“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Josh Billings, Humorist & Lecturer
What’s wrong with the stuff you can buy at the store?
Dog owners everywhere! It’s totally fine that you’re feeding your furry companions generic popular-brand food. Heck, if you could see my ‘doggy cupboard’ you would bare witness to just how much of a treat-hoarder I am. IN THE NAME OF MY DOG YES. However, upon discovering not too long ago just how nasty a lot of the ingredients are, I swiftly changed to a healthier alternative.
I want my dog to live as long as she possibly can with as little health problems as possible. On the other hand, I’m not a complete health-freak, and I do allow for some naughty nibbling on a semi-regular basis. YOLO, am I right? Or DOLO… Dogs Only Live Once. I should move on swiftly…
“If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them..”
Phil Pastoret, Author
The general rule of thumb
If the doggie food you pick up off the store shelf has a long list of confusing ingredients, it’s probably not going to be all that beneficial for your dogs health. The same goes for us humans. The fewer ingredients, the less artificial preservatives and chemicals there are, the better. Here’s a short-list of ingredients you want to avoid:
- BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole)*
- BHT (Butylated Hydroxzytoluene)*
- Ethoxyquin (A toxic artificial preservative, also a pesticide)
- PG (Propylene Glycol) (The main ingredient used in modern anti-freeze liquids)
- Propyl gallate (Artificial preservative, recent evidence of toxicity.)
- Rendered fat
- Food Dyes (Blue 2, Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, 4-MIE)
- TBHQ (Artificial preservative, potentially cancerous)
*(Both recognised as a suspicious cancer causing compound)
A better quality of life for your dog
Now, with all this scary disease-causing talk, there’s no reason to panic. The potential health risks are a result of long-term exposure when fed daily. It’s never too late to change things. Here’s some easy steps you can take to ensure a painless transition to a better quality of life for your dog, from the inside out:
- Read the labels of the dog food you give to your pet.
- When buying kibble, ensure you pick the most natural brand. Natural Choice or Acana are good brands. They are more expensive, but honestly, it’s worth it.
- Pick a day in the week to cook a whole chicken and boil some rice. Ration it over the five days, and then change it up on the weekend. This gives your dog’s digestive system a nice reboot, and you’ll be proud of yourself for making the effort.
There’s so many other food combos to try, but this is for beginners. If you already cook for your dog well… you don’t need my advice. You might like these recipes below though:
As seen on http://petanthology.com
Vitamin-rich, fiber-rich pumpkin treat recipe that doggies never turn down! Pumpkin is a safe choice for those with sensitive stomachs as well.
You will need:
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup whole wheat flour or oat flour
- 1 cup oats (or powdered oats)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease muffin tin with coconut oil.
- Place oats in blender until they are half powder (not necessary for powdered oats.)
- Place oats and all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir until mixed.
- Fill muffin tins 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle oatmeal on top of each muffin for some extra crunch.
- Bake for 15 mins or until tops are golden brown.
Sweet Potato Chicken Patties (Wheat-free)
Great for sensitive dogs. As seen on http://doggydessertchef.com
You will need:
- 2 sweet potatoes cooked and mashed
- 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- ½ cup white rice flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup oat flour
- ½ teaspoon honey
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Line a baking tray with a parchment paper.
- In a large bowl mix all ingredients together, kneading well after each addition.
- Once dough is well mixed, roll into 1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking tray. Flatten with flour dusted back of spoon or bottom of a glass.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until browned at edges.
- Cool and refrigerate.
Peanut Butter Treats
You will need:
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (unsweetened applesauce can also be used)
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (natural is best— no sugar!)
- 1 cup filtered water
- 3 cups flour (we used oat flour)
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl using hands.
- Grease a cookie sheet and smash the dough onto the sheet.
- Cut the dough into desired shapes before baking.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350ºF.
- Cool, break apart and serve!
Yogurt Glazed Salad Shapes
As seen on http://www.diynetwork.com
You will need:
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach (lightly packed)
- ¾ cup California mix vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Yogurt glaze: ½ teaspoon plain yogurt, 2 teaspoons water
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Finely dice the spinach and California mix vegetables.
- Stir the yogurt and applesauce into the veggie mixture.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
- Add the flour into the vegetable mix about ⅓ at a time. Stir after each addition.
- Knead the dough in the bowl until a firm ball is achieved.
- Fold out onto a floured surface and roll out to ½ -inch thick.
- Cut treats into shapes with a cookie cutter and place on greased baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and water.
- Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the cut-outs with the yogurt and water.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
All of these delicious treats will last for about 1 week in the refrigerator. They will be good for up to 6 months in the freezer. Happy baking!
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