How To Trim Dog Nails That Are Overgrown

Sharing your home with pets means lots of paws around, and lots of paws mean lots of claws. Lots of claws mean that you have to make sure they get trimmed. No worries! Not only are we going to teach you how to trim dog nails that are overgrown, but also how to turn each session into quality time for both of you.

First, though: Do dogs have claws or nails? Technically they’re claws because they’re curved hooks instead of flattened shields, but either term is acceptable. They’re made mostly of keratin, the same protein in hooves, horns, and hair. Because claws play a role in mobility, traction, and speed, providing foot care can prevent permanent damage to your pooch’s hips, spine, and general well-being.
Let’s take a look at handling overgrown dog nails.

Learn to trim your own dog’s nails


Learning to do it yourself will strengthen the canine/human bond of trust. Nobody on Earth knows your pet as well as you. Your dog will appreciate your growing skill as you learn together at your own pace. Best of all, you’ll feel pride instead of guilt when you interact with your buddy.

Establishing Leadership Through a Nail Trim

Beginning training early helps build your relationship with each other. As you establish yourself as the top dog looking out for the pack, you lead the way by letting your dog know when to stand, sit, or lie down during the procedure. Through your guidance, your pooch learns to stay still while you complete each paw.

Understand the Psychology of Your Dog

In the wild, canines have been predators hunting in packs for a long time. They were successful because of their intelligence, endurance, and teamwork. To survive, they supplemented their raw meat diet with fruits, vegetables, and grasses. “Raw meat” meant organs, stomach contents, whole eggs, and raw bones. They ate the small bones, gnawing on the large bones to clean their teeth. Exercise and play kept them healthy.

Partnering with humans didn’t change their need for physical and mental stimulation, but it brought mutual benefits to each species. Since you expect them to learn your language, you need to learn basic canine communication as well. Canines offered their guarding and hunting skills as well as companionship. Humans offered shelter, food, companionship, and care. Including nail trimming!

Long, Overgrown Nails Create Discomfort and Limitations

Overgrown animal claws are not the same as overgrown human nails. We don’t walk on our fingers and toes. Long dog nails force the toes to bend sideways and the entire foot to lean in abnormal directions. Over time this affects muscle attachments and even bone growth. If you’ve ever injured your foot, remember how your hips and back felt “off” — your entire body alignment warped.

That in turn altered your ability to move. Did you discover that pain resulted in depression, frustration, and even isolation? Disability to animals in the wild often means starvation or violent death. When you learn how to trim dog nails that are overgrown you prevent triggering all those feelings.

The Timing of the Trim: A Key to Success

There are two times to trim: one is when the nails begin to need it. Nails need trimming if they nearly touch the ground when your dog is in a standing position. Although a common trimming schedule cycles every 3-5 weeks, both of you might feel more comfortable if you nip off only the tips more often. Not only will weekly nail care help your pet get used to the routine, but it will also trigger the quick to recede.

The other time to trim long nails is when you’re both feeling comfortable, calm, unhurried, and unstressed. Grabbing your dog in the middle of zoomies is not good timing! A better opportunity is when he’s tired after zoomies or a long walk. You’ll be able to concentrate best in a quiet environment without interruptions. Humans and animals experience normal variations in their moods and energy cycles, so sync yours with your pet’s.

Finally, keep in mind The Teachable Moment when any sentient being is best able to learn.

Handle Your Dog’s Paws Frequently

From the first day you bring your pup home, start getting her accustomed to having her paws, toes, and nails handled. While you’re at it, include her ears and teeth in the process. Do it casually and frequently. Make it a positive moment by linking the action with other pleasant actions such as a feel-good brushing or a good tummy rub. Offering small nutritious treats not only distracts her but rewards her. Frequent handling in the presence of nearby grooming tools teaches your pet that touching doesn’t always mean trimming.

If your dog’s nails have grown long, don’t avoid touching them. Gentle handling lets your pet know that you’re aware of the discomfort and intend to deal with it.

Conditioning Works!

Why do so many pets immediately go on full alert when they hear the sound of cellophane or plastic crackling? Because they’re conditioned to expect food after you unwrap it! Repeated events create expectations. Here you go:

1. Start by hiding the nail trimmers and treats out of sight. Then take out the clippers and immediately follow with a treat. Repeat. Frequent repetitions instruct your dog to associate trimmers with treats.

2. The next step, depending on your fur buddy’s comfort level, is to present the clippers, gently take hold of one paw, and then give a treat. Your dog will link the clippers and “handholding” with treats. Continue to practice this exercise until your dog welcomes it. If your dog pulls away, you can lay your fingers on the paw instead and work up to grasping it.

3. At some point, you want to introduce the sound of trimming. Dogs have sensitive ears so this is a major step. Some experts suggest letting your pet see and hear you trim a piece of uncooked pasta. The sound of clipping a dry spaghetti noodle will signal your dog that a treat follows!

4. When your pet is ready to advance to the next level, begin touching the trimmer to one nail for a moment. As you did with the other steps, repeat in short sessions daily.

5. As you might guess, the next step in the process means touching more than one toe before giving the treat.

6. Now you’re in the home stretch! As before, continue slowly with baby steps. Trim the tip of one nail and reward your pooch with a treat as well as lots of praise and affection. Let her know what a great pup she is!

7. This training method works for grinding-type nail trimmers as well. Slowly proceed step-by-step. Be mindful of long hair on the paws and around the toes so it won’t get pulled into the rotary motion of the grinder.

Sensitive Paws Require Sensitive Handling

Most American nurses are familiar with the phrase “pain is whatever the patient says it is.” The same goes for your pets. If they show signs of experiencing discomfort, you need to believe them and respect that. Your role in your partnership with your canine companion is to build trust early. Before anything ever happens, your pet knows in advance that you’ll always be gentle no matter what.

How to Avoid the Quick!

It’s easy to see the quick in light-colored nails: the pink pulp is clearly visible. You can still see the quick in dark nails but in a different way. Look on the underside for a gray oval with the black keratin hook over it. The gray oval indicates the quick. Do not cut into it! Trim a couple of millimeters above it — a millimeter is a bit less than the thickness of a dime. If your dog suddenly shows nervousness or sensitivity, it might mean that you’re close to the quick. (It also might mean that you’re squeezing his paw too hard.)

Trimming the Trimming Sessions

Pooches may prefer trimming sessions most while lying on their sides, sitting, or standing. Explore a variety of positions to discover which are easiest for you and most comfortable for your dog. Short sessions lasting only a couple of minutes prove to your pet that treatments are fast. Fitting in a couple of daily sessions will quickly make a noticeable difference in your pet’s attitude once they’re convinced of how easy and painless it is to get treats.

Your furbaby’s comfort and health are more important than productivity! Nail trims are not like employment at a high-output factory! It’s perfectly acceptable to do one nail a day if that’s what works.

ANGLE of the Trim

Does the angle to cut dog’s nails matter? Does your haircut matter? It grows out depending on how it’s cut. A 45-degree angle is best, the same as a right angle like the corner in a square. A sharp angle puts the nail at risk to break off while a blunt angle exposes the quick to damage from coarse surfaces.

Create a Calming Atmosphere

These suggestions will make a difference:

  • A welcoming environment: A safe haven without interruptions, loud noises, disruptive housemates, nervous friends, etc. — you get the idea. Ensure gentle lighting so you can see what you’re doing without putting your dog in the glaring spotlight.
  • Your mellowest vibes: Your pet senses your feelings. If either of you feels unsure about nail trimming, just attend to a few nails each session.
  • Music: Studies indicate that music affects dogs.  Certain classical music calms anxiety in many dogs. Since each pooch is an individual, experiment with changing the playlist to see what your pet prefers.
  • Massage: A pre-trim or post-trim massage will make you both feel good.

Tools Needed for Trimming

Gather your supplies in advance:

  • Clippers: Quality stainless steel clippers won’t quickly dent, chip, rust, or grow dull. You may prefer the scissors type, often easier with wiggly puppies, or the guillotine type. Choose the size appropriate for your dog’s nails. Refurbish or replace them as needed so dull blades won’t crush or tear the nails.
  • Grinder: Because of the sandpaper-like surface on a rotating cylinder, some people call these “Dremels” even though many good brands exist. Most are battery-powered rather than electric. They’re gentle and easy to control, but most pets need to get used to the sensation of vibration as well as the dental drill sound. The heads or head covers are usually replaceable although many newer models are made with diamond chips. Because the heads heat up, they may stop accidental bleeding by cauterizing the quick. Try a grinder on yourself to become familiar with the experience. You can also use emery boards or metal files for small jobs.
  • Scratchboard: Many dogs love to dig, so you can take advantage of this natural behavior by buying or making a scratchboard. Your dog can learn to use it like an emery board. If you decide to make your own, choose a non-toxic eco-friendly glue that won’t harm the environment.
  • Anti-slip surface: To reduce your pooch’s anxiety, always work on a carpet or firm floor-gripping mat. You can also do trimming outside on dry concrete.
  • Styptic pencil or powder: In case bleeding occurs, using styptic powder or cornstarch will quickly control it. Alternatively, dab the injured claw on a bar of soap.
  • Paper towels: Why? If you have a dog, you know that a few paper towels always come in handy.
  • Treats: Small, dry, natural, nutritious treats are best. Many dogs will enjoy bits of their usual food.
  • A buddy: Another familiar (and calm) human or canine lends emotional support while you concentrate on the task itself.

Only Reward Good Behavior

Be selective with food rewards because that’s how you highlight desired behaviors. You love your pooch 24/7 but you only want to promote specific changes in what he does. Many trainers recommend substituting ignoring your dog immediately following an unwanted behavior. Our pets want to belong in our pack so they crave your approval. Punishment only disrupts the bond of trust that you’re working to maintain.

Pre-Plan for Traumatized or Anxious Dogs

Shaping redirects and reinforces desired behaviors, helping a pet relearn how to feel safe. You can use the same principles to ease a pet’s anxiety. Traumatized individuals have survived painful experiences but avoid situations triggering the fear of repeated pain.

The principles we’re showing you all apply to traumatized or anxious dogs: establishing trust, ensuring a calm environment, and proceeding slowly in short sessions to help your furbaby realize that the present is not the past. Understanding canine feelings will give you the patience to go at their pace.

Nutrition for a Calm Mind

You know that what we eat and drink affects our minds. Think of coffee … sweets for kids … white turkey meat … chocolate … herbal teas … alcohol. The list goes on and on. Dogs are the same. What you feed your pet affects training results. Scientific research increasingly demonstrates the positive effects of a varied, fresh, nutrient-dense unprocessed diet on mental functioning as well as mood. In fact, certain foods help lessen anxiety and promote calmness. Rather than simply doling out chunks of raw turkey, check out our Happy Tails post on the The Raw Food Diet ~ Essential For Sustainable Health and Well-Being  . Adopting daily healthful nutritional practices will improve learning ability because your dog feels more self-confident about adapting to change.

Another diet-related step to ease your furbaby’s pent-up energy is to ensure opportunities to chew. Chewing is a natural activity for canines in the wild that not only exercises jaw muscles but also relieves stress and delivers pleasure. Our Happy Tails post on raw bones explains more.

Make Trimming a Bonding Time

Think back on challenging times you’ve shared with a special friend or family member. The way you connected during the stressful events brought you closer together because it reinforced your trust. Instead of thinking of nail trimming as a chore, consider it an opportunity to work together with your pet.

It’s a special shared time unique to you both working as a team. By creating an environment with mutual comfort in mind, you make nail trimming something to look forward to. You include conversation, physical affection, and rewards such as treats or play activities, so you always end on a positive note.


▢ Every dog wants and needs pain-free foot care, especially from you because you’re special.
▢ The timing of the trim is one of the keys to success. Take advantage of the Teachable Moments. Trim when your pooch is tired. Keep sessions short.
▢ Sharing a regular routine builds trust. Dogs like to know what to expect, so regular nail trims reinforce your bond.
▢ Prepare in advance.
▢ Make it fun.
▢ Stop if you’re feeling frustrated.
▢ Breathe.
▢ Hug your dog at the end.
▢ You’ve got this!

See Our Post On Clipping Cat Nails


Conditioning: A process in psychology for teaching an association between a particular signal and a certain behavior
Keratin: The protein composing hair, claws, nails, hooves, and horns
Linking: A memory process in psychology connecting memories
Quick: The blood vessels and nerves inside animal claws
Sentient: Consciously aware of oneself and one’s surroundings, able to comprehend actions and consequences
Shaping: The process in psychology of changing behaviors by reinforcing certain stimuli and decreasing others
Styptic: A powder or stick often made with alum, an aluminum salt that constricts the surface blood vessels of small wounds and halts bleeding
The Teachable Moment: An absence of stress allowing a person or animal to be most receptive to new learning because of a heightened ability to concentrate, comprehend, and create new memory pathways

The Raw Food Diet ~ Essential For Sustainable Health and Well-Being  

Table of Contents

What Is a Raw Food Diet?
Not a Trend but True Nutrition
BARF and Dr. Billinghurst
BARF Is Species-Specific
Dispelling Myths of Raw Food
Why Kibble Isn’t Food
The Role of Living Enzymes Found in Raw Food
Why Raw Bones Are Necessary
Types of Raw Bones
Any Age Is the Right Age
How Raw Nutrients Affect the Mind
Well-Being, Behavior, and Training
How To Transition from Kibble to Raw
Cleansing Effect of Raw Food
Signs of Wellness Unfolding
How to Start

What Is a Raw Food Diet?

One of the things that make animal families different from one other is diet. Each family has unique nutritional needs based on available foods in the natural environment. Tens of millions of years ago, the cat family specialized in climbing, pouncing, and grabbing. On the other hand, the canid family adapted to the drying climate by chasing prey running on the plains. As a result, dogs’ ancestors evolved sensitive noses, strong legs built for speed, and stamina to hunt for hours on end.

Their digestive systems were able to make use of all parts of prey: not only muscles and bones, but also organs such as the liver and brain, and stomach with contents. For added moisture and nourishment, these predators also consumed seasonal fruits, grasses, nuts, and other plant material.

This varied diet was fresh, raw, and nutrient-dense.

Not a Trend but True Nutrition

As a species, we enjoy cultural fads: trying new things and enjoying the prestige of flaunting the latest cultural whims. However, the raw food diet is no trend — it’s been around since life began. Cooking is a recent behavior practiced only by human-type critters. Heat does make certain foods easier to chew and absorb, but that only matters to animals lacking the ability to digest large fibrous chunks.

Canines need raw food to keep their teeth clean and their jaw muscles strong. Gnawing is an instinctual activity providing stress relief and recreational pleasure. Manufactured pet foods are highly processed. Although they contain added nutrients, many are incomplete, altered by heating, and produced by whatever method is cheapest and fastest.

BARF and Dr. Billinghurst

An increasing number of pet nutritionists are supporting the idea of the BARF diet. The word “diet” in common use refers to a temporary change in one’s eating habits, especially to lose weight. The true definition describes one’s usual nutritional intake. BARF is an abbreviation for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

Australian veterinarian Dr. Ian Billinghurst, founder of the BARF diet, believes in health benefits from nature: clean air, clean water, sunshine, live plants, and raw, uncontaminated foods. The right diet for pets and humans alike, he contends, is not about maintaining their existence at the lowest mass-production cost, but about promoting maximum health, energy, and mental functioning.


Click Here for Dr. Billiinghurst’s Book

BARF Is Species-Specific

Since no single pet food meets all pets’ needs, the BARF diet is adjusted to provide the appropriate nourishment for each species according to age, health condition, weight, and activity level.

For example, kittens have developing immune systems along with rapid growth, so they require a diet that’s different from that of a nursing mother, a feral adult cat in the wild, and an aging cat with diabetes. Similarly, while horses and cattle are both foragers, they don’t digest fiber the same way. The equine system has only a single-chambered stomach requiring very specific plant types. Cattle are ruminants that chew cud and ferment fiber in their four-chambered stomachs. Providing only cattle feed to horses can be fatal.

Some meat-eating animals are obligate carnivores, meaning that they are obligated to consume animal products because their bodies can’t manufacture particular nutrients. Taurine, an essential amino acid found only in proteins from animal sources, legally must be added to processed cat food. Cats are unable to store taurine so it needs to be eaten regularly. A raw cat food diet provides taurine from organ meats in its freshest form.

Dogs are considered facultative carnivores: they prefer a variety of meats for most of their dietary intake, but their digestive systems have additional enzymes to break down carbohydrates to extract necessary ingredients. Omnivores are opportunistic, eating whatever is available. Facultative carnivores prefer meat but incorporate other types of edibles.

As you can see, there is no single BARF formula, but several raw pet food variations to meet the needs of each beloved critter.

Dispelling Myths of Raw Food

Some people fear using raw pet food, wrongly believing it to be dangerous. One myth is the presence of salmonella and other biological contaminants. Nutritious food isn’t dangerous unless improperly handled by humans. Foodborne illnesses are prevented by awareness of the environments promoting the growth of microorganisms. BARF principles, when carried out correctly and consistently, mandate the use of clean, fresh foods from reliable sources.

Another phobia relates to bones. While cooked bones are extremely dangerous because they’re dry and splinter like wood, in the wild raw bones are essential for health. Powerful molars slice soft bones into small, easily digestible pieces, providing iron-rich marrow, fats, collagen and other proteins, and several minerals. Larger bones are essential for dental health because gnawing removes tartar and strengthens the tooth roots anchored in the jaw.

Humans often start out with good intentions but become lax in their food-handling practices. Too often raw food itself is blamed for causing problems. Sadly the same situation occurs with “unmanageable” dogs left at the dog pound when the cause is human failure to provide training.

Why Kibble Isn’t Food

Kibble (a trendy word for animal chow) is usually a uniform, heated, dried food mixture of cheap ingredients formed into bite-sized nuggets. Kibble is designed for the convenience of manufacturers and pet owners wanting to store non-perishable feed. The issue is that most kibbles are highly processed, resulting in the loss of many nutrients.


Not only does heating break down many vitamins and proteins, but the addition of carbohydrate fillers such as corn meal overloads the kibble with extra calories. Preservatives, artificial flavors, and colorings appeal more to the purchasers than the pets.

Although processed food temporarily satisfies an animal’s hunger, it isn’t nutrient-dense enough to last long. BARF-type diets pack more punch per pound because they’re what nature intended, so they’re easily absorbed. Your pet not only feels more satisfied but poops less.

The Role of Living Enzymes Found in Raw Food

benefits of raw food diets for cats

Although human and canine bodies manufacture most necessary enzymes, consuming raw fruits and vegetables provides a healthful enzyme boost. What’s more, fresh, raw organ meats from reliable disease-free sources offer many other benefits. BARF raw dog food and cat food contain approximately 10-15% organ meat, half of that liver.

Dogs and even cats can also benefit from small quantities of fermented food such as plain kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut.

Why Raw Bones Are Necessary

Raw bones are a natural part of carnivorous and omnivorous diets. They’re not only the highest-ranking sources of minerals, but they also contain several different proteins. Did you know that archaeologists have evidence of early humans grinding the entire carcasses of birds and other small animals as part of their food preparation?

Check out our Happy Tails article on why your dog needs raw chicken bones. Since raw bones are soft, they’re flexible and not likely to splinter the way brittle cooked bones will. They help satisfy the natural predatory urge to chew, calming the spirit at the same time.

Speaking of calming the spirit, providing a large raw bone for short-term supervised chewing may result in the bone suddenly disappearing. That’s a good thing because dogs are driven to save carcass parts from scavengers by burying them, anticipating the pleasure of digging up the hidden treasure later.

The scientific explanation behind the calming effect of raw bones is that the act of chewing appears to suppress the production of certain stress hormones, stimulates the production of certain endorphins, and improves some cognitive functions. In humans, chewing gum during prenatal stress may even reduce the likelihood of learning disabilities in the offspring.

Types of Raw Bones

Opinions vary on bones, but the main consideration is safety. Always offer a meaty bone for a short amount of time in your presence to watch for dental problems or choking. Prevent other pets, especially other dogs, from being around. Offer beef tails or small bones such as poultry or rabbit necks initially, preferably after your dog has eaten so the bone won’t be impulsively gulped down. Since too much bone in the diet can cause constipation or intestinal blockage, give raw bones occasionally at first and always monitor stools.

Use the freshest bones available, preferably from a local butcher rather than a chain grocery store. The most nutritious bones still have meat, gristle, membranes, fat, and marrow. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze whatever is left to minimize bacterial growth.

Since the process of weight-bearing — standing and moving — increases bone density, the leg bones of large grazing animals such as cattle or bison are ideal for hours of pleasurable gnawing. Hollow marrow cavities can be stuffed with unsweetened peanut butter or moist dog food for added enjoyment.

Healthful replacements for chemical-laden rawhide, a variety of raw bones are good for your dog.

Any Age Is the Right Age

Here are two basic principles of good health: one is that beneficial practices can be started at any age. The other is that changes of any kind are often most effective when started gradually. Switching to a BARF-type diet is no exception.   Studies show that all pets can show improvement with a fresh, natural, balanced diet, but if digestive issues are significant, more time may be needed to adjust to the changes.

How Raw Nutrients Affect the Mind

It’s not surprising that many nutrition experts celebrate “raw food for a better mood.” We all feel better when we’re healthy. Daily well-balanced nutrition not only supports the brain but also the circulatory system that keeps the brain oxygenated. All the systems work together. The brain itself needs plenty of fresh, clean water as well as omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish (especially salmon and sardines), seaweed and algae, and Brussels sprouts.

Well-Being, Behavior, and Training

Well-known studies document that children do better in school when they start the day with a nutrient-dense breakfast. In addition to fueling the brain, daily nutrition promotes a feeling of safety and security, decreasing fear, and increasing self-confidence. Can there be an easier way to cultivate your pets’ calmness and receptivity to new learning? Being awake and alert creates more teachable moments for effective training.

How To Transition from Kibble to Raw

Wait for a time when your household is generally peaceful and there are no major events or distractions for you or your pet.  Some people opt for a quick switch after their dog or cat goes on a 24-hour fast. Others omit the fast and extend the transition to a week or two, substituting small portions of raw food for kibble. Many pets respond eagerly to bites of BARF-style food as rewards or treats.  Poultry and rabbit can be more digestible than other meats and may be a good place to start.

As the transition progresses, your pet may seem hungrier than usual because kibble expands inside the stomach. It takes less raw food to provide nutrition because it is nutrient-dense. Your pet will eventually adjust as well-being increases. Digestive upsets aren’t unusual, so don’t be alarmed if you observe some nausea, gas, and/or loose stools. The “good bacteria” in the intestines require a little time to adjust to the new foods.

Cleansing Effect of Raw Food

In the beginning, when switching to a raw food diet the nutrients are highly absorbed by the body and will begin cleansing and clearing out what does not belong there.  It’s quite amazing how the correct food will automatically begin to heal the body.  It can throw off toxins, chemicals, pathogens, heavy metals and other things never designed for the body.  There can be a temporary cleansing response of diarrhea and or vomiting.

This is NOT the food itself but the healing quality of integrating a raw food diet.  This period can last for a week or two and even be off and on.  This is very important to understand.  The gut flora is also rebalancing itself due to the introduction of living enzymes within the raw food.

Because raw food lacks fillers and is pure nutrition, you’ll notice bowel movements being much smaller this is normal.  Another added benefit is that the poop is much less odiferous!

Signs of Wellness Unfolding

can cats eat chicken bones

Over the next weeks, more health benefits will become apparent. A stronger immune system means fewer ear infections, cleaner teeth, better breath, more supple skin with few flakes, a shinier coat that smells naturally fresh, gradual weight loss, a more relaxed gait, bouncier energy, and a happier mood. All that.

How to Start

To learn more about how the world will change for you and your dog or cat, look at Dr. Billinghurst’s book, The BARF Diet: Restoring Animal Wellness Using Evolutionary Principles — Raw Feeding for Dogs & Cats. The first chapters provide scientific backup for the principles of the BARF diet, also discussing many of the health benefits in detail.

The second part of the book explains the meaning of the concept of “complete and balanced” feeding. Not only does it address fears often attached to raw foods, but it provides directions on switching from kibble and several recipes to try.

Although Dr. Billinghurst has written several books throughout his career, this one is the primer and go-to source for learning about the Biologically Appropriate Raw Diet.

To get started on a raw food diet immediately either in the form of frozen raw patties or chubs or freeze-dried look at these BARF principled pre-made raw food.

CheckList For Adopting A Dog Or Just Having A Dog!

If you’re adopting a new puppy or adult dog, you’re excited about all the possibilities this new relationship offers! To make it easier, we’ve got a checklist for adopting a dog below that you don’t want to miss. Anyone who loves animals can’t help but be thoroughly enamored with the idea of a new best friend for themselves, their family, or their children. Why not? Dogs give us only what DOGS can . . . . un~conditionality. “Un-Con-dition-Ality” is a real word referring to being without conditions, limitations, or requirements.

No wonder we love our animals SOOOOO much! They LOVE us without conditions and accept us fully just as we are without requiring us to change.

Not only as animal lovers but also as animal experts in the field of holistic ideas and methods, we at Happy Tails want to set you up for success straight from the gate. Even when you have all kinds of supplies ranging from trendy dog foods to bowls, brushes, leashes, ergonomic beds, and toys, your relationship won’t be made in heaven unless you have communication skills  –in dog language.

The goal of this post is to head you in the direction of heaven from the start by building a foundation of trust and understanding with your new canine companion. We’ll give you a checklist for adopting a dog: not only necessary supplies but also a checklist of the intangibles required for a sustainable, healthy relationship. Dogs will be much less likely to suffer from dis-ease of the mind and body when they know what is expected of them through clear communication and when they know they can count on consistency from their pack leader — YOU.

Before You Get a Dog: Check Out this Checklist

guide to adopting a dog

Would you buy a car just because it was cute? Like a cute little Ford Pinto? Researching in advance is important, especially when such an investment is going to change your entire life. Individual dogs vary as much as humans so you need to do some matchmaking to ensure that your choice of pooch fits your lifestyle.  And equally important do YOU fit your new best friends lifestyle? Consider these points:

Does your home have space? A fenced yard?
Do you own many fragile or expensive belongings? Many houseplants?
What is your cleaning style — more like a campsite or a spotless laboratory?
Who owns your home?
What will you do with a dog if you move?
How many hours are you at home?
How many humans live with you?
How many animals live with you?
How active are you?
Have you had dogs before? Puppies? Older dogs? Pets with disabilities?
How do you feel about neutering and spaying?
Where will you get your dog?
Are you aware of the issues with pet stores, puppy mills, and backyard breeders?
Do you have a holistic veterinarian in mind?
What breeds interest you most and why?

Understanding What Dogs Need

Years ago a psychologist named Dr. Abraham Maslow created a pyramid chart described as the Hierarchy of Needs. Here’s an adaptation of how it generally works for canines as well as people:

  • Biological: At the bottom of the pyramid is the foundation consisting of basic physiological needs such as air, water, nutrition, sleep, and shelter.
  • Safety: Next comes personal security, health, resources, trust, benevolent leadership, and a home territory.
  • Belonging: Family, tribe, pack, friends, sense of connection, bonding, play, love.
  • Esteem: Status, recognition, strength, freedom to make choices without punishment.
  • Learning: Ability to explore, problem-solve, experience novelty, and acquire new skills in an encouraging environment.

We humans have social needs that include acceptance, trustworthy relationships, and fun. We also need to love and be loved. One of the biggest reasons that canines and humans have bonded for thousands of years is that we meet many of each other’s needs.

Dog Psychology 101, 102, 103, and More

The wolflike ancestors of dogs were mostly carnivorous, working in packs to hunt and kill their prey. Each pack member had a role so they depended on each other to do their part for the good of the group. Being predators, they marked and defended a specific territory and protected each other. All their senses were well-developed, but their abilities to smell and hear were the sharpest.

Having a predatory lifestyle, they developed curious, active, alert minds that thrived on problem-solving as well as teamwork. For tens of thousands of years, their survival depended on their genetics as well as how they raised their young. As the last Ice Age was ending, canines and humans partnered up, each group undergoing changes to adapt to each other.

Domesticated dogs are not the same as their ancestors but they retain some of the characteristics. You love having a fur pal, but he or she can’t be your Mini-Me.

Crates: Are They Really Necessary?

benefits of crate trainingCrates demonstrate how a basic canine instinct is often misunderstood by humans. Canines have always sought safety in dens and hidey-holes. Not only did dens offer protection from threatening weather and marauding invaders, but also provided safe, comfy nests to rest, heal, and raise pups.

To make the crate into the shelter it’s meant to be, never use it for punishment. Put pillows and soft rugs inside and drape a blanket over part of it so your pet can hide from prying eyes.

Locate the crate in a quiet spot away from hustle and bustle but where your pooch can observe what’s going on. You want your fur baby to feel included in the pack without feeling vulnerable. Treats and toys in the crate will promote relaxation as well as a sense of ownership.

Consider the Compatibility of Your Pets

Dogs are domesticated predators. Some dogs have a stronger prey drive than others. Prevent setting your pets up for tragedy by establishing a peaceful household without conflict or competition. Each pet needs a personal refuge and ample space. If there is ANY question about the POSSIBILITY of aggressive behavior, TAKE NO RISKS. Interspecies friendships will evolve with time and patience, but don’t try to force alliances if any pet is exhibiting discomfort.

Dog And Puppy Training Starts Early

Different training techniques abound but experts agree on the necessity of discipline and control for safety. Regardless of your fur buddy’s age, find a natural training method that emphasizes rewarding positive behaviors. You want simple, practical tips that you can start using right away. Although classes are good for socialization and building consistency in a training routine, you still need to be involved in daily home training. This reinforces the lessons as well as strengthens the bond between you and your pooch.

Even though a hired trainer can help initially with a certain aspect of training — YOU are the one with the relationship with your dog.  A trainer can help train You to have a relationship with your canine because in the end, once the trainer is gone you are still left with maintaining the relationship.

Examples of skills your pup needs as soon as possible:

  • Coming when called
  • Obeying directions to sit, staying down instead of jumping, and behaving calmly instead of losing control
  • Wearing a collar and/or harness
  • Responding to the leash
  • Allowing handling of toes, mouth, and ears
  • Allowing nails to be trimmed
  • Allowing gentle handling by professional staff

Skills YOU need as soon as possible:

  • Understanding that punishment, yelling, striking, and anger are inappropriate
  • Understanding that you can’t demonstrate impatience when an animal does what’s natural for its species
  • Understanding that young canines are active, playful, loud, and want to play with YOU
  • Understanding that dog walks are for dogs to sniff, explore, and leave their calling cards and required to ‘move’ energy through their body reducing anxiousness and a busy mind
  • Understanding that you’re teaching them manners but NEVER that their abundance of joyful energy is bad
  • Understanding that training is a lifelong relationship process, not a short-term chore

Adequate Space and Designated Areas

All creatures need space. They also need to be shown what’s off-limits, whether indoors or out. Some breeds and breed mixes need more room than others. Your job is to provide clear instructions on indoor and outdoor toileting areas. Space is also needed for exercise and games. Canines can’t exercise the way humans can on a floor mat or while standing in one place, but they do need to flex and move their bones, joints, and muscles daily. They need cardiovascular exercise, too, for maintaining their hearts and lungs in good working condition.

Have you ever heard of a “catio” for cats — a cat patio? Providing an indoor garden area or outdoor catio designed just for cats keeps them safe, healthy, and satisfied. Read more in our Happy Tails catio article to consider how you can adapt these ideas for your dog. You’ve heard of “hog heaven” — you can construct a “dog heaven.”

Plan Ahead For Proper Nutrition

Food is not just food. It’s survival because it supports health and helps prevent medical problems. To do that, it has to be the right kind of food adjusted to the age, lifestyle, weight, and condition of the individual consuming the food. The ideal food is fresh, clean, natural, minimally processed, and free of dyes, preservatives, low-nutrient fillers, and artificial additives.

A variety of nutrient-dense foods provides extra micronutrients as well as stimulation for the senses of smell and taste. What’s more, the foundation for physical, mental, and emotional health is based on good nutrition.

You remember the Boy Scouts’ saying “Be Prepared.” Having a good supply of quality foods available will prevent emergency runs to grab a bag of cheap, dry, overcooked kibble.

Fresh Nutrient-Dense Food Is Vital

raw food for dogs

Yes, keeping fresh food on hand all the time can become inconvenient. After all, what’s it going to hurt to give the dog the cheap stuff once or twice? It hurts. Dogs live short lives. As your pet’s “person”  its up to you provide a natural wholesome diet for them, similar to their preferred foods in the wild. Canines, unlike cats, are not just carnivores: they’re omnivores.

They eat raw bones, organ meats, eggs, the stomach contents of their prey, grasses, insects, vegetables, fruits, feces, fungus, and more. Before you say “Eewwww,” remember that we consume cheese, crab and lobster (related to insects), and fermented concoctions such as sauerkraut and wine. Living the domesticated life is easier in some ways, but if humans deprive dogs of their needs, it’s neglect.

The B.A.R.F.-type diet — Biologically Appropriate Raw Food — is becoming increasingly popular as researchers and dog lovers are discovering that natural foods make dogs healthier and happier.

In a perfect world, most of our dogs’ food would be fresh and raw, the way their digestive systems evolved to absorb the most nutrition. Small raw bones are soft and flexible, rich in proteins and fats, and easy to eat. Dense raw bones too large to swallow are ideal for chewing — in addition to preventing tartar and gum disease, they provide recreation by satisfying basic instinctive urges. Cooked bones, on the other hand, are dangerous. The soft fats and other tissues melt away, leaving only a hard, dry material that readily splinters.

To learn more about canine nutrition, read our Happy Tails article on preparing chicken. We’ve got another one on the truth about raw chicken bones.

Why Kibble Is Not Dog Food

The Industrial Revolution brought many changes to society with mass production, but it also allowed for many fortunes to be made by taking unethical shortcuts. Cheaper materials meant spending less to gain bigger profits. The history of processed food is rife with shortcut practices that continue to hurt us today. Using meat by-products like chicken beaks and grain fillers like poor-quality cornmeal is legal.

The BARF principles described above provide the building blocks for natural immunity. In addition, the right nutrients in the right proportion significantly affect mind, mood, and intelligence: in other words, trainability. If you want to learn more about canine diet and digestion, we’ve got some recipes for you in our Happy Tails post on dog poop.

Last but not least: Water is the most vital nutrient of all. The brain is more than 70% water, so your pet requires plenty of clean, fresh water. You can’t see bacteria, but they’re multiplying in the water if you’re not changing it daily.

A Calm Mind Is A Receptive And Trainable Mind

We’ve advised consistent repetition to aid your pup’s learning, so we’re repeating key points for you, too. Good nutrition, clean water, and frequent exercise will give your dog a calm, trusting mindset making him receptive to communication and training.

Teachable Moments

Teachable moments are “a thing:” not just a trendy phrase, but a meaningful concept emerging in society. You’ve experienced teachable moments yourself! For example, think of a time when you fell in love. Being in love provided you with many teachable moments because you were motivated to learn everything about the topic as you anticipated good things ahead.

On the other hand, think of a time when you feared the outcome of a visit to the doctor’s office. Your brain churned with images of pain, disfigurement, disability, isolation, and death. You remember the doctor’s face looming in front of you but you remember very little of what was said. That office visit did NOT provide a good teachable moment.

And now you understand a basic principle of dog training. In the wild, animals learn by observing and experiencing. While you need to provide frequent training sessions to reinforce what you’re teaching, at the same time you need to make the sessions short, simple, and positive. Just as important, take advantage of those teachable moments.

How To Develop A Sense Of Intuition

Being around animals invites us to slow down, dive more deeply into our unspoken impressions, and become more receptive to body language and unseen senses. Mindfulness is a way of thinking that focuses on heightening awareness of individual sensory stimuli. Get in the habit of pausing to single out what you can sense in a few moments:

  • Smell: Close your eyes and sniff. What do you detect? Turn your nose in another direction.
  • Hearing: Close your eyes and listen. What do you hear?
  • Sight: How many color variations can you perceive? What tiny movements?
  • Touch: Close your eyes and locate the sources of variation in temperature, pressure, vibration, friction, and hardness. Can the soles of your feet detect musical beats?
  • Taste: Close your eyes and put different things in your mouth. Guess not only what you taste but also the texture. How can you tell what is and isn’t edible?
  • Your sixth sense: Do you ever hear an inner voice or experience a gut feeling? Cultivate it by practicing.
  • Sense humans aren’t conscious of: Magnetic fields, electrical fields, carbon dioxide in exhalations (that’s how mosquitoes find you).

Observe your dog’s behavior in response to the environment. Dogs can’t speak to you, but pack animals learn quickly to pay attention to each other’s body language.

Special Needs of Shelter Dogs and Stray Dogs

We’ve talked a lot about what is genetically programmed in canines, but what about their past experiences? Humans and animals learn from their upbringing and significant events.
For this reason, you need to cultivate patience, patience, patience! Assume a leadership role to help your pets feel secure. Some changes may not become apparent for days or weeks. Your dog not only doesn’t understand human behavior but is conditioned to unexpected results when taking initiative.

A popular meme circulating on social media explains the 3-3-3 Rule to follow when adopting a stray or shelter dog:

  • In the first three days: Your new pet will feel overwhelmed, may hide, may not eat or drink, and may cautiously test boundaries to figure out what is allowed.
  • After three weeks: Your new pet will start to settle in and grasp the routine, will begin to come out of his/her shell, and may start exhibiting some behavioral issues.
  • After three months: Your pet will finally feel part of the pack, take part in building a trust relationship with you, and experience a sense of security in the new home.

As Phil Collins wrote and the Supremes sang,
You can’t hurry love
No, you’ll just have to wait
Just trust in the good time
No matter how long it takes.

Adopted Dogs and Working with Trauma

If you have ever suffered a horrific time in your life that broke your spirit and shattered your trust, then you understand how trauma changes a sentient being. Post-traumatic stress disorder, abbreviated PTSD, can result from single events or ongoing situations causing emotional, psychological, and often physical damage. If you choose to adopt a pet who’s been a victim of trauma, you’ll want to reexamine your expectations.

Your job is to establish trust by providing safety, peace, and predictability. Your pet will set the pace. To offset the results of traumatically painful conditioning, you’ll be performing tasks gently and slowly to find a balance between helping your friend feel part of a protective pack while still being allowed solitude. You’ll learn as you go along but you can also reach out to resources such as canine specialists and online blogs. You and your dog will come to celebrate tiny but magnificent victories together.

Adopting Dogs with Disabilities

disabled dog adoption

Part of the beauty of dogs is that they tend to live in the moment. They respond to what is good in their immediate surroundings. When they have three perfectly good legs, they don’t mope about a fourth leg that isn’t there. When they’re unable to see, they make use of their hypersensitive noses and ears.

If you decide to adopt a dog with a disability, be prepared to adjust your lifestyle, but also be prepared for a marvelous new life-changing adventure. Remember earlier how we discussed developing your intuition? Adopting a dog with a disability will teach you how to see more of your world in a different way.

Adopting Old Dogs

All mammals experience a similar aging process although at different ages: changes that include loss of stamina and agility, loss of sensory sharpness, and dimming of emotional energy. Because it’s more difficult to physically move, older mammals need more sleep and are less likely to respond actively to various situations. Loving an older pet is like loving an older family member. Your expectations need to change according to their needs.

If they are “set in their ways,” they have good reasons. Older dogs are less likely to be adopted, but offer many advantages over puppies: most have had some training, most are willing to go along with whatever is asked of them, and most are quite content to be your pal with few demands. If you adopt an older dog, you won’t have a long time together, but that time is can be unforgettably wonderful. Consider talking to older people you know to better understand.

Special Breed Characteristics & Your Lifestyle

Today’s dogs are radically different from their wolflike ancestors because humans performed selective breeding to bring out certain tendencies. For example, Husky-type dogs in cold climates were bred to be vigorous to pull sleds long distances, hardy to endure harsh weather, intelligent to assist their humans, and cooperative with other dogs to work in teams. I

f you live in southern Arizona in an apartment with just your Husky, you likely won’t have a match made in heaven because your pet’s needs won’t be met no matter how much you love him or her. The lesson: Read breed histories. Dogs of mixed heritage may show mixed tendencies.

How To Play With Your Dog

What is play? For animals of all kinds and ages, play is necessary for a fulfilling life. Not only does it provide physical exercise, but it also offers opportunities to socialize, problem-solve, and practice skills. Because it’s meant to be fun, it reinforces pack bonds in a non-threatening, non-aggressive way.

You can use any kind of approved toy or game as long as it’s in a safe location (not in the street) and holds no choking risk or sharp pieces. By making yourself a source of fun, you inspire your pet to come when called. And remember how we discussed teachable moments? You should also be on the lookout for playable moments!

The Grand Finale: Checklist for Adopting a Do

guide to adopting a dog

Hopefully, you worked through the first checklist to find the most compatible match for your lifestyle. A mention about possessions: While canines in the wild aren’t known to collect possessions, domesticated animals seem to enjoy having personal belongings. It’s important to give your pets their own space and their own stuff. Check these off before your new friend comes home:
Home walk-throughs: Every time you walk through your home, observe for things that your dog might notice — anything chewable, electric, sharp, breakable, edible, dangerous, or easily accessible (trash bins, refrigerator doors that can be opened by paws or snouts, bird cages, houseplants, screened windows that athletic dogs can jump through).
Crate: The crate needs to be sturdy, spacious, and comfy, located where your friend can see what’s going on without being in the main flow of noise and traffic; partially cover it for privacy and place it near your sleeping area.
Collars, Harnesses, and Leashes: No chains or prongs, electricity, or dangerous retractable leashes; ensure a comfortable but snug fit.
Water and Food Bowls: Clean stainless steel with a wide base is probably the safest and most stable.
Protected Storage Spot: Use a watertight bin to keep food, medicine, and supplies free from insects, spiders, rodents, mold, other pets, children, etc.
Bed: A roomy, cozy, soft, nestley bed made of nontoxic materials will be much appreciated.
Weather-Appropriate Gear: Depending on the climate as well as the weight and furriness of your pooch, a waterproof jacket, winter coat, or pet-proof cooling fan may be needed.
Pee/Poo Pads: Washable or disposable protective pads, eco-friendly if possible, will aid in toilet training. You will initially need lots.
Nail Trimmers: Use clippers, quiet grinders, files, or any combination; introduce gently, give rewards, and don’t miss sessions.
Brushes: Brushing is one of the most enjoyable ways to bond with your buddy.
Dental Care Items: Use doggy toothbrushes and toothpaste, chew toys, good quality oral chews, and RAW bones.


  • Learn canine communication.
  • Be consistent to prevent confusion
  • Always focus on creating trust.
  • Never stop training.
  • Have fun!

A Happy Tail

The checklists we’ve given you in this post will help you and your fur buddy have a relationship made in heaven as you learn and grow together.  Another beneficial action you can take is talking to other dog lovers.  Network with people who have experience in canine nutrition, training, health conditions, and breed differences. Observe well-behaved dogs as well as those with disabilities to ask their humans about their care. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions like these:

  • What advice do you have for someone who’s never taken care of a puppy?
  • What makes vision-impaired dogs special?
  • How long do pitbulls and other breeds live? (Check out our Happy Tails post on pitbulls.)
  • Do mixed-breed dogs of unknown parentage make good pets?
  • How long do puppies act like puppies?

And anything else you can think of! Most dog lovers want to share their knowledge to help pets live happy, healthy lives.


Conditioning: The process of training an individual to become accustomed to a trigger causing a specific behavior; Example: Your pets are conditioned to the sound of food packages being opened.
Epigenetics: The phenomenon of parents’ and ancestors’ experiences altering whether certain genes are activated or suppressed and thereby affecting the offspring even though the inherited gene sequences remain the same; Example: Generations of fish in dark caves retain the genes for having eyes but the young are born without functional eyes.
Ergonomics: The science of design enabling people to use objects in the most comfortable and beneficial way; Example: Adaptable ergonomic chairs are essential for people working at desk jobs.
Intangible: Real but unable to be detected by the senses; abstract instead of concrete; Example: Wealth is tangible but respect is intangible.
Mammal: A class of animals with backbones characterized by bearing live young, nourishing them with milk, and having fur rather than scales or feathers.
Microchip: This tiny readable computer chip is injected into the loose skin between the shoulder blades where it can be “read” by veterinary offices and other sites to trace identifying information in case the pet is lost.
Omnivore: Critters who need a variety of animal and plant materials to meet their nutritional needs; Example: Humans are omnivores.
Prey drive: Natural urge for carnivores, even domesticated carnivores, to respond to scent, movement, or anything resembling prey they would kill and eat in the wild.
Sentient: Aware of oneself and one’s surroundings; able to experience personal emotions in response to the environment.


How Long Do Pitbulls Live: How To Enhance Your Pitbull’s Life

How long do Pitbulls live? It depends. An undisciplined, inbred animal left to run wild will have a short lifespan. A canine receiving training and evidence-based care will likely enjoy a long, fulfilling life. The answer to the question about life expectancy is relative. In this post, we’ll cover all the necessary steps for giving your pitbull the best possible lifespan. Look up explanations of words in bold italics in the glossary at the end.

So how long do Pitbulls live? In short, Pitbulls can live 12-15 years or longer with proper care. Generally, all the “bully breeds” and pitbull types live about the same length of time. It’s generally true that big dogs live shorter lives than small dogs.

You can expect a Pitbull/Great Dane mix to have a shorter lifespan than a Pitbull/beagle mix. What’s more, mixes frequently have longer lives than purebreds. Purebloods with years of controlled breeding accumulate a concentrated gene pool of inherited traits often resulting in medical problems. Dogs of mixed ancestry enjoy a rich and varied gene pool.

What Is a Pitbull?

Technically there’s no such thing as the pitbull breed. It’s a generic term referring to “bully breeds,” a group of related bulldog-type terriers developed in England through crossbreeding. The UKC (United Kennel Club) recognizes four breeds in the pitbull-type category. The AKC still doesn’t recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier as an official breed, but the UKC and the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA) do.

The other three in this category are the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. Over 20 breeds and mixes share similar physical characteristics and are often mistakenly labeled as pitbulls. Non-pitties include the Bull Mastiff, Dogo Argentino, American Bulldog, Cane Corso, and even the Boxer. We’ll talk more about pitbull types in a moment.

Why Are Pitbulls So Misunderstood?

Pitbulls have been getting a bad rap for years. Did you know they’re often called “pibbles” by their adoring fans? Another nickname is “boopers” because you boop their snoots. We can’t forget “blockheads” and “pitopotamuses.” You’ll hear “wiggle butts” a lot because tail-wagging starts halfway up their backs. How long do Pitbulls live? If you’re lucky enough to live with one of these critters, check out our Happy Tails post to learn ways to prolong their delightful lives.

People have handpicked individuals in breeds such as Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers to develop their aggressive tendencies. Dogfighters created athletic, combative strains of bully breed mixtures with gameness genetically programmed to fight to the death. Even though dogfighting is illegal, it’s a money-making industry worldwide.

The Tide Is Turning For Pitbulls

pitfall life expectancy

Along with genetics, early training generates warrior dogs with the same techniques the Spartans used in ancient Greece. The result today is that any dog resembling a pitbull type is often labeled a dangerous dog. Thanks to active advocacy groups, breed-specific legislation (BSL) is starting to disappear. A Nevada law now specifies that “A dog may not be found dangerous or vicious based solely on the breed of the dog.”

A word about statistics: inaccurate data collection yields inaccurate results. For example, sled dogs in Canada are responsible for more fatal dog attacks than other breeds. However, there are more sled dogs than other types in certain parts of Canada.

Thanks to active advocacy groups, breed-specific legislation (BSL) is starting to disappear. A Nevada law now specifies that “A dog may not be found dangerous or vicious based solely on the breed of the dog.”

When getting a dog, even a pedigree is no guarantee of temperament. Most myths about pitbulls are based on public misinformation and gossip. Pitbulls are naturally friendly and affectionate but they require awareness of their natural tendencies. Early training brings out their many positive qualities. Dog pounds and shelters are full of Pitbull-type dogs whose owners didn’t understand them or were unwilling to meet their needs.

paw prints

A Little Pitbull History

Over 6,000 years ago, the Greeks used Mastiffs in war and for guarding. Jump ahead a few thousand years. The Mastiff blood lives on in the European bully types. In the 1800s, British breeders crossed Old English Bulldogs with terriers for dogfighting. Powerful and fearless bulldogs were best for bull-baiting and bear-baiting.

However, faster and more agile dogs were more effective for dogfighting. The result was called the “bull and terrier,” the ancestor of most modern pitbull-type dogs. The term “pit” refers to the baiting pit where animals were confined with a dog or two. They fought to the death while spectators made bets.

To make the fighters more streamlined, breeders usually cropped the ears and docked the tails. Any dog could serve as a pit bull if it would attack another animal. For their own safety, breeders worked to eliminate any aggressive tendencies toward humans.

Pitbulls: All Purpose Helpers

British immigrants brought their dogs here for all-purpose helpers on the frontier. Duties included herding livestock, assisting during hunts, protecting the household, providing companionship, and babysitting children. For many years they were known as “nanny dogs” for their gentleness, insight, and loyalty. Stories abound of their courageous service on the battlefronts during both World Wars.

Pitbulls even made their way to Hollywood. Since popularity leads to demand, backyard breeders profited from selling dogs to anyone for any purpose. Illegally raised for dogfighting by evildoers, the “All American Dog” was unfairly recast as Public Enemy #1.

Different Types of Pitbulls

Earlier we mentioned bully breeds and breeds that resemble pitbulls. “Pitbull” is a description rather than a breed. However, the American Pitbull Terrier is a breed. Hundreds of types and bloodlines exist:

  • Blue Nose Pitbull: Their noses are gray rather than blue, but their skin, eyes, and toenails are blue-gray. Their silky coats are silvery-gray. Although medium-sized, they’re densely muscular, sometimes reaching 85 pounds. How long do blue nose pitbulls live? Their lifespan ranges from 8-15 years.
  • Red Nose Pitbull: In 19th-century Ireland, a strain of red-nosed pitbull-type dogs emerged, known as Old Family dogs or Irish Old Family Reds. Inbred for their color, ferocity, and large size, they usually had copper or brown coats and amber eyes. They can be aggressive but respond well to training.
  • Colby: In 1889 John Colby began breeding a line of high-quality pitbulls known by pittie people for their even temperament and willingness to complete any task. They remain one of the most popular lines.
  • Razor’s Edge: This bloodline is famous for making wonderful family companions. Unaggressive, their mild temperament makes them special. In appearance, they have a large head with a short muzzle, a wide back, and a glossy coat.
  • Pynat: Thin but muscular, they’re often used for hunting.
  • Stuffawler: Originally bred for fighting, they’re larger and have a characteristic smile with a gasping expression.

Think of pitbulls like horses: beautiful, lovable, but bred for different purposes.

Proper Nutrition = Enhanced Lifespan

how long do pitbulls live

You know what “hangry” means: “angry” because you’re “hungry.” What if you constantly eat your fill but only junk food? Your belly is full but you’re restless and unsatisfied because your nutritious needs haven’t been met. Imagine spending your entire life like that. Never satisfied. You’re never at the top of your game because you’re missing nutrients your body craves.

On the other hand, think about how good you feel when you’ve eaten a fresh, well-balanced meal with different flavors and textures. In the wild, the wolf ancestors of dogs consumed raw meat and bones from a variety of prey animals. They also devoured the organs. The wolf ancestors sometimes ate plant material including prey’s stomach contents, grasses, roots, and fruits for fiber and moisture. Modern canines, through their association with humans, are now omnivorous, feeding on a variety of foods.

A Nutrient Dense Raw Diet

The best diet for your beloved pitpooch is a combination of fresh, natural, nutrient-dense foods. Because it’s easily digested, there’s much less poop for you to clean up. Different kinds of foods in the right proportion will make your dog healthier, happier, and calmer. A frustrated dog is irritable and less receptive to training.

Studies prove how important breakfast is to kids’ ability to learn in school. Cheaply manufactured kibble made with fillers, preservatives, dyes, unneeded chemicals, and discarded meat scraps will affect your dog’s learning ability. To bring out the best temperament and responses to training, provide a BARF-type diet or supplements. BARF refers to Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. How long do pitbulls live? The right foods will extend your dog’s life by supporting every body system every day.

A Healthy Diet Makes a Healthy Weight

But wait! There’s more! How long do pitbulls live? Weight is one of the major factors controlling human and pitbull life expectancy. Research concludes that excess weight can shorten dogs’ lifespans by a few years. Obesity is a significant problem for pets in the US and UK. P

itbull-type dogs range in weight depending on the type. You can determine a healthy canine weight in several ways. The easiest is checking your Pibble’s profile for fat pads and the absence of visible ribs.

paw prints

Teeth and Gum Health

A quick look at teeth AND gums reveals much about health. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Did you know that dental disease can take years off your pooch’s life? Dental disease is preventable. Dogs don’t love having their teeth brushed, but early training teaches them to accept it. A tiny food bribe also convinces them that brushing isn’t so bad, especially since canine toothpaste contains yummy flavors like chicken.

The #1 choice for oral hygiene for dogs will bring them joy: raw bones! Remember BARF diets? Fresh raw bones are soft, meaty, chewy, and delicious, satisfying their urge to chew. The elastic bone membranes, as well as the gristle and the bones themselves, help scrape off accumulating tartar. RAW is the keyword here. Cooked bones are dangerous. Heat destroys the fat and connective tissue, leaving the bones dry and brittle.

The #1 choice for oral hygiene for Pitfalls will bring them joy: Raw Bones!

See our post: Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones? Why They Should!

Chemical-Free Clean Water

You cannot trust the purity of water anywhere. Enforcement of local laws varies greatly. Even with state-of-the-art water treatment plants, old pipes bringing water to your home are crusted with decay. Choosing bottled SPRING water water is a good option. The safest water possible comes from investing in a home purifying system such as a relatively inexpensive under-counter system. How long do pitbulls live? They’ll live longer without lead, chromium, copper, pesticides, and other contaminants in their water.

How long do pitbulls live? They’ll live longer without lead, chromium, copper, pesticides, and other contaminants in their water.

The Great Indoors And Outdoors For Your Pibby

You could write this paragraph yourself! Think about the best environment for someone you love: that’s what your pets need. How long do pitbulls live? You want healthful lives with quality in the quantity of their years. That means a clean, safe, peaceful environment with comfy spots to rest inside and out. They need fresh air, absence of toxins, structure and predictability, and freedom from fear.

Pitbulls’ Special Needs ~ Don’t Miss This Section

These dogs are athletes! With their bouncing energy and active minds, they need exercise and mental stimulation. Being left in the back yard is not enough:

  • Having powerful jaws and jaw muscles means an inborn urge to chew. Play tug-of-war with them and provide supervised sessions with raw bones.
  • They need to dig. Look at those muscular arms and fingers! Create a special place just for digging, even a kiddie pool filled with sandy soil.
  • Like other unpredictable pooches, they shouldn’t be left alone with other dogs because you don’t know their personal triggers.
  • All dogs need their own belongings to possess: a crate, a bed, bowls, their special toys, and their own cuddly stuffed animal.
  • They need you. They need to love you and you to love them.

Dogs need fresh air, absence of toxins, structure and predictability, and freedom from fear.

Happy Dogs Are Well Trained Dogs Increasing Longevity

Many dogs end up in the pound because their humans didn’t choose to train them. How long do Pitbulls live? Training can mean life or death. Just as learning is an ongoing lifetime process for humans, your dog needs continual training:

  • Start from the first day. Your pup will soon look to you to take the lead.
  • Give tiny food rewards often for correct behavior.
  • Learn canine communication so you can read your pet’s body language. Pay attention.
  • Train together to strengthen your leadership, mutual understanding, and partnership.
  • Have short, frequent, enjoyable sessions.
  • Use only positive reinforcement and reward good behavior. No yelling or punishment.
  • Combine voice directions with hand signals; some trainers suggest sound training with clickers or whistles.
  • Socialize with other people, dogs, and situations early.
  • Housetrain with scheduled outdoor breaks first thing in the morning, after meals and playtime, and before bedtime. Reward successes. Respond quickly to pooch requests to go out.
  • Choose a thick, sturdy leash or chain to prevent chewing; use a harness if desired. Retractable leashes are dangerous.
  • Puppy-training classes taught by professionals will start you both together with basic manners, safety practices, skills, and socialization. Lifesaving words include “come,” “sit,” “stay,” “down,” “no,” and “leave it.”
  • Eventually involve other trusted people.

Pitbulls want to be lapdogs. Along with being strong-willed, big, active, and smart, they’re also eager to please. As professional trainer Blake Rodriguez says, “You’re going to get what you routinely allow.”

Professional trainer Blake Rodriguez says, “You’re going to get what you routinely allow.”

pitbull characteristics

Natural Pitbull Characteristics Compared to Other Dogs

Here’s a list:

  1. Barking: Moderate but usually for a reason
  2. Chewing: A natural urge
  3. Cold Tolerance: Most comfortable over 50 degrees
  4. Digging: Provides exercise, fun, and pretend prey-chasing
  5. Drooling: Low to average
  6. Energy level: High; strong, vigorous, agile; like to do what their human is doing
  7. Grooming needs: Weekly brushing with a bristle brush or curry comb; monthly baths using a dog shampoo for sensitive skin
  8. Guarding: Better as watchdogs warning rather than attacking; prefer to befriend people
  9. Heat Tolerance: Prone to overheating in temps over 80 degrees
  10. Motivated by: Food!
  11. Pack behavior: Prefer human company; depending on upbringing and socialization, may be reactive and unpredictable around other dogs; need supervision
  12. Playfulness: High; love active games
  13. Prey drive: Often high
  14. Sociability: High; affectionate; people-oriented; attuned to human needs; eager to please; emotionally responsive; love children; often clingy, may have separation anxiety
  15. Trainability: High; eager to please; need ongoing training to maintain structure and boundaries
  16. Water Behavior: Not good swimmers due to heavy muscles, but generally love shallow water, sprinklers, and mud
  17. WARNING: Pitbulls are among the kissiest dogs you will ever meet! Ask anybody who has one!

Activity and Exercise

Everything you do with your dog strengthens your bond. Pitbulls have high exercise requirements and need to burn off energy. How long do Pitbulls live? They won’t do well without space to run, play, and dig. Keep these points in mind:

  • Practice safety
  • Avoid temperature extremes
  • Check their feet and toenails before setting out
  • Bring water
  • Bring treats to reinforce training
  • Bring poop bags
  • On all kinds of outings, start easy and advance over time
  • Go at their pace so they can look around, listen, sniff, taste, and leave their calling card (pee)
  • Maintain leash control in case of surprises
  • Use a dog seat belt in the car
  • On water outings use a flotation device and bring another person who can swim
  • Use stable boats and kayaks that won’t tip with the weight of a moving dog
  • Practice obedience courses and nose work such as identifying scents and tracking
  • Try sprinkler play, hide and seek, and fetching
  • Avoid high-impact exercise with growing pups to prevent bone damage

Mental and Emotional Health

All sentient beings — conscious of themselves and able to feel — need mental enrichment. Stimulation means going new places, trying new experiences, playing different games, doing food puzzles, and participating in any training activities. For emotional support, sentient beings need acceptance in a “pack” of like-minded creatures. They need affection, jobs to do, and appreciation for accomplishments.

You can make almost any activity with your pitbull into a bonding opportunity providing mental and emotional satisfaction. You can walk together and play tug-of-war together. Brush your pooch while doing an ear/skin/foot/toenail check and make that back leg kick with delight! How long do pitbulls live? Also called “luvabulls,” they live longer with mental and emotional experiences shared with you.

  1. Each dog is an individual with a unique personality formed by genetics plus life experiences. Here’s what your Pitbull needs to thrive:
  2. Understanding of bully breeds’ distinctive needs
  3. A safe, toxin-free environment
  4. A fresh, balanced diet of nutrient-dense Raw food to maintain a healthy weight
  5. Daily exercise
  6. Your participation in early obedience training and socialization
  7. Leadership with kindness and affection
  8. Mental stimulation
  9. Being neutered or spayed
  10. Outside time

Bringing Up the Rear (The Wiggly Butt Rear)

To decide if a pitbull is right for you, consider if you’re right for a pitbull. If you’re prepared to spend part of your daily life meeting their needs, then you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettably loving and faithful partner. Think of your pibble not as your dog, but as your partner in the adventure of life.


  • Advocacy: Defending or supporting a cause
  • Chemical: Any substance with a defined composition; some chemicals are manufactured for purity like chlorine while others occur naturally like water
  • Chemical-free: Our world is composed of chemicals; in common use the phrase indicates being free of toxins and contaminants
  • Ear cropping: Trimming the ears of domesticated animals for style or human convenience; commonly performed on dogs used for fighting and hunting; deemed “not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient” by the American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Evidence-based: Strategy or practice based on recent proof gained through testing by professionals
  • Gameness: Willingness and determination to face hardship; courage; pluck
  • Omnivorous: Surviving on a wide variety of animal and plant foods
  • Sentient: Conscious and aware of self and others; showing realization and perception; experiencing emotions
  • Tail docking: Amputating domesticated animals’ tails for style or human convenience; deemed “not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient” by the American Veterinary Medical Association; banned in many countries
  • Tartar: Calcified deposits of food and bacteria on the teeth and under the gums, causing gum inflammation and dental decay


Pitbull history and advocacy:
Bully breeds, pitbull types:
Cropping ears and docking Tails:
Canine weight related to the lifespan:,with%20a%20healthy%20body%20weight.
Online dog training:

How To Make A Dog Poop Quickly: Immediate Solutions

Giving the best care to your beloved dog not only means providing the right diet, but also paying attention to pooping. As you know, digestive health makes a big difference in anyone’s energy and mood. When you finish reading this article, you’re going to be an expert on poop! More specifically, on what can make a dog poop and SOLUTIONS how to make a dog poop quickly.

In addition, we’re going to tell you about possible causes of constipation, easy ways to prevent it, the magic of pumpkin, and treatments you can manage yourself before running to the vet.

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Pooping?

Under most circumstances, dogs are pretty regular, often going twice a day. Not always, though. Not pooping is certainly something noticeable: 36-48 hours is the time frame for exploring what’s wrong and deciding what action to take. Does your pooch have any of these issues? Here’s a handy checklist:

  • Excessive self-grooming: Licking and swallowing too much fur
  • Matted long fur around the anus: Blocking the exit
  • Decrease in recent food intake or water intake
  • Past problems with constipation
  • A medication change
  • Decrease in normal exercise
  • Eating kitty litter, toys, or other non-food items
  • Changing to a new food or diet
  • Too much raw bone: Imbalance in the proportion of natural ingredients
  • Stress factors in the home or environment: More explanation about this shortly

Constipation is not normal and can become serious. It’s important to keep on top of pets’ health habits to know when and how to help a dog poop quickly.

How To Make A Dog Poop Instantly with Pumpkin: DIRECTIONS

How To Make A Dog Poop Instantly

HAPPY TIP: Pure canned pumpkin is the #1 choice for how to make a dog poop quickly, recommended by dog and constipation experts the world around! You can use canned, but you can also bake or steam fresh pumpkin. The warmed puree is easy to swallow and digest.

Pure canned pumpkin is the #1 choice for how to make a dog poop quickly.


  • 1 TEASPOON of Organic Pure Canned Pumpkin
  • Per 10 pounds of body weight (up to 1/4 cup
  • Mix into Food

You can give about 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight up to a quarter cup, just mixing it into the food. Not only does pumpkin contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, but it tastes pleasant and moves quickly from the stomach into the gut. Fiber acts as a prebiotic by feeding the beneficial bacteria in the intestines and inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. It lowers the pH level and provides the necessary nutrients these bacteria need. 

Using whole foods like pumpkins is IDEAL. Dogs are omnivores who need plants in their diets. Let’s look at that some more.

How To Make A Constipated Dog Poop Quickly: MORE SOLUTIONS

We’ve got a list of options for you. These not only demonstrate how to make a dog poop quickly but will do the same for you and everyone you care about! 

PUMPKIN: Pumpkin is so good at remedying digestive problems that we’ve got a whole separate section about it. You can also use cooked sweet potato with the skin, but the word “sweet” clues you in that this vegetable contains a lot of sugar.

Walking: Go for extra walks. Space the outings so your dog has lots of opportunities to eliminate once the urge is there. Exercise also stimulates the digestive system to push the stool along.

Taking advantage of the gastrocolic reflex: “Gastro-” refers to the stomach and “-colic” refers to the colon, otherwise known as the large intestine where poop is stored. Food entering the stomach triggers the colon to empty to make more room for digestion. Regularly walking right after eating often prevents as well as cures constipation.

Identifying possible causes of constipation:

Check out the checklist above

Giving enough water: Plenty of clean, fresh drinking water lubricates and softens the poop mass and speeds transit time out.

Natural plant foods: Dogs are omnivores, consuming a variety of plant matter along with animal tissue. Veggies and fruits such as pumpkin, apples, green beans, carrots, zuczchini, broccoli, spinach, papaya, and beets are good sources of fiber and moisture.

Homemade stews: Make nutritious and delicious doggie stews with fresh meats, veggies, and broth. Your pooch will love you and so will your pooch’s gut.

Natural oils: Coconut oil, olive oil (extra virgin is best), sunflower oil, and others are lubricating and contribute to intestinal health in general. Dog dosage ranges from two teaspoons to two tablespoons with food. Start with a small amount and increase gradually because too much oil too fast can cause diarrhea. Fish oil, especially wild-caught minimally processed salmon oil, is extremely nutritious and beneficial.

Emotional Component

How Long Can A Dog Go Without Pooping

Tummy rubs: Gently massaging the abdomen over the intestines clockwise is calming, comforting, and stimulates peristalsis (intestinal contractions that push food along during digestion).

Soft talk: Talk slowly and gently to your furbaby, offering reassurances of love and safety; communication, as we’ll discuss shortly, is one of the best medicines.

Keep notes, for yourself as well as the vet if you end up calling. Your dog trusts you more than anyone else.

A Quick Course on Dog Innards

The canine digestive system differs from ours in several ways. Dogs can’t chew and grind food side to side, but they tear off chunks to swallow down. Canines produce up to 100 times the amount of acid that humans do so they can digest tough animal tissues such as cartilage and bone, but also their preys’ stomach contents including seeds, grasses, and other plant material.

In addition, the acids effectively kill many disease-causing microorganisms. From mouth to rear end, food has a much faster transit time in dogs (6-8 hours) than in humans (20-30 hours). Now you understand why not eliminating solid waste for more than 48 hours is harmful and why knowing how to make a dog poop quickly is vital.

Want more interesting facts about doggie digestion? You might know that your doggy has two anal glands, one on each side of the anus. The powerful scent is like a fingerprint in that it’s unique to each dog and used for marking territory. Anal glands sometimes become impacted, densely packed with secretions.

Anal gland impaction can cause symptoms similar to those of constipation along with swelling, tenderness, foul odor, and frequent licking. Adding cooked pumpkin to the diet alters the consistency of the stool and stimulates the glands to empty.

What’s REALLY Interesting about Digestion: The Hidden Civilizations inside All Intestines

Did you know that inside your intestines, commonly called “the gut,” is a thriving metropolis of tiny citizens? The inhabitants of the intestinal microbiome — the microscopic biological community — make up a diverse population of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. To understand how to make a dog poop quickly, let’s examine more about how this microbiome stays in balance:

  • Prebiotics: Substances that feed the intestinal microbiome thrive
  • Probiotics: Strains of different bacteria in the intestinal microbiome with a balanced ecology that protects the health of the organism they colonize
  • Postbiotics: The beneficial leftover products of probiotics’ metabolism
  • Fiber: “Soluble” refers to dissolving in water. When hydrated, soluble fiber turns into a gel that plumps up the liquidy semi-digested food; by transforming the newly forming stool into a soft mass, soluble fiber not only prevents constipation but also diarrhea. Improved absorption of nutrients occurs when the texture of poop is, in the words of Goldilocks, “ju-u-u-st right.”

    Prevention is always best, but what about when your pooch is already constipated? Insoluble fiber is how to make a dog poop quickly: just as a dry towel soaks up liquid, dry, insoluble fiber pulls water from the intestinal lining into hardened poop, softening it and lubricating the surface.

Why Vegetables & Fruits Are Good for Dogs

Dogs’ wild ancestors survived by consuming a BARF diet made of natural whole foods. “BARF” stands for “biologically appropriate raw food.” Swallowing small animals whole, consuming the stomachs and intestines of large prey, and nibbling on grasses (that means grains), roots, and different fruits and vegetables were part of their lives.

Grain-free dog foods are advertised less and less as an optimum choice. Canine nutrition experts have discovered long-term problems emerging in dogs fed only grain-free products. As we’ll explain shortly, the key to good nutrition is variety, but in balance.

How To Make A Dog Poop Quickly ~ Some Home Remedies

How To Make A Dog Poop Quickly Home Remedies

In addition to the treatments listed above, some holistic veterinarians and practitioners of alternative medicine use other treatments. Some of them are very ancient. The method of administration may vary from dog to dog and may interact with foods, medications, and health supplements. Some are meant as temporary remedies while some are most useful when given regularly. Definitely consult with your dog’s vet before trying these methods so you won’t cause harm.

  • Aloe vera: Stimulates muscle contractions, lubricates the digestive tract, and adds moisture to stool; the yellow latex inside the leaf is very toxic to dogs.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Trendy but not a miracle cure; may increase colon contractions; sometimes mixed with food to use as a prebiotic.
  • Chickweed: Grows wild; used as a gentle laxative.
  • Dandelions: All parts are nutritious and supply prebiotics.
  • Flax seeds: Fiber and oil source; create lubricating mucilage.
  • Goat’s milk: Easily digestible unless the dog has a milk allergy; contains both prebiotics and probiotics.
  • Marshmallow root: Soothes, relaxes, and lubricates the digestive tract.
  • Organ meats: May compensate for the addition of too much raw bone.
  • Psyllium: A gentle soluble fiber but must be used without sweeteners or additives.
  • Slippery elm: A well-known and well-loved digestive aid providing soothing, lubricating mucilage coating.
  • Squirting water: Similar to using ice cubes or digital stimulation, sprays of water onto the anus stimulate the bowels to move; be mindful of the temperature and amount of pressure; an assistant is advisable.
  • Wheat bran (unsweetened): A small amount mixed with meals adds insoluble fiber; best when accompanied by chopped leafy greens.
  • Yogurt or kefir (a special type of cultured milk rich in probiotics): If your dog is not allergic to milk, occasional small doses can be very beneficial, especially after taking antibiotic.

Benefits of Whole Raw Food Diets vs. Processed Foods

Dogs on a raw food diet will poop noticeably less because most of their food is made from absorbable ingredients instead of commercial fillers. Kibble contains extra carbohydrate to make your dog feel full, but most of it passes right out.

Another advantage of whole food and raw food diets is that they aren’t adulterated with preservatives, artificial food coloring, scent additives, extra fat, and non-nutritive flavorings. Remember when changing your canine companion’s diet to start slowly using small portions to give the digestive system time to adjust. 

Great Natural Additions to Improve the Canine Diet
Here are some healthful ingredients to add nutrition and variety to your pooch’s meals:

  • Bone broth: Slow-cooked to melt down cartilage, fat, tendons, ligaments, and marrow; can be frozen into cubes.
  • Bone mince: Soft raw bone and meat finely chopped; because chickens are slaughtered younger, their bones are less dense than those of older animals such as turkeys and other adult critters.
  • Eggs: Fresh, organic, from local sources, shell included.
  • Fish: Frozen for two days to kill parasites; canned sardines and salmon without brine.
  • Kelp: Fresh or frozen without seasonings or concentrated salt.
  • Organ meats: Fish heads with brains and eyes, gizzards, kidneys, livers, lungs, spleens, etc.

What about Raw Bones?

Minerals and other nutrients in raw bones are best absorbed from small, tender, minced bones such as necks, feet/trotters, and tails. In the wild, small prey such as birds, rodents, and amphibians are usually eaten whole, bones and all. Weight-bearing bones, especially in larger animals, are more robust to support muscles for locomotion; being denser, big leg bones are better suited to provide dental and recreational benefits.

Dogs eating long bones should be monitored to prevent the possibility of splinter injuries. A tip on how to make a dog poop quickly: remember not to overdo feeding raw bone. Keep it down to 10% of the diet.

Sample RAW FOOD Food Recipe for Adult Dogs

dog recipe 2

Notes: This makes a lot but can be portioned and frozen to meet your needs. Also, if your pooch is overweight, substitute red meat with white.


  •  7kg (15-1/2 pounds) fresh organic poultry, whole or in pieces with meaty bones 
  • 1kg (2 pounds) fresh organic beef, lamb, and/or green tripe (raw, unbleached stomach lining of grass-eating animals) 
  • 1kg (2 pounds) of mixed organic organ meats
  • 1kg (2 pounds) of blitzed (blenderized) veggies (especially green stuff like kale, spinach, and/or broccoli, whatever is in season)

Recommended extras: A handful of blueberries or blackberries, 4 organic eggs, a drop of cod liver oil, and a few frozen mussels 


  1. Mix all ingredients together
  2. Stir until well-blended
  3. Place individual portions into appropriate containers and freeze
  4. Thaw as needed 5-6 hours in refrigerator; will stay fresh up to 4 days.

A Doggie STEW Recipe to Help with Constipation

dog recipe 2

Since digestive problems are frequently caused by improper diet, stews made with fresh, natural ingredients are often a MIRACLE instant cure. Want to know how to make a dog poop quickly? Try this:


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 lb. shredded chicken
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 peeled, diced medium sweet potato, 
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup lentils
  • 2 tbsp. pureed pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup chopped spinach


  1. Boil turkey and chicken in water over medium heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Take out the meat and set aside.
  3. To the water add the rice, lentils, and sweet potato. Boil 15 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, cooking until liquid is absorbed.
  5. Add cooked meat.
  6. Serve warm and watch your pooch enjoy it!
  7. Freeze remaining stew into portion sizes. Using a double boiler is preferable to microwaving for even heating. Feed as suggested by your dog’s vet.

When Your Dog Yelps while Pooping

Pooping isn’t supposed to be painful. Dryness, injury, or blockage can cause rectal pain. If you observe your furbaby behaving abnormally while struggling to pass fecal matter, check what comes out. Small, hard pieces, mucus, and blood indicate something’s wrong.

Paradoxically, sometimes diarrhea is actually a sign of constipation because undigested liquid stool flows around the impacted mass and dribbles out. Gently press your dog’s abdomen to feel for tenderness or a firm swelling. DO NOT give any laxative, stool softener, or enema, but call the vet immediately. Be prepared to bring your dog to the office right away because this is often a medical emergency. You can find a list of holistic vets from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association here

The Importance of Species-Specific Diets

Over 2,000 years ago the Roman philosopher Lucretius said that “what is food for one man may be bitter poison to others.” In other words, what is good for some is bad for others. In terms of nutrition, it means that not all animals can absorb nutrients from the same foods.

For example, the primary diet of pandas is bamboo, and the primary diet of koalas is eucalyptus. Dogs, cats, and humans have different digestive systems. Focusing more closely, subspecies and even breeds (specially bred types of domesticated animals) have their own dietary requirements. In the case of dogs, a lean, active working breed will thrive on a high-protein, higher-fat diet that would promote obesity in a large, slow-moving breed.

Every feeding program needs to be individually adapted according to your pet’s type, age, health, and other conditions.

Prevention: the Quickest & Easiest Cure

Here’s a summary of care to help your dog live the best life possible:

  • A balanced, breed-appropriate diet
  • Clean water
  • A regular exercise routine: A must-have! Walks are not just a quick bathroom visit or a speed walk for your convenience. Let your pooch set the pace. Dogs need to sniff, mark territory, find just the right spot to do their business, explore what’s going on in their neighborhood, and work off their pent-up energy. Respect any medical issues that affect their comfort, being especially mindful of the condition of their feet and nails.
  • Absence of pain
  • Emotional wellbeing

Mentally & Emotionally Balanced Dogs Have Better Physical Health

Emotional wellbeing is a big deal. Canines not only need their physical needs met, but need to feel safe and secure without fear of threats. Being pack animals, they require acceptance in a group, socialization, communication, and opportunities for play and exploration. Not just occasionally but as a way of life. 

Anxiety from stress definitely causes physical health problems such as constipation. Stressors include disruptions in routine, changes in residents of the home, moving, frequent loud noise, loneliness, and abuse or history of abuse. 

Are You Listening to Your Dog???

Humans too often punish dogs for unwanted behaviors without understanding dogs’ frustration at unsuccessful attempts to communicate. We’ve all known people who don’t pay attention to us. After a while, we don’t even bother trying to talk with them. Love doesn’t quite conquer all — communication matters, too.

Engage your fur pals — and feathered, finned, and scaled pals as well — in frequent “conversations” to establish a pattern of communication opportunities. Learn their forms of language and respond when they try to tell you something. Making a habit of it will show them that you’re listening. 

Humans too often punish dogs for unwanted behaviors without understanding dogs’ frustration at unsuccessful attempts to communicate.

Final Thoughts

You’ve learned the number one tip on how to make a dog poop quickly; pumpkin. But, there is much to consider when asesseing ‘why~ you need to make your dog poop quickly.’ And most importantly we’ve shared what to do to prevent constipation or issues related to needing to make a dog poop quickly. There are many pointers to take away and you may want to re-read this post a few times.


Biome: A natural area shared by a community of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms
Blitz: British term for blenderize or puree
EVOO: Extra virgin olive oil
Gastrocolic reflex: An automatic response from the spinal cord, when food enters the stomach, to trigger the large bowel to poop
Green tripe: The raw, unbleached stomach lining of grass-eating animals without any processing
Inflammation: A protective response by the immune system to threats and damage to the body; may include fever, redness, and swelling to fight invaders and begin healing
Kefir: A fermented milk product rich in probiotics (beneficial bacteria in the intestines)
Laxative: A substance that stimulates peristalsis (bowel contractions) as opposed to a stool softener
Microbiome: A microscopic biome consisting of bacteria, fungi, protozoans, viruses, and microfauna such as nematodes, arthropods, tardigrades, etc.
Mucilage: A type of thick, gluey gel mostly produced by certain plants and composed of carbohydrates, proteins, and other organic substances
Peristalsis: The wave-like ripples produced by muscle contractions in the intestines to move food along during the digestive process

To Learn More

Why dogs scoot on their bottoms:

The ecology inside your dog’s intestines:

Dogs’ emotional needs:

Canine communication:

How Long Do Huskies Live? Practical Tips On Enhancing Lifespan

Have you ever been around Siberian Huskies? They’re unique dogs with unique personalities. In fact, they’re one of the most talkative dogs you’ll meet in your life. After we share their history and their conversational abilities, you can listen for yourself. Human ancestors might even owe their lives to Husky ancestors. How long do Huskies live? On average 12-15 years.

We’ll not only tell you that, but how you can make sure they live the most fulfilling life possible. More than many other dogs, doing buddy things together with their pack — meaning you — is the thing they live for.

A Husky’s Lifespan Is Relative To The Quality Of Care Its Given ~
And Depends Upon Your Ability To Fulfill Their Needs.

A Little Husky History

When waves of early humans traveled out of Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago, they didn’t have dogs. Homo sapiens was the first species to establish a partnership with canines, and some anthropologists think that it’s one of the main reasons our species is the one that survived. Although today’s Huskies have about the same amount of wolflike DNA as other dog breeds, they look like wolves because they evolved alongside humans in the cold forests of northern Siberia.

Genetically, they’re related to the Spitz family of working dogs that include American Eskimos, Samoyeds, Akitas, Keeshonds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Malamutes, and others. A Russian fur trader introduced Siberian Huskies to Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush where they pulled sleds across rough terrain in harsh weather.

Their popularity rapidly grew after teams of them successfully helped deliver antitoxins during a diphtheria epidemic in Nome in 1925. How long do Huskies live? Known for their energy, stamina, and eagerness to work, these hardy sled dogs usually don’t retire from hard work until they’re nine years old or so.

Known for their energy, stamina, and eagerness to work, these hardy sled dogs usually don’t retire from hard work until they’re nine years old or so.

Natural Husky Characteristics

By knowing that Huskies were bred for thousands of years to help forest peoples in brutally cold climates survive, you can guess some of their natural tendencies. They worked together with their humans and other Huskies in teams to pull loads, track game, and herd reindeer over long distances in all kinds of weather. They developed thick coats and undercoats of protective fur that repelled moisture.

To catch prey and to create shelter during rough weather, they became naturally skillful diggers. Traveling over long distances, they learned to use their voices for communication. To survive, they had to be strong, adaptable, and active with perceptive minds.

Some Huskie lovers joke that it’s no coincidence that “Husky” and “Houdini” both start with the letter “H,” meaning that they’re determined escape artists. How long do Huskies live? Hint: usually longer than a decade.

The Special Personalities of Huskies

how long do Siberian huskies live

Ask any Husky lover why they love their dogs, and be prepared to enjoy their stories. Huskies love their pack. If they’re awake, they’re interacting with humans or other dogs. Curious about what’s going on around them, they enthusiastically engage with anything that catches their interest.

Huskies are very friendly but not always eager to obey, and will let you know how they feel. Naturally drawn to children of all ages, they enjoy playing but sense when to be gentle. You asked, “How long do Huskies live?” Another hint is that they’ll almost grow up with your kids, having fun along the way.

Huskies Love To Communicate And Have A LOT To Say

Huskies use their voices for communication more than most other breeds. Not big barkers, they use a variety of yowls, moans, yips, whistles, growls, groans, and other sounds that don’t even have names. In the wilderness of the far north where nights are long and dark, sharp vision was less important to survival than hearing.

Working and living in packs, these dogs’ communication relied on hearing other pack members. The Husky life expectancy depended on it. For that reason, Huskies are hard-wired to “converse.” Canine communication expresses the status of a need: desire, intention, and emotions regarding the need.

In addition to thirst and hunger, they’re in the habit of communicating with their pack about the stress of pain, threats, dominance, frustration, and boredom. Pack animals need frequent reassurance to maintain strong bonds among members, whether for playing or cuddling.

You can train your Husky to talk and sing with positive reinforcement. The more you listen and respond to your Husky, the more he or she will love interacting with you. Short training sessions with small, healthful treats are motivation to do what’s already a natural behavior. As a matter of fact, your laughter alone is positive reinforcement!

What Does Husky Howling Mean?

husky life expectancy

Why do dogs and wolves howl anyway? In the wild, howling is like a lighthouse to guide the pack home. Dogs often howl to guide their human back home as well. Howling often marks boundaries so potential invaders know that the territory is protected. It also alerts other pack members to gather around a cornered prey animal.

As you might imagine, howling can express loneliness, frustration, and anxiety, especially if your dog knows that it gets your attention. We don’t know all the meanings behind howling but dog behavior scientists continue to study this fascinating topic. What triggers your own dog to howl?

Domestic Dogs in General & What Helps Them Thrive

We’ve highlighted how vital mental and emotional wellbeing is to members of a pack. You know yourself how good you feel when you’re safe among friends. You can think better and sleep better when your stress levels go down. Our canine buddies are no different.

Good nutrition throughout the lifespan is just as important. When you ask how long do Huskies live, you already know that basic health centers around food and water. Although the pet food industry has improved in recent years, to stay in business the manufacturers have to mass-produce low-cost products that last a long time.

An increasing number of canine nutrition experts are publishing studies on the many benefits of what’s commonly called the B.A.R.F. diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. By supplying a nutrient-dense, highly digestible variety of fresh, unprocessed ingredients, the BARF diet helps dogs eat what kept their omnivorous ancestors healthy before they partnered up with humans. See our post on Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones? Why They Should! and Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? Bone Up On The Real Story!

What Does Nutrition Have To Do With How Long Do Huskies Live? Everything!

“Omnivorous” refers to eating all kinds of available edibles. Canine ancestors hunted large game when available but also fed on the entire bodies of small animals such as rabbits, rats, birds, reptiles, fish, and insects as well as eggs. The organ meats and stomach contents provided different kinds of valuable nutrition. In addition, even modern canines eat roots, vegetables, grasses, fruits, seeds, and nuts.

Let’s talk more about fish. Fish provide protein, minerals from their bones, and valuable fats and oils. Fish oil provides several health benefits, especially from cold-water wild-caught fish such as salmon, mackerel, and trout. Notably rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon oil’s anti-inflammatory properties aid in a strong heart, increased immunity, flexible connective tissue and brain health. They also support a healthy skin and coat, cognitive function, and vision.

Huskies Need Clean Filtered Water

Did you know that water is considered a nutrient, too? Clean water is essential for life and health. Although the Environmental Protection Agency has the legal authority to monitor the safety of drinking water, not all contaminants and disease-causing germs are regulated. What’s more, the EPA has no control over unknown sources of local contamination.

Husky-type dogs thrived for thousands of years on clean water from natural springs, snowfalls, and glacial melts.

Husky-type dogs thrived for thousands of years on clean water from natural springs, snowfalls, and glacial melts. Since the quality of tap water varies from location to location, and since most bottled water contains microplastics, there are steps you can take to provide your household with the safest water possible.

An increasing number of people find that investing in a reliable reverse osmosis filter system not only gives them a long-lasting unlimited amount of clean water, but pays for itself in a short time, and helps the environment by decreasing the amount of plastic you contribute. The reverse osmosis process uses membrane filtration rather than chemical means to remove water contaminants.

Special Needs of the Husky Breed

How long do Huskies live? Giving this kind of care will definitely help your Husky live a longer, healthier, and happier life:

  • Provide a balanced diet tailored to your dog’s weight, age, and health.
  • Provide oral care by brushing teeth at least three times weekly.
  • Provide ample fresh, clean water. Snow is not drinking water.
  • Maintain an ideal weight. Overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from arthritis, cancer, overheating, and other conditions.
  • Brush regularly, at least once a week, more often if needed. Don’t be annoyed by shedding — your pooch isn’t annoyed by your shedding.
  • Be conscious of the temperature to prevent overheating.
  • Promote regular exercise without overdoing it. Match it to your Husky’s age, weight, and health. Don’t force exercise; if your dog is resistant, something is wrong. Check breathing, heartbeat, abdomen, legs, and feet.
  • Engage in enjoyable and mentally stimulating activities together with your Husky pal to strengthen your bond.
  • Mesh your dog’s care routine into your own schedule because, after all, your life is enmeshed with those of your loved ones!

Potential Husky Health Issues

Appropriate nutrition, clean filtered water (not tap), a chemical-free environment, proper training for mental and emotional health, adequate exercise, socialization, connection and relationships all contribute to the longevity factor. Health predispositions can greatly be reduced if not eliminated by a holistic lifestyle, which has been the purpose of this post.

  • Hip dysplasia: A genetic abnormality of one or both hip joints, this condition is common in large dog breeds. It is progressive, painful, and can lead to crippling immobility.
  • Cataracts and other eye issues: Nearly 10% of Siberian huskies will develop cataracts as puppies, a clouding of the lens inside the eye that causes vision loss.
  • Hypothyroidism: While the cause of low-functioning thyroid is unknown, lack of the important hormones can cause lethargy, muscle loss, skin and coat problems, and sensitivity to cold.
  • Degenerative myelopathy: This is a genetic condition affecting Huskies more than other breeds. It affects the nerves and muscles mostly in the hind legs by causing progressive loss of strength and functioning.
  • Zinc deficiency: Huskies and other “snow dogs” often need more zinc than other breeds. A deficiency causes immune system weakness, poor healing of sores, hair loss, and other problems. The most digestible zinc is found in meat and raw bone.
  • Follicular dysplasia: Early in life, pups can develop a problem with their hair follicles that result in abnormal hair growth, irritated skin, and bald patches.

How long do Siberian Huskies live? They depend on their humans looking out for their welfare by paying attention to their needs. Working with an open-minded holistic veterinarian will give your beloved pal the best of all worlds. You’ll stay informed about the pros and cons of different veterinary practices. Click here for a list of vets suggested by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.

Good Training Increases Dogs’ Lifespans

We already mentioned how you can teach your dog to “converse” with your more. Training is like nutrition in that it has to be done right to work right. It always involves the human being trained as well as the dog.

Knowing behavior boundaries will make your pooch trust you as the pack leader and look to you for direction. Less stress means a longer life. How long do huskies live? Longer with training! The Husky lifespan without preventable accidents can last approximately 15 years.

Is a Husky Right for You? And Are You Right For A Husky

older husky

Here’s a checklist of characteristics that should influence your decision to bring a Husky into your life:

  • Your experience with other Northern breeds
  • High energy level with a need to run and stay active
  • Need for purposeful work such as obedience training, pulling a load, agility, etc.
  • Need for a spacious yard with a deeply sunk fence to contain the Husky wanderlust
  • Frequent howling, screaming, and vocalizing
  • Heat intolerance
  • Passionate love of snow and ice
  • Year-round heavy shedding
  • Thorough brushing at least weekly
  • Need to be with other dogs and people as part of a pack
  • Need for attention, interaction, and play
  • Independent thinking (translation: challenging to train if this is your first dog)
  • Strong curiosity
  • Lack of natural guarding behavior due to friendliness
  • Strong prey drive
  • Long lifespan (how long do huskies live? 12-15 years)

The Husky lifespan depends upon your ability to fulfill their needs.

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

Are huskies related to wolves?

All dogs are related to wolves because they share a common ancestor. However, looking like a wolf doesn’t mean carrying more wolf DNA. The Northern breeds, like wolves, adapted to frigid climates by developing thick double-layered fur coats, winter-colored fur, a high metabolism to keep warm, and a strong prey drive to prevent starvation. How long do huskies live? A long life as long as they can stay active.

Will raw meat make my dog wild?

No! The purpose of food is nutrition to help the body function. Improved nutrition means improved health. Improved health means improved vitality. Vicious behavior in otherwise quiet animals indicates a problem, often injury, pain, fear, or defensiveness. It can also indicate the introduction of a new factor such as newborn puppies or an invader.

Do all huskies have blue eyes?

Many people assume that dogs who have one or two blue eyes are part husky, but it’s not necessarily true. Dalmatians and Border collies can carry the same genes for the absence of brown pigment. Husky eyes can be brown, blue, both, or some of each.

In fact, normal Husky eye colors include amber and green. Although all husky pups are born with blue eyes, they won’t get their final eye color until they’re 2-6 months old. Another interesting fact about Husky eyes: like wolves, Huskies have special oil in their tears to protect their eyes against damage from cold winds.

Should I shave my husky in the summer?

No, you shouldn’t shave your dog but lightly trimming some long hair is okay, especially done the way a professional recommends. Shaving and clipping without using the proper technique can irritate your pooch’s skin, tear it, and expose it to sunburn. A dog’s coat is not a “coat” like human clothing.

Natural fur is composed of layers of different kinds of hairs that provide insulation to prevent overheating. As you know, dogs shed excess undercoat fur. If you want to help, brush your dog often. Bathe your dog from time to time to remove gummy oils and dead skin.

In fact, play in the water with your dog and have fun together. How long do Siberian Huskies live? Much longer when they’re assisted to live their most natural lives with loving companions like you.

Final Thoughts

Huskies are incredible dogs. Their working relationship with humans for mutual survival over thousands of years has forged a strong bond. They may not be ideal for people who have never lived with a dog before, but their unique contribution to making humans what they are today is undeniable.

How long do Huskies live? A better question might be how long they’ve helped humans live. Finally, in response to your other question — Do Huskies ever stop talking? — the answer is NO! Huskies never stop talking!

Resources + LINKS

Summer pet care, especially for certain breeds:

A good quality salmon oil we’ve used for our dogs:

An excellent natural canine nutritional supplement:

Suggestion for a user-friendly efficient water purification system that we’ve had success with:

If you still haven’t got enough of gabby jabbering conversation eloquent expressive etc Huskies, here’s more:

Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts? How To Make Brussel Sprouts Taste Good 

Can dogs eat brussel sprouts? If you’re struggling to live a more healthful lifestyle, one of the easiest ways to succeed is to do it with a partner. Whether exercising more or eating right, an animal buddy can motivate you as much as a human buddy. In fact, your dog loves nothing more than sharing activities with you, especially when it involves eating.

Including many fresh vegetables! For example, can dogs eatC Brussel sprouts? The answer is YES, and we’re going to showcase how beneficial these little powerballs are for both you and your pooch. Finally, you get to learn all about dog farts, but first things first. 

What Are Brussel Sprouts & Why Do They Look Like That?

If you’ve ever wondered whether they’re “Brussel” sprouts or “Brussels” sprouts, wonder no more. The Romans probably cultivated them but these leafy little veggies became especially popular in northern Europe during the Middle Ages.

They eventually picked up the Belgian name of the ancient city of Brussels. Can you imagine any medieval European kids asking their parents at the dinner table, “Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts?”Brussels sprouts look like tiny cabbages and taste like broccoli because they’re in the same family. Traditional winter vegetables that taste sweeter after a frost, they grow along tall, straight stalks.

The original ancestor of Brussels sprouts likely resembled the wild mustard plant but gave rise to our modern cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, and broccoli through occasional mutations. Early human farmers learned to cultivate such mutations. 

The Natural Canine Diet

Can dogs eat Brusse sprouts? They CAN, but are Brussel sprouts good for dogs? These questions lead us to the topic of the natural canine diet. We know that dogs’ ancestors were much like wolves. We tend to think of them as carnivores but in truth, wolves eat a fair amount of plant material just like bears.

In the wild, wolves live in packs. They hunt cooperatively by chasing down available wild game which they share with the rest of the pack. Available wild game included a wide variety of animal life ranging from large hoofed animals, birds of all sizes and their eggs, reptiles like lizards and turtles, amphibians like frogs, and fish.

Nearly everything was eaten: bones and marrow, skin, and internal organs including stomach contents. In addition, nursing mothers weaning pups would regurgitate food. Scavenging packs also ate poop and carrion. 

Stomach contents, regurgitated food, and poop contain plant material providing fiber, probiotics, and other nutrients. Modern canine carnivores are known to consume fresh plant materials such as medicinal herbs and grasses, roots, vegetables, and fruits. 

Breaking Down Biologically Appropriate Raw Food

You can see that a dog’s natural diet is a lot more than hunks of leftover boneless cooked meat! And the word “diet” doesn’t refer to a temporary eating program, either. It means a total way of living to gain optimum balanced nutrition throughout your dogs lifespan creating health and preventing imbalance.

The Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Principle is a total way of living to achieve optimum balanced nutrition resulting in health and Well~being throughout you dog’s lifespan

You may have heard of B.A.R.F.Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. The program was founded by a veterinarian and reflects a growing approach to healthful eating for humans as well as animal. The BARF diet emphasizes the preventive and healing benefits of consuming fresh, clean, organic, unprocessed foods in the right proportions. For adult dogs, these are the BARF Model Ratio Guidelines:

  • 70% muscle meat
  • 10% raw edible bone 
  • 7% vegetables 
  • 5% liver
  • 5% other organ meats
  • 2% seeds or nuts 

Because canine digestive systems aren’t the same as ours, knowing how to introduce the right natural foods into your pooch’s diet is vital. Now let’s look more closely at the doggie digestive system. 

How is Dog Digestion Different from Human Digestion?

People often ask, “Why is it that dogs and other animals can eat raw meat but humans get sick if they do?” Dogs’ ancestors evolved to eat raw meat: their digestive and immune systems adapted to large numbers of microorganisms and biotoxins. One adaptation is the high concentration of hydrochloric acid in the stomach to break down microorganisms as well as animal parts including bones.

Another adaptation is the short length of the intestinal tract to allow decaying food to pass through quickly. Bacteria simply don’t have time to establish large infection-production colonies. Check out this video comparing dog and human digestive systems. 

So Can Dogs Eat Brussels Sprouts?

Are Brussel Sprouts Good For Dogs

Definitely YES, but with a few considerations. Not only are the stems too stiff and fibrous for your furry pals to digest, but they also present a choking risk for small dogs. Slice the stems out. The best way to preserve the most nutritional benefits in Brussel sprouts, which we’ll talk about in a moment, is to steam them and chop them up.

You can also lightly cook them by baking, or parboiling (partially cooking by boiling for a few moments). Many vital nutrients are destroyed by heat, so minimal cooking is important, just enough to soften the vegetables to make them more easily digested. Whether alone or mixed with other food, a few foods to avoid that are not on the digestion friendly side for pups are the following:

  • Hot pepper
  • Mustard or mustard seeds 
  • Onions 
  • Salt
  • Spices or sauces that aren’t dog-friendly
  • Vinegar

Nutritional & Medicinal Benefits of Brussel Sprouts for Dogs

Are Brussels sprouts good for dogs? How good? The answer is very good! You can include them as one of the many good veggies in your canine companion’s diet. They also make good meal supplements, snacks, and treats. We’ll give you a couple of recipes in a moment. Brussel sprouts are rich sources of:

  • Vitamin A: An antioxidant aiding vision, immune health, growth
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine): For brain function, energy metabolism 
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): For protein synthesis, hormone secretion, food absorption
  • Vitamin K: For blood clot formation, bone growth
  • Additional antioxidants: For inflammation reduction, cell damage prevention and repair
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): A type of omega-3 fatty acid for support of the circulatory and immune systems, brain function 
  • Folate: For metabolic functions such as DNA and red blood cell production
  • Manganese: For protein and amino acid digestion
  • Potassium: For muscle function, enzymes, nerves
  • Sulforaphane: Linked to inflammation reduction, stabilizing blood sugar, anticancer activity

Bonding Through Food With Your Best Buddy

Earlier we mentioned the benefit of having a partner for sharing healthful foods and activities. Sharing food is one of the strongest ways to create lifelong bonds with the people and animals you care about the most. Dogs are smart. If you share junk food defiantly, your pooch will pick up on your secret sense of shame. Your pooch will likewise sense your pride and love when you share nutritious snacks that are good for both of you. 

You might chuckle “Eewww!” to think of Brussels sprouts as a treat. But did it ever occur to you that we can have prejudices against foods the same way we have prejudices against other humans? Many people enjoy laughing about the taste of Brussels sprouts almost as if it were a negative bonding ritual to join together against something you don’t like.

You can actually reprogram your mind to accept Brussels sprouts as a positive sharing experience with your best fur kid. Every time you handle one of those leafy green balls of nutrition, picture the ways your pooch will love them best. You’ve got this!  

But wait! There’s More! Cryptonutrients

What are Cryptonutrients

Along with micronutrients–essential nutrition required in tiny amounts–there’s such as thing as cryptonutrients. These are the hidden nutrients, the ones that haven’t been discovered yet but will be. Donald Rumsfeld, a government official and businessman, famously commented about “known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns–the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” It’s exciting to think about what cryptonutrient discoveries in Brussel sprouts await us. 

Can Puppy Dogs Eat Brussels Sprouts?

Good nutrition from early on will give a rapidly growing puppy the right start in life with the healthiest possible body and brain. Prevention of medical problems later begins with nutrition adapted for each life stage. What’s more, training your dog early to enjoy sharing healthful treats is like teaching a kid.

Can Elderly Dogs Eat Brussels Sprouts?

Consider meeting with a holistically minded vet about the role of different foods for your aging canine companion. Nutrition often does double duty as medicine in geriatric dogs. Research indicates that certain supplements can help prevent or slow the onset of canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD).

In fact, scientists in the UK have been experimenting for more than five years with retinoic acid. Derived from vitamin A found in Brussel sprouts and other plants, synthetic versions show promise as a treatment for neurological disorders including dementia. Are Brussels sprouts good for dogs? They might be especially good for old dogs having trouble learning new tricks as well as remembering the old ones.

Will Brussels Sprouts Give My Dog Gas?

Like other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts contain raffinose, a carbohydrate that is difficult for dogs and humans to digest. Bacteria begin to ferment it in the intestines where, like yeast fermenting beer, the by-product is gas. Although Brussels sprouts are rich in immune-supporting, inflammation-fighting isothiocyanates including sulforaphane, these compounds contain sulfur.

If you ever wondered what causes the distinctive odor in both canine and human flatulence, it’s sulfur. To help ease uncomfortable bloating, you can offer your pooch some banana, pureed pumpkin, or cooked sweet potato. 

How Often Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts & How Much Is Okay to Give?

Are Brussels sprouts good for dogs? By now you know the answer! Moderation is the key. Start with a small portion, maybe half a sprout depending on the weight of your dog. See how they digest it- offer no more than three Brussels sprouts treats per serving from time to time. 

How to Prepare Brussels Sprouts for Dogs

what are brussel sprouts

We answered your question “Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts?”, so now we’ll explain the next question: How do you cook Brussel sprouts for dogs? Steaming is the best method for preserving the nutrients while softening the tough leaves. You don’t want them mushy, just soft. Here’s how:

  1. Prepare Brussels sprouts by removing outer leaves, slicing out entire stem, and rinsing thoroughly in running water.
  2. Pour 1-2 inches water into deep pot and turn on heat. 
  3. When water is boiling, place vegetables in steamer basket or colander so water barely covers bottom. 
  4. Cover and steam 6-10 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Drain. 

Alternative methods:

  • Boil water in a wok and suspend Brussels sprouts in colander, wire strainer, or shallow bowl over boiling water. Cover and steam. 
  • Heat oven to 200F. Boil water in pan on stovetop. Pour water into baking pan with rack. Place veggies on rack and cover with aluminum foil. Place in oven and steam. 

Chop into pieces and mix with dog food.

Recipes For Dogs

dog recipe 2

Veggie Stew


  • 1-1/4 quarts bone broth
  • 1 lb (about 3 cups) butternut squash 
  • 1/2 lb (about 1-3/4 cup) acorn squash 
  • 1/3 lb (about 1 cup) beetroot
  • 1/3 lb (about 1 cup) broccoli (brussel sprouts)
  • 1/3 lb (about 1-3/4 cup) kale
  • 1/4 lb (about 1-3/4 cup) beet greens


  1. Make bone broth by adding marrow bones (as well as head and feet if desired) to water-filled cooking pot; heat to boiling; cover, lower heat, and simmer 9 hours.
  2. Soak veggies in warm water for half an hour to clean.
  3. Strain broth. 
  4. Add squash and beets first, cooking 7-10 minutes.
  5. Steam leafy greens including Brussels sprouts 2-5 minutes, then add to pot. 
  6. All done! Add to dog’s meal as 10% veggie/nuts/fruit portion according to BARF guidelines. Freeze remainder in small containers.


dog recipe 2

Venison & Vegetable Stew

Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts? In a delicious customizable stew with a variety of vegetable choices from your own garden? Absolutely yes. In fact, take some for yourself and season to taste. 


  • 4 cups ground venison (or other protein source of your choice including chicken, duck, beef, bison, fish, etc.)
  • 4 cups low sodium broth or bone broth
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped Brussels sprouts
  • (May use other vet-approved veggies such as celery, cucumbers, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, or zucchini)


  1. Brown meat until about 3/4 cooked, using olive oil if needed.
  2. Combine all ingredients into large pot turned to medium heat.
  3. Bring to boil and continue cooking 15 minutes.
  4. Cool and serve! 


FAQ–Frequently Asked Questions

What if my dog eats too many Brussels sprouts?

Call the vet for the most accurate and immediate advice. Monitor over the next few days for a bloated belly, discomfort, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or other abnormal gastrointestinal signs. Keep fresh water available both indoors and outdoors. Offer wet treats such as canned dog food, apple slices, and other favorite fruit and vegetable snacks. Plain pumpkin and sweet potatoes, either canned or baked, are used by many canine experts to promote pooping.  

Are Brussel sprouts toxic to dogs?
No. Unlike many foods, Brussels sprouts contain no known toxins. The only issue is gas. A small amount is normal but too much is uncomfortable. And if your dog has sensitive feelings, then being subjected to ridicule will hurt the bond you share, so remember to be sympathetic.

Is it OK for dogs to eat raw Brussels sprouts?
No. Your dog can’t easily digest the fiber-rich leaves. The result will be excess gas or even an intestinal blockage. The optimum balance between raw and cooked sprouts is achieved by steaming. Another thing: even though fresh Brussels sprouts are cute, they’re hard when they’re raw and can get stuck in your dog’s throat. 

Can dogs chew on Brussels sprout stalks?
No. The stalks are as indigestible to your dog as a tree twig is to you. The fibers can get caught in the teeth, cause gagging or choking, or worse. Slice them out and toss them in your garden’s compost pile. 

Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts as leftovers?
They shouldn’t if the sprouts have been drenched in butter, seasonings, sauces, or juices from other foods that were on the plate. 

Final Thoughts

Can dogs eat Brussels sprouts? Not only can you answer that now, but you also know about Romans eating them, about dogs’ natural diet, about the incredible powerball nutrition in Brussels sprouts, about cryptonutrients waiting to be discovered, about the chemistry of flatulence, about steaming vegetables, and about strengthening the bond between you and your beloved hound dog by sharing nourishing food together. 

Other Related Posts Of Interest

Can Dogs Eat Beets? How To Use Beets For Allergies, Liver Health & Immunity
Can Dogs Have Zucchini? This Veggie Packs A Powerful Punch
Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Find Out WHICH Ones
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones? Why They Should!


Directory of veterinarians practicing holistic/integrative medicine: 

How to steam veggies:


How To Boil Chicken For Dogs: How To Guide 2022 – Raw, Cooked, Organic + Recipes

The scent of cooking chicken wafting through your kitchen is maddeningly delicious, especially for your dog. You want to know how to boil chicken for dogs? Good question because you can’t just boil it. For your dog to get the best benefits from the chicken, there are some special things you can do. And we’re going to fill you in right now!

How to Cook Chicken for Dogs & Knowing What Is Organic Chicken

Knowing how to boil chicken for dogs starts with knowing how to choose the chicken. You always hear about “quality meats,” but what does that really mean? The canine appetite is pretty open to suggestions, but domesticated animals rely on humans to provide them with the best possible choices.

Choose a USDA (US Department of Agriculture) Organic chicken. In general, the definition of “organic” refers to raising animals or plants without artificial chemical additives. But a food label can claim to be organic even when it only contains a small percentage of organic ingredients. On the other hand, when certified by accredited agencies such as the USDA, it means that the farm adheres to strict guidelines for the entire lives of the chickens and submits to annual inspections.

The poultry must have access to the outdoors and have been raised without antibiotics or hormones. Certified feeds contain no animal by-products, genetically engineered grains, or plants grown with chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

Take advantage of local sources for chicken and produce whenever possible. Not only are you supporting your community’s businesses, but your food is fresher. The birds don’t need to be injected with solutions made of salt and preservatives to increase their market weight. You can physically see your chickens’ living conditions.

Raw vs. Cooked Food for Dogs

Because you love your furkids, you want the best for them. Provide them with a combination of nutrient-dense foods in the right balance and IT will make a big difference in their health. One of the most important goals for Happy Tails is teaching you how to prepare fresh ingredients in the right proportions.

An increasing number of pet lovers are discovering the benefits of a balanced raw diet. One type is the BARF diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Give pets what they would seek out in the wild in its freshest and most natural form.

Other people feel more comfortable cooking their pets’ dietary elements. Cooking causes changes, as you know. Boiling changes the texture of meat by breaking down protein bonds when allowed to continue cooking for 10 minutes. Cooking also makes some nutrients more easily digested and absorbed by elderly dogs or dogs with gut issues.

It’s okay to offer both raw and cooked foods when you follow USDA food safety rules. It’s not a matter of raw VERSUS cooked, but rather a matter of knowing how to use both methods of food preparation to feed your pooch a variety of healthful homemade meals. Your dog will love you for all of it!

How Long To Boil Chicken Breast For Dogs

boiled chicken for dogs

Check out our recipes below! The most accurate answer has more to do with the chicken than the timer, though. Locally sourced organic chicken meat is safe to give raw. Chain-store chickens, however, have usually been raised in factory-type conditions, fed antibiotics and hormones, processed with salty preservative injections, and transported long distances.

That kind of chicken meat should be boiled at least 10 minutes, longer if necessary, to fully cook it so no pink color remains and so the internal temperature measured with a meat thermometer measures 165F.

Is Chicken Good for Dogs?

Yes, chicken is really good for dogs. It’s a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Birds have been natural prey for canines for tens of thousands of years. White meat, found in the breast and wing meat, has more protein and less fat than dark meat. Dark meat, found in the thighs and drumsticks, has more fat but also contains more zinc and iron.

Chicken skin carries a lot of extra fat. If you offer clean raw chicken, white meat contains niacin (vitamin B3) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Knowing how to boil chicken for dogs is a valuable skill because you learn that you can add other foods rich in B vitamins like garbanzos (chickpeas), lentils, and other edible legumes. Chicken livers and gizzards are also great for your furry buddies.

Processed poultry is not good for dogs. Hot dogs, sausage, canned meats, baloney, and other lunchmeats, as well as breaded frozen nuggets and strips, are made with unsafe amounts of fat, salt, preservatives, even sugar, fillers, and artificial coloring agents. You don’t know how old they are or what poultry parts were used during manufacture. See our post on Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni for more information.

Basic Canine Nutrition

Each species has its own nutritional needs. However, each individual has its own nutritional needs as well, depending on age, activity level, and health status. Canines are natural omnivores, adapted to eating a wide selection of meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grasses.

In the wild, the pups’ first solid food after their mother’s milk is her regurgitated stomach contents. The pack also consumes the stomach contents of its prey, along with eggs and small game such as rabbits, fish, lizards, amphibians, insects, grubs, and worms.

Here’s a run-down on general canine adult maintenance nutritional needs:

  • Protein: 10-20% of calories
  • Fat: 5.5% of calories
  • Carbohydrates: 30-60% of calories including soluble and insoluble fiber

Protein, fat, and carbs are the main groupings of nutrients. Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, and other essential ingredients in smaller proportions. In general, a varied diet of fresh nutrient-dense ingredients will benefit your dog.

Homemade raw diets recommend the following:
– 50% raw muscle meat
– 10% organ meat
– 40% plant material with sweet potatoes and legumes.
+ Raw meaty bones

A variation suggests a slightly different ratio of 40% meat, 40% vegetables, and 30% grains. Quinoa, buckwheat, and barley are more nutritious and better tolerated than some other grains. Many include a digestible, clean-sourced vitamin/mineral supplement to ensure their pets get all nutrients in a balanced ratio. Adding a clean-sourced Omega oil is also very beneficial for coat, skin, brain and joint health.

As you can see, there’s a lot more in knowing how to boil chicken for your dog than just boiling water. It’s good practice to introduce changes slowly in small amounts at first to monitor for allergies.

Can Dogs Eat Boiled Chicken Bones?


You may wonder how our furkids’ ancestors survived for all those thousands of years eating bones. Today we hear warnings all the time about the dangers of giving them bones. The answer lies in what bones are made of. Bones are living tissue covered with a membrane and nourished with a blood supply like any other tissue.

To absorb shock better, bones are flexible. Wolf-dog ancestors in the wild didn’t hunt half-ton Angus bulls. They ate whatever they could catch. The bones were soft and wet and easy to chew. What’s more, the wolf-dog ancestors had jaw muscles and specialized teeth for crushing those bones.

Today our dogs’ jaw muscles aren’t accustomed to heavy-duty chewing. The problem with cooked bones is that the fat and collagen melt out of the mineral tissue, leaving brittle structures that splinter when chewed.

The answer to your question about how to boil chicken for dogs and feed them the bones is NO. Cooked bones are a big risk. Just because your dog ate some without consequences once doesn’t mean the next time will be the same. You can give your pooch raw bones with supervision. Read our Happy Tails post about raw chicken bones.

Is Bone Broth Medicinal for Dogs?

Benefits Of Bone Broth For Dogs

If you need to know how to boil chicken for dogs, consider making bone broth. You simply simmer bones for hours to extract the nutrients. Why make bone broth? Because it’s concentrated, it’s tasty and makes other foods more appetizing. The boiling kills extracts nutrients and it’s easily digestible.

When you make it yourself, you know exactly what goes into it. Bone broths can be made from the bony carcasses of chicken, turkey, duck, beef, bison, goat, lamb, or fish. Homemade is recommended over commercial.

If you opt for commercial bone broth, get in the habit of reading the labels and looking up unfamiliar ingredients. You want to avoid unnecessary salt, MSG, artificial coloring, preservatives or onions, garlic, and mysterious ingredients such as “meat meal” or “meat by-products.” Choose human-grade instead of animal-grade for cleaner ingredients. The most healthful broth comes from organically raised animals.

How To Make Your Own Bone Broth/Stock

boiled chicken for dogs

To make your own bone broth/stock:

  • 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of bones
  • 2 quarts (2 liters) of water to make a thick broth with lots of gelatin.
  • Fewer bones make a thinner stock
  • Denser bones such as those from cattle and bison need to cook longer
  • Bring to a boil
  • Lower the heat to a rolling simmer
  • Cook for 12-48 hours.

For your pets, don’t skim off the foam because it’s made from different proteins, fat, and other good things. In fact, vitamins A, D, E, and K cannot be absorbed by the body without the presence of fat. Unless you’re making gourmet dishes for humans, don’t worry about the liquid being cloudy.

Add whatever dog-friendly veggies 3 hours before finishing. Some people like to puree raw vegetables and add them at the end. To increase the nutritional value, add an omega fatty acid supplement such as salmon oil. Strain and store in the fridge or freezer. Be sure it isn’t too hot when you add it to your dog’s meal.

Nutrients in bone broth include the following:

  • Gelatin: Collagen cooked down into smaller molecules; supports joint mobility, immune system function, and gut health
  • Glucosamine: Supports joint mobility, immune system function, gut health
  • Chondroitin: Supports joint mobility and immune system function
  • Hyaluronic acid: Supports joint mobility and immune system function
  • Glutamine: Amino acid used for making proteins and other amino acids, and immune system support
  • Calcium: Maintenance of bones, teeth, muscles, nerves, heart
  • Magnesium: Aids in cellular energy production
  • Phosphorus: Maintenance of bones, teeth, metabolism
  • Potassium: Involved in electrical conduction in the nerves, heart, and muscles
  • Fat: Provides energy, insulation, and enables absorption of several vitamins
  • Water: Makes up 80% of your pooch
  • Collagen: Most common protein in the body, a component of connective tissue; made up of amino acids glycine, arginine, proline, and hydroxyproline; supports joint mobility, immune system function, and gut health

Can I Feed My Dog Boiled Chicken Every Day?

Yes, properly prepared chicken is fine for your canine buddies every day as long as it’s
part of a balanced and varied diet that includes different vegetables and other ingredients such as canned pumpkin, plain yogurt, and salmon oil.

One way of testing how to boil chicken for dogs is to cook the meat first, then add different chopped or pureed vegetables near the end of the cooking time as we mentioned above. You can serve this stew as a snack or as gravy with your dog’s other food.

How Much Chicken For Dog By Weight

Learning how to boil chicken for dogs is learning how much to feed. Before deciding to switch to homemade food, start out slowly by introducing different ingredients one at a time. A warning: your beloved pal is at high risk of turning bratty and spoiled when offered too much of your delicious boiled chicken!

Little dogs with their tiny stomachs are especially prone to gaining weight. One reason that boiled chicken is a good choice for a supplement or snack is that it is a clean food without additives or excess fat. The recipes below explain how to boil chicken breast for dogs.

Boiled Chicken Recipes for Dogs

can dogs eat green bell peppers

Boiled Chicken And Rice For Dogs

Many veterinarians suggest boiled chicken and rice temporarily when a dog has stomach or intestinal upsets because the mixture is easily digestible. When learning how to boil chicken for dogs, remove the bones either before or after cooking the chicken so you can make bone broth/stock later.

Remember that cooked bones are dangerous for pets because they can splinter! Boneless chicken breasts are quick and easy to prepare but you can cut up a whole chicken into pieces and freeze what you don’t need.

As described above, choose fresh, locally sourced, organically raised poultry to avoid toxins and artificial additives. Use long-cooking rice (short or long grain or brown rice) because quick-cooking rice has fewer nutrients due to processing.

  • Chicken
  • Rice
  • Water


  1. Remove fat and any bones. Although deboning is easier after cooking, deboning beforehand will shorten cooking time.
  2. Place chicken in stockpot and cover with water.
  3. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Simmer 10-30 minutes until meat is fully cooked.
  4. Saving broth, allow to cool, then ensure all bones are removed.
  5. Cube into 1/2-1 inch pieces depending on size of dog.
  6. Pour 2-1/2 cups broth back into pot; refrigerate remainder for another purpose.
  7. While bringing broth to a boil, rinse 1 cup rice several times until water is clear.
  8. Pour rice into boiling broth and bring back to a boil.
  9. Turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes (40-45 minutes for brown rice).
  10. Rice should be soft and slightly soggy. Allow to cool thoroughly.
  11. Mix rice and chicken with fork in ratio of 2 or 3 parts rice to 1 part chicken.

Introduce in usual dog dish in small portions. Follow veterinarian’s directions regarding returning to usual feeding.

Debbie’s Homecooked Stew for Dogs


  • 2 1/2 cups water, broth, stock, or bone broth
  • 2 cups cubed sweet potato
  • 2 large chicken breasts or beef equivalent, cut into 6 pieces
  • 2 pounds frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, carrots, kale, spinach, and/or collard greens – any of the leafy cooked greens are an excellent source of vitamins/minerals)


  1. Place ingredients in slow cooker in order listed, covering completely with vegetables.
  2. Cook 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  3. Remove from slow cooker, shred chicken, and stir into sweet potato/veggie mixture until evenly distributed.
  4. Store covered in fridge for up to three days or freeze in single-serve portions.
  5. Double or triple the recipe for large dogs.
  6. Stir Nutritional Supplement into each individual meal before serving.

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat grilled chicken?
This is one of those “yes, but” questions. Yes, your dog can eat grilled chicken and other meats but without bones or sauces. Moreover, grilling dog-safe vegetables without added fat will make healthful additions to their meal. Remove hard-to-chew skins and charred bits.

Can dogs have burned meat?
Can dogs have boiled chicken? Yes, but it’ll burn if you don’t watch the pot. Burned chicken and other meats not only lose their nutritional value but also undergo chemical changes into toxic substances. Acrylamide is the main culprit. If you cut away the charred portions and remove all the bones, it should be safe.

What’s the difference between broth, stock, bouillon, consommé, and soup?
“Broth” and “stock” are commonly used interchangeably, and commonly argued about. Don’t sweat it.


  • Broth is made from simmered meat and/or vegetables, then clarified.
  • Stock is simmered bones and/or vegetables. Stock is usually strained and cooked down and used as the base for soups and sauces.
  • Bouillon is a highly flavored paste or cube used to enhance the taste of other foods.
  • Consommé is concentrated and clarified broth or stock served as a side dish or entree.
  • Soup is liquid food in many forms.

Can dogs eat the foam on bone broth?
The foam from simmered or boiled bones and meat is protein, fat, and other nourishing ingredients. It’s very nutritious but chefs don’t like it because it makes the bone broth cloudy and lumpy.

Final Thoughts

Now you not only know to boil chicken for dogs, but you know how to boil water, too! With emotional support from your furry buddy backing you up all the way, you can’t go wrong. Dogs know when you’re doing things to help them, so all your efforts help strengthen the bond you share with your beloved canine friend. The next thing is to train your dog to howl in joy with you when you holler out loud, “I KNOW HOW TO BOIL CHICKEN FOR DOGS!”

Happy Tips: Holistic Thoughts

Prana, The Life Force In Home Prepared Food

It’s a thing for animals as well as people. If you’ve heard of chi energy in Chinese medicine or the chakra energy centers first described in India thousands of years ago, then you already know a little about integrative healing. In Ayurvedic thought, prana refers to the lifeforce and vital energy within each individual being. One of the ways to promote it is to focus on intention, gratitude, and love, pausing to appreciate what’s happening when we prepare food for our loved ones. Dogs, horses, humans, everyone.


Safe poultry practices from the USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service:

Learn more about the B.A.R.F. (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet for dogs:

Finding a vet that practices integrative medicine:

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni? How To Make Canine Friendly Options

Humans feel a basic need to eat together and to feed each other. The term “break bread” means so much more than breaking a loaf of bread into smaller chunks — it means sitting down with members of our tribe and bonding. You consider your animal companions to be part of your tribe. So, can dogs eat pepperoni?

As meaningful as it is to share the same “loaf,” sometimes it isn’t safe. For example, loving parents don’t give taffy or peanut butter toast to their infants. Out of love, they share a safer food. That’s exactly how it is with pepperoni for your beloved pooch.

Is Pepperoni Bad for Dogs?

is pepperoni bad for dogs

One of the best habits you can develop is reading labels. Not only does it gets easier with time, but you’ll be surprised what you learn about products you used to feel safe using. Labels make it much easier to choose more healthful foods to feed your furry buddies.

As tasty as it is, pepperoni and many other processed types of meat contain a large amount of sodium. Sodium chloride is the chemical way of describing table salt. It can raise blood pressure which increases the risk of heart and kidney damage.

Without available water, too much of it causes salt poisoning, an often fatal condition of severe dehydration. Pepperoni also contains preservatives that are known carcinogens. Other ingredients include artificial coloring, fat, sugar, and spicy seasonings that irritate dogs’ digestive systems.

To avoid diarrhea or even pancreatitis, steer away from hot chilis, paprika, mustard, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper, onions, and garlic. So, can dogs eat pepperoni? You know they’d LOVE to eat it, but it is definitely bad for them. Now, on to sharing some nutritional alternatives.

Can Dogs Eat Cheese Pizza?

can dogs eat pepperoni pizza

If you substitute some of the ingredients, then yes! Dogs’ digestive systems and nutritional needs are different from ours, as we’ll discuss in a moment. When you learn to substitute the milk products in the cheese, the carbs in the crust, the acid in the tomatoes, the spices and sugar in the sauce, and the fat and salt and chemicals in the pepperoni, then it’s all systems go.

Great “cheese” substitutes for your dog’s pizza:
Don’t say “Eeewww!” You know some of the things dogs eat. . . . . .

  • Bananas
  • Carrots (cooked or raw)
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal (cooked)
  • Peanut butter (without toxic xylitol sweetener!)
  • Pumpkin
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Squash of all kinds (Read our Happy Tails post on zucchini.)
  • Sweet potato
  • A coarse or smooth mash made of one or more of the above

Check out some great recipes at the end of this post.

Can Dogs Have Milk & Cheese?

Although nursing puppies need their mother’s milk, their bodies stop producing the enzyme lactase. Lactase enables them to digest the milk sugar lactose, which they no longer need once they begin eating solid food. In addition to being lactose-intolerant, many dogs are allergic to the proteins in cow’s milk. Equally, important an allergy often extends to other dairy products such as cheese.

Cheese loses much of its lactose during the ripening or fermentation process, so different types contain different amounts. For dogs without milk allergies, eating small amounts of cheese is good as long as it’s free of acquired mold, sugar, toxic artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, and other additives. Plain organic yogurt is best.

Cottage cheese is less processed but contains more lactose. Some types have added milk. Mozzarella is an acceptable choice because it contains less fat and sodium (salt) than most other types of cheese.

Parmesan cheese, common on pizza, is very high in sodium. What’s more, the yellow powdered crumbs commonly sold as grated Parmesan cheese are usually manufactured with the addition of salt, cellulose powder (refined wood pulp to provide an inert bulk filler), and potassium sorbate (a chemical salt used as a preservative in foods, cosmetics, and other products). Furthermore, the labeling is unclear as to whether “100% Grated Parmesan” indicates “100% Parmesan” or “100% grated.”

What’s Wrong With Cheese?

can dogs eat parmsean cheese

What are the signs of lactose intolerance & milk allergy? Any or all of the following within about twelve hours of consuming milk products:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Vomiting

Plant-based milk and cheese can provide a safe and nutritious substitute for cow and goat milk. You always want to read the label to avoid added sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. The artificial sweetener xylitol is toxic, as are macadamia nuts and chocolate. Given that, acceptable milk substitutes in moderation include:

  • Coconut
  • Hemp
  • Rice
  • Cashew
  • Almond

Why no peanut milk? According to the National Peanut Board, peanut milk is in the works.

Train Your Dog that Pizza Means to Wait for a Reward

Don’t ever feel obligated to give your dogs everything you eat even though they want it. Instead, offer them a substitute treat. Since you’re their pack leader, it’s your responsibility to oversee their health and to teach them manners. They understand that they don’t always eat the same food you’re eating at the same moment you do. At least they understand if you train them. Foods dogs shouldn’t have:

  • Avocados: A fatty acid called persin is toxic to many animals.
  • Caffeine: The stimulant that humans love is toxic to many animals.
  • Chocolate: Even small amounts contain stimulants.
  • Fat in excess: Contributes to obesity and even pancreatitis.
  • Grapes and raisins: Cause kidney failure in many animals.
  • Macadamia nuts: The exact cause is unknown but these nuts are toxic to dogs.
  • Milk products: Certain sugars and fatty acids are difficult for canines to digest.
  • Onions: In the same family as garlic, they can cause anemia.
  • Sodium: Not only causes dehydration but can lead to sodium poisoning.
  • Sugar: Leads to weight gain, tooth decay, and even diabetes.
  • Yeast dough: Eaten raw, it rises, ferments, and not only can bring about alcohol poisoning but also painfully bloats and blocks your pet’s digestive tract.

Let your pizza and other meals become a cue for them to wait for a delicious reward of another kind of treat. Can dogs eat pepperoni? They don’t need to.

Training Yourself

Most professional dog training programs emphasize consistency, repetition, and positivity. Your dog will pick up on what to expect from you as the pack leader. Resist being manipulated! You MUST train yourself to be consistent no matter how cute or demanding your pooch is. You are the Top Dog.

Train yourself to get in the habit of repeating rewards of small healthful treats, affectionate petting, or toy play immediately after your dog exhibits the desired behavior. And make the training fun so your furry student will enjoy training sessions. Something else: you love your dog or you wouldn’t even be reading this post.

It’s only natural that you’d want to share your pizza ecstasy with your best buddy. But dog psychology is a little different from human psychology. Let’s explore that a little more.

Dog Psychology 101: How Dogs Think

dog psychology

Dogs’ ancestors survived through teamwork and strengthening pack relationships. This meant repeatedly sharing meals and engaging in activities together to reinforce the pack bond. Today you can enjoy mealtimes together without sharing specific foods. You can engage in such activities as brushing, taking walks, playing, sleeping, and providing emotional support to each other during times of crisis.

Modern canines have evolved to become very observant and communicative with their human companions, so you don’t need to resort to aggressive alpha methods of training. So, can dogs eat pepperoni? The pepperoni itself won’t be as meaningful to your fur pal as it is to you: no happy memories of family get-togethers, social outings, celebrations, and so on.

What’s meaningful to your pup is that you provide love, inclusion, and food . . . . The Right foods for him or her.

The Meaning of Sharing

Do dogs want to eat everything you eat? You know they think they want everything you eat. Can dogs eat pepperoni? Not exactly but sort of. You can offer safe meat alternatives such as homemade jerky. You can make a pooch-perfect red sauce to substitute for pizza sauce by pureeing a few edibles such as red bell peppers, carrots, strawberries, and beets.

To learn more, read our Happy Tails post on beets. You can enjoy any of these same foods alongside your own pizza. Smelling them on your breath will make your dog happy because you’re both eating the same thing.

What Is the Natural Canine Diet?

In the days before dogs separated from their wolflike ancestors — the days before partnering with humans — their natural diet was very different from the way it is now. Depending on the season and location, individuals caught and ate a wide variety of small animals including rabbits, beavers, rats and other rodents, birds, reptiles, fish, eggs, insects, and earthworms. They also ate carrion.

When the pack hunted together, they brought down any available larger game. In addition to the muscle flesh, most organs were consumed as well as stomachs and stomach contents. The offal, along with fecal material, provided extra nutrition. Bones were always part of the meal. Our dogs’ ancestors also ate herbs, vegetables, grasses, and fruits such as blueberries, apples, and pears.

When pups were weaning off their mother’s milk, their first solid food consisted of what she regurgitated from her own stomach. Foraging for food was an ongoing job. The pack members burned a lot of calories searching for food, sometimes not eating for days. You wanted to know “Can dogs eat pepperoni?” Wolves didn’t.

What Foods Are Best for Dogs?

In light of revelations about processed pet foods, many pet lovers are turning to natural diets. One is called “BARF:” Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It recommends a balanced formula of fresh, clean ingredients sourced from animals and plants that meet each pet’s known nutritional needs.

The ideal BARF diet for dogs contains 70% muscle meat, 10% raw bone, 7% vegetables, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organ, 2% seeds or nuts, and 1% fruit. Using raw ingredients, the food is nutrient-dense without any fillers, dyes, preservatives, or other unnecessary additives.

There is no “one size fits all” dog food recipe: puppies, pregnant and nursing females, older dogs, underweight or overweight individuals, and the presence of certain medical conditions mean that a specialized nutritional balance is necessary. Remember to introduce any new food to your pet slowly to prevent digestive upsets. Buy fresh, organic ingredients from local sources.

A note about raw bones: in the wild, canines and other carnivores gain many nutrients from eating the bones of prey. We’ve been taught from childhood that bones are dangerous for dogs. The fact is that COOKED bones are very dangerous because they’re brittle and prone to splinter. Raw bones, especially the bones of young animals, offer many benefits:

  • Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous
  • Amino acids and protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E
  • Blood-forming minerals in the marrow including iron and copper
  • Prevention of plaque formation and tooth decay
  • Emotional enrichment by satisfying the natural instinct to chew

When you provide a BARF-type diet the right way, you’ll notice that your buddy will have more energy and feel more satisfied because proper nourishment affects every organ system. Now you know the answer to your question, “Can dogs eat pepperoni?”

See our post on Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones!

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FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Pepperoni Made With Turkey?

Dogs can safely eat very small amounts of turkey pepperoni occasionally, just like traditional pepperoni, but it is bad for them. Although turkey pepperoni contains less fat, it contains much more sodium. The type of meat won’t matter, but the amount of salt, sugar, fat, spices, preservatives and artificial colors will. Therefore, baloney, hot dogs, salami, and even homemade sausage are all bad for dogs.

What Is The Difference Between Cured And Processed Meat?

Cured meats have been fermented to prevent spoilage and preserve nutrients. You might be familiar with other fermented foods such as cheese, wine, sauerkraut, tea, chocolate, sourdough bread, kombucha, and miso. Pickling is another method of preservation using brine, or saltwater.

On the other hand, industrial processing involves the speedy addition of chemicals to extend the shelf life of the product, make its appearance more appealing to customers, alter its texture, and add to its bulk.

Can Dogs See The Red Color Of Pepperoni And Pizza Sauce?

Canine vision is different from ours in several ways. Red appears as dark brown or dark gray to them. In terms of color, the world to them appears in hues of blue and yellow. However, they have sharper vision in dim light than humans do, they notice motion more quickly, and they have wider peripheral vision. They rely much more on their sense of smell to identify things including pepperoni and pizza sauce.

What’s The Difference Between Cannelloni And Cannoli?

Originating in Sicily, cannoli are tubular shells of deep-fried pastry dough filled with a mixture of ricotta or mascarpone cheese, sugar, marsala wine, and sometimes orange or lemon zest, then dusted with powdered sugar.

Canneloni are thick lasagna pasta tubes stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach, covered in tomato sauce, and baked. Can your dogs have them? Sure, if you substitute dog-friendly ingredients to make “canine-elloni” and “canine-oli.”

Recipes for Dogs

Can dogs eat pepperoni? They won’t need to with these healthy and mouth-watering recipes!

dog recipe

Pupizza! Homemade Pizza Treats for Your Dog


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 medium organic sweet potato, slightly cooked and chopped.
  • 1 medium organic red bell pepper
  • 1-1/2 cup organic cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup organic spinach
  • 1 organic chicken breast
  • 1 egg from a free-range source
  • 1 tsp organic canola Oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Bake chicken breast, then shred and set aside.
  3. Increase heat to 400F.
  4. Combine oats, egg, canola oil, and sweet potato, then blenderize or use food processor.
  5. Roll sweet potato dough in a round shape 1/2 – 1/4 inch thick On parchment paper.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes.
  7. Chop and blenderize red bell pepper until smooth to make pizza sauce. Drain excess water and set aside.
  8. Blenderize cauliflower to make “grated cheese.”
  9. Microwave cauliflower for 5 minutes and set aside.
  10. Do the same with the spinach.
  11. Remove baked dough from oven, then create pizza with the red bell pepper sauce, cauliflower, spinach topping, and then chicken.
  12. Bake another 15-20 minutes until edges are browned and cooked through.
  13. Cool the pizza and serve!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 slices

Humans only: If desired, add salt, pepper, and garlic for a delicious and healthy pizza!
Check out our Happy Tails post on Peppers For Pooches.

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dog recipe

Pooch Pizza!!



  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Coat a deep-dish pan with high-temperature cooking oil, butter, or lard.
  3. Whisk or beat flour, basil, parsley, and oregano in a large bowl until incorporated.
  4. Whisk egg in a separate bowl with chicken broth.
  5. Make a small well in the center of the dry mix, slowly pour in wet ingredients, and combine.
  6. Flour the top and roll out dough with a rolling pin or your hands until flat, smooth, and round.
  7. Transfer to the pizza pan, pressing the dough down around the sides by hand.
  8. Top with unprocessed meats, low-fat cheeses, vegetables, pup treats, mashed sweet potato, or whatever else fits your pooch’s “person(dog)ality”.
  9. Only use fresh ingredients that are safe for dogs to eat.
  10. Bake 30 minutes or until crust and cheese are browned.
  11. Cool completely.
  12. Cut into slices and serve.
  13. Time it so you can eat together!

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dog recipe

Homemade Dog JERKY ~ Yummm!



  1. Grind meats.
  2. Mix a few teaspoons of spice or spices per pound of ground meat with 2 tablespoons water.
  3. Mix into the meat with hands.
  4. Flatten meat mixture by hand or with rolling pin to 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Score into strips with knife or pizza cutter.
  6. Use a dull knife to transport jerky strips to wire rack on top of baking sheet or to dehydrator trays.

Oven: If your first time making jerky, use oven. Preheat to 180-200F.
Arrange strips on rack on top of a baking sheet or pan. Line sheet with foil for easier clean-up.
Placing tray in oven, prop oven door open with wooden spoon so moisture will escape during drying.

Dehydrator: Place jerky strips on trays.
Turn on high, around 160F.
Dry 3-5 hours.

  • JERKY NOTES: Dry jerky till strips bend and crack but don’t break when bent.
  • Cool for 5 minutes.
  • Test again by bending. If still moist, keep dehydrating.
  • When dry, use scissors to cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Store in refrigerator.
  • To store longer, use a vacuum sealer to keep in the freezer for several months.
  • Safe for humans but bland-tasting.
  • Poultry meat ok to use but safer when dried in oven. Internal temperature should reach at least 165F.

Benefits Of Spices:

  • Cinnamon contains antioxidants; aids in regulating blood sugar; helps correct bad breath.
  • Turmeric is beneficial for general health, aiding in heat, joint, and brain function; may help with weight loss.
  • Ginger is good for the digestive system; eases nausea.

Final Thoughts

Can dogs eat pepperoni? To recap, pepperoni is one of several human edibles that is better substituted with canine-compatible foods. Pepperoni isn’t even good for people! By training your furry pal to wait respectfully instead of hounding you, you can strengthen the bond between you when by offering a healthful treat. Establishing and maintaining a relationship built on trust will help give you both many years to share together.

paw prints

Other Posts Of Interest

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? Bone Up On The Real Story!
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones? Why They Should!
Can Dogs Eat Olives? Best Olives For Dogs & Medicinal Uses
Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Find Out WHICH Ones


How the minds of dogs are similar to and different from wolves and humans:,interactions%20of%20wolves%20and%20dogs.

Basics of canine nutritional needs:

More about cured vs. processed foods:,increase%20risk%20of%20heart%20disease

Can Dogs Eat Beets? How To Use Beets For Allergies, Liver Health & Immunity

Can dogs eat beets? Which kind of beets are you asking about? Red beets? Golden beets? Sugar beets? We’re going to answer all those questions as well as many others. What’s more, we’re going to leave you singing — wait and see!

Are Beets Good for Dogs?

In the wild, the wolf ancestors of dogs were not pure carnivores. Not only did they feed on the different kinds of prey they caught, but they took advantage of other available nutrition sources such as eggs, insects, fish, vomit, and poop. In addition, they also ate their prey’s stomach contents containing plant material.

We’ve all seen our dogs eat grasses as well as a variety of vegetables and fruits. Beets are just one of many veggies that make an excellent canine dietary supplement when prepared correctly. Moreover, others include carrots, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and squash such as zucchini. Check out our Tips for Happy Tails often because we post new articles on pet nutrition all the time!

What’s the Best Food for Dogs?

If you’re one of those people always reading food labels, good! That’s important. However, you need to know how to read between the lines to understand what “beef dinner” or “meat meal” or “complete and balanced” really means. Labels present as well as hide a lot of information because they’re composed by marketing experts, not nutritionists.

One way to ensure that your dog gets the best food possible is to make it yourself using the right balance of fresh, organic ingredients. Have you ever made pancakes from scratch? Even if you haven’t, you know from common sense that you don’t add eight crocodile eggs to a half cup of flour, and you don’t fry the batter in WD-40 oil. The ingredients have to be digestible and in the right proportion. So it is with natural dog food.

An increasingly popular way of providing pets with delicious and healthful meals is with the BARF diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. When you know the basics of canine nutrition, you know exactly what ingredients will do more than meet the bare minimum legal requirements the way most commercial foods are formulated.

They will make your beloved buddy feel good all the time. About your question “Can dogs eat beets?” — just keep reading to find out why the answer is YES.

How Do Beets Improve Dogs’ Health? Benefits of Beetroot For Dogs

can dogs eat beets raw

Whenever dog lovers ask a question like “Can dogs eat beets?”, they show how much they care. As you can see below, beets contain a wealth of nourishment as well as many other micronutrients not listed:

  • Beta-carotene: Precursor to Vitamin A aiding in skin and coat health as well as eyes, immune system, and mucus membranes
  • Betalains and other anti-oxidants: Appear to have therapeutic benefits for oxidative stress and inflammation
  • Fiber: Needed for digestion, blood sugar stabilization, fat metabolism, and a sensation of satisfaction after eating
  • Iron: Needed to form blood and aid in energy metabolism
  • Magnesium: Needed for enzyme and hormone function, cell membranes, and formation of bones and teeth
  • Manganese: Needed for enzyme function, nerve function, and bone development
  • Nitrates: Plant-sourced nitrates promote blood vessel health and lower blood pressure
  • Potassium: Needed for nerve function, enzyme function, and blood chemistry
  • Vitamin A: Needed for growth, vision, and immune function
  • Vitamin B9 (folate): Needed for protein synthesis and metabolism and hemoglobin function
  • Vitamin B12: Needed for enzyme function, white blood cells, appetite
  • Vitamin C: Did you know that dogs don’t need a source of vitamin C because their bodies manufacture it?

Scientists are actively exploring many aspects of beet nutrition, so keep your eyes peeled for updates on this exciting topic.

TIP: Add Organic Beetroot Powder To Your Dog’s Bowl

Organic Beetroot Powder – a human dose of beetroot powder is approximately 2-3 Teaspoons per day. This would equate to approx 1 Teaspoon per 35 pounds of weight. For smaller dogs, 1/2 Teaspoon per 15 pounds. And don’t forget beets are considered a “Superfood” so cats can have beets just as well. Typically cats weigh between 8-16 pounds, on average. They could have 1/4 teaspoon. *** Dogs or Cats with kidney stones should not consume due to naturally occurring nitrates.

How to Use Beets for Dog Allergies

beet for dog allergies

Although scientists are discovering more and more about allergies and inflammation all the time, there’s still a lot to learn. Allergic reactions are the result of an overactive and misguided immune system. It appears that many allergic and inflammatory conditions result from continued exposure to toxins as well as a chronically imbalanced diet.

One of the best things you can do for your pets’ health is to learn about the benefits of organic, natural foods from clean sources and fed in the right proportions. If clean food is good for you, why wouldn’t it be good for your pets? Canines have different dietary requirements from humans, but clean is clean.

Can dogs eat beets as part of a clean BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet? Absolutely yes! Beets contain several nutrients that are very beneficial for skin and immune system health. Be sure to feed as recommended without overdoing it.

Are Beets Safe for Dogs?

Can dogs eat beets as much as they want? No. The liquid with canned beets has a high sodium content plus chemicals leached from the coatings used to line the cans. The skin of raw beets is tough and can cause choking or intestinal blockage. Being naturally acidic, beets can irritate the digestive tract of some dogs, causing vomiting or diarrhea.

paw prints

Beets are high in oxalates which, when ingested in excess, can contribute to kidney stones. Oxalates also bind with calcium and iron, preventing their absorption. They can also aggravate gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and allergies. To minimize these issues, choose organic beets and be sure to wash them well and peel the roots.

Can Dogs Eat Beets Raw?

Cows chew their cud to make it more digestible, so you can make raw beets more digestible for your pooch by peeling and grating them and then pureeing or mashing them. If you want to lightly cook them, blanching and steaming will preserve the nutrients better than other methods.

Can Dogs Have Beet Juice?

Can dogs eat beets? By now you know the answer is definitely yes, but the answer about beet juice might surprise you. First, the red liquid sloshing around inside cans of beets is not beet juice — it’s mostly salty water dyed by the beets. It has very few nutrients but can contain BPA (bisphenol A) and other compounds found in polycarbonate plastics used for food containers and for lining metal cans.

Real beet juice is made from water and pureed beetroot. Since beets are higher in sugar than most vegetables, the juice is very sweet. Your dog is better off having beetroot mixed in food, and a big bowl of fresh water on the side. The juice can result in a sudden sugar spike for dogs with diabetes.

Can Dogs Eat Pickled Beets?

can dogs have pickled beets

An occasional slice or pickle bit usually won’t cause a problem, but most pickles contain ingredients that aren’t good for your dogs. As a matter of fact, many pickling ingredients are contrary to our dogs’ health in large doses. You definitely want to avoid pickled snacks for pooches with kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, or weight problems. Here are the culprits:

  • Salt/sodium: Can raise blood pressure and aggravate certain medical conditions such as kidney and heart disease
  • Vinegar: Is acidic and can cause digestive upsets, bad for dogs with kidney disease
  • Sugar: Fattening, bad for dogs with diabetes, cardiac conditions, and obesity
  • Xylitol: Sugar substitute highly toxic to dogs
  • Myristicin in cinnamon and nutmeg: Toxic to dogs
  • Onion: Toxic to dogs
  • Garlic: Toxic to dogs if not given correctly

How To Prepare Beets For Dogs

Choose organically grown beets and use them at their freshest. Scrub them to remove unwanted residues and spray or rinse the greens thoroughly. Peel the skin from the beetroot. Store unused portions in the refrigerator or freeze.

dog recipe



Chicken: 2lb./900 kg. chicken breasts
Beets: 1 large or 2 small fresh beets, peeled
Greens: Bag of mixed leafy greens
Brown rice: 1 cup (250 ml)
Yogurt: 1/2 cup


  • Bake the chicken breast at 350F about 20 minutes until the juices run clear.
  • Add beets and cook for about 30-35 minutes.
  • Cook rice and add an extra 1/2 cup water.
  • Add mixed leafy greens to rice mixture while cooking.
  • Grate beets and cube chicken breast.
  • Combine everything.
  • Call your dog for dinner!


dog recipe



1 mashed banana
1 beet, peeled
1 cup gluten free flour
1 cup organic oats
¼ Cup plain yogurt


  • Add 2 inches of water into pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add beet to steaming basket and place in the steamer pot. Steam until tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove pot, let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mash cooled beet until smooth.
  • Put oats into a blender or food processor and make into a flour consistency.
  • Mix beet, banana, and yogurt together.
  • Fold in flour and oats.
  • Form a dough ball and roll out on a flat, floured surface.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
  • Place shapes onto cookie sheets.
  • Back at 350 degrees for 11- 14 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool down at least 30 minutes.
  • Store in airtight container, but first don’t forget to share one or two with the dog.

Roll dough out on parchment paper for easier clean-up.
Place parchment paper on cooling rack before placing cookies on the rack
Wear gloves to work with this dough unless you don’t mind pink hands.


dog recipe



8 oz. cooked beets
1 cup + 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour (or flour of your choice)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
Sour Cream Icing optional if you want to frost cookies

Sour Cream Icing
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp honey
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp water
1-2 drops of leftover beet puree


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place beets in food processor or blender and process until pureed.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer or wooden spoon, combine flour, baking powder, pureed beets, honey, and coconut oil. Mix until combined, taking care not to over-mix.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about ¼” thick. Using whatever cookie cutter you desire, cut out shapes from cookie dough. Place on prepared baking sheet about an inch apart.
  • Bake cookies for 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a metal rack to cool completely.
  • Once cookies are cool, top with sour cream icing. You can either spread on with a spatula or pipe on with a pastry bag.

Sour Cream Icing
Put sour cream, honey, cornstarch, and water in a small bowl and whisk together. Add in a little bit of beet puree or natural food coloring to give icing a pink tinge if desired.

Keep a little bit of the beet puree to the side to use to color your icing.
Feel free to use any type of flour and oil you want for these cookies.
Mention @wearenotmartha and share a photo if you’ve made the recipe!


Why You Should Feed Your Dog Beets

You should feed your dog beets from local organic sources because it supports your community, your country, and your planet. In fact, if you want to plant beets in your garden for your canine buddy and you to share, they’re not difficult to grow if you live in a cooler climate. Gardening is a great activity to enjoy together!

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dogs Eat Beet Greens?

Like the beetroot, beet greens should be fed in moderation because they contain high levels of oxalates and nitrates. These two compounds work together to cause the same kind of kidney problems that beets can bring on if consumed in large amounts. They’re very nutritious for humans as well as dogs, but go easy.

Can Dogs Eat Beets Of Different Colors?

Red beets are the most nutritious for your canine buddy. While golden beets are high in antioxidants, they’re also a little higher in sugar. White beets are the sweetest, contributing over half of the domestic sugar production in the United States.

Are Beets Good For The Liver?

Is beetroot good for dogs

The liver is a busy organ in the body. It works 24/7 filtering every drop of blood to identify and detoxify harmful compounds but it has to be healthy to function. In addition, beets not only contribute iron but also a significant number of antioxidants to fight inflammation and oxidative stress.

Will Red Beets Make Dogs’ Pee and Poop Turn Pink Or Purple?

Compounds in red beets have been used for hundreds of years as a natural dye. Did you know that some Victorians used it to color their hair? It definitely can add an unusual but temporary pink or red tinge to your pooch’s pee and poop.

Final Thoughts

Can dogs eat beets? Now you know. And the more you know, the more power you have to change life for the better for you and your canine companions. From now on, maybe one of Sonny and Cher’s famous songs will remind you of the many health benefits of this beautiful vegetable and you won’t be able to stop yourself from singing, “And the beet goes on … and the beet goes on!”

paw prints

Resources for More Information

Why beets can’t be beat for humans:

Learn more about canine nutrition:

Information about the BARF Diet:

Curious about a BEETles song written with a sound in it that only your dog can hear?