DIY flavored wooden chew sticks

I always have a lot of fruit in my house, but we don’t always eat in in time. So when it starts to get a little over-ripe, I’m always looking for something to do with it before it goes bad completely. It’s usually smoothies, or milkshakes, but today, I decided to try making my own fruit flavored wood chew sticks. You can buy these at the pet store, but it’s so easy to make your own, and a great way to use up those last few berries.

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Frozen Yogurt for Small Mammals

I love ice cream, and I love sharing ice cream with my pets. The only problem is most ice cream is too sugary for animals, especially small mammals, and even I have to admit that sometimes loving your pets means not sharing… almost. What it really means is that you make a pet healthy alternative that looks the exact same and share it instead, like this frozen yogurt!

This recipe only takes one ingredient, and even though it does take some time, your work is only about ten minutes. If you have an ice cream maker, you can absolutely use it, but the directions below are for making smooth frozen yogurt without one.

To make this dessert even more delicious, and to add the extra level of awesome, I added Kaytee dried papaya bites as sprinkles. I love these treats because they are good for your pets and contain only two ingredients (papaya and food coloring), and they are so much fun to look at. Pets love these treats because they are naturally sweet. I found the Kaytee dried papaya at Petco, in the small mammal department, but you can also get it here.

For this recipe you need

* Yogurt – look for a yogurt that is low in sugar. Greek yogurt will make a creamier end product.
* Dried Papaya or other pet safe toppings. Some fresh fruit or greens would be a good choice.

 

Directions

Step 1: Dump all of your yogurt into a medium sized mixing bowl
*note: the bowl I used in these pictures was just a bit too
small

Step 2: Place to bowl in the freezer for 45 minutes

Step 3: Take your yogurt out and mix it with an electric hand mixer (or vigorously with a fork) for one minute. The purpose of this is to break up any large ice crystals that are starting to form.

Step 4: repeat steps 2 and 3 two more times.

Step 5: Once you pull your yogurt out of the freezer and mix it for the third time, it should be the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Though it won’t look quite as smooth. To get the smooth classic ice cream look, spoon some yogurt into a zip top bag and cut a hole in one corner. Squeeze the yogurt out of the bag just like soft serve.

Step 6: Top as desired and serve. And yes, this recipe is totally share-able by you. That’s why I love it so much.

 

*Note: This is a treat, and it is sweet, so please feed in moderation. And if you have any concerns about dairy or your pets diet talk to your vet first.

 

Yogurt just put in bowl

 

Yogurt after 45 minutes in freezer

 

Yogurt after a second 45 minutes in the freezer

 

Yogurt after the third freeze. You can see it holds it’s shape now

 

The yogurt comes out nice and smooth

 

Top and serve. Looks good enough to eat!

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

This post is not sponsored in any way by KAYTEE, however this post does contain affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission from your purchase with no additional costs to you.

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Classic Popcorn Garland – for your Pet

As the holidays arrive there’s nothing more classic than an old fashioned popcorn garland. I’ve never made one myself, but once I learned that popcorn is a great treat for small mammals I knew I’d be making one this year.  If you’re having family over for Thanksgiving or Christmas this is a great way to include your pet in the decorations and the feast.

I should stress that all treats should be kept to a minimum. So I would recommend keeping your string short or even making several tiny stings so you can hang  up just a few at a time.

About the string

If you’re like me you probably want to know what you’re feeding your pet. While this is a treat, and should be given in moderation, you can rest assured that this garland won’t completely spoil your pet’s diet.

  • Popcorn is a great treat. It provides a satisfying crunch along with a great source of fiber.
  • Cheerios are another crunchy source of fiber, but also protein.
  • Cranberries add an extra festive look and are safe for most rodents. I should add that cranberries have quite a bit of sugar for such little ones, so if you add cranberries to your string keep them to a minimum. I would say no more than four berries total.  (On hamstercare.com it’s recommended not to feed cranberries to Russian Campbell, Winter White, or Chinese hamsters because these breeds are prone to diabetes). I was using a pretty thick string and needle so I opted out of juicy fruit.
  • Sting- the string itself can be dangerous to your pet. Be sure to take it out of the cage when your pet is done eating. Also be sure to use a natural, non-toxic string because chances are your pet will nibble on it a little bit, and even if they don’t it’s going through their food.

Supplies

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  • Regular Cheerios
  • Unsalted, unbuttered, unflavored popcorn
  • Cranberries
  • Thread or string
  • Needle

Instructions

  • String the food in any pattern you’d like
  • Hang it up for your pet to enjoy
  • Yay for super easy!

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If only they all popped like this

If only they all popped like this

 

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I’m sorry I don’t have a beautiful hamster cage to display this on for you guys

 

Things I learned:

If you’re having trouble with the popcorn breaking, especially with a big needle like mine, wait a few days. It’s stronger when it’s stale, and your pet won’t mind.

 

 

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Grocery Store Treats for Your Smallest Furry Friend

Hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, and guinea pigs: This is the group I’m talking about today. The tiny mammals with their extra soft fur and little black button eyes…

When I had bubbles (Our mice named by a two year old) I couldn’t resist giving him treats, and when it comes to small mammals, treats are so easy the hard part is not pampering them into obesity.

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