your dog’s nose when all four feet are on the ground. Fill the Kong with your dog’s favorite kibble, and watch him jump and work to get the kibble out of the Kong (not suitable for very young puppies). A Kong is just one example of the many treat-dispensing toys available on the market today. Visit your local pet store for some more ideas!

Since some treat-dispensing toys can be costly, here is an example of a treat-dispensing toy you can make yourself – The Peanut Butter Jar. Simply finish off a nice jar of peanut butter. (I’m sure your dog would love to assist you with that!) Then, cut 3 or 4 holes in random places around the sides of the jar. Also, cut a hole in the top. Make sure the holes are big enough for pieces of kibble to fall through. Fill the jar up with your dog’s favorite kibble and then watch your dog roll the jar around on the floor, trying to get the kibble to fall out of the holes. If you find that your dog easily gets the kibble out, you can increase the difficulty level by adding up to three pieces of the cardboard roll that is left after you use up a roll of aluminum foil. However, you’ll want to slowly increase the difficulty level, so just add one piece at a time. And, make sure the pieces are of varying lengths.

Interactive Dog Puzzles
I am a huge fan of Interactive Dog Puzzles. In addition to providing mental stimulation and tiring your dog out, puzzles (1) help to build confidence in an insecure dog; (2) help develop problem-solving skills; (3) decrease stress levels; (4) relieve boredom; and (5) help to increase attention spans. Additionally, it is much easier to increase the difficultly level of puzzles for your dog. As long as you don’t use the same puzzle over and over again, your dog should never tire of them!

COMMERCIAL PUZZLES: There are many interactive dog puzzles on the market today. Unfortunately, the majority of these puzzles can cost as much as $85.00. For some more affordable options, including puzzles as low as $14.99, visit our website (http://www.pattywhackdogs.com/p/training-aids-shop.html) to see some of the puzzles currently available.

HOMEMADE PUZZLE: In the mean time, here are some examples of some homemade puzzles you can make yourself. Since most dogs have to start of when easier puzzles and then work their way up to the more complicated puzzles, the Muffin Pan Puzzle is great for beginners. Simply put a tasty treat in each cup of the muffin plan. Then place a tennis ball on top of each treat. Your dog will have to figure out how to get to the treats under the tennis balls. Some dogs will use their mouths. Others prefer to paw at the balls.

Just remember, if your dog’s mind is working, you’re providing mental stimulation!


Five Ways to Preventing Heatstroke in your Dog

August 13, 2011

In extreme temperatures, all dogs are at risk - even dogs who you feel may be acclimated to hot weather. However, air temperature is only one consideration. Humidity, sun exposure (or lack of shade), amount of time in the heat, the level of exertion, and availability of water can all affect how well a dog tolerates heat. Be aware of signs of heat distress, such as excessive panting or drooling, reddened gums, listlessness, or rapid heartbeat. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help prevent your dog from getting so overheated that he suffers heat stress or heatstroke.

1) AVOID EXPOSING YOUR DOG UNDULY TO EXTRAORDINARY HEATH. If you must leave your dog outside, ensure he has ample methods for staying cool - plenty of shade, lots of fresh, cool water to drink, and perhaps the cooling breeze of a fan.

2) MODIFY YOUR DOG'S EXERCISE ROUTINE IN HOT WEATHER. Walk him after dark or before dawn. Incorporate swimming or water play into your dog's usual game of fetch. During severe heat, forego any sort of rigorous exercise for a few days.

3) GET HIM WET. Hose your dog down, put him in the tub, mist him with a spray bottle, or wipe his coat with a sopping wet towel. In a dry climate, the evaporation will help lower his body temperature. In a humid environment, you'll need to get some extra air flowing over him for a wet coat to help him cool down.

4) PROVIDE AMPLE WATER. Make sure your dog has lots of fresh, cool water - preferably from more than one source, as dogs always seem to drink more when they have more options.

5) USE AN EVAPORATIVE COOLING VEST, COAT, BANDANNA, OR MAT. There are plenty of these products on the market. Look for garments that are wetted and gradually release water through evaporation (example: HyperKewl Evaporative Cooling Dog Coat by TechNiche International). But in a pinch, even a plain cotton T-shirt or bandanna, wetted and worn by the dog, can help provide some evaporative cooling.

* Summary of article written by Nancy Kerns, for Whole Dog Journal Vol. 14 #8, August, 2011


The Morons at Consumer Reports

August 3, 2011

In a recent article called "Tame Your Pet Costs", Consumer Reports magazine states, in summary, that basically all dog foods are the same, nutritionally speaking, as they all meet the minimum standards for nutrition required by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. The article then goes on to indicate that Walmart's Ol' Roy is the best buy, at just 34 cents per pound.

Ol' Roy receives the lowest rating given on DogFoodAdvisor.com, one star. So, lets see what you get for your money when you purchase Ol' Roy. For a mere 34 cents per pound, you get ground yellow corn, meat & bone meal, soybean meal, chicken by-product meal, wheat middlings, & animal fat. Sound appetising?

Let's breakdown these ingredients. It is important to understand that when reading dog food labels, the first 2-3 ingredients listed are the ingredients that make up the majority of the food.

The dominant ingredient in Ol'Roy is corn. Then we have meat & bone meal. What is that?
Meat & bone meal is a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents.

Next we have soybean meal. This is what remains of soybeans after all the oil has been removed.

Now, we're to the chicken by-product meal. This is a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. In other words, this is a mixture of all the stuff that hits the slaughterhouse floor after removing the prime cuts of meat for humans. This can contain almost anything...feet, beaks, internal organs, undeveloped eggs, maggots, feces, basically anything (that is) except real meat. In a nutshell, chicken by-products are those unsavory leftovers usually considered "unfit for human consumption".

Next, wheat middlings - this is nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings.

Lastly, animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product. Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere. Common sources are restaurant grease, slaughterhouse waste, diseased cattle, and even euthanized pets. What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent (carcinogen).

So, Consumer Reports, please tell me, after looking at the facts, how you can possibly feel that all dog food is the same?


LIVING IN HARMONY (Dogs & Children) - Entry #4 - When Play Gets Carried Away

July 30, 2011

Dogs and children are often great playmates, but children may become upset if they're the recipient of an accidental nip.

"Puppies and young dogs that get too rough while playing are normal," says Pam Reid, Ph.D, vice president of animal behavior at New York's ASPCA Animal Behavior Center. "They just don't yet realize that they're too rambunctious in their play with people. Once they learn that people are more fragile than other dogs, they temper their play."

Your child can help enforce limits by reacting with a sharp "No!" when the dog gets too jumpy or mouthy, and by turning his back until the dog settles. It's also helpful if your child understands the difference between a playful pup and an aggressive dog.

"A dog who's playing will be relaxed and loose in his movements: his tail will be relaxed & wagging, his face will look like he's having fun," Reid says.

An aggressive dog's demeanor will be rigid and tense. "He'll probably freeze before nipping. His tail might be wagging, but it will be firm and stiff. His growl will sound more serious."

Teach children that if they ever feel uncomfortable, they should slowly walk away from the dog, avoiding eye contact. "Avoid screaming, running, or flailing arms," Reid says.

* The above information written by Debbie Swanson & taken from DogFancy Magazine - May, 2011 issue.


West Nile Is Still On The Move

July 23, 2011

While the threat of West Nile virus to dogs is small, the range of the illness in 2010 spread across the 48 contiguous United States and to British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, Canada. Experts consider it to be a seasonal virus that flares in summer and continues into fall, roughly from May to October.

The virus, spread by mosquitoes, causes encephalitis - swelling of the brain. Symptoms in dogs include decreased appetite, difficulty walking and holding the head normally, circling, and tremors, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. However, dogs also may show no symptoms after infection, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports. There is no specific treatment, and there is no documented evidence of dog-to-human transmission of West Nile.

No vaccine exists against the virus. The prevention: avoidance. Keep dogs indoors in the early morning and the evening, when mosquitoes are most likely to be out, the AAHA says. Use only mosquito repellent approved for use on dogs - never DEET-based products, which can make dogs ill. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

The above taken from DogFancy magazine - May, 2011 issue.


Taking the Bite Out of Teething

July 16, 2011

Poor puppy! Just when those 28 puppy teeth come in, those 42 adult teeth start clambering to the surface. You can help ease the pain - naturally.

In addition to providing chew toys, putting ice chips in the water bowl, and massaging the gums, herbal remedies may also help. Chamomile can calm uncomfortable pups when the tea is given as a drink. Steep one teaspoon of dried herb in 8 ounces of water and let cool.

Likewise, the homeopathic remedy Chamomile can be used, with a low potency, given two or three times per day. Try freezing aloe vera juice into cubes or in a paper cup that can be peeled away. Rub the frozen juice on your puppy's gums to ease irritation and banish pain.

The teething stage lasts several months. Then, you'll need to be sure to hide the shoes from those brand new pearly whites.

* Information taken from DogFancy magazine - May, 2011 Issue


LIVING IN HARMONY (Dogs & Children) - Entry #3 - The Right Way to Show Love

July 9, 2011

Affectionate children might not think twice about giving their favorite canine a great big hug. But parents should use good judgment before allowing such an embrace. A toy breed could be injured by an overzealous hug, and a puppy or high-strung dog may act unpredictably or feel cornered by it. Some dogs interpret hugging as a sign of dominance.

"Socialization plays a big part as well. If the dog is raised with the child and is used to human hugs, then I see no problem," says Jordan Buccola-Bautista, a behaviorist with the Louisiana SPCA. "A parent should always show a child how to be gentle, not to hold the dog against their will, and if [the dog is] struggling to get out of the hug, definitely let go!" says Buccola-Bautista, adding that children should never approach a dog if they are a stranger to it.

Because not all dog cozy up to a hug, teach children to display their affection with more dog-approved methods, such as a back scratch, gentle pat, or playtime.

The dog in this picture is clearly not enjoying himself. His eyes are wide and he is stiffly leaning away from the child. Additionally, the dog is "tongue flicking", which is a sign of stress. The parents of this child should not be letting her hug this dog.

* Above information taken from DogFancy magazine - March, 2011 issue.


The ThunderShirt

July 2, 2011

Independence Day is right around the corner. This is a pretty scary time for many of our four-legged friends. Fireworks can cause quite a bit of fright and anxiety. Accordingly, I thought this would be a good time to discuss a product called the Thundershirt.

According to a veterinarian I saw on NBC (sorry guys - can't remember the vet's name), constant pressure on one's nervous system provides a soothing & calming effect. This is why babies are comforted through swaddling. It seems this is a rule that also applies to our canine friends. Thus is the basis of the Thundershirt.

The product's website (www.thundershirt.com) claims: "Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure is a terrific solution for many types of dog anxiety, fearfulness, barking and more." Now, as a trainer, I am skeptical that the thundershirt alone can magically solve all of your dog's problems. However, I do recognize how the use of tools such as this one, are beneficial. And in connection with other training techniques, these tools can help to alleviate the symptoms that commonly accompany anxiety in dogs.

Have you used the Thundershirt for your dog? If so, I'd love to hear the results!


Delicious Oatmeal Dog Treats

June 25, 2011

3 Cups Oatmeal, uncooked
1 1/2 Cups whole-wheat flour
4 – 6 oz cold water (depending if your dog likes soft, or crunchy treats)
2 Baby Food jars of meat with gravy (Beef/Chicken/Ham/Turkey) – 2.5 oz each
2 Baby Food jars of Vegetable, or Fruit (I use Carrots) – 4 oz each
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped (All natural breath freshener)
2 Egg yolks
1 Teaspoon baking soda

Mix all ingredients together. Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet into desired size. I use a melon baller for bite size reward treats. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Place on a cooling rack. Store in refrigerator.

Thank you to my good friend, Terri Corsner, for sharing this recipe!


LIVING IN HARMONY (Dogs & Children) - Entry #2 - A List of Quick Tips

June 18, 2011

Here are some quick tips for helping to keep the peace between your children & dogs:
  • Before getting a dog, seek advice from veterinarians, vet techs or other knowledgeable pet care professionals.
  • Make sure any dog acquired by a family with children was well-socialized, especially to children, as a young puppy and into adolescence.
  • Teach kids to stay out of the dog’s personal space when the dog is eating, sleeping, injured or has puppies.
  • Don’t startle or surprise any dog –let the dog know when you are approaching.
  • Avoid hugging, kissing or any activity that puts your face in close proximity to the dog’s face.
  • Supervise all interactions between dogs and children and be sure that both adult and child know the body signs that indicate fear or anxiety.
  • When signs of fear or anxiety are observed, stop interactions between child and dog.
  • Provide dogs with a child-free zone in which to retreat—such as a baby-gated room or a kennel or crate.
  • Don’t allow children to mistreat the family dog, teach them to interact appropriately.
  • Don’t approach strange dogs without the owners’ permission.
  • Don’t approach loose dogs or ones tied out on long lines.
  • Don’t reach through a fence to pet a dog.
  • Don’t reach into a car window to pet a dog.
  • Do train your pet to obey basic commands such as sit, lie down and come when called by having clear expectations and rewarding the good behaviors with something the dog enjoys
  • For dog households with children, teach the dog good things happen when children are close by.
* Above information taken from: http://positively.com/2011/05/17/why-dogs-bite-children-a-lesson-in-preventing-dog-bites-in-kids/


The Magnificent & Wonderous KONG!

June 16, 2011

If you have not yet discovered the amazing Kong and its many uses, boy are you missing out! Not only does the strong & durable rubber satisfy the needs of avid chewers, but the treat-dispensing ability of this toy is invaluable!

Whether your dog needs a distraction, mental stimulation, or simply relief from boredom in order to deter destructive behavior, the Kong is a tool you can't afford to be without.

The problem we have been running into lately is trying to decide what to stuffing we should use for our dogs' Kongs. Frozen peanut butter has always been a favorite, but like people, dogs can get bored with the same old thing. Fortunately, after much internet research, I discovered some more tasty recipes that I'd like to share with you.

Banana Rama

Fresh Banana

2 Tbsp wheat germ

1 Tbsp plain yogurt

In a bowl, mash up banana. Then add wheat germ & Yogurt. Mash all ingredients together & use a spoon to stuff in Kong. Freeze for 4 hours. Makes 1 serving in a medium Kong (Double recipe for every larger Kong size)


Philly Steak

Steak scraps

1 oz cream cheese

Place small scraps of the steak inside the Kong toy. Spread cream cheese in large hole to hold scraps.


Fruit Salad

Peaches, Apples, Carrot Chunks

1/4 of a Banana

Place apples & carrots in Kong toy. Push banana in large hole to hold fruit in place. You can include other fruits & veggies such as orange slices, plums, nectarine chunks, celery sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. (Be sure not to include any human foods that are unsafe for canine consumption.)


Veggie Kong Omelet

1 egg

Shredded Cheese

Any vegetable safe for canine consumption

Scramble egg & fold in vegetables. Put in Kong toy. Sprinkle some cheese over the top of the Kong toy opening & microwave for about 20 seconds. Cool thoroughly before giving to dog.


Frozen Jerky Pops

Peanut Butter


Jerky Strips


Smear a small amount of peanut butter over small hole in Kong toy. Fill the toy with cool water & add a pinch of bouillon. Place jerky stick inside Kong toy and freeze. This also can be put in (once frozen) in a children's size swimming pool for a fun day of fishing for your pet.


Crunch 'N Munch

Crumbled Rice Cakes

Dried Fruit

Cream Cheese

Plain Croutons

Combine all ingredients & place in Kong.


Pumpkin Pieces

Plain Yogurt

Canned Pumpkin

Cooked Rice

Combine all ingredients in a small Ziploc baggie & mix thoroughly. Snip off the corner of the bag & squeeze mixture into Kong. Freeze.


To add a bit of complication, try layering the treats in the Kong. For example, try a Kibble-Sicle: Put a glob of peanut butter into the Kong first. Then add some dry dog food. Pour in some chicken broth. Add some more peanut butter, followed by more kibble. End with another glob of peanut butter at the very top. Freeze until solid. To the left, you'll see an example of a well-stuffed, layered Kong

Bottom line: You can be as creative as you want to be. Just be sure to only feed your dog foods that you know are safe. If you have a question about whether a human food is safe, visit ASPCA.org or visit previous entries in this blog that discuss that topic.

Just remember to make it fun & tasty. The Kong will do the rest!

Do you have any Kong recipes you'd like to share? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you!


Help for Allergy Sufferers

June 11, 2011

As one who has suffered with allergies all my life, I know how miserable they can make a person. If you have allergies like me, DogFancy magazine offers tips for us:

Always consult with an allergist first to understand the severity of the reaction and to learn methods to manage it. Then consider how to minimize the symptoms.

Bathing dogs with special shampoos, giving them oral agents, or using vacuum filters can help, but don't always work for every allergy sufferer, says American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. When vacuuming and grooming your dog aren't enough, ACAAI suggests taking these steps to further reduce the irritants in the household:
  • Avoid carpeting: Hardwood or polished floors are less likely to harbor allergens.
  • Banish fabrics: Avoid fabric or upholstered furniture; use blinds or shades instead of fabric curtains.
  • Launder properly: ACAAI states that the best way to remove dog dander from fabric is to wash at 140 degrees with one rinse; at any temperature with two rinses; or use a steam washing machine.
  • Cover pillows and mattresses: Studies show that using tightly woven fabric with openings less than 4 microns wide can reduce allergens.
For best results, incorporate as many of these changes as possible, particularly in the areas where allergy-sufferers sleep.

* Above information taken from DogFancy Magazine - March, 2011 issue.


Deaths of Dogs in Hot Cars Already Reported This Year

June 10, 2011

We haven't hit summer yet, but already much of the nation has hit record high temperatures. Unfortunately, there have already been numerous reports of dog deaths due to being left in hot cars.

The Animal Protection Institute did a study on hot cars not too long ago. The study showed how even moderately warm temperatures outside can lead to deadly temperatures inside a car - even with the windows partially open. In fact, cracking the windows did very little to slow the rise of temperature in the vehicle. Below are their findings:

* Information taken from www.mydogiscool.com/x_car_study.php


LIVING IN HARMONY (Dogs & Children) - Entry #1 - Introduction

June 4, 2011

Last month was Dog Bite Prevention Awareness Month. Every year in the U.S., nearly one million people are bitten bad enough by a dog to require a hospital visit. To many people, those bites may seem to be out-of-the-blue. However, those of us in the "know", know better.

Positively.com reports: Says Dianne Fabretti, a registered veterinary technician for the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation, “We read [bite reports] and it tends to be people don’t know body language of animals [and] they don’t exhibit proper behavior to the animals so the animal behaves as an animal.”

She emphasizes further, “People don’t educate their children as to how to handle and act around animals. I know that. I have one son and two stepsons and I was always amazed what kids do and how much more training kids need in terms of how to act around the animals.”

It’s all in the education according to Fabretti and the worst part, is that when children are not taught what to do and what to avoid around dogs, dogs get into situations where they need to defend themselves and the results are not only bad for the kids but can be much worse for the dog. Says Fabretti, “When animals do bite, people get emotional. The [dogs] end up here and most are euthanized.”

It is the ALWAYS the responsibility of the parent to teach their children appropriate dog interaction, and to monitor those children around the family dog. It is my hope that this blog series will help educate parents on this subject.

* The above italicized information taken from Why Dogs Bite Children-



May 9, 2011
We would like to thank the Germantown Girl Scout Troop and the Germantown Animal Shelter for inviting us to participate in their first annual Paws 4 a Cause fundraising event on Saturday, May 7th! We had a great time!



April 24, 2011

On this wonderful and joyous day, we at Knick Knack Patty Whack would like to wish you a very Happy Easter, and to remind you that common Easter items contain dangers for your pets. In particular, please keep Easter Lilies and chocolate out of the reach of your beloved four-legged family members. For a list of other springtime poisons, check out our previous blog entry here: http://www.pattywhackdogs.com/2010/07/spring-time-poisons.html.

If you're looking for a sweet treat to give your pooch this Easter, why not go the natural route with these tasty options:
apple slices
strawberry tops
peach slices
red bell peppers
green bell peppers
romaine lettuce

But most importantly, don't forget the real reason why we celebrate this holiday - Jesus is Risen!!!


Knick Knack Patty Whack to Attend TROT FOR SPOT

April 22, 2011

Once a year, the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County holds a canine carnival called Trot for Spot. This year, Knick Knack Patty Whack is proud to announce that we will be a part of this carnival. KKPW will be available during the carnival to offer free training tips and problem-solving advice to pet owners. The carnival will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at 935 Farm Road. Please stop by and visit us. With a Pet/Owner look-a-like contest, an amateur agility course and a silly pet trick show, you and your four-legged friend are sure to have a barking good time!


Fido Flash Mob Hits Downtown Memphis!

April 18, 2011
Did you know that April is Animal Cruelty Prevention month? In order to raise awareness, Knick Knack Patty Whack choreographed a flash mob routine for both human and canine dancers for the Memphis Humane Society.
Knick Knack Patty Whack and the other volunteers performed their "Dancin' Doggies" routine downtown this past Saturday and had a great time! We were very proud to be a part of this event. To see a video excerpt and pictures of the event, click here: http://downtown.wmctv.com/news/pets/fido-flash-mob-hits-downtown/53138


Helping Your Pet Adjust to New Situations (Entry #4 - Tips for Calming an Anxious Pet)

April 10, 2011

Since unfamiliar situations or disruptions in routine can sometimes make your pet feel uneasy, try these simple tips to help soothe your pet's frazzled nerves.
  • Make an extra effort to retain as much of your pet's familiar schedule as possible.
  • Choose specific key phrases to say each time you perform a certain action, so that your pet begins to identify repeated cues and establish a new sense of routine. For example, each time you leave the house, calmly say something like, "Be good."
  • Stabilize your pet's routine by feeding meals at the same time each day and incorporating a set daily playtime.
  • Provide stimulating, interactive toys to give your pet a distraction.
  • Play soft music or leave a radio or TV on in the background.

Above all, its important to recognize that your pet needs time to adjust. Be patient and give him ample time to regain his bearings.

* Information provided by VPI Pet Insurance (VetPetHealth.com / 866-Vet-Pets)


Fire Safety

April 3, 2011

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 500,000 household pets are killed in household fires each year. Following these safety steps (provided by Dog World magazine) might protect your dog from a fire.
  1. Adhere pet decals on your home's front windows to alert first responders that you have a dog inside. Pet decals can be found at pet-supply stores, local fire departments, home-security companies, and online. (In fact, SunBear Squad provides a great decal: http://www.sunbearsquad.org/files/wallet_rescue_cards.pdf)
  2. Give an extra set of keys to a neighbor.
  3. Consider investing in a monitored alarm system with remote access control. This will automatically alert the fire department if smoke or carbon monoxide is detected in your home.
  4. Maintain a clean yard and keep hedges trimmed to decrease the likelihood of a brush fire igniting near your home.
  5. Have your heating system inspected for gas leaks each fall. Every year, carbon monoxide is responsible for more than 400 human deaths and 20,000 trips to the emergency room.


Helping Your Pet Adjust to New Situations (Entry #3 - Getting Along Like Cats & Dogs)

March 27, 2011

Even for the friendliest of animals, introducing another pet into your home can cause stress. Questions of who ranks where in the pack can induce unwanted behaviors from both pets. But with a little patience and dedication on your part, even dogs and cats can become the best of pals. Just keep the following in mind when introducing another pet into your home:
  • If introducing dogs, make sure the first meeting takes place on neutral territory, rather than in the home or on the property. Then, bring both dogs into the home together.
  • Always supervise pets until you know how they will get along.
  • Keep pets - including those of the same species - on opposite sides of a closed door to allow them to sniff each other without coming into full contact. Once they are comfortable with each others' scents, use a baby gate to visually introduce them to one another.
  • Keep dogs leashed to maintain control during introductions to new people and pets.
  • For new cats, consider creating a "refuge room" to which they can safely and comfortably retreat.
  • Separate pets when leaving home. Provide each with necessities such as fresh water, food, bed, toys, litter box, etc.

* Information provided by VPI Pet Insurance
www.vetpethealth.com / 866-vet-pets)


Puppy Proofing Your Home

March 20, 2011

Today is the first day of spring. This means that puppy season is here. Shelters and rescues across the country are already inundated with an abundance of homeless baby puppies. With all of these puppies available, you may be thinking about bringing one (or a few) of these youngsters into your home. If so, be vigilant! A puppy's natural curiosity can turn disastrous if he gets into the wrong thing. Watch out for these top trouble spots (as reported by Dog Fancy magazine):

  • Electrical cords
  • Garbage
  • People food (especially chocolate, raisins, grapes, and any type of gum)
  • Animal bones
  • Any chemicals, including household cleaners
  • Socks or other items made from fabric or string
  • Medication / vitamins


  • Antifreeze
  • Azaleas
  • Rhododendron
  • Oleander
  • Calla Lilies
  • Hydrangea
  • Broken Fencing
  • Cocoa Mulch

Consider creating a "safe zone" inside your home or yard for times when your puppy must stay home alone. Use an exercise pen or baby gate to secure his special spot, and fill it with safe chew toys and other safe toys to keep him busy - and safe - while you're away.


Helping Your Pet Adjust to New Situations (Entry #2 - The Moving Blues)

March 13, 2011

Moving to a new home can be a stressful time for pets. An unfamiliar place filled with box upon unpacked box can be overwhelming, but you can help your pet acclimate quickly and safely with a few simple steps.

Be sure to microchip dogs and cats or update your microchip contact information in case your pet accidentally wanders off and gets lost.

For dogs, consider boarding or daycare during your move. For cats, try confining them to a "refuge room" while packing and unpacking. Play soft music or other white noise to distract your cat from the commotion of moving.

Unpack familiar pet items first such as beds, bowls, and toys to help your pet feel more at home.

Ready to Go
If possible, bring your pet into your new home with everything already unpacked and arranged. Having familiar furniture in place helps things feel less hectic and more settled.

If you have a dog, spend extra time walking around your new neighborhood together so that he can identify the new smells and begin learning where his new home is located.

Be Prepared
Find the 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital nearest your home and create an emergency plan.

*Information provided by VPI Pet Insurance
(VetPetHealth.com / 866-Vet-Pets)