Pet owners, don’t get rid of your old clothes before keeping a few t-shirts behind! Simply cut the shirts into thin strips to create yarn. Then, follow my simple instructions on Hello Nature today to create three kinds of DIY dog toys! You’ll be happy to upcycle your t-shirts and your dog will be happy to have some new toys to play with!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.
I have been around dogs all of my life. I grew up with large dogs like our Old English Sheepdog, Nappy, and then our Newfoundland, K.C. It wasn’t until those dogs crossed the rainbow bridge that we got smaller dogs. We brought home Dusty, our Cairn Terrier, the reason my husband and I fell in love with the breed.
Then, in my 20’s, I brought home Beau-Beau (Beauregard), a Bichon Frisé rescued from a puppy mill. When Dusty passed away last year, it left Beau pretty heartbroken along with the rest of us. So Cooper, our Golden Retriever, joined the family.
Now that my siblings and I have our own little families, we also have dogs of our own. So every holiday gathering is celebrated with lots of family, including six dogs! It’s always fun to see how the dogs get excited over presents just like we do! That’s why I try to make sure they’re all included in the celebration with their own holiday gifts.
Every Christmas, I try to buy gifts for the family dogs. Whether it’s a new toy or a bag of treats, I like to make them feel included in our holiday celebration. So during a recent trip to Walmart, I stocked up on treats, toys, and supplies to make a large gift basket for the family dogs to share.
Because there are six dogs in the family, I made sure that I got a big box of Milk-Bone Flavor Snacks. Seven pounds, to be exact! Milk-Bone Flavor Snacks are great for dogs of all sizes! Just like Milk-Bone Original Dog Snacks, Flavor Snacks are great for your dog’s dental health and they’re vitamin enriched.
With one large dog and five small dogs, I knew I had to make a gift basket with more than enough treats to go around! So I made sure that I bought a variety of snacks. Along with the big box of Milk-Bones, I added Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor and Canine Carry Outs. Hunter loves Pup-Peroni! Real beef is the #1 ingredient in Pup-Peroni making them an irresistible treat for dogs!
Hunter is always out and about with us, so we like to keep smaller treats with us when we’re on-the-go. I usually keep a small bag of treats in the car just in case Hunter’s being really active and needs a snack or he needs to be rewarded. Canine Carry Outs are the perfect size for rewarding on-the-go! They’re made with real bacon and a chewy texture that dogs love!
Now that I had a few varieties of treats for my gift basket, I wanted to include a couple toys for the dogs to play with, too. Every dog loves a good game of fetch! So I added a bouncy dog toy and an over-sized, squeaker tennis ball to complete the basket.
- Large wicker basket
- Red and green mixed paper shred basket filler
- Milk-Bone Flavor Snacks, 7lb
- Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor, 25oz
- 2 – Canine Carry Outs, Bacon 5oz
- Holiday dog toys
- Gift bows, optional
- Fill the bottom of a large wicker basket with red and green mixed paper shreds. Reserve a little to stuff the basket with later.
- Add a bow to the box of Milk-Bone Flavor Snacks. Place the box into the basket.
- Then, add other treats like Pup-Peroni and Canine Carry Outs to the basket.
- Top the basket off with holiday dog toys.
- Fill in gaps with reserved paper shreds.
- Bring to your family holiday gathering and watch the dogs go wild over their gifts!
I brought this gift basket over to my parents’ house recently as an early holiday gift. Cooper and Beau were beyond happy to see this basket full of treats and toys! BEYOND! It was adorable!
Trust me, there’s still a lot of spoiling to do over the holidays, but I’m sure these treats and toys will keep them plenty busy in the meantime!
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How will you treat your family pets this holiday season?
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It’s National Donut Day! On Tuesday, I started the celebration early with an easy Jelly Doughnut Hole recipe. Today I’m going to share a recipe for donuts that your dog can enjoy! These Carob Bacon Donut Dog Treats will allow you to celebrate this sweet holiday with your favorite fur buddy! Plus, they’re chock full of ingredients that your dog will love!
If there’s one food that dogs and humans seem to share an insane love for, it has to be bacon! I don’t think there’s been a week that we haven’t had bacon in the house. We usually don’t share table food with Hunter, but every once and a while he gets a special treat (like a strawberry from the garden or some kind of veggie that I happen to be chopping).
I mean, I have yet to try bacon donuts myself (which I bet are amazing since they have that sweet and savory thing going on that I love), but here I am whipping up a batch of bacon donuts for my dog! Spoiled, spoiled Hunter!
These treats start off with a basic whole wheat dough. Then, some crumbled bacon gets mixed in along with a little broth. Save some of those bacon crumbs! We’ll be adding them to the top of our treats! Once these donut treats are baked, they get dipped in melted carob.
If you’re unfamiliar with carob, it’s a completely safe alternative for chocolate. It’s low in fat, high in antioxidants, caffeine-free, and vegan-friendly, too! Melting the carob chips was a little tricky at first, but if you add a little oil to it during the melting process (olive or coconut works), you’ll have no trouble at all getting a smooth consistency!
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable broth (or low-sodium chicken broth)
- 2 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled and divided
- 1 cup carob chips
- 1 tbsp. coconut or olive oil, or more as needed
- Preheat oven to 350º and grease a mini donut pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix flour egg and water together.
- Pour in 1/4 cup broth. If dough is on the dry side, continue to add broth until it's slightly sticky to the touch.
- Mix in 1/2 of the crumbled bacon.
- Spoon dough into the mini donut pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While the dog treats are cooling, pour carob chips into a microwave safe bowl.
- Add a tablespoon of the oil to the carob chips and microwave for 10 seconds. Continue to melt in 10 second intervals.
- If carob chips aren't melting smoothly, continue to add a little oil at a time.
- Carefully dip a donut dog treat into the melted carob chips and place on a wire rack.
- Sprinkle the other half of the crumbled bacon onto the donut dog treats.
- Allow carob chip "frosting" to solidify before treating your dog.
- Treats can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.
I love making toys and treats for Hunter. It’s nice to know the ingredients that go into his treats when they’re made from our own kitchen! If you couldn’t tell by his picture, Hunter couldn’t wait to devour one of his donuts! As I was I taking photos for this post, Hunter was lingering around the table like a hungry shark! These treats are definitely Hunter approved!
Now that I have you craving donuts, too, I believe Dunkin Donuts is giving away a free donut with a purchase today. At least that’s how they usually seem to roll on National Donut Day! If Dunkin’s not your thing, you can make my super easy, homemade jelly doughnut holes instead!
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If you liked this dog treat recipe, you might enjoy these as well:
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If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that Taco Tuesday is a big deal in our house. Just like Friday is our weekly pizza night, Tuesday is our designated taco night. We never seem to miss one! It turns out that Hunter, like most dogs, is a big foodie, too. There aren’t many foods that he doesn’t like (except cucumbers, as I’ve recently discovered).
So I thought that Hunter should join in the Taco Tuesday fun. He’s been a pretty good dog lately (no accidents, listening to our commands better, etc.), so I decided to treat him to some taco themed toys and treats! BarkShop is one of our favorite websites to shop to spoil Hunter. In their unique collection of toys and treats, they had plenty of taco themed goodies!
Silly Succulents Cactus Dog Toy
We set the mood with this fun cactus dog toy. I’m a big fan of cacti, but at least this is one I won’t be able to kill! Unless, of course, Hunter finds a way to completely destroy it!
It’s made from safe rubber material that’s super durable. Instead of spikes, this cactus features bumps that are great for massaging your pup’s gums! It also has a squeaker in it.
Fish Taco Toy
You can’t have Taco Tuesday without a taco, so I got Hunter this fish taco toy. This toy has a great rubber fish inside to satisfy Hunter’s urge to chew. It also makes a crinkle sound and has a lot of fun tabs to pull and tug.
This toy is currently out of stock on BarkShop’s website, but this plush fish taco is a great alternative!
Fish Taco Treats
It wouldn’t be fair to celebrate Taco Tuesday and not give your dog a little something to nosh on. Hunter’s been enjoying these Fish Taco Treats. Adding fish into your dog’s diet is pretty beneficial as it’s great for their skin and coat.
These fish taco treats are grain-free. They’re made with a blend of fish, veggies, and cheese and mixed into a chickpea powder. I definitely recommend breaking off pieces of these treats for smaller dogs as they’re on the large size.
Avocado is on the no-no list of fruits and veggies you can share with your dog. However, this avocado toy is 100% safe for your pup to sink its teeth into! You can’t have taco night without a side of guacamole!
This is a two-in-one toy since you can pop the tennis ball out for a game of fetch! The ball also squeaks. The avocado toy itself is bouncy, but durable for rough chewers.
If fish tacos, aren’t your pup’s thing, they might like this taco plush instead. This taco plush features layers of taco that can be pulled apart and put back together again with velcro.
It features crinkle material and squeakers to keep your pup satisfied and entertained! Just hold the hot sauce and sour cream!
And now for some treats for you! With my exclusive code, you can score some savings on both BarkBox and BarkShop websites!
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