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Our pals over at Bocce’s Bakery are baking up some special treats for Valentine’s Day. Hugs & Kisses are made from fresh, antibiotic-free beef, organic apples, organic carrots, tasty oats, and local NY honey.

Your furry Valentine deserves some, right? ‘Cause you don’t do enough for them all year ’round, right?

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My husband and I constantly remind Mingus and Dottie exactly how much money they cost us from day to day, and how if they weren’t around we could probably go ahead and retire or something. It’s tough love. They understand.

But seriously, caring for dogs isn’t exactly cheap, right? So what would you think if someone were to offer you some FREE dog food? If I were you, I’d think that’s pretty awesome. And what if the food weren’t just some old junk, but really good quality food made from 100% natural ingredients, rich in proteins and antioxidants — really good food like Nature’s Logic? Well, I would think that’s even awesomer.

Nature’s Logic is giving away FREE FOOD to TWO phetched readers! Here’s all you have to do to enter to win:

1. Choose which you would prefer:

– one 4.4-lb bag of dry kibble or

– one 3-lb bag of raw frozen or

– five 13.2-oz cans

2. Visit Nature’s Logic’s web site and choose which flavor/formula you prefer.

3. Leave a comment below stating your choices.

That’s it! Entries will close Friday, 1/21 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, and 2 lucky winners will be randomly drawn at that time.

4. If you’d like an extra entry, you can tweet the following (once): Enter to win FREE DOG FOOD from @phetched and @NaturesLogic! http://bit.ly/hL6Vmm

Offer open to US and Canadian shipping addresses only. Thanks!

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The all-natural, organic dog biscuits from Bocce’s Bakery are handmade from fresh, human-grade ingredients. They’re made in a kitchen — not a factory — from wholesome ingredients like grass-fed meats, cage-free eggs, organic yogurt, and fresh organic fruits and vegetables. With no added chemicals, preservatives, or sugar, they’re the sort of thing you feel good about feeding your dog.

Which is good, because in the past two weeks Mingus has eaten a whole bag almost singlehandedly.

Bocce’s Bakery kindly sent us some samples and some bags of treats to give away for our Super-Duper Fantabulous Grab-Bag Giveaway — just about the same time Mingus was diagnosed with an ear infection. He boldly withstood thrice-daily ear drops with the promise of a tasty Bocce’s Bakery PB&J bone after each dosage.

Check out Bocce’s web site to check out all the tasty flavors (like The Elvis, Beef Bourgiugnon, and Grandma’s Apple Pie), and also to learn about their weekly Doggie Bag Delivery service. (And check out Wednesday’s post for a chance to win 2 bags free!)

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Tradition would have us believe that dogs and mail carriers can never be friends – but my dogs will love our postman forever if he continues to deliver packages that smell as tasty as the one that recently arrived from Minneapolis’ The Barkery.

Thanks to April at The Barkery, Mingus and Dottie had the pleasure of taste-testing a selection of The Barkery’s flavorful treats, namely molasses & granola cookies, salmon & yogurt snacks, chicken & apple cookies, salad bar snacks, and peanut butter & cheerios.

I can tell you that Mingus and Dottie loved the treats, but they’re crazy about treats anyway (I mean, saying my dogs “like” treats is like saying Don Draper enjoys a drink and a smoke now and then) — so I should probably also explain why I like treats from The Barkery. First, they’re handmade with love rather than in some ol’ dirty factory somewhere. Plus, they’re baked from scratch to order from wholesome, human-grade, organic, fresh, local ingredients and packaged in earth-friendly materials, meaning they’re good for dogs and for the planet. Plus (again), The Barkery’s packaging and web site boasts really nifty graphic design. (Hey – these things are important to me.)

Fetch The Barkery treats (plus cute treat jars!) directly from their web site.

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Have you ever noticed that dogs seem to like kinda stinky stuff? I won’t go into detail, but I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about. I think this stink affinity is part of the reason Mingus and Dottie love fish-based foods so much. And it’s why I giggle a little at the name of The Honest Kitchen‘s first fish-based recipe, Zeal, as I’m sure Ming and Dizz would gladly devour a bowl of it with just that very emotion.

Like all of The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated raw foods, Zeal is made from minimally processed, 100% human-grade ingredients, and is free of wheat and preservatives like ethoxyquin, which I’m not really sure how to pronounce but I know is really bad.

Says Lucy Postins, founder and CEO of The Honest Kitchen, “Zeal was truly inspired by our customers. For years, pet owners have told us that their dogs have allergies or intolerances to conventional meat sources, and we’re pleased that we can now offer this high-quality, human-grade recipe with minimal risk of allergies.”

And on top of that big ol’ pile of goodness, The Honest Kitchen will donate a portion of Zeal’s profits to marine conservation efforts, including The Nature Conservancy, The Blue Ocean Institute and the World Wildlife Fund.

Zeal will be available in late September from The Honest Kitchen.

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I ran across nulo on twitter yesterday, and as with anything with bright colors and good design, it caught my eye. Nulo (nutrition + love) is food for dogs and cats developed by self-professed “pet foodies” aimed at providing holistic, wholesome nutrition to your pets. Their animal-protein-rich foods contain no hormones, byproducts, or fillers, and they deliver their kibble, canned foods, and treats right to your door – which is awesome, because in addition to being attracted to bright colors and pretty packaging, I’m also super lazy and scatterbrained.

Check out nulo’s goodness on their web site — and don’t get freaked when that cat and dog on the home page start moving (like maybe I did).

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Anyone remember those microwave cakes from the ’80s where you’d stir some water into the bag of cake mix, pop it in the microwave bundt pan, and “bake” it in the microwave in just a couple minutes? I LOVED THOSE THINGS… not so much for the taste, but because they were the perfect entertainment for a kid who wanted to pretend like she was cooking but whose mother perhaps didn’t trust her with a power mixer and hot oven.

PupCakes 2 Go are little microwave cakes for dogs and were voted Best New Product for 2010 at the Global Pet Expo. It’s easy to see why — they’re super easy and fun to make, inexpensive, and made from organic, wholesome ingredients (wheat, soy, and preservative-free at that). Melinda from Lucky Paws, the makers of PupCakes, sent me a couple boxes to try, and I relived a little ’80s fun whipping up a batch for Mingus and Dottie yesterday afternoon.

With PupCakes, all it takes to become a canine pastry chef extraordinaire is a little water, a little peanut butter, and a microwave. The powdered mix smells really good, just like cinnamon, and the PupCakes really do look and smell like real cakes when they come out of the microwave after a magical two and a half minutes. I was even tempted to try a tiny piece, and, well, they kind of tasted like those microwave cakes from the ’80s. But hey, they’re not made for humans, they’re for dogs. And the dogs? LOVED them.

And that preshy little purple tray? It’s reusable with PupCakes’ refill mixes. LOVE IT.

To find out how to get your paws on some PupCakes 2 Go, check out Lucky Paws’ website.

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Y’all remember that movie Superbad? Well, that’s pretty much how badly I want to go to the beach right now: SUPER BAD. I figure if I’m going to be sweating and getting sunburned, I might as well be breathing the salty air and sitting in the sand with cold drink in my hand, right?

Checking out Alopaw treats isn’t helping either — these cute, handmade Hawaiian themed treats, with ingredients like pineapple, banana, and coconut, and names like Beach Bums, Hula Honeys, and Paradise Palms, make me want to hit the beach REALLY SUPER BAD.

Alopaw treats are more than just cute, though. The treats were originally created for Kona, a lab puppy born with a liver shunt, who has to adhere to a strict low-protein and low-phosphate diet. Alopaw treats thus contain no meat, no wheat, no corn, no gluten, and no dairy — but, instead, all human-grade, virtually allergy-free ingredients.

Plus I betcha they smell like the beach.

You can buy Alopaw treats on their website or in their Etsy shop.

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Picture this: young me (I was cute) at a church picnic, spying the dessert table from across the room, running with unbridled glee (while wiping drool) towards a what I think is a giant vanilla cake, then skidding to a stop in horror when I get close enough to realize it’s not vanilla, it’s… COCONUT. Bleaughh.

Coconut. Aside from an umbrella drink here and there, can’t stand the stuff. But apparently it’s, like, totally super healthy for both humans and dogs. Not coconut cake, of course… but 100% raw, virgin coconut oil. Apparently it’s a fatty acid, but the good kind, and in dogs, it’s been shown to help with weight loss, metabolism, energy, skin and coat, and digestion. It’s also a huge immune-system booster and is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-oxidant. Kind of makes me feel bad about being so anti-coconut as a kid.

Dehydrated coconut carries the same health benefits as the oil, making these 100% pure organic coconut chips from CocoTherapy something I’m definitely curious to try with my beasts. After reading about the health benefits of coconut for dogs, I’m totally on the coconut boat. And who knows? Maybe I’ll even try one myself.

You can fetch CocoTherapy Coconut Chips online at Fun Dog Fred (or check CocoTherapy’s site for stores).

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Nutty pumpkin crunch. Creamy sole with summer garden vegetables. Mediterranean chicken.

Tasty recipes from this month’s Bon Appetit? Nope. They’re all recipes for healthy, wholesome homecooked meals for your dog found in Made out of Love, a new recipe book from The Honest Kitchen… and one lucky phetched reader will win a copy signed by the author, along with some yummy THK samples!

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You may already know The Honest Kitchen for their healthy, human-grade, grain- and gluten-free dehydrated dog foods and supplements. Now Lucy Postins, founder and president of THK (and companion animal nutritionist), has compiled this collection of 65 recipes for homecooked dishes for your dogs and cats, from quick and easy food toppers to delectable main courses and desserts. Postins includes helpful information about ingredients, portion sizes, and foods that can help pets with ailments such as fleas, itchy skin, and diabetes.

Each recipe is clearly coded as suitable for dogs, cats, and in many cases, humans too (although I do think I’d pass on “sardine salad” anyway). While some recipes require the use of specific THK dehydrated foods, many of the recipes can be made with ingredients right from your grocery store.

If you’d like the chance to win a signed copy of Made out of Love, including some THK dehydrated samples, check out entry info after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

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