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Spring: Let’s Get This Party Started!

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Rachael Ray Nutrish has sponsored this post and my attendance at SXSW, but all opinions are my own.

Texans wait for the change of winter to spring by looking for one sure sign: bluebonnets. The annual bloom is our signal that, yes, spring has once more arrived and it’s time to party! Before the summer heat sets in, the coming weeks are the time of spring fun for dog lovers–from pet festivals to pet travel to pet-friendly day trips to enjoy the fragrant fields.

Here in Austin, another sure sign of spring is the annual SXSW Conference which I attended for the very first time this year, thanks to Nutrish. For me, a big highlight of the event was the chance to attend a Rachael Ray keynote followed by her invite-only Feedback House–because no one knows how to throw a party like Rachael Ray!

Rachael Ray is a frequent visitor to Austin. The cookbook author explained, “I love Austin because it embodies everything I love about having an American passport. It celebrates entrepreneurship, it celebrates the arts, and everyone has a dog…and dogs are welcome everywhere. Everything about it is fantastic, almost too fantastic to be true.”

For an hour, the talk show host spoke about her passions–from cooking to music to dogs. When an author of a new book on last meals asked Ray what her last meal would be, she chuckled that she’d be too depressed to eat if she knew it was to be her last meal, but noted, “If I were to have a first meal in heaven, it would be with my dog Boo, and she loved butternut squash more than a steak.”

“My own child is a pit bull, and I advocate for pit bulls.” — Rachael Ray

This year marked Ray’s 10th year hosting Feedback, a Texas-sized party open to the public and featuring some of Rachael Ray’s favorite bands–and, like any good party, plenty of food and drink. For three days leading up to Feedback, the Feedback House showcased top bands in a private venue…

…and, between bands, out came adoptable puppies from the Austin Animal Center:

Of course, any good party means good food–and the pups in attendance here were in for a great time, with the new flavors of Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® treats, each made with simple, wholesome ingredients.

Although Irie and Tiki were home with John during my SXSW days, they soon had the chance to try the meaty deliciousness in these Nutrish treats (sold where you shop for your family’s groceries).

Five new flavors are now available:

  • Burger Bites Beef with Bison Burger Recipe
  • Deli Cuts™ Savory Pepperoni Recipe
  • Meatloaf Morsels™ Homestyle Beef Recipe
  • Pawsta™ Beef Stuffed Riggies Recipe
  • Savory Roasters™ Roasted Chicken Recipe

Irie was especially paw-tial to the Pawsta, made in the shape of meat-stuffed rigatoni pasta, while Tiki gave the biggest paws up to the Deli Cuts (although I think the Burger Bites was a close second!)

The treats are a great size for our 60-pound girls but, if you have a smaller dog, just break the treats into smaller sizes before feeding. As with all treats, be sure to watch your dog to ensure Nutrish treats are thoroughly chewed before swallowing–and give them as supplemental feeding only. (Remember: treats should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet.)

Regardless of which flavor makes your dog sit up and beg, I love that each contains:

  • Real U.S. farm-raised beef or chicken is always the #1 ingredient.
  • No artificial flavors or meat by-products.
  • No corn or wheat.
  • The world’s best ingredients, each safely cooked in the USA.

However you define a spring party, I think Nutrish treats will be a must-have to:

  • Carry on your day trip as a reward on a hike to check out fields of wildflowers.
  • Bring along as a snack for your dog on a spring picnic.
  • Set up in a treat jar with feeding instructions for spring guests to your home so they’ll only be treating your dog with acceptable foods.
  • Leave with your pet sitter if your spring travels take you on the road without your dog.
  • Set out as party favors at a dog-centric spring party!

The Downside to Spring

For all its spring beauty, this season also carries with it a downside: unwanted litters that find themselves homeless in shelters. Spring means puppy and kitten season, a time when shelters are bursting at the seams.

It’s a time for us all to do whatever we can do to help, whether that means adoption, fostering, volunteering, or sharing shelter listings with our friends who might be looking to add to their furry family.

YOU are also helping through your purchase of Nutrish treats and foods. A portion of proceeds from each sale of Nutrish is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation, which helps animals in need through Rachael’s Rescue. Rachael’s Rescue® was created for all of the forgotten pets – the ones who might not have someone who loves them as much as they deserve.

Through December 2016, Rachael’s Rescue has donated more than $17.5 million to pet charities and other organizations that do good for animals. The funds are used for food, medical supplies, treatments, and more for animals in need. Many more animals around the country need help, and through Rachael’s Rescue, together we can make a difference in the lives of many four-legged friends!

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Note: Giveaway has ended.

Paris Permenter
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