Beat the black dog of winter…
Now that Winter Solstice has passed and the days start to get longer so too do the temperatures drop. Out, the doggy winter coats come and in the dog snores by the fireplace. The most blissful sound on earth…
Happily it’s been a very mild Winter in the UK up to now! Even so, Wellness Broths are still so comforting for both us humans and our beloved dogs. Milo, my dog is very satisfied after a good fresh food wholesome dinner that he doesn’t even bother for treats! Now that would be a thing I hear you say, especially for the pug parents out there (wink)…
Dog’s are very sensitive to the changes of the season and the onset of a cold spell will be on your dog’s radar well before it hits the weather man and far more accurate too! Your dog’s body changes to adapt to the winter hours and their hormones are triggered to conserve calorie expenditure and promote the deposition of fat.
So, you can’t just blame the Christmas binge for your dog’s growing waistline… Even though I blame it for mine!
For some of us humans, the cold weather and shorter evenings make us more reluctant to take our furry friends out for as many walks as they enjoy in the warmer months.
Or for others, like me, their dog is adept at winding me around his little paw aka “dog eyed manipulation” and the “cute stare” that ensures they get just as much exercise whether torrential rain, hail storms or sunshine.
Milo demonstrates the “cute stare”.
If you are not exercising your dog as much as usual then this is a good time to examine their weight and see whether you need to be cutting back at meal time too, just until the Spring… (NOTE: If your dog is housed outside this does not apply and in actual fact you will need to increase their food intake as shivering burns up three times the calories.)
Here is a recipe for a Winter Wellness Broth to keep your dog well nourished for the cold spell and also mindful of their waistline… If your New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier then why not do the same for your loved one!
Winter Wellness Doggy Broth Recipe:
Why would you want to make bone broth for your dog?
- It helps maintain a healthy gut, especially for dogs with digestive issues
- It supports your dog’s immune system and detoxifies his/her liver
- It helps protect their joints
- It’s full of minerals, including calcium, silicon, sulphur, magnesium and phosphorus
When feeding real nutritious food to your dog it is ideal to serve both meats and vegetables RAW as this ensures the optimum nutrition content. Cooking food does deplete its nutritional value for dogs, there is no two ways about it. However, if you prefer to cook meat then at least keep the veg raw and pop them in the blender to pre-digest (the same as the dog would find in the stomach of its prey). Give your dog’s the best nutrition with LIVE vegetable food. And if you can afford it, make it organic to ensure the most nutrient density. Today our vegetables hold less nutritional value due to the mass farming methods employed.[Make sure your dog is not intolerant to any of the meats below. Many dogs have an intolerance towards beef and a few but not many have it towards chicken.]
Recipe for the broth:
In a slow cooker or deep pan, place:
- Chicken carcass (leftovers from your Sunday roast or you can buy this at a butchers or market stall). You can even add chicken feet, dogs love them raw and they have great benefits for the joints.
- Marrow bones are exceptionally nutritious and great to add too
- Fill with water to cover the bones and a few inches above
- A great tip is to add raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the pot … this is the magic ingredient that makes sure your broth has all of that great and healthy gelatin in it … it also pulls the nutritious minerals out of the bones. Add about 3 or 4 tablespoons of vinegar/lemon juice to a crock pot size.
Slowly simmer the carcass or selection of bones in water to make a nutritious and mineral dense broth for your dog.
In a slow cooker you can put this on high for an hour and then low for 8 hours or more…
If you are making a big batch you may want to freeze some to keep adding to your dogs food over the next few weeks.
With the broth ready, combine the following in the dog bowl:
For the meat:
If you are not wanting to give meat entirely raw, steam, bake or grill the meat on the raw side of cooking
You want to feed your dog roughly 2% of his/her body weight in food. So a 10kg dog (10,000g would need roughly 200g of food per day.)
- Lamb/chicken/turkey chunks
- Chicken liver
- Lamb kidney
- Lamb heart (baked in the oven is so tasty and of amazing benefit to your dog’s own heart)
Recipe for the green smoothie:
Milo likes to dine from a dinner mat…
(it is important to blend raw vegetables so that they are pre-digested for our doggie’s tums, just like they would find them in the stomach’s of their prey. Dog’s are not as efficient as us at digesting veg even if they are omnivores, so we can help them out by doing this and still retain all the goodness in the raw vegetables…)
Place in a blender:
kale or spinach
pear or apple
carrot or celery
avocado (a very important fat that will help your dog absorb the nutrients)
1 tsp of honey (or) a date or two (sweeten to taste)
1/4 teaspoon *turmeric powder (for every 10lbs of dog weight)
1/2 teaspoon **root ginger (1/4 for miniature breeds) – great for arthritic and inflammatory conditions
dollop of coconut oil (like the avocado this is a very important fat for dogs but can also be given as a treat on your finger if you have already added the avocado)
For the human version of the green smoothie, if you’d like to join in: add a cup of water and increase the amount of ginger and dates to taste…
*(fresh tumeric root is even better if you can find it)
**(can also use ginger powder – 2 pinches. Leave ginger out if your dog is undergoing any surgery, is pregnant, has a heart condition or diabetes…)
Once you have your broth, the meats and the green smoothie, combine them together in a bowl and voila! A happy doggy and a healthy dog bowl…
If you would like to learn more about RAW feeding I would recommend Honey’s feeding guide as a good place to start. And if you click this link you get it FREE!
I love turmeric!
- It’s a powerful antioxidant
- It’s a natural and effective anti-inflammatory
- It can help prevent and even treat cancer
- It protects the liver from toxins
- And much more!
Love from Milo and Nicky