Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baking with the Barkistas

Greetings Barkistas! As you may or may not know, we love to whip up treats for our favorite Barkista and are always looking for new pet-friendly dishes. Just in time for home stretch of holiday baking, we've got a recipe from Lucy Postins, CEO of The Honest Kitchen and dog cookbook author! These yummy treats are sure to please and include cranberries, which are good for pets prone to urinary tract infections

o   1 cup boiled and mashed butternut squash (You could substitute mashed
o   pumpkin or sweet potatoes if you don’t have butternut squash available.)
o   1½ cup uncooked oatmeal
o   ¼ cup dried cranberries
o   1 tsp nutritional yeast
o   1 tbsp honey

what to do
1. Preheat the oven to 370°F and butter a large cookie sheet.
2. Combine the cooked, mashed butternut squash with the oatmeal, cranberries,
yeast and honey.
3. Mix well so that all the ingredients are very thoroughly combined.
4. Using a teaspoon, scoop small balls on to the buttered cookie sheet.
5. Make sure they are evenly spaced out about 1 inch apart and bake for about
10 to 12 minutes.
6. Allow the bites to cool, and then add these nutritious goodies to your dog’s
usual meal or serve them as individual treats!

What's your favorite pet-friendly recipe?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Healthy Holiday Eating Q&A with Lucy Postins

As we all know, the holidays are a time for family and food. However, in addition to the no-no's we're all familiar with (raisins, chocolate, etc.), there are some other holiday feast dishes that should NOT be shared with your doggy. We had the chance to chat with Lucy Postins, CEO of The Honest Kitchen and author of Made of Love, a cookbook filled with healthy recipes for dogs, who gave us the dish on what your pup can safely stomach.

In addition to the "no-no" foods that we already know of, what other seasonal items do we need to keep an eye out for?
Stuffing and corn pudding –should be avoided for most pets, because they tend to contain onion and sometimes raisins, as well as ingredients like bread and cornmeal which aren’t very nutritious and can actually exacerbate ear infections and skin problems.

Desserts and cheeses should be avoided too, because they can cause tummy upsets, especially when eaten in excess.

Relishes, pickles and sauces are also best left out of your pet’s bowl because they tend to contain heavy spices, sugar, onion and other ingredients than can unsettle their GI tract.

The following foods are toxic to dogs and cats and should not be offered in the form of leftovers or people-food additions to her usual meals: onions, chocolate, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins & candies containing the sweetened xylitol. Also, never feed your dog as cooked bone!

What left-overs are suitable to be shared with your dog?

Turkey, Ham, Prime Rib and other meats. These can all be added to your dog’s food in moderation. The key things to remember are that dogs should never be fed any type of cooked bones because they can splinter and damage or impact the GI tract.  Too much fat and gristle can be problematic and can lead to pancreatitis, which is very painful and potentially dangerous. Try to avoid prepared meats that have added lots of added sodium, nitrites and preservatives.  Whenever you can, choose free-range, natural and grass-fed meats, which are better for you and your pet as well as the animal who provided the meat in the first place.

Sweet Potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene and make a highly nutritious meal addition for dogs. Steamed or baked sweet potatoes are ideal; raw root vegetables can be difficult to digest unless completely pulverized in a blender or food processor. Avoid giving your dog the kind of holiday-themed sweet potato side dishes that contain lots of maple syrup, melted marshmallows or candied nuts.

Cranberries are a great addition to your pet’s meals at any time of year and especially during the holidays. Many dogs enjoy fresh cranberries but cranberry sauce and jelly can be full of sugar and other ingredients that Fido doesn’t need. Dried cranberries are a nice alternative, provided they don’t have lots of added sweeteners. Cranberries contain natural compounds that can help prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall, so they are an excellent choice for cats and dogs who are prone to urinary tract infections.

Pumpkin & Squash
are great foods to share with cats and dogs in moderate amounts. Most pets love the taste of these nutritious, fibrous vegetables. If you’re making a soup, consider setting aside some of the gently cooked cubes of squash before you begin adding wine, cream, onions and other less pet-friendly ingredients to the mix.

Winter Greens like chard and kale
are a super source of vitamins and antioxidants. Brussels sprouts and cabbage are also loaded with nutrients, but they tend to cause gas. These can be added raw, lightly steamed or sautéed. Avoid serving your pet large amounts of winter greens that contain lots of added salt, wine, soy-sauce or butter.

White potatoes are fine in moderate amounts. They contain fiber and minerals. Try to avoid serving your pet potato dishes that are prepared with lots of cream, ranch dressing, oil or butter. Potatoes provide a good source of Vitamins B3 and B6, Vitamin C, Potassium, Iron, Copper and Fiber.  Potatoes have been associated with some adverse publicity in the past due to their content of glycoalkaloids, which can develop in the stems, shoots and green parts of the skin of potatoes that are improperly stored and where the skin is subjected to excessive or prolonged exposure to light. The shoots and green parts of potatoes should not be consumed by people or animals for this reason and should be removed before serving.

If you are sharing leftovers with your dog, what's the best way to figure out the correct portion size? 
A good rule of thumb is about 10% of your pets’ meal. A balanced topper is about half meat, and the other half vegetables and/or grains.

Hope you found this as helpful as we did! What leftovers do you share with your pup?  

Bon apetit and happy holiday feasting!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Barkzilla Spoil Me Rotten #Holiday #Giveaway!

This holiday, Spoil Me Rotten Dog Biscuits and Barkzilla want to treat your pooch to some amazing hand-made treats! 

Made from organic, locally-sourced ingredients, all of their biscuits are wheat, soy, corn, and preservative free, and do not contain any broths or by-products (gross). I mean honestly, who wants to feed their dog something contains ingredients you can't pronounce?

Anyway, we digress-- this amazing prize pack includes one box of 4 holiday-decorated Peanut Butter cookies (ooh, carob frosting!), and a bag of SMR's popular Peanut Butter Delight recipe! The perfect last-minute surprise to slip into your pup's present pile!

It's super easy to enter-- just use the nifty widget below. Don't forget, you can tweet every day for additional entries!  Many thanks to the awesome folks at SMR who donated this package! (Oh, and psst-- they're currently offering free shipping on their site in case you've got some furry friends to shop for on your "nice" list!)

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Barkista of the Month: Milo

Introducing the handsome Milo, our December Barkista of the Month!

Hailing from Maryland, this pooch won't turn down fresh roast chicken and has a passion for Alexander McQueen! Learn more about his stylish picks below-- and don't forget, we're always looking for new pups to feature! Simply send us an email to barkzilla at gmail dot com answering the below questions along with a headshot!

Name: Milo
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Age: 2 years old
Breed: Terrier mix
Canine Style Inspiration: Benji
Favorite Accessory: A multi-colored fur coat - mine of course!
Designer of Choice: Alexander McQueen
Signature Collar: Chartreuse fabric with chili peppers
Vacation Destination: Anywhere I can hang out with other dogs - even someone else's yard can be a fun place to visit!
Ultimate Indulgence: Warm, freshly-roasted chicken
Designer Dream Item: a Vivienne Westwood bed
Where You'll Most Likely Spot This Barkista: Lounging on the lawn with a nice pile of twigs for chewing and a cool drink
Favorite Website: It's a toss-up between (my mom's food blog) and, my dad's site.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: @HonestKitchen Cookies

What to get for the dog that has everything? The Honest Kitchen's Holiday Treat Pack of course! 

Packed full of delicious hand-baked cookies, the kit includes:
  • 8oz Pecks: We haven’t met a pup who didn’t love our famous bite-size Buffalo & Blueberry cookies – less than 1 calorie per ‘Peck’!
  • 8oz Nuzzles: Artisan Duck and Cherry, heart shaped cookies.
  • 8oz Smooches: Chicken and Cranberry heart-shaped cookies, with just a hint of aged Parmesan.
  • Force Trial Size: The base for our custom “Holiday Sage and Honey Cakes” recipe!
  • Plus, a festive recipe card and holiday greeting from The Honest Kitchen!
How yum does all of that sound? And for the steal prize of $24.99, it's the perfect way to spoil your pooch this holiday season.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pet Socialite NYC Holiday Pop-Up Shop

What could be more fun than shopping for holiday gifts for furry friends WITH your favorite anipal?!

This Friday, we swung by the press preview of Pet Socialite's Holiday Pop-Up Shop! Located at 19 Kenmare Street (Kenmare and Elizabeth), this cozy SoHo space has been outfitted with chic holiday gifts for the deserving pups in your life.  Including picks from vendors like FouFouDog, Jax and Bones, Pet Flys and more, the shop has something for every pup on your list. Everything is priced to be wallet-friendly too (yay).

Open all weekend from 11AM-6PM, pet expert and hostess Charlotte Reed will be hosting two days of holiday activities, including : "Color Me Beautiful" pet fur-coloring classes, Holiday Etiquette with Miss Fido Manners, and Art-Casso Dog Painting!

For a detailed schedule of events, visit the Pop-Up Shop's website! A super fun holiday event to share with your pup, we hope you'll stop by if you're in the neighborhood. Make sure to tell them the Barkistas sent you!

p.s. The shop is cash only, so make sure to swing by an ATM on your way!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lincoln Bark TreatSmart Snacks

Are your pups making their holiday lists? Well, we hope there's still time for a last minute addition! 

Introducing Lincoln Bark's TreatSmart snacks! Powered by the Chia seed (which you may or may not know is one of the hot new FDA certified "super foods" that's everywhere), these soft nutritional treats are loaded with protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, phytonutrients, all 9 amino acids, age-defying antioxidants, are gluten free and contain more calcium per ounce than milk. Whew! Soft in texture and small (about bite-size for Paddy), you could easily break apart if you wanted to make the treat last longer.

And if that wasn't enough for you, they're yummy too! Picky Paddington wasted no time scarfing down two (I know, the daily recommendation is one per seven lbs, but she was so fast!), and has eagerly been eying the bag. We sampled the Duck & Pea flavor, but these treats also come in the Salmon, Chicken Liver and Roasted Peanut varieties.

The perfect stocking stuffer for the health-conscious pet, pick yours up from Lincoln Bark's website-- $9.99 for an 8oz bag. Oh, and while you're there-- check out the ADORABLE doggy models they feature on their site!

*Samples were provided by PR for review. Please see our disclaimer for more information.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Coco & Pud Doggy Gingerbread House

I think the real question that this adorable Coco & Pud holiday doggy bed poses is, "who doesn't want to live in a gingerbread house?"

Probably only seasonally appropriate, it's a good thing that we can't find a US retailer -- otherwise we would be those people that leave their holiday stuff up year round.... awkward.

Originally spotted by our friends over at Pretty Fluffy. For more info about pricing and availability, check out Coco & Pud's website.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What's the Story, Blitz? Necklace

See! Pet-themed jewelry isn't always a fashion faux-paw

(Harty har har.)

 This porcelain pooch hangs from a 17.5" chain and is adorned with a pretty red bow.

And his name is Blitz! Seriously, how cute?!

By And Mary, available for $19.99 from ModCloth.

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