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Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Treats

Peanut Butter + Banana Dog Treats made with Coconut Oil! Thyme-is-Honey.com

I’m all about making homemade dog treats for Walter (find my Coconut Oil recipe here and my Peanut Butter + Vitamin Filled recipe here), and since Walter loves variety I recently came up with a third recipe to add to the rotation. These healthy frozen treats use banana, coconut oil, peanut butter and Naturvet Powder.

Naturvet Powder supports digestion, healthy skin & coat, joints and overall health. It contains digestive enzymes that support proper digestion. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was introduced to this product when we were fostering dogs and often had sick pups who needed help getting back on track — especially when it came to healthy digestion.

Now it is something that I regularly incorporate into Walter’s treats or sprinkle on top of his food.

INGREDIENTS

Silicone Molds (I have this set, from Amazon, $8.99)
1/2 Cup All Natural Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Organic Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Naturvet Powder
1 Ripe Banana

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DIRECTIONS

Start by putting the coconut oil and peanut butter into a glass dish or sauce pan and heating in the microwave or stove until combined. If you use the microwave, it will only take about 15 seonds for the coconut oil to get plenty hot and for you to easily stir the peanut butter into it. Next, add the banana and use a fork to mash it up into the mixture. Finish by adding the Naturvet Powder and stir until you get a cake-batter-esque mixture.

Spoon into the mold and place in freezer until frozen. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Depending on the size of your dog you may want to purchase a smaller mold or break the bones in half when you serve these (Walter is 30 pounds and I break these in half).

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter + Vitamin Filled Coconut Oil Dog Treats

Peanut Butter + Vitamin Filled Coconut Oil Dog Treats - give your dog a daily dose of vitamins that support healthy gums, coat, and digestion! | Thyme is Honey

You know I love to feed Walter coconut oil. If you aren’t already aware of all the benefits coconut oil provides to dogs, be sure to check out my previous post, which talks more about them. The biggest benefit we have enjoyed, is coconut oil’s ability to keep Walter’s teeth and gums clean + healthy. He will be 5 in October and has never had his teeth cleaned. During his last visit, the vet said he had the teeth of a 1 year old dog (#ProudDogMama).

Our experience of fostering through Fetch Wisconsin has introduced us to an entire community of dog freaks lovers, who have taught me even more about the benefits of coconut oil. Our foster community has used coconut oil to treat everything from peeling paws to itchy skin. My foster partner also introduced me to the magic dog vitamin supplements such as Naturvet, and I knew I had to start incorporating a vitamin supplement into Walter’s routine! (click here to read full post)

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Coconut Oil Dog Treats

Homemade coconut oil treats for dogs and the health benefits of feeding your dog coconut oil.

If you follow me on Instagram then you already know that Walter (along with our current foster pup, Arti) is about as spoiled as they come. One little delicacy that I’ve treated him to since he was a puppy is 1/2 a tsp of coconut oil each night before bed. He never forgets that it’s coming, but if I forget to give it to him he’ll refuse to come to bed until it’s delivered (such a drama queen).

Walter is 4 and has never had his teeth cleaned! In fact, on his 3rd birthday I made an appointment and took him in and the vet sent us home saying his teeth had “nothing to clean off”! I contribute this mostly to the coconut oil.

Feeding coconut oil to your furry friend provides him with many health benefits, including elevating the metabolism, increasing energy and vitality, protecting them from illness, speeding up healing, soothing and healing skin conditions, improving digestion and reducing allergic reactions. It also promotes healthy skin, a healthy coat, and healthy teeth and gums! (To learn more about the benefits check out this article from Dog’s Naturally Magazine.)

Previously I kept a jar in the bathroom and would feed him a small scoop. But every summer this becomes a problem because the melting point for coconut oil is 76 degrees, which means it turned to a jar of liquid! This minor issue led me to experimenting with creating small frozen treats, and the result is so convenient and well-liked that I’ve decided to do this year-round.

Simply scoop your favorite organic coconut oil into a zip-lock bag and seal it tightly. Line a baking sheet or platter with parchment. Trim the tip off a corner of the zip-lock so that you can use it like a pastry bag, and begin squeezing small dollops of coconut oil onto the parchment.

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If your home is at a comfortable temperature (around 72-75) you’ll find it very easy to squeeze out, but if it’s a little stiff in the bag trying heating it slightly with body heat. When you’re done creating the dollops, place your pan in the fridge or freezer. It will solidify quickly and can then be transferred off the parchment and into a jar or air-tight container for storage in the fridge or freezer. You can also try mixing in an essential oil such as peppermint (for breath), lavender (to ease anxiety when traveling or introducing new people) or clove oil (for a teething puppy). Be sure to only use pure therapetuic grade essential oils (I use Young Living).

If you give them a try be sure to share them with me on Instagram or Twitter by tagging @Thyme_is_Honey!

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Best Dog Products on Amazon

The 10 Best Dog Items on Amazon: the best products we've found on Amazon for our dog and foster dogs! | Thyme is Honey

We’ve tried out a lot of dog products over the years, and one thing I can tell you is that there are definitely some duds out there. Fostering exposed us to not only dogs with certain needs, but also a variety of personalities and likes/dislikes, so I know that not every dog will love the same thing, but I do think that when you discover a great thing it is worth sharing! Our recent relocation into downtown living also introduced us to a couple of new products that I think are worth sharing for fellow urban-dwelling dogs and their owners. Below are the Best Dog Products we’ve found on Amazon.

  1. Tuff Mutt Bag Holder ($13.99) – Not all poop bag holders are created equal, my friend. We’ve tried out plenty of them, and what we love about this one is that it attaches really securely and flatly to the leash, dispenses easily and even has a small extra space inside to hold keys, or a ring on the outside to clip your keys onto. Since we occasionally run with Walter, we love that this one eliminates any big plastic container flopping around while you jog, and doesn’t dangle off the leash or have anything that can fall apart/open up unexpectedly. Pro tip: to ensure the bags dispense easily, make sure that they roll goes under across the bottom of the holder and then out the dispenser hole, rather than wrapping up around past the zipper and through the dispenser hole.
  2. Petsfit Soft Portable Dog Crate ($54.99) – Walter loves being in a create, and we’ve always had one as part of our “decor” so he had a place that was exclusively his. He has also always been crate trained, and I think when you live in a building it is especially important to rely on crate training, so that you aren’t annoying your neighbors (so rude). With our smaller home we knew that his crate would likely need to be out in a communal space, so I wanted something that looked nice. We also wanted something that was collapsible and easy to transport. This one fit the bill on all fronts. We love the way it looks and that it has both a front and side door that can be zipped open, but we love that the entire thing is light and easy to move around the house or load into the car. Pro tip: obviously this is not a good fit for dogs who have anxiety and might scratch or shred their way out. 
  3. Ruffwear Front Range Harness ($39.95) – If you have a dog with a strong opposition reflex, who prefers to “take you for a walk”, I strongly suggest trying a front range harness. We switched over to one of these about a year ago, and it made a huge difference. Walter has always been a “tugger” on a leash, and this really minimizes that. This one is well-designed, comfortable, padded, and his options for both front and back hooking, so that you have both options.
  4. K&H Ortho Bolster Dog Bed ($45.71) – Not all dog beds are created equal, but this one is so comfortable that I’ve considered curling up in it for a nap. We’ve had it for probably 3 years, and for the most part it still looks brand new. I love that it is relatively simple, and doesn’t look ugly or awkward in our space. Walter seems to love napping in it, and always has his head resting up on the bolstered edge. Its kind of expensive, but for how well it has held up and how great it looks after severals years, I think it was well worth it.
  5. Collapsible Dog Dishes ($5.99) – We love these for their portability. We take them with us when Walter comes along for a bike ride, toss them in our bag when we head to a brewery, take them to the dog park on hot days, use them in the car, toss them in his bag when he’s headed to the dog sitter etc.
  6. Tug-a-Jug Dog Toy ($5.49) – If you have a smart dog who loves to be challenged intellectually, puzzle toys are the way to go. This one requires that the dog figure out the proper technique of holding the jug and pulling the rope to get the treats to dispense. You can make it harder or easier based on the size of the treat. This is an excellent way to entertain a young dog who has a lot of energy, or to keep your adult dog mentally stimulated.
  7. Kong Classic ($6.49) – One of the dog toys that we’ve had since Walter was a puppy and still use pretty regularly is the Kong. Walter loves it with Peanut Butter and/or coconut oil frozen inside of it as a treat. This is great for crate training, when you want to distract the dog and get them to entertain themselves in their create.
  8. Zoom Groom Massaging Dog Brush ($5.99) – One of the first times I took Walter to the groomer she remarked “Well, he didn’t like the cut, but he fell asleep during the bath.” And it’s true. Although Walter is a hard sell on bath time, once he’s in the water he’s a total ham. She sent me a link to the “massaging brush” she used on him and we’ve used it ever since. It’s entirely rubber, with large, nub-like bristles on one side. It helps gently remove loose hair to minimize shedding, but also provides a gentle massage that stimulates natural oil products to encourage a healthy coat.
  9. Dog Treat Silicone Molds ($8.88) – I love to make homemade dog treats (see some of my homemade dog treat recipes, here) and these molds have been perfect for creating them over the years. They are something I always gift to friends with new dogs, or recommend to dog lovers! The recipes can be as simple as freezing broth to make ‘pupsicles’ in the summer, or as complex as my vitamin filled coconut oil treats.
  10. Best for my Pets Bully Sticks ($24.97) – Bully sticks are a godsend for dog owners. These all-natural treats are a healthy alternative to rawhides (which can get stuck in your pets throat or digestive system) and are free of unhealthy additives, hormones or preservatives. We love that these ones are odor free (thank god) and are so well priced. Although expensive, bully sticks typically take a long time to chew. One stick usually takes Walter about 3-5 hours of chewing over the course of several days. One stick will usually entertain him for a week or more. These things are a real life saver when you have a chewy or energetic puppy in your house, but dogs of all ages seem to really love them.

Dog Friendly Travel: Duluth, MN

Dog Friendly Travel: Duluth, Minnesota | trip planning tips + itineraries for planning your dog friendly vacation in Duluth, Minnesota.

Last week we escaped north to Lake Superior for a couple nights of dog friendly travel in Duluth, Minnesota. We ended up with better weather than we had expected (always a nice surprise!) but did have to dodge rain a time or two. Even with cooler temperatures and a bit of rain, we managed to keep ourselves and Walter very happy and entertained during our time in Duluth, and are excited to share our tips with you! We’ve included suggestions to help you start building your Duluth itinerary and would also suggest checking out the Visit Duluth website for additional ideas!

Dog Friendly Travel: Duluth, Minnesota | trip planning tips + itineraries for planning your dog friendly vacation in Duluth, Minnesota: Sunrise over Lake Superior from Fitger's Inn Duluth MN

LODGING

Fitger’s Inn has a selection of dog friendly rooms, but you’ll want to make reservations in advance to make sure you secure one before they book up. This is a great place to stay with your dog because the entire complex is dog friendly! Fitger’s Inn has taken what was once their old brewery building and turned it into a mall. It’s kind of a labyrinth of cool shops, restaurants, a brewery and little pubs. It has a european feel and it was easy to imagine we were back in Germany or Austria! Plus, your dog can go into any of the shops, a couple of the bars and is welcome on the patios!
VIEW OUR FULL TRIP ALBUM DULUTH AND THE IRON RANGE MINNESOTA

Fitger’s has a great location, with the lakefront and canal park within easy walking distance. We found the area around Fitger’s to be very dog friendly and enjoyed the river walk as a good spot for Walter’s potty breaks. If you plan on biking you’ll appreciate easy access to the city’s bike paths and the fact that Fitger’s is down along the lake front, where it’s flat, and you can get to a lot of great places while avoiding the steep hills. We’d like to thank Visit Duluth for help with arranging our dog-friendly lodging!

ACTIVITIES

Dog Friendly Travel: Duluth, Minnesota | trip planning tips + itineraries for planning your dog friendly vacation in Duluth, Minnesota: dog friendly bars and shops

A Place for Fido – This is an amazing little pet shop located inside Fitger’s (as mentioned, this entire mall is dog friendly). Take your pooch in there to sample a free treat and to pick up a bag of something yummy to enjoy on his vacation! We got Walter a new harness and a bag of Bark Pops. We really appreciated the employees knowledge of the brands they carried and each product’s features and were really happy with the new harness!

Matilda’s Dog Bakery – This is another fun store to take your dog to. Not only is it dog friendly, but it is full of fresh, healthy, home made dog biscuits and treats! Walter was beside himself with all the delicious smells! We ended up grabbing him a bag of their Peanut Butter, Bacon and Maple biscuits and he’s totally wild about them! While you’re in the area grab a human treat and cup of coffee at Johnson Bakery. Their maple longjohn was the best I’ve ever had in my life, hands down (I gushed all about it on Yelp)

Dog Friendly Travel: Duluth, Minnesota | trip planning tips + itineraries for planning your dog friendly vacation in Duluth, Minnesota: dog friendly shops and restaurants

Enjoy the LakewalkDuluth has a great lakefront park with trails and bike paths. It’s a great place to bike, walk your dog, jog or just enjoy the views. It starts at Canal Park, where you’ll find a variety or restaurants, bars, breweries and shops (more about those, below), and extends 7 miles to 60th Avenue East!

Dog Friendly Travel: Duluth, Minnesota | trip planning tips + itineraries for planning your dog friendly vacation in Duluth, Minnesota: canal park and light house.

Canal Park – Dubbed as “Duluth’s Playground” this central spot has great views of the lake, a lighthouse, and access to rocky shorelines and pebble beaches as well as a host of bars, restaurants and shops! The system of bike and walking paths makes it easy to access and get around.

Get Ice Cream – the adorable PortLand Malt Shoppe is super Instagrammy and serves up delicious scoops. Grab one and enjoy it lakeside while your furry friend chases the Lake Superior waves.

Dog Friendly Travel: Duluth, Minnesota | trip planning tips + itineraries for planning your dog friendly vacation in Duluth, Minnesota: Gooseberry Falls and Castle Danger Brewing

Drive the North Shore – Take highway 61 north out of Duluth 40 miles towards  Beaver Bay. Along the way you can tour Glensheen Mansion (if your dog can be safe in the car, depending on weather), enjoy lake views (highway 61 hugs the shoreline the entire way!), stop at Castle Danger Brewing in Two Harbors (dog friendly on the patio), hike with your dog at Gooseberry Falls,  and if you want to drive even further north you can get some amazing photos at Palisade Head. This website has a beautiful North Shore Drive itinerary that starts in Duluth and ends in Portage (142 miles).

DINING
These Duluth dining options are all dog friendly on the patio! 

Canal Park Brewing – This one has a fire pit, so it’s a great option for a cold beer or meal if the temperatures are a little on the cool side. We didn’t eat here but the beer and patio get four paws up!
Northern Waters Smokehaus  – Their menu is incredible, highly rated, and they allow dogs on the patio (dog bowls and treats, too)! (their Instagram account, @northernwaters_restaurant, had me drooling before we even left for the trip).
Vitta Pizza – Great pizza (came highly recommended from a friend) and a dog friendly patio.
Little Angie’s Cantina – If you’re feeling Mexican food this little cantina will do the trick! Your dog is welcome to join you on the patio.

Do you have a dog friendly recommendation or something you think we missed during our trip to Duluth, Minnesota! Leave a comment and let us know, we’re hoping to get back up there soon!