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Top 5 Worst Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog or Cat. Toxic dog treats and unhealthy dog treats rule the market. Here are 5 treats that may have been recommended that you should avoid. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Top 5 Worst Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog or Cat | Toxic Dog Treats

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Top 5 Worst Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog or Cat | Toxic Dog Treats

Human Food to Avoid with Your Dog

Top 5 Worst Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog or Cat. Toxic dog treats and unhealthy dog treats rule the market. Here are 5 treats that may have been recommended that you should avoid. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Not very healthy dog treats.

As a professional dog trainer, I often recommend to clients to feed their dog healthy dog treats for a good behavior. Teaching a dog what we want them to do and rewarding them for that action is a great way to train a dog. I teach my dog training students how to determine if a dog treat is healthy and how to calculate those dog treats as part of their dog’s daily calorie intake. You see, I believe in real food for dogs, dogs need meat, and meat is a high-value, healthy dog treat that can actually be counted towards a dog’s daily calorie goals. This makes dog training easy and fun for both humans and dogs.

However, I often see dog blogs or other pet professionals recommending nasty “dog treats” for training or to stuff in a dog’s hollow treat toy or chew bone. Here are my top no-no dog treats, or at least my reasons on why you may need to reconsider or look deep into their ingredient panel before tossing one to Fido.

1. Marshmallows: Marshmallows may seem like the perfect treat to hide a dog pill or to motivate the picky dog, but looking at the ingredients of a marshmallow may make you change your tune. I may actually need to dump my favorite campfire treat myself, too! Typical Marshmallow Ingredients: corn syrup, sugar, dextrose, water, modified cornstarch, gelatin, contains less than 2% of natural and artificial flavor, tetrasodium pyrophosphate (whipping aid), artificial color (includes blue 1). That’s a lot of sugar products for a dog! And what about the artificial ie. Chemical flavor? What’s tetrasodium pyrophosphate? A cleaning agent! And according to Toxnet, it is alkaline, irritating, can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after ingesting. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? Let’s not forget the artificial colors including Blue 1. In 2003, the FDA put out this statement regarding some use of Blue 1 in the medical field: “Use of Blue 1-tinted enteral feedings for detecting aspiration has been associated with several serious adverse events, including death, although a direct causal relationship has not been definitely established.” Now, there are some healthy marshmallows for us humans, but the ones I’ve seen still contain a lot of sugar and carrageenan, which I wouldn’t recommend feeding to a dog.

Top 5 Worst Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog or Cat. Toxic dog treats and unhealthy dog treats rule the market. Here are 5 treats that may have been recommended that you should avoid. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
I’ll pass.

2. Lunch Meat: Now, I’m a big fan of using real meat when training dogs; however, we have to be careful when using lunch meats. Once again, it boils down to the list of ingredients, that ever-so-important ingredient panel. Most, but not all, lunch meats contain ingredients that both dogs and humans should stay away from. Typical Deli Style Lunch Meat Ingredients: Chicken breast, water, cultured dextrose, contains less than 2% of modified cornstarch, salt, sugar, vinegar, cultured celery juice, sodium phosphates, carrageenan, cherry powder, lemon juice solids, coated with seasonings (garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, thyme, white pepper, dried parsley, dried basil), salt, cayenne pepper, red bell peppers, caramel color, oleoresin paprika. You may have noticed I mentioned in #1 I didn’t like carrageenan, and here it is as an ingredient in our lunch meat. Carrageenan can trigger inflammation and wreak havoc on your digestive system. And the caramel color, according to Why Dye? is typically made with a 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) which is associated with carcinogenic effects. Don’t forget the added onion salt, which is toxic to pets.

3. Hot Dogs: Just like lunch meat, hot dogs can be riddled with nasty and toxic ingredients to your dog. Typical Hot Dog Ingredients: Mechanically Separated Turkey, Mechanically Separated Chicken, Pork, Water, Cultured Dextrose, Contains Less than 2% of Dextrose, Salt, Corn Syrup, Distilled White Vinegar , Cultured Celery Juice, Sodium Phosphate, Cherry Powder, Flavor. Although this may not kill you, it sure is full of garbage and sugar.

4. Peanut Butter: This is a very common recommendation for dog training or stuffing a hollow toy or bone. Once again, it boils down to the ingredient panel. Typical Peanut Butter Ingredients: Made From Roasted Peanuts And Sugar, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Molasses, Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (Rapeseed And Soybean), Mono And Diglycerides, Salt. There’s that sugar again. A word of caution—many peanut butters now contain artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs. You can buy 100% organic peanut butter, without any other ingredients; however, I prefer almond butter.

Top 5 Worst Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog or Cat. Toxic dog treats and unhealthy dog treats rule the market. Here are 5 treats that may have been recommended that you should avoid. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Never. Ever. Period.

5. Fake “bacon” or “meat” Dog Treats: You know the ones. The dog treats that are in bright, colorful packages that look like a piece of bacon or meat. Are you ready for the ingredients in a typical “bacon flavored dog treat”? GROUND WHEAT, CORN GLUTEN MEAL, WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, GLYCERIN, GROUND YELLOW CORN, SUGAR, SOYBEAN MEAL, BACON (PRESERVED WITH SODIUM NITRITE), SALT, BACON FAT (PRESERVED WITH BHA AND CITRIC ACID), PHOSPHORIC ACID, SORBIC ACID (A PRESERVATIVE), CALCIUM PROPIONATE (A PRESERVATIVE), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL SMOKE FLAVORS, RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 1, YELLOW 6, ADDED COLOR. T-4005 I just want to scream when I see this ingredient list. There isn’t ONE ingredient I would EVER feed to my pets. Preservatives, wheat, corn, gluten, sugar, soybean, food colors and artificial flavors. This treat isn’t getting within ten feet of Dexter.

Take Away

The point of this post on unhealthy dog treats isn’t to bash a company or brand, but to remind you to read the ingredient panel, not just the front of the package on everything! This includes our own foods and products. I even saw carrageenan in freshly packaged natural chicken breasts. If we start to purchase cleaner foods for ourselves and our pets, the pet food and pet treat companies might just step up and provide even more healthy options. Now, go grill up some real chicken for your dogs!

Top 5 Worst Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog or Cat. Toxic dog treats and unhealthy dog treats rule the market. Here are 5 treats that may have been recommended that you should avoid. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
I just wanted chicken!


Do you read the ingredient panel prior to purchases? Tell me in the comments.

Top 5 Worst Treats You Should Never Give Your Dog or Cat. Toxic dog treats and unhealthy dog treats rule the market. Here are 5 treats that may have been recommended that you should avoid. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
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Learn how to home cook for your dogs.

Healthy Dog Treat Recipes
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Why Do Dogs Hate Vacuums? Why are dogs scared of vacuums? Learn why and how to help your dog cope. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Why Do Dogs Hate Vacuums? Stop Your Dog From Barking at the Vacuum Cleaner

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Why Do Dogs Hate and Bark at Vacuums?

Why are Dogs Scared of Vacuums?

Why Do Dogs Hate Vacuums? Why are dogs scared of vacuums? Learn why and how to help your dog cope. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
The Monster

Dogs and Vacuums. It’s not the same feeling as sugar and spice—a quite different feeling, in fact. A lot of dogs are scared of vacuums, and sometimes some dogs are so hyper-focused on the vacuum cleaner they even bark at the closet the sweeper lives in. Some dogs are very fearful of this loud, moving machine and will tear out of the room trying to hide from the beast. Other dogs may bark at vacuum cleaners and even try to attack or kill the machine.

I remember my golden retriever, Theo, would do a little dance and try to retreat as fast as he could. But I worked on his fear of the vacuum cleaner and we were able to get to a point where he would comfortably hang out in another room while I swept the house. Dexter on the other hand, just lies on the floor and I actually have to ask him to move so I don’t sweep him up!

Today I am going to teach you some techniques to help your dog not fear the vacuum cleaner, how to manage his dog anxieties, and how to prevent your future puppy from developing vacuum phobia. 🙂

Living with the Monster

  1. When your dog is not around, bring out your sweeper and find a place in your home, up against a wall, that your vacuum cleaner can live. By keeping it out in the house and not hidden in a closet, your dog will be able to slowly adjust to the look of vacuum without the noise and movement. I know, it’s not pretty, but it’s a great first step in a good dog behavior modification program.
  2. Next, place a handful of healthy dog treats around the vacuum cleaner and leading up to the sweeper.
  3. Let your dog back into the room, but do not say or do anything about your new décor. Just allow your dog to figure it out and do what he pleases. He may bark and charge, it, and as long as he’s safe, don’t worry about it. He may or may not eat the tasty dog treats. Eventually, he will settle down, but it may take a few days.
  4. When you see that your dog is eating the treats, randomly throughout the day place more treats around the sweeper and once again, allow him to do his thing.
  5. At some point, your dog won’t be as focused on the machine as he once was, and this is when it’s time for the monster to move.
Why Do Dogs Hate Vacuums? Why are dogs scared of vacuums? Learn why and how to help your dog cope. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
The MONSTER!

The Monster Moves

Continue to allow your dog to live with the vacuum and collect treats, even when you start this new training regimen.

  1. When your dog is not visiting the vacuum, walk over to the vacuum and glide it one sweep (not on), say, “YES” and toss your dog a treat. Your sweep should be parallel to the wall and not toward your dog. No scary monsters are allowed to move TOWARD your dog.
  2. Repeat. Move sweeper, YES, toss treat.
  3. Continue this routine at various times of the day, for multiple days or weeks. Moving to the next routine really depends on your dog’s reaction. You want your dog to be pretty comfortable with this routine before hitting the on switch.

The Monster Talks

Continue with the above lessons, even when you start this new routine. Okay, this might be a biggie. Don’t jump to this step too quickly—make sure the other sessions are going well with some good repetition and conditioning before turning on your vacuum.

  1. Ensure your dog is not close to the vacuum cleaner before you start this step. Be ready. Turn your vacuum cleaner on and quickly off, say “YES,” and toss your dog a treat. Whew. That may have been a big step for him. Assuming all went well, go to #2.
  2. Allow your sweeper to stop spinning and repeat your quick on/off/yes/treat. Repeat this process as your dog gets comfortable with the monster’s voice.
  3. Once your dog is doing well with the quick on/offs, allow your vacuum to stay on for a few seconds, before turning off and treating. You are going to gradually increase the time the sweeper is on before tossing his treat.

The Monster Moves and Talks and Cleans Your House

Remember, it is critical to go at your dog’s comfort level before making a task harder. If at any time you see him starting to stress or panic, take it back a notch or two.

  1. The time has come. First, make sure your dog has a safe place to go to be away from the sweeper. You do not want to sweep your dog into a corner with no escape route.
  2. Start your normal cleaning, but make sure you are not pushing your vacuum too quickly and never toward your dog. You may need to stop the sweeper at times and help your dog move out of the way and into a safer area. As you sweep away from your dog, toss treats behind you toward your dog. This continues with the conditioning process that the sweeper really isn’t a monster, but instead a way to earn a reward. If you really don’t want to do this step, skip right to the next step, Sweeping Management.

Sweeping Management

During your dog’s behavior change, you will have to install some sweeping management techniques so that you can clean your home even when he’s not ready. Or if you don’t want to put the time into changing his emotions, you can also just skip to management.

  1. Before sweeping your home, prepare a hollow filled toy or your dog’s favorite healthy chew, and take him into his safe room, such as the bedroom. You can turn on some dog-calming music and give him his long-lasting chew, shut the door, and go do your vacuuming.
  2. Once you finished vacuuming, open the door and allow your dog back into the area. Shut yourself and the vacuum into the “dog room” as you sweep that area.
  3. Viola. Swept home, stress-free dog.

Vacuum Monster Back Home

Once you get to the point of sweeping your home, consider moving the vacuum back into the closet. Your dog will likely still have a high association with the closet, so you can slowly work on desensitizing him to that too, or just put him in another room as the monster comes out of his cave.


Does your dog think there is a monster in the house? Tell me in the comments.

Why Do Dogs Hate Vacuums? Why are dogs scared of vacuums? Learn why and how to help your dog cope. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
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Positive and Natural Dog Training Books
Proactive Puppy Care: Preventing Puppy Problems

Healthy Dog Treat Recipes
Healthy dog treat recipes

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Dog-friendly vacations with your dog. Dog-friendly Niagara Falls, New York USA. Open 365 days, Niagara Falls is a great pet-friendly destination. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Dog-Friendly Vacations | Traveling with Dogs in Niagara Falls, New York USA

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Dog-Friendly Niagara Falls, New York USA

Pet-Friendly New York Day Trips

Dog-friendly vacations with your dog. Dog-friendly Niagara Falls, New York USA. Open 365 days, Niagara Falls is a great pet-friendly destination. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
NY with Dogs

After our dog-friendly Vermont vacation, we decided a trip to Niagara Falls was in order. I mean, we were basically going to drive through New York to get back home. The first question was, “are dogs allowed at Niagara Falls?” I was super excited to learn this was a big yes! Okay, dog-friendly New York, here we come.

Dog-friendly vacations with your dog. Dog-friendly Niagara Falls, New York USA. Open 365 days, Niagara Falls is a great pet-friendly destination. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dexter and Levi

We visited Niagara Falls USA on our way home from Vermont. Since our dog-friendly trip to Niagara Falls, New York was during the off-season and on a week day, we almost had the park to ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely tourists and small families, but it was not busy or packed, which I really enjoyed. Niagara Falls State Park is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. But no outdoor concerts, festivals, or entertainment were happening during our trip, and even the eatery was closed. That was a bit disappointing.

The landscape was very nice, even though things weren’t in their spring or summer bloom. With over 400 acres of landscape, wildlife, attractions and of course, the Falls, Niagara Falls should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Dog-friendly vacations with your dog. Dog-friendly Niagara Falls, New York USA. Open 365 days, Niagara Falls is a great pet-friendly destination. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Niagara Falls Best Views

Niagara Falls offers some really interesting attractions such as the Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds. However, these are not dog-friendly, so we did not partake in those adventures. However, we did explore the park through the various paved paths, saw the Falls from different viewpoints, and there are lots of great water features throughout the park.

Visit Niagara Falls with your dog.
Dog-Friendly NY

There are actually two USA sides of Niagara Falls, Goat Island and Luna Island. We chose to visit Goat Island and we were glad that we did. We were able to see the rapids, Three Sisters Island, Bridal Veil Falls, and Terrapin Point. It was wheelchair, or dog stroller accessible, so it was perfect when Dexter became too tired to keep walking. After a few hours exploring the park, we headed back to our dog-friendly hotel for a little R & R before coming back for Niagara Falls Illumination.

Dog-friendly vacations with your dog. Dog-friendly Niagara Falls, New York USA. Open 365 days, Niagara Falls is a great pet-friendly destination. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Visit Niagara Falls at Night in the Winter

Niagara Falls Illumination is an amazing light show over the falls every evening! This special event has been impressing visitors since 1925. And impressive it was. The range of colors throughout the falls was breathtaking. I’m really disappointed I’m didn’t have better photography skills to really capture the spectacular show.

They even have a special Niagara Falls Illumination Board (NFIB) to manage this attraction. The NFIB also helps raise awareness for special causes through special Niagara Falls light show requests. That’s really a neat idea!

Dog-friendly vacations with your dog. Dog-friendly Niagara Falls, New York USA. Open 365 days, Niagara Falls is a great pet-friendly destination. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Niagara Falls at Night

At the end of the dog-friendly day trip, Dexter and Levi were beat! Chris and I really wore these two Cavaliers out. If you and your dog enjoy a good adventure, I would recommend checking out Niagara Falls. It truly is a breathtaking attraction.


Have you ever visited Niagra Falls with your dog? Tell me in the comments.

Dog-friendly vacations with your dog. Dog-friendly Niagara Falls, New York USA. Open 365 days, Niagara Falls is a great pet-friendly destination. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dog friendly vacations with your dog new york

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Immune Booster for Dogs! A dog's immune system can sometimes need a little boost. Check out some healthy foods for dogs and this dog essential oil DIY to help boost a dog's immune. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Immune Booster for Dogs | Essential Oil Remedy To Boost Dog Immune System

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Immune Booster for Dogs

DIY Boost Dog’s Immune System Essential Oil Blend

Immune Booster for Dogs! A dog's immune system can sometimes need a little boost. Check out some healthy foods for dogs and this dog essential oil DIY to help boost a dog's immune. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Boost a dog’s immune

 

Dexter The Dog is approaching 8 years of age. As he ages and as his disease progresses, I’m constantly looking for natural ways to support his health. I provide Dexter a natural home-cooked diet, healthy dog supplements, dog rehabilitation, exercise, daily walks, and lots of dog play. He seems to be a pretty happy boy.

What I have noticed over the last year is that it seems that his little dog immune system may be struggling. There are a few signs such as a yeasty face, feet, and mouth. One of his ears is also developing a tiny bit of yeast. Dog yeast can grow from a poor diet or diet high in carbohydrates such as grains, potatoes, and legumes. Now, in the right proportion, there is nothing wrong with these foods, but a year ago I eliminated them from Dexter’s diet to see if that made a difference, and it did not.

My other clue that Dexter’s immune system may be struggling is that over the past five months, I have found two ticks. Now, that may not seem like a big deal, but for over four years we have been tick- and flea-free with natural tick and flea sprays. When a dog’s immune system struggles, they are more susceptible to parasites and creepy crawlers. Read how to make DIY dog tick spray.

A lot of natural remedies can help offer immune support for dogs. The first thing I always turn to for Dexter’s health is food. Foods that are immune boosters for dogs include oranges, bell peppers, almonds, spinach, and broccoli. Herbs and extracts such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, Echinacea, and olive leaf extract can also support the immune system. Daily dog probiotics are a must in our home. By using a dog probiotic, you can increase your dog’s gut health, increase the good bacteria, fight off the bad bacteria, and boost the immune system.

Immune Booster for Dogs! A dog's immune system can sometimes need a little boost. Check out some healthy foods for dogs and this dog essential oil DIY to help boost a dog's immune. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dexter The Dog

I’m a person who likes to add layers when tackling a medical or behavioral issue. Over the years, I have attended workshops on essential oils for pets, read various books, and researched online about whether essential oils are safe for dogs and cats.

Essential oils can be very helpful in assisting with medical and behavioral concerns, but they are also very volatile and potent. Dogs and cats should NOT be treated as small humans or kids. They are completely different creatures. A dog is different than a cat, too. In your head, you know this. Think about foods that are toxic to pets and safe for humans. Or toxic to a cat, but safe for a dog. The same is true for essential oils and the dosing of essential oils. This is why, during my research, I’m drawn to professionals truly working with essential oils for pets, not just a person well-versed in essential oils for people. Some common essential oils you may see in pet products that I personally avoid are anise, clove, oregano, red or white thyme, and wintergreen. This is also why I don’t just take one research source; instead, I gather a lot of information, then draw my own personal conclusion. The same should go for you. Don’t just take my word for it, do your research, too! Read my interview with Isla Fishburn Ph.D on essential oils and hydrosols and pets.

Determining the quality of an essential oil for our pets is extremely important and actually very difficult! Label terms such as “veterinary formula,” “therapeutic grade,” and the like truly do not have any real meaning or regulations. Digging around on the essential oil’s website to learn about the growers is the best way to determine quality. I’m still learning this, so I will do my best to link to high-quality essential oils for your pets. The other important thing to note is the Latin name. For example, above I stated I don’t recommend red or white thyme essential oils, but you may see me post a recipe with “thyme,” But, I’m using Thymus vulgaris ct thujanol, which is milder than the other two thyme varieties, which have higher phenol content than thymus vulgaris ct thujanol. Confusing, I know!

So, let’s get to the Essential Oil Blend for Dogs to Boost a Dog’s Immune System

Immune Booster for Dogs | Essential Oil Remedy For Dogs

Directions

Using an amber or cobalt bottle helps ensure the essential oils are properly stored. Light, heat, moisture, and oxygen all affect the oils’ properties and expiration date, so by properly storing your dog’s immune-boosting mix, you will be able to maintain potency.

How to Apply Your Dog’s Essential Oil Immune Booster

  • Massage 1-4 drops into your dog’s neck and chest daily.


Have you used essential oils with your dog? Tell me in the comments.

Immune Booster for Dogs! A dog's immune system can sometimes need a little boost. Check out some healthy foods for dogs and this dog essential oil DIY to help boost a dog's immune. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
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Dog-friendly vacations in Folly Beach, South Carolina. You won't want to miss the Lost Dog Cafe in Folly Beach, truly a dog-friendly restaurant. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Dog-Friendly Vacations | Dog-Friendly Folly Beach, Lost Dog Cafe, South Carolina

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Dog-Friendly Vacations and Dog-Friendly Restaurants and Cafes

Dog-Friendly Folly Beach, South Carolina | Lost Dog Cafe

Dog-friendly vacations in Folly Beach, South Carolina. You won't want to miss the Lost Dog Cafe in Folly Beach, truly a dog-friendly restaurant. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Lost Dog Cafe- Folly, Beach SC

When the family headed to Folly Beach, South Carolina, we knew we had to visit The Lost Dog Cafe. I mean, how could a dog adventurer like Dexter not eat at an outdoor cafe that loves dogs?! We stayed in a dog-friendly cottage in Folly Beach and were just down the road from The Lost Dog Cafe, so we checked it out on one of our first days.

This quaint dog-friendly cafe was a great, laid-back beach cafe. Affectionately referred to as “The Dog,” this pet-friendly restaurant really felt like home. The staff was extremely friendly and welcoming to Dexter, and even encouraged friendly mingling. The Lost Dog Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week.

And the menu? The large menu offers something for everyone. Order a huge breakfast burrito, bagel sandwich, fish, wrap, salad, shrimp and grits, or my favorite, a mouthwatering cinnamon roll. You knew I would eat something sweet—I do love my sugary foods. Don’t forget about the drinks. They offer custom blends of coffee roasted specifically for The Lost Dog Cafe. If coffee isn’t your style, you can try chai tea, hot chocolate, or fresh lemonade.

During our week-long stay, we became regulars at The Dog. And just how did they come up with their name? When the owners were creating the cafe, they didn’t know what they were going to name it. Their dog, Hocus, ended up taking off and disappearing for a while. When Hocus returned and was bounding toward home, the name clicked and their logo was created. I’m obviously so happy Hocus found her way safely home.

The next time you and your dog are in Folly Beach, you need to check out The Lost Dog Cafe. And they even have a wall of dogs and gift shop!


Do you take your dog to dog-friendly restaurants or outdoor cafes? Tell me in the comments.

Dog-friendly vacations in Folly Beach, South Carolina. You won't want to miss the Lost Dog Cafe in Folly Beach, truly a dog-friendly restaurant. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
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Are you looking for a natural and healthy grain free dog food? Check out my review of Dr. Harvey's Paradigm pet food mix. A ketogenic pet diet great for dogs with cancer, seizures, neurological conditions and weight loss. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm Superfood Pre-Mix Blend Review | Best Dog Food Mixes

Grain Free Dog Food Brands | Best Dog Food Reviews and Dog Food Recipes

Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm Superfood Pre-Mix Blend Review

Are you looking for a natural and healthy grain free dog food? Check out my review of Dr. Harvey's Paradigm pet food mix. A ketogenic pet diet great for dogs with cancer, seizures, neurological conditions and weight loss. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Healthy holistic food for dogs

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review. However, I will always offer my readers an unbiased and honest account of my experiences. Your trust is very appreciated, and never taken for granted. ~Tonya, Dexter and Nutter

If you are anything like me, you are always trying to find the best pet products, natural dog grooming supplies, and the healthiest dog food brand for your favorite canine. But the reality is, there is not a “one size fits all” answer to what is “best.” Every dog needs a diet that is specific to his health, behavior, and lifestyle. Personally, I’m a huge believer in frequent rotation of healthy, homemade dog food, raw dog food, and holistic pet pre-mixes. I never feed dry dog food or dry cat food. Dry pet food is heavily processed at high heat, removing all the moisture and goodness of the food. A balanced homemade dog food or raw pet food is the only way to provide a fresh, healthy diet.

If you have visited Raising Your Pets Naturally in the past, you probably know that I home-cook for Dexter almost exclusively. However, I do occasionally recommend and use great dog food brands, especially when traveling. Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm Superfood Pre-Mix filled this need when Dexter and I traveled to Minnesota for a week. Instead of traveling with a week’s worth of frozen dog food, I brought Dr. Harvey’s dehydrated pre-mix with me, and purchased organic beef upon my arrival.

Are you looking for a natural and healthy grain free dog food? Check out my review of Dr. Harvey's Paradigm pet food mix. A ketogenic pet diet great for dogs with cancer, seizures, neurological conditions and weight loss. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
REAL FOOD

Before I go into how easy it is to make this healthy dog food, I want to discuss all the health benefits of Paradigm and why I choose Dr. Harvey’s for Dexter. As you know, I’m very particular in what I feed Dexter, and I do not cut any corners when it comes to his health.

The formula contains powerful ingredients, each of which has been chosen to provide vital nutrition for health and healing. Paradigm is a grain-free dog food mix that provides a holistic blend of nutritious dehydrated vegetables and powerful healing herbs that improve health and act as natural blood purifiers. Inside, you will find bone broth; herbs such as turmeric, spirulina, ginger, red clover, milk thistle, slippery elm, dandelion and cinnamon; and absolutely no dyes, fillers, preservatives, wheat, corn or soy.

Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm is a pre-mix base for a nutritionally complete dog or cat food. This low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic pet food mix may be helpful for pets with a variety of health issues such as obesity, weakened immune system, diabetes, cancer, and neurological conditions. Paradigm is a blend of low-glycemic vegetables that digest slowly to prevent glucose level spikes combined with an abundance of powerful and nourishing antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support all body systems and aid in healing. I felt this would be a great pre-mix, since Dexter suffers from a neurological condition and weakened immune system.

Are you looking for a natural and healthy grain free dog food? Check out my review of Dr. Harvey's Paradigm pet food mix. A ketogenic pet diet great for dogs with cancer, seizures, neurological conditions and weight loss. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm

Paradigm is a ketogenic diet for dogs and cats. A ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates. A low-carb formulation robs cancer cells of their sugar (glucose) energy supply, so instead of using carbs for energy, your pet will start to use stored fat for energy instead. A ketogenic diet can essentially starve cancer cells, decreases seizures, lowers blood sugar levels, burns fat, and increases mental focus. Holistic vets agree that a low-carb or ketogenic diet may be helpful in the management of canine cancer.

Paradigm Ingredients-Broccoli, Green Beans, Bone Broth, Red and Green Bell Pepper, Cabbage, Pumpkin, Celery, Kelp, Alfalfa, Turmeric, Spirulina, Ginger, Red Clover, Milk Thistle, Slippery Elm, Dandelion, Cinnamon, Tricalcium Phosphate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid

Watch how easy it is to make healthy dog food in your own kitchen!

Paradigm makes it easy and safe to prepare fresh meals in a matter of minutes, right in your own kitchen.

  1. Add hot water to Paradigm and let sit for approximately 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add your choice of quality protein, either lightly cooked or raw.
  3. Add your choice of healthy oil.
  4. Mix well and feed.
  5. Watch your dog or cat lap up their healthy, real food!

Dexter’s favorite part was diving into his bowl of Paradigm. Dexter is a foodie, and loves to eat healthy and tasty food. If there was such a thing as smell-a-blog, I would love it right about now. The Paradigm smelled amazing! The mix of healthy herbs made this healthy dog food a real treat for Dexter. He gobbled up each meal and licked the bowl so clean it almost looked unused!

Paradigm empowers you to take your dog’s health into your own hands by adding a quality protein and oil sources that you pick to meet your dog’s needs. It’s really easy to prepare a healthy, fresh dog food with Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm Superfood Pre-Mix. You can easily prepare a week’s worth of food, portion into daily servings, and freeze.

I’ve been a fan of Dr. Harvey’s for as long as I can remember. As a pioneer and the very first companion animal food producer in the ultra-natural and all-natural category of pet food, the team at Dr. Harvey’s has dedicated itself over the past three decades to a powerful vision: helping guardians give their companion animals a better, healthier, happier, longer, and more fulfilling life.

If you are looking for a quality pre-mix for your dog or cat, I can’t recommend Dr. Harvey’s Paradigm enough. Hop on over to Dr. Harvey’s website and see for yourself. Tell them Dexter The Dog sent you.

Join me and Dr. Harvey’s August 21, 2017, at 10 am EST on my Facebook page for a Facebook Live demo and Q & A.  Spoiler, there will be a giveaway!

Enter Giveaway


Do you think your dog or cat would enjoy this healthy meal? Tell me in the comments.

Are you looking for a natural and healthy grain free dog food? Check out my review of Dr. Harvey's Paradigm pet food mix. A ketogenic pet diet great for dogs with cancer, seizures, neurological conditions and weight loss. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
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Dexter The Dog's Birthday Blog Giveaway Pet Contest 2017. Help me celebrate Dexter's eighth birthday! This year I will be hosting a giveaway to honor Dexter. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Dexter The Dog’s Birthday Blog Giveaway Pet Contest 2017

Dexter’s Free Birthday Giveaway 2017

Dexter The Dog's Birthday Blog Giveaway Pet Contest 2017. Help me celebrate Dexter's eighth birthday! This year I will be hosting a giveaway to honor Dexter. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dexter’s Free Giveaway 2017

Help me celebrate Dexter’s eighth birthday! This year I will be hosting a giveaway to honor Dexter’s adventurous life. More details to follow.
Pet Giveaway drawing will be on Facebook Live October 6, 2017, details coming soon.

Are you interested in being one of Dexter’s giveaway sponsors? Contact me today for details.

 

Thank you to our current pet sponsors and supporters.

 

Darwin's Natural Pet Products Raw Dog and Cat Food
Darwin’s Natural Pet Products

 

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products– Our introductory order includes a 10lb assortment of our premium raw pet food meals – free-range and cage-free meats (with organic vegetables in our dog meals).
At Darwin’s we believe that all pet owners should have the opportunity to feed their pets a healthy meal made from high quality ingredients. Our goal is to make feeding your pet fresh, healthy, quality raw meals convenient and affordable.

 

 

 

 

 

Pet Contest and Giveaway
Wendy Art

 

Wendy Art– ‘Win a custom digital portrait of your pet’ – details: one pet portrait | floral background | name optional | square | send as jpeg file | perfect to get printed on canvas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Products for senior dog care and mobility.
GingerLead

 

GingerLead Dog Support & Rehabilitation Harnesses are patented, padded slings to assist older or disabled dogs with their mobility or balance, or injured dogs with recovery/rehabilitation from knee, hip or back surgery. Great for helping dogs up and down stairs, or in and out of vehicles. Made in USA. ! GingerLead www.gingerlead.com !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safe and effective tick treatment
No More Ticks

 

No More Ticks ™” is a safe, all natural tick, flea and mosquito repellent. It is composed of a proprietary blend of 5 pure essential oils, distilled water, pure vegetable glycerin and catnip tea. Never finding a tick and/or flea is proof positive that “No More Ticks” really does work. 1 8oz bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biking with dogs and giveaways
Bike Tow Leash

 

Bike Tow Leash for a Safe Happy Dog all year long! Have fun and improve dog behavior, year-round, with 1-Running-Dog Bike Tow Leash®. The only American Pet Association Approved safe dog-biking attachment. The BTL guards, guides, prevents tipping and tangling all while training heel position. Attached and learned in seconds, the BTL also works on scooters and trikes. www.BikeTowLeash.com ph: 857-BIKE-DOG

 

 

 

 

 

 

More info coming soon:

Dexter The Dog's Birthday Blog Giveaway Pet Contest 2017. Help me celebrate Dexter's eighth birthday! This year I will be hosting a giveaway to honor Dexter. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
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Dog Training and Cat Behavior Tips and Secrets | Pet Training Success Revealed. The secret to successful dog and cat behavior training is just a click away. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Dog Training and Cat Behavior Tips and Secrets | Pet Training Success Revealed

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Raising Your Pets, Dogs and Cats Naturally

Dog Training and Cat Behavior Training Secrets and Tips

The Best Dog Training and Cat Behavior Problems Solved 😉

 

Dog Training and Cat Behavior Tips and Secrets | Pet Training Success Revealed. The secret to successful dog and cat behavior training is just a click away. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Best dog and cat training secrets revealed.

 

No Magic Tricks in Dog or Cat Training or Behavioral Training

Sorry. I totally can relate when a pet parent contacts me about their pet’s behavior, especially when a dog or cat is scared. I lived, trained, and managed my previous dog, who was scared of storms to the extreme. It’s not easy helping a dog or cat with anxiety. On the other side of the coin, I also have pet parents that want to “fix” or train their pets’ everyday behaviors, but want to be able to do it quickly. I mean, you can see amazing results on TV in 45 minutes, so why can’t you see those results in your own home?

First, I hope I don’t have to tell you that TV is entertainment. Even the best dog or cat training TV shows have a little time-lapse magic. But the real point in pet training and behavior is that it takes time, patience, practice, and commitment. Teaching a pet to do a specific task or not do a specific behavior doesn’t happen overnight, and it may not happen even in the course of a 6-8 week dog training class, especially if the dog owner isn’t working with their dog daily and consistently.

The Sports Analogy

Dog and cat behaviorists often compare pet training to learning a new sport. I’m one of those people! It’s so true. You wouldn’t expect your 7-year-old child to join the Olympic team in 8 weeks, yet dog parents often think that their dog should be able to come when called off of chasing a squirrel after an 8-week course. That’s an extremely difficult task that typically isn’t reliable in 8 weeks.

But there’s something else that makes training your pets different than joining the Olympic team: YOU. You are likely learning how to train at the same time you’re training your pet, unlike the Olympic coach, who has been living the sport for decades. There is going to be error in your skills and timing. Pet training coaches, like Olympic coaches, have likely been training dogs full-time for many, many years. You on the other hand, may have little experience, which can make things a little bumpy as you and your dog learn together.

Dog Training and Cat Behavior Training Secrets and Tips The Best Dog Training and Cat Behavior Problems Solved ;)
Pet training magic…..YOU

No, I do not have a magic wand to fix your pet’s behavior. No, there’s no silver bullet for your pet when he’s stressed. Yes, I can help you with your pet’s behavior, but you do have to commit to your pet and the process of training. If I had a magic wand I would use it and keep all of the pets in their current homes, happy and safe. I would be more than happy to then look for another career. In the meantime, I promise I will help as many pet parents understand and change their pets’ behavior to keep as many dogs and cats in their homes as possible. x


How often do you work on your pet’s behavior that you want to change? Tell me in the comments.

Dog Training and Cat Behavior Training Secrets and Tips The Best Dog Training and Cat Behavior Problems Solved ;)
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Positive and Natural Dog Training Books
Proactive Puppy Care: Preventing Puppy Problems

Dog Separation Anxiety Books
Treating separation anxiety in dogs.

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Best dog food brands for optimal health. Darwin's Natural Pet Products raw dog food diet review. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Best Raw Dog Food Reviews: Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Raw Dog Food Review

Best Dog Food Reviews

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products Raw Dog Food Review

Best dog food brands for optimal health. Darwin's Natural Pet Products raw dog food diet review. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Darwin’s Raw Dog Food

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review. However, I will always offer my readers an unbiased and honest account of my experiences. Your trust is very appreciated, and never taken for granted. ~Tonya, Dexter and Nutter

From the beginning of my 20-year career in dog behavior, I have been asked, “What is the best dog food?” Over the years, my answer has remained the same: “It depends.” Truly, finding the best dog food for your dog depends on a lot of factors. Are you looking for the best dog food for skin allergies, homemade dog food recipes, raw dog food recipes, or a prepared holistic pet food?

When people ask me what the best dry dog food is, I basically cringe. I get it. I know some people are always going to feed a dry dog food, but I don’t think a dry pet food is the healthiest option for your dog and certainly not for your cat. Dry pet food is heavily processed at high heat, removing all the moisture and goodness from the food. Fresh food, whether from a balanced home-cooked diet, balanced home-prepared raw, raw pet food company, or home-cooked pet food company will always provide a fresher, healthier diet.

When people ask me for the best dog food, I assume they want to feed their dogs a species-appropriate, high-quality dog food. I personally look for several things when evaluating the quality of a dog food. In a good dog food, I’m looking for meat, meat, and more meat. I shoot for 70% or more meat in Dexter‘s diet. I look for meats free of antibiotics and hormones. The remaining portion of Dexter’s food can be healthy fruits and vegetables, and I’m not opposed to healthy grains or carbohydrates in small quantities. Ideally, I look for ingredients that are organic, human-grade, and sourced in a country with a good quality-control program.

Figuring out all the details when choosing a pet food brand can be time consuming, but Dexter is well worth the time. If you have visited Raising Your Pets Naturally in the past, you probably know that I home-cook for Dexter almost exclusively. However, I do occasionally recommend and use great dog food brands, especially when traveling. Darwin’s Pet Products is one of those brands.

Best dog food brands for optimal health. Darwin's Natural Pet Products raw dog food diet review. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Natural raw diet dog food

I’m a big fan of a raw-food dog diet. However, it’s not for every person, and it’s not for every dog. Dexter is one of these dogs. With Dexter’s neurological condition and weakened immune system, he does not tolerate a fresh raw diet very well; he tends to get the scoots. However, Darwin’s raw dog food can be gently cooked “rare” (i.e., cooking the meat, but not the ground bones). This is what I do when feeding Darwin’s to Dexter, and he does great, with no digestion issues.

Best dog food brands for optimal health. Darwin's Natural Pet Products raw dog food diet review. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Gently Cooked Dog Food

Does Dexter like Darwin’s Natural Pet Products? Seriously? You have to ask? Dexter is a huge fan. He gobbles up every last morsel and looks at me for seconds. The question should be whether or not I like a particular pet food brand. I have been a fan of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products for a few years, and even rotate their cat food into Nutter The Cat‘s diet.

Best dog food brands for optimal health. Darwin's Natural Pet Products raw dog food diet review. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Gobbled every last bit

Darwin’s raw dog food is 75% meat, 25% vegetables, and under 1% trace minerals and vitamins. No guesswork on how much meat your dog is getting. And it’s not low-quality meat that you might find in a rendering plant or low-quality pet food manufacturing facility. Darwin’s offers two dog food lines: Natural Selections and ZooLogics. Their Natural Selections line contains high-quality, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats from New Zealand, Australia, and the USA, with organic vegetables. Their ZooLogics line is a more economical line of raw dog food, made with conventionally-grown meats and vegetables from the same farms that supply your supermarket.

Currently, Darwin’s offers raw dog food made with chicken, duck, turkey, beef, or lamb. Darwin’s eliminates the middle-man by shipping directly to the customer. They even include a pre-paid return label so you can return the special insulated shipping container back to Darwin’s. If you live in the Seattle and Portland Metropolitan Areas, you receive free home delivery!

Darwin’s raw dog food is super simple to feed. Each 8-ounce frozen, vacuum-sealed bag has an EZ Peel tab in the corner, making it a breeze to open without a mess. They also provide a nice container with a lid to store any unused food. Frozen food can last at least six months when kept frozen. Once defrosted, keep the raw pet food in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Best dog food brands for optimal health. Darwin's Natural Pet Products raw dog food diet review. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Darwin’s Natural Pet Products

The first step in our transition was to thaw two packages of the raw Natural Selections turkey. This was easy—I just placed a block in the handy container provided, and popped it into the refrigerator for the day. The next day, I gently cooked Dexter’s food and allowed it to cool. Because Dexter is used to a variety of foods, I was able to quickly transition him to test out Darwin’s gently cooked dog food. I started with a 50/50 mix of his current food and Darwin’s. By day two, Dexter was happily eating Darwin’s raw turkey, but gently cooked. He was a happy camper!

Darwin’s Raw Turkey Dog Food Ingredients: Free-Range Meat (76.90%): Turkey Necks (including bone), Turkey Thigh Meat, Turkey Livers, Turkey Hearts, and Turkey Gizzards. Organic Vegetables (22.34%): Romaine Lettuce, Yams, Zucchini, Carrots, Yellow Squash, Celery, and Parsley (vegetables may vary based on seasonality). Special Nutrient Mix (0.77%): Organic Flax Seed Oil, Sea Salt, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12, Iodine, Vitamin D3. Free-Range Meat (76.90%): Turkey Necks (including bone), Turkey Thigh Meat, Turkey Livers, Turkey Hearts, and Turkey Gizzards. Organic Vegetables (22.34%): Romaine Lettuce, Yams, Zucchini, Carrots, Yellow Squash, Celery, and Parsley (vegetables may vary based on seasonality). Special Nutrient Mix (0.77%): Organic Flax Seed Oil, Sea Salt, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12, Iodine, Vitamin D3.

If you are unsure where to start in your selection or transition, Darwin’s offers a free menu consultation. Darwin’s Intelligent Design™ Veterinary line is a great option for dogs who need a special formulation for a medical issue. These are specialized formulas designed to provide extra support to dogs facing certain health issues. Unlike your typical “veterinary diet,” these meals are actually made with high-quality, real food! Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw dog food is a total hit with both Dexter and me. If you are looking to find a high-quality raw diet for your dog, I urge you to check out Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. Tell them Dexter sent you.


Do you feed a fresh diet to your pets? Tell me in the comments.

Best dog food brands for optimal health. Darwin's Natural Pet Products raw dog food diet review. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
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Dog-Friendly Annapolis, Maryland Activities. We enjoyed a great dog-friendly cruise on the Annapolis Harbor thanks to Cruises on the Bay by Watermark. #raisingyourpetsnaturally

Dog-Friendly Annapolis, Maryland Activities: Dog-Friendly Cruises on Annapolis Harbor

Dog-Friendly Annapolis, Maryland Activities

Dog-Friendly Cruises on Annapolis Harbor |  Cruises on the Bay℠  by Watermark®

Dog-Friendly Annapolis, Maryland Activities. We enjoyed a great dog-friendly cruise on the Annapolis Harbor thanks to Cruises on the Bay by Watermark. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dog-Friendly Annapolis Boat Cruise

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Extended Stay America. However, I will always offer my readers an unbiased and honest account of my experiences. Your trust is very appreciated, and never taken for granted. ~Tonya, Dexter and Nutter

During our dog-friendly vacation in Maryland, I knew I wanted to take Dexter on a boat ride. Dexter LOVES taking boat rides. I think there is something about the gentle rocking of the boat, the breeze in his ears and the scent of the open water that just mesmerizes Dexter.

While searching online for a dog-friendly boat cruise, I found Cruises on the Bay℠ by Watermark®. I messaged them about bringing Dexter aboard their boat, and they were very helpful and friendly in our conversations. With over 45 years of experience, this was the Annapolis dog-friendly cruise I wanted to take Dexter aboard.

Watermark’s cruises are pet-friendly as long as dogs are friendly and leashed, and the dogs cruise free of charge! The boat also had restrooms and a full bar and cruise mementos. I have to admit, I wanted to purchase a souvenir, but totally forgot.

Dog-Friendly Annapolis, Maryland Activities. We enjoyed a great dog-friendly cruise on the Annapolis Harbor thanks to Cruises on the Bay by Watermark. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Dog-Friendly Annapolis Activities

While purchasing our ticket, the nice gentleman was telling me all about his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Everyone was very happy to see Dexter and Levi board the cruise ship. Our 40-minute narrated cruise left from the City Dock at 7 pm.

We sat on the upper deck to get the most out of our dog-friendly boat cruise. It was a sunny and warm evening, but the breeze cut down the heat and Dexter and I positioned ourselves in the shade. We learned so much of the area’s history listening to the narration while sightseeing the waterways of the Annapolis Harbor. Seeing the U.S. Navy Academy was a treat, too.

Dog-Friendly Annapolis, Maryland Activities. We enjoyed a great dog-friendly cruise on the Annapolis Harbor thanks to Cruises on the Bay by Watermark. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
Levi sleeping

Both Dexter and his travel buddy, Levi, enjoyed smelling the fresh air and looking around. Eventually, both dogs were lulled to sleep. Whether you are looking for dog-friendly things to do in Annapolis or want to leave Fido at home, Watermark has the perfect cruise for you! Plan a group trip, field trip, or private charter with their team of specialists. Tell them Dexter sent you.


Is your dog adventurous? Tell me in the comments.

Dog-Friendly Annapolis, Maryland Activities. We enjoyed a great dog-friendly cruise on the Annapolis Harbor thanks to Cruises on the Bay by Watermark. #raisingyourpetsnaturally
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