November, 2020 Newsletter
Sharing information on nutrition and holistic health for your dog
Hello and welcome to November! How is it November already? It seems like I just took the snow tires off my car and now it's time to put them back on again!
This time of year makes me want to get the house cozy as we settle in for winter weather. Jake, my 7 year old golden retriever, has already started his "cozy routine". He has a sweet habit of climbing onto the couch looking for snuggles every evening. It's something he only does once the cooler weather and darker evenings have set it.
How many of you find that your dog is getting a few extra treats throughout the day now that we all seem to be at home more than usual? Whether you feed kibble or raw food, treats are an excellent way to give your dog some fresh food.
I've got lots of suggestions for fresh food treats in the News to Share Section of this newsletter, along with a handy Fresh Food Treats infographic you can download or print.
My newest article:
Tips for Choosing Commercial Raw Dog Food, Part 2: Protein to Fat Ratio
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 ...
From Needles to Natural, Judy Morgan D.V.M.
I've recommended this book in a previous newsletter, but since I have new subscribers (welcome!) I wanted to share it again. This is an enjoyable, informative and very readable book for anyone who is just beginning to learn about holistic approaches to dog health.
Small Animal Clinical Nutrition
I'm currently studying the sections on Gastrointestinal Disorders in my Small Animal Clinical Nutrition textbook to go along with webinars on Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Pancreatitis that I've registered for later this month. These disorders are common in dogs and careful manipulation of the diet is critical.
In Defense of Food
It's an interesting occurrence that when pet parents begin to focus on their dog's diet, they often do the same with their own. I have been a fan of Michael Pollan's for a long time and last weekend I enjoyed watching his documentary, In Defense of Food. If you enjoy nutrition and health information programs for people, I give In Defense of Food a thumbs up! I watched this documentary on Amazon Prime.
Fresh Food Facts ...
Fabulous fresh food facts about mussels ...
Chances are you're familiar with green-lipped mussel powder and its use as an anti-inflammatory, joint protective supplement, but did you know that dogs can have the common variety blue mussels as well?
Mussels are a rich whole-food source of manganese, which is typically low in home prepared diets.
14 grams, or half an ounce of cooked blue mussel meat has about 25 calories, and almost 1 gram of manganese. That same amount of mussels also has 40 mg of phosphorous, so if your dog needs a low phosphorous diet, you might need to skip the mussels.
Mussels don't tend to bio-accumulate toxins.
Mussels must be cooked, and the shells removed, before feeding to your dog. Buy organic, if possible. I can buy a 340 gram bag of cooked, frozen organic mussel meat from T&T for about $5. Thaw and serve.
Dehydrated and freeze-dried mussels are good options, but always check the source.
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 ...
This is a really cool video of a professional photographer as he takes pictures and video of his dogs catching treats! The fun stuff begins around the 3:50 minute mark.
News to Share
Did Someone Say Treats?
Most dogs love treats and we love giving treats to our dogs! Whether you feed kibble, raw, or a cooked diet, treats are an excellent way to add fresh food and variety to your dog's diet.
Here are some ideas to get you started
Small pieces of gently cooked green beans, carrots, and broccoli stalks
Thinly sliced raw cucumber and carrots
Soft fruit such as banana, berries, melons, and pear
Thin slices of apples
Homemade treats - look for treats made without sugar or white flour. I prefer coconut flour since it's gluten free and lower in carbohydrates than wheat flour.
Bits of low fat cheese if your dog can tolerate dairy
Small bits of cooked lean chicken and turkey
Lean homemade meatballs (no onions)
Frozen chopped smelts
Cooked or freeze-dried mussels
Look for treats that can be broken into small pieces. Dogs seem to prefer a lot of very small treats vs. one or two larger treats.
Practice portion control and be careful of the amount of calories coming from treats. Also be careful not to over feed high-fat treats.
Think about using some of your dog's meal as 'treats'. For example, if you give your dog an egg with his breakfast serve the egg hardboiled as a treat or scramble it and use it to stuff a Kong instead.
Offer fruit treats in moderation to avoid digestive upset.
Not every food will be a fit for every dog.
Always introduce small amounts of new food one at a time to test tolerance.
Check out the recipes section of my website for healthy treat recipes.
Good to Know ....
Pig ear dog treats have been recalled due to salmonella risk.
I encourage you to do your own research when making decisions about food, treatment, medications, or supplements for your dogs.