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Recipe – Cooking For The Fur Kids: Polenta

Polenta in trayMy latest tryout is Polenta and to my surprise both human and poodles were delighted, with licked plates each time. (Yes humans too). And most importantly for me it fits with the ‘easy peasy’ philosophy for fast, delicious and nutritious dinners. In case you didn’t know, Polenta is from maize (which is dried corn) and I used the instant version; cooking from scratch would be better but I don’t take 45mins to stir something through the week. I will try it sometime though.  Polenta is a northern Italian staple, and used in place of pasta frequently.

There is much talk on the internet about corn being bad for dogs, and this stems from the Petfood industry relying on cheap calories. Read more about “Recipe – Cooking For The Fur Kids: Polenta” here.

Q&A: Can Dogs Eat Fruit? Which ones are good and bad for dogs?

I’ve just launched a new Question and Answer page where you can submit any burning questions you have about feeding and caring for your dog. I’ll then be sharing the answers to your questions on my blog so that everyone can benefit. Here’s our very first question and answer.

Bagel with a Twigglie

Bagel with a Twigglie

 

Liz Gravener and Her Beagle Bagel: My question for you would be around fruit. I know blueberries and strawberries are good for dogs, but my boy loves mandarin and banana too (I only give him very small portions)…. are these ok for dogs? Which other fruits are suitable / bad, and also recommended portions?

Lucky Liz to have Bagel who likes fruit because one of the best gifts we can give our dogs is variety and fruit added into the diet adds variety as much as any other benefit. Variety means the body has more access to different vitamins and minerals that naturally occur in foods. That is why we all need variety in our diet.

As to what not to eat, Grapes and anything from the grape family (fresh grapes, sultanas, raisins, grape juice etc). While toxic reaction is rare it does happen and to date no-one seems to know why, or what compound is causing the issue. So be safe with that one and just say no.

Read more about “Q&A: Can Dogs Eat Fruit? Which ones are good and bad for dogs?” here.

Twigglies: Delicious Healthy Dog Treats

treats-4I know and I am sure you do as well, how difficult it can be to find healthy dog treats.

I had a problem with Beanie. She is one of those dogs who doesn’t like to chew; chomp, swallow and bring it up is her style; she doesn’t like bones, gets sick from raw. So I needed something that she would have to crunch, be healthy, even good for her, and because she isn’t food motivated it had to be delicious.

Well Twigglies came out of that. About the only thing she would chew was twigs and sticks, and one caught in her back teeth, off to the vet who managed to remove it, but no more twigs.

Read more about “Twigglies: Delicious Healthy Dog Treats” here.

Are Nuts Good For Dogs?

pm_almonds2111We all love nuts, and now we have a reason to enjoy. This scientific article from the Harvard Gazette shows that Nuts are so good for us, they not only keep us slim, they also reduce the risk of death! Based on human research of course, and if you want a long healthy life eating a handful of nuts a day is a key.

Are nuts good for dogs?  Yes, they are!  Wellbeing Essentials includes almonds and brazil kernels, along with sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) because they are such powerhouses of minerals, and now we know there is an added benefit, helping your dog to have a long healthy life. Yet another reason (if you needed it) to add the Wellbeing Essentials to their food everyday!

Read more about “Are Nuts Good For Dogs?” here.

7 Tips For Keeping Dogs Cool In Summer

really_go_have_some_fun

When the summer heat is on the menu here are 7 tips for keeping dogs cool and helping your fur kids to beat the heat:

  1. Use a spray bottle with water to wet their coat, especially around their head and chest area. A fan will cool them when they are wet
  2. Put ice cubes in their water
  3. Break up some liver treats and freeze into ice blocks
  4. Feel the pavement with your hand before heading out with your dog, if you can’t hold you hand on it, your dog can’t walk on it.
  5. Keep the activity level to a minimum, as this heats them up.
  6. Go for your walk/outing early morning or as the sun sets, you know “only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”
  7. Add stock or extra water to their food to help keep them hydrated. Especially if feeding dry food, serve it wet.

Read more about “7 Tips For Keeping Dogs Cool In Summer” here.

Overweight Dogs And Fats For Dogs

Overweight-dogs

I hear cries of “he’s not fat, he’s fluffy! “. In fact I have used it myself. Overweight dogs and obesity in our beloved companions is one of the most heartbreaking things because only we are to blame.

Truly I can’t pretend to answer this in one post but I can start the thinking going. We live in a world surrounded by fat, fat is delicious. We are programmed to seek it out because in nature fat is a rarity. Ever seen a fat bunny? Well if you did that bunny would be breakfast.

Modern industrial farming though is all about fat, fat is flavour, and it is relatively cheap, certainly cheaper than protein. One of the sneakiest ways that fat ends up in our dogs system is via the bones we provide. There can be massive amounts of fat on a bone. So first and foremost – check the bone and remove any and all visible fat. And if you can, buy bones that have less fat to start with. Long leg bones for instance. Brisket is drenched in fat. Chicken wings have most of the fat in the skin, so take the skin off. Whenever and wherever you can, remove the fat.

Read more about “Overweight Dogs And Fats For Dogs” here.

The Homemade Dog Diet And Nutritional Deficiencies

Did you know that nutritional deficiency is the No. 1 concern of vets with a homemade dog diet? This isn’t a reason to feed your dog commercial pet food, but it is the reason that I developed Wellbeing Essentials for dogs.trio-packaging-small

Real food is a living thing and food that you make for your dog will always be better than a highly processed pet food.

The vet’s problem is the gap between what you make and what dogs’ need. I will be writing in the coming months with ideas, information for the kitchen and food for dogs but the simple wholesome way to bridge that gap is with the goodness of the Wellbeing Mix.

Read more about “The Homemade Dog Diet And Nutritional Deficiencies” here.

The Best Dog Food Is The One You Make Yourself

iStock_000004224152XSmall.1.1My passion is helping dog lovers feed their beautiful dogs with real food as I believe the best dog food is the one you make yourself.

But, and there is a big but, dogs do have special needs, different from humans, and this is why most vets will tell you not to feed your dog human food. It is easy to lose confidence, and with the pet food giants ‘balanced and complete’ mantra, many dog lovers resort to giving their dogs commercial pet food.

You don’t need to. That is why I made the Wellbeing Mix. Together with a Veterinarian and Technical food analyst we did R&D aiming to provide a safety net for the potential nutritional deficiency in home made food. It does other things as well, but most important was to take out the guesswork in making real food for our dogs, and giving you confidence that, coupled with the good food that you make, the dog is getting the vitamins and minerals, the micronutrients, they require for long term health.

Read more about “The Best Dog Food Is The One You Make Yourself” here.

Homemade Dog Food Made Easy

poodle2The principle I follow when making what the poodles dinner is that it should have variety, be healthy, enjoyed and most importantly not take me much time to make!

I do this by making their dinner pretty much what I am eating for the evening, but I make their dinner without the typical seasonings that I use, like chilli for instance. But the basics are the same.

Tonight we are all having roast chicken and vegetables, and that is pretty easy homemade dog food. Between the two of them they eat a quarter of a small chicken, so that costs about $3 for the serve, or $1.50 each. The vegetables maybe another 50 cents each. So although it sounds expensive, it is actually quite affordable for the small dog family. Of course there are no cooked chicken bones served, very dangerous for splintering.

Read more about “Homemade Dog Food Made Easy” here.