Wednesday, 17 July 2013

DIY Smoothies & Frozen Treats for Dogs – Nutrient Rich Refreshing Relief During Hot Weather




My Boxer x 'Robbie' after a walk and play on a very hot day!
In the hot weather your dog can get listless and not want to eat as much as he/she normally does. Your dog can also get dehydrated and low on electrolytes. 

The following three recipes are fun, simple and very healthy options to...
  • Perk your dog up;
  • Boost his/her immune system, and;
  • Deliver great nutrition and hydration all at the same time!

Yogurt and Fruit Smoothies

If you think all dairy products are bad for your dog, think again! Fruit too!

Yogurt, kefir and cottage cheese provide a multitude of benefits for your dog’s health – you can read about the many benefits here and here.  

Fresh and frozen fruit also offer multiple health benefits for your dog.
  • Many people think that giving a dog fruit will give the dog diarrhea. In actual fact high quality soluble fibre helps prevent diarrhea and constipation. You can read more about that here. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables also plays an important role in:
  • Helping to boost the immune system;
  • Helping the body eliminate toxins;
  • Keeping organs, eyes, teeth etc. healthy;
  • Preventing colon cancer;
  • Reducing the risk of developing heart and vascular problems, stroke and cancer;
  • Reducing the risk of inflamed anal glands (which result in ‘scudding’, burst glands and discharge);
  • Aiding in good oral health; as does yogurt and kefir.
The following treats can be given as a snack or added to your dog’s main meal. You can freeze and store portions in ice cube trays or you can serve fresh in a bowl.

My German Shepperd x Husky 'Sarah'
after playing with Robbie in the meadow
If you have multiple dogs like I do you can expand these recipes by doubling, tripling the recipe etc. as required…

Yogurt (and/or Kefir or Cottage Cheese) and Berry Smoothie
 

  • 1 cup plain all natural kefir or yogurt – see here for guidelines on selecting a good yogurt;
    • Or...
      • Use ½ cup yogurt, ½ cup cottage cheese or kefir, or;
      • Use 1/3 cup yogurt, 1/3 cup kefir, 1/3 cup cottage cheese;
  • 2 cups frozen berries;
    • Use one or a combination of the following;
    • Blackberries;
    • Blueberries;
    • Cherries;
    • Raspberries;
    • Strawberries;
    • Pour the yogurt (cottage cheese and/or kefir) into a food processor or blender;
  • Add the berries;
  • Optional ingredients:
    • 1 to 2 tbsp raw unpasteurized organic honey, make sure you read this article first though;
    • 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon – you can read about some of the health benefits here
  • Blend all ingredients together;
  • Serve in a bowl, or;
  • Use a spoon to put the smoothie mixture into ice cube trays or popsicle trays;
    • Put the ice cube or popsicle tray in the freezer, allow to freeze and then serve as desired.
Suggested Serving Size
    • X-Small size dogs and cats - 1 tsp to 1 tbs 
    • Small size dogs - 1 tbs to 1/8 cup
    • Medium size dogs - 1/8 to 1/4 cup
    • Large dogs - 1/3 to 1/2 cup
    • Extra large dogs - 1/2  to 1 cup

    Yogurt (and/or Kefir or Cottage Cheese) Banana and Pineapple, Tahini Smoothie

    • 1 cup plain all natural kefir or yogurt – see here for guidelines on selecting a good yogurt;
      • Or...
        • Use ½ cup yogurt, ½ cup cottage cheese or kefir, or;
        • Use 1/3 cup yogurt, 1/3 cup kefir, 1/3 cup cottage cheese;
    • 2 cups frozen banana slices;
    • ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks;
    • Optional ingredients:
      • 2 to 4 tbs all natural organic tahini
      • 1 to 2 tbsp raw unpasteurized organic honey,  make sure you read this article first though;
      • 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon – you can read about some of the health benefits here
    • Blend all ingredients together;
    • Serve in a bowl, or;
    • Use a spoon to put the smoothie mixture into ice cube trays or popsicle trays;
      • Put the ice cube or popsicle tray in the freezer, allow to freeze and then serve as desired.
    Suggested Serving Size
      • X-Small size dogs and cats - 1 tsp to 1 tbs 
      • Small size dogs - 1 tbs to 1/8 cup
      • Medium size dogs - 1/8 to 1/4 cup
      • Large dogs - 1/3 to 1/2 cup
      • Extra large dogs - 1/2  to 1 cup
    Additional healthy and safe fruit choices…
    • Apples (remove the seeds, as they contain arsenic which is toxic to dogs)
    • Apricots
    • Avocado 
    • Cantaloupe
    • Canary Melon
    • Clementines
    • Cranberries
    • Coconut (fresh or dry non sweetened, shredded)Grapefruit 
    • Honeydew Melon
    • Kiwi
    • Mangos (remove the pit)
    • Nectarines (remove the pit)
    • Oranges
    • Papaya 
    • Peaches (remove the pit)
    • Pears (remove the seeds)
    • Pomegranate
    • Plums
    • Thimble berries
    • Watermelon
    • more here 

    Chicken or Beef Stock Smoothie with Vegetables or Fruit

    Green Leafy Smoothie as a Treat or as a Topping on Food
    • To select the vegetables that you would like to use see the list of safe vegetables provided in this article.
    • Chop the greens either by hand or in a food processor and mix a little into your dog's food, or;
    • You can toss the greens into a blender with some homemade chicken stock (see recipe below) and make a smoothie - store in the refrigerator for up to three days and just add to your dog's food once a day...
      • X-Small Dogs and Cats - 1 tbs;
      • Small Dogs and Cats – 1/8 cup;
      • Medium size dogs – ¼ cup;
      • Large dogs – 1/3 to ½ cup.
    Fruit Smoothie as a Treat or Topping on Food

    If you want to give your dog fresh or frozen fruit in a nutrient rich smoothie...

    • To select the fruit that you would like to use see the list of safe to use fruit provided above. 
    • Toss the fruit into a blender with the homemade chicken stock recipe provided just below or use kefir or yogurt  to make a smoothie - store in the refrigerator for up to three days and just add to your dog's food once a day...
      • X-Small Dogs and Cats - 1 tbs;
      • Small Dogs and Cats – 1/8 cup;
      • Medium size dogs – ¼ cup;
      • Large dogs – 1/3 to ½ cup.

    Chicken or Beef Stock Chilled in a Bowl or Ice Cubes

    If it’s really hot out and your dog’s appetite is suppressed by the heat, you need to make sure your dog is staying hydrated, it’s even better if the liquid offered provides nutritive value. 

    Provided your dog is not allergic to chicken, turkey, duck, beef etc. you can make a quick and simple broth that you can offer to your dog in the form of ice cubes or as a special drink in a bowl. 

    Just make sure that you only give your dog as much of the broth as he/she will drink at a time as broth should not be left to sit at room temperature for more than a few minutes. You don’t want salmonella forming in the broth! 

    I make a big batch (I have ten dogs :>) and then store the resulting broth in glass jars in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You can freeze it in larger quantities as well.  I add the broth to my dogs meals but it can also be used as noted above!
    • Take a piece of chicken i.e. (a leg with back attached) or beef bone with meat attached (or other meat bone as desired) put in a pot of water;
    • Add:
      • ½ tbs of sage;
      • ½ tbs of basil;
      • ½ tbs of rosemary;
      • You can toss in a few carrots and or parsnips if you want to;
    • Cook on a low heat;
    • When cooked remove chicken and carrots/parsnips;
    • Allow to cool a bit;
    • Cut the veggies and the cooked chicken or other meat (remove the bones) in small pieces and either give it to your dog as an additional treat or add it back into the stock.
    • Pour stock into glass jars and store in the refrigerator;
    • Chill and serve in a bowl as a special drink on hot days or use it to add moisture to your dog's food at meal time;
    • Pour stock into ice cube trays if you want to give it as a crunchy, cold hydrating treat.
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    Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld. 





    9 comments:

    1. your reciepes are so easy to follow and my two miniture dachshunds love them. Because of Nutro's recent poisioning of dogs I was forced to look for a new dog food and choose to make my own! Thank you for all of your helpful blogs

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Glad your dachs enjoy their new food! And good thing they are off of Nutro. Nutro actually contains toxins and carcinogens. It is mostly carbohydrate filler (grains, animal feed grains which can contain aflatoxins) and very low in good source meat protein - which is why it contains DL-methionine. It contains GE soy-bean oil which is very high in pesticide residue,an endocrine disruptor to name just a few of the threats GE soy poses to health.

        Your daschs will be healthier for the change you have made :>)

        Delete
    2. I just found your site today and am going to change up her homemade food to no grains. I've been adding quinoa, oats and rice to her food, but now will leave it out. I didn't know she really shouldn't have it.

      She gets coconut oil, molasses, chia and food grade diatomaceous earth in her food and I've been giving her a bit of kefir lately and she loves it. I've never put spices in her food though, so not sure how she will like the addition, but we shall see.

      Her favorite treat is frozen coconut water. :) I only buy brands with no sugar added. She seems to prefer a lot of foods frozen. Frozen little pieces of chicken, turkey, beef, berries, whatever, she loves them frozen.

      Thank you for all the wonderful information on your site! A lot I already knew since I'm very holistic in my own life the last 20 or so years, but it's nice to see it from a professional. :)

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi Kimberly - just one caution for you - don;t give her molasses - even if it is organic. Molasses is metabolized by her body the same way sugar is - which makes molasses inflammatory. Instead use organic unpasturized raw honey. This type of honey (only) has a wide spectrum of important health benefits is not inflammatory and is immune system boosting. Daily dosage - 1/4 tsp /per every 20 lbs of body weight.

        Delete
    3. Hi Karen...Just wondering if I can freeze the Kefir and give to my doggie as she likes it frozen, but not liquid. I just break off pieces an she will eat it that way. Does freezing hurt the good bacteria when I freeze it? Does it stay active after I freeze it an then give pieces to my doggie? Thank you for your help. I don't want to give her the frozen Kefir it is no good once its frozen. Woof Woof

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi Dixie - some of the probiotic microbes are destroyed when yogurt or kefir is frozen :>)

        Delete
    4. Hi Karen. I read that there is a lot more antioxidants in frozen blueberries. Will defrosted blueberries retain the higher level of antioxidants as well? Or it is better to feed frozen blueberries to a dog? What is appropriate daily amount for a 10lb dog?

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Yes, frozen provide the best level of antioxidants - no need to thaw, just throw frozen blueberries in blender or food processor and finely chop/puree. 1 tbs to 1/8 cup.per day.

        Delete
      2. Thank you very much for the prompt reply. I am also very grateful for all the articles you have posted. This info is gold and you are a blessing.

        Delete

    Important Note

    1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

    Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

    Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

    Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

    If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

    2.0 Definition of Holistic…

    Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

    If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

    Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

    Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press

    Adjective

    "relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

    "Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

    Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

    3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

    A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

    Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

    4.0 Leave a Comment

    I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

    I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

    Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

    Karen Rosenfeld
    Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
    Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
    Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats

    karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca

    1-613-622-1139
    1-613-293-3707

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