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,

Advertisements

Warm Winter Veggies

My weekends are as busy as my weekdays.

I spend Saturday and Sunday shopping, planning, and often cooking for my dogs so that I don’t have to think about it during the week.

As I’ve mentioned before, even in a RAW, wHOLe food diet, some things have to be cooked. Dogs don’t do too much chewing with their semi-molars, so we need to help them break down the cellulose in vegetables by gently cooking them.

I’ve developed a recipe that admittedly takes some prep time, but yields a large quantity, freezes well, and is loaded with winter veggie goodness to supplement the protein sources I give my dogs. It’s also an easy way to add some coconut oil and sea salt to their diets.

Here’s a recipe I call Warm Winter Veggie Mash:

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium to large Butternut Squash, peeled & cubed
  • 6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4-6 sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 oz organic chicken stock

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375. Toss your squash & carrot chunks in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
  • Rinse and pierce your sweet potatoes several times with a fork. Place them on another parchment-lined baking sheet, and put them in the oven beside your squash & carrots. Bake for 1 hour or until the skin puckers and the sugar starts oozing out of the fork holes.
  • Let the veggies cool before combining them in a blender or food processor with the salt and chicken stock. The stock is really just to get things moving in the blender. You can use purified water or another flavored stock. Use more or less depending on how thick you want your mixture. Depending on the size of your vegetables and your blender, you may have to puree in batches.
  • Spoon the mixture into 6oz plastic containers, and freeze. One container will defrost over night in the fridge.

Now you have several days of delicious, fresh, wHOLe food nutrition to add to raw chicken wings, thighs, or beef!

WOO-HOO!

These warm root vegetables are so nourishing during the cold winter months and POWER PACKED. Rich in vitamins and minerals that are naturally present — not added back in artificially– including:

Vitamins A, C, E, B6, and K, Niacin, Thiamin, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Dietary Fiber, Iron, Copper, and Pantothenic Acid, but low in saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol.

Check your bag of dog food for THAT list of goodies, then ask yourself who really loves your dog. Them or you?

This is a good mixture to have on hand if your dog develops an upset stomach, btw. You can add it to cooked ground turkey meat as a gentle, flavorful fiber to settle a runny bowel.

As with any cooked food, always add a digestive enzyme when you serve it to help your dog absorb the nutrients.

Give it a shot. Even if your dog doesn’t like it, you can put it in a pot, add some heavy cream, and presto! You’ve got yourself a delicious butternut squash/carrot/sweet potato soup!

pugs & kisses,

The Incredible Edible Egg

Cage-free local farm eggs are my go-to breakfast for my dogs when I’m looking to break up the rotation, or when I’ve struck a wrong note with something new.

Like, for example, when I learn that Pearl doesn’t care for the Answers pork formula, an egg is my backup plan.

So, I keep them on hand in the fridge.

Why?

Eggs are nearly a perfect food. Some might say they’re a Superfood. (wink wink, nudge nudge).

They are loaded with protein, essential amino acids, good fats, vitamins, minerals, and trace nutrients. They contain antioxidants that are particularly good for the eyes. They are full of iron, phosphorous, and selenium, as well as Vitamins A, B2, B12, and B5.

Although they contain cholesterol, they do not elevate cholesterol levels in the blood stream (the butter and cheese you add to those scrambled eggs, and the salt and bacon, and gravy or whatever else you pile on are to blame for your high cholesterol. The egg by itself won’t do it).

Eggs will make your dog’s coat so soft. Velveteen Puggy, for real.

And, eggs are CHEAP, yo!

I buy a dozen at the farmer’s market for $3. For my dogs, that’s 12 meals at a quarter each.

BARGAIN!

Convenient, too. A wHOLe week of breakfast sitting right there.

Easy peas-y lemon squeeze-y.

I can hear your question, though, kids:

“Do I just feed them the wHOLe raw egg, or what?”

Um, yes.

Here’s what I do:

  • 1 raw egg, beaten and mixed with
  • 1 oz raw goat’s milk
  • 1/2 oz fresh blueberries

Breakfast. Is. Served.

BOOM!

pugs & kisses,

Beef & Veggies

More shopping tips:

Buy beef stew meat. It’s the cheapest non-ground cut of meat in the packaged beef section of the grocery store.

I do not feed my dogs raw ground beef, primarily because it’s fatty, and also because most of the time, ground beef is not certified as grass-feed, hormone/antibiotic-free.

Stew meat is leaner, though has some marbling. I cut away any external pieces of fat.

Recipe for beef & veggies:

  • 3-oz raw stew meat
  • 1-2 oz steamed, chopped broccoli OR
  • 1-2 oz cooked, pureed carrots OR
  • 1-2 oz cooked, mashed sweet potato OR
  • 1-2 oz fresh, vine-ripened local tomato
  • 1 Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 scoop of digestive enzyme powder (Total-zymes comes with a scoop inside)

Digestive enzymes are added whenever I feed them something cooked, like steamed broccoli.

It’s important to avoid starchy vegetables in combination with proteins to keep from slowing the digestive process. Tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes are less starchy and will not cause indigestion.

I’m telling you, once you get into a groove, once you find your comfort zone, this is easy. You can do it!

pugs & kisses!