Dog obsession is an all-consuming desire to make your dog happy and healthy - from the food he eats to how he celebrates his birthday - and it’s how Lucy Postins has lived her life. When her beloved dog, Mosi, began suffering with chronic health problems that conventional medicine couldn’t cure, she took to the kitchen and made dog food from real ingredients. Soon, Mosi’s problems vanished. Inspired by her own experience, Postins founded The Honest Kitchen, the first all-natural, human-grade pet food company, and became an expert in how to give a dog the life he deserves, from puppyhood to old age.
In Dog Obsessed, Postins shares her secrets to help you care for your dog like (and sometimes better than!) family. Featuring over 45 easy-to-prepare recipes for treats, celebratory party fare, and meals that you can actually share with your dog (complete with wine pairings), the book also offers vet-approved health tips designed to troubleshoot common issues like food sensitivities and chronic illnesses, tips for camping and picnicking with your pup, as well as a two-week health and fitness plan.
Packed with humorous, helpful advice that goes beyond the average dog-care book, including dos and don’ts in the dog park, how to ensure your pup’s holidays are safe and truly special, advice on how to manage your dog’s unique personality quirks, and a section on make-at-home dog games, Dog Obsessed is the only resource passionate dog owners will ever need.
Dog Obsessed is perfectly packaged with feel-good photos, stories, and illustrations, as well as a foreword written by actress and comedienne Jane Lynch and contributed content from renowned veterinarians.
Bon Voyage! Taking a Road Trip with Your Dog
Going on a road trip with your dog can be pure pleasure if you plan everything well. Dogs are terrific companions and can encourage you to go to places and see things you wouldn’t normally see (a brisk roadside hike to get a little exercise, perhaps?), and being in the car with them helps to alleviate some of the boredom that comes with too many miles spent on the road. So if you’re going on a trip by car and want to take your pup with you—in addition to securing the must-have items listed in Chapter 2—there are a few things you can do to make sure everything runs smoothly and that everyone has a fun, safe time.
Before you set off, avoid dehydration and urinary tract problems by first making sure your dog gets a good run and a chance to relieve himself and then taking plenty of fresh, clean drinking water with you. Don’t forget a bowl! If you’re a careful driver, you can set up a drinking bowl near your dog, or you can fill it up when you stop for regular potty breaks.
Head off travel sickness at the pass by being strategic about what you feed your dog both before you leave and during the trip. Smaller and more frequent meals can lessen the risk of travel sickness, and some pets even do better by fasting entirely. Adding a small amount of dried ginger or ginger tea to a light meal before you depart can also be beneficial for pets who are prone to sickness in the car.
Once you’re on the road, be sure your pet wears his identity tags at all times. If the tags are printed with your home phone number, consider taping over that with your cell number or a phone number for the hotel or home where you’ll be based. Being in a strange place can make pets anxious and more likely to bolt—and less likely to find their way back.
Cod & Potato Oven Fritters
These wholesome fritters can be served as an occasional meal replacement or topper to your pup’s regular meals. Makes 8 to 12 fritters, depending on the size. These fritters can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, although they’ll lose a little of their crispiness if not eaten right away.
8 ounces boneless cod or other white fish such as haddock or pollock
1 cup Zeal dehydrated dog food
1 cup warm water
1 ⁄ 4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
2 free-range eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons cottage cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the fish in a shallow baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, or until just flaky. Flake gently with a fork. Reduce the heat to 375°F.
Meanwhile, in a large glass mixing bowl, hydrate the Zeal with the warm water. Stir in the potato flakes. Add the eggs and cottage cheese and stir to combine.
Transfer the fish to the Zeal mixture and stir to combine.
Generously grease a baking sheet with olive oil, using your fingers or a paper towel.
Using 2 spoons or your hands, transfer small quantities of the mixture to the baking sheet and flatten to form fritters, sized appropriately for your pup. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the fritters are slightly crispy on the top (smaller fritters will require less baking time than larger ones).
First, know that this behavior will likely change sooner rather than later; few dogs want to stay indoors too long. But if the behavior persists longer than you’re comfortable with, there are steps you can take. First, figure out if there’s a pattern. Does your dog want to stay inside when it’s raining? Then he probably fears thunder—or just hates getting wet. Have the neighborhood kids been shooting off fireworks every night? He probably associates the outside with what he can only assume are bombs going off. Give your dog a break here. He’ll probably want to start going out as soon as the thunder or fireworks end.
You can also make small adjustments in your life to get your dog outside. My dogs Taro and Willow are simply dreadful about going out to potty in the rain. Even walks in the drizzle can be quite upsetting for them, and I’m certain Taro has been ready to call me in to the SPCA for making him spend a few minutes at the beach on rainy mornings before we go into the office.
Luckily, it’s not a frequent problem because we live in San Diego, but if we’re having an El Niño winter (or even a light sprinkle), I keep my husband’s extra-large golfing umbrella by the back door and take them out to the yard one by one on the leash to do their business without the horror of getting wet. If there’s not an obvious link such as the weather, check your dog to make sure there are no bites or scratches that may have been caused by another animal or an insect.
Something outside may have spooked him, and his refusal to go out may necessitate a trip to the vet. Once he’s feeling better, he should be his old, playful, outdoors-loving self in no time. If all else fails, you may need to work with your dog to help him associate the yard with something positive. Place his favorite chew toy outside and call his name to lure him to it. When he’s out, reward him with treats. Don’t grab his collar and pull him—he’ll view that as an aggressive move. Instead, gently take him outside using his leash, preferably in conjunction with a harness like the Sense-ation, which provides an added sense of security. You may need to allow your dog to use pee pads inside when he’s feeling particularly housebound, and you might need to refer to Chapter 7 to learn about methods to reduce anxiety. But that’s okay. Again, this behavior is likely temporary, as dogs are, by nature, rarely hermits.
When Home Life Is a Little Too Good
Most dogs love the outdoors, some a little too much. Some of us have taken our dog to the beach and watched with dismay as he ran toward the water so fast we feared he’d kick sand in his eyes or, worse, be carried away by the tide. Others among us cringe, recalling the times we’ve stood aghast as our calls were carried off on the breeze, utterly ignored by a dog who’d taken off in hot pursuit of a fast-moving squirrel. But what if your dog just loves home so much, that he simply doesn’t want to go out? This is unusual for a dog, but it does happen.