Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Turkey Dinner for your Dog

Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry, sweet rolls, pumpkin pie;  With thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s almost impossible not to think about all the delicious food we’ll get to eat.  It’s hard not to feel bad for the dog who sits quietly under the table waiting for a meager scrap of food to fall for him.  But what do you do when you know it’s bad for him to get table scraps?  Well, you make him his own Thanksgiving feast.

Don’t know where to start?  There are hundreds of recipes available online that can help you create the best Thanksgiving meal for your dog.  

This recipe makes a large serving, making it easy to feed multiple dogs. Or  you could even refrigerate the left over servings and treat your dog to a homemade meal for the rest of the week.

What You'll Need:

  • 2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 8 oz. peas
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

How to Prepared:

        1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
        2. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well by hand. 
        3. On baking sheet, form into the shape of a large dog bone (or smaller dog bones if you have more than 1 dog or you plan on saving the leftovers).  
        4. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. 
        5. Let cool and serve.  

It's as simple as that!  So why not treat your dog to a Thanksgiving feast this year.  He will thank you by letting you eat your feast in peace. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Watching Weight


The holiday season is the time where most of us are blowing our diet on sweet treats and over-indulgent meals.  While you may obsess over your own diet on the regular (or maybe you don't), have you given much thought to your dog's diet? Specifically, how much he/she is getting to eat? 

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 52.7 percent of dogs are overweight or obese.  That's a little more than half of all the dogs in the U. S.  So whether or not you have asked yourself the question, "How much should I be feeding my dog?", the odds are you're feeding him/her too much.   

Excessive weight not only adds health issues that will keep you at the vets office, it also shortens the life of your fur baby.  So, if you haven't asked the question, there's no time like the present.  

How much should I feed my dog?

1. Food Label Recommendations -

A good starting point is the recommended feeding amount provided by the manufacturer. Of course, this recommendations are just that, recommendations, since the food company does not know your dog's specific calorie needs which can vary greatly depending on their level of activity, metabolism, and other factors. But, its a good starting point. Monitor how much you feed her, track her weight closely, and adjust accordingly. 

2. Appropriate Measurements -

If you measure your dogs food out in cups, be sure to use a measuring cup, not just any cup. Or use a measuring scale to be even more accurate. This will ensure you are giving your dog precisely the right amount of food, especially for small dogs, where one or two extra kibbles can actually make a difference.

3. Homemade Math - 

If you make homemade meals for your dog, calculate the amount of food as a percentage of your dog's body weight. Keep in mind smaller dogs eat a larger percentage of their body weight than bigger dogs do. Its best to feed most non-athlete pets only lean meats with less than 10% fat. And dogs fed grains and other strachy carbs will eat more food by weight than those fed primarily meat. 

4. Adding Up Extras -

Don't forget to include extra treats you give your dog throughout the day.  Those treats add up in calories and may undermine your efforts to slim your dog down. Unfortunately, many treats do not say how many calories each treat contains. One little treat can easily put your dog over their calorie count for the day.  For example: Greenies have about 272 calories each (depending on the size) while Bully sticks may contain 29 calories per inch. Simple Milk Bone Biscuits can have 10 to 225 calories each and Rawhides can have 80 calories per ounce. If you would like to know the calorie count for your dog's favorite treat, and it's not on the packaging, you can always contact the company.

5. Adding in the Right Foods - 

If you are trying to help your dog slim down but their sad portion of kibble doesn't satisfy them, you can try adding human food; as long as it's the right human food.  Adding in non-starchy vegetables, which are low in calories and provide valuable antioxidants and phytonutrients, may help your dog feel fuller. Some examples are carrots, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, and other leafy greens. While you can give these veggies as raw snacks, they need to be cooked in order for your dog to digest them.  Other beneficial human foods you can add include skinless chicken breast, low-fat or non-fat yogurt and cottage cheese, as well as sardines (packed in water, not oil).

If you are unsure if your dog (or cat) needs to slim down, consult your vet. They can help you figure out your pet's ideal weight, and you can go from there.

For more on Pet Obesity Prevention, visit the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention website.

For dog food advice, reviews, and tools, including a food calculator, check out DogFoodAdvisor.com.