January, 2021 Newsletter
Sharing information on nutrition and holistic health for your dog
Hello and welcome to January, 2021! Let's all hope that this year is better than last.
In my part of Canada we now have a good amount of snow - much to the delight of my dogs, Jake and Coral. They are like two toddlers wrestling and playing in the snow together. I'm happy to have a break from the endless muddy paws that come with late fall. Who's with me on this?
This newsletter is packed with information including the details on why you should give your dogs red cabbage and tips on how to store dog food.
Does your dog enjoy Kongs? Be sure to watch my video at the end of this newsletter for Kong stuffing recipes. My daughter, Allison, was a huge help in putting this video together. You might need to watch the video in your browser if it has 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 asked for books for Christmas ...
... and I think I might need more book shelves!
Right now I'm reading The Cancer Code by Dr. Jason Fung. I listened to a podcast where Dr. Fung was the guest and knew I had to read his book. So far in The Cancer Code Dr. Fung has looked at the historical thinking on the research, presumed causes and treatment of cancer. It's compelling information and I can't wait to keep reading.
Here is a blurb from the cover flap:
"Dr. Fung also explains the disease process itself - from the cancerous transformation of a normal cell to its progression and metastasis - and how factors like nutrition, obesity, and type 2 diabetes can influence risk."
One reason why I enjoy books on human health and nutrition so much is because I find that most of the concepts also apply to dogs; particularly in a functional medicine approach to good health which focuses on prevention and treatment of the root cause of disease.
If you have read The Cancer Code, I would love to hear your thoughts. Normally I'd ask for no spoilers please, but I think I know where this book is going!
Fresh Food Facts ...
Fabulous fresh food facts about red cabbage ...
Each month I like to feature a vegetable or fruit you can offer your dog - whether he eats kibble, raw or cooked food.
Let me introduce you to the red cabbage, which looks purple to me. I focus on adding plenty of antioxidant rich foods to dogs' diets, and here are some reasons why red cabbage is a nutrient packed choice for dogs.
Red cabbage is a low glycemic, low calorie vegetable.
Red cabbage has only 9 calories per ounce (28 grams) which means you can add this vegetable to your dog's diet without worrying about extra calories.
Purple coloured vegetables and fruit are high in the antioxidant, anthocyanins, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and support cardiovascular health.
Cabbage is part of the Brassica family (including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts), which research shows has anti-tumour and anti-cancer properties.
Purple cabbage is a good source of both insoluble and soluble fiber.
As with all vegetables and firm fruit, cabbage needs to be blitzed in the food processor or very lightly steamed and then finely chopped before feeding them to your dog. Dogs don't chew and so vegetables need to be broken down in order for your dog to make use of their nutrients.
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 ...
If dogs could talk have you ever wondered what yours might say?
Meet Stella, a two year old Blue Heeler/Catahoula mix whose mom, Christina is a speech-language pathologist. Christina is teaching Stella how to communicate using an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device. It's pretty amazing!
News to Share
Food Storage Tips
I talk a lot about the food that goes into your dog's body, but did you know that the way the food is stored is also important?
Here are some tips on how to store kibble ...
Keep kibble in the original bag. The bag that kibble is packaged in is designed to prevent the fats in kibble from oxidizing. If you want to use cute dog food storage containers keep the kibble in the bag and then put the bag inside the container.
Store kibble in a cool, dark location with low humidity.
Squeeze out the air and close the bag of kibble tightly each time you open the bag. Oxygen, light, and warm temperatures promote oxidation (rancidity) of fats in the kibble, which then promote nutrient degradation - so keep those bags of kibble closed!
Do not store the measuring scoop in the bag of kibble. The scoop can collect residue from oils and fat in the kibble and promote oxidation of fats. Wash kibble scoops often.
If possible, purchase smaller bags of kibble and use them up within a few weeks. The longer a bag of kibble is opened, the more chance the fats will oxidize and it's important to avoid feeding oxidized fats to dogs. If you need to buy larger bags of kibble, Steve Brown, dog food formulator and researcher, recommends storing opened bags of kibble in the freezer to preserve freshness.
The expiration date on the bag of kibble only applies to unopened bags of food.
For fresh food ....
Use glass containers to store food if possible.
Refrigerate (unless otherwise indicated) fish oil and be sure to use it up or discard it within three months of opening.
Avoid prolonged freezer storage of food. A rule of thumb is to use up prepared frozen meals within 3 or 4 months to avoid potential nutrient degradation and oxidized fats.
I encourage you to do your own research when making decisions about food, treatment, medications, or supplements for your dogs.