Farmers market season is underway and hold lots of items for your pet.
As you wander the stalls taking in the fresh offerings, keep your dogs and cats in mind; you can often find fresh and specialty goodies for your furry family. Some markets are dog-friendly, too. Check your community market’s website or Facebook page to find out if your dog can join you for a fun shopping trip.
Pick ripe, seasonal fruit for your pets. Choose vibrant, fresh fruit like antioxidant-rich berries and healthy apples. Add tiny bits to your dog’s food for a fun treat. Or, stir fresh fruit into the Ice Pups mix and freeze for an extra special frosty treat. Cats can get in on the fruit action with selections like bananas and seedless watermelon.
Veggies work great as low-cal training treats. Chopped up carrots and bits of asparagus can be served steamed (and cooled) or raw, and a frozen Brussels sprout is the perfect snack on a hot summer day. A handful more to consider: snap peas, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. Same goes for cats: steamed broccoli and asparagus, tiny bites of greens, and green beans make healthy snacks for even the finickiest feline.
Dogs and cats love bites of egg, and the farmers’ market is the perfect place to pick up a dozen organic, humane eggs. Take home a fresh batch and hard boil or scramble them up as a special treat for your pet. Bake and grind the shells for an all-natural calcium supplement that can be sprinkled over pet food.
Local artisans showcase their crafts at farmers’ markets. Look for handcrafted pet supplies, like tooled leather collars and leashes. If you give your dog raw bones, livestock vendors usually have some on hand. Supplies can be found in unexpected places, too; some local bakers offer a mix of specialty dog treats among their goodies, and organic growers may even have potted catnip.
A Best Friend
Thinking about adopting a dog or cat? Local shelters and area rescues often have a presence at community farmers’ markets with info and adoptable animals on hand to meet. If you’re not looking to adopt, stop by to pet the adoptables anyway—they’ll appreciate the extra love and socialization.
Maggie is a writer and author, whose first book, Clicker Dog Training: The Better Path to a Well-Behaved Pup was published by Open Air Publishing. When she's not writing (or reading books about grammar), she teaches writing courses to college students and professionals who want to nail down the basics of communication. Outside of work, she hikes, throws dinner parties, plays with her three dogs and cat, and travels as much as possible.