Tag: foods to avoid
With the mercury rising and the long, sunny days that are at hand, it can be challenging for our furry friends to stay cool. We can keep them in the shade, limit outdoor time, and make sure they stay hydrated, but we can also whip up some tasty cooling treats for them. Every pup enjoys a good snack, and every pet parent loves to keep their furry best friend happy – cooling them down and providing them with treats, sounds like a win-win!
FROZEN SNACKS, AKA PUPSICLES
A long walk (or even a shorter one in very hot weather) can be depleting and downright exhausting for our dogs. Some dogs enjoy it if you grab them an ice cube after a warm stroll, but some dogs just aren’t that interested in that plain old ice cube… luckily there are options! You can freeze pretty much anything into a treat for your pup, and you can use a variety of shapes. For example, you can blend up water, peanut butter, chunks of bananas, and even some berries and pour that mix into a cupcake pan or the bottom of a bundt pan. Or if your dog is more motivated by meaty treats, try blending up a mix of shredded, plain chicken, plain yogurt, water and peanut butter, and freeze that. When it comes to ingredients, get creative! Think about the meats, fruits, and other ingredients that he or she enjoys and that are acceptable for consumption (for example, skip the raisins and the chocolate as those are not dog-safe ingredients) and blend it up. As mentioned, cupcake pans and bundt pans work well for making frozen treats, and you can also use mini muffin pans, ice cube trays, or even small Tupperware containers to freeze up your dog popsicles (also known as pupsicles!). One word of warning: you may want to keep an eye on where your dog is when you give him his treat! Depending on the ingredients, your pupsicles might get a little messy while getting eaten. A shady spot in the yard or keeping your dog in one area (such as the kitchen) may not be a bad idea. He might get so excited about his new snack that he wants to run off and enjoy it, and that may not end well!
NON-FROZEN SUMMER TREATS
Just as in cooler weather, we can help our dogs to stay healthy and happy by feeding them a nutritionally balanced diet, with appropriate quantities to ensure they remain a healthy weight. When temperatures rise, a dog at a healthy weight and with proper nutrition will fare better than a dog carrying excess weight or not receiving proper nutrition. But how do treats and snacks fit into that picture? When putting together homemade snacks for your dog, whether frozen, raw, or baked, pet parents can give their dogs the advantage of solid nutrition by using whole food, dog-safe ingredients and providing proper quantities. The ASPCA has a handy list of foods to avoid for your dog here: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/foods-are-hazardous-dogs. For example, making frozen treats with plain yogurt, a fruit such as bananas, and a healthy fat such as peanut butter or coconut milk and then providing that treat in reasonable quantities will help your dog cool off and also won’t undermine his overall health. Non-frozen treats are no different! You can bake healthy, wholesome treats such as Tidy Mom’s Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits (http://tidymom.net/2014/homemade-peanut-butter-dog-biscuits/) or the easy Sweet Potato Dog Treats found at Allrecipes.com (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/super-simple-sweet-potato-dog-treats/) and provide your pup with healthy fats and other important nutrients. A homemade cookie or biscuit is a great way to add extra nutrients to your pup’s diet while he’s under the stress of hot weather, and it’s also a fun way to make sure you have healthy rewards on hand after a long walk or when he’s done well with a new skill. Or let’s be honest, perhaps just because!
Images courtesy John Wright and Taro the Shiba Inu
It is officially December and time for holiday treats, so why not get your pup in on the action? Table scraps and baked goods are typically no-nos for your canine best friend, but there are many simple and dog-friendly recipes out there to show your dog (or the pups of friends and family) some extra love this season. The first thing to keep in mind is watching out for ingredients that can be harmful to dogs; this includes raisins, grapes, chocolate, and for some dogs, gluten-containing grains such as wheat and barley. If your dog is routinely fed a food that includes these grains without any adverse effects, then you should be in the clear. But if you opt for a grain free dog food for his daily meals, then it would be wise to choose grain-free treat recipes as well.
Rachel Ray is well known for her recipes and kitchen tips, and she is also the purveyor of a line of dog food and treats. But what about her website’s trove of dog-targeted recipes? One pup owner decided to make and review several of her recipes under the pen name of Oscar (Oscar is his dog). He takes a look at recipes such as the Power Pooch Smoothie and Sweet Pooch Pancakes. Interestingly, when author Seamus McKiernan ran the recipes past his trusted vet Dr. Bradley T. Emott of New York City, the concoctions were given the greenlight. However, his vet did caution that “dogs have sensitive GI systems. If you’re going to feed them human food, try to avoid anything rich or too fatty, oily, or spicy” (the full writeup can be found here: http://firstwefeast.com/eat/rachael-ray-dog-recipes-reviewed-by-an-actual-dog/).
Rather than taking on an entire entrée as a treat for your pup, perhaps a quick and more mild cookie recipe will do? Whole Foods Market offers a very straightforward banana peanut butter
Images courtesy MattJP and Jespahjoy
Many pet parents enjoy treating their pet to a table scrap but there are some foods you should avoid when sharing your dinner with Fido. Foods and drinks you digest easily, like the following, can cause trouble for your pooch:
Dinner rolls — Dough expands in the stomach, creating distressing gas.
Onions and garlic — These flavor enhancers contain a compound that could damage a dog’s red blood cells, causing anemia.
Rich sauces — Gravy upsets the stomach and may lead to pancreatitis.
Bones — Sharp pieces of bone can choke a dog or pierce or block her gastrointestinal tract.
Alcohol — Even slightly spiked eggnog can be toxic, so don’t leave any drinks unattended.
Grapes and Raisins — Can cause canine kidney failure
Chocolate — Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, abnormal heart beat, tremors, seizures or even death.
Santa Monica, California