Get in the Game

Last Fall, I was the fortunate beneficiary of my brother-in-law’s generosity. He had a freezer full of plucked, cleaned, and vacuum packed game fowl that he kindly contributed to my raw diet adventures. Best part?

FREE.

Back in October, I was still nervous about feeding raw bones. I thought the smaller, more delicate bones of these game birds might be easier for Pearl and Truman to crunch and less likely to cause an obstruction, particularly if I cut them sufficiently. I was correct.

Pearl and Truman LOVE quail, pheasant and chucker. The dark meat is rich and flavorful. Having been cleaned and packed fresh at the hunting camp, they were full of what nature has to offer a hungry pup–fresh, raw, bloody meat, and bones rich with calcium and the incomparable nutrition of the marrow. These small wild birds were not raised in a massive chicken house, or in a cage, nor fed growth hormones or antibiotics.

I don’t do guns, and I don’t approve of hunting just for the sport of it. But I live in Alabama, and you can’t throw a rock without it landing on a hunter, even if you’re surrounded by women. (And they’ll point their rifle at you for throwing the rock at them, so it’s not advised). Given that reality, if you have a hunter in the family, and you happen to luck into some excess duck or Venison, your dog will love you if you let him Get in the Game.

You can pretty much feed anything from a hunt– Duck, Venison, Quail, Pheasant, Rabbit–to your dog. These protein sources are biologically appropriate for canines. Dogs have consumed these animals from the time of their earliest existence. Just be aware of your dog’s ability to get through a bone. Doubtful a Pug or Pomeranian can manage a deer bone. So, as always, use common sense.

Here’s a recipe for Winter Quail & Sweet Potato (makes 2 meals for a 25 lb dog):

Ingredients:

  • 1 raw Quail (1 Quail is usually about 6 oz)
  • 1/2 small local, organic sweet potato, baked (Hint: I usually bake 2 or 3 sweet potatoes at a time, then keep them in the fridge for use in several meals during the week).
  • 2 oz raw goat’s milk
  • 2 tsp raw, local honey
  • half scoop of digestive enzyme

Directions:

  • Check the bird for birdshot and remove any pellets.
  • Using kitchen shears, cut the meat away from the bone as much as possible. (I do this for my small dogs to assist them because their mouths and teeth are small. This step and the next may not be necessary for a larger dog).
  • Cut the bones of the wings and legs at the joints. Then cut the breast bone in quarters.
  • For 25-lb dog, measure 3oz of meat with bones in the bowl.
  • Add 1/4 (about 1 oz) baked sweet potato, skin removed, and mashed. Sprinkle with digestive enzyme.
  • Add 1 oz raw goat’s milk, and 1 tsp raw honey.
  • Watch your dog try to eat through the bottom of the bowl.

Enjoy!

pugs & kisses,

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Let them eat cake!

Words that sparked a revolution.

If the people of France had just realized that Marie Antoinette was really trying to calm down her hungry Pug, we’d have an entirely different history book.

I’ ve been toying with the idea of making birthday cakes for dogs, and how to do it so that they’re healthy. My friends at Just Happy Hounds (www.justhappyhounds.com) got excited about the notion, and sent me a recipe.

My birthday is around the corner, and my family very generously gave me a stand mixer to save my stirring arm (Pearl’s Pumpkin Poppers were wearing me out!). And after the Tide rolled over #1 Mississippi State last Saturday (Roll Tide), I decided to play with my new mixer and whip up a little Pupcake.

Sweet Potato-Almond Butter Birthday Cake for Dogs:

  • 1 egg (local farm raised, cage free eggs)
  • 1/4 cup fresh ground almond butter (organic)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (organic)
  • 1/3 cup raw honey (local)
  • 1 cup baked sweet potato (local, organic)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Line your cake pan with parchment.

Mix your wet ingredients together, then sift the flour and baking powder in gradually until everything is incorporated. The batter for this is stiffer than a regular cake batter. Spoon it into your cake pan, and smooth it out with your spatula. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Let it cool on a rack before serving.

This cake is moist, dense, and delicious. It’s not pretty (and I need to work on that), but it really is quite good. It’s lightly sweet, not bland at all. Reminds me of the the gingerbread cookies at the bakery behind Raleigh Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg, except not as dry. (Clearly, I ate some myself!)

The “frosting” is plain yogurt, almond butter, and molasses. I’m thinking of using a bundt pan next time and making a drizzle instead of a frosting.

Pearl and Truman loved it! Check out my Instagram account (@SamInBham) for the video of Pearl’s fit for more.

pugs & kisses,

All natural sweet potato dog birthday cake
Dog birthday cake: she’s Ugly, but oh so tasty!