Hazel just had her third birthday and got some of her most favorite treats!
That means that it’s a perfect time to share some of Hazel’s current favorites with you!
Since we don’t have kids, we fit fairly closely into that cliche…that our pets are our “kids.” And that is how we take care of them. We are very enthusiastic pet “parents,” to say the least and taking care of them is one of our favorite things to do (I know that sounds really dorky!). For us, that means so many things…training, exercise, and annual check-ups along with lots of time spent with Hazel and her feline “brother” Mausy. Hazel has a lot of toys and both have a nice stockpile of “special treats” (meaning snacks).
We take their physical health very seriously. For us, that means that neither Hazel, nor Mausy, get any junk. No processed goop. Thankfully, these days, with the internet and particularly living in Los Angles, it is easy to accomplish this. My three favorite resources for healthy snacks are Only Natural Pet, Healthy Spot and Whole Foods. I typically check ingredients and origin regardless, but have a lot of confidence in these three companies to offer clean products for our pets.
Only Natural Pets embodies a “natural lifestyle.” They have very rigorous standards (with a big list of unacceptable ingredients) and they guarantee everything they sell to be safe and effective for your pet. They have a lot of natural products for a variety of health concerns, too. Their mission is “to make healthy choices easy for you and your pet,” which they totally do and the main reason why I like this company. They also have a lot of useful info on their website, which I also appreciate. In addition to this, they practice a deep committment to sustainability.
Hazel LOVES their Pumpkin Pie biscuits – definitely one of her most favorite treats. They are small and very crunchy. Hazel loves crunchy! Pumpkin is naturally stomach-soothing and sometimes Hazel has tummy trouble, so this is a great match. They contain real pumpkin, pecans, cinnamon, and organic eggs. No, I haven’t tried one myself yet, but obviously could! 😂😋If i did, I wouldn’t admit it! HA!
They also have a lot of great stuff for cats, and just because it was Hazel’s BD doesn’t mean Mausy gets left out. He is “well taken care of” too!
Mausy goes nuts for their Bonito Flakes. As you can see, he literally puts his head in the bowl. These are high in protein, essential fatty acids and taurine. Plus, the tuna is wild caught and certified dolphin safe (certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council). Other major favorites are their shredded cat food (I can’t believe how he wolfs this down!) and the wild caught salmon treats. Hazel, by the way, loves all of these things, too, so when we give Mausy one of the “cat” treats, Hazel stares at us as if she hasn’t eaten in weeks and can she have just a tiny little bit.
Another trusted resource is Healthy Spot. They have a comprehensive selection of wholesome, organic food lines plus a nice selection of safe and eco-friendly toys and treats. (Click here to read about choosing safe toys for your dogs.) They also track every pet food recall and stock only the highest quality products. Same thing here…if they have it, I am comfortable buying it because they’ve done the work for me. They are also really involved in the community and philanthropy.
Hazel rips things up rather quickly, even though she doesn’t have Jaws of Steel, so I am always on the lookout for toys that she likes that aren’t toxic and will last more than 45 minutes. They carry a lot of different types of toys, but Hazel has two favorites.
These Zogoflex toys are 100% non-toxic and BPA, Phthalate-free, Latex-free and FDA compliant (meaning they’re safe to eat off of). These toys are not only made from recycled material but are also recyclable! They are made in the USA, super durable, offer a Lifetime guarantee, plus they float and bend (great for the pool). They do not contain a whole bunch of bad stuff (lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium, latex, natural rubber, phthalates, hormones, asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyleterh/biphenyls, radioactive compounds, azo dyes, TNPP, Class I or Class II Ozone depleting substances, genetically modified sources, Bisphenol A). I can guarantee you that I am not looking out for all this stuff on my own, so that is why it is nice to have someone else (Healthy Spot!) do it for me!
She also loves these Jax & Bones rope toys and they last. The appealing colors come from non-toxic vegetable dyes and as your dog gets into them and the rope frays, it acts like “doggie dental floss.” When Hazel was a baby and teething, we’d soak these in water or low-sodium chicken broth, then freeze. It was one of her favorite baby treats and chewing on them made her feel better. The tighter the rope is tied, the tougher it is to get into it, so you can choose the toy that is best for your pet and how s/he chews. And with the purchase of this toy, 10% of the proceeds are donated to homeless animals rescues.
Our other trusted resources is Whole Foods, my favorite grocery store. I am grateful for their animal welfare rating system. Did you know that Whole Foods applies their same stringent standards to their pet food? It makes everything so much easier for me. They have recipes for dog treats on their website, too. She loves the Whole Paws dog treats. They have a lot of other special treats available, too, like marrow bones (a super favorite) and natural hide chews. She loves them all.
Not all of her favorites come from a store. For example, she adores frozen apples. If you have an apple that is too ripe or a little “old”, slice it up and freeze it. I do the same with bananas. Hazel is always STARVING, so I like to have a variety of things on hand. Not an exhaustive list of favorites, but definitely a consistent list of things that are always Hazel Approved. What can you add? Hazel is always looking to expand her repertoire!