March, 2021 Newsletter
Sharing information on nutrition and holistic health for your dog
Hello and welcome to the muddy season! March, if you want to be technical.
Just like a dog who wants to go out and come in, go out and come in, Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind when to officially declare that winter is done. This type of weather indecision creates a lot of mud and my crystal ball tells me that many dogs will be getting bathed this month!
March is the one year anniversary of my newsletter and this month I'm introducing a new section, Nutrition Questions. In this section I will answer commonly asked questions about food and nutrition for dogs.
In News to Share, I have the links to several articles that I think you'll find interesting.
Many people enjoy scented candles, air fresheners and perfumed wall plugs, but frequent use of these products are not necessarily safe for your pets. Check out this article for some cautions about artificial scents and suggestions for more natural ways to freshen the air in your home:
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.
Question: Should the vegetables I give my dog be cooked or raw?
Answer: My rule of thumb is that vegetables you eat raw can be fed raw to your dog, and vegetables you eat cooked can be fed cooked to your dog, however, they need some preparation.
Dogs are gulpers. They don't chew their food and so vegetables need to have their cell walls broken down to release their nutrients and make them available for use by the dog's body. This means that vegetables need to be finely chopped or blitzed in the food processor or cooked and then lightly mashed.
Some vegetables such as dog-safe mushrooms, squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes need to be cooked before serving to your dog.
It then becomes a matter of tolerance. If your dog becomes gassy after eating raw vegetables (cruciferous veggies are a common culprit) lightly steaming and mashing them may improve their digestibility. If your dog can eat raw vegetables without a problem go ahead and feed them raw. Some dogs can tolerate raw cabbage, but not raw broccoli or raw kale but not raw cauliflower, etc.
If you aren't sure which vegetables will agree with your dog try feeding the veggies gently cooked at first and then try feeding a small amount in raw form.
It's fine to offer your dog crudités such as sliced cucumber and baby carrot - but don't rely on them for nutrients or fiber since they tend to pass through the digestive system much the same way as they went in.
Some dogs will need to have certain vegetables limited or excluded from their diets due to health conditions.
Fresh Food Facts ...
Fresh food facts about Brussels sprouts ...
Brussels spouts, the vegetable of many childhood dinner nightmares. However, when cooked properly - roasted with some olive oil, salt and pepper - Brussels sprouts are delicious!
If you are like me and enjoy Brussels sprouts, feel free to share them with your dog. Skip the olive oil and seasonings and serve Brussels sprouts either lightly steamed or raw and blitzed in the food processor.
Brussels sprouts are a member of the brassica family and are loaded with health benefits.
A 28 gram serving of cooked Brussels sprouts has less than 10 calories.
Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants and may offer protection against carcinogens and lower the risk of certain cancers.
Brussels sprouts are high in fiber and promote digestive health.
Tip! Try adding a pinch of fresh, minced dill to cruciferous vegetables. Dill may help reduce gas and aid digestion.
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 am fascinated by the intelligence of dogs. This 60 Minutes Australia segment showcases a border collie named Chaser, Dr. Brian Hare from Duke University and some amazing findings on the intelligence and inferential reasoning ability of dogs.
News to Share
Many of you will be getting reminders this month from your veterinary clinic about flea and tick prevention. It's important to know the facts, weigh the pros and cons and make informed decisions about anything that impacts the health of your dog.
Here is some information about the possibility of adverse affects associated with isoxazolines, an ingredient in a number of pharmaceutical flea and tick prevention products:
What You Need to Know Before Using Any Flea and Tick Product
Survey of canine use and safety of isoxazoline parasiticides
Fact Sheet for Pet Owners and Veterinarians about Potential Adverse Events Associated with Isoxazoline Flea and Tick Products
Finally, here is a feel good story about a little boy in Alberta who started a 'stick library' for dogs.