This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vita Bone®. All opinions are 100% mine.
I like making things in general. Whether it be a globe covered in glitter or toys for my pets, I’m all about the DIY lifestyle. But I suppose I should say up to a point of effort.
There are some things, like, say, a pinata, that I will work for a straight week on and not think anything about it. Or I’ll crochet up an afghan over the course of a month and it’s all gravy. But, as I’ve learned in the past, one of the things that feels like pulling teeth to me is making my dogs’ own treats.
I probably have 3-4 different cookie cutters in my little box of cutesy baking supplies that I have used to make dog treats at home because I really, really get into it… at first. After I’ve rolled that dough once and cut those puppies out I’m over it. Suddenly I have this huge hunk of dough that I am going to have to keep rolling and cutting and UGH. But I want my dogs to have good quality things. We buy them the best food we can and some dog treats are pure junk. Even before, but especially after having a sick kitty that has quite literally cost Rob and I thousands of dollars, we’re all about prevention by keeping the animals as healthy as possible. Junk in, junk out Mr. Rob said just today, so we encouraging them to eat things that are good for them. I guess it’s kind of like someone with real, human children encouraging their kiddos to eat their veggies! Right?!? Ha! Maybe not quite…
So when I can buy, at least in the dog treat arena, I would much rather do that than DIY. We’ve recently discovered Vita Bone® Artisan Inspired® treats and I’m happy with the ingredient list and the pups are happy with the taste. I have to admit, that I really love offering them things that remind me of the things I love. ‘Cause if I love biscuits and gravy why wouldn’t they love biscuits and gravy flavored treats? *** SPOILER ALERT : They totally do love Vita Bone Artisan Country Biscuits, Sausage & Gravy flavor soft treats!
So the other day I’m working and we got a visit from the post man. The dogs always seem to know when a package has presents for them inside, perhaps due to those amazing canine noses, and when their box of Vita Bone treats arrived they were all over it. In truth I wasn’t sure what it was prior to opening it but I just knew it had to be something they were going to be hoping to get in on.
Inside of that box were 5 fab flavors Vita Bone Artisan Inspired treats including Maple Bacon & Blueberry flavor biscuits and Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry flavor biscuits that are the typical crunchy dog treat shaped like a bone we all think of. And we also got some Turkey Pot Roast & Red Potato flavor soft treats, which were the same soft texture as the biscuits and gravy flavor they’re going nuts over. But the very first bag I opened was the BBQ Chicken & Sweet Potato flavor biscuits and I yelled for Rob to come and check these treats out. “What does this smell like?” I asked shoving it under his face. “That’s BBQ chicken.” “They’re dog treats.” I informed him. And then we had this total wow moment over how good these dog treats smelled and just how much they smelled like something WE would eat.
Because down to the core of things that is what we want for our pups… to have things as good, or better, than we do ourselves. We don’t want to eat filet mignon while they chomp down the cheapest kibble we can find and we don’t want to give them any kind of food, in general, that is so gross there’s no way we wouldn’t eat it ourselves. Now we’re not tucking into their cans of food, so you can just put that thought aside, but it’s just the litmus test, if you will, we have to determine whether we’re comfortable giving something to our dogs. They may not be human babies, but they’re our FUR BABIES :)
In truth, we really like to share in all things WE like to do with our pups. We like to travel and so we take them along with us…
We absolutely love to play…
And relax after our victories…
And I love taking baths, not that I have had the time to here lately, but I extend that courtesy to my pups. Granted they don’t totally dig a bath but they love the cuddles they get when they smell fresh and clean. I suppose in the end that makes us all winners!
But there is the weensy issue of my boy Ollie having sensitive skin and long-ish hair that when dry is a total pain in the neck. It gets brittle and it mattes even more easily than it already does. And mattes equal pain and that’s a no go. I’ve found that coconut oil, though it needs a little bit of time to soak into his hair/skin after a bath, works wonders on his gorgeous coat. And so these days I don’t just toss the pups in the tub with just any old dog shampoo, I toss them in with homemade dog shampoo! See, we’re back to DIYing all the things! Want to see how I whip up this easy to make and easy to custom tailor homemade dog shampoo?
For this super moisturizing coconut oil dog shampoo you will need:
- Dish soap with NO colors, scents, etc. (I get mine at the grocery store)
- Coconut oil
- Aloe vera
- Distilled water
- Essential oils (optional)
- Fragrance oils (optional)
- Bottles for storage
I tend to make a good amount of shampoo because Ollie is a big boy with LOTS of hair. With one big and one little pup this recipe is good for 2 baths apiece for them, typically. I don’t like to make a huge batch because I would rather make it fresh (it’s so easy it’s no big) and I don’t have to worry about anything spoiling.
The recipe for homemade dog shampoo is as follows:
- 1/4 cup dish soap
- 1 c. distilled water
- 1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil (melt if necessary)
- 1.5 tablespoons of aloe vera
Mix your soap, water, coconut oil and aloe vera together. At this point you can also add 1/4 cup of vinegar to help if you have funky dog smells to get rid of. Because Ollie’s skin is so sensitive, he can’t really tolerate it, so take care to test a small patch if adding it before totally bathing your pup in the stuff.
Oh, and coconut oil is greasy. If your dog has oily skin, please leave this out. It’s also advisable to give your pup a bit of time to allow the oil to soak into their hair and skin. I don’t let mine on the sofa or my good comforter, instead placing old blankets on the office floor for them to rest on while they air dry. If you add too much oil, it is possible that it will not soak in, so take care not to add too much and to consider the skin and fur of your baby when recreating this recipe.
Stir gently to prevent whipping up a crazy batch of bubbles.
If adding essential or fragrance oils do that now to your shampoo bottles (these are from the travel section at the store). A quick Google search can help you determine which, if any, essential oils you’d like to add to your shampoo.
Making sure your soap mixture is still well incorporated add it to your shampoo bottle.
Cork it and it’s all set. As the shampoo sits the oils will rise to the top. Keeping the lid on, give it a gentle shake to incorporate before using.
This bottle, with the pink lid is Carly’s candy scented dog shampoo. For scented items for Carly I have a special little bottle of candy scented essential oil that I use because she’s so sweet! Yep, CANDY scented :) Since she tolerates the fragrance oil with no issue I have no qualms adding it, but pups with sensitive skin might do better without fragrance, or only a very small amount.
Excess soap mixture can be stored in a mason jar (mine hangs out under the sink) ready to add more oil if Carly needs more soap or leave as is for my sensitive in more ways that one, super sweet Ollie :)
Now isn’t that nice? My pups can bathe in style with a homemade dog shampoo I can feel good about using for bath-time because I know exactly what kind of goodness goes into it. Just like after taking the time to learn more I can feel good about giving them Vita Bone Artisan Inspired treats.
Especially those Country Biscuits, Sausage and Gravy flavor, if the dogs have any say in the matter (and of course they do! :) Wondering where you can buy to try? Get Vita Bone Artisan Inspired treats at Walmart (find a store near you) and, heck, while you’re there grab the makings for your homemade dog shampoo, too! There’s even a coupon, guys! So be sure to Print a coupon before you go!