slide - copy

• Sarasota • Lakewood Ranch • Osprey •

8 Pet-Friendly Lakewood Ranch Restaurants

There is nothing better than enjoying life with your dog! For a well-behaved pup, a trip to a local restaurant is a fun and enriching experience. It is equally fun for their humans!

Here are 8 restaurants in Lakewood Ranch that offer dog-friendly seating, with a side of great food!

1. Sea Star Cafe

11544 Palmbrush Trail, Bradenton, FL 34202
Near Lakewood Ranch Blvd & SR-70

Sea Star Cafe offers a tasty breakfast and lunch menu and outdoor seating for dogs. Don’t forget to check out their daily specials before you go! Choose from a variety of tasty options like western omelets, Belgian waffles, homemade chili, Cobb salad, grilled chicken sandwiches, meatloaf melts, and fish and chips. Dogs are welcome on the enclosed brick patio. Open daily 7:30am to 2pm.


2. Station 400

8215 Main St, Suite P103, Bradenton, FL 34202
Main Street at Lakewood Ranch, near the Starbucks

Perfect for a leisurely brunch, this restaurant offers a range of carefully prepared plates such as Truffle Eggs Benedict and Spanish Omelets. They can all be enjoyed with handcrafted beverages, including the tangerine, elderflower, and mint mimosa. Leashed dogs are allowed in the outdoor seating area. Open daily 7:30am-2:30pm.
station 400 dog friendly restaurant lakewood ranch


3. Valentino’s Pizzeria Trattoria

8203 Cooper Creek Blvd, Bradenton, FL 34201
Off University, next to Home Goods and Lane Bryant

Valentino Pizzeria Trattoria serves delicious Italian cuisine in a warm, inviting setting that offers dog-friendly outside seating. Choose from a diverse selection of tasty Italian entrees or one of their fantastic pizzas following up with a delicious dessert. Wash it down with a cold draft beer, glass of wine, or refreshing mixed drinks. Valentino Pizzeria Trattoria is open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm, and Sunday 4pm to 9pm.
valentinos pizzeria dog friendly restaurant lakewood ranch


4. Mojo’s Real Cuban

11161 E State Rd 70 #103, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Near Lakewood Ranch Blvd & SR-70, in the Publix plaza

Mojo’s Real Cuban is a casual neighborhood eatery that welcomes dogs at outside tables. Patrons can select from an array of tasty dishes that are dedicated to Cuban cuisine and style from the delicious Cuban sand which to the mouthwatering Papa Rellenas. For pet seating, calling ahead to ensure availability is recommended. Mojo’s Real Cuban is open from 11am to 9pm seven days a week.
mojos real cuban dog friendly restaurant lakewood ranch

5. D’Lites Shoppe

8209 Natures Way #107, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Near University and Market Street, by Primrose School

The dog-friendly D’Lites Shoppe offers an array of health-conscious and guilt-free snacks and treats in a casual neighborhood setting. Choose from over 50 flavors of delicious soft-serve ice cream, all-natural non-dairy vegan ice cream, organic artisan ice cream, and a variety of healthy snacks and light fare such as gluten-free soups, granola, nuts, honey, herbal teas, and craft roasted coffee. Dogs are welcome at the four outdoor tables. D’Lites Shoppe is open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm, and Sunday noon to 8pm.
dlites shoppe lakewood ranch dog friendly restaurants

6. McAllister’s Grill & Tavern

8110 Lakewood Main St, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Main Street, near the roundabout

MacAllisters Grill and Tavern is a Scottish, golf-themed bar with over a dozen dog-friendly tables outside. On the menu, you’ll find both traditional Scottish and American fare with popular items like the Scottish Egg, Chicken Curry, and the MacAllisters Brave Heart Burger. The beverage selection includes a wide selection of beer, wine, and Scotch. MacAllisters is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30am to 10:00pm, Friday through Saturday from 11:30am to 11:00pm, and Sunday from 11:30am to 10:00pm.
mcallisters grill tavern lakewood ranch dog friendly restaurants

7. Another Broken Egg Cafe

6115 Exchange Way, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Near University & Market St, in the Publix plaza, next to Chili’s

Another Broken Egg Cafe is a dog-friendly, Southern-inspired restaurant, serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch to Lakewood Ranch locals and tourists alike. Their menu includes signatures such as its Salmon Power Bowl, Skinny Omelette, and Steel Cut Oats, traditional classics such as its Black Bean Benedict, and Huevos Rancheros, scramblers, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and brunch specialties, including its Cajun Louisiana Crawfish Skillet, Crab Cakes and Fried Green Tomatoes, Shrimp ‘n Grits, and its Lobster and Brie Omelette.
another broken egg cafe lakewood ranch dog friendly restaurants

8. The Public House Tap & Grill

6240 N Lockwood Ridge Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243
University and Lockwood Ridge, in the Detwiler’s plaza

The Public House is another casual dining experience with that familiar American bar atmosphere. Hosting lunch and dinner all week from 11am to 12am their menu consists of a variety of sandwiches, burgers, and other meals that fit that classic grill setting. Their outdoor setting is also dog friendly for you and your pet to enjoy a meal.
the public house tap and grill dog friendly restaurants lakewood ranch

If you visit one of these awesome eateries, please remember to leave them an online review and thank them for being dog-friendly! We love having so many places nearby that consider pets as family, just like us.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sarasota Location Opens In-Ground Swimming Pool

After a few long weeks, we were so excited to open our brand new in-ground swimming pool for the doggie daycare guests at our Sarasota location. This project has been a long time coming for our little guests!

The project entailed a lot of work, including re-configuring the outline and design of our outdoor daycare yards. We needed to make sure that our fencing was not compromised throughout the process while still maintaining enough space for our pups to play comfortably.

After moving the fencing and beginning to dig, we got lucky with great weather and were able to finish pouring the foundation of the pool rather quickly. Once it was finished, we did a leak test by filling the pool for a few days. All went well and we got a big THUMBS UP from the powers that be to open the pool for play!


Pool Design Features
The custom pool was specially designed for pups to swim safely. The entrance features a large sun deck, with a slope to allow small dogs to ease into the water. We also placed a smaller step attached to the lower portion of the sun deck so that our older guests could enter and exit with less physical strain.

doggie daycare pool at bayside pet resort sarasota fl

The unique shape was developed to allow space for dogs to swim and play without jumping on each other. It also allows them to play safely within the reach of staff no matter where they are in the pool. At its deepest, the pool is 4 feet deep – perfect for jumping in and swimming around, but also perfect for safely standing without the water being too deep.

best doggie daycare sarasota installs swimming pool

Opening Day
On the day of opening the pool, we waited until it got nice and warm in the afternoon. When the dogs came out from their mid-day break, we corralled them into the new yard one group at a time. It was so much fun to see their adorable faces when they rounded the corner and saw the pool for the first time!

Naturally, many of our Golden Retriever friends were the first to jump in! We spent the afternoon playing fetch, belly flopping, and having a grand time splashing around.

Our small dog friends were the first to check out the scene but not many (except for Teddy!) were willing to “take the plunge”.

We were surprised to see how many of our guests were willing to swim and play! Many of those who we hadn’t previously seen enjoy water were happy to get in and play with their friends. Sometimes it just takes a little encouragement from your pals!

Part of our mission at Bayside Pet Resort is to provide our clients with the absolute best. We know that pet parents expect high quality care and unrelenting attention to detail when they choose someone to entrust with the care of their dog or cat. Reinvesting dollars into our facilities is allows us to continuously update our amenities and facilities to provide pets with the best experience possible! We are proud to be an organization whose primary focus is on the happiness and health of the pets in our care.

Want to feel like you were part of all the fun? Check out the video recap we posted on Facebook of the “ribbon cutting” fun:

Posted in Daycare, News, Videos | Leave a comment

NFL Cleats Support Animal Charities

New England Patriots David Andrews Warrior Dog Foundation My Cause My Cleats 2018

The National Football League is notorious for its rigid uniform standards. That is just one of a number of reasons people call the football organization the “No Fun League”.

In a surprising change of tune, the NFL began a program last year called My Cause My Cleats, a program to highlight the players’ favorite organizations and charities. During Week 13 of this season (December 2, 2018), players were again permitted to wear custom cleats during their games to show off their causes.

We were particularly interested in the cleats of New England Patriots’ Center, David Andrews. His custom airbrushed cleats show off amazing artwork, including absolutely amazing German Shepherd portraits.  Andrews is a GSD lover, with two of his own at home.

The footwear is a truly stunning and creative way to raise awareness of Warrior Dog Foundation, which is dedicated to serving the special operations K9 community by providing law enforcement and Special Operation Force working dogs with the highest level of care in retirement.

Andrews had this to say about suppporting WDF:

A lot of people don’t know what really happens to military working dogs when they come home. A lot of these dogs are slated to be put down. A lot of them have effects from the war.

Warrior Dog Foundation Cleats 2018 New England Patriots David Andrews Warrior Dog Foundation Cleats 2018 New England Patriots David Andrews

The left cleat displays a traditional tan and black German Shepherd with the words “Warrior Dog Foundation”.

Warrior Dog Foundation Cleats 2018 New England Patriots David Andrews Warrior Dog Foundation Cleats 2018 New England Patriots David Andrews

The right cleat features a portrait of a black German Shepherd accompanied by the words “Friend, Partner, Defender”.

Warrior Dog Foundation Cleats 2018 New England Patriots David Andrews Warrior Dog Foundation Cleats 2018 New England Patriots David Andrews


With all 32 professional football teams participating in the program, there were over 500 players showing off custom kicks on Sunday! While Andrews’ cleats are the only animal related ones we saw photos of, we found there were many other animal lovers among the group of professional footballers.

Here is a list of the NFL teams with players who are using My Cause My Cleats as an opportunity to raise awareness of charitable animal organizations:

Carolina Panthers
Torrey Smith – The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter aka BARCS

Cleveland Browns
Rashard Higgins – Mesquite Animal Pawtners (Animal Cruelty Prevention)

Houston Texans
Senio Kelemete – Show Your Soft Side (Animal Cruelty Prevention)

Indianapolis Colts
Matthew Adams – American Pitbull Foundation (Animal Rights)

Jacksonville Jaguars
Logan Cooke – Catch-A-Dream Foundation (Wildlife Preservation)
Myles Jack – JAX Humane Society

Kansas City Chiefs
Gehrig Dieter – KC Pet Project (Animal Support Services)
Eric Fisher – Spay & Neuter Kansas City / The Rescue Project / Chain of Hope

Minnesota Vikings 
Matt Wile – The Rescued Dog – San Diego

New England Patriots
David Andrews – Warrior Dog Foundation
Lawrence Guy – Show Your Soft Side (Animal Cruelty Prevention)
Brian Hoyer – MSPCA Angell (Animal Rights)

Pittsburgh Steelers
Tyler Matakevich – Show Your Soft Side (Animal Cruelty Prevention)

Seattle Seahawks
JD McKissic – PAWS (Animal Rescue & Welfare)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ryan Jensen – Show Your Soft Side (Animal Cruelty Prevention)
Isaiah Johnson – Humane Society of the United States

Tennessee Titans
Logan Ryan – The Logan Ryan Animal Rescue Foundation (Rescue & Adoption)

Washington Redskins
Ryan Anderson – Show Your Soft Side (Animal Cruelty Prevention)
Matt Ioannidis – Show Your Soft Side (Animal Cruelty Prevention)


We think this is a really cool initiative that the NFL should continue to expand. This seems like a really great way to get football players and fans involved with their local charitable organizations. We are also looking forward to seeing which players participate next year to raise awareness for animal organizations and causes.

We’ll keep our eye on the next list and see if it grows!

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New “Dogumentary” Coming to Netflix Tomorrow

If you ask a group of people what they’re favorite animal is, a majority of them will probably say dogs. We love our pets beyond belief, so it was only a matter of time before Netflix created a series about man’s best friend.

Their new documentary “Dogs” premieres November 16th and will features 6 different stories about dogs from all over the world. If you’re cuckoo for canines, this documentary is a can’t-miss!

Check out the official trailer below:

The new series promises to be a tear-jerker as individuals from Italy, United States, Japan, Syria, and Costa Rica tell their unique stories about their beloved best friends.

yellow lab sitting by the sea netflix documentary dogs

Credit: Netflix

Among the stories of love and friendship are also stories of heartbreak that many of us (thankfully) haven’t had to think about. A man from war-torn Syria talks about his mission to reunite with his Husky. One woman talks about her passion for grooming and beautifying pets. Another story focuses on matching individuals living with disabilities with their ideal canine companion.

It sounds like there will be a lot of new research discussed, as one voice can be heard in the trailer saying:

“I think we’re just scratching the surface of what dogs can really do.”

child laying with dog from netflix documentary dogs

Credit: Netflix

The documentary has a little something for everyone as it highlights the amazing bond between dog and owner. We’re really excited to check this out!

Posted in Community News | Leave a comment

Pet Suites in Lakewood Ranch (Photos and Amenities)

When we’re out and about around town, we are often asked about what is offered at our pet resort. It’s not such a simple question for us to answer! You see, most pet care facilities offer standard basic accommodations but we offer a whole bunch of pet suites to give your family the best pet boarding experience in Lakewood Ranch.

Each individual guest is unique! We know that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to quality care.

Having so many options is one of the reasons we were voted “Best Place to Pamper Your Pooch” in 2018!best dog boarding cat boarding sarasota bayside pet resort

This quick guide breaks down the various features of each of our pet suites in Lakewood Ranch so you can make an informed decision about which option is best for your dog or cat.

Polo Suite

6×8 space with attached private lanai
Doggie on-line camera (24/7 access with night vision)
Television in suite
Nightly “Tuck-in” service: A perfect end to a busy day. One-on-one attention, lap time and belly rubs before suites lakewood ranch


Oasis Suite

5×8 space with attached private lanai
Doggie on-line camera (24/7 access with night vision)
Television in suitepet suites lakewood ranch oasis


Ranch House Suite

5×8 space with attached private lanai
pet suites lakewood ranch


Stable Suite

4×10 space with television in suitepet suites lakewood ranch stable


Clubhouse Suite

Single dogs up to 50 lbs or multiple small dogs
Connecting door option creates a 4×11 space for multiple petspet suites lakewood ranch clubhouse


Pony Suite (20 lbs and under)

4×4 space with connecting door option to create a 4×8 space for multiple pets
Private room away from other lodging accommodations
Quiet, cozy suites for guests under 20 lbspony pet suites in lakewood ranch

Prefer to see it for yourself? Come in anytime during our business hours.
Monday – Friday 7AM-7PM
Saturday – Sunday 8AM-5PM

We never require a tour to view any of our facilities, including our pet suites, doggie daycare areas (with in-ground pool!), and grooming spa here in Lakewood Ranch.

Still have a question? We’re here to help!
Give us a call at (941) 755-3047 and tell us about your pet. Our staff is ready to help make your dog boarding or cat boarding reservation, and fill you in on every detail.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

6 Compelling Reasons Your Child Needs A Pet

“Can we keep it?!”

It’s something every animal loving kid has asked their parents at one point. While some parents share that in common with their kids, others still aren’t convinced about the benefits of pets. Yes, they require commitment and cost a little extra to care for, but the benefits to your family are priceless! We’re here to convince you to accept a cute furry face in your life. Here’s our 6 reasons why children need pets:


Teaches Responsibility

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility and children can learn to meet obligations by taking care of their furry friends. Maintaining a feeding and exercise schedule for the pet helps kids honor their commitments. Additionally, it teaches them to nurture and respect other living beings, which naturally translates to raising a gentle, respectful human.




Help Fight off Allergies

According to scientific research, kids who are exposed to animal allergens like pet dander typically develop stronger immune systems. Pediatric professors evaluated 275 children who had a parent with respiratory allergies or asthma for 3 years. Children who had a dog at home as newborns were less likely to have atopic dermatitis and wheezing by their 3rd birthday.



Judgment Free Zone

Children can be tough on each other at times. Having a furry friend at home to talk to and spend time with encourages kids to be themselves while learning to accept others for who they are. Later in their teenage years, it may be more difficult for kids to talk about their emotions with their parents. Having an outlet for the emotional roller coaster that is the teenage years can help keep everyone happy at home. Your dog or cat won’t judge you either when you’re sneaking the kids’ Halloween candy or fake sleeping for a few more minutes of peace in the morning!



Invisible Health Signs

A pup’s nose has about 300 million olfactory receptors which is 50 times as many as humans! Their sniffers are so amazing, they’re able to detect epileptic seizures, cancer and even diabetes. Exceptional sniffers often become service dogs to individuals living with these diseases, helping them live more independent lives. Having a dog around might give you an early indication that something you can’t see is going on with your child.




There are 2.5 million burglaries a year, 66% of which are home break ins. This is an unsettling statistic for anyone, especially parents. Having a dog around acts as four-legged a home alarm system. In fact, ex-criminals themselves have said that barking dogs are one of the best deterrents of opportunistic thieves.



Better Studies

Pets are often used in classrooms all over to aid children in learning to read. Their presence helps kids feel at ease, which naturally helps them learn better. The presence of animals also contributes to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and the release of feel good chemicals in the brain like dopamine and serotonin. It’s easy to do well in school when you feel good while you work!


In conclusion…

Maybe we’re a bit biased but…let them keep that puppy or kitten! Let them adopt a friend from the shelter! Pets contribute to better, healthier, happier lives. If you’re headed to the shelter to pick out your child’s new best friend, check out our article on properly greeting strange dogs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Training Your Puppy to Love the Groomer

“Our family just got a new puppy. We want Cinnamon to be good for the groomer. What are some things we can do at home to help that?” – Rachel R.


First, congratulations on your newest family member! Grooming can be a bit scary for a young puppy, but with positive reinforcement and practice, they can learn to enjoy this part of their life.


Most Common Problems

In our experience, the most common problems dogs have during the grooming process are having their feet held, tools near their face, and the sound of the electric clippers. So how do you get them to tolerate and even enjoy these seemingly scary events? There is plenty you can do at home to ensure your new puppy has no fear at the groomer.


Practicing At Home

  1. Hold and play with your dog’s feet
    1. Gently move and hold your pet’s feet while they are relaxed and laying down. While they are allowing you to touch their feet, reward them with treats and/or praise so they learn that having their feet touched is a good thing. Holding your dog’s feet even once a day while hanging out on the couch can make a huge difference when it comes time to be groomed at the spa.
  2. Touch their face, ears, and cheeks
    1. While your dog is laying down and relaxed, touch their head and face and give them lots of praise when they allow you to do this. Again, the goal here is to build lots of enjoyment and trust while your dog is being handled in this way. Practice touching their ears from base to tip, stroking their cheeks, and holding their head gently in your hand. While you are praising for touching during this exercise, make sure you do not praise for biting. Puppies naturally use their mouths to explore the world but it is important that you set clear boundaries on what behavior you expect.
  3. Find a household item similar to clippers
    1. An electric toothbrush usually does the trick, as the sound is very similar. While relaxing, turn the sound on and praise them. Turn the sound on and off until they appear unfazed. Then, begin gently touching the object to a part of their body and again give praise. Eventually, your dog will hear the noise and get excited about what is to come! This is particularly important around their head. Make sure to take it slow!

Visit the pet spa early in their life

Bringing your puppy in for a visit to the groomer is important for them to get used to the sounds, sights, and smells of the spa. We recommend two “introductory visits” before scheduling their first full haircut.

Bring your puppy in for just a bath and nail trim. While you could certainly do this at home, it helps them adjust to being handled by someone new and acclimate to the grooming experience.


On this visit, puppy should experience a bath, nail trim, and light hair trim around their face, feet, and sanitary area. This builds on the previous positive experience, while introducing a new step.

Your puppy should now be ready to experience their first complete grooming! They will be a seasoned pro who will enjoy the feel good experience of going to the spa!


In addition to working on behaviors at home, your local dog club may offer mock grooming visits to acclimate puppies to this life event. Here at Bayside Pet Resort, our Real World Etiquette training course includes a mock grooming visit, mock vet visit, and afternoon out at the cafe with our four-legged students. This helps them build their confidence and allows human students plenty of individual Q&A with the trainer.

At such a young age, a bad experience can have lasting effects on your young pup. By gradually working up to this and practicing at home, your puppy can avoid feeling overwhelmed or scared while with the groomer. Early introductions and positive associations set your dog up for a lifetime of a happiness!


Posted in Groomers Corner | Leave a comment

Ask A Groomer: Does my dog really need conditioner?

golden retriever dog in blue bath

“Does my dog really need conditioner?” – Megan T.

Thanks for asking, Megan!

At Bayside, we do not automatically use a conditioner during baths and grooms. We have decided it is best to offer this as an add-on option so our guests can decide for themselves if conditioner is best for their pet or not. Some dogs have sensitive skin or thin coats that can be weighed down by a conditioning treatment.

To determine if your dog would benefit from a conditioning treatment, consider the following:

  1. How long is your dog’s coat?
  2. How often do you wash your dog?
  3. Does your dog have itchy skin?


Long Coats

If your dog has a longer coat (breeds like Maltese, Yorkie, and Afghan Hounds), then it may be prone to matting and tangles. Using a conditioner will not only make your dog’s coat healthier, it will also make removing matting and tangles a lot easier so that the after-bath brush out will be a breeze.


Wash Frequency

If you wash your dog more than 1 time per month, you should consider conditioning your pet to close the hair shaft and help the coat retain moisture. Bathing can dry the skin and coat, so using a good conditioner will help replace that moisture.


Itchy Skin

You may bathe your dog more often to help soothe your dog’s itchy skin and wash away the allergens. Following up with a conditioner helps to replenish moisture while softening and soothing the dry, itchy skin.

If you are not sure if your pet would benefit from conditioning or not, talk to a professional groomer. They can evaluate your dog’s skin and coat to make a recommendation.

Posted in Groomers Corner, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Pie For Pups: Recipe

Pumpkin Pie For Pups Recipe

Ever feel guilty for not being able to share Thanksgiving dinner with your dog? Us too! In a world of long-name ingredients, it’s hard to know what is safe to share with your pets and what’s harmful. That’s why we wanted to try this tasty, completely dog-safe pumpkin pie recipe to make sure pups are included in the festivities too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 16 oz can of pumpkin (plain)
  • 8 oz of plain low-fat yogurt (optional)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, or a mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 3-4 tbsp water

Now for the work:

First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mix the oatmeal and flour together in a food processor. Add the applesauce slowly while continuing to run the processor. Add 3-4 tbsp of water slowly. Use only enough to make a dough ball – too much will make the dough sticky.

Lay a piece of wax paper out and spray lightly with olive or vegetable oil cooking spray. Roll dough out onto the wax paper and cut out 8 circles, about 4 inches across. You can also divide the dough into 8 small balls before you roll it out.

Spray a muffin tin lightly with the cooking spray and press the individual dough balls into the bottom and sides of the muffin tin. Bake for 8 minutes. Let the crusts cool before removing from the muffin tin.

Fill each crust with about 1/4 cup (2 ounces) of canned pumpkin and top with a dollop of yogurt (optional). They are now ready for your pups to enjoy!


Recipe courtesy of



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Slowing Down A Fast Eater

Slowing Down A Fast Eater – Ditch the Bowl!

by Ashley Sweeney

The way to a dog’s heart is often through their belly! Some dogs take it a bit further by eating like they have never tasted food before. Scarfing down meals can actually lead to scary health problems for your pup because dogs when they gulp their food, they are also taking in air with each bite. The most obvious danger is choking, but the air and food mixed together in the stomach can cause vomitting.

Taking in too much food and air can also cause Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (aka “bloat”), which may lead to a medical emergency if the stomach twists and ruptures. Bloat is especially dangerous for large chested breeds like Great Danes, Weimaraners, and Boxers.

dog bloat

So how can you bring your dog’s eating speed from NASCAR to Flintstone? Try ditching the bowl!

The biggest benefit of ditching the bowl is that you can use mealtime to strengthen your bond with your pup.  It sounds like a lot of work and you’re probably wondering how it all might fit in your everyday routine.


Here are a few ways you can fit non-bowl feeding into your life:

Daily Food Allowance for Training

Take whatever measurement of food your dog receives daily and use it for games and training instead of treats. The benefit here is that you become a walking food dispenser! That alone will motivate your dog to pay more attention to you. Seize the opportunity by teaching commands or tricks that you have been wanting to teach your pup. Take the food on your walks and use it to reward behaviors you want to reinforce, like loose-leash walking.


Play With Their Food

Making mealtime a game is a great way to build confidence in your dog. It is also an excellent way to make a seemingly mundane task like mealtime fun! Games can be as simple as sliding food across the floor to make your dog chase it, or hiding pieces around the house for them to sniff out. Once your pup has mastered this, up the ante by tossing kibble in the grass or making the hiding spots more challenging to find.


Towel Feeder

This game is so easy to prepare and is excellent for dogs of any age! It is especially rewarding for senior dogs who need a low-energy, low-impact puzzle to keep them stimulated. Take a standard towel and begin to make accordion folds. Place pieces of kibble between each fold and let your dog enjoy.

The bonus here is the mental stimulation of seeking and then finding, which all dogs will love. As with any activity, you want to balance the level of difficulty to what your dog can handle. If they are having trouble solving this activity, set them up for success by making some pieces easier to see or closer to the opening of the towel.


Need the bowl? Try a Slow-feeder!

Not everyone has time to spend playing games at every meal. Slow-feeder bowls come in a variety of difficulties to match your pup’s ability (let’s face it, not every dog is an Einstein).  The built-in nooks and crannies make your dog work a little harder to get their kibble out. This naturally slows down their eating, and making mealtime a slight challenge also provides mental stimulation to your pup. If the bowl alone isn’t slowing them down enough, get creative! Try adding pumpkin or a small amount of wet food and then freezing.

Purple Slow Feeder Dog Bowl


Dogs are individuals so it is important to try a few of these things and see which fits best into both of your lifestyles. Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. These simple changes can create wonderful bonding opportunities by presenting new challenges for them to solve. Fulfilled dogs are much less likely to get themselves into trouble by being naughty. So, try it and let us know what your dog liked best!

Posted in Health & Wellness | Tagged , , | Leave a comment