DIY Dog Toothpaste + Reasons to brush them 

So many of you know the importance of teeth care for yourself, but what about for your furry friends?
How often should you brush your dogs teeth? Daily should be your goal but it’s something you’ll work up to. Even if your dog has good teeth, minimal to no plaque build up brushing up to 3 days a week can be very helpful.
How much will I save by brushing my dogs teeth myself instead of constantly getting it done at the vet? The answer to this is tough but personally each dental visit costs me around $200-$300 per dog per visit and I let the vet do it 1-2 times a year. Brushing my dogs teeth myself has shown great improvement with less plaque build-up. Of course some vets can cost less while others can cost more.
Now for the DIY Dog Toothpaste

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP baking soda (I buy extra as I make this toothpaste often with 3 dogs but I also use it for other items or keeping food in my fridge fresh)
  • 2 TSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 TSP kosher salt
  • 2 TSP water
  • 3-4 springs fresh parsley
  • 2-3 leaves fresh peppermint or 2 drops peppermint essential oil

You’ll need a food processor and if you don’t have one, I recommend this food processor 


Directions:

  1. Combine the ingredient all together into a food processor. Process it until it is well mixed and blended. Add water if you feel it needs a bit more. Mixture should be gritty and a little more wet than the typical human Toothpaste.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a container that has an airtight seal or tight fitting lid to it.
  3. Store it in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks after it is made.
  4. To use: apply a generous amount of Toothpaste to a wet brush or cloth. Rub this on the outside of the tooth and inside and get t up to the gum line. Note that this is usually easier said than actually done so be patient with your dog. Try holding your dog under your arm while they are calm and face the same direction as them. If needed, get an assistant (friend or family member) to help you out.


Have another idea You want us to write about? Questions? Feel free to ask. We love getting your feedback and providing great ways to help and love your furry friend.

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Easy 3 Ingredient Dog Treats 

Ever since I found out my dog has certain food allergies I totally love making my own treats. I have 3 dogs who are constantly spoiled and getting lots of treats so I’m always buying them but love making them as well.
This is a super easy DIY dog treat with only 3 ingredients that are usually in your house already.

My dogs love, I mean LOVE peanut butter. They go crazy for it. They are also always trying to get to my bananas so I thought I should totally make them some treats.

The first thing I did was take some oats (original/plain oatmeal) and ground it up. I used a blender but you can use a food processor as well. Next you beat the banana (large) and peanut butter in a bowl until smooth. I left the banana with a few chunks in it but they definitely are better if completely smooth.


Then you need to roll out the dough so you can use cookie cutters to put them on a tray to bake. I decided to use silicone moulds as they are simply easier to keep the treat whole (I also didn’t have any cute dog related cookie cutters).


Ingredients:

  • 1-1 1/2 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1 large banana


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Grind your oats to a powder using a blender or food processor
  3. In a bowl, beat the banana and peanut butter until smooth. The dough should then stick together without being super sticky.
  4. Sprinkle the powdered oats on your counter/workspace. Keep the dough about 1/4 thick once rolled out.
  5. Cut the dough to your desired shapes. I used a silicone mold shaped to paw prints
  6. Place the dough onto parchment paper which is on your baking pan.
  7. Bake the treats for about 13-16 minutes or until the edges start to turn a golden brown.
  8. Cool completely prior to placing them into an airtight container.


Yields around 12-20 depending on shape and actual thickness.

Make your own? I would love to see photos and hear how yours turn out.

Indoor Games and Activities for your pup 

So with winter approaching here currently I’m coming up with ways to keep my pups entertained and thought I would share some with you. 
Muffin Tin Treat Search: 

Basically this is where you take a 6 or 12 count muffin pan and hide treats in about half of them and cover with tennis balls. You then let your pup sniff them out and move the tennis balls to find their reward (the treat!).
Red Light – Green Light

The version of this for your dog would be to give the command for “let’s go” to move and then “sit” or “down” when you want them to stop. You can do this on or off leash depending on how well they know and obey the command. This helps your dog to learn that while walking when you stop they are required to stop as well. 
Hide and Seek

Be sure to keep this simple for your dog at first. This can go a few ways though. You can put your dog in a different room and keep them in a “stay” and when you want them to find you call their name or say “find me”. The other way this can work is to have a friend or family member hold them while you hide and then give the command for them to find you. By keeping it simple I mean hiding behind a curtain, under a blanket with an arm or leg visible, or something similar before making it more difficult for your dog to find you when you hide. 
Wait for the TREAT

This is where you get your dog to go to a “sit” or “down” and put a treat on their head, about, or foot and make them wait until you give them the command to get it. It keeps them from moving but also takes time for them to learn. Don’t make your dog hold the treat for more than about .5-1 second at first and as they learn that you can grow the time that they must wait for the treat. 
Grooming

Okay so this isn’t so much of a game as it is a training tool. This is helpful for dogs who don’t like baths (my dog simply HATES getting a bath). You get them into the tub and get them to “sit” and “stay” and wait anywhere from 1-10 minutes and then reward them with a treat. Don’t instantly make them wait extended period of times. Slowly build up to it. Get them to understand the water isn’t always going to be turned on or in the tub whenever you do this. It will help them get more comfortable being in the tub for a bath. 
I hope you enjoy these activities for your dog indoor. I’ll be sure to write another article on more ideas and games for your dog to do indoors. Whether it’s too hot or too cold outside your dog requires mental and physical stimulation. 
Bones and chew toys are good ways to keep your dog from also chewing anything inside they shouldn’t be. They usually chew stuff they shouldn’t due to boredom or not having their own toy to chew. 
Have an idea of your own? Mention it in the comments!