12 WAYS TO PAMPER YOUR BEST FRIEND

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“Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong.”

~ W.R. Purche

I was surfing the web the other day looking for some creative ways to spoil my pooch! He’s the king of my castle (as you may know by now), and I want him to live just as royalty does.

My research taught me two things. First, there are a whole lot of people out there who want to teach others how to pamper their canine companions. And second, the suggestions they make are not really about spoiling your best friends at all.

They propose things like taking your pooch to be groomed, buying them a new pet bed, or picking up a new doggie outfit for them. I mean, let’s get serious here, grooming is not your dogs favorite activity. As a matter of fact, they are likely not fond of it at all. They are not particularly thrilled with a new pet bed either. They would prefer to hold onto that old, stinky bed they’ve had for some time now. Those nasty smells it emits are familiar to them and bring them a deep sense of comfort. And don’t even get me started on how much canines hate to wear doggie clothes. Just sayin’ 😉

So. I’ve composed a list of things that your furbaby will really enjoy. Things that will make THEM feel pampered. Not you. This isn’t about you, Baby! Sorry. Not sorry.

GET THAT DOGGIE A MASSAGE

Dog’s love to be touched. And canine massages are a pretty trendy thing, right? There’s a good chance you will be able to find someone who gives pet massages in your local area. But if you can’t than you can just spend a little time giving Fido a damn good rub down.

Please remember that massage is meant to be therapeutic and shouldn’t be taken lightly. So don’t try to give a professional massage if you aren’t trained. Just give your furbaby a firm rub down. I’m pretty sure you’ll know if they’re loving it or not 😉

BAKE YOUR BEST FRIEND A SWEET POTATO

Dogs love sweet potatoes. And it’s pretty damn rewarding see how quickly they chow them down. Don’t give your beloved pup too much though. It’s not good for them in large quantities. Bake a big one for yourself and then chop off about 1/4 of it for your pooch. Put it in a dish and top it with a little peanut butter and a few slices of banana. YUMMY!

PICK UP A MARROW BONE ON YOUR NEXT SHOPPING TRIP

The next time your at the grocery store pick up a marrow bone in the meat department. It’s a great treat for your dog. And it will keep them busy and out of your hair for hours. Just remember to give it to them in an area where they can’t make a huge mess with it. I close off the bedroom doors. My bulldogge won’t go on the couch with it. So that pretty much leaves his own bed as the only spot he can retreat to, and I’m okay with that. We live in a very cold climate and he gets incredibly bored over our long winters. So, a bone is sort of paramount to his good mental health!

If you don’t have a way to allow them to enjoy this treat indoors, save it for the summer months. Riley usually has a dozen of these babies hidden in the yard by the time winter comes 😉

TAKE YOUR POOCH ON A HIKE

Take your pooch on a nice long hike. And if you have the option of allowing them off leash for some of it, please do!

It can be tiresome for a dog to see the same scenery every day all day long. It is no more fun for them to be stuck at home than it is for us. So get them out whenever you can. It’s crazy good for their stress levels. Which is crazy good for your stress levels!

HEAD OUT TO THE LAKE FOR THE DAY

Take Fido to the lake. Or any body of water you have available to you. If you are able to allow them to swim, definitely do it.

And don’t get wrapped up in your own world while you’re there. Bear in mind that this outing is for your furbaby. Spend your time with them. Run. Play. Roll around on the ground a little. It will be good for both of you.

Take a frisbee with you and make good use of it. I’ve never met a dog who doesn’t like a frisbee 😉

DO SOME RESEARCH ON HOW DOGS THINK

There are some amazing books out there on how dogs think. I’ve read a few. And there is one at my vet’s office that I always browse when I’m there. It’s pretty incredible how easy canines are to misinterpret. Sometimes behaviors that appear to have an obvious meaning don’t mean what we imagine them to at all.

Pick a book up at your local book store or your library on this subject and start to build a better understanding of what goes through your dogs mind. This activity may not seem like it pampers your pup. And it doesn’t in that direct spoil ’em kind of way. But in the long run, it certainly does. Life is exponentially better for both of you when you have a clear understanding of your pooches subtle signals.

MAKE HOMEMADE DOGGIE TREATS

Keep homemade treats on hand for your canine pal. They are better than most treats you find in the store. And they really don’t take much time to make. Not to mention, that the price is significantly better.

It doesn’t take much to learn what ingredients are best for our dog. Just a little research. Usually google is smart enough to tell you what Fido can and can’t have.

There are currently two homemade dog treat posts up on the blog; A Christmas Treat for Riley and Riley’s Birthday Surprise. Both are full of wholesome human grade ingredients that your dog will love!

‘JUST BE’ WITH YOUR BELOVED CANINE

It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily grind and allow the day to slip by without doing any more than the minimum to care for our pets. Life is busy!

Still, it is important that we take time out to spend with them. Go out in the yard and be with them. Simply be with them. Don’t let yourself be distracted with yard work or the neighbors. Be present with your beloved canine.

BELLY RUBS AND EAR SCRATCHES ALL THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Do I need to say belly rubs and ear scratches?!?! Dogs are very affectionate creatures. They are pack animals. And pack animals often engage in mutual grooming behaviors. They also spend a great deal of time up in each others tree, as they say. They want you to touch them. A lot. A whole lot.

So, be sure that you lavish your pooch with TONS of belly rubs and ear scratches. And I should also mention butt scratches. They love butt scratches. Just above their tail. Because this is another area, like their bellies and behind their ears, that they can’t reach themselves.

QUENCH YOUR PUPS SEAFOOD CRAVING

Most dogs love seafood. They cannot have all seafood, so you should check before you give them any because I would not venture to comprise a comprehensive list here.

Our bulldogge goes absolutely crazy for shrimp. It’s his favorite. And we also give him cod, haddock, tuna, sardines, and oysters. So, I know all of those are safe.

I can’t imagine making seafood and not sharing a bit with him. It’s his favorite food, for sure. When I prepare our meal I simply leave some of it without sauce or seasoning just for him.

When my son makes salmon for himself. I open a can of sardines for Riley. Canines can’t eat salmon and it is impossible for me to not have a seafood treat on hand for him so that he doesn’t get a whiff of the sea and no taste to go along with it.

GET THEM THEIR OWN HOUSE

If you don’t have a dog house for your dog, pick one up. Or build one. Even if your pet only goes out in the yard to do his duty or when the fam is out there, he will LOVE a dog house. You’ll be surprised at how much time he spends in there.

Dogs live in dens in the wild. And enclosed spaces make them feel safe. They will seek out spaces to lay where they feel protected by a ‘covering’. Our furbaby is due to have a house built for him this year. And I know he is going to be pretty pleased when it is done.

Right now he wiggles his way under the oil tank. My son had to actually dig a bit of a hole there so he wouldn’t get stuck because it was such a tight fit! He got himself stranded there one day. And as good fortune would have it, we forgot something when we left home that day and had to go back. So we discovered his plight. Otherwise, poor baby, would have been under there all damn day 😦

VISIT THE LOCAL DOG PARK

Socialization is so good for dogs. If you have a dog park in your area ,make it a regular part of your routine. A few times a week is pretty ideal. And likely won’t put too much strain on your schedule. But if it does, do your very best to make it there at least once a week. It is important for your pooch to hang with some of his own kind every now and again.

Still, keep in mind that if there are too many dogs frequenting your local park it may be over-stimulating for your pup. In that case, try to set up a few play dates with other dog owners. It could be that one on one interaction is more of what your furbaby needs.

Our pets are a huge part of our lives. And they deserve the very best. So, I hope you make use of as many of these suggestions on how to spoil your pup as you can manage. It will be crazy, mad good for both of you!

Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts on this post in the comments. I love to hear all about your experiences, tips, and suggestions. I really do 😉

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

SWEET POTATO AND APPLESAUCE TREATS FOR YOUR CANINE FAMILY MEMBERS

Like many people I have a canine family member who is spoiled as can be. AND I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My canine is an Olde English Bulldogge. A breed known for their sensitive stomachs. And also often having skin-issues which are related to food.

Don’t mind the dirt on the schnazz and the collar. We were enjoying the lake the day this picture was taken 😉

When I lived on the west coast it was easy to pick up treats for this little guy that were made with quality ingredients. And perhaps it has become easier here on the east coast in recent years as well. But I wouldn’t know about that because when I moved back to this side of the country I chose a remote location and most things are not readily available here.

So …

I’ve begun making his treats myself. That way I know exactly what’s in them. And I can keep my favorite guys diet as healthy as possible.

I recently whipped up a batch of these tasty little morsels for him and thought I would share the recipe with all of you.

This recipe is simple and quick. It has just 4 ingredients. And your dog is going to be pretty thrilled with you for making it. That’s a big *SCORE*.

If you can get together 1 c. of cooked, mashed sweet potato, 1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce (skip the cinnamon or other flavored variety), 2 eggs, and 1 1/2 c. coconut flour then you are ready to wow your furry friend with your mad culinary skills 😉

Peel and boil your sweet potato ahead of time. I did mine the night before and tossed it in the fridge. In the morning I mashed it with a fork. This leaves it just a bit chunky, which is perfect for the aesthetic of the final product.

Once your taters are done gather all of your other ingredients …

Then toss it all in a bowl and mix it up with a fork. You want it to be blended pretty well …

Use a teaspoon to portion out the dough. A heaping teaspoon is perfect. Then squeeze the portions into little balls. Form isn’t important here. You just want to make the dough stick together. Then flatten the balls into flat disks. This helps them cook more evenly.

Spread them out on a cookie sheet. You don’t need a lot of space between them. They do not rise in the oven.

As you can see I used my pizza stone. It’s one of my kitchen go-to’s. But really any cookie sheet will do.

Pop your cookie sheet in a preheated oven (300°) and bake for 6-8 minutes.

After you take the pan out of the oven let it sit for just a few minutes. Then remove the treats from the pan so they don’t continue to bake. If you have a cooling rack that’s great. I don’t, so I just tossed them on a plate.

Once they’ve cooled down you’re going to want to put them in a sealed container and refrigerate them. They don’t have as much flour in them as the typical dog treat, so they will not get hard. As a matter of fact, they will get a little softer as time goes on.

Riley loves the soft, chewy texture of these treats. And who can blame him?!?! Soft and chewy is good, right? That’s why we often shoot for it in our own cookie recipes 😉

The texture is not the only reason I’ve made these bad boys with less flour though. Flour is not a dog’s best friend. There are many alternative flours out there that they do better with. Coconut flour is one of them. But the less flour of any sort in a canine’s treats the better. So I keep Riley’s diet as free of it as possible.

These treats last in the fridge for about a week. And that’s just about how long it takes my furry little comrade in arms to polish off a batch. Perfect!

If you decide you want to whip up a batch of these scrumptious little morsels for your canine comrade let me know how it goes. I’d really like to know.

And I’d be especially thrilled if you shared a picture of your best buddy enjoying them. It would warm my heart to know that my little recipe made your best friend happy!

SWEET POTATO & APPLESAUCE DOG TREATS


  • 1 1/2 c. Sweet Potato (cooked & mashed)
  • 1 c. Coconut Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 c. Unsweetened Applesauce

Preheat oven to 300°.

Peel, cube, and boil sweet potato until tender.

Allow to cool. Mash with a fork.

In a mixing bowl hand blend all 4 ingredients.

Portion by heaping teaspoon fulls. Squeeze together to form a ‘ball’. Flatten into disks.

Place on a cookie sheet. Leaving space is not necessary.

Bake for 6-8 minutes. Until firm when poked with a finger.

Remove from oven. Let rest for no more than 2-3 minutes.

Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack to prevent from continuing to bake.

Allow to cool completely.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week.


Don’t forget to comment on the blog and let us all know how this recipe worked out for you and your favorite canine 😉

And … connect with me on facebook and pinterest to stay abreast of any other happenings here at Bohemian Apothecarist.

As always, your presence is greatly appreciated. I adore that you are here. And I just know that we are going to have great fun together ❤

RILEY’S BIRTHDAY SURPRISE

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Never, in a million years, did I think I would be that person who bakes a cake for their dog on their birthday. But here I am, being that person indeed.

AND this guy right here is the one who transformed me into that person ❤

I adored making this tasty treat for my little bulldogge king! And he went completely mad for it, for sure. So much so that it’s likely to become a birthday tradition here in our home!

It was incredibly easy to make. I’ll walk you through it step-by-step.

You’ve simply go to make one for your favorite canine. It will be a huge hit! I promise!

You’ll need two small cake pans. I used disposable aluminum pans to make mine. It’s the first time I’m making this recipe and I wanted to see if I liked it before I invested in pans. I do. I’ll be buying pans SOON!

The disposable ones I used measured 3″ x 6″. And they were perfect. I’m sure you could also use a 4″ square or 4″ round pan. Which is likely easier to find if your investing in the real deal 😉

Preheat your oven to 350°. And lightly grease your pans.

Combine your dry cake ingredients, rye flour & baking soda, in a medium bowl.

Combine applesauce, egg, honey, sweet potato, banana, and peanut butter together in a small bowl.

Blend together with a fork. Pour wet ingredients in with dry ingredients. And blend to make a ‘dough’.

Divide the mixture between your two cake pans and use your fingers to evenly distribute it through them. Place on a baking sheet (for stability) and bake for 20 minutes.

HINT: While your cake is baking you can make your frosting and fry your bacon 😉

Remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before you take the cake out of the pans.

Let them cool completely before you frost them. I left mine sit out on a plate for another 30 – 40 minutes. It did the trick.

To make the frosting for your cake, simply blend mashed potatoes and peanut butter together.

Then frost the top of both cakes. Stack one on top of the other. And frost the sides.

If you like you can top your cake with bacon bits. I fried up two pieces of bacon and chopped it for mine. It was just the right amount. Adding a tablespoon of shredded sweet potato would have been a great touch, as well. But this doggie mom screwed up and cooked all of the sweet potato in the house in preparation for this recipe. So Riley missed out on that 😦 Although, he didn’t seem to feel as though anything were missing at all. He LOVED this cake!

Three candles were for sure in order here. My big ‘ol bulldogge baby is that old already. Three years! It’s hard to believe!

FINALLY, you get to the only part your pup really gives a d*** about. The slice and serve portion of the event. This cake sliced beautifully. It has a great consistency.

It’s a pretty indulgent canine snack. So Riley didn’t eat more than a few slices on his big day. The rest was sliced and stored in the fridge. It’s holding it’s shape nicely in there. And works well as a replacement for his treats this week. Perfect!


Don’t forget to share your thoughts on this post in the comments, please! Especially if you made this cake. I’d love to hear about your experience 😉

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did ❤

RILEY’S BIRTHDAY CAKE


CAKE INGREDIENTS:

1 c. Rye Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 c. Applesauce, unsweetened

1 Egg

1/4 c. Honey

1/4 c. Sweet Potato, cooked & mashed

1/4 c. Banana, mashed

1/4 c. Peanut Butter

ICING INGREDIENTS:

1/2 c. Potatoes, cooked & mashed

2 Bacon Strips, cooked & crumbled (optional)

1/4 c. Peanut Butter

1 tbsp. Sweet Potato, shredded (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°

Lightly grease two 4″ cake pans

In a medium bowl combine dry cake ingredients (rye flour & baking soda)

In a small bowl whisk all wet cake ingredients together (applesauce, egg, honey, sweet potato, banana, & peanut butter)

Pour wet mixture in with dry mixture and fold together

Divide batter between two cake pans and use your fingers to evenly distribute the mixture

Place two pans on a cookie sheet for stability and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

Remove from oven and allow to sit in the pans for 10-15 minutes

Gently remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely

Blend mashed potato and peanut butter together to create an icing and ice the top of both cakes

Place one on top of the other forming a two-layer cake

If desired, top with crumbled cooked bacon pieces and/or raw shredded sweet potato

A CHRISTMAS TREAT FOR RILEY

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There is an Olde English Bulldogge in my life who has 100% stolen the keys to my heart. Because of his presence I am changed forever ❤️

One of the many ways I show my love for him is by staying on top of his diet. I like to be sure that he eats top quality food. So that he stays as healthy as possible.

With Christmas approaching I wanted to make a treat especially for him. He gets quite jealous if anyone is eating without him! And with his own special treats on hand he can be included in ALL of our holiday snack times.

He eats a primarily grain free diet. But I do sometimes put a little flour in his treats. I’ve made his Christmas treats with brown rice flour. It’s a better alternative to white flour, for sure. But you can use any flour you like. Be sure to make certain it is canine friendly, of course. And adjust the amount of chicken broth you add to the recipe accordingly. Each flour has a different consistency and rate of absorbency. So you may need a little more or less.

I included chicken liver and cranberries in this recipe. Chicken liver is one of Riley’s favorite things. And cranberries add the festive touch I was looking for in a holiday treat!

He absolutely loves these tasty little doggie morsels. And because I made an extra batch just for this blog post he’s going to get doubly blessed this year. I’m pretty sure he’s already marked his calendar for the day the next batch will arrive. Christmas Day.

Here’s the recipe for you so you can make a batch for your canine love. Tell him to enjoy every single bite. And The Bohemian Apothecarist wishes him the very best Christmas yet ❤️ XO ❤️

CRANBERRY & LIVER CANINE TREATS


1 c. Chicken Livers, cooked & chopped

3/4 c. Chicken Broth

2 Eggs

3 c. Brown Rice Flour

3 tbls. Dried Cranberries


Preheat oven to 350°

In a small bowl mix the chicken liver, chicken broth, and eggs.

In a medium bowl mix the brown rice flour and dried cranberries.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend well. Form a dough ball. Put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Roll the dough ball out to a 1/2″ thickness using flour on the surface you are rolling on, the rolling pin, and the dough ball.

Bake for 20 minutes. Cool. And store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


If you make some of these delicious treats for your favorite canine this Christmas I’d love to hear how they liked them?

Attach a picture of them in the comments enjoying them if you would. It would make my day 😉

And … connect with me on facebook if you would like to stay abreast of any other happenings going on here at Bohemian Apothecarist. We will both be glad you did ❤