Raising Litter Mates



Taro and Kratos spend the night occasionally at the breeders. The last visit they had there, Cheryl her daughter and I were talking about nutrition and I told them about my latest adventures in baking. An interesting story was told to me in regards to another dog.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011
What Treats Should You Feed your Puppy.

I had packed some baked sweet potato chews for the boys in a glass container along with some chew toys and of course their regular kibble. I forgot to mention to the girls that there were some sweet potato chews that they can feed them before they get kenneled for the night - midnight snack. YES! they are spoiled!

These chews often look like "rawhide" or "pig ears". That is what they thought they were! They didn't feed any to the boys - I think they wanted to talk to me about it first. I was questioned - I explained to them that it was definitely sweet potato and not raw hide or pigs ears! They proceeded to tell me about a dog that came to them with a couple of anti-diarrhea medications and some special food. Of course the dog was sent with some treats - guess what they were?! processed full of crap treats, along with some raw hide and pig ears. Well you can see where this is going.. The owners were concerned about the health of their dog - and couldn't get control of digestive issues! Well look what they are putting into their dogs.. that is what you are going to get! They were advised to stop all the crap treats ( by the breeder) and told the owners that once the treats are all stopped chances are the symptoms will go away. I agree completely. I am hoping their veterinarian had suggested the same when he/she handed out medications! This just goes to show you how important good healthy treat and food choices are for your dog. Remember, they can't read or speak - they trust you to feed them and care for them. Be responsible and check labels. If you are buying cheap dog food, well, you get what you pay for, right?

Pick treats that have little or no additives/fillers. Start to introduce apples, bananas, carrots etc. instead of packaged treats or rawhide chews. Carrots are better digested when shredded cut up into smaller pieces. Whole carrots are great for their teeth - but don't be surprised to see chunks of it when they have a bowel movement - once in awhile it's fine - shredding it will increase vitamin absorption and is easier to digest.

As far as veggies are concerned - kale and broccoli are very nutritious. Don't over cook them - I either bake them for a few minutes or steam them, and add all juices in with their kibble. Overcooking rids the veggies of its natural nutrients ( do the same for your own cooking ). I add the juices to ensure that any vitamins and minerals are all included. If I can't buy fresh organic produce - I will buy frozen vegetables. Read the ingredients carefully. Make sure no salt or sugars have been added.

When we start getting our local fresh organic vegetables - I will see how freezing them will affect quality, and as long as they remain as fresh as I think they will, it would make sense to buy larger quantities and freeze them for off season use. I have a food saver now - can't wait to use it!

Lastly, the rule in our house now is " if you can eat the skin, it should be organic". Purchase organic fruits and veggies to ensure you dog isn't getting any harmful pesticides or chemical interference. You will be amazed at what some farmers use to destroy the bugs that wreck their crops. I still wash the fruits and veggies - people have touched them! But at least I know the product hasn't soaked in any of the harmful chemical sprays that non-organic produce may have.

For puppies, I recommend home baked treats as well. Chicken liver, dried fruits, chopped up carrots. If your puppy is raised with healthy, nutritious snacks they will eat it throughout their dog years. Taro and Kratos had baked chicken breasts ( cubed small) as training treats ( tricks especially) and it worked well in addition to high quality puppy kibble ( which we also used as training treats). Using these types of rewards helps keep calories low and body condition ideal.

If any of you have recipes you would like to share please email them to me so I can upload them to the upcoming recipe and nutrition section. Happy Cooking!!

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