Pumpkin Paw Prints Recipe

13 May 2017 | Filed in Dog Food

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We all want to spoil our pets during the holidays, but giving your dog table scraps can be dangerous. This do-it-yourself dog treat recipe for Paw Print Pumpkin Biscuits is safe for your furry friend and is a healthy way for your dog to share in the holiday baking.

The recipe comes from Roberta Deen of Capers Catering Company in Los Angeles. She is one of the chefs who contributed to the book The Culinary Canine: Great Chefs Cook for Their Dogs- And So Can You!

Easy to make our dogs gobbled them up. They would also make great dog lover gifts to take to your friends this holiday season or any time of year. Package them up in cellophane or a nice tin and you’ll have your friends barking for the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup plain pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)

1 cup peeled, 1/4” diced, lightly blanched fresh pumpkin

1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds, coarsely chopped

1 cup quick-cooking oats

2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup canola oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 (300 if using a convection oven)*

Mix above ingredients in a large bowl

Add water to achieve a chocolate-chip cookie like consistency

Line baking sheets with parchment paper

Drop by teaspoons (for the petite puppies) and Tablespoons (for the big guys) onto baking sheets about 2 inches apart

Flatten into rounds with a fork in a cross-hatch pattern

Bake for 10 minutes

Switch the baking sheets front to back, top to bottom and bake for 5-10 minutes longer until golden and firm – adjusting time for teaspoons (a bit less) and for tablespoons (a bit longer)

Turn off oven and leave the door open until the treats cool completely

Yield depends upon size of the cookie

Treats should be fed in moderation. Consult your veterinarian any time you are making changes to your dogs food or diet.

Football Dog Treats: Touchdown Tasties

11 Apr 2017 | Filed in Dog Food

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Football games and snacks go hand in hand for humans, but what about the dog? Whether it’s Super Bowl Sunday, watching your favorite team, or playing around with the kids, include your dog in the football fun. Football dog party ideas>>

Check out these pawsome football-shaped dog treats Lucy Postins, CEO of The Honest Kitchen, created in honor of game day.

Ingredients

1 cup dehydrated dog food

¼ cup ham, diced

3 tbsp grated American or Cheddar cheese

½ *Avocado, mashed

1 free range egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup warm filtered water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Hydrate the dog food with the warm water and stir. Thoroughly mix in the remaining ingredients to form a batter.

Use your hands to form the mixture into “football” shapes, and place onto a greased or non-stick baking sheet.

Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.

Cool completely before serving.

Treats can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

*Although avocado stones are poisonous to dogs (and the stone as well as the tough skin could potentially be a choking hazard), the flesh itself is fine for occasional feeding in small quantities, and is a great source of natural, healthy oils. Take care to keep avocado skin and stones out of your pet’s reach and dispose of them (as well as other hazardous food scraps like onion and cooked meat bones) in a secure trash can that they can’t easily raid while you’re enjoying the game. Learn about other fruits and vegetables you can feed your dog: Fruits for Dogs, Vegetables for Dogs.

Make Your Own Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

13 Sep 2016 | Filed in Dog Food

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Pet jerky treats, which include chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats, have now been linked to more than 1,000 deaths in dogs, more than 4,800 complaints about animal illness, and three human deaths. Despite exhaustive testing, the FDA has been unable to find a contaminant causing illnesses.

If you choose to feed your pet jerky treats, one option is to dry your own treats using a food dehydrator or your oven. This allows you to buy local, high-quality meats, giving you peace of mind about the safety of the ingredients.

Jerky Basics

Dehydration preserves foods by removing moisture, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms. You can dehydrate most raw meats, such as slices of beef, chicken, turkey, fish, or liver, as well as many fruits and vegetables, such as sliced apples, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

Several brands of small dehydrators are reasonably priced and easy to use. These machines have stacked or slide-out trays that hold the food to be dehydrated. A motor provides heat and powers a fan that blows hot air over the food. A tray at the bottom catches excess moisture.

You can also dry foods in your oven — on a cookie sheet — if it can be set at a low enough temperature. The lowest temperature for many ovens is 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s fine. Prop the oven door open a few inches with a towel so hot air laden with moisture can escape. This works well, but because your oven is also heating the air in the kitchen, it uses more energy than a food dehydrator would.

Store dehydrated foods in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Protect these foods from moisture and humidity, or they will spoil.

The American Veterinary Medical Association advises pet owners who feed jerky treats to do so in small quantities and only on occasion, especially with small-breed dogs.

Chicken Jerky Strips

The thinner you slice the meat, the less time it takes to dry. Popping the meat into the freezer for about 15 minutes beforehand makes it easier to slice thinly.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast tenders, sliced into strips about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions

Rinse off chicken breast and remove any fat. Fat slows down the dehydrating process and makes your jerky spoil faster. Slice the chicken with the grain. This will help make the jerky even chewier.

Lightly coat the chicken slices with vegetable oil to prevent sticking.

Place the chicken breast strips evenly on the tray, leaving space between them and making sure they do not touch each other.

Once they are all in the dehydrator, turn it on and set the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The jerky will probably take between three and 12 hours to fully dry, depending on how thick you cut your slices. Start checking it once every hour after the first hour. To check it, open up the tray and take one slice out. Cut it open with a sharp knife and examine the inside. You should see no moisture at all, and it should be the same color throughout. If it’s not finished, put it back in for another hour. Once it gets close, check every half hour.

Once your jerky is done, store it in airtight containers. Write the date you made it on them. Out of the refrigerator, the treats last about 10 days in an airtight container. They’ll keep in the refrigerator for approximately three weeks. They can also be frozen for up to eight months.

9 Things You Need to Know About Your Senior Dog’s Diet Needs

10 Jun 2016 | Filed in Dog Food

Most dog owners eventually face the challenge of properly feeding a geriatric dog. About one-third of all dogs in the United States are 11 or older, and dogs have an average life span of about 14 years, says Kathleen Hefner, DVM, a specialist in nutrition and nutritional counseling at the Animal Hospital of Saddle River in N.J.

Senior Dog
But owners need to know when their dogs have reached senior status and require a dietary adjustment to meet their changing biological needs. Obvious signs include a graying snout and decreased mobility, as well as changes in activity level or interest in toys, games, or people. Owners should start looking for these signs from about age 7 – sooner for larger dogs and later for smaller ones.

Hefner emphasizes, however, that each dog is unique, so owners should consult their veterinarians and rule out any health problems before making dietary changes. All senior dogs are not the same, she says. You have to look at the more subtle things. You’ll want guidance on your individual pet’s needs.

But the majority of aging dogs face some common physical changes that require dietary changes to address them:

Dogs’ appetites can decrease as they age, so if they eat less, a calorie-dense diet can ensure they still get enough nutrients.

Dogs might also eat less because of pain from periodontal disease; more palatable, easier-to-chew food helps ensure Fido doesn’t go hungry.

Phosphorous and sodium can aggravate kidney problems, heart disease, and hypertension. If your dog has these illnesses, look for a diet with less of these two elements.

A sufficient amount of zinc helps keep the skin, coat, and immune system healthy.

Antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, and E, and beta-carotene, are all believed to fight cancer and slow aging, so owners may want to supplement these if their dogs’ food doesn’t already include sufficient amounts.

Additives for joint health, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, often ease the aches of arthritis by maintaining the healthy cartilage that cushions the bones. Many senior dog foods include these ingredients, also available as supplements.

Aging dogs tend to have more gastrointestinal distress, so a diet with increased fiber can help prevent constipation.

Older dogs still require protein – vital to the body for cell repair and muscle maintenance – but can’t metabolize it as efficiently. They need higher-quality protein with a complete range of essential amino acids.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and flaxseed oil can help alleviate a dull, dry coat and dry skin, as well as aid immune-system function.

Cheese Pleaser Dog Treats Recipe

13 May 2016 | Filed in Dog Food

cooking-dog
Do you want to do something special for your best furry friend? Everyone enjoys a delicious homemade treat and dogs are no exception.

Whether you make all of your dog’s food or just want to give your dog a special culinary surprise, this cheesy Pooch Munchies recipe, from the Three Dog Bakery, is sure to have your dog begging for more.

Get the whole family involved for this quick and easy dog recipe.

Prep Time: 15 min

Bake Time: 12 min

Ingredients:

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon garlic salt (do not use fresh garlic)

1/2 cup soft bacon fat

1 cup shredded cheese

1 egg, beaten slightly

1 cup milk

Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 ºF.

Place flour and garlic salt in a large bowl. Stir in bacon fat. Add cheese and egg.

Gradually add enough milk to form a dough.

Knead dough and roll out 1-inch thick.

Use a dog bone-shaped cookie cutter to cut out dough. (Don’t have a cookie cutter? Use an upside down glass to cut out round cookies)

Place dog bones on a greased cookie sheet and bake about 12 minutes or until they start to brown.

Cool and serve.

Homemade Dog Food for Elderly Dogs

10 Dec 2015 | Filed in Dog Food

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If your elderly dog is “off his feed” and doesn’t attack his bowl of kibble like he used to, try some home cooking. Homemade meals can be a healthy alternative to store-bought kibble if they’re prepared with your dog’s needs in mind. And he’ll be thrilled you made it yourself.

Seniors’ Nutritional Needs

In general all dogs need the same basic essentials in their diets. Protein, fats and carbohydrates are all necessary to keep your dog healthy. You’ll need to do some adjusting for your geriatric pooch, though. As your dog ages his protein needs stay the same, but his metabolism slows down. That means he’ll need to get the same amount of protein but do it while taking in less calories. Increase the fiber, cut the carbs and use sources of lean protein like poultry, fish, lamb or extremely lean beef to accomplish this.

Supplements

To assure that your older dog is getting all of the vitamins and minerals he needs, you might consider adding some human grade bonemeal and a few drops of a vitamin supplement to the food you make for him. Omega-3’s are another supplement that you can add that will help keep your dog’s joints and heart healthy as well as keep his coat shiny and soft.

Talk To Your Vet

Once you have a plan and know what you want to put into your elderly dog’s homemade meals, talk to your vet to get advice on foods and nutrients that your dog might need based on his health. Certain medical issues like kidney disease, heart disease or diabetes may affect what ingredients you can use in your dog’s food and how much of it you can put in. Show your vet the recipe you intend to use and get his thoughts. He’ll also be the best person to ask about vitamin supplements. Just because your dog is older doesn’t mean that he has a vitamin deficiency. Instead of OD’ing your dog on vitamins, make sure your vet recommends adding them — or any supplement — to his meals.

Basic Senior Recipe

A basic dog food recipe that will be tasty and healthy for your senior citizen canine is easily made by crumbling 1 pound of ground turkey into a large pot containing six cups of water and one teaspoon of dried rosemary. Stir to distribute the turkey and rosemary evenly and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes. Add 8 ounces of frozen vegetables, like carrots, broccoli and cauliflower — thawed and cut into small pieces — and cook for five minutes more. Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature before you feed it to your dog. Store the leftovers in the fridge in a covered container.

Natural Dog Food for Underweight Dogs

13 Nov 2015 | Filed in Dog Food

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Grains! No grains! Lots of protein! Too much protein! With all the hype about dog food, it can be very difficult to know where to even start considering what to feed your pooch. In order to gain weight safely, your need to pick a food that’s not likely to be recalled, full of bacteria or that’s going to cause him to lose more weight. In order to accomplish that feat, stick to natural foods from companies that carefully screen their sources.

The Honest Kitchen

When feeding an underweight dog, correcting nutritional imbalances while helping your four-legged friend gain weight is vital. The Honest Kitchen is an all-natural, organic, dehydrated raw pet food company based out of California. Their foods are high calorie and contain easily digestible ingredients. All ingredients in The Honest Kitchen line of foods are certified free of bacteria, mold, yeast and pesticides.

There are seven foods formulated to be 100 percent balanced, with three of them (Thrive, Embark and Love) suitable for puppies. One of the foods, Preference, is not a balanced diet and must have meat added in order to make it complete. One of the best things about The Honest Kitchen foods, though, is the way it’s prepared. Because it is a dehydrated raw food, it requires water to re-hydrate it so it can be eaten. Not only does this significantly boost your dog’s water intake, it easily allows you to mix-in weight-boosting supplements and add-ins, such as additional raw meat, raw eggs, Greek yogurt, and oils.

When mixing add-ins and raw, uncooked supplements to your dog’s food, it’s important to either mix it with a raw diet or to feed them entirely separate of your dog’s kibble. Kibble digestion requires significantly different enzymes and follows a different process than the digestion of raw foods. When raw foods and kibble are fed together, the results can often be disastrous!

The Honest Kitchen formula with the highest calorie content is Love, a grain-free, beef based diet. Coming in a close second is Embark, a grain-free turkey diet. For dogs who need a bit higher carbohydrate content to make their food stick to their ribs, Thrive contains quinoa, an extremely high-quality, amino acid-rich grain most dogs tolerate very well.

Orijen

Orijen, a Canadian-based company, utilizes all natural, organic, locally sourced ingredients for their “biologically appropriate” kibble. Orijen kibble is cooked with a special focus on preserving the enzymes and nutrition found in the raw ingredients while creating an easy-to-feed, convenient, non-messy food.

Orijen is 80 percent meat, 20 percent fruits and veggies and has no grain products whatsoever. The high meat content keeps even the pickiest eater eating and allows skinny critters to extract the most nutrition possible out of the kibble. Waste becomes minimal, meaning there’s less to pick up, and the extremely high calorie content means your pup will gain weight without difficulty.

Acana

Acana is produced by the same company as Orijen. It possesses the same high-quality ingredients and quality control, but has a higher carbohydrate content. For somes dogs, the additional carbs can help them gain and keep weight a little easier. Some of the Acana formulas are grain-free, and some contain a single grain source. All of the Acana formulas contain 420-430 calories per cup.

Timberwolf

Timberwolf Organics is a Florida-based company specializing in kibble diets that mimic the diet of wolves in the wild. All of their formulas are balanced nutritionally and have at least 500 calories per cup, while the highest calorie formula, the grain free Wild and Natural, has 564 calories per cup. Each of the formulas are geared for optimal digestion and contain a number of herbs and supplements to ensure your pup grows at the proper rate, doesn’t suffer digestive upsets and remains healthy throughout the weight-gain process.

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