Archives for February, 2014

Why do dogs circle before going potty?

 When you are potty training your dogs, many dog trainers would tell you that if you see your dogs circling,it is a sign of them going potty so,take them out for potty right away.

 Palette is now 8 years old and she must have circled for potty zillions of times in the past from puppy hood. I always wondered why do they circle before going to potty.

 In Palette case, she goes sniff the ground first and looks for the perfect spot for potty and then… she pace to left and right for pee and circle to left ,circle to right,circle to right,circled to left,and she does half circle left and right and then,squat to poop.

 Then,when she pooped a little nugget size poop, she does chicken walk to move forward and squat to poop more. If any sound or view has distracted her circling regime, she has to start all over again, and I have to wait for her to finish her poopy dance.

 Sometimes, this poopy dance made me stand in the cold weather for long period of times and, I kept hoping nobody or nothing would interrupt her poopy dance..

 Otherwise, I have to be in the cold longer time. Below are pictures of Palette when she was around 3 months old and she was going to go potty..

I am ready to look for my perfect spot for potty,mom..

Hmm..this area maybe perfect spot for potty..

Oh,wait! That is Dad’s foot prints.I gotta smell that!

Where did he go??

Back to my potty spot hunt..

I gotta sniff very deep to make sure this spot is safe enough..

*Bunny hops,bunny hops* I love snow!!

Mom; What happened to your potty spot hunt?? Are you done yet?

*Deep breathe..* Hmm… this smells like..squirrels’ foot prints..


 So, why do dogs do circle before potty?

 I know that dogs do circle before lying down to sleep is their instinct, and they do that to protect themselves from predators.

 Scienceline website suggests a couple of theories.

1. Dogs stomp the grass to have perfect flat potty spot

** The article says that someone suggested that the circling behavior is coming from ancestor lived in the wild with tall grass area

2. Dogs circle left and right to be able to spot any predators and make sure the spot is safe to potty

3. By circling, leaving their scent from foot (dogs have scent gland on foot and anus)

You can read full article at scienceline website here .

 At another website called Sarah’s Dogs, she suggests that dogs do circle to sniff out whether there were any other dogs were there before and looking for the perfect spot for poop.

You can read full article at Sarah’s dog website here .
So, what are your theories on why dogs do circle dance before going poop?

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Feb 28, 2014 | Comments are off | Doggy mom's gossip

Smiling dog:Chi i Chan, the Shiba Inu from Japan

 What is your dog’s favorite activity of the day?

 Many dogs express their joy of hearing their favorite words that associated with what they love most;walk,meal etc.., various ways.

 Our dog “Palette” gets super super excited and she runs to go get her leash when she hear her favorite word “walkie”.

 Going to get her leash is her chore of the day and she knows what is coming next.

 Her little nub going left to right,left to right very fast and,it always out a smile on our face

 Recently, I came across youtube
video of Shiba inu from Japan who express her joy via huge smile when her owner says “Would you like to go for a walk,Chi i chan?”.

 I thought it very cute and thought I would share the video with you.

 The video is in Japanese but you will be able to follow what is going on. Isn’t she cute?

Chi i chan;the Shiba inu smile with the word “Walk”

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

 Another dog express his joy of hearing his favorite word “walk” via jumping up and down. He is so cute!

Dog gets excited for going for walk

 If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

 Does your dog love to go for walk?

 How do they express their joy of hearing their favorite word “walk”?

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Feb 26, 2014 | Comments are off | Cute Animals

People food for thought Part 23;Cofee and Tea

 For many, a cup of coffee is a staple drink for the morning and night time.

 I am a big fan of coffee,as well as British tea, and Japanese tea. My husband is a more of coffee lover than a tea lover,and he gets whole green coffee beans from retailer and roast the beans as needed.

 I was surprised how much difference in the taste you will notice with the self roasted coffee beans compared with pre packaged whole coffee beans.

 Over the years, we got to taste various kinds of coffee beans, and learned a little bit of each beans and I found it interesting to learn about them.

Roasted coffee (left), whole green coffee beans (right)..

 Our favorite place to get the green whole bean coffee beans is called “Sweet Maria’s” in CA,USA and we get beans at bulk once in a while.

 What we like about them is that, not only they have wide variety of coffee beans to chose from to explore the various kinds of taste of the coffee, but also they travel to the coffee farms to check the quality on their own, and pick the one they like.

 It seems that they are very knowledgeable about all kinds of coffee beans and we enjoy their coffee beans a lot.

 There are many packaged roasted whole coffee beans on the market but, some have distinctive burned after taste, and some are not simply not as good as home roasted coffee beans.

 You will be surprised how different the home roasted coffee beans will taste.

 Try roast your own coffee and you will like it!

 At this moment, I am expecting, and I am not drinking coffee at all but, I enjoy the smell of fresh ground coffee beans, and freshly brewed coffee when my  husband is making his own cup of coffee.

 It is the nice smell to start the day.

 Anyway, recently, I came across an interesting news article on coffee and tea.

 I have heard of cup of coffee is good for heart health, but did you know a cup of coffee has more benefit than that? Did you know why coffee is considered good drink for the heart health?

Coffee for heat health..

 According to article written by Dennis Thompson, a small study from Japan suggests that the caffeine might help the small blood vessel works better,which ease the strain in the heart.

 A cup of caffeinated coffee caused 30% increase of blood flow in the small blood vessel compared to decaffeinated coffee.

 These vessels regulates the blood flow through circulatory system, and the body tissue.

 Therefore, opening blood flow and reducing the inflammations, the researchers think that the caffeine may help creating the favorable condition for the heart health.

 To read the full article by Dennis Thompson,please click here.

Coffee reduce risk of diabetes..

 According to the article written by registered dietitian Jennifer Motl for Free Lance Newspaper, a cup of coffee may reduce the risk of diabetes by 8% and when person drinks 6 cups a day, it reduced the risk of diabetes by 33%.

 She writes that it is according to analysis of 2 studies, and a millions of coffee drinkers and it was published in Diabetes Care Journal.

 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that both regular and decaffeinated coffee reduce people’s chance of developing the diabetes as well.

 The study was 20 years long, involved 100.000 doctors and nurses.

 Each cup of coffee lowered the chance of getting diabetes by 4%-8%.

 Another caffeinated drink “tea” lowered the risk of getting diabetes by 5% by each cup consumed.

 The best way consumed these coffee or tea is said to be black or with a bit of milk,not sweetened by sweetened creamer.

 One other interesting thing the article mentioned is that, specific Japanese tea helps allergy.

 Tea for allergy..

 According to Japanese scientist published the studies showing that specific type of Japanese green tea ” Benifuuki tea” helped allergy sufferers and reduced sneezing,and fewer reaction to cedar pollens.

 Tea for strong bones..

 Another study about tea revealed that the drinking a cup of tea may enhance the bone density,which probably due to fluoride in the tea.

 However, despite the benefit of consuming caffeine, there is a limit you can take a day.

 Average person should limit the caffeine intake up to 400mg per day (2-3 cups a day;8 oz cup x 2 to 3), and pregnant women should limit the caffeine intake up to 200 mg per day.

 Since caffeine is linked to miscarriage or birth defect, I am not having any cup of coffee. I really miss my coffee though.

 Whether you drink a cup of tea or coffee, it is better drink than sugary sodas that has all negative effects on your health.

 Coffee vs Tea..

 Which do you like to have?

 To read the full article by Jennifer Motl for Free Lance Newspaper,please click here.

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Feb 23, 2014 | Comments are off | People Health

Palette’s winter treats diary;February 19th,2014 Special edition-Strawberry Banana Tiramisu

 For Palette, last month was a little exciting month because we got tiny bit of snow last month.

 The snow storm just hit our area left us more snow than January, and our yard was covered with deep snow everywhere.

 Palette loves snow and she likes to stick her nose all the way through as deep as she can to sniff out whatever it is there and,she was spending quite time playing in the snow than actual potty business on the such snowy days.

us, it was nice month despite the fact that we had super cold snow weather here and there. It is because I had an appointment with OBGYN and we could get to see 3D form of our little ones. The little one already had head,arms, and legs and it looked like he/she is growing fine in my belly.

 I am still considered to be the patient who needs to be monitored closely, and after talking to the high risk ONGYN, it looks like we got lots of tests done and that they told us that we may have risk of premature birth because of my heart shaped uterus,which made me a little nervous but so far so good,and I am currently on 16th week now.

 Every time we go see doctor and see how our little one is doing, it always lighten up our face and feel so special.

hope my pregnancy goes uneventful and hope that we get to introduce our
newest family member when he/she comes out to this world here as well.

 Because of this current situation, I decided to lighten up the load work for Yassy’s Gourmet
Dog Kitchen. Therefore, I will be holding off making/baking
biscuits/Jerky for SnackSaturday orders (orders placed on Saturdays) for
now and instead, for those who ordered on Saturdays, we are offering
dollar value coupon code matched to the biscuits/jerky value for your
next order.

 Also, I will be holding off offering biscuits treats until
fall,2014 and push back the new treats release date to the fall 2014 as

 Anyway, for this month’s Palette’s treat diary, since many of you
have requested baked treats recipe such as birthday cake recipes, you
will see more of those during cold months’ entries.

 This time, I would like to share the recipe of “K9 Strawberry banana tiramisu”.

 Why tiramisu? It is because for the last Valentine’s day, I made strawberry banana tiramisu for my husband and I thought it will be fun to make the K9 version of it.

 At this moment, I like anything strawberries and, we got lots of berries in the fridge all time so, I was thinking to use some of the berries in her treats recipe so here it is.

 It came out cute and,Palette loved it.

 The leftover cake pieces are now used as training treats and she really works very very hard to get it.

 I hope your dog would like it as much as Palette did.


Now I will pass a pen to Palette to write a dairy here.

  February 19th,2014

 Last month was somewhat exciting month for me because of the snow. I feel we do not get snow as much as we used to in the past and I am waiting for da day where we get super deep snow enough for me to play da “find da tweats in da snow and picnic in da snow” game.

 “Find da tweats in da snow” game is fun because, mom or dad goes out to hide da tweats in da snow while I am patiently waiting inside da house until they come back to me and say “Go find it!”.

 Then, I go look for da tweats in da snow.

 Since I am usually behind da wooden entrance door, I see nothing and I cannot cheat da game.

 Only thing I need to do is to trust my nose.

 I sniff,sniff and find da tweats and when I find one, I like to sit there and eat da tweats while snow trucks passes by removing pile of deep snow on the road right in front of our house.

 Funny thing is that, if I could not find da tweats, I must wait till snow gets melted because even if mom and da thinks they know where they hid da tweats, sometimes, once they back to da house,they sometimes have hard time finding da marker they used to locate the tweats.

 Everywhere is white and if they lost da location, I must wait,but good thing about it is that only I can find out for sure where they are

 It is fun!

 If you got enough snow to play this game, ask your mom and dad to play it with you.You would enjoy it!

 Dad told me that I will be having fur-less brother/sister this summer,and I am taking good care of my mom.

 I usually have her in my sight and,when she looks a little uncomfortable, I come inside da bathroom and stay sphinx style on da floor next to her,staring at her with tilted head.

 I worry sometimes and, I insists to come in with her for potty time especially when she looks not feeling good.

 Anyway, how was your Valentine’s day?

Mom felt fine that day, and she decided to make me easy tweats and I loved it! I could eat more.

 Anyway, ask your mom to make this.It is so good!

K9 strawberry banana tiramisu..

Ingredients for k9 heart shaped cake;

2 eggs;separated yolks and whites
1/2C unbleached all purpose flour
1/4tsp sugar

Ingredients for filling:

For Bottom filling:

4.5 tbs Greek yogurt
1.5 oz banana chopped

For middle layer filling:

4 oz strawberries

For top layer filling:

1.5 tbs Greek yogurt
1 tbs middle layer filling
1 tbs mascarpone cheese


Fresh berries chopped to 1/4″

<K9 heart shaped cake>

0. Preheat the oven at 350F

In the two separate bowl, separate the egg yolks and white; one bowl for white, one bowl for yolk

** make sure the eggs are at room temperature

2. Beat the egg yolks to pale yellow and then, beat more til volume gets tripled; about 7-9 minutes

3. Add 1/2C unbleached all purpose flour a little by little to combine

4. Wash and wipe the beaters very good

5. Beat the Egg white to soft peak, and add 1/4 tsp white sugar and continue to beat till stiff peak

** Sugar is to make the egg white to stiffen up better

6. Add meringue to yolk-flour mix a little at a time and gently fold it into the mixture

7. In the non stick foil lined baking sheet, place heart shaped cookie cutter to use as a mold, and pour some batter into it and gently lift the cutter up

** You should be able to make 6 heart shaped cakes

8. Bake them at 350F for about 16 minutes

9. Cut out the heart shape from each cake

10. Cool it down on wire rack

11. Assemble the cake and serve

Makes: 3 Tiramisu (each is about 1 3/4″ to 2″ diameter cake)

<Bottom filling>

1. Mix 4.5 tbs Greek yogurt and 1.5 oz chopped banana

<Middle layer filling >

1. In the sauce pan, add chopped 1/4″ chunk 4 oz wt strawberry, 1 tsp water and cook down to strawberry preserve texture

<Top layer filling>

1. Mix 1.5 tbs Greek yogurt,1 tbs cooked strawberry, and 1 tbs mascarpone cheese well 

<How to assemble>

1. On the plate,put some bottom filling and place one heart shaped cake on top.

2. Pour some middle layer filling (cooked strawberry) over

3. Place another cake layer and top it off with top layer filling;mascarpone cheese mixture

4. Garnish it with 2 pieces of 1/4″ chunk of fresh strawberries

5. Serve

 Here is the video to show you how much Palette loved the K9 Strawberry banana tiramisu. She looks at sides sometimes after finished eating one because she knew there are more on the counter,lol.

Palette and K9 Strawberry banana tiramisu

You can certainly cut one cake layer into two, and make 6 tiramisu instead of 3.



Feb 19, 2014 | Comments are off | Dog Diet

Grilled steak with Garlic Cracked black peppercorn sauce

 If you ask my husband what kinds of steaks he likes best, answer will be grilled steak. It is either thick cut of juicy medium rare fillet, or thinly sliced flavorful flank steak.

 I cannot cook up fillet all the time but,when I do,my husband gets very excited and enjoys every bite of it.

 Needless to say, Palette gets excited thinking she might get tiny tiny nibbles out of it.

Tips for cooking a great steak..

 1. Make sure to pick the even cut steak. Do not pick up the stake one side is thicker than the other.

Even thickness ensure the same cooking time and,you would less likely to overcook one of the steaks, or uneven cooking with the same steak (one side of the steak is over cooked).

 2. If you cook up rib eyes etc.. ,pick up the steak with nice pink-red color.

 You may sometime find packaged meat with greyish color in the steak at the grocery store. As time passes by, since meat is exposed to air for so long, it changes its color to grey from pink-red,and sometimes, you
will find accumulated blood in the package.

 If you see discolored steak with accumulated blood in the package,it means,it is the old package.

3. Marbling should be thin streaks line of fat,and it should be distributed evenly. You would find thick line of fat in the steak sometimes and they are connective tissue and the steak will be tough and chewy.

 4. Make sure to cook the steak that are at room temperature,not the steak straight out from the fridge

 5. Cook the steak with the skillet that are screaming hot so steak can have a good sear on the side

 6. After cooking the steak, make sure to let it rest for good 10-15 minutes

 If you slice the steak right away, the juice will be running all over the cutting board and you will be left with dry steak

 Recently,I made Grilled steak with garlic cracked black peppercorn sauce, and my husband gave me thumbs up. He was very very quiet when he was eating the steak. All I heard was “Hmm,Hmm.”.

 Since it was such a huge hit,I thought I would share the recipe with you.

 The steak sauce gives you a good amount of pepper taste and, to balance out the peppery taste,I baked sweet potato in the oven and made the vegetable medley and served it with the steak.

 The sweet potato is already naturally sweet and we needed nothing added to it and it went very well with the steak.

Grilled steak with garlic cracked black peppercorn sauce..

Ingredients for grilled steaks:

2 Beef tenderloin steak (Fillet)
Extra virgin olive oil
McCormick Grill mate Steak seasoning
chopped Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish

Ingredients for Garlic cracked black peppercorn sauce:

1/2 tbs butter
1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 shallot chopped fine
1 clove of garlic chopped fine

1/4C Cognac (brandy;VSOP)
1C beef broth
1 tsp black peppercorn crushed fine
1/8C heavy cream

<Grilled steak>

1. 1 hour before the actual cooking time, take the meat out to let it come to the room temperature

2. Pat the steak dry with paper towel and,sprinkle steak seasoning both sides

** Wet/Cold steak would not make nice sear on the steak

3. On the skillet, drizzle extra virgin olive oil,and when you see the steam coming off from the skillet, put the steak on the skillet

** You would need screaming hot skillet for the nice good sear on the steak

** Stay back and do not move the steak around

5. Cook 5 minutes,flip and cook 5-6 more minutes for steak that are about 1.5″ or so

6. Take the temperature of the steak

** For medium rare steak, take the steak out from the skillet when your meat thermometer reads 125F to 130F

** For medium,130F-135F is the temperature to take the steak out from the skillet.

** Temperature of the steak continues to rise while steak is rested about 5F-10F more

7. Put steak onto the plate and cover it with foil.Let steak rest for 15 minutes.

** If you slice steak without it being rested, you will have very dry steak

8. Place steak on the plate and drizzle garlic cracked black peppercorn sauce (recipe follows), and garnish with chopped parsley and serve

Makes:2 servings

<Garlic cracked black peppercorn sauce>

0. While steak is resting,make the sauce

1. In the same skillet you cooked steak with, add 1/2 tbs butter,1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 shallot chopped fine, and 1 clove of garlic chopped fine and stir

2. When garlic gives off fragrant smell, and shallots started to translucent in color, add 1/4C Cognac and stir

3. When it gets thicker enough for you to be able to draw line in the skillet, add 1C beef broth, 1 tsp black peppercorn crushed fine,and let it come to boil

4. Let it reduce the sauce to about half

5. Add 1/8C Heavy cream and let it thicken

6. When it became a little looser than gravy but thicker than broth, the sauce is done

Makes: Enough sauce for 3-4 steaks


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Feb 17, 2014 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (Cooking)

Paws up? Paws down? Behind the scene at Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen Part V; Buffalo horn

 If you browse through our Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen website, you would not find certain items which many other pet supply stores might carry.

Specialize in treats made with simple ingredients and, most likely, you
would not find Jerky treats that has lengthy 36 ingredients for semi
soft lamb flavored Jerky, for example. 97% of the items we carry are
single ingredient treats.

 Another ones, you find we do not carry
is the pet bones because I believe that cooked bones are not safe for
dogs to chew on. The reason why is that, it gets splinter sharp,and
often times, cut of bones offered are what we raw feeders call them
“weight bearing bones”, which even raw state, raw feeders tend to avoid
feeding them;knuckle,feumer,marrow bones etc..

 These will be
teeth wearer,teeth breaker and I am not comfortable handing out to our
k9 executive chef “Palette” even if they are given to me “raw”.

 As I wrote in the previous entry titled “Paws up? Paws down? Behind the scene at Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen Part III; Dog Bones? “, they are not only bad cut of bones and cooked, but also you will be surprised to look at the ingredients in the package.
 Personally, I think there are plenty of other healthier options to provide your pets something chew-worthy.

those, you would notice that we do not carry rawhide chips,which
sometimes asked if we are going to carry them in the future if not now.

 We would not offer rawhide chips,and you can read the reasons behind it in the previous entry titled “Paws up? Paws down? Behind the scene at Yassy’s Gurmet Dog Kitchen Part IV; Rawhide“.

 I do not like how they are made, ingredients (depending on the brand),how they swells up once the rawhide gets soaked in the water,and dogs cannot chew off smaller pieces enough to make me feel comfortable and depending on the rawhide chew, the surface is so abrasive that Palette got bloody gum after chewing it for some time when she was a puppy.

 I did not write about the smell of the rawhide after it got soaked in the water but it smelled so stinky which made me wonder if I were smelling “bleach”.

 Just recently, I heard about buffalo horn people loves to give in place of bully sticks or Deer Antlers and, I have put it to the test. If you know me, I do not like to simply get the products from companies and offer to furriends without knowing much about it.

 I prefer to offer what Palette and I like. Palette gives me views on texture, how much she likes/interested, how long it will last with her and so forth, and I will be responsible for checking out the information Palette cannot ask about such as how they are made,where it coming from etc..;product details.

 The pro point people feel is that, they are cheaper than buying a Deer Antlers and dogs loves them.

 The horn Palette tried is Medium for Medium dogs and horn weigh around 10 oz,which is equivalent to our Deer Antler XL weight,and it is cheaper for you to purchase same weight buffalo horn.

 Is it worth it? Lets find out.

Buffalo horn..

What is the country of origin?

 Buffalo horn is product of India,and horn is from Grass-fed water buffalo.

 From just that information, it seems nothing sound that bad,is it?

 In the past,I have bought the water buffalo dog treats to test out with Palette that were sourced from India and made in USA.

 They did not make it to our store but, no matter what type of water buffalo treats I tried;bully sticks,gullet treats,trachea treats etc.. everything was super super stinky and, I had to question on how they are processed, or if it were properly processed.

 I was not sure of the quality of the products plus I did not like the smell of the treats at all.

 When I heard about buffalo horn, I was bit hesitant to try because it is from India but I decided to try it once especially because the maker of the products were different.

 When I got it for Palette personally, first thing I did was sniff test. It did not stink at all and, I decided to try with Palette if she likes it.

 Palette was super curious what mom got and so interested in the horn.

 That was a good sign and let her munch on it although horn being hollow in the center, I was not sure how she can chew off but decided to observe her anyway.


Pausing with buffalo horn

 When I was observing her chewing, I heard “crunch,crunch,crunch” after a couple of minutes later.

 Here is Palette taste testing the buffalo horn.You can hear the sound “crunch”.

Palette and buffalo horn

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

 The horn was not supposed to be splintered,but rather, horn should have been shaved off as maker claims in their leaflet.

 The thumb nail size chunks were coming off from the horn, and Palette has eaten it.

 I think that because horn is hollow in the center, it is much easier for dogs to crunch down just like they are eating trachea and only difference is that it is a horn chunk which I was not sure if dog can eat it.

 If the dog chunk off large pieces, would it be safe for them to eat?

 Palette was chewing the buffalo horn for 15 minutes or so and here is the picture after she was chewing.

Buffalo horn being chewed 15 minutes..

 Seeing Palette eats chunk off and easily cracking horn,it made me a little nervous about it and I decided to trade the horn with her other treats  and decided to ask more detail on the horn from maker of the products.

 They assured me that dogs can eat the horn that were chewed off and no harm to the dogs,and they sent me added information on the products.

 They said it is high in protein and low in fat and good for dogs.

 At that point, all the information I had was limited and, at that time, I was simply assuming that it was the horn nothing done to it.

 If you simply purchased from retail store,you would have thought the same.

 Afterall, Deer Antler is simply washed and offered and no other stuff is added. Why different for buffalo horn,is it?

How is buffalo horn is harvested?

 Buffalo is main protein source in India and, from what I understand from booklet maker of the product sent me, they are taking the horn from slaughtered animal for meat.

 They say that the horn is lab tested for the safety.

 As you know, Deer shed Antlers every year but buffalo does not shed horn every year.

Now, the real kicker was this.

How do they ensure the horn is safe against salmonella?

 They irradiate the horn!

 At this point, my red flag went up and, that is when I decided not to carry the chew at our store. We do not like to carry anything treated with irradiation.Period.

 I did not like the fact that I was handing out the chew that were irradiated to Palette.

 Would you feel all right to give any chews/treats they were irradiated?

 Especially, FDA is announcing they will be investigating “Made in china” Chicken Jerky with the possibility of irradiation process might be the cause of many pets’ death.

 Probably, not many retail store owners would know that the horn is treated this way. It is because the products’ tag does not say anything about it.

 Irradiation seems to be done for the good on their part;for the safety of the dog,they say but is it safe to consume the irradiated anything?

 Even if companies or FDA states irradiated pet treats are safe,I rather would give treats/chews that are not irradiated.

 This is why,I think it is very important for me to investigate/research the treats/chews that we are interested to carry very deeply so we know what we are offering to other furriends.

 If the horn is treated any other way?

 According to the maker of the products,the horn is washed and BAKED!

 This explain why the horn seemed to be so easily cracked. Also, the fact that the horn is being baked make me nervous about the digestibility especially I have experienced first hand what would happen with cooked bone.

 If you missed my Palette’s Christmas pork ham bone story, here it is.

  Before I switch her diet to raw diet, I did not know better and gave her roasted ham bones which all the ham was trimmed off for Christmas dinner.

 If you look around, there are dog bone with Pork Ham bone variety too.

 I thought the freshly roasted ham bones will be a jackpot
for Palette,and one Christmas day,she
has got Ham bone,which we trimmed off the hams for our dinner.

 She really liked it, and demolished pretty good chunk
of it. However, she was really miserable later on.

 Luckily,there was no
blockage or anything,but she started pooping out very hard rock-like
golf sized ball poop frequently first. You could not squash the poop with shovel even!It was like a cement consistency.

 It got me wonder if the cooked bone fragment did not come out from the rear end, it would plug up the intestine like that,which will be scary because it was really really hard poop.

 Then, hours later, she was
miserable with diarrhea, and she suffered diarrhea for 2-3 days.

 Not only that, every time she goes potty, it required her to have her butt washed before going back to what she was doing before. It
was miserable..

 Since then, I learned more about bones in general.Therefore, no cooked bones or dog bones were given to Palette.

 With the buffalo horn, maybe the amount consumed was so little that it did not cause the digestive upset. However, I rather not take the chance with it.

 This is another red flag point;horn is being baked.

 In summary, yes, the buffalo horn is cheaper than a Deer Antler with the same weight but when you consider other factors, I am not comfortable offering this chew through our store because of the reasons above despite the fact that Palette gave me paws up.

 If given a choice whether choosing a Deer Antler or buffalo horn, I would choose the Deer Antler without any hesitation.

 Antler is truly natural products and they are not baked or irradiated and sourced from domestic animals.

 For more information on FDA investigation on irradiation process for “Made in China” Chicken Jerky,please click here.

 You can read more on FDA investigating irradiation process for “Made in China” Chicken Jerky at NBC News here as well. 

 In Australia, government banned the use of irradiation process in pet food following reports of paralysis, and death after cats eating the irradiated pet food.

 My advice to you is to be the eye for your dogs, and learn more about treats,chews, food you provide to your pets.

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Feb 11, 2014 | Comments are off | Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen

Japanese unique musical instruments;Koto

 In the previous entry titled “Japanese unique musical instrument:Shakuhachi“, I wrote about one of unique Japanese musical instrument “shakuhachi”,which is a flute made of bamboo,roughly 21 inches long, 4 holes on front 1 hole on back, with 7 joints.

 Besides shakuhachi, you will find many more unique musical instruments in Japan and,in this entry, I would like to introduce another unique musical instrument;”koto”.

 What is “Koto”?

 Koto is a Japanese musical instrument made of wood with strings. It is very similar to Chinese musical instrument called “Guzheng“.

 The Koto is 6 foot long with 13 strings over 13 movable bridges called “Ji”.

 This “Ji” is moved left to right to tune the sound.

 Pressing the strings and controling the tone with left hand, the players play the music with their right hand wearing the small picks on the fingers.

 These picks shapes are different depending on whose style you follow. One style “Ikuta” uses square picks, and Yamada style uses round picks.

 To play, traditionally, Koto was put it down on the floor and player keeled over 45 degree against Koto to play but present day, Koto is placed at chair level.

 The “Koto” sounds like “herp” and it has very beautiful sound.

 What is interesting is that, music note is very different from music notes for piano, for example.

 Each string has name and from top to bottom,right to left,the name of the string is written and you will play the Koto accordingly.

 1st string is called “ichi”,2nd string is called “ni”,3rd string is “san”, 4th string is “shi”, 5th string is “go”, 6th string is “roku”, 7th string is “shichi”, 8th string is “hachi”, 9th string is “kyu”, 10th string is “jyu”.

 Then, 11th string is “to”,12th string is “i”, 13th string is “kin”.

 So, if the koto music composer wanted you to play 1st string,music note will be written down as “ichi”. Then, you will read the note from right line to left line,top to bottom.

 When “pause”, the music note will have circle on it.

 I did not get to learn how to play the “Koto”, but my mother did and I remember I saw big, tall musical instrument “Koto” was placed in our music room at my grandmother’s house as a kid.

 History behind “Koto”.

 According to wikipedia, Koto was introduced to Japan by China around 7th-8th century (Nara period).

 The “Koto” was often played at the court.

 In about 17th-18th century, 17 strings bass Koto was invented by  Michio Miyagi.

 Here is the youtube video where you can hear the sound of “Koto”

“Koto”-Traditional Japanese musical instrument

  If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

 Here is the 17 string Bass Koto youtube music. You can see the difference in the sound.

17 string bass “koto”

  If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

 What do you think of “Koto”- Traditional Japanese unique musical instrument?

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Feb 09, 2014 | Comments are off | Japan

Probiotics for dogs

 The good diet is the base of overall good health for human or for animals.

 When you watch health related TV shows, or read health related articles, now and then, you would come across the article or TV segment regarding friendly bacteria in the gut and benefit of getting probiotics and the yogurt (Plain one, not the sugary flavored yogurt or yogurt with fruits on the bottom) is often recommended for people to have them for the healthy diet.

 When you start learning more about healthy diet for dogs, you would also hear the benefit of giving gut friendly bacteria through supplement “probiotics”.

 For dogs, especially those who had digestive upset issues, supplement “probiotics” is recommended to give them rather than store bought yogurt. It is because the number of gut friendly bacteria,namely, acidophilus present more in the dietary supplement than store bought yogurt.

 Now, what is “probiotics” anyway?

Acidophilus plus..

 The probiotics are the live gut friendly bacterias to help support the balance of the bacterias in the gut when dogs got digestive upset and offset the balance of “good” and “bad” bacterias via diet,stress (moving,new environment,diet change),  or via antibiotic treatment, which kills gut friendly bacteria and need to restore the balance of the “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut during and after the antibiotic treatment.

 If your dogs were put on antibiotic treatment and your dog has experienced digestive upset, it is because antibiotic kills the good bacteria to heal the infection.

 That is when you need to give good probiotics to your dogs during and after the antibiotic treatment to help balance the good” and “bad bacteria in the gut.

 The most well know strain of bacteria as “gut friendly bacteria” is called acidphilus and,you can also find the same bacteria in the store bought yogurt although live culture number is much smaller in the yogurt.

 If you do feed raw diet to your dogs, Green tripe also contains acidophilus as well,although number of good bacterias might be less than dietary supplement “probiotics” can offer.

 Because of how acidophilus works when certain situations occur, it is helpful to give probiotics to your dog when they happened to be under the situation that might trigger the digestive upset before they experience miserable digestive upset experience.

 If your dogs were gassy, sometimes, it is the sign of indigestion and giving probiotics to them also could help them to digest the food in the question better.

 I remember Palette was quite gassy when she was on kibble as a puppy.

 Every time she stretched out her boddy by running up the stairs, standing on her hind legs,putting her paws on the table, we heard her cute “toot”.

 Sometimes, when she was gassy,it accompanied with vomit on the floor as well.

 Some people give probiotics daily,but personally I give/gave probiotic to Palette when I was trying to switch her from kibble diet to fresh food diet,a.k.a. raw diet until she could handle the raw diet menu on her own,plus when she was on antibiotic treatment,and whenever she had digestive upset.

 When she was on antibiotic treatment, our lady vet told us to keep her on probiotics for 3-4 days after the treatment as well but it was not enough for her to fully digest food on her own without digestive upset. For her, she needed during and 30 more days after the treatment was over.

 If your dogs were put on antibiotic treatment make sure to keep them on probiotics as well until they can fully digest the food served to them on their own.

 What are the benefit of giving probiotics to your dogs?

 For starter, giving probiotics is to keep their “good” and “bad bacteria” balance in check and to restore the balance of the “good” bacteria and “bad” bacteria in the gut.

 Besides that, what probiotics can do?

 These beneficial bacteria like acidophilus can out compete the bacteria like e-coli,salmonella etc, and prevent them from colonizing in the gut.

 Also, these friendly bacteria produce Lactic acid,which increase the acidity level in the large intestine,which is not a good environment for pathogenic bacteria but good environment for good enzyme activity.

 Elizabeth and Laura suggests that for probiotics to be able to survive and reach to the intestine to do their jobs, best way to provide probiotics to your dog is to give probiltic in high concentration; larger number of bacterias such as billions,millions of bacterias.

 This is the reason why food source like  yogurt might not be as effective as you may think.

 How probiotics is measured?

 According to the article written by Elizabeth Pask and Laura Scott for the modern dog magazine, the probiotics is measured by number of Colont-Forming-Unit (CFU) per gram of probiotics.

 Therefore, their suggestion for purchasing the good probiotics is to look for the one with billions,millions of CFU per gram.

 To read the full article by Elizabeth Pask,and Laura Scott for The Modern Dog Magazine, please click here.

 What types of probiotics you should get for your dogs?

 When you start looking around what form of probiotics are available, you would notice there are liquid type, powder form, and gel type of probiotic.

 Some probiotics,most often liquid type of probiotic require refrigeration once it has been opened.

 As Elizabeth and Laura wrote in their article,I would look for the one with large number of probiotic.

 Besides that rule, personally,I prefer to have product that got simple ingredient list rather than length ingredients in the list.Because each was described as good amount of bacteria in the products, I tried once even if it had longer ingredients list but now I think for Palette, herself, does much better with least number of ingredients in the list.

 What I give to Palette for long time as staple now is “Acidophilus plus” from pet authority,and it has only 5 ingredients as shown below.

 Since Palette does great on it and I liked it very much and using it long enough, I started carrying it at Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen as well. You can find the product here.

 People tend to think “more” is better but I rather think that simple is better with good concentrated number of good bacteria in the ingredients list without fillers.

 Personally, I have tried all 3 forms.

 As a puppy, I got Palette powder formed probiotics.Its advantage is to be able to keep them at room temperature and looked lasts longer. Plus it was described as it got 100 millions of bacteria in CFU.

 However, when I gave it to her, the digestive upset did not improve but rather, worsen and I stopped giving it to her. Maybe she did not do good with whatever was in the ingredients list.

 That particular one had ingredients as shown below:

Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation
Product, Dried
Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried bacillus subtilis
Fermentation Product, Dried Yeast(Saccharomyces Cerevisiae), Dried

one I have tried was gel type probiotic which you are supposed to give
certain amount of probiotics through the pen style syringe.

 Here is the list of ingredients:

Sunflower Oil,
Silicon Dioxide, Sucrose, Fructooligosaccharide, Dried Lactobacillus
casei fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus fermentum fermentation
product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophils fermentation product, Dried
Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium
fermentation product, Dried Bifidobacterium bifidum fermentation
product, Dried Pediococcus acidilactici fermentation product.

 I tried this gel one just because it said to have 20 billions of bacteria in CFU,and it did healed Palette’s digestive upset quite fast. However, when I gave it to her, she was very farty. 

this moment, I am settled with Acidophilus plus because short
ingredient list,works well with Palette and does not make her farty.

 The Acidoplhilus plus ingredients list as shown below;

Triple Filtered spring water,Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures,Yucca,Papaya puree,Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

 Acidophilus plus needs to be refrigerated once bottle is opened. This is dairy free products.It does not say specific number but, it states it has lactobacillus acidophilus cultures and it got billions of friendly active micro organism.

companies offer zillions of strains of bacterias in the supplements and
say that they are for good but sometimes, more is not necessary be
better. Personally, I prefer to have something that are short simple
list for the ingredients and has good number of acidophilus in it. In addition to that,I prefer the one our dog does good on.

  When it comes to digestive upset for dogs, people often talk about giving pumpkin for the quick fix. However, is it the good move?

 When you think about it, when digestive upset occur, it happens due to imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria and, giving fiber like “pumpkin” can fix visually but how about internally?

 This is only my personal opinion but, when dogs are experiencing digestive upset, giving good bacteria back into their gut seems more reasonable to me.

 Also, when your dog experiencing digestive upset, be sure to find why he/she is experiencing the digestive upset.

 Otherwise, as long as whatever cause does exists, the digestive upset can happen over and over again until you will fix the cause of the problems.

 Quick fix like giving pumpkin looks fine visually but, it is just that “quick visual fix” and as long as problem is there, digestive upset continues and nothing improves overall.

 Do you give probiotics to your dogs?

 If so,what forms of probiotics;liquid,powder,gel, do you give and why?

Feb 05, 2014 | Comments are off | Dog Diet

Chinese cooking:Orange Chicken with vegetables II

 My husband loves Chinese food.One of the dishes he likes is Orange Chicken.

 Chinese food is very familiar with me and I like Chinese food as well.

 However, many popular Chinese dishes here are sometimes I had never seen back home in Japan even though in our country “Japan”, there are many Chinese restaurants that got Chinese chefs for the Authentic Chinese dish.

 Orange chicken is one of them. I had never had it before. I like it, but my small complain is that when you order Orange chicken, often times, the dish is simply piled up bite sized chicken pieces that are
deep fried and covered with orange flavored sauce, and no vegetable.

 It is
tasty, but it is on greasy side, and I do not get to eat variety of vegetables.

 If wok is used, I would imagine chef
may use more than 1 tbs -2 tbs of oil. When I cook, usually dish is made
with 1 tbs or 2 tbs of oil and not more, except occasional deep fried

 I like orange chicken dish, and I wanted to make them at home, but
wanted it to be  more healthier, with vegetable in it.

 This is my second version of orange chicken. I think it got very orange flavor and good amount of kick to it.

Orange chicken with vegetables..

Ingredients for Orange chicken sauce;

2 cloves of garlic chopped fine
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp Sriracha
2 tsp
soy sauce
2 tbs orange marmalade with rind
6 tbs orange concentrate
tsp white sugar

Ingredients for Orange chicken;

Chicken tender 4 oz cut into bite size pieces
Chicken thigh cutlet 4 oz  into
bite size pieces
Morton’s Natures Seasons
1/8C corn starch
1/8C unbleached all purpose flour
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sake
1/4 Red
pepper rough chopped
1/4 Green pepper rough chopped
1/4 sweet onion
rough chopped
1/2 stick of celery sliced diagonally
1/4 stick cut
1.5 tsp Cognac (brandy)
Green onions chopped (garnish)

<Orange Chicken sauce>

 1. In the small sauce pan, drizzle extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic chopped fine, 1/2 tsp grated ginger and stir

2. When it got fragrant, add 1 tbs tomato paste, 1/2 tsp Sriracha, 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tbs orange marmalade with rind, 6 tbs orange concentrate, 1 tsp white sugar and let it come to boil,lower the heat and let it thicken a bit and off the heat and set it aside

<Orange chicken>

1. Cut chicken tender 4 oz, chicken thigh cutlet 4 oz  into
bite size pieces, and season it with Morton’s Natures Seasons

2. In the small bowl, add 1/8C corn starch,1/8C unbleached all purpose flour and mix well

3. add cut-up chicken onto the flour-corn starch mixture and cost the chicken well

4. In the skillet, add extra virgin olive oil and let it come to hot enough for you to see the steam coming off from the pan

5. Shake off the excess flour -corn starch mixture and put the coated chicken pieces onto the hot skillet and let it brown both sides

6. When chicken got cooked through and well browned, add 1 tsp sake and shake the skillet to move it around

7. When sake got evaporated, take out the chicken pieces and set it aside

8. In the same skillet, add extra virgin olive oil and add vegetables ; 1/4 Red pepper rough chopped, 1/4 Green pepper rough chopped,1/4 sweet onion rough chopped, 1/2 stick of celery sliced diagonally, 1/4 stick cut diagonally and season it with Morton’s Natures Seasons

9. When vegetables are cooked through, put the chicken back into the pan and add 1.5 tsp Cognac (brandy) and shake the pan and stir

10. When Cognac got evaporated well, pour the Orange chicken sauce over and stir

11. plate it up and garnish with chopped green onions


Makes:2-3 servings

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Feb 02, 2014 | Comments are off | Asian cooking 911