Happy 3rd Birthday, Pepper! Chicken Meatloaf Cake Pawty


Happy 3rd Birthday, Pepper Mint!

Chicken Meatloaf Cake Pawty

It’s Pepper Mint’s 3rd birthday. Since we were in Florida, I wanted to make Pepper and her cousins, Ginger and Bleau, a special treat they could share. All three girls, especially Ms. Pepper, LOVE chicken. So, I concocted this recipe, along with some of her favorite veggies (e.g., sweet potato) and decided on a meatloaf. I discovered that bananas are good for your dog because of the benefits of Potassium — however, like anything, it’s a rare special and infrequent treat since bananas are high in sugar. Another reason why I opted on a meatloaf: my dog hates dog biscuits and other dog sweet treats. So, an actual peanut butter dog cake would have been a waste for her.

If you decide to make this for your pup, let me know if your fur baby loves it. Pepper and her cousins sure did!

Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Pack of Ground Chicken

  • 1 Sweet Potato (Cooked)

  • 1 Banana

  • 1/4 - 1/3 Cup of Carrots (Cooked)

  • 2 Eggs

  • 1/4 Cup of Panko Bread Crumbs

  • 1 Box of Mashed Potatoes

  • 1/4 Cup of Shredded Cheese

  • 4” Round Cake Baking Pans

  • Non-stick spray for greasing

First, mash banana, sweet potato and carrots in a large mixing bowl.


Next, add ground chicken, eggs, bread crumbs and cheese. Mix thoroughly. Then, spray baking pans with non-stick spray. Place mixture in baking pans just like you would a cake mix.


Place meatloaf in baking pans, in the refrigerator for one hour, minimum.


Place in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. While meatloaf is cooking in oven, cook mashed potatoes per boxed instructions.

Once cooked, remove from oven and allow meatloaf to cool.


Lastly, remove meatloaf from cake pans. Spread mashed potatoes over meatloaf like frosting. Garnish with shredded cheese and you’re done!


Dog Days of Summer: Dog Beach Safety Tips for Your Pup


Dog Days of Summer

Safety Tips for Taking Your Furry Friend to the Beach


I recently took Miss Pepper Mint to Downs Dog Park and Beach and we had such a blast! It was both our first times at the dog beach and this will definitely become a frequent summer outing for us. I don’t take Pepper to the dog park very often, so she seems to suffer from “Napoleon Syndrome” and shows aggression towards larger dogs that walk just a little too close to us. I suppose that’s my fault, thinking trips to the dog park weren’t necessary since we have a pretty nice size backyard. Not to mention the fact that she’s very sociable and friendly with her fur cousins in Florida.

In prepping for our picnic at the dog beach, I made sure that she had a separate beach bag of all of her necessities:

Dog Beach Essentials

  • Leash and collar

  • Food and water

  • Dog bowls

  • Towel

  • Sunscreen

  • Beach umbrella (if no shade)

  • ID on collar

  • Poop bags

  • Chew toys

  • Garbage bags


Dog Beach Etiquette

Downs Dog Park is right along the Chesapeake Bay in Anne Arundel County. There is a large lawn that overlooks the bay, with large trees providing substantial shade. Thus, we found some shade, laid out our picnic blanket, and watched the waves (well I watched the waves) as we snacked on goodies. I made sure that Pepper and I practiced some beach safety and etiquette tips, not to disturb other dog owners and obviously to make sure Pepper didn’t get overheated from being in the sun too long.

Keep Your Dog on a Leash

Per dog beach rules, all dogs must be on a leash so that all dogs can enjoy the beach while in the control of their owners. I brought Pepper’s woven Vineyard Vines for Target leash, and a retractable 10 ft. leash, just in case the beach wasn’t too crowded and she seemingly enjoyed the water.

Pick Up After Your Dog

Don’t be that person that takes their dog to the dog park and beach and doesn’t clean up after themselves. If you don’t clean up after Fido, then you run the risk of local councilmen justifying the closure of dog beaches. Keep it clean for other pups.

Keep Your Dog Away from Other People

Granted Down’s Dog Park and Beach is a place for dog owners and their pups to enjoy outdoor activities, it is still open to the community. It’s important that you maintain control of your dog. Don’t allow Fido to interfere in other patron’s space, while they’re picnicking, beaching, etc. Pepper is a little 10 lb Pomeranian, who definitely suffers from Napoleon syndrome. She doesn’t like strangers, particularly if they get too close to her or I. The good news is, she won’t just run over to a random person and /or their dog. But, it’s still important that she understands basic commands and stays in her place. But I definitely allowed her to sniff fellow noses and greet other pups on the beach, when we had put our food and picnic away.

Don’t Mess with the Wildlife

Fortunately, there wasn’t too much wildlife on the dog beach. However, if you’re at a beach that has wildlife, such as seagulls, seals, etc., don’t allow your dog to chase after them. That’s another reason why local laws require leashing; it’s their habitat. We’re just visiting.


Dog Safety Tips

Beware of Hot Sand

Hot sand can burn your pup’s little paws.  If the sand is hot, you may want to purchase a set of paw boots for Fido.  Pepper has some, which I did pack just in case; but the sand wasn’t hot in the beach area and we also picnicked in the morning, before it got excruciatingly hot.

Provide Shade and Water

I knew that there were shaded areas at the dog park, and beach areas.  Since I wanted to picnic first, we sat under a tree the entire time, to prevent overheating.  When it was time to pack up the picnic and head down to the beach area, there were lots of trees close by, for when Pepper was done playing in the water.  If there is little to know shade at your local dog beach, you should bring an umbrella or beach tent to prevent your dog from getting heat exhaustion.  

I also packed a cold large bottle of fresh water for Pepper.  I kept the bowl of cold water out for her the entire time we picnicked. 


Use Sunscreen

Both you AND your dog need sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. Yes, dogs can also develop skin cancer (I had no idea either).  My local pet store did not have dog sunscreen.  However, according to PetMD (https://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/can-dogs-wear-sunscreen), I can use sunscreen for adults or children; BUT, only sunscreens that do NOT have zinc oxide and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA).  I use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen (SPF 55).  According to the back label and their website, it is PABA free!  And, there was no indication of zinc oxide.  So, I rubbed sunblock on Pepper’s ears and underbelly.  She has a pretty thick coat, so I didn’t put any on her full body or legs.  I could have put some on her nose, but I didn’t want to chance it since she likes to lick her nose.

If your dog goes swimming, you should reapply the sunscreen after they get out of the water.

Beware of Loose Dogs

At our dog beach, pups must be leashes at all times. However, you will come across an owner or two, that think their dog is the most highly trained and won’t bother other dogs. Whether your dog is well trained or not, dogs are curious creatures. Even though Pepper was leashed at all times, there were moments where I had to keep an eye on her as another owner’s dog would attempt to straggle over and say hi. Not knowing whether someone else’s dog is aggressive or not, be aware of you and your dog’s surroundings, in the even that someone’s pup isn’t leashed.

I hope all of you and your fur babes are having an amazing summer so far! If you have additional tips, leave a comment below!


8 Tips on Keeping Your Dog Healthy this Spring

Pepper in Sun.png

8 Tips on Keeping Your Dog Healthy this Spring

From Allergies to Bees, Know How to Protect Your Pet

Spring time is so much fun because Pepper and I hang out in the backyard.  I’m usually gardening, tending to my roses.  Pepper is usually running up and down the yard with her ball or barking at the neighbor’s cat.  As dog parents, it’s important that we pay attention to our four legged friend when she or he is outside during this weather change.  For instance, dogs can have seasonal allergies, just like us humans.  I wanted to share some tips on how to care for our furry loved ones as we start a new season filled with fresh cut grass, new blooms, and buzzing insects.

Protect Your Dog from the Critters

Keeping your dog up to date with his or her flea, tick and heart-worm prevention is very important.  Spring and Summer, those little critters are out and about just waiting to feast on our paw friends.  Protect your pet’s health!  I visit Pepper’s vet for X flea and tick medication, where I drop the solution on her neck or base of spine (start of tail).


It’s Easter Time, So Keep Your Chocolates to Yourself.

For some of you, the Easter Bunny will visit your household and bring chocolate sweets to your family. Please remember to keep your pups away from chocolate, as the acid in sugary treats like chocolate can be deadly.  If your dog consumes chocolate, please consult your veterinarian immediately for assistance.

Pepper Spring Flowers 2.png

Chomping on Greens

It’s okay if your dog eats grass. However, you should take note that if your dog is eating grass, it usually means that he or she has an upset stomach.  Grass soothes their stomach and helps with the nausea, sometimes naturally inducing vomiting.    Now, if your dog is eating grass, and the grass is treated with chemicals (e.g., TrueGreen, etc.), do NOT allow your dog to eat the chemically treated grass!  Again, if this happens, contact your veterinarian immediately.  Always read labels, when conducting or treating lawn care, and determine if it’s safe for your pet.  If not, keep your dog clear of those outside areas.

Pepper in Grass.jpg

Got the Itch?

My cousin previously had a Yorkshire Terrier who developed a skin disease where he was constantly itching and irritated.  Poor thang.  It was finally determined by his veterinarian that the little guy was actually allergic to grass.  I’ve also had dogs that get watery eyes and sneezing when they’re outside for too long, thanks to the pollen in the air.  My vet allows my dog to have half a Benadryl (it is dependent on weight size); however, this makes her sleepy).  If your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies, speak to your veterinarian about allowing your dog to take Antihistamines.


No Chasing the Bees, Please.

My cousin previously had a Yorkshire Terrier who developed a skin disease where he was constantly itching and irritated.  Poor thang.  It was finally determined by his veterinarian that the little guy was actually allergic to grass.  I’ve also had dogs that get watery eyes and sneezing when they’re outside for too long, thanks to the pollen in the air.  My vet allows my dog to have half a Benadryl (it is dependent on weight size); however, this makes her sleepy).  If your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies, speak to your veterinarian about allowing your dog to take Antihistamines.


All the Pretty Flowers.

I have my outdoor rose garden, but I also have an indoor plant that I keep in the living room.  It’s very important that you monitor your pups, making sure that they do not eat your plants and/or flowers, as they may be toxic to our furry friends. 

Pepper Spring Flowers.png

Tag, You’re It.

Keep collar tags up to date in case your loved one breaks free and makes a run for it.

Your neighbors’ furry friends are also out to play.  If your pup is a little advantageous, he or she may try to go say hi.  Unless your dog is well trained or in an enclosed space, keep him or her on a leash and make sure his or her tag is up to date with an updated address or phone number.


Don’t Overdue It.

Some people think that since their dog was inactive all Winter, that they should go jog a mile at a local park.  Whatever you do, don’t over exert your dog as you don’t want them to become overheated or exhausted.  Just as you would build up yourself to be a runner, the same goes for your pet.  Maybe do light strolls, when you’re first getting back outside, and increase over time, monitoring your dog’s energy levels.


Are there any additional preventive measures that you dog moms and dads use, that aren’t listed above? If so, don’t forget to comment so we can use those tips as well!