unconditional love • organically grown • healthy and happy sweet dogs

Monday, May 13, 2013

Our Sweet Dog Organics store will be closed

The Sweet Dog Organics store will be closed due to the passing of a dear family member.  We will post the date of our re-opening.

Debbie Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your Sweet Dogs

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Monday, October 8, 2012

The dog days of summer are over

The end of summer was marked this year by the last Padres baseball game and the local temperature finally returning to the 70s where it belongs.   I made my "summer's end" frozen yogurt dog treats for my dogs using blueberries and the same recipe I posted last month.  While I loved the blue color, Reggie and Layla gobbled up these treats without a second glance at the aesthetics.

Half way through the summer, I realized that my obsession with making colorful dog treats was beginning to cut into my latte budget.  Rather than give anything up, I decided to try making my own organic yogurt.   Using the recipe and instructions posted by The Frugal Girl, I successfully made gallon of yogurt from a gallon of milk and used it to make the frozen dog treats.   If you are interested in the process, I am posting the recipe below with my comments in italics.  If you would like more detailed instructions, I encourage you to check out The Frugal Girl.


1 gallon of organic whole milk
1 cup of yogurt  (I used a organic Greek yogurt)

Start with glass jars or similar containers that have been washed in the dishwasher or boiled for 10 minutes.
1.  Pour one gallon of milk into a clean pan and heat to 185 degrees F.  Heating the milk took about 5 minutes. I measured the temperature using any thermometer that I could find in my baking drawer.
2. Place pot in a sink filled with cold water (I added a few ice cubes) and let milk cool to 120 degrees F.  This is an important step.  If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yogurt culture.  I am not very good at waiting but I found that by the time I had finished emptying the dishwasher, the milk was cool (3-4 minutes). 
3.  Add 3-4 inches of approximately 120 degree water to a cooler.
4.  Whisk on cup of yogurt into the cooled milk.
5.  Pour milk into jars and put the lids on.  Place in the cooler, close the lid and ncubate for 3 hours.
6.  Refrigerate.  Once cooled, the yogurt can be used in the ice cream maker for the frozen yogurt dog treats.  I personally like my yogurt with sugar and vanilla but the dogs do not miss it.
Have a great week!
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Monday, September 17, 2012

It's too darn hot!

Happy Monday!

We spent last weekend avoiding the hot breath of three labs as the temperature peeked over a 100 degrees in San Diego.  To keep the sweet dogs cool, I enlisted my Cuisinart ice cream maker and made Sweet Dog ice cream cones by freezing organic yogurt (sans sugar).  It was easy as pie.  I added a 32 oz carton of organic plain yogurt to the prefrozen Freezer bowl and started mixing.

Despite the fact that dogs have limited color vision, I am continuing my campaign to develop colorful dog treats.  I added my color of choice to the yogurt as it is freezing.  I have lots of ideas but I can claim success with yellow, pink or orange frozen yogurt using either natural sources of color or organic food coloring I found at Whole Foods.  The store bought food colors are organic and a little expensive but they blended well with the yogurt to create a smooth color.

Orange (not shown):  Add 1 cup of pumpin to 32 oz of yogurt
Yellow: Add 1/2-1 teaspoon of yellow food coloring made from Turmeric.  I tried turmeric powder and it did not mix well.
Pink:    Add 1 cup of mashed up strawberries or 1 teaspoon of concentrated beet extract or red food color made from beet extract.

Once the yogurt looked like a firm soft serve ice cream, I worked with small batches of cones (6), filling them and put them immediately in the freezer.   To be perfectly honest, I would prefer to use organic ice cream cones but we had an emergency situation last weekend and I used the standard cones found in the grocery stores.  If you want smaller cones, I recommend that you fill the cones 1/2 way or use the mini cones.   Once the cones are frozen, I stored them together in a Ziploc freezer bag.

Have a good week,
Debbie Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Keeping your Sweet Dog's bowl chemical free

With three large and thirsty labs in our family, I was concerned when I read a recent study by Healthystuff.org that studied the chemicals found in the garden hoses.  Testing of the water from the hoses found several chemicals including lead. Currently, our Sweet dogs drink from an automatic water reservoir used for horses. It sits in the shade, attached to the outside spigot by a garden hose.  I looked at the study and the methods used in their research. The study convinced me to replaced the garden hose with a drinking water hose made from NSF approved materials and keep the hose in the shade when possible.  The Healthystuff.org study also provides a list of chemical free garden hoses so the dogs and I can safely share a drink on those warm summer days.

I hope you and your sweet dog(s) are enjoying your summer.  If you have a second, read our more frequent posts at Sweet Dog Organics on Facebook.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Do you like my makeup?

Artist:  Dean Russo
Dean Russo is Brooklyn, NY pop artist who uses a variety of mediums to reinterpret photographs of a number of sweet dog.  The designs are sold as prints, greeting cards and other products.  I love the colors.

Have a great weekend.
Debbie Follow Me on Pinterest

Friday, June 22, 2012

Have a great summer weekend!

Image from http://pinterest.com/pin/56224695317465520/

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Keeping cool during the Sweet Dog days of summer

[Photo: Daily Mail]

Being a mother is a complicated job.  When my son was born, I felt compelled by some deep genetic drive to put a sweatshirt on him when I felt cold.

Now that summer is officially here and the temperature is beginning to rise, maternal instincts have turned towards my dogs. After a little research, I found that dogs do not cool their bodies with the same efficiency as their owners.  When I feel warm, my three labs are hot.

Here are a few tips I follow during dog days of summer to keep everyone cooler, healthy and happy.  If you have other ideas, please feel free to share them in the comment section.

Please keep your dog's water bowl full and in the shade.
Pups rely on drinking water to cool down in hot weather. Keep fresh water available for your dog on a walk, in the car, at the beach or in the backyard. There are many types of water bottle on the market. I use the Guardian Gear Handi-Drink.  It is easy to pour water from my water bottle in this mini water bowl. My dogs have mangled the plastic bowl by chewing on it and it still works.

Remember to set up a shady area for your dog.
During the hottest hours of the day, bring your dog inside or provide a shady area.  Blogger Dog Jaunt used a baby sun shade for their dog during a long car trip.  Great idea!

Do not overexercise your pup.
Runners and triathletes, just a reminder dehydration and overheating in your dogs, is caused by over-exercise. Short-nosed pups and dogs with thick coats are particularly susceptible.  Signs of heatstroke include:
  • Heaving panting
  • Increased temperature
  • Red or purple gums
  • Lying down or unwilling to get up
  • Dizziness or disorientation.

If you suspect that your dog has overheated, reduce his body temperature by moving him into the shade or air-conditioning and apply cool (not cold) cloths to his head, neck and belly.Try giving the dog small amount of water or ice chips. Call your vet immediately.

Do not leave your dog in the car.
This is an obvious point.  It is important to note that a car with the windows rolled down is still too hot for the dog.  Stay strong against their sad eyes when you walk out the door, even short trips can be dangerous.
Update:  The day after I posted this article, I saw a woman lock her little dog in her car with all the windows shut.  I saw the pink bows in the dog's fur as it looked at me panting like crazy.   Although I wanted to, I did not say anything to the woman. I found the shopping center's security guard and let him know about the dog.  He was very nice and discreetly found the woman and she took the dog out of the car.

Sunburn and sunscreen
Pet sunscreens are growing in popularity. I remain conflicted about using them because the dogs ofter lick the sunscreen off themselves and the other dogs.  It is true that pale colored dog and cats do get sunburned and some vets suggest the use of pet friendly sunscreens.  If you plan to use sunscreen on your dog, call your vet for their recommendation.

Thanks for reading,
Debbie Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

To all the hot dogs...be cool

Organic Summer Dog Treats for your favorite Dog 0r Puppy
(from the kitchen of Sweet Dog Organics)

32oz. organic nonfat plain yogurt
2 mashed organic bananas
1/2 c. organic peanut butter
1/4 c. organic fresh or frozen blueberries (optional)

Mix ingredients together and fill one of the following:
2-3 ice cube trays or
3 oz Dixie cups or
24 kid's mini cones**

Freeze until solid. For easy serving, store individual cubes or mini cones in a ziplock freezer bag. If you use the paper Dixie cups, remove before serving.

Leave a comment if you have any questions.
**Mini cones can be found in 60 count boxes in your local grocery store or online.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Etsy Handmade Portraits: Anne Burton of Beantown Handmade and her dog, Bean

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Photo by Erin Vey

Source: flickr.com via Erin on Pinterest

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sweet Dog Readers- Follow Us!

Sweet Dog readers....we are on on Facebook and Pinterest.  Follow Us!!
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Monday, April 23, 2012

It is impossible to pass up this abominable Snow Bean

I am the first one to admit that I am obsessed by Beantown Handmade and their fantastic dog sweaters and hats.  This "Abominable Snow Bean Dog Hat" is available the Beantown Handmade Etsy store and I just had to share it with you.   These machine washable hats come in a variety of colors.  

In the past, I ordered a couple of pet collar corsages to match the colors in my big dog collars.  Layla, especially, walked with her head a little higher. If you need a little happiness today (or are curious), check out this wonderful store.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We are launching Tangerine Dreams, a new line of Sweet Dog Organic Treats!

Sweet Dog Organics is launching our new line of colorful organic treats.  Using natural colors, we have been working on developing recipes for pink, yellow, blue, purple and yellow dog treats.  The first in our new line of colored treat is the Tangerine Dreams.  Just in time for spring, these organic flower shaped treats are colored with organic tomato paste and are a big hit with all dogs, big and small.  

"Tangerine Dreams" treats are packaged in our cute Chinese take-out containers. These cookies are made with organic wheat flour, organic oat bran, organic sunflower oil, free range organic chicken eggs, tomato paste, pinch of salt and lots of love.  Tangerine Dream are available through the Sweet Dog Organics online store.  We are offering FREE SHIPPING in the United States.  

I hope your Sweet Dog enjoys them as much as we do.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Layla Grace!

Photographs by Leo Fuller

Just like many of you, I am being constantly watched by my three labs.  It is impossible to put on my shoes or bathing suit without a stampede of well intentioned dogs crashing into me.  When I head towards the kitchen, the dogs race ahead to man their respective battle stations.  Last weekend things were a little wild.  Layla, our black lab celebrated her fifth birthday.  The smell of the peanut butter-carrot birthday cake and our Sweet Dog edible birthday candles baking drove the dogs crazy.

I doubled this recipe to get three dense 5" dog birthday cakes. To keep things simple, I used organic ingredients that were available at my local grocery store (conveniently located next to the Starbucks).

1 cup of shredded carrots
1/2 c. applesauce
1/4 c. safflower oil
1/4 c. peanut butter
1 egg
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix together the flour and soda and mix into wet ingredients.  Bake in greased pan or springform mold.  Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  I topped the cooled cake with a ball of mashed potatoes and added the edible candle.

While the cake was simple, the dog were taking some of the fun out of the party prep.  While Reggie was grabbing the spatula and Layla was laying directly on my feet, Ella waited patiently for something to drop on the floor.

Ella Fitzgerald
Finally, "OUT" was heard across the neighborhood.  The cakes were assembled sans dogs.

When the party started, Layla got the first piece...

..with plenty for all the dogs.

Happy Birthday, Layla.
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Spring to all the Sweet Dogs

With my sweet son and his young wife so far away this Easter, I went a little crazy and made treats for all the dog in the neighborhood.  I used the dog bone cookie cutter and wrapped three treats in a little parchment paper package topped with a bow and a tag.  We filled the basket on my beach cruiser (bike) and delivered them.  Sweet dog hero, Leo, was the Easter bunny, putting the treats in everyone's mailbox as I rode along side shouting directions.  If you would like to make a treats for your own sweet dog, I used the recipe for Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits posted on Pink Pistachio.  I used whole wheat flour and organic ingredients.  My labs love them but then again ...Reggie just ate part of the kitchen towel.  Happy Easter to you, your family and of course your pups.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Hot Dog

I spent this week's "day of rest" testing new (and yummy) Sweet Dog treat recipes.  The KitchenAid mixer sounds like a "call to arms" to the three labs that live in my house.  The dogs are not subtle, they get in the way, hoping to pry loose a scrap of cookie dough.  This particular Sunday, Reggie (my Sweet yellow lab) chewed a big hole in my oven mitt ... so finished I the day taking  hot cookie sheets out of the oven with a beach towel.

In search of new potholders, I came across this cute dog themed potholder made by Ilse at the Etsy store, ISewTotes .  They are  perfect for all the Dachshund fans out there.

I also like the "We Have Got You Covered" apron-pot holder combo offered Beekman 1802 Mercantile.  The hemline pockets are designed to protect your hands from hot or frozen dishes.

Both look like they can stand up to waiting dog mouths.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tea for Two (Replay)

Organic Springtime Treats for your favorite Dog or Puppy
Sweet Pupscotti
(Dog treat recipe from the kitchen of Sweet Dog Organics)

2 cups organic whole wheat flour
1T baking powder
1 1/4 cups organic smooth peanut butter
3/4 c. organic milk
1T flax seed (optional)

Mix ingredients together and mold into a log (about 1" in height)
Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Cut into slices appropriate for your dog.**
Depending on the size of the slices, rebake for 5-10 minutes at 400 degrees F.
You can drizzle pupscotti with melted carob (not chocolate) if desired.
Store cooled pupscotti in a ziplock bag. Freeze extras.

**Note: Small dogs might enjoy french fry sized slices while
larger dogs will unfortunately eat the log whole if you turn your back for a second.

Best served while you are sitting in a lounge chair, sipping iced tea and listening to this version of "Tea for Two".

Leave a comment if you have any questions or interesting variations on the Sweet pupscotti. I would love to try them.
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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Year's Resolutions-Are we still keeping them?

This year, I started thinking about my New Year's resolutions during the commercial breaks of the Christmas Law and Order marathon.  Moving all the dogs to get up to retrieve a pen and piece of paper  seemed exhausting.

A couple days later, I was flying to DC and as the air passengers crowded into the aisle to get their luggage, I watched several people impatiently glare at a few of the more fragile people struggling to get their flowered suitcases from the overhead compartment.  I guess their glaring took too much brain power and the idiots could not actually help the person in need. Fired up, I decided to forgo all my usual resolutions and focus on doing something simpler-focus on doing something important this year.  My efforts may be small, but we all have to band together and make our world a little nicer.

As a start, I wanted to tell you about a couple of talented photographers who are partnering with animal shelters and taking high quality pictures of the animals that are available for adoption.  This wildly successful program has resulted in many pet adoptions.

This week, Bark magazine highlighted the Pic of the Litter campaign where the photographer, Lynn Terry is working with The Brighton Agency and the Animal Protective Association of Missouri to beautifully photograph 15 dogs are having the hardest time getting adopted.  Launched on Valentine's Day, 11 of the 15 dogs, have been adopted.   

In December 2011, the CBS Early show profiled Dallas-based Teresa Berg, a photographer who works with animal shelters photographing rescue animals (see video).  You do not have to be a professional photographer to do this work.  Ms. Berg has a great blog, Focus on Rescue where she help all levels of photographers interested helping these animals by provided webinars, advice on cameras and helpful tips.

Inspiring, isn't it?
Take care of yourself and have a great 2012.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Amazing Grace

Yesterday, I heard a wonderful story about a local rottweiler who knows the names of all his toys, who will put his collar and leash away in a basket and upon request, he will stop eating mid-gulp to retrieve a toy.

Well... my amazing black lab, Layla Grace, woke me at 5:30am this morning to tell me that the sun was up.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!  Support the troops and their wonderful families. 
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Are our dogs an early warning system?

Today, all three dogs helped me load the dishwasher.  Ella, Layla and Reggie seemed especially annoying after a long day.  They took turns bumping into me, grabbing the dish towel and generally getting under foot.

While ordering them outside, I turned to see soapy water from the washing machine spilling onto my hardwood floors.  Crap.  The dogs happily ran with me and helped cleaned up the mess by standing on the soaked towels, getting into a tug of war with the pile of dry beach towels and then curling up next to me when everything was cleaned up.

I guess, like many other days, the canine early warning system was telling me to chill out and pay attention, they are just trying help.  Ok, I will try harder.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Say No More

This fantastic sign is from the wonderful store, Kiss My Mutt. Take a minute and look at their great pet products.

It is always the teenager making my afternoon latte who tells me that I am wearing my sweater inside-out.

Over-committed and just this side of a fashion icon, I have trouble saying no to people.  I say yes when I should be shouting "are you kidding?".   Looking for a solution, I read first paragraph of any "How to say no" article that I could find while at the hairdresser or in the checkout line at the grocery store.

Nothing. I was on my own.

I decided to commit to calmly and quietly doing something for myself every day for the month of February.  Some days, I sit in the sun and enjoy a latte and a cookie for 15 minutes while other days I go "big" with a manicure.  This noble experiment has pushed me to ask for help for those who love me and .....wait for it....... occasionally say no.  It is February 24 and my sweater is currently right side out and my nails are red. So far, so good...

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

If you can't be with the one you love honey-- Love the one you're with

I spent last weekend flying to Washington DC to check in with our Sweet Dog Son.  Despite the many communication technologies available to me, there is no substitute for seeing my son Jimmy, waiting at the airport wearing in his suit and tie.  His joy did seemed short lived when I got out at the wrong subway stop and lost my ticket.  I always carry his birth certificate with me so he can not deny that I am his mother.

After a too short visit, I sat in the darken plane, feeling sad about leaving.  I was quickly reminded, via text message, that the West coast part of my family was waiting to see me and celebrate Valentine's Day.  Except for a card for Sweet Leo, I have to admit that I was behind in the preparations for the day.  Therefore, I am declaring the month of February:
"Love the one you're with" Month
In celebration I am sharing a few Etsy Finds that you can give your loving Sweet Dog(s) this month and all year long.

 A fantastic Red Baron Hat from Beantown Handmade.

Doxie Sweet Cherry Dot Decorative Rectangular Dachshund Pillow from the mother and daughter team at Persnickety Pelican.

The amazing Sweetheart Dog Sweater from the Kitty Bitty.

Beautiful Copper Pet ID tag from Dawg Town.

Hemp Flora Print leash from Aroo Studios

I love these note cards from Studio Flower Power.  They are made with real flowers!

Ilickyou makes this very cute "Lover" Dog hat for your sweet dog valentine.

A custom valentine's day card (others cards available)  showing off your Sweet Dog from Pet Printables.
Geralyn's wonderful leather Love Dog Collar.

Best wishes to you and your sweet dogs,

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day to all the Sweet Dogs

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What did you say!

Cartoon by Gary Larson

Thanks to all our readers who entered our "How many words does your dog know" contest.  Your warm responses kept a smile on my face all week.  It seems that we all love our dogs whether they understand us or not.

Shannon and her two dogs Prowler and Daisy (above) were randomly selected to receive a box of our Petite Pups. They seem to be waiting in the yard for the mail carrier. After reading all the wonderful comments, I put together a nonscientific survey of the words and habits of your dogs understand (or do not understand).

As a homage to all the dog trainers, 87% of the Sweet Dog owners mentioned that their dog knows how to SIT.  The exceptions were Fia, an eight week old German Shepherd puppy (who probably still smells like milk and likes to be held) and Carly's six month old Shepard/Pit Bull puppy who only understand NO and OUT.  Carly, I feel your pain.

Apparently, several of our Sweet Dogs are afflicted with the same disease, selective hearing.  Kellie's Kitchen wrote:
                 "We have two dogs, one is a husky mix who looks like a dingo. She probably understands words like sit, puppy park, down, come, stay, drop, etc. but has very selective hearing so the only one I can be 100% sure about is puppy park".

Kellie, I hear you.  Last week, our black lab, Layla, was due for a visit to the vet.  During the exam, I asked the vet if Layla's ear infection was interfering with her ability to hear...I think the vet is still laughing.

A few of our sweet dogs hide when they hear the word BATH, one hunts BIRDS off of the Christmas tree while another knows the word SUPERMAN.  I especially relate to the family who has to spell the word BEACH to get out of the house.  What can I say, we have to love these dogs.

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