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Dog Friendly Tips: Are all dog foods born equal?

All dog foods are not equal. Higher quality dog foods can generally be found at a speciality pet supply store. Look for foods labeled "complete and balanced."

If your dog is a puppy, is an older dog, or has special needs, look for a dog food that is complete, balanced, and/or scientifically formulated for this specific age of dog.

A pet food label that says the dog food is complete, perfect, scientific, or balanced should be nutritionally adequate for a normal dog in all of its life stages - growth, adult maintenance, and gestation/lactation - unless it says it is complete and balanced specifically for one of the above life stages.

Dog Friendly Article: Healthy Valentine's Treat Options For Your Dog

No matter how much you love your dog, flowers and candy on Valentine's Day just aren't appropriate for him! However, you can still show your dog some affection and let him know that you want him to be your Valentine with some healthy Valentine treats. Here are some fun Valentine treat options for you to offer your dog so he won't feel left on when you're having some bon bons with your sweetheart.

Remember that chocolate is a big No-No for dogs! Even if your dog begs for your Valentine candy, don't let him have any. And take care to keep your candy and other chocolate out of reach so your dog won't be tempted to help himself.

Homemade Hearts

Why not give your dog your heart for Valentine's Day? Not your actual heart but these delicious homemade hearts. They're not only healthy for your dog, they're also easy to make. They're made with natural ingredients that you can find in your grocery store and they take just a short time to whip together. Your dog will love them!

Makes 10 mini cakes

For the cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup butter (or ¼ cup vegetable oil)
¼ cup all natural peanut butter
1 cup shredded carrots
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ tablespoons all natural honey
½ cup lowfat buttermilk

For the frosting:
8 ounces of lowfat cream cheese
1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a mini heart cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside.
2. Mix the flour and baking soda. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, honey, and oil/butter and stir. Add the buttermilk, ¼ cup at a time. Stir in carrots.
3. Spoon the mixture into the mini heart openings, filling each one three-quarters full. Bake for at least 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.
4. While the cakes cook, prepare the frosting by beating the cream cheese, vanilla, and cinnamon together. Once the cakes have cooled, frost. Drizzle melted peanut butter on top or top with additional shredded carrots.

Carob Hearts

Chocolate may be bad for your dog but carob tastes very similar and it's perfectly fine to give your dog cookies and other treats made with carob. Dogs love them! Try these Carob Heart cookies for your doggy Valentine. These cookies are made with all natural ingredients and if you want to nibble on them yourself, they're yummy.

1 ½ Cups Wheat Flour
½ Cup Rolled Oats
¼ Cup Carob Powder
½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Egg
½ Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Honey

1. In a small bowl combine the wheat flour, rolled oats, carob, and baking powder. Set aside. In a separate bowl beat together the egg, water, and honey. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended and it forms a stiff dough.
2. Place on floured surface and roll to desired thickness. Cut into heart shapes. (You can buy heart-shaped cookie cutters online or in kitchen supply stores.) Bake at 300 degrees. If rolled to 3/8″ thickness, baking time is 30 minutes to 35 minutes.
3. Melt carob chips in the microwave or double boiler and drizzle over the treats for more carob taste.

Try these healthy Valentine's Day treats for your dog instead of treats and snacks made with preservatives and other ingredients that you can't identify. Your dog will really be able to tell how much you love him.

Article by Nancy Cope a proud owner of 4 rescue dogs and owner of Pampered Dog Gifts an online dog boutique that specializes in special gifts for pampered pooches. Please visit to shop for custom leather dog collars, Valentine dog treats and more for your spoiled pooch.

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