Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Banana and Peanut Butter Frozen Dog Treat Popsicles

This one’s so good that even the household humans may want to try it! 

 32 ounces of plain yogurt,
2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 
 2 tablespoons of honey, 
 ⅓ cup of water, 
1 large banana, 
A dozen (or so) of your Pooch’s favorite bone shaped biscuit, 
Dixie cups (I like the smaller ones, good for one-bite treats) 


Take yogurt, peanut butter, honey, water and the banana (chopped) and place them in a blender or food processor. 
 Purée ingredients together then pour into Dixie cups. 
Stand dog biscuits in the cups of purée like you would a Popsicle stick and then place them in the freezer. 
Your dog will love you for your culinary creations. 
They make the perfect cool-down snack after a walk, or a romp at the park.

Hide these from your kids!– their ice-cream-like texture and heavenly peanut-butteryness may have even you reaching in for a lick or two. 

original recipe found on the Hartz Blog 

Keep your tails wagging, 
Bear’s P4ws

Monday, 22 July 2013

No dogs allowed: In defence of man’s best friend

As seen originally on Metro News

"The daily news is filled with reports of racism, sexism, ageism and absurd-ism  but a large faction of this country’s population silently faces a form of discrimination I like to call  anti-caninism. That’s right, people who hate dogs. You know the type; distinctly anti-social, but ultra-sensitive to child safety, hypothetical allergies or the physically challenged, as long as the disability doesn't require canine assistance.

Wherever dog owners gather, there is inevitably, some scowling curmudgeon hiding in the bushes taking video of puppies peeing on grass. Oh no! Now, we've exposed the children! For centuries, scientists have been mystified by the various causes of disease, but ‘Pooch Patrol’ has connected it all to dog urine. Parents beware: Your local park has not been sterilized for your kids’ protection.
We belong to a culture spoiled by the freedom to dismiss ourselves from all responsibility. Parents use children as the excuse by which to perpetuate their own ignorance, and we spout improperly learned notions as universal truths.

Now, I’m not implying that the enlightened 19-year-old at 7-Eleven is not thoroughly versed in Canadian law but I recently entered one while holding my 10-pound Maltese.

Apparently, just having a dog exempted me from the basic courtesies afforded to the general public, let alone patrons.
“Mister, you can’t have that dog in here!” She told me. When I questioned the hostility, she said, “It’s against the law.” (Gasp!) Am I a criminal now? Naturally, I probed further. “What about service dogs?” Apparently, our crackerjack legal scholar was ill-prepared for such meticulous cross-examination, as she responded with “Huh?” I specified, “What about seeing-eye dogs?”
And it was then that my clever foe truly earned the right to wear that plastic name tag by delivering a stunning rebuttal of “It never happens.”
Well then folks, I guess the law is clear.  Only it really isn't.

Canada’s Animal Pedigree Act prohibits animals from direct contact with food preparation. Beyond that, every province, municipality and establishment owner has their own unique set of rules.
Parks, malls and department stores can legally allow your dogs, only many of them choose not to. One manager actually admitted that it depended largely on personality. That of the dog AND its owners.

Hound-friendly malls and patios exist throughout Canada, but all it takes one anti-caninite complaint to spoil the show. It’s never about them. These are just selfless citizens doing their part to protect the helpless from your vicious Chihuahuas.

Friends, think of dogs as babies. They can be cute, and at times disgusting, but they are part of the population and deserve to share the world with everyone else. So let’s exercise a little tolerance and open public places to man’s best friend."

A moment of honesty:
....not that I'm typically dishonest...

As a dog owner/pet-parent/dog lover, even I am not blind to the somewhat abrasive tone of this article; so I can understand why some of the reactions and comments to the post have been full of vitriol.  However, snarky-ness aside, the writer does bring up some VERY valid points.  

On the whole, there are no places that Bear and I can go together in the area that we live, outside of the dog park and a few pet-friendly pet stores.  Even our local coffee shops (with the exception of one single Starbucks location) does not permit dogs - not even on the patio (enclosed or otherwise).  
It tends to make socializing a little tricky.  For us pet-parents, life becomes a bit of a balancing act.  We teeter between making sure that our dogs are not left alone and un-stimulated for more than the average work day, while still participating is the daily social interactions that we, as human beings, require.  
This is not unlike the daily lives of parents (to human - not fur - babies).  However, where they are permitted to take their babies out and about, we are not.  

It's an interesting shift in perspective - and that's what we ALL need to realize (pet lovers and haters alike).  Once upon a time in the not-so-distant past, dogs were work animals and scavengers.  They were not brought up in houses or with specially designed beds, pillows, collars and leashes.  They were fed table scraps and generic-brand kibble.  Not the "organic/grain-free/high-protein/GMO-free/preservative free" food that lines the pet store shelves today.  

It's a shift that needs to be acknowledged.  More people are adopting or buying dogs - not as pets, but as family members.  And whether the general population loves it or not, so long as dogs and dog owners (according to Canadian law and health standards) keep away from "direct contact with food preparation" areas, maybe vendors and shop-owners need to start loosening up their stringent rules.

This isn't to say that you should be able to walk your dog into a grocery store or restaurant......but a patio?  Why not?  Or a book store, or a mall, or even a Walmart/Target for that matter....Why shouldn't we be able to socialize with our leashed and well-behaved pooches?

...Who knows, maybe letting our dogs socialize with the rest of the general populace will help reduce the ridiculously high levels of dog-related phobias and social fears.....It's worth a thought, isn't it?

Join the conversation!  Let us know what you think about this issue, or the article in general

Keep your tails wagging, 
Bear's P4ws

Saturday, 20 July 2013

I Am Here...

An Urban Intervention To Make The Invisible Visible

"The original version of this video was made by two college students from Chile that surely did not have the resources to rescue or spay/neuter one dog, let alone all the dogs in this video. While they couldn't fix the problem and rescue these dogs, they found a way to use the one tool that everyone has to raise awareness - Their voice. And the message is being heard loud and clear around the world. They took action the best way they could to get people to pause and think about a serious issue. Eyes begin to open and the opportunity for change is made possible because of a message like this.
So poetic and beautiful." 

Remember, we are the voices for those who cannot speak for themselves.  It becomes our mission to make sure that they are heard, well-treated, and maybe even loved. 

Keep your tails wagging, 
Bear's P4ws. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

How to Give Your Puppy CPR

Pet First Aid is the immediate care given to a pet that has been injured or that suddenly become ill.  It is the first, and often most critical step to getting your fur-baby well again.

Even the most competent Vet cannot bring your fur-baby back to life once his heard and lungs have stopped, but by knowing canine CPR and Rescue Breathing, you can help keep your precious pooch alive until professional medical help is available.  
Your CPR certification for adults does not automatically mean you also know how to give your puppy CPR. Chest compression for humans and dogs involve forceful motions, with one hand on top of the other on the surface of the chest. However, this sort of force may do more harm than good when dealing with a puppy. Learn the steps to modified respiration and CPR for puppies to increase their chance of survival.

Please note that Canine First Aid and CPR are not replacements for veterinary care - they simply help you and and your Vet work together as a team for the well-being of your pooch.

Dog / Puppy CPR

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

One Animal Lover Takes Advocating to the Next Level

One animal activist, dog lover, and shelter volunteer is going to great lengths to bring awareness, support,
and much needed money to the Manchester shelter that rescues and re-homes over 4000 dogs each year.

Sean LeVegan will live in The Manchester Dogs’ Home for 35 days, the average number of days it takes for a dog to be adopted from the shelter. He will live exactly as the dogs do including fasting from food for the first four days (the average time it takes most dogs to eat when kept in a new, frightening environment), sleeping on the floor of a kennel with another dog, only leaving the confines of the kennel bars for 1 hour of each day in which to exercise, play, and potty.

Sean plans to be “caught” by the Manchester Dog Warden on October 5, 2013. That’s when his amazing journey will begin.

He’ll experience the same stress, boredom, loneliness; even fear that shelter dogs experience during their time in shelters. Further, Sean is inviting the world to watch his journey via live webcams aimed into his kennel.

Sean has even had himself micro chipped as part of his mission to experience life as a dog!
During his stay, he’ll have visits from animal experts and celebrities that will discuss dogs and tell dog tales to his audience.

“All my activity will be seen on webcams linked to my kennel.  I will be asking subscriber to pa just $7.50 US to access my Kennel Cams for the duration of this project.  Every penny will be going to help Manchester Dogs’ Home refurbish their home – can house 600 dogs when full."

To follow Sean on his path to the Manchester Dogs’ Home, or to see how you can help, visit his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter!


As an avid and proud-of-it dog lover, I was appalled to read that the dogs are only permitted out only once a day and for only an hour to relieve themselves and exercise – that has got to put a ridiculous amount of stress on an already stressed system.  I’m also concerned at how a human body/system will handle that sort of stress. 
The optimist in me hopes that Mr. LeVegan’s efforts will bring the awareness, funds and changes that he hopes, but I wonder how much of a dog’s experience, stress , misery and pain can really be expressed by a human in a way that will truly bring about significant change. 

Still I wish Mr LeVegan the best of luck in his efforts, and send some serious applause for his innovation.

What are your thoughts?  Bear and I would love to hear them!

Originally seen on the Dogington Post
Keep your tails wagging,

Bear’s P4ws. 

Just Chillin'

Bear and his ever-fluffy bum....

....hanging out in the shade (with his water-bottle chew-toy) - watching the world go by...

Happy Wordless Wednesday

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Mint-Kiss Dog Cookies

Pooch kisses are wonderful things.  They’re smile inducing and incredibly therapeutic.....but sometimes those kisses can be really stinky. 
Luckily I love gardening and thanks to all the sun that’s been pouring through my windows this summer, my indoor herb garden has been growing and growing and growing.

This inspired an idea and after a little online digging, Bear and I have perfected the ultimate Mint-Kiss Dog cookie.

The leaves of a mint plant have a sweet aromatic and fresh smell. Once the leaves are crushed or cut, they release even more of that pleasing aroma – this will transfer to your pooch’s stinky breath and help keep it fresh. Of course, please note that these Mint-Kisses are NOT considered a cure for your pup’s stinky kisses.  If bad breath persists, you may want to consider speaking to your vet about proper teeth/mouth cleaning routines. 

1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup chicken broth (low or no sodium is best)
1 egg
1 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp minced fresh mint

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Measure cornmeal into a small bowl.
In a sauce pan, bring the vegetable oil and chicken broth to a boil.
Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cornmeal.
Scoop the cornmeal mixture into a small bowl.
Allow the mixture to cool to the touch.
Spray the baking sheet with a non-stick cooking spray.
Once the cornmeal mixture is cool to the touch, stir in the egg, cheddar cheese and fresh mint.
Shape into 1 to 1 ½ balls. Or, scoop with a 1 " cookie scooper.
Flatten balls into cookie shapes.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Turn off the oven and let the cookies cool and continue to dry in the oven for one hour.

This recipe makes 15, 2 inch (approximately) Kisses.
The mint dog kisses will last for 1 week in a air tight container, 3 weeks in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer.

Happy smooching!

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Dog Days of Summer....

I’ve become addicted to infographics!
They’re always created with such care, and the graphics are always uber adorable.  As a bonus, they pack a mean educational punch – compressing tons of relevant and valuable information into one graphic of utter adorableness that’s actually fun to look at!
(And now I sound like an add for infographics......MOVING ON!!)

The Uncommon Dog has put together a wonderful little infographic about summer and heat safety for your wonderful and faithful Fido.

Have a look!

The Uncommon Dog is a site that understands your passion for your fur-baby because they share it.  A site dedicated to offering the best selection hand-picked products for dog owners and pet parents, the Uncommon Dog also believes in spreading knowledge and love for all the special fur-babies that have managed to wriggle their way into our hearts. 

As a special “thank you” to the community that helps support them, the Uncommon Dog has made a pledge to give back – 10% of all their annual profits is donated to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  If that’s not love and dedication, then I don’t know what is

Keep your tails wagging
Bear's P4ws

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Frozen Banana Pupsicles

A super-easy, super fun summer treat for your pup.  

The star of this pupsicle is the wonderful Banana - Besides their uniquely smooth texture and sweet taste, bananas also boast loads of amino acids, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins B6 and C, potassium, fiber and manganese.
 If your pooch uses a lot of energy, whether he’s your professional companion or just your sidekick on long hikes, bring a few bananas along your fur baby going strong.

4 cups plain (unsweetened) Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
3 ripe Bananas – peeled and mashed

1)      Blend all your ingredients together in a blender or food processor 
2)      Pour into 4oz plastic cups, molds or ice-cube trays 
3)      Freeze until firm

Any time you and your pup come in from a summer romp, pop a treat out of the freezer and watch the puppy bliss

These treats can be stored in the freezer for approximately 2 weeks.  Any longer and I found that freezer burn would begin to set in.

Happy munching!

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear’s P4ws

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Staying Cool and Safe This Summer

An awesome infographic put together my Global Pet Foods to help owners keep their dogs cool and safe this summer.

Remember - Dogs don't sweat like we do.  They expel heat from the pads of their paws and through panting (which of course isn't really the BEST way to cool down).  This makes them much more susceptible to  heat stroke....

Keep your tails wagging,
Bear's P4ws

Dog Parks and Summer Heat Waves

Taking your dog to a dog park is a great way to exercise and socialize your canine companion. Dog parks offer fresh air, open space, and freedom—a chance for your dog to be a dog.  That being said, not all dogs adore the dog park – some, like Bear, are seasonal rompers while others can usually go all day any day. 
I recently got into a discussion with a fellow pet-parent at the park who commented about how absent I had been lately.  My answer to her was rather simplistic – it’s simply too hot and humid for Bear to get any real enjoyment out of a run at the park.  She seemed a little sceptical of this, but it’s the dog-darned truth.

Dogs cannot sweat to cool down like people can. They can sweat a little through their paw pads, but the main way dogs cool down is by panting. Given cool shade and water to drink, will dogs "know" when to stop and take a rest while at the beach or dog park?
The quick answer to this question is "no" -- many dogs will not stop on their own when actively playing or fetching, until they have to. On a hot day, the time between having fun and heatstroke can be very short. The time is even shorter in high humidity.

Our local dog park does not provide a source of clean, drinkable water and while all the pet-parents in our community happily lug 2 and 4 litre jugs of water in for everyone to share, it is often not enough for the larger dogs.  You also need to take into consideration the thickness of your dog’s coat.  Bear has a double coat of hair and that fuzzy down-like insulation that keeps him warm in the winter.  In the summer, the thinner, shinier hair in his coat helps keep some of the heat off his back, but that insulating coat of fluff can be almost suffocating. 
That isn’t to say that we never go to the park in the summer.  We do. 
We just wait for the days that are a little cooler, the days with a breeze that helps carry away some of the heat and humidity. 

The import thing is that you know your dog.  Bear loves to play and romp and run like mad in the winter, but in the summer he’ll only muster up the energy to run and romp well after the sun has gone down, or if we visit the beach. 

Just remember, no matter how your pooch plays in the summer, keep a close eye on him.  Don’t let him overexert himself and make sure to keep him well hydrated. 

Keep your tails wagging

Bear’s P4ws

Friday, 5 July 2013

The Healing Power of Dogs

Scientific research proves what many people have known for centuries: it’s good to have a dog in the house. Dogs keep us company, help us stay active, and can even warn us of intruders. But did you know that dogs may improve the physical and mental health of their human companions?
Awesome isn't it?

for the original click HERE

Keep your tails wagging, 
Bear's P4ws

Thursday, 4 July 2013

ummm....Excuse me....Bear would like to make an Announcement...

Bear (and his nose) would like to officially announce that we've reached our 100th post!! 

Thank you to all of the readers, bloggers, tail-waggers and comment-leavers that help keep this blog going. 

Keep your tails wagging!
Bear's P4ws

Veterinarian Sits In A Parked Car For 30 Minutes...

Dr Ernie Ward has spent most of his career trying to get us to treat our pets better. Here, he sits in a parked car for 30 minutes to show you how hot is really does get when you leave your pet there. Listen to your veterinarians. You may not think it, but they are doing essentially human-level medical science on pets, not just giving your pooch a bath

It just goes to show you:  if a human finds it almost impossible to stay in the car, imagine your dog and his fur coat.  We have the power to change the lives of our pets, for better or for worse, it's up to us to make the right choice.

Don't leave your dog in a parked car (ANY parked car).  For you it may be a simple errand, but for you dog, it could cost them their lives.

Keep your tails (cool and) wagging!
Bear's P4ws

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Canines, cars and common sense

An open letter, from a Dog to his Owner
by Andrew Clark
originally for  The Globe and Mail

 Dear Owner,
I’d call you Master. but I’m still a little angry.

I’m writing to follow up on the incident last week. You may recall that you left me, Parker (100-pound black-and-brown brindle mastiff), in a locked SUV on a day when the temperature peaked out at 33.8 degrees. A passerby, who saw what appeared to be a dog in a four-wheeled microwave, called the authorities. He was concerned. After all, only two weeks ago a dog died after being left in a broiling car.

Anyway, the police arrived and rescued me from the steamy SUV. Guess what they did next? Tried to put me in another car, and I was like, “No thanks, been there, done that” and I did what any other animal in my situation would do – I ran.
Unfortunately, I ran onto the expressway and, as anyone who commutes knows, that’s the last place you want to go if you want to go anywhere fast. I held up traffic for a while until the police came for me again. It made all the news reports and the video went viral. And why not? There’s a DOG on the EXPRESSWAY! Stop the presses! Don’t get me started on the media.

I’m writing to clear up a few misconceptions about canines and cars. Not just to you, my owner, but to all drivers who love their dogs. Look, the feeling is mutual. We love you. But any relationship needs boundaries. As far as these go, dogs are among the most laid-back creatures on earth. We have few. Wanna make us retrieve a stick for three hours? We’re in! Want someone to silently listen to you complain about your life for an entire morning? Done.

It is only when you literally try to cook us alive that things get tense. My case is not the only example. In Toronto, between June 16 and 21, there were 61 reports of dogs left in vehicles. You could say, “Okay, Toronto, those people are morons,” but the same thing has happened in California, New Jersey, Oregon and many other places.
Meanwhile, here are some other recent dog-related headlines:

“Dog Saves Girls from Venomous Snakes,” “Dog Gives Life to Save Owner From Dangerous Trailer Fire” and my personal favourite, “Dog Rescues Newborn Baby After He Was Left in the Woods to Die.”
I’m not kidding – this totally hard-core farm dog in Ghana found this kid, and pulled the abandoned newborn under a bridge where he kept him warm all night.
You’ll notice nowhere can be found the headline, “Dog Leaves Human in Sweltering Locked Car So He Can Take Advantage of Sale at Abercrombie & Fitch.”

I’ve heard somewhere that humans like lists, so I will try to streamline these into a PowerPoint presentation (my lack of opposable thumbs means I can’t actually conduct a PowerPoint presentation, so just try imagine the cool graphics).

Activities dogs can help with
Pooping on lawns of neighbours you don’t like (no need to tell us, we can sense it)
Not passing judgment
Eating food you don’t want but feel too guilty to throw out
There are plenty more but you’ll notice, we’re on board for a lot.

Activities dogs can’t help with
Witty passenger seat conversation
Sauna buddy

I think we’re looking at a misunderstanding that stems from semantics, the kind of disconnect explored by German-born philosopher Rudolph Carnap, whose verification principle maintained that anything that can contribute to human life can be observed. “There is a continuum which starts with direct sensory observations and proceeds to enormously complex, indirect methods of observation.”

For instance, using observation you can deduce that dogs like driving. Let’s face it, we LOVE DRIVING. One jingle of the keys and it’s on. We love driving in cars.
We do not, however, like sitting in parked cars, especially if the interior of the car resembles the inside of an electric Wolfgang Puck Pressure Cooker making pulled pork.
We’re also not that big on shopping. Why do you feel it’s necessary to take us with you? If you want help selecting raw meat, we’re in, but otherwise we’re okay taking a pass. I know that we make big fuss when you’re going out. Practically begging to come with you. It breaks your heart to leave us.

Look, I’m going to come clean and say we totally ripped off that one from preschoolers. You know how they flip out and cry when their moms drop them off at daycare? Then, like three seconds after the mom is gone, they’re totally over it and playing. We stole that one. So, when you’re leaving we’re all “Please! Take me with you! PLEASE.” But three seconds after you’re gone we’re asleep.

How can you tell if it’s too hot to leave your dog in you car? Simple. Before you leave us, turn off the air conditioning and sit in your car. If it’s so hot you think you are going to vomit and pass out? Too hot. Keep it simple: in the summer months don’t leave us locked in the car.

This has got to stop.

We dogs have a saying. “Humans. Can live with them. Could easily live in the wild without them.”

Face it, you need us more than we need you. So let’s make a deal. We’ll keep saving you from fires, rescuing your abandoned infants and being unbelievably happy to see you when you get home.
You stop leaving us in parked cars.


Yours truly,

P.S. The irony of my name is not lost on me.

...When you really stop and think about it, it's not a lot to ask....is it?

Keep your tails (safely) wagging,
Bear's P4ws