Folks, we have ourselves a winner!

I’ve been trying to come up with an all-natural, wHOLe food dog treat for the past few weeks. Since I make breakfast and dinner every day for Pearl and Truman with fresh, local produce, I thought I should try my hand at treat-making.

Turns out- not so hard to do.

Pearl’s Pumpkin Poppers are scrumptious yummies made with fresh, local, organic ingredients.

I used the wHOLe pumpkin –seeds & all– apples, cinnamon, and McEwen & Sons rolled oats.

Simple, healthy, fresh, and DElicious!

…I ate one. It was Yum…promise…

Shout out #1: Follow @Scottishgyrl on Instagram for some of the most awesome cakes ever. Thanks for the recipe advice!

Shout out #2: Take your dog to Just Happy Hounds (www.justhappyhounds.com) for boarding, daycare, training, & grooming.

My friends at Just Happy Hounds will be giving away Pearl’s Pumpkin Poppers THIS WEEKEND!!

  • Where: Bark in the Park, Veteran’s Park, Alabaster, AL.
  • What Day: Saturday, October 4
  • What Time: 9am-2pm
  • What For: Shelby Humane Society

Come by for a free sample of these little drops of awesomeness.

And, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet the star herself, the special girl who started us all down this road, the one and only: Pearl!

(She’s so cute. You’ll love her. Not biased. #truth).

pugs & kisses,

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To Feed or Not To Feed?

That is the question.

I’ve been talking to a lot of people about this raw, wHOLe food diet.

Everyday, after they get past the raw meat series of inquiries, the next thing people ask is:

So, in addition to raw meat, what do you feed them?

Since I’ve given you the short list of WNTF (what not to feed), I’ve compiled a longer list of what I have fed my dogs over the course of the past month. I have experienced no negative physiological reactions so far, but that doesn’t mean you won’t.

Every dog is different. Word.

Some of it they love; for some of it, they turned up a smushy-faced nose & said “Nuh-uh.” 

Disclaimer: Please feed responsibly. I am not responsible for your errors in judgment. There are risks. Consult with your vet. Proceed with caution. Make sure what you’re feeding is clean & fresh, free of contaminants & pesticides. Give your dog time to transition. She could have an allergy that you are not aware of. Try one new food at a time in case there’s a bad reaction, then eliminate that from the diet. Use common sense.

Now that’s over, here goes:

Fruits & Veggies                         Raw Meats

  • Watermelon                             Chicken tenders
  • Cantaloupe                              Chicken thighs (bone in & filets)
  • Honeydew                               Chicken liver
  • Blueberries                              Beef tips
  • Strawberries                            Beef liver
  • Apples                                     Beef short ribs
  • Pears                                       Catfish filet
  • Bananas                                  Cod filet
  • Plums                                      Tuna filet
  • Peaches                                  Tilapia filet
  • Tomatoes                                Raw, cage-free chicken eggs
  • Pineapple
  • Broccolini
  • Broccoli                                    Other
  • Bell Peppers
  • Green Beans                            Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Corn                                         Raw, local Honey
  • Lima Beans                              Organic Molasses
  • Green Peas                              Unbleached Sea Salt
  • Carrots                                     Organic Coconut Flakes
  • Cucumber                                 Organic Coconut Oil
  • Zucchini                                    Yogurt (plain)
  • Sweet Potatoes                        Cottage Cheese
  • Idaho Potatoes                         Oats
  • Pumpkin                                   Chia Seeds
  • Butternut Squash                     Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Impressive, huh?

I think so.

pugs & kisses!

HOL lotta Orange

Orange is the new … well, it’s the new black, of course, but it’s also def the color of right now.

I mean this time of year.

Fall.

Orange is everywhere.

Orange leaves. Orange candy. Orange football jerseys. Orange home decor.

My neighborhood Rite Aid puked orange all over an entire aisle.

And in my weekend food-prep adventures on Sunday, I realized why orange is the color of autumn. All the veggies I’m working with right now are ((… drum roll…))

ORANGE!

Pumpkins, butternut squashes, sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers.

Beta carotene as far as the eye can see! (and we need it in order to see, so there you go. Complete circle).

The body converts beta carotene into Vitamin A, which we (dogs included) need for healthy skin, eyes, vision, and immune system. When it comes from dietary wHOLe foods, the body only converts as much as it needs.

But wait! There’s MORE!

The veggies I mention are also full of FIBER and other nutrients that are vital for good health.

Even if you’ve not gone wHOLe raw for your dog, add a little pureed pumpkin to her kibble and watch her suck it down. Especially if you’ve got a dog that needs to shed a few LB’s, adding some extra fiber can help with that.

Warning: your dog may come down with a good case of the toots after all this fiber. Granddaddy called sweet potatoes “music roots” for a reason. Good news, tho. There’s an app for that. Apple cider vinegar normalizes stomach acid levels, and helps reduce intestinal gas, but that’s a topic for another day.

Recipe Alert!

Bake 3 sweet potatoes in the oven for 90 minutes at 350-degrees.

Let them cool & peel the skins off.

 Dice a 1.5-lb butternut squash and 3 large carrots

Toss in coconut oil and roast in a 375-degree oven for 40 minutes.

Dump everything in the blender together, add enough water or broth to get it going & puree till smooth.

Orange orange bo-borange, banana fanna fo forange, me mi mo morange. Orange! (Ok. I’ll stop singing).

Pugs & kisses,

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!

Enjoy!

pugs & kisses,