The holiday season is in full swing, and whether you’re almost done with your holiday gift shopping or you’re just getting started, we have some ideas for you! In Part One of our Holiday DIY Series, we’re sharing an easy-to-make recipe for homemade pet treats that your dog or cat is sure to love. This is also a great family activity that will help strengthen the bond between your kids and your pet. Here’s the recipe:
Pumpkin Pie Cookies (for Cats and Dogs!)
2 cups rice flour ½ cup oatmeal 1 cup canned pumpkin 1 cup grated carrots ½ cup unsweetened plain applesauce ¼ cup flour for rolling
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, blend carrots, applesauce and pumpkin until smooth.
Mix rice flour and oatmeal in a bowl.
Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently until dough forms.
On a floured breadboard, place dough and roll out to about ¼inch in thickness.
Use cookie cutters (holidays shapes would be perfect!) to cut out little cookies.
Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for seven minutes.
Flip treats over and bake for five more minutes. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly.
If your pet loves peanut butter, you can add a bit to these treats as “frosting”! We thinned our peanut butter with water to create a glaze.
*Special Note: Remember, these recipes are treats and should not replace your pet’s regular meals. Please check with your veterinarian if your pet has special dietary needs or food allergies.
Stay tuned to ASPCA Parents for additional DIY gift ideas all month long. Happy holidays!
He hung back when all the other dogs came charging, looking at me with those big brown eyes full of hope, worry and fear. His head was full of scars of troubles from an earlier time in his short life. That was the day a year ago when Petey stole my heart. Once a scared, abused puppy, Petey has left that terrible life behind forever. He now gives back to our community by working as a certified therapy dog—sitting with children at the local libraries while they read to him—between kisses, of course. He enjoys his work. After his day is done, there is a proud swagger to his step and he holds his head just a little higher. It hurts my heart to imagine the loss of happiness and joy to so many people of all ages if Petey hadn't stolen my heart that day at the local animal shelter.
Thanks, Jeannie! Stay tuned for additional winning rescue stories to come over the next few weeks.
We adopted Yoshi from the Darlington County Humane Society. He is a mix and is about 3-years-old now. He went from being a shelter dog on the euthanasia list to a therapy dog for an organization called Paws for People. Yoshi now is a certified "Courthouse Canine." He goes to court with children that have to testify in abuse cases and sits with them on the witness stand to provide comfort and security. He also visits the Children's Advocacy Center where he provides therapy to children being interviewed after allegations of abuse surface. When he’s not visiting children, Yoshi visits rehabilitation centers where he brings many smiles to the elderly. He is one of our family members and we love him!
Thanks, Deanna! Stay tuned for additional winning rescue stories to come over the next few weeks.
Back in 2003 when my youngest son turned 10, I finally agreed that he could get a dog. Having grown up with cats that were always rescues, I knew that adopting was the only way to go. We went to our local animal shelter but the dogs there at the time just weren’t a good fit for our family. The shelter worker suggested that we go check out an adoption event at the nearby PetSmart. When we got to the event, there were only two dogs left. My son had his eye on a Cocker Spaniel but the lady told us that she was finishing up paperwork for another family to adopt her. That meant that we only had one choice, a Jack Russell Terrier named Pia. We were told that Pia had already been surrendered twice. The first family decided they couldn’t handle her and new baby. The second family already had a dog and Pia and that dog didn’t get along with each other. I had some reservations but I tried to keep an open mind—just because she didn’t blend with the first two families didn’t mean that she wouldn’t be the perfect fit for us. The woman who ran the adoption event asked my son if he wanted to walk Pia around the store. He did just that, and it was a match from the first step. He came back 10 minutes later to tell me that Pia was the one. Here we are eleven years later, and Pia is still giving us her love and keeping us entertained with her youthful ways. My son is away at college, so now she is my baby girl to love and cuddle. I know it is cliché to say this, but I can’t imagine life without her. It took three tries for Pia to find her forever home, but they do say, “three times a charm.” If we hadn’t considered adoption, we would not have found her.
Congratulations, Wendy! Stay tuned for more winning rescue stories to come over the next few weeks.
With so many political issues facing our country, it’s more important than ever to make your voice heard at the ballot box today—but Election Day isn’t the only time your family can take action for animals. There are still plenty of ways you and your family can get involved in the legislative process and make a difference for animals all year long. In honor of Election Day, we’ve come up with someone fun and easy ways the little animal lovers in your life can help improve the lives of our furry friends, today and all year long!
Make Election Day Fun and Informative. This Election Day, turn your family’s dinner table into campaign headquarters by discussing with your child the issues that are important to you. Bring your kids to the polling location with you or host a mock election at home by creating your own ballot box and encouraging each family member to cast a vote. You can even help your child make signs to show support for candidates as the real results come in.
Join a Campaign. Campaigns need a lot of help in the final hours before polls close. If there’s an important election, ballot issue or animal welfare movement going on in your community, consider spending a couple hours with your child handing out flyers or knocking doors in your neighborhood to encourage others to vote. These days, many campaigns are on-going and can benefit from your help after Election Day, too.
Become an ASPCA e-Advocate. You’re never too young (or old) to be an e-advocate! There are hundreds of animal welfare bills pending in Congress and in state capitols across the country that need your support all year long. From writing a personal email to your member of Congress with your child to tweeting at your Governor to take action on a specific bill, we have created a step-by-step guide to help you and your kids fight for animal-friendly laws nationally and in your home state—right from your computer or mobile device! Download our guide to becoming an e-advocate for animals today.