Why Tattoo your Pets

Most pet owners know that a good secondary line of ID after a collar and tags, is to keep your pets safe when they are lost is to have a vet implant a permanent RFID chip so that if they are lost and then found, the vet or shelter can scan them and track down the pet’s owner. However, another method to keep your animal safe is by having them tattooed. It’s safe and has been routinely done since the sixties.

Tattoo vs. Microchip

Tattooing your pet is a great and permanent way to protect your companion if they ever get lost. This relatively painless procedure uses inks or pastes that won’t react with the animal’s blood or tissue. Also, unlike a RFID chip which needs to be scanned, the tattoo is visible to the naked eye. Additionally, implanted microchips can migrate within the animal, so when they are scanned, there is the possibility that no information will be found. Finally, tattooing your animal will protect them if they are accidentally donated to a research lab, as labs are prohibited by law to use tattooed animals in experiments.

Interested? Here’s a video detailing the procedure.

Where can I get my pet Tattooed?

While Ketchum doesn’t offer pet tattoo supplies, we do carry tattoo equipment and ink for identifying your cattle and live stock. For pets, tattoos can be done by veterinarians and then are registered. Different animal organizations (humane societies, breed clubs, etc.,) have registry procedures, ask your local vet on what the procedures are to get your pet’s tattoo ID registered. The largest organization that does pet tattooing is tattoo-a-pet.com, who has been providing a pet tattoo registry since the early 1970’s.

One Final Word

No single method can keep your pet safe. While tattooing is a great alternative to microchipping your animal, it does not guarantee their safety. You should always have multiple methods of identifying your animals. Collars and tags should always be your first line of defense when ID’ing your pets, these other methods should always be a back-up method. We have a full line of different pet collar ID tags and vaccination tags available on our website.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+!

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Think You Want a Guard Dog?


“I think I need a guard dog” is a phrase we’ve heard people say time and time again. The reason for such a phrase is usually legitimate. People want a dog that will protect them or their family in case of, say, a burglary.

We’ll admit that getting a guard dog is not that hard. You can get one quick and easily. But there’s usually a lot more to think about.

Guard Dogs vs. Watch Dogs

First, it’s important to understand the difference between a guard dog and a watchdog.  A watchdog’s job is exactly like it sounds – to watch an area, and make an alert if need be. A guard dog is usually larger, and its job is to protect. Guard dogs will bite and attack a potential intruder.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+!

What Breeds Make Good Guard Dogs?

Most dogs have a natural instinct to protect.  However, there are some breeds that are a much better fit for the job than others.  Common guard dog breeds include Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Bullmastiff, Boxer.  For families, calmer breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog or Newfoundland can work because of their sheer size.

Do You Really Need a Guard Dog?

Now that you know a little bit about guard dogs and the most well-known breeds, it’s time for the big question:

“Do you really need a guard dog?”

I’d be inclined to say most people do not.  Reason number one is that training is intensive and usually dangerous.  You need to remember that you’re training a dog to attack.  Most people get the idea that their guard dog will automatically “know an intruder” and be fine around everyone else.  This is not the case.  You know the old scenario where the dog attacks the mailman?  It’s realistic.  You really don’t want a dog that’s extremely aggressive to strangers. That’s just waiting for something bad to happen.

Reason number two is that a guard dog can only do so much.  Most criminals flee a scene because a dog barks – not because they’re scared of the dog.  And if a criminal does end up in a scuffle with a guard dog, there’s a chance they can find a way around the problem.  Also remember that a dog is, well, only a dog.  It isn’t the police.

So, You Must Get One?

Fair enough. After doing a lot of consideration on the subject, you may still be inclined to get a guard dog. Use this article from WikiHow as an introductory guide to training a guard dog.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+!

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What’s Really In Your Pet’s Food?

People try to provide the best for their pets. That usually includes buying the proper pet food. From the way most pet food is packaged, you’d think there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. The ingredients look healthy, and when you open it up, it looks pretty normal. But just like there are “secrets” to human food, there are secrets to pet food. Read below for more information – but just be aware, it’s not pretty.

Most would like to think that their pet’s food just comes from the meat of other animals. This isn’t the case. Why? That’s what the humans get to eat.

Pets get all of the leftovers – skin, bones, blood etc. And that’s not all. 4D animals, aka animals not fit for human consumption, get thrown in the mix. These are the animals that were dead, dying, disabled, or diseased upon inspection.

The whole process of putting all of this “junk” together is called rendering. All of those junk leftovers go to a rendering plant, where everything gets put into a vat and cooked. Anything infectious gets separated from the fat. When whatever is left is dried, it goes into pet food.

So when you see the words “By-Product Meal” on the packaging, what is your pet really getting? Well, anything that’s not meat, but still added to the pet food to raise protein levels – bones, intestines, brain, etc. And although you may think that labels with “natural”, “organic”, and “gourmet” on them are automatically better, this isn’t always the case. Natural pet food technically isn’t chemically altered. But on pet food labels, be wary. Natural pet food is less regulated. As for “organic”, it’s important to be aware what’s really in the food. Remember, there are plenty of foods (like grapes) that are good for humans, but not for pets. As as for “gourmet” food, it’s basically just a word on a label.

So what are you supposed to do? Stop feeding “pet food” to your pet? Absolutely not. At the end of the day, this is the food that’s currently available for pets to eat. Even if it all sounds appalling to humans, a pet can live a long and healthy life with pet food in their diet. You can keep feeding your pet as your normally do – but awareness is important!

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

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5 Great Dog Breeds for Active People

It’s finally nice out, which means it’s time to get outdoors and do some running, cycling, or whatever else you love doing. And of course any active person needs an energetic dog by their side. But where to start? There are so many choices. Let the list below help you.

Airedale Terrier

Most terriers are energetic. But if you’re really energetic, the Airedale terrier is your best bet. Talk about an interesting looking dog! They stand tall, courageous, and ready to protect. Aieredale terriers were originally hunting/guard dogs, so they may not be the best choice if you have small children (just because they play a little rough). However, they’re still very friendly. Just a tip – these dogs need to be walked for long periods, since they really need the exercise.

Labrador Retriever

With 3 choices, choosing a Labrador retriever can be tough — you’ve got to decide if you want a chocolate lab, golden lab, or black lab!

Need a dog a little bit more toned down than the Aieredale terrier? The Labrador retriever might be one to look into. Talk about a family friendly dog; it’ll love swimming, hiking, or and other casual activities. Labrador retrievers will be playful when you want them to be, but can certainly calm down when it’s necessary.

Australian Cattle Dog

As you could probably guess from the name, this dog is a herding breed. Love running? This dog is the one for you. As long as Australian cattle dogs get exercise, they’ll behave. Otherwise, they could be trouble.

Bernese Mountain Dog

If a dog breed has “mountain” in its name, you know it means business. Perhaps they’re not as energetic as the Aieradale terrier, but they’re still fun, loving, and strong. Due to their thick coat, they’re perfect for taking on a winter snowshoeing adventure or playing with the kids, but even in the summer, these dogs are still adventurous. Walk them regularly and train them correctly, and you’ll have a very loyal dog on your hands.


The Dalmatian used to be the official dog of the firehouse. The amount of stamina they have is incredible, and they absolutely cannot sit around all day with nothing to do. They love running, so if you have a large yard, this dog will keep playing for ages. They’re friendly with children as long as they’re getting the proper exercise.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

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The Benefits of Animal ID Tags

Here at Ketchum, we sell ID tags for many different animals. We make dog tags, cat tags, cattle tags, poultry leg and wing bands, and more. But what’s the purpose? It’s 2014, there’s probably some app you can download on your iPhone to identify animals, right? Not exactly. Check out these benefits of animal ID tags:


We make plastic numbered tags that come in very handy for livestock auctions. If you’ve ever attended an auction, you know that there are a lot of people and a lot of animals. It would be virtually impossible to make order of it all without a way of identifying the animals. Our tags come in very bright orange, white, and yellow colors. You can order them blank or numbered; they’re perfect for any auction.


When it comes to farm animals, accountability is VERY important. You need to monitor animals to make sure they’re healthy, you have as many as you think you do, etc. ID tags are at the root of the system when you’re keeping track.

However, plenty of animals won’t stay on one farm their whole life – they’ll more then likely get shipped around in the process before the grocery store. At that point, accountability is, potentially, even more important. If your animals need blood tests before they leave your farm, or they need to be checked for disease, it’s important to have all animals properly accounted for. Plastic ear tags, metal ear tags, neck tags, etc. are all humane ways to identify certain animals.

Lost Pets

ID tags can save your pet’s life. If your pet gets lost, an ID tag is really the only way it could be brought back to its owner. Put your dog’s name and your phone number on the tag, at the least. The person who finds your dog will be able to comfort them by name.

Other Uses

Our tags are so durable and high quality that they go beyond being useful for animals. We had our tags being used to mark the gate positions at a ski resort. After all, they are tags — they can be used to number anything!

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Recognizing & Caring for a Sick Pet

sick puppy

It doesn’t come as a surprise to any of us when I say that this winter has been brutal. We have faced piercing cold temperatures and have been pounded with snow. We also, have had some surprisingly nice days. It’s always a nice thing when the sun comes out, but its not nice when your head starts to pound and your nose starts to run. As adults, we know our bodies well enough to feel “sickness” approaching. Children are able to voice their concerns when they start feeling ill. But, pets? Do you know your pet well enough to know if something isn’t right? And how are you supposed to care for them when they are feeling under the weather. Check out these tips and be alert of some of the symptoms.

How to Tell if Your Pet is Sick

Always a clear sign that something is not right with your pet. While it might just be something simple as coughing up that green grass they snuck in at the park, it could also be something a little bit more serious. As unappetizing as it may be, you must investigate the materials. Are there colors? Undigested food? Liquid only? These key observances will help aid your veterinarian into determining the cause. Same goes for diarrhea. As gross as it may be, pay attention.

Change in Appetite:
Whether an overly excited eater is suddenly not interested in dinner, or a super picky eater is suddenly eating everything in sight, a change in eating patterns can pose a serious problem. There could be experiencing a virus or have a digestive problem. Be observant, these poor guys can’t always tell us what they want.

Other Physical and Behavioral Symptoms:

– Watery eyes
– Unease of balance
– Ear discharge
– Irregular or lack there of bowel movements
– Excessive panting
– Coughing

The list is long, and the possibilities of physical and behavioral indications could be anything and may differ per breed/per pet. Trust your gut. If you think something is wrong, go to a vet. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

How to Care for Your Sick Pet

If your little guy or gal is under the weather you might want to make some small changes around the house to help nurse up a speedy recovery. If your vet gave you medications, make sure you know how to distribute them properly.

Quiet Time:
Personally, when I’m sick, all I want to do is bundle up in my coziest PJ’s and snuggle in my bed. Make a similar room for your pup. Clean up their area and fluff up their pet bed with clean, warm, and dry blankets. Make sure there is always fresh water available.

Bath Time:
Splish Splash, let’s take a bath. If your pup is down in the dumps or is not feeling ill, maybe a small sponge bath rinse is just what the doctor ordered.

After your pet heals, they will be full of energy and you can both get back to your daily routines!

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+


(above photo taken from fox news)

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A Cats Meow. Understanding The Feline.

thinking cat

We all know that your furry feline has a mind of it’s own, but how smart is it exactly? A cat’s intelligence is determined by its ability to learn, solve, and adapt to its environment. It might be safe to say, if you can understand the cat’s brain and how it works, you might be able to better understand your furry friend and all of their antics.

The Cats Brain

A cat’s brain is separated into different areas that each performs specialized tasks. Feline’s are smart because each area is interconnected and can rapidly share information. Every part of their brain is working together quickly which enables your cat to quickly think on its feet. In most cases, this allows them to manipulate the situation so that it favors them the most.


Cats have the ability to store both short and long term memory. In their world, practice makes perfect and they learn best by observation. Have you noticed that after so many times, your cat will  just start to open up doors and cupboards? It’s not a coincidence… they are secretly watching your every move. As a kitten, they pick up tips and tricks from their mother. As they mature into cat status it is all about trial and error.

Cats are not motivated in the same way dogs are. Dogs have been trained to guard, protect, herd and assist. Cats, being the opportunists they are, slowly take their time to investigate every alley and blind corner. Who knows where their prey might be hiding in the real world?

Similar to dogs, different types of breeds have different type of personalities. The only difference is, most people don’t ask “what type of cat is that” because to us, they are all the same. Here are a few of my favorites and some traits to be aware of.

maine coonMaine Coon:
Also known as the American Longhair, the Maine coon is the second largest breed of domestic cat. Commonly known as the “gentle giants” these beautiful creatures can be spotted with long elegant fur. They are extremely personable, easily trained, and just like being in the company of a human. Although not your typical lap-cat, they are more considered your best bud.

These little leopard creatures are so stunningly beautiful, but they also have a mind of their own. Before you go ahead and adopt or purchase one of these guys there are a couple things to keep in mind. They might cuddle, when it’s convenient for them. Their idea of a good time is climbing, chasing, and investigating. Think rambunctious when considering this type of breed.

Oh my goodness, can these sweet little munchkins get any cuter? Seriously? I can’t even take it sometimes. Incredibly intelligent, these adorable kitties will test your skills. They love to jump, and are pretty good at it considering their long legs. The Siberian kitty will also find ways to talk to you. A purring machine when it feels loved and a chirping noise to exchange in a quick convo.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

Ketchum Manufacturing provides Cat Tags & Cat Id Tags to help in the event that your cat gets lost.

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How to Housebreak a New Puppy

dog-potty-training-tipsSo, you’ve recently added a new addition to your family. Now what? It’s time to potty train your four-legged pal! Housebreaking a new dog can be frustrating. But with a little persistence, you can make potty-training your dog a cinch!

1. Be consistent

When it comes to housebreaking a dog, it’s important to be consistent. The idea is to develop a routine for your pet. This way, he will know exactly when it’s time to eat, exercise or go to the bathroom. Puppies need to go out often. As a good rule of thumb is however old the puppy is in months, he or she can hold it for that number of hours plus one. For example, a three-month-old puppy can only hold it for four hours. Therefore, it’s important to be consistent with potty breaks!

2. Use the “potty” cue

The most common method of housebreaking is teaching your dog to go potty outside of the house. Look for pre-potty signs, such as walking in circles or sniffing the floor and take your dog out immediately. The easiest thing to do is pick the puppy up and take him outside. This step is important so that the puppy doesn’t have any accidents on the way. After you place the puppy outside, give your “go potty” verbal cue. When the puppy goes to the bathroom, praise him with a happy voice or treats.

3. Stay calm

Remember, puppies have accidents! Rather than scolding your puppy for making a mistake, try to remain calm and assertive. This will allow you to teach your puppy the “right way,” rather than displaying negativity. If your puppy happens to go to the bathroom inside, simply distract him with a light touch or sound, pick him up and take him outdoors immediately. Punishing your pet can lead to instability and behavioral problems.

4. Crate train

Many pet owners are weary of crate training. However, it’s very natural. In the wild, wolves live in dens. The den is their home where they sleep, raise families and hide from danger. They also do not go to the bathroom in their dens. Similarly, puppies view their crates as their “dens” and do not soil them. During crate training, puppies should be placed inside their crates when their owner cannot watch over them. This could be while the owner is at work or out of the house. An important rule when crate training is to always take the puppy to the bathroom before and after they go in their crate. Also, no food or water is necessary in the crate. A blanket and chew toy will suffice just fine.

5. Exercise often

Loving your dog goes beyond the hugs and kisses. You can show your dog love by giving him plenty of exercise. Puppies especially have a lot of energy. If they don’t get the chance to burn it off, they can demonstrate negative behavior. On average, most dogs need between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Therefore, a walk around the block won’t cut it! Allow your puppy to exercise both their mental and physical muscles. Hiking, playing Frisbee and long walks are great exercises to do with your new dog.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

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The Importance of a Regular Grooming Routine

grooming your dog

No body wants to be the owner of a smelly dog or kitty. However, bathing your four-legged friend can be both a time consuming and difficult process. With these reasons, many people overlook the chore of daily grooming. I have noticed it is not until extreme odors pop up do pet owners take the responsibility of bathing their pet. I urge you not to wait. Dog grooming can be fun for both owner and pet. Here are some tips to help make it more enjoyable.

Take a Walk

Never try and groom a dog when it has a lot of energy. There is a good chance your dog does not like bath time. If he has a lot of pent up energy, He will wiggle and wobble and run, and be very hard to handle. Take the dog for a walk before hand, or bring it to the local dog park to run around. A tired pup will be more likely to cooperate.

Keep Treats Nearby

Give your dog treats and praise them while you work. By doing this, you will help create a more positive experience. The more enjoyable the activity, the more likely they will be willing to participate in the future!

Brush Before Bathing

Don’t be tempted to skip this step. While daily brushing is important, brushing before a bath is more important. I like to think that when I am brushing out a dog, I am giving it a nice little massage with the bristles of the brush. Depending on your dog breed, certain brushes work better than others. Experiment with the different variations and see what works best for you and pup. A thorough brush out will remove dust, dirt, and will also loosen tangles. If you come across a mat that just cannot be untangled, cut it out! Wet tangles are mush worse to brush out than dry ones. So get them out now while you can! 

Brushing Guide:

Long Haired Dogs: Brushed Daily
Short Haired Dogs: Brushed Weekly

Splish Splash Time For a Bath

Most dogs should be bathed at least once a month. Depending on activity and dirtiness, more bath time would be appropriate. Cover your grounds ahead of time and make sure you are stacked with towels, escape routes have been blocked out, and your are dressed in either a waterproof apron, or raggedy scrap painting-like clothes. When bathing, be sure to use plenty of warm water. Start from top and work your way to the bottom. Massage the soapsuds into the skin and fur.  Pay attention to the neck region where your dog wears his collar. When the water starts running clear, you are nearing the end. Grab one of those towels and blot your pup down to soak in excess water. You may need a couple towels, but regardless of your attempts it is safe to say that epic water shake down will occur. Be ready for it.

It’s up to you whether or not you want to air dry or blow dry your pups fur. If you do choose to blow dry, make sure it is on the lowest or coolest setting. Grooming your pup is more than just a show and smell. A clean dog is a comfortable dog, and comfortable dogs are happier.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

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Homemade Dog Treats for Valentine’s Day


Giving your canine companion a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day is simply out of the question. How about spoiling your dog with a tasty and healthy homemade treat? Here are five easy recipes made with all-natural ingredients!

Mini Heart Dog Cakes

Show your pup how much you love him or her by making these delicious mini heart cakes!

The Ingredients:
For the cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup butter (or 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-natural honey
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces of low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray mini heart cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.
  3. Mix the flour and baking soda. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, honey, and oil/butter and stir. Add the buttermilk, 1/4 cup at a time. Stir in carrots.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the mini heart cavities, filling each one about three-quarters full.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cookies turn golden brown.
  6. While the cakes cook, prepare frosting by beating the cream cheese, vanilla and cinnamon together. Once the cakes have cooled completely, frost.

Tip: Drizzle melted peanut butter on top of mini cakes and add shredded carrots for extra sweetness!

Cinnamon Honey Hearts Dog Biscuits

With a touch of honey and cinnamon, this sweet treat has just the right blend of sugar and spice for your favorite doggy!

The Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup pureed Banana
  • 1/2 Cup plain Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Oat Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Flour
  • 1 Cup Wheat Flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix the cinnamon, oat flour, rice flour, and ½ cup of wheat flour. In a separate bowl combine water, banana, yogurt, honey, and canola oil with an electric mixer. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
  3. Place on a floured surface and roll to desired thickness. Use cookie cutters to create shapes from the dough.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cookies turn golden brown.

Tip: Turn off oven and leave biscuits in for a couple hours to make sure they are completely dry and crunchy.

Carob Doggie Delights

These doggie delights are baked and hand decorated, with love, to ensure a beautiful and delicious snack for your Valentine!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Carob Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground Flax Seed (Optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix the wheat flour, rolled oats, carob, flax seed, and baking powder. In a separate bowl combine egg, water and honey. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended, forming a stiff dough.
  3. Place on a floured surface and roll to desired thickness. Use cookie cutters to create shapes from the dough.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cookies turn golden brown.

Tip: Make this Valentine’s Day extra special by melting carob chips in the microwave or double boiler and drizzling over treats.

Banana Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Bananas are packed full of amino acids, electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals, making for a perfectly healthy Valentine’s Day treat!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1-2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash bananas and mix in the whole-wheat flour and peanut butter.
  3. Stir in water until the batter is mixed well. The dough should be dense and a little dry. Add extra water or flour as needed.
  4. Place on a floured surface and roll to desired thickness. Use cookie cutters to create shapes from the dough.
  5. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cookies turn golden brown.

Tip: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, or you can freeze extras and defrost them as needed.

Beefy Heart Dog Treats

Your four-legged friend will appreciate the idea of adding a little meat in their cookies!

The Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup beef stock, tomato juice or water
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil, plus extra for cooking
  • 1 large egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add vegetable oil to skillet and cook the beef with garlic over medium heat until no traces of pink remain. Set aside to cool.
  3. Mix together the whole wheat flour and cornmeal. Stir in beef. In a separate bowl, whisk together the beef stock, oil and egg. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
  4. Place on a floured surface and roll to desired thickness. Use cookie cutters to create shapes from the dough. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cookies are springy to touch

Tip: Use unsalted or low sodium beef broth for the healthiest treat for your pet.

Lisa Podwirny is the owner of Ketchum Mfg. Connect with her on Google+

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