Pumpkin season seems to start at the very first sign of the fall temperature drop.
There’s a certain coffee company that has a specific drink that people seem to go crazy for and when the rumors start about its availability, that seems to signal everything else pumpkin related.
I may be the only person on the planet that doesn’t like the idea of pumpkin spice in my coffee, but I do love pumpkin pie and pumpkin muffins. I also love finding the perfect assortment of pumpkins, large and small, to add to my porch and window box decorations. I usually put them out a couple of weeks before Halloween and hopefully they last until Thanksgiving.
Since this is Thanksgiving week, I thought it was appropriate to share my recipe for another seasonal doggie ice cream flavor. (I usually make frozen treats during the summer months but Maisie has decided she likes ice cream before bedtime, so now I try to keep some on hand all of the time.)
This month’s flavor: Pumpkin Apple!
The first time I heard of dry shampoo was several years ago when my 10 year old girl Bailey was admitted to the emergency vet. She was lethargic and in obvious discomfort and we didn’t know why. Thankfully, our vet directed us to the emergency vet where she was admitted in extreme gastric distress and was there for several days. With each update that I received about her condition, a clean up using dry shampoo was part of her routine.
Recently, it seems like dry shampoo keeps popping up in trendy beauty tip lists and I was reminded that it could be a good thing to have on hand when the girls are in between grooming sessions and need a quick clean up.
When I was at the BlogPaws conference in April, I spent some time talking to a rep for a brand that uses human grade, organic ingredients in their products. They have a dry shampoo in their line which led me to do a little research on dry shampoos and I decided to make my own. I have 2 recipes that I’ve been using, the first made out of ingredients commonly found in the pantry and the second made with ingredients that are slightly more expensive but extremely gentle and soothing for the skin.
I have also used the first one as a carpet deodorizer. Over the years, I’ve sprinkled straight baking soda on my rugs, let it sit for at least 10 minutes (or longer) and vacuum. I decided to try the blend and I liked the extra fresh fragrance boost after I cleaned it up.
Easy as 1,2,3 Dry Shampoo
An easy, inexpensive DIY dry shampoo to keep your pups fresh smelling in between baths.
You can also swipe this out of the grooming bag and use it on yourself!
(The most difficult step of this recipe is getting the label off of the spice jar.)
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 1/3 cup corn starch
- 5-10 drops essential oil of your choice (I chose a skin safe lavender blend)
- 1 empty spice jar
Measure equal parts baking soda and corn starch into a mixing bowl. Add essential oil and stir slowly to avoid a dust cloud. Increase or decrease quantities based on the size of the jar.
Using a funnel, transfer mix into the spice jar. Be creative with your label.
Sprinkle into fur, let sit a few minutes and brush through. The baking soda neutralizes odors and the corn starch absorbs oils and acts as a de-tangler.
*As with most household items, keep out of reach and do not allow your dog to ingest large amounts of this mix. Ingesting large amounts of baking soda can be toxic to dogs. Sprinkling small amounts on their skin is safe, but if you notice an allergic reaction, please call your vet.
Soothing dry shampoo for dogs
This recipe includes colloidal oatmeal which is soothing for itchy, dry skin. It is also moisturizing without being oily.
- 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
- 1/3 cup colloidal oatmeal
- 5-10 drops essential oil of your choice ((lavender, rosemary, citrus ect.))
- 1 empty spice jar
Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl, stirring slowly.
Using a funnel, transfer into a spice jar.
Sprinkle into the fur, let sit for a few minutes and then brush through.
This is a great alternative to the Easy as 1,2,3 recipe. For a dog with allergies or sensitive skin, colloidal oatmeal is soothing and moisturizing.
Arrowroot has similar properties to cornstarch.
You can make your own colloidal oatmeal by buying organic oats at the grocery store (not instant) and then grinding them in a food processor or grinder into a very fine powder.
disclaimer: we received free samples of this product with no promise of a favorable review. These are our honest opinions.
Last week when we were at the Blogpaws conference we discovered a DIY dog treat called Whisk and Wag. Maisie loved hanging out by their ovens and sampling the different flavors. I loved making the discovery of a quick and easy mix that is made from high quality ingredients.They come in four flavors: Honey & Oats; Apple & Cinnamon; Cheddar & Herb and Sweet Potato & Spice for the Holiday Season.
All of the mixes are corn and wheat free and contain a nutritious proprietary brewers dried yeast that is good for their skin, coat, gut and bone health. Apple & Cinnamon and Honey & Oats are also soy free and non-GMO.
They couldn’t be easier to make: add water and oil, stir and roll out to cut shapes or make small balls and flatten. Cook for 20-25 minutes and they’re done!I did find the dough to be pretty crumbly but I after adding an extra tablespoon of water, the dough came together as I continued to work it into a ball. The texture is similar to pie dough and was easy to work with.
After they were cooked and cooled, the girls were eager for sample. As you can see, the waiting was too much for Winn and she charged in and took as many as she could. Poor Maisie, she tries so hard to follow the rules but she got her fair share and they both thought they were delicious!I love that these are so easy, the container doesn’t take up much room in the pantry, and I can pronounce all of the ingredients on the label. Whisk and Wag is a family owned business that has created a product that allows us to make fresh, nutritious dog treats without a lot of fuss. I think we will be adding these to our autoship!
They retail for 9.99 and you can find them at Chewy.com or Amazon.
Maisie and Winn give Whisk and Wag a 4 paw review!
Last year we celebrated Annie’s birthday for the first time and I wanted to do it in a memorable way. I was planning on going to our local dog bakery for a cake but then decided to bake it myself, after all, I had made the majority of the birthday cakes for everyone in my family so making one for Annie should be pretty simple. I looked at several recipes and settled on this one from Allrecipes.
This year I decided to make pupcakes with the same recipe and they turned out beautifully!
Annie's Birthday pupcakes
An easy dog friendly recipe that can be made into a cake or individual pupcakes
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 peanut butter (I use natural peanut butter, stay away from anything with Xylitol as it is toxic for dogs. It is used as a sweetener in gum, peanut butter and toothpaste)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 6 cup ring mold, bundt pan or cupcake pan.
- Combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and honey, if desired, in a large bowl; blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold into the carrot mixture. Spoon cake batter into prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or 15-20 minutes for cupcakes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes; then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
About 3 weeks before her birthday I found a lump on Annie’s left flank. I was immediately concerned and we went to the vet to have it evaluated. The pathology from the tissue sample was inconclusive but I noticed Maisie sniffing it so we made the decision to remove it along with another lump that was notated on her first visit. The waiting is the hardest part, and sure enough the lump on her hip was cancer but the other lump was not. Shit. Cancer. After everything else, now cancer! The diagnosis was so disheartening but the analysis showed that all of the cancer had been removed with no sign of spreading at this time, so we had caught it early. What a relief! We would need to continue to monitor her very carefully but the vet was optimistic about her prognosis. But then there was another concern. While she was in surgery she developed an irregular heartbeat. Occasionally this happens because of the anesthesia but considering Annie’s age, this was probably a sign that she was developing heart disease. We scheduled an EKG at the same time as her suture removal and hoped for the best. It seemed so unfair that this should come up after all that she had been through .
Her appointment happened to be on her birthday and I was planning on having a celebration for her that night. I went to the party store and got party hats and a big feather boa. I have never dressed up my dogs before, but it seemed perfectly appropriate for this occasion. I was going to buy a birthday cake from the doggie bakery in town but then decided that I would make her one. I had always made cakes for my kids on their birthdays and Annie deserved to have her own homemade cake as well.
When we got to the vet, Annie was completely relaxed. We walked in and she sat next to me while we waited. A young male tech came out to take her back and she got visibly upset. Up until now I had always requested female techs but I had forgotten to confirm that with this appointment. She did not want to go with him and climbed up next to me on the bench to get away from him. She was reminding me that although she was making great progress, she still had fears that needed to be soothed. I sat with her for a minute and calmed her and then I took the leash and walked her part of the way and then he took over and she was better. I heard her doctor greet her when she went around the corner so I knew she was in good hands. About 15 minutes later I went into the exam room and Annie was rubbing up next to her doctor. She immediately gave me the best news possible, Annie’s EKG was normal! She also did not hear any sign of a murmur so we decided to continue to monitor her very closely but I was very optimistic about her future. I know she’s at the twilight of her life, but I want her final months (or dare I hope, years) to be pain-free with minimal complications so that we can just enjoy our time together, however long that may be.
We had the party that night after dinner. I cut the cake into four pieces and placed it on a low table in front of her. She grabbed the first piece and loved it. Maisie took a piece for herself and they both took their time with their second pieces. These two have never had any food problems and once again, they shared with each other and watched each other enjoy their treats. I took lots of pictures and we had so much fun giving Annie her very first birthday party.
Recipe for Annie’s birthday cake: