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,

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Where’s that little green vomit emoji when you need it?

Bet you thought I quit again. Nope! Just been super busy.

Raw Roundup 2015 has changed us. My biggest take-away so far comes from noted Australian veterinary surgeon, Dr. Ian Billinghurst who coined the term BARF.

BARF isn’t just a verb in all caps. It isn’t even merely an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It’s an also the adjective that describes what the food we should be feeding our dogs is supposed to look like… at least when it comes to fruits and vegetables.

Gross, right?

(not as gross as a raw cow liver, or the dried cow trachea I touched by accident yesterday).

On the “biologically appropriate” point, Dr. B discussed the evolution of dogs, and kept coming back to the point that if you have a question about whether a dog should eat something, ask yourself whether the dog evolved eating it. When you ask that question about cooked grains and processed, complex carbohydrates, the answer will be ‘no’ every time.

Dogs may eventually evolve to adequately digest these things, but they’ve only been around a couple of hundred years, which is not enough time for dogs to have successfully evolved to derive nuritional benefit from them. Some pet food manufacturers and even veterinarians assert that dogs can not only digest cooked grains, but live long, healthy lives on a diet that consists mostly of them (cooked grains are cheap, yo). (Insert lecture about the power of the almighty dollar here). But they cannot dispute, because the facts are irrefutable, that a dog’s physiology is not genetically equipped to properly digest and absorb complex carbohydrates and cooked grains. (Note: “Breed-appropriate” is a marketing ploy. Don’t fall for it. There is no biological distinction in the dietary requirements of a Great Dane and a Chihuahua).

A dog’s digestive tract is much, much shorter than an herbivore’s. For example, cows have 4 stomachs to digest the grasses and grains they are designed to cosume. Dogs don’t have true molars (look in your dog’s mouth. Does he have flat teeth? No.) or the tendecy to grind up their food in their mouths before swallowing.

I’ve made this point before when discussing the need to cook some vegetables I feed to Pearl & Truman. But it still didn’t occur to me that the cell structure of all plants, with that rigid cell wall surrounding each individual cell, is just as present in a banana as it is in a potato, despite the softness of the fruit and the fact that it is edible raw.

Dr. B says we must “pulverize” any fruit or vegetable to break down that cellulose for fruits and vegetables to have any positive nutritional benefit for the dog. Chopping into chuncks may satisfy the need to chomp something, but it’s not doing much nutritionally. But when an ancestral dog killed a prey animal that was an herbivore (as most are), and consumed its stomach contents, the grasses, fruits and other vegetation were partially digested. The prey animal had broken the cell wall of the plant material, which left it absorbable for the canine carnivore. Makes total sense.

Ergo, BARF

My eyes were opened.

I’ve been cutting fruit for breakfast for months. The Pugs love it, and they seem to be thriving. But in the past 3 weeks since the Roundup, I’ve been ”pulverizing” and it’s made a difference.

1st, the poops are even more dense & almost totally stink-free. And the dogs create less poop! There’s less waste because the nutrients are being absorbed and used.

Total bonus. Less to pick up at the park.

Dr. B says you can use a blender, macerator, or juicer. Drink the juice yourself, and give your dogs the ground up pulp. I have a juicer, but it is a big ol’ pain in the butt to use, and extremely difficult to clean. (Thanks anyway, Jack LaLane.)

I also have a big fancy blender that is also a hassle to clean, especially for such a small amount of fruit.

So, I found an individual-serving blender at my trusty neighborhood Target for the low, low price of $19.99, and we are in business, baby!

Now, every day I make SMOOTHIES!! Faster and simpler than chopping so much fruit first thing in the morning.

Not getting any complaints either.

recipes in the next post.

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,

Sardines!

Sardines gross me out.

But my dogs LOVE them. Pearl spins around like a top until I can put her bowl on the floor whenever I break out the sardines.

They’re inexpensive, a good source of protein & good fat, and are filled with vitamins & minerals, including:

  • Riboflavin (may help prevent cataracts)
  • Vitamin B-12 (lowers risk of heart disease, cancer)
  • Vitamin D (lowers risk of arthritis, cancer)
  • Niacin (lowers risk of arthritis)
  • Calcium (bone health)
  • Iron (muscle & blood health)
  • Phosphorus (good for storing energy)
  • Potassium (lowers risk of heart disease)

I keep boxes of Reese Sardines packed in water on the shelf at all times, just in case I forget to take something from the freezer when I’m racing to work in the mornings.

And sometimes I feed them to Pearl and Truman just as a treat, or to get a break from our rotation of poultry and beef.

I add nothing to them. Just sardines in the bowl, mashed with a fork, because at 4.5oz per container, that’s a hefty meal.

They stink, though. So, heads up.

pugs & kisses,