February, 2021 Newsletter
Sharing information on nutrition and holistic health for your dog
Hello and welcome to February, 2021. Happy Groundhog Day and Happy Valentine's Day.
February always makes me feel like spring is on the horizon - which I'll bet most of us are looking forward to this year.
This newsletter is action packed! I've got reasons why raspberries are a super food for your dogs, and two fun videos for you to watch.
In the News to Share section, I have paw care tips, and a recipe for how to make your own all-natural paw balm for your dog. There's a bonus video just for my newsletter subscribers!
You might need to watch the videos in your browser if they have trouble opening.
My newest article:
Thank you for reading, and feel free to share my newsletter with other pet parents who might be interested in fresh food and holistic health tips for dogs.
What I'm Reading & Watching ...
I'm continuing to read The Cancer Code by Dr. Jason Fung. I had a little interruption in reading thanks to The Queen's Gambit on Netflix - which has absolutely nothing to do with dogs or the food they eat, but is a fantastic series.
I also spent some time catching up on canine nutrition journal articles and blog articles from my favourite veterinarians. If you have some time, take a look at Dr. Judy Morgan's blog. It's reader friendly and she writes on a number of dog health topics.
Fresh Food Facts ...
Fresh food facts about raspberries ...
Each month I like to feature a vegetable or fruit you can offer your dog - whether she eats kibble, raw or cooked food.
Raspberries are a gorgeous phytonutrient-rich food you can add to your dog's meals or give as a treat. Use either fresh or frozen berries - whichever you prefer.
Raspberries are a low calorie, low glycemic fruit, with only about 15 calories in 1/4 cup of fresh berries.
Raspberries are an excellent source of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is food for the beneficial gut bacteria which promotes gut health.
Raspberries contain the highest amount of ellagic acid compared to other foods. Ellagic acid has been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells.
Raspberries are high in antioxidants which inhibit inflammation in the body.
Raspberries can be mashed lightly with a fork before feeding them to your dog. Fruit tends to loosen the stool, so if your dog is not used to eating berries, feed only a tiny amount at first.
Always test your dog's tolerance for new foods by offering a small amount of one new food at a time, and increase slowly over a few days.
For your viewing enjoyment ...
I have two videos for you this month. The first video is from KLM Royal Dutch airlines (remember airports and travel!) and features an adorable sniffer beagle who reunites lost items with their owners.
Video number two is something fun you can try with your dog. Have your dog near you while you both listen to all the sounds and see which one he reacts most to!
News to Share
Paw Care Tips
Winter weather can be hard on a dog's paws. I had to stop several times while on a walk with my dogs, Jake and Coral, last week to warm up their paws and remove the snow and salt. They refuse to wear boots.
Salt, sand, ice and snow can irritate and sting paws.
After that walk I came home and made an all-natural soothing paw balm. I'm sharing the recipe and a quick how-to video.
Here are a few winter paw care tips:
Trim the fur in between your dog's toes and paw pads.
Keep your dog's nails trimmed. Tip! Coral is not a fan of nail trims. I recently bought a slow feeder mat (sometimes called a lick mat) which is a food grade silicone mat with small flexible projections that you can fill with some nut butter, yogurt or canned pumpkin. Coral was so busy licking the mat that I was able to trim her nails without the usual amount of drama!
Rinse your dog's paws with lukewarm water and pat dry after they have walked on salt or sand treated sidewalks.
Use an all natural dog-safe balm to soothe paw pads.
Quick Method for Making a Calendula & Coconut Oil Paw Balm
This is a slightly loose 'recipe' for making a balm for your dog's paws. I used the quick method because I needed the balm right away.
I like coconut oil since it becomes solid at cool temperatures which makes it less messy than other oils. I keep a supply of dried calendula flowers on hand to use for balms, herbal soaks and shampoos. Calendula is very soothing with wound healing properties. It's anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory.
In a crockpot combine 2 cups of coconut oil and about 1/2 cup of dried calendula flowers.
Stir till combined.
Set the crockpot to the lowest temperature setting. You want the heat of the oil to draw out the healing properties of the calendula - but you don't want to overheat the oil or fry the flowers.
If you have a digital thermometer, keep the oil below 110 F.
Allow the coconut oil and calendula to warm on the lowest setting for about 4 hours. Do not leave the crockpot unattended. Lift the lid on the crockpot every half hour or so to stir the mixture.
Allow the oil to cool completely and strain the oil into a glass measuring cup.
Open and then add the oil from 2 natural Vitamin E capsules. Stir well.
Pour the cooled calendula infused oil into a glass jar. Cap, and store in the fridge. The balm should keep for several months.
Apply as needed to your dog's paws.
This project needs careful supervision!
I encourage you to do your own research when making decisions about food, treatment, medications, or supplements for your dogs.
Watch the video to see how I made this Calendula & Coconut Oil Paw Balm!