Archive for the ‘Whole Dog Challenge’ Category

Whole Dog Challenge: Day 10, LAST DAY!!

Monday, May 26th, 2014

DAY 10 – LAST DAY!WDC_congrats

CONGRATULATIONS!! You’ve made it through the 10 day challenge! As this is your last day of the challenge, and a free choice day, we want you to choose your favorites from all the activities and make today a fun and congratulatory day! However you chose to do this challenge, whether you took out some things, added others, or adjusted it to fit your lifestyle, we are SO PROUD OF YOU! Taking the time to think about your health and your dog’s health is something important to be aware of, and something that we could all use support for at times.  We hope you and your dog enjoyed your journey with us. 

Dog Nutrition Pet Parent Nutrition Exercise Hygiene
Add fresh foods Eat more fresh foods Go to the dog park Brush teeth
Add fish oil Add lemon to water Go on a walk Brush
Give a supplement Drink green tea Go on a hike Clip nails
Make healthy treats Take a supplement Go on a jog Bath
Make ice cubes Try a healthy snack Try something new! Give a raw bone
Drink lots of water! Go for a swim Wash collars/leashes
Work on a trick Wash bedding
Play fetch Wash bowls
Play hide & seek Clean ears
Give a puzzle toy

If this is something you’re interested in doing again, or if you have any questions for the future, please don’t hesitate to contact us ( Dogs and health are what we are passionate about!

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Whole Dog Challenge: Day 9

Sunday, May 25th, 2014


wdc_hikeDN: Consider giving your dog a supplement with their food.

PPN: Consider taking a supplement or vitamin yourself. And if you already take one, good job!

E: Go on a hike, jog or trip to the dog park with your furry family member

H: Dental Health day! Brush your dog’s teeth, OR give him/her a raw bone


Going on hikes! What a wonderful thing.  Hiking is a great way to get out of the house, away from technology, and enjoy nature with your loved ones. One of the great things about hikes is that we have so many in Colorado you’re sure to find one suitable for the whole family.

Hiking doesn’t need to seem daunting. If you’re not a hiker, try a nearby trail, a walk around a lake, or a walk around the park! Walking and hiking can be incredibly therapeutic for both you and your dog.

Here are a few lists of good dog-friendly hikes in Colorado:

Bring Fido Trails

Dog Friendly Colorado Hikes

Colorado Hikes

Day Hikes Near Denver


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Whole Dog Challenge: Day 8

Saturday, May 24th, 2014


wdc_sweetpotsDN: Make your dog healthy sweet potato chews, OR ice cubes OR any other healthy dog treat.

PPN: When you crave something sweet today, try replacing it with a delicious fruit salad (or try making one of the below healthy treats)

E: Take your dog for a swim OR make a trip to the dog park

H: Wash your dog’s bedding, leashes or collars




Sweet Potato Chews: Pictured above

Doggie Ice Cream: This is super easy and great for Summer!

Grain-Free Frozen Dog Treats: If you have fish oil, use that instead of the olive oil


Here are some of my favorite healthy sweet tooth recipes~

wdc_fudgePrimal Fudge: These are SO delicious! And also easy! We add some chopped pecans and a fresh strawberry on top also. (A lighter option you can do with this: instead of pouring in a muffin tin for fudge, dip strawberries in the freshly blended mixture and put in the fridge for chocolate dipped strawberries!)


4 Ingredient Chocolate Coconut Pie

This is not an exact recipe, I make this at home and don’t really measure anything…but it is a great recipe to play around with different flavors.
Banana Ice Cream: 2 ripe bananas, 1tbs vanilla extract, 3 tbs almond butter, 1 cup coconut milk (if it won’t blend, add more milk), 2-3 tbs date syrup (or honey/agave), 2-3tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (depending on how chocolatey you want it!)  Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender (should be a soft serve consistency), put in a jar (I saved used plastic ice cream pint jars), and put in the freezer (for at least 5 hours).  This is really delicious! And guilt-free 🙂
Extras: Try adding some cinnamon for a ‘mexican chocolate’ style ice cream.  OR Like nuts? After blending all ingredients, try adding some chopped pecans/walnuts/almonds. OR leave out the cocoa powder and add some strawberries.

Craving a salty treat?  Try one of these healthy (and easy!) options instead:

Kale Chips: These are SO easy, and all you need is kale, olive oil and salt

Crispy Garbonzo Beans: This recipe has some spices, but I normally season with salt, paprika and chipotle chile powder. YUM, this is a great alternative when you’re craving something like popcorn. And also a good one to play around with different seasonings/flavors.

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Whole Dog Challenge: Day 7

Friday, May 23rd, 2014


wdc_brushDN: Hydration is important for dogs, just like it is for us. If you feed your dog kibble, try soaking the kibble in water before feeding. OR make chicken broth ice cubes.

PPN: Make sure you drink at least 60 oz. of water today. And mix it up! Try a new water infusion flavor.

E: Start teaching a new trick OR work on an old trick

H: Choose from: Trim your dog’s nails, Clean his/her ears, or brush him/her


Everyone sheds! Dogs with hair (poodles, bischons, etc.) shed infrequently, while dogs with thick double coats or short guard hairs can shed A LOT.  (Labs, shepherds, corgis, the list goes on!)  Finding dog hair on everything you own can be irritating, but that’s not the only reason to incorporate brushing your dog into your normal routine.

1) Prevent mats, itchy skin and hotspots.  Make sure to brush your dog’s coat all the way down to the skin.  Mats often form when loose hairs get trapped near the skin.  When moisture and allergens get caught in those mats, the skin can become inflamed and infected.  Ouch!

2) Reduce Allergens. Regular brushing helps to remove dust and pollen that might be caught in your dog’s coat.  If you, your dog, or members of your household are prone to environmental allergies, taking the time to brush your dog can help reduce the allergens in your home.

3) Know your dog’s body. Your dog’s coat may be hiding something.  Regular brushing might reveal anything from scrapes and cuts to irregular growths and cysts.  While brushing your dog, keep an eye out for anything unusual on your dogs skin and ask your vet if you find anything concerning.

Remember to make brushing a fun and rewarding experience for your dog!  Some dogs will love the attention they receive from being groomed, but others may feel uneasy or uncomfortable.  For dogs in the second category, counter-conditioning, treats and praise can go a long way!

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Whole Dog Challenge: Day 6

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014


wdc_fishoilDN: Start adding fish oil to your dog’s meals.

PPN: Omega 3′s have the same health benefits for people! Consider adding a fish oil supplement to your diet as well.

E: Give your dog a puzzle toy, or ask him/her to work for his/her food (tricks)

H: Wash your dog’s food and water bowls





> Healthy skin & glistening coat
> Decreased inflammation
> Increased stamina
> Improved the immune system
> Decreased shedding
>Adds moisture to dry, irritated skin
>May be used to enhance your pet’s appetite by adding an appealing fish flavor

Advanced research and case studies continue to show evidence that the benefits of Omega-3 & 6 Fatty Acids such as:
> Reduced Joint Discomfort
> Less Problems with Dry, Itchy Skin Attractive, Shiny Coat
> Renewed Energy
> Protection against Auto Immune Diseases
> Reduced Risk of Stroke or Heart Problems
> Keeping Blood Triglycerides in Check
> Antioxidant Properties Lower Risk of Cancer
>Anti-Inflammatory Activity

General Fish Oil Information: 

Oil from fish contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); both are omega-3 fatty acids.

Where is fish oil found? EPA and DHA are found in mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, sablefish (black cod), anchovies, albacore tuna, and wild game.

Q: My dog already gets fish oil so why am I not seeing improvement?
A: Many dog owners are feeding their dog fish oil, but most dogs are not getting a high enough dose to make a difference. Start your dog on a dose calculated at EPA of 20 mg per lb body weight. There will be DHA in there too but you don’t need to do any math on it.

Q: Is my 50 lb dog getting enough if it says 1000 mg of essential fatty acids on the label?
A: No! Many of the products say “1000 mg of EFAs” on the front of the bottle. The shorthand can be confusing because EFA sounds like EPA. Note that EFA stands for essential fatty acids, this includes EPA and DHA (which are both types of Omega 3 essential fatty acids). Be sure to read the label to see what is really in there. The fatty acids may be Omega 3, 6, or other miscellaneous ones. Pets need a supplement high in Omega 3 with no added Omega 6. Omega 6 is important but it is already in the diet in excessive amounts. This is why you need to feed Omega 3 (remember that means EPA plus DHA) to balance the diet.

Q: How do I figure out the dose?
A: Multiply your dogs weight in pounds by 20. For example, if your dog weighs 15 lbs, you multiply that by 20 mg/lb to get a target dose of 300 mg of EPA. Target dose for a 50 lb dog is 1000 mg of EPA. Target dose for a 100 lb dog is 2000 mg EPA. That is all the math you’ll have to do! Don’t worry about dose of DHA, it will be similar to the EPA.

Q: Does the ratio of EPA to DHA matter?
A: We do not know the exact ratios but research indicates that EPA has a stronger anti-inflammatory effect that DHA. For most of the conditions we treat in animals (digestive, skin, or joint issues) we want a fish oil that is higher in EPA than DHA.

Q: How long does it take to work?
A: After 3 weeks on that target dose, you should see signs of improvement such as reduced itchy skin, better digestion, reduced anxiety, or ease of movement in arthritic dogs. If you do not see improvements, you can double the dose.

Q: What about danger of overdose?
A: There is no toxicity but if you exceed the capacity to absorb it, the dog may get diarrhea. If this happens just lower the dose.

Q: Can I feed my dog the same fish oil that I am taking?
A: For small dogs less than 10 lbs you may find regular strength human fish oil capsules work well as these tend to have just under 200 mg EPA per dose. Be sure to read label carefully to find out if per dose amount takes two capsules or just one. For bigger dogs, particularly dogs over 50 lbs, you will need extra strength capsules unless you want to be feeding 10 or more pills per day. For high dose supplements, you will find various options under “extra strength fish oil”. Liquid is good if your dog won’t eat capsules. Some dogs will eat the human fish oil liquid despite the lemony flavor.

Q: Are there specific brands you recommend?
A: The pet specific brands tend to have higher concentrations per dose than the human products. CRCG carries pet specific supplements.

For general health maintenance and most common health problems……..start with fish oil.  You may be familiar with popular supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, sea cucumber, cetyl myristoleate, microlactin, or herbal preparations. One or more of these may be indicated for your pet, in addition to fish oil.  Let us know if you need help with deciding which supplements are best for your dog.

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Whole Dog Challenge: Day 5

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014


wdc_bathDN: Continue to incorporate fresh food into your dog’s food. You can do the same you did yesterday, or try something new!

PPN: Put lemon in your water today to help your body detox and make drinking water more enjoyable.

E: Play fetch!

H: Give your dog a bath! (Wednesdays are $2 off dog washes at Whole Pets!)


“Bath time!”  Are these dreaded words at your house? Bath time can be a stressful or unpleasant situation for many dogs. Here are few steps to make bathing go as quick and easy as possible:

-Brush your dog before the bath: This will help get the loose hairs out before bathing. Hair that is matted can hold excess water, so try to get all mats out before the bath.
-Talk to your dog in a reassuring and calm voice: If you are stressed your dog will most likely be able to tell and become more stressed themselves. Speaking to your dog to let them know that everything is okay can help keep them calm and relaxed.
-Use warm water: Dog’s can have more sensitive skin than us and can be burned more easily. If it is hot out and you have a larger dog, using even cooler water might be the best option so that they don’t overheat.
-Use dog shampoo: Shampoo that is meant for dogs will be gentler on their skin and less drying
-Rinse well: You don’t want to leave any leftover soap/shampoo on your dog’s skin, this can cause irritation, so make sure to rinse out all shampoo before ending your bath!
-Reward!!: Once the bath is over, give a high value treat, or abundant praise. Your dog made it through bath time, yay!


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Whole Dog Challenge: Day 4

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014


wdc_day4-2DN: Continue to incorporate fresh food into your dog’s food. You can do the same you did yesterday, or try something new.

PPN: Put lemon in your water today to help your body detox and make drinking water more enjoyable.

E: Go on a 15-20 minute walk with your furry friend

H: Dental Health Day! Brush your dog’s teeth, OR give him/her a raw bone



Around 70% of dogs and cats in the US show signs of periodontal disease by the age of three.  Poor dental health is associated with a decrease in your pet’s life expectancy.

Caring for your pet’s dental health can be an easy part of your daily routine with the right supplements and treats.  No brushing required!  Try a supplement like Dentatreat on your pet’s food, or a water additive like Tropiclean to your dog’s water bowl. Both help prevent plaque and tarter.  You  can also give your dog tendons and raw bones to chew–they will work to remove plaque as well.

Why are Raw Bones so great for your dog’s dental health?

There are two key forces at work- enzymatic and mechanic!  The enzymes in raw bones help break down plaque by creating an acidic environment in your dog’s mouth and stomach.  Secondly, raw bones are a long-lasting and enticing chew.  When your dog is chewing and gnawing, the bone acts as a dental scaler to help remove the plaque from the teeth. (The bonus of raw bones is that they keep your dog occupied for a long time!)

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Whole Dog Challenge: Day 3

Monday, May 19th, 2014


wdc_teaDN: Incorporate some fresh food into your dog’s diet. This could be eggs, yogurt, pumpkin, canned tuna, salmon skin, etc.

PPN: Try to replace your cup of coffee or soda with a glass of green tea

E: Play hide & seek with your dog, OR practice sit & stay

H: Choose the last option: Trim your dog’s nails, Clean his/her ears, or brush him/her





wdc_nailtrimDo your dog’s nails go clickity-clack on the kitchen floor?  Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed to the right length is important for 2 main reasons.

-Long nails may become brittle, splinter and break-off.  Broken nails are painful, will bleed, and may become infected

-Long nails prevent dogs from putting their feet flat on ground. This can interfere with their gait, and cause pain, arthritis, and instability

Nails should not touch the ground when your dog is standing, and they shouldn’t click on the floor.

The Quick

     -The quick is the blood and nerve supply to the nail- if cut, the quick will bleed profusely.

     -When trimming the nail, cut the nail down to just above where the quick begins.  If your dog has long quicks, regular trimming of the nail will help the quick to recede.

     -If you’re nervous about cutting through the quick, cut thin slices of the nail until the end of the quick is seen (dark grey/black shiny spot in middle of dark nails, or pink spot in light-colored nails).

      -If you cut the quick, apply pressure to the end of the nail and use styptic powder to stop the bleeding (baking powder can be used in place of styptic powder)

Many dogs don’t enjoy having their nails done, so remember to make this an upbeat experience!  Use a cheery-tone and offer your dog a lot of praise while trimming her nails.  You may want to enlist a friend to help hold your dog still or offer distractions while you take care of the nails.  A Kong stuffed with peanut butter is the perfect distraction for our dogs!

If you are uncomfortable cutting your dogs nails, take your dog to a groomer or your vet’s office.  These professionals have lots of practice with all kinds of dogs and should be able to make the experience quick and stress-free for your pup!


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Whole Dog Challenge: Day 2

Sunday, May 18th, 2014


wdcday2DN: If your brand of food rated less than 3 stars on the Dog Food Advisor, consider switching foods.

PPN: If there are more foods on your processed foods side of the list, try upping your number of fresh foods today.

E: Take a trip to somewhere new! Ex: go to Home Depot, or find a new trail/path to walk on. Here is a link to some good dog-friendly hikes in Colorado. And here you will find some good dog-friendly local businesses

H: Choose a different one than yesterday: Trim your dog’s nails, Clean his/her ears, or brush him/her



Why is it important to know what’s in your dog’s food?  Your dog’s body is a complex biological system. For top performance and optimum health, it requires proper nourishment. Your dog needs appropriate consumption of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. In regards to training, it is important to remember that the brain is an organ. It requires nourishment the same way the rest of the body does.

What to look for in your dog’s food: 

Named animal proteins and named animal protein meals in the first three listed ingredient. One of these should be the first ingredient. Ex. Chicken, duck, rabbit meal, beef meal

Named animal ingredients like “chicken” or “lamb” are fresh, cleaned meats. Named animal meals like “chicken meal” and “lamb meal” have been cooked and dried. While meals are more processed than fresh meat, they provide more than five times the amount of available protein. In dry “kibble” foods, named meal can be a prime ingredient.

Appropriate carbohydrate binders: If you chose to feed a kibble based diet, look for one with quality carbohydrates. (Every kibble requires a carbohydrate source to maintain the kibble shape during processing.) Many canned and dehydrated foods use carbohydrate sources as well. Look for rice, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, barley and millet.

What to avoid in your dog’s food: 

Any unspecified animal protein/fat sources. If a species is not named, the ingredient could contain anything from the carcasses and body parts deemed unfit for human consumption to road kill and euthanized animals. Ex. meat meal, poultry meal, animal fat, meat and bone meal, poultry fat, rendered fat.

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Whole Dog Challenge: Day 1

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Welcome to Day 1 of the WDC!

We hope you and your dog have a wonderful start to the week!


wdcday1_booDN: Read your dog’s food label and look for any ingredients/words that don’t look familiar to you. Look up your brand of food on the Dog Food Advisor. For more information on dog foods: check out this article.

PPN: For today, make a list of foods you eat today and divide it into processed and fresh foods.

E: Go on a 10 minute walk with your dog today (or more if it’s feeling good for both of you!)

H: Choose from: Trim your dog’s nails, Clean his/her ears, or brush him/her





Although going on a walk might seem like a trivial thing to do, or you may even find it boring, going on walks might be something that can really help both you and your dog. Walks give you a chance to clear your mind, take some time to spend with you furry companion, and give you both time to bond, even if you don’t realize it at first. For your dog, going on a walk can be a wonderful form of physical exercise, and all the new smells and information she’s taking in will also give her some mental exercise. Mental exercise can be just as important as physical exercise for our furry friends. The more often you can go on walks, even if they are just 10 minutes each time, you might find yourself enjoying them as much as your dog does. Whatever bad feelings you have towards walks, give them a chance this week. Do whatever you can to make them a good experience for both of you this week and you might find that you actually start looking forward to them!

For those of you with dogs that don’t walk well on leash (and that’s why you don’t go), consider looking into a training collar. Training collars/harnesses can help your dog walk better on leash, and make walks a more pleasant experience for both of you. Here are a few links for training collar options:

Gentle LeaderHalti, Sense-ation Harness

Here is a good link to give you information on the different types of training collars, and their pros and cons.


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