Keep your furry friend’s tail wagging with homemade treats!

Dog staring at treatsIt’s no secret – dogs and cats love treats! Many of the popular treats that you buy at the store are very high in fat and calories and low in nutrition though. So what’s a great way to treat your fur-baby while still being sure that the treats their eating are as nutritious as they are delicious? Make them yourself!

Making your own pet treats is fun and easy, and you can feel good about giving them to your pet. (Although you should still feed them sparingly — treats are a sometimes food, not an always food). Here are some simple recipes for pet treats that will keep your furry friend’s tail wagging.

Peanut Butter Molasses Dog Treats

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter (unsalted & sugar-free)
  • 1 tbsp. blackstrap molasses

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whisk the flour, oats, and baking powder together in a medium bowl
  3. Gradually stir in the milk, peanut butter, and molasses
  4. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until a soft dough forms
  5. Roll out to 1/2″ thickness and cut with a cookie cutter
  6. Bake for 20 minutes
  7. Cool completely before feeding to your pooch.

These biscuits bake up nice and hard and will last for 2 weeks in a dog treat jar and up to 4-5 weeks in the refrigerator.

Cat licking lipsSo that’s all well and good for Fido, but what about our feline friends? You can make yummy treats for them, too!

Yummy Tuna Treats

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
  • 1/2 can tuna fish
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil or cod liver oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet
  2. In a large bowl mash the tuna into smaller pieces
  3. Add flour and milk to the tuna and mix well
  4. Add water and oil and mix some more
  5. Beat the egg in a separate dish until the egg is foamy and then add to the mix
  6. Mix everything well — the dough will be really sticky
  7. Using your fingers shape the dough into small balls, about the size of a marble and put them on the cookie sheet
  8. Bake for 20 minutes
  9. Let treats cool completely before feeding to your cat
  10. Store treats in an air tight container in the refrigerator

Bon Appetit!

If you have any questions about your pet’s nutrition, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

 

5 of the Most Googled Dog Questions… and Answers!

Dog at a computer.

There are just some questions that (most) dog owners are dying to know. Sometimes, searching on the internet can leave you with more questions than answers! Luckily, we have the answers. The team at Elmhurst Animal Care Center has put together this guide of five of the most googled dog questions to help dog owners with their most burning questions: 

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Your Veterinarian’s Online Store: What You Can And Can’t Do

Woman shopping at veterinary online store.

At Elmhurst Animal Care Center, we are lucky enough to have a fully-stocked veterinary online store that makes it easier for you to get necessities for your pets. This veterinary online pharmacy and store allows you to order a wide range of medications and supplies for your animal family members, but it does have some limitations of which you should be aware. Keep reading to learn about what you can and cannot do with our online store:

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How A-Betta We Get a Fish: Tips for Keeping Betta Fish

A betta fish swims.

With their unique and beautiful appearance, Betta fish tend to catch the eye of any visitor to a pet store. Once entranced by the betta, particularly after watching them bob along in such a small cup, it is hard to avoid bringing one home to add a little more aesthetic appeal to your interior while giving a needy animal a home. This impulsive purchase can actually be harmful to the fish, however, especially if you do not know the proper way to care for these special creatures.

If you’ve left the store with an unexpected betta fish for your home, The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center are here to offer important tips on keeping the betta safe and healthy.

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Question of the Week: Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

A white Elmhurst dog licking peanut butter off of its mouth.

A handful of salty cashews. A piece of toasted sourdough smeared with a thick slab of peanut butter. Sweet, slightly spicy candied walnuts in the holiday snack bowl. Have we made you hungry yet?

Indeed, nuts are a ubiquitous, delicious, and (mostly) nutritious part of life for many of us, and it’s understandable to want to slip your sweet, begging pooch a tasty morsel or two. But can dogs eat nuts?

Can Dogs Eat Nuts?

Let’s face it, most dogs eat nuts along with any other food item that happens to fall on the floor or be offered by human hands. Fortunately nuts are, for the most part, safe enough for dogs, but that doesn’t mean they should be eaten on a regular basis. Nuts are high in fat and calories, and can lead to weight gain, pancreatitis, and other complications.

The occasional nut tossed your dog’s way is probably fine, but there are certain nuts that should be avoided, including:

  • Macadamia nuts – These nuts are toxic to dogs and can cause weakness, vomiting, and/or tremors if ingested.
  • Chocolate covered nuts – All chocolate is toxic to dogs.
  • Salted nuts – Just like with humans, too much salt can cause water retention and bloating in dogs. 
  • Candied nuts – Sugary, candy coating adds too many extra calories and no nutritional value. Sugar-free candy coating may contain Xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs.
  • Whole nuts – Larger nuts such as almonds or walnuts can pose a choking hazard if eaten in whole form.
  • Unshelled nuts – Nut shells can cause serious problems for dogs. Nut shells are indigestible, and eating too many can lead to intestinal blockage (a serious emergency requiring surgery to repair). Hard shells such as pistachios can splinter, causing lacerations to the mouth, throat, and digestive tract.

What About Nut Butters?

Nut butters are safe for dogs in general, but like nuts they add a lot of calories to a dog’s diet and should be used sparingly. A little peanut butter smeared inside a Kong or other toy is a safe and yummy option (peanuts are in the legume family which is safe for dogs), just make sure to avoid peanut butter sweetened with Xylitol. 

Alternatives to Nuts

Although most nuts are safe for dogs, there are plenty of healthier, lower-calorie options to choose from for an occasional treat. Many dogs enjoy steamed, plain veggies like green beans, pumpkin, and cauliflower. Berries, apples, bananas, and other fresh fruits make great treats as well, although these tend to be higher in calories due to the sugar content. 

Elmhurst Dog Veterinarians


If you have any further questions regarding dogs and nuts or other people food, The Pet Experts are here for you! Contact our dog veterinarians at Elmhurst Animal Care Center for more information, or to schedule an appointment for your furry friend.

5 Ways to Pamper your Cat

Most cat owners are keenly aware of their fluffy friend’s likes and dislikes and work hard to either provide an abundance of these things, or eliminate them altogether. 

Cats are anything but subtle. However, sometimes we don’t always know exactly how to spoil them. A little tuna juice from the can? An extra catnip mouse or two? These ideas may sometimes fall a little flat. Not to worry, the Pet Experts have brainstormed 5 ways you can pamper your cat. And why not? They deserve it.

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Gack! Are Hairballs Normal?

All of a sudden you hear the distinct sound of your cat in the next room, making unruly noises. Next comes that disgusting ball of fur and stomach fluids. Hairballs make even the biggest cat lovers cringe, and wonder “Is this normal?”. 

The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center get this question a lot and are here to discuss this most yucky of all cat behaviors.

What Is a Hairball?

A hairball, technically called a trichobezoar, is a collection of undigested fur that forms into elongated or round balls covered in saliva and stomach fluids. The fluids may appear yellow or clear and resemble vomit, but with the accumulated hair.

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10 Tips for Easy Leash Walking

Does your dog pull you along every time you try to walk them? Or, do they plop down obstinately on their butt when they want to go down a different street?

Many pets can prove to be stubborn when it comes to walking on a leash; but often that stubbornness can stem from a lack of training on how to walk on a leash.

The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center have a few tricks up our sleeve for easy leash walking to get your pet on the move.

The Pet Expert’s Tips for Easy Leash Walking

If your pet needs the basic skills to successfully walk on a leash, we highly recommend training and socialization first. It can help ease your pet into loose leash walking, along with reinforcing those important basic commands.

If your pet has been trained but needs some help walking on a leash without pulling or becoming distracted, we recommend these simple tips.

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Hello In There! What’s in Your Pet’s Ears?

Ears are integral to your pet’s life and well-being. A dog’s ears are keen and attuned to noises we can never hear. In fact, a dog’s hearing is three times better than our own. But keeping that essential sense requires maintenance and veterinary examination. Although you may not consider the cleanliness of your pet’s ears, cleaning them is a must for good grooming and health.

The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center are here to help you take a closer look at what’s in your pet’s ears and why cleaning them should be a part of regular pet care.

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Beyond Pet Proofing, How Should You Prepare Your Home for a Newly Adopted Pet?

For many, bringing home a new pet is something we do on impulse and with utter abandon. Other folks, however, require lots of time to research the right fit. Both approaches can work well, but it is rather important to know exactly what an animal needs – and how you can deliver the goods. 

If you only had to bring home some kibble, more people might adopt with greater frequency. But the truth is, there is so much more than that. Pet proofing, that is, keeping potential risks at bay, is a great place to start.

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