Dog Treat Ingredients: Store Bought vs. Homemade

Dog owners love giving their furry friends a treat whether it be for a trick, training, or fun. Valerie Cline, from The Whole Dog Journal, sums up treat giving very well, “Treats are fine; after all, we snack between meals! But, just as with our snacks, what treats you choose to give your dog should contribute – not take away from – the overall healthfulness of his diet.”

As dog owners, we need to educate ourselves on what is good and bad for our dogs. Heather a vet technician lists toxic foods that can harm your dog on her webpage, this list is a great start to learning what can harm your dog. The only thing I would make you aware of that wasn’t on the list is avocados. With that being said, please be careful about feeding your dog human food or scraps and if you are unsure please contact your vet.

So what should and shouldn’t be in your dog’s treats?

Notice the differences of ingredients in each bag of treats.

Notice the differences of ingredients in each bag of treats.

What should be in dog treats:

  • Whole ingredients like rice, wheat, and eggs.

  • Ingredients like vitamin C and E to help keep treats fresh.

  • Meat ingredients should be whole. For example, Lamb versus lamb by-products, Lamb is better.

What shouldn’t be in dog treats:

Dog treats are not the entire substance of your dog’s diet, if the treats have more sugar for instance they are not necessarily bad, remember it’s a treat!

Homemade treats are a really good route to take with your dog, especially because you know what your dog likes and dislikes, and what is going into each treat. My favorite place to look for dog treat recipes is Pinterest, you can follow my doggie board or find your own. Most homemade treats will include banana, pumpkin, peanut butter, oatmeal, and/or carrots. I’ve made pupcakes for Ruby and she loved them, I can’t wait to try a peanut butter bacon or oatmeal treat for her next.

PupcakesWhat kind of homemade treat would you like to make for your furry friend? Did it surprise you how many toxic foods there are for dogs?


Puppy & Sleep: The First Nights

The first nights are key to making sure your puppy transitions into its new surroundings. Since your puppy still isn’t potty trained, using a crate at night will help with any accidents and will also teach your dog that their crate is a safe place to be. Believe me, there will be lots of whining, crying and barking on the first night.

dog crate

  • Make sure the crate is not too big for the puppy, if it is then use a partition to block off part of it.
  • The crate should be comfy for the puppy, so put a blanket or dog bed in the crate with a plush toy for them to cuddle with, or the toy you brought to the breeders house with the pup’s sisters and brothers scents on it. (In my picture, you can see the bed, a blanket and a toy Ruby sleeps with.)
  • Play with your puppy before bedtime so they are tired and this will help them sleep more soundly. 20130104_212546
  • Do not let your puppy eat or drink anything after about 6:00 PM. This helps with less bathroom breaks in the middle of the night.
  • Take them to the bathroom right before bedtime. This will set the tone for every night and training will become easier as well. Remember to always praise your dog when they use the bathroom too.
  • Keeping a routine is very important for a puppy so they know what is expected of them.

We put Ruby’s crate next to our bed, and I recommend your pup sleeping in your room for constant contact and in case of whining or bathroom breaks. When Ruby would start whining we would soothe her with a very quiet “shhhh” or calm her down and then praise her when she would be quiet. We would get up about two times a night to let her go to the bathroom and then back in the crate she went. New puppy owners need to stay consistent and patient with their new puppy sleeping or not sleeping and remember your puppy’s whole life has been turned upside down, so love and support them.

How were your first nights with puppy? Do you have any tips or suggestions on this topic?

Taking Your New Puppy Home

Bringing your Puppy Home

My husband and I drove all the way to Indiana to get Ruby, and the ride back was a blast. I kept Ruby in my lap the entire ride home, which was about 6 hours. We stopped three times to let Ruby go to the bathroom. We chose stops that did not seem to have much dog activity because her vaccinations weren’t complete yet and we didn’t want her to contract any diseases. Ruby slept for most of the car ride home and didn’t whine either. Some of the hardest parts of bringing a puppy home are getting the puppy acquainted to their new surroundings and sleeping at night.

Prepping for the New Puppy

There are few essential things you will need for your new puppy.

  • A leash and collar with dog tags. The dog tags should include the owner’s name and phone number. There are many places online for customizable dog tags.
  • Water and food dishes. Buy dishes that will fit with your dogs breed and size. We bought bigger dishes right away so Ruby would grow into them. Puppy in Food Dish
  • A dog crate and a comfortable dog bed.
  • Puppy food, try to get the same kind as the breeder used so you do not upset the puppy’s stomach.
  • Bring a toy to the breeder’s house for your pup so the scents from their brothers and sisters will be on it.


Introducing a New Puppy to Your House

  • Keep visitors to a minimum for the first couple of days so your pup can get used to their new surroundings and settle in.
  • Only praise your puppy for good behavior and ignore bad behavior. Your puppy has no idea what you expect of him/her and punishing will only create confusion and stress. Ruby Outside
  • The first thing to do when you arrive home is to take your pup to the designated bathroom area. Wait 10 to 15 minutes for your pup to relieve himself or herself. When your puppy does go, give him or her lots of praise.
  • Your puppy will be hungry soon after arriving home, so set out the dishes of water and food. When the pup is done eating promptly take him or her outside to use the bathroom.

Here is an informational article from Iams on bringing your puppy home too.

What was it like bringing your puppy home for the first time? Were you overjoyed, overwhelmed, well prepared? I would love to hear all of your stories!

Pregnancy and Whelping


When Ruby is two years old we will be breeding her with a red standard poodle stud. The two dogs will mate when Ruby is in her second week of the heat cycle or a rule of thumb of the 10th, 12th and 14th day of the cycle. Since we are having a planned pregnancy with Ruby and know that the pregnancy cycle for a dog is 56 to 60 days, we can be ready for her delivery. The dog breed info center has a great timeline of the gestation period month by month, take a look here. Around 28 days from conception you can bring your dam into the vet to see if she is pregnant. The vet will either do abdominal palpitations, x-rays, or an ultrasound to see if there are puppies. If the dam is pregnant this is a good time to talk with your vet about diet, health, and what to expect through pregnancy and delivery. Make sure to get the emergency phone number from your vet for any afterhour emergencies.


When you know your dog is pregnant the next thing to do is make a whelping box. A whelping box should:

  • Be big enough for the dam and her puppies to stretch in and be comfortable with blankets or towels.

  • Have a doorway to go in and out of and big enough so the mom doesn’t jump over the box and squish her puppies.

  • Have a guardrail for the puppies protection so the dam doesn’t fall asleep on them or lay on them.

Get your dam accustomed to the whelping box early in pregnancy so she can deliver in the box and knows it is a safe, comfortable place for her and her puppies. Having a heating pad or blanket on half of the box floor is a good idea, but only half so the puppies and mom can leave the heat if need be. (Here is a great list of suggested supplies for whelping.)

Whelping Box

This picture is from a litter of the prospective stud we will be using. The puppies are only a couple days old. This picture just gets us so excited!!!

 Goldendoodle puppies

Do any of you have puppy fever now?

Responsibilities of Breeding

October 23rd marked Ruby’s first birthday so only one more year until we can breed her. (Don’t worry we spoiled Ruby with homemade pupcakes and a squeaky stuffed animal.)

Happy First Birthday Ruby! 20131023_193100

Breeding a dog is a decision that should not be taken lightly by any pet owner and there are many things to consider especially with crossbred dogs.

For example:

  • Crossbred dogs can have a unique look. With goldendoodles you cannot predict their coat, color, or size exactly, but they are all very pretty dogs.
  • Careful crossbreeding can lower the chance of congenital issues if the breeder picks the dam and stud wisely.
  • It is hard to judge what size the dog will be. This can be an issue with some new owners if they have smaller living quarters or wanted a certain sized dog. Goldendoodles will range in size and are dependent on their mothers’ and fathers’ traits.
  • Temperaments can be difficult to predict. Although Goldendoodles are known for their docile temperament, that doesn’t mean that crossbreeding other types of dogs is a win-win situation.
  • There can be a potential for higher risk deliveries, mostly because the dogs are of different sizes. Sometimes the dam will have to have a c-section so her and her puppies survive.


Some more serious things to consider with breeding are:

  • A Dam’s health is very important every step of the way. With the dam getting pregnant, there is a chance she might not make it through or there could be complications with the delivery. The dam should have a vet exam to make sure they are in a healthy condition to get pregnant, they will need pre and post-natal vitamins and care.
  • A breeder will need to dedicate at least 130 hours to raise an average litter. The mother  should not be left alone during whelping and a few days after. The breeder will also need time for paperwork, caring for the dam, puppies, socialization, and interviewing prospective families for the puppies.
  • The breeder should not be in if for the money, or lack there of. I found a great website that breaks down the cost of the breeding process, take a look here.

To become a reputable breeder I will need to look into each perspective owner that wants a puppy. They will need to fill out a puppy application and sign a puppy agreement form. If for some reason the new owner does not think the puppy fits with their family anymore or they want to sell their puppy, I will be the first person they contact and take the puppy back. I am responsible for these puppies and making sure they have good homes and a incredible life to live.

Would any of you think about breeding, why or why not?

What is a Goldendoodle?

Goldendoodles are a crossbreed between a Poodle and a Golden Retriever, and have only been around since the late 1990’s. Part of the reason for the crossbreed was to make a bigger dog that was hypoallergenic for humans. Also, the Golden Retriever and Poodle have amazing traits and make for highly intelligent companions.

Some traits of Goldendoodles are:

  • Non to light shedders, good for people with allergies
  • Excellent family dog
  • Gentle and affectionate
  • Easy to train
  • Great therapy and guide dogs
  • Highly social and gets along with everyone
  • Regular grooming and brushing
  • Goldendoodles are not watch or guard dogs
  • A medium to high energy level, minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily indoors or outdoors
  • Goldendoodles can get separation anxiety If left alone for too long or they do not get enough human contact

Goldendoodles range in size, color, coat type and generation. The sizes of Goldendoodles are miniature (up to 35lbs), Standard (40 to 55 lbs), and Large Standard (60+ lbs). The colors of Goldendoodles are not an exact science and can be just about any color, but usually depends on the dame and stud. Coat types are different with each Goldendoodle, the curlier or more wavy the coat the more hypoallergenic the dog will be. Since Goldendoodles are crossbred there are many different generations of dogs.

These generations include:

  • 1st Generation Goldendoodle (F1) – The product of a Golden Retriever and Poodle.
  • 1st Generation Backcross Goldendoodle (F1b) – product of a F1 Goldendoodle bred with either a pure bred Poodle or Golden Retriever. Most popular F1b is a F1 mixed with a Poodle.
  • 2nd Generation Goldendoodle (F2) – A goldendoodle bred with another Goldendoodle.
  • 2nd Generation Backcross Goldendoodle (F2b) – The product of a F1 bred with a F1b.

Ms. Ruby is a First Generation Goldendoodle (F1). Her Dad was a red colored standard Poodle and her Mom was a red Golden Retriever. Ruby is about 45 to 50 pounds and is almost a year old. Her coat is wavy to curly in some spots and we groom her every couple months. We plan on breeding Ruby with a red colored standard Poodle to make red F1b Goldendoodle puppies. Red Goldendoodles are rare in Wisconsin and that is why we want to breed Ruby with a red colored Poodle.

Look below at a couple different doodles, what do you think? Anything specific you like better about the colors and textures of one or the other better?

Here are Ruby’s Goldendoodle Friends.

Whiskey is a red male F1b, he is about 60lbs and has a very curly coat, almost like Jheri curls.

Has a very curly coat.

Has a very curly coat.

Bella is a female F1, she has a straighter apricot colored coat and is 60lbs.


Bella with a straighter coat

Ms. Ruby, with the wavy coat!

Ruby's coat is more wavy like.

Ruby’s coat is more wavy like.

Ms. Ruby Red the Goldendoodle

Of course, I need to tell you about my beautiful dog, Ruby.


My husband, Mike and I were talking about getting a Goldendoodle for years, and found a breeder in Wisconsin that would have a liter ready for us at the end of June in 2013. We were so excited but knew it was a really long time to wait for a puppy, I literally had puppy fever! I kept looking on all of the “puppy for sale” websites just to see what was out there, even though we found exactly what we thought we wanted… A day after Christmas in 2012, I went back on the puppy websites and found our puppy, even though I didn’t know it until about an hour later. This puppy was a first generation Goldendoodle. She was a a cross between a Golden Retriever and a red Standard Poodle and would grow to be about 45 to 65 pounds, she was our perfect match! I showed Mike with way too much excitement (and because deep down I couldn’t wait for a puppy any longer) and we both agreed this puppy would be the new addition to our family! We drove 6 hours to Indiana to pick up our most prized possession. The first time we saw her she ran out of the kitchen, and looked like a little fluff ball, we fell in love instantly.


Ruby is a very smart dog that loves attention and being involved in everything we do. She excelled at puppy classes and we have kept training her new tricks and commands. She is devoted to us and never wants to let us down. Ruby is energetic and needs walking every day, and for more exercise, fetch is at the top of her list. Ruby is always following me and if I’m in the living room lounging she lays right next to me or is chewing on a bone.

We can’t get enough of Ruby, and we have decided that we want others to feel what we feel, so we plan on breeding Ruby in about a year!

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” -Bernard Williams