It’s Not All Raw

Fall officially arrives next week. And the produce offerings at my local farmers’ market are starting to change. Apples, pears and muscadines are replacing the peaches & blueberries. Peppers of every color are everywhere.

Today, I stocked up on heirloom peppers, apples, the last of the okra, the first of the autumn squashes (and a beef liver. More on that tomorrow).

I’ve gotten faster at chopping, freezing & bagging in the past couple of weeks. But what about these squashes?

Pearl & Truman ate raw summer squash, but they were small and tender. Butternut, spaghetti & acorn squash don’t come in the “small & tender” variety. Pumpkins do, but peeling those little suckers? I’m not up for it.

— Save ’em for cute seasonal home decor —

Some vegetables do have to be cooked before you feed them to your dog, making the term “raw diet” a bit of a misnomer.

Potatoes, for example, should be thoroughly baked. Beans & peas shouldn’t be served raw. Uncooked okra is slimy & gross when sliced. Generally, dogs don’t sufficiently breakdown the rigid cell structure of green plants because they don’t chew things up as much as we do. So they have to be cooked-roasted, steamed, baked.

(I can’t figure out how to drop a footnote here. This isn’t Word. It’s WordPress. Anyway: footnote 1- supplement cooked foods with a digestive enzyme to aid in absorption of essential nutrients. I found Prozyme at my local pet supply store.).

In exploring this new way of feeding my dogs, I’ve tried to focus on healthy ways to prepare the cooked items. Roasting works well for most things and is a good way to add a healthy fat like coconut or olive oil.

Roasting and pureeing a beautiful butternut squash is simple, and the dogs LOVE it.

(Psst…take part of the puree and make yourself a soup!)

Recipe alert: Peel & dice the squash, toss in a tablespoon of coconut oil, spread it on a cookie sheet with sides & roast in a 350-degree oven. I cooked a 1-lb squash 30 minutes. Let it cool. Twirl it around in the blender with a splash of chicken broth. Scoop it into a plastic container and you’ve got yourself some homemade baby food/dog dinner/soup starter!


pugs & kisses,

2 thoughts on “It’s Not All Raw

  1. Is is okay to not cook the chicken? I have my dog Chloe on a high protein, low carb diet for her orthopedic issues. I also add cumin and turmeric as these are known to reduce inflammation in the body. It has worked but I am hesitant to go completely raw. I appreciate your blog and look forward to reading more.


    1. Diane, it is okay to feed your dog raw chicken. I’ve fed it to mine, and they’ve done beautifully. I do give it a thorough rinsing in cold running water. Dogs have high concentrations of hydrochloric acid in their tummies, and other enzymes in their intestines that we don’t have, which enable them to digest raw meats. But, check with your vet to make sure Chloe is healthy enough to switch to a raw diet before you dive in. Of course, anytime you switch a dog’s food, it can cause some digestive upset until the system adjusts, so maybe do a little at a time to see how she likes it & to monitor how her body responds. Also, make sure you wash your hands & everything the meat touches. The dog can handle it, but you’re a different story! Thanks for the great question! Let me know how it goes with Chloe.


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