Fall Flavors To Share With Your Dog

Fall Flavors You Can Share With Your Dog

As Thanksgiving approaches, you might be spending more time in the kitchen trying new and traditional recipes. Seasonal foods are already showing up on grocery store shelves, some of them make healthy treats that you can share with your dog during the holidays.

Important: Don’t introduce all of these flavors to your dog at once!


Veterinarians often recommend pure canned pumpkin to help ease diarrhea and constipation in dogs. You can add up to a teaspoon per ten pounds of your dog’s weight in each of their meals to support their digestive health.

Pure canned pumpkin is safe for dogs to enjoy – avoid “pumpkin pie mix” which usually comes in a larger can and contains sugar and spices.

You can also use pumpkin as an ingredient in homemade dog treats. Combine pumpkin with a small amount of coconut oil, cinnamon, white flour (or a grain-free flour like tapioca flour,) a small amount of honey. If you want light, puffy treats, add baking powder. Never use raisins or chocolate, both are lethally toxic to dogs.

If you’d prefer to use a recipe, try homemade pumpkin oatmeal treats or pumpkin carrot pupcakes.

For an even easier treat, freeze pure pumpkin in silicone ice cube molds to make frozen treats. You can combine the pumpkin with banana, peanut butter or pureed leafy greens like kale or spinach.


Every dog drools over the family’s Thanksgiving turkey – it’s just part of the tradition!

The skin and fatty parts of the turkey are not healthy for dogs. Thanksgiving leads to an uptick in veterinary visits for acute pancreatitis.

Only give your dog white meat from the turkey, never skin or fat.

Never give your dog cooked turkey bones to chew on. Once cooked, turkey bones (along with chicken, and all types of bones) because hard and splintery. Cooked bones can cause internal bleeding.

Raw bones are soft and safe for your dog to eat, but can cause stomach upset if your dog is not normally raw fed. Raw turkey necks and giblets that come with the turkey are safe for your dog to enjoy, but should be given with caution if your dog never eats bones or organs. Too much organ meat can cause diarrhea, so only offer small amounts. Your dog can choke on raw bones if they gulp them down without chewing, and too much bone can cause constipation.

Cooked, boneless turkey meat can also be blended and added to baked or frozen dog treats.

Green Beans

Green beans are a healthy treat for your dog to enjoy year-round. Given raw or lightly steamed, they’re fibrous and low in fat, often used as a filler to help overweight dogs feel full when they’re on a diet.

Fall Flavors To NOT Give Your Dog

Onions and garlic are toxic to dogs, so you should never give your dog any food that may contain either. To be on the safe side, don’t give them seasoned foods at all.

While cranberries are safe for dogs, they’re too bitter for most dogs to enjoy them. Dried cranberries can be baked into dog treats as a healthy addition if they do not contain much sugar. Cranberry sauce is usually too sugary for dogs.

Ham is usually cured; it’s too fatty and salty for dogs. One bite won’t hurt your pup, but it’s better to stick to healthier options.

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Should your dog take the #CanineGoodCitizen Test?

Should Your Dog Get Their Canine Good Citizen Certification?

Have you heard of the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program? It’s a certification that dogs can achieve as a groundwork for agility, therapy, obedience and other activities. Even if you don’t plan to train your dog to become a therapy dog to participate in dog sports, the Canine Good Citizen Test is a good goal to work towards for raising a happy, well-mannered dog.

Why Take The Canine Good Citizen Test?

One of the most common reasons people take the CGC with their dogs is to prepare them to become therapy dogs. A therapy dog is not a service dog, and cannot be taken into public places with the exception of hospitals, schools and nursing homes, with permission. Therapy dogs are used to help patients and students feel relaxed, so they must be mannerly enough to calmly interact with many different people.

Even if you don’t plan to do therapy work with your dog or participate in dog sports, the CGC certificate you and your dog can earn together. It will motivate you to take time each week to train your dog and socialize them, which will strengthen your bond and make your dog more enjoyable to be around.

How To Prepare For And Take The CGC

During the CGC test, the evaluator will go over ten requirements:

  1. Accepting a friendly stranger
  2. Sitting politely for petting
  3. Appearance and grooming
  4. Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
  5. Walking through a crowd
  6. Sit and down on command, and staying in place
  7. Coming when called
  8. Reaction to another dog
  9. Reaction to distraction
  10. Supervised separation

These are basic skills that you can teach with or without the help of a professional trainer, depending on your training skills and your dog’s age, temperament and abilities. It’s always useful to take a basic puppy class if you get your dog as a pup, or a basic obedience class for adult dogs so you can get a gain a foundation on how to work with your dog in an environment full of distractions.

You can use food to reward your dog while you’re training, but you cannot use it during the test. Food rewards are best used when first training new behaviors and to keep skills sharp, but as your dog learns, you can use food intermittently so they will not expect treats every single time they respond to a command.

Many dog trainers are CGC evaluators, and you can also visit your local Petco, as many stores regularly host CGC tests.

Why The CGC Test Isn’t For Every Dog

As beneficial as it is to shoot for passing the CGC Test, it’s not a realistic expectation for every dog, particularly the requirements for accepting strangers and dogs they don’t know.

The toughest part of preparing for the CGC isn’t always obedience, such as sitting and coming when called. Many dogs feel uncomfortable around strangers, especially those who have not been introduced to many different people when they were puppies in the early socialization period.

Other dogs take issue with the last qualification – supervised separation. Your dog might bark or cry when you’re out of their sight, which means they will fail the test.

While every qualification of the test can be trained, you may need a professional trainer or behaviorist to help you. Improper training can make certain issues worse. If you force your undersocialized dog to interact with strangers, they may have a scary, negative experience that could intensify their fear. It’s crucial that you work at your dog’s pace and make each new experience brief, easy and positive. If your dog starts barking when they see a stranger, it’s unfair – even dangerous – to hold them in place on their leash and have the stranger pet them.

Working at your dog’s pace may mean it could take weeks, even months to get them totally comfortable with strangers. If your dog cannot pass the CGC test, that does not mean they are a bad dog. It just means that they would not be a good candidate for therapy work.

You should still keep your dog’s brain active by training at home, taking small group or private training classes, going on walks and hikes, and even doing nosework. There’s plenty of fun, engaging things your dog can do without a CGC certificate.

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How To Keep Your Dog Hydrated

8 Creative Ways To Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Dogs, like humans, need adequate water intake each day to stay healthy. Water regulates your dog’s body temperature, and aids digestion and waste removal. Your dog should take in about 1 cup of water per 10 pounds of body weight.

Animals only drink water when they’re thirsty, and much of their water intake comes from their food.

But that doesn’t mean your dog will always drink enough water. On hot days, or when your dog is playing, they may need extra water, and they may or may not drink more. Some dogs get dehydrated when they are stressed, or distracted when they’re running around outdoors.

Encouraging your dog to stay hydrated will help prevent kidney problems, urinary tract infections, and other health issues.

Here’s how you can keep your dog hydrated, even if they don’t want to drink enough water:

1. Provide More Water Bowls.

Your dog may not drink enough water if there’s just one water bowl in your home. You should keep a bowl outside, though you’ll have to remove outdoor debris daily. You can also keep water bowls in your living room, bedroom, and anywhere else your dog hangs out.

2. Get A Doggy Drinking Fountain

Some dogs prefer standing water, others are tempted to drink from bubbling fountains. Drinking fountains contain filters that remove any taste or odor that may be preventing your dog from drinking enough.

3. Make A Doggy Smoothie

If you love making smoothies in the morning, you can make a little extra to share with your dog. Just make sure not to add any sugar, or other ingredients that are not safe for dogs. Dogs are typically lactose intolerant, but may be able to handle a small amount of yogurt; the probiotics are excellent for digestion. Green, leafy veggies like kale and spinach provide vitamins K, C and E, plus protein and calcium. Sweet fruits like strawberries, blueberries and apples are all good for dogs. Smoothies should be given in moderation, about 1 tablespoon per 5 pounds of body weight.

4. Add Water To Your Dog’s Food

You can add water to any type dog food: kibble, canned, or even homemade and commercial raw. You can soak kibble in water and keep it in your fridge for up to three days. Crunchy kibble does not actually clean your dog’s teeth – canine toothpaste, water additives and rope bones are better for that – so you shouldn’t avoid adding water for that reason.

5. Make Doggy Ice Pops

Some dogs aren’t interested in water, but love licking ice cubes. You can make iced treats by freezing blocks of water, or even mixing in a smoothie, low-sodium broth or other flavor additives before freezing. A silicone ice tray can make perfectly portioned ice treats.

6. Wash Water Bowls Daily

Some dogs will drink out of mud puddles, while others will avoid a slight murky bowl. Others are sensitive to the sound of their tags clanging on the stainless steel or ceramic.

7. Get A Bigger Dog Bowl

Your dog’s water bowl should be larger than their food bowl. It should be large enough to hold much more water than they typically drink each day, so it’s never empty. Instead of filling a dry bowl, you should be dumping it out and refilling it.

8. Offer Water From Your Hand

After a run at the park or dog beach, you might have trouble getting your dog to drink water, even if they’re panting and look like they could really use a drink. If they’re refusing to drink out of their travel bowl, your dog might lap up a small amount of water from your cupped hand.

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Your Guide To The Best Massachusetts Dog Beaches

The Best Dog Beaches In Massachusetts (Plus Dog Beach Safety Tips)

Heading to the beach this summer? Why not take your dog?

Dogs love to dig in the damp sand, splash in the waves, and kick up sand as they run around. A sunny day at the beach is perfect for tiring out your energetic puppy, but also a great opportunity to take a relaxed stroll with a senior dog. Every dog has its day at the beach!

Most beaches allow dogs off-season, but our favorites allow our furry friends to enjoy a day with us even in the summer. Here’s some of our favorite local beaches that allow dogs year-round:

Best Year-Round Dog Beaches In Massachusetts

Marshfield Beaches – Marshfield, MA

Website – Phone: 781-536-2500 x294

Dogs are allowed on-leash. With miles of pet-friendly beach, this is one of the most popular places to take your dog along the Massachusetts shore.

Marconi Beach, Cahoon Hollow And White Crest – Wellfleet, MA

Dogs are allowed on-leash year-round, away from lifeguard protected sections, but only before 9AM and after 5PM.

Plymouth Long Beach – Plymouth, MA

Website – Phone: 508-747-1620

Dogs are allowed on-leash year-round, all day long.

Francis Street Beach – Nantucket, MA

Website – Phone: N/A

Dogs are allowed on-leash year-round.

Cape Cod National Seashore – Cape Cod, MA

Website – Phone: (508) 255-3421

Dogs are allowed on-leash year-round, away from lifeguard protected sections, and some other exceptions depending on the time of year. See website or call for more details.

Nauset Light Beach – Eastham, MA

Dogs are allowed on-leash year-round.

What You Should Bring To The Dog Beach

  • Water and a travel bowl
  • Treats for working on training, and to get your dog’s attention if they accidentally get loose
  • A muzzle if your dog is aggressive with other dogs, or likes to eat trash
  • Poop bags
  • Towels for sitting on the sand and cleaning your dog before they get back in the car
  • Hydrating, dog-friendly snacks like watermelon, apples, cucumber or carrots
  • Paw wax, dog shoes or other paw protection against hot sand
  • Harness and collar with up-to-date tags and microchip
  • Dog-friendly sunscreen for dogs prone to sunburn – those with sparse hair, pink skin
  • Toys that float and are easy to clean

Should You Let Your Dog Off-Leash At The Beach?

Most dog beaches have posted rules about letting dogs off-leash. They typically require a 6-foot leash, but may have some sections for off-leash play, or may be more lax about leash laws when it’s not summer. Even so, you may notice other dog owners breaking the rules.

Regardless of the rules, it’s best to keep your dog on a flat, 6-foot leash. Some loose dogs will be friendly, but others may fight with your dog. Your dog could run into the road, chase after wildlife, or eat something gross.

Unless your dog is reliable off-leash AND you’re permitted to let them run loose, use a leash. If it’s safe to do so, you can clip together a few leashes or use a long line to give your dog some extra freedom.

Retractable leashes are not recommended; they’re known for causing injuries.

When You Can’t Bring Your Dog – Call Us!

Many beaches in Massachusetts don’t allow dogs at all. Sometimes, it makes sense to leave your dog at home so you can shop inside stores, eat inside restaurants, and go to concerts and shows. Your dog won’t hold it against you if you spend some time without them.

Contact us before your trip to set up a consultation. Then, we’ll have a pet sitter available for you whenever you go on vacation without your pets. We’re happy to help your summer plans go off without a hitch!