SMOOTHIES!!!

Berry smoothie for dogs

You too can make your HOL dog a smoothie that he will LOVE.

Basically, any fruit will do, and the recipe is largely the same except for the fruit. You could drink it yourself, except that the Answers raw, fermented goats milk I use in all of them is not for human consumption b/c it’s not pasteurized. So, here’s you some options to get you started. All recipes are for a 50lb dog. Adjust according to your dog’s size.

SMOOTH AWAY!

Straw-Monkey

  • 1 whole banana, peeled (duh) and broken into pieces
  • 5 strawberries, topped
  • 1 kiwi, peeled
  • small bunch of fresh mint leaves without the stems
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon or turmeric
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Berry Blitz

  • 2 oz Blueberries
  • 2 oz Raspberries
  • 2 oz Strawberries
  • small bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon or turmeric
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Orange Crush

  • 3-4 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric or cinnamon
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Green Goblin

  • 1 small avocado, pitted and peeled
  • small bunch of mint and basil, stems removed
  • 1 tsp dried kelp
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8oz.

I make an 8oz smoothie every morning and divide it between Pearl and Truman. That is their breakfast. They get their meat meal at night.

The goats milk provides them with protein, as well as probiotics to start their day. The cinnamon or turmeric act as natural anti-inflammatories, as well as digestive aids (among other things–enough to fill their own blog post). The garlic is for flea & tick avoidance. Such a small amount should not bother your dog, but some dogs may be hyper-sensitive to garlic. So try a little and see how your dog reacts. If he doesn’t have a reaction, go with it. If he does, please use your brain and quit giving it to him. The raw, local honey is an antimicrobial, contains wonderful phytonutrients, and helps keep seasonal allergies in check.

Give them a try! Simple as pie!

pugs & kisses,

Time to Plant those Herbs!

After we finished laying the ground work for fame and glory on Saturday at Railroad Park, I decided it was time to plant an herb garden.

I’ve been talking about it for months. I don’t really know what I’m doing, though.

It is surprisingly difficult to get good quality, fresh, pesticide-free herbs in the grocery store.

I know you’re shocked. Try to calm down.

I’ve become quite fascinated with the healing power of herbs, my favorite being Basil.

I’ve tried all during the winter months to grow Basil in a glass on my kitchen counter, and I have failed again and again. It’s been quite discouraging.

But now that the weather has begun to warm, and Spring has officially sprung here in the ‘Ham, I decided to dig in the dirt.

It was therapeutic.

I have a window box on the front of my house that should be a perfect spot. Direct sun in the mornings, and protected from extreme heat by tall pines.

…But then I read on each little plastic spear that they all need FULL SUN…

Womp Womp!

I may have wasted my money. We’ll just have to see.

Here’s a poor shot of the fledgling collection of sage, arugula, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, peppermint and spearmint.

It was dark and about to pour rain by the time I finished. Here's hoping they don't die! Fingers crossed!
It was dark and about to pour rain by the time I finished. Here’s hoping they don’t die! Fingers crossed!

IF they grow, (and that’s a big IF) I’ll have my own stash that I know is grown organically, away from highway fumes, and without chemical pesticides. Perfect for incorporating into our diets. Perfect for use in herbal healing home remedies.

I’m so excited!

pugs & kisses,

We are Diggin the Bone Broth, baby!

Have y’all discovered bone broth yet? If not, permit me to introduce you.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an article touting the benefits of bone broth, and last week a friend shared with me another. I decided to give it a try, and now I’m hooked.

I’ve been feeding raw bones to Pearl and Truman for months, but I’ve limited them to chicken and game foul because of their size. I’d gotten a look at beef bones back in the early Fall, and they were far too large for a Pug mouth, and I’ve puzzled over how to get some variety into the bone offerings.

Enter: bone broth.

Isn’t it the same thing as stock?

No. Stock will typically have onions and other vegetables in it, and onions are a no-no for dogs. Also, it’s most likely quickly processed at a high heat, which compromises the nutrients that may have once resided in the bones. Plus, the stock or broth you buy at the store is often LOADED with sodium to keep it from turning rancid while it sits on the shelf waiting for you to buy it.

It’ll be better if you make it yourself.

Fresh, Douggie.

That’s how we roll now anyway, right?

But, why bone broth?

  1. It’s easy.
  2. It’s inexpensive.
  3. It’s full of beautiful nutrition.
  4. It’s a great way to warm refrigerated meals.

Bone broth is rich in amino acids, and loaded with natural glucosamine, gelatin, and chondroitin, which are all good for joint health. It contains protein, of course, plus vitamins C, D, K, calcium, thiamin, potassium, iron, and everything else that raw bones have to offer–except the pure pleasure that comes from gnawing and crunching.

How do you make it?

  • Get some bones. Any kind. Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, whatever. Raw or cooked. Raw is better, of course. But I used a rotisserie chicken carcass to get additional use from it before I tossed it. After you’ve cooked them, remember do not feed to your dog. Toss ’em.
  • Put them in a pot. A stock pot or crockpot. (Good use for that crockpot that otherwise takes up space waiting for you to make chili for the office cook-off). Simply cover the bottom with bones.
  • Fill the pot with water.
  • Add a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar, or regular vinegar if you don’t have ACV.
  • Cook it low and slow. The longer the better. I cooked mine overnight.
  • You can add delightful things like turmeric or parsley or unrefined sea salt. This is a good way to incorporate herbs, minerals, or other natural supplements depending on your dog’s needs. Make sure anything you add is safe for your dog to consume.

You can freeze it in ice trays, or soup containers, or freezer bags. Gently thaw it in a double boiler or in warm water (better than microwaving), and ladle it over your dog’s dinner.

If your pup is feeling puny, bone broth is a gentle way to get vital nutrients in his system.

If you’ve got a senior pet that is in need of joint support, bone broth is a healthy, natural way to supply the body with the essential nutrients it needs.

Adding a measure of turmeric, depending on how much you’re making, can provide an arthritic dog with a natural anti-inflammatory, instead of a synthetic drug or vitamin supplement.

Underlying all of that, it’s just a real simple way to add richness and variety to your dog’s diet.

Give it a try!

pugs & kisses,

What’s the big deal about avocados?

It was not long ago that I completely flipped out on somebody for feeding a dog guacamole.

YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO FEED AVOCADO TO DOGS!!

After I became a raw food convert, I poked around a bit more on the question of avocados because my textbook suggests the fruit is very good for dogs due to the vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats so necessary for complete nutrition.

Why the confusion?

Avocados are on the ASPCA’s list of hazardous foods, but there is usually an accompanying explanation that most people fail to read.

Certainly, if your large breed dog snarfs down a whole avocado, peel & pit, an intestinal obstruction is likely. Those pits are rock-solid and impossible to digest.

Also, the skins could be coated in pesticide. If you’ve let your avocado sit out and get too ripe, and you have a garbage hunter in your pack, you might want to take measures to avoid consumption of the whole fruit from the trash.

And depending on the variety of avocado you’re dealing with, it could contain high levels of persin, which is a fungicidal toxin harmless to humans, but which causes illness in some animals. I don’t dare hazard a guess as to how much of that toxin it would take to make a dog sick, or even as to how much is actually present in your average grocery store avocado. The amounts for each of those inquiries will depend on size and variety of avocado, and size and breed of dog, no doubt. This is probably the reason why most people fear feeding them to dogs (and probably the reason why one website I found advises “don’t feed anything to your dog that is not dog food.” That kind of advice presumes readers are stupid, and indicates a lazy writer…but I digress…)

However, my dogs love the occasional avocado, sprinkled with unrefined sea salt, and mashed up with a splash of goat’s milk. I let them enjoy a serving about once a month, and they’ve had no problem with it.

WebMD calls the avocado a “Nutrient All-Star” because it offers almost 20 vitamins and minerals, including potassium, lutein, folate, Vitamins B, C, and E. They’re low in sugar, and high in fiber. They are very high in fat, but it’s good fat (yes, there is such a thing). It’s monounsaturated fat, which reputedly reduces cholesterol.

Fat = Energy.

So, for all the reasons avocados are the “it” food for anything and everything trying to show a healthy option these days, they’re healthy for your dog, and delicious to boot.

Here’s what I do for my 25-lb dogs:

  • 1/2 small-medium avocado, mashed
  • dash of unrefined sea salt
  • 1-2 oz raw, fermented goat’s milk

So, as long as you’re responsible with your trash and feed on occasion, you should be fine.

pugs & kisses,