Monthly Archives: December 2013

Recipe Friday – Greens and Pork for Dogs

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!  Here is a great recipe to try for your pups:

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices Bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup frozen Chopped Collard Greens, thawed
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
  • 1 cup Soy Flour (or you can use about 1 cup of rice flour or about 1 1/2 cups of wheat flour if your dog does not have allergies to wheat).

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl mix all ingredients until well combined.

3. Knead dough into ball and roll onto a heavily floured surface as thin as you can, cut with the cookie cutter of your choice.

4. Place on your prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until crisp at the edges. Cool and refrigerate.

5. Store in airtight container in the fridge for about a week, freeze any left overs.

Recipe Friday – Candy Cane Peppermint Treats For Dogs

Just in time for the holidays, you can make a yummy treat for your dog!  I will include recipe items for dogs with gluten allergies.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (about 2 1/2 -3 cups of rice flour for dogs with allergies)
  • ½ cup powdered milk (most powdered milk is gluten free, but check the label just in case)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (some broth contains wheat, so make sure you read the label, and make sure it is gluten free, or if you cook chicken for yourself, you can save the broth from cooking it).
  • 2 large eggs (set one aside for egg wash)
  • 1 tsp. Peppermint oil
  • red food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  1. Whisk all your wet ingredients together until well combined.
  2. Add dry ingredients, one at a time, stirring between each addition to incorporate.
  3. Knead dough on floured surface for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Divide dough in half, make a well in one half and add the peppermint and food coloring-working it in and adding food coloring until desired color is reached.
  5. Place both dough rolls back into bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour to firm dough.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Cover a cookie sheet in foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. Whisk egg for wash in a small bowl.
  9. Remove dough from refrigerator, break each dough color up into an equal number of pieces- about a Tbsp. or so in size-depending on the size of the recipient.
  10. Roll each ball into a small snake-like shape.
  11. .Work on a long sheet of wax paper creating candy canes to prevent sticking- dough will still be somewhat sticky and that is normal.
  12. Twist one of each color together and bend the end to create a hook shape.
  13. Place your “Candy Cane” on the foil lined baking sheet.
  14. Brush each with egg wash.
  15. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  16. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.  Keep in fridge for a week and if there are leftovers, freeze them in freezer bags for up to six months.

 

 

New Uses For Animal DNA

Very interesting article that was sent to me by Isis’ vet.  Please read on:

Advances in science have enabled the decoding of several animals’ DNA. Knowing the genome of a species has enabled medical professionals to detect some diseases that have a genetic basis. But it also has other uses, even in the criminal justice system.

The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory Forensic Unit at the University of California, Davis is the first accredited crime lab dedicated to animal DNA profiling. There are three main types of cases: where an animal is a victim, where the animal is the perpetrator, and where the animal is a witness.

DNA can be used to confirm the ownership of an animal that has been stolen or to identify the remains of a lost pet.  Tissue samples can be compared to items that would have the animals DNA on it, such as brushes, bedding, or food and water bowls.

When an animal is suspected of being the perpetrator, samples from the victim may lead to the culprit. Collection of samples from bite wounds, or clothing if the victim is a person, can be studied to determine what species performed the attack, and even to determine which individual is guilty.

Cases where animals are a witness are usually human crimes. Animal DNA can link a suspect with a crime scene or a victim. Transfer of DNA from saliva, blood, hair, stool, or urine can occur during the commission of a crime.  The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab has been involved in solving or proving several serious crimes. One was a kidnapping and domestic abuse case in West Virginia where they analyzed hair from around a drill bit and blood on a hammer owned by the suspect and matched them to two puppies belonging to the victim. Another case in Texas involved a serial rapist who rolled in dog feces during an attack. The victim owned three dogs, and they matched the stool found on the suspect to the victim’s chihuahua.  He was found guilty after lab personnel testified.

In a triple murder case in Indiana in 2000, a suspect denied he had ever been at the location of the murders. An examination showed that he had a very small amount of dog feces on a shoe. The UC Davis lab was able match this to the only dog on the property where the slayings occurred. The killer is now serving life in prison.

The use of DNA is opening up a whole new field of science, just one aspect is its use in the criminal justice system. The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab is still in the process of informing criminal investigators of their capability of analyzing any type of animal DNA. Who knows how many cases can be solved now?

Another goal of the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab is to help eliminate dog fighting. It has come together with the ASPCA, a Missouri humane society, and the Louisiana SPCA, to form the Canine CODIS (Combined DNA Index System).  This is the first ever database dedicated to collecting DNA profiles from dogs that are seized during dog fighting investigations, as well as blood samples from suspected venues. The DNA is used to identify relationships between dogs, and thereby allow officials to expand their investigations to those who breed and train dogs for fighting.

Recipe Friday – Christmas Peanut Butter Banana Parsley Dog Treats

These are great stocking stuffers for your dog.  I have included ingredients for a gluten free recipe for those dogs with allergies.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium banana, peeled
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or try 3/4 to 1 cup of rice flour, or 3/4 to 1 cup of almond flour)
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (if your dog has allergies, Bob’s Red Mill has a gluten free version of rolled oats)
  • 1/2 cup dried parsley
  • 3 T creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300F. Mash banana in large bowl. Add all additional ingredients and mix well. Let sit for 5 minutes.

2. Roll out mixture to desired thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Bake on parchment lined-baking sheets for 40-45 minutes.

3. Let cool completely, and then enjoy!

 

Keep in airtight container in fridge for one week and freeze any left overs.  Depending on what size cookie cutters you use and the thickness of the dough you want, this recipe can yield 1-3 dozen treats.  Remember to feed in moderation.

Catnip: Why Cats Love It

Here is an article that Isis vet shared with me.  Enjoy!

Few things stimulate a cat’s pleasure faster than catnip. Exposure to this simple herb can reveal a new side to their feline personality. Many cats will go crazy at the smell of this plant.

Catnip has a reputation of being a feline drug and many cat owners wonder if it is safe to give it to their pet. Giving catnip in small doses does no harm. Using it as a treat can be quite good for your cat’s emotional health. It relieves stress and can help them get rid of nervous energy.

What Is Catnip?

Catnip is a type of mint plant found  in many countries throughout the world. It can grow up to three feet high and has many branches filled with purple flowers and heart shaped leaves.

The catnip plant has an aromatic oil called nepetalactone. When cats smell this compound, it triggers the part of the feline brain that responds to happy pheromones. This is why cats react the way they do.

Many cats seem to go crazy when they smell catnip by rolling, rubbing and running around. Eating catnip seems to produce the opposite effect. Cats often become mellow when they ingest the plant. This response to catnip usually lasts up to 10 minutes before the cat loses interest.

Catnip as a Training Tool

Creative cat owners can use catnip as a reward or incentive to promote good behavior in their felines. Rubbing dried catnip on a scratching post or cat tree can entice your cat to go there when they need to sharpen their claws instead of tearing your couch to shreds.

Lacing a cat toy with some catnip can be beneficial for inducing an indoor cat to exercise. It will encourage them to be more active and play and prevent obesity. These cat toys should be stored in an airtight container when not in use, so the catnip stays fresh longer.

Growing Catnip

You can grow your own catnip plants in a home garden. You can buy more mature plants from a nursery or plant the seeds after the last major frost of the season. It is important to put the plant in an area where it has plenty of room to grow. Take steps to protect the growing plant from your cat so they don’t tear it out of the soil before it is fully mature.

Is Catnip Right for Your Cat?

Catnip does not have the same effect on every feline. Some cats don’t care about it at all.

The love of this plant is inherited, so only 50 to 70 percent of cats respond to catnip. Kittens typically ignore it until they are three to six months old.

Catnip is non-toxic but cat owners should use caution in giving it out too often. Some cats exhibit aggressive behavior when exposed to catnip and should not have it under any circumstances.

Consult your veterinarian if you notice problematic behavior when your feline uses catnip.

 

Sources:

“Catnip Confidential,” Veterinary Practice News. February 1, 2012.

Recipe Friday – Butternut Biscuits For Dogs

Here is a yummy treat your dog is sure to love, best of all, it is gluten free!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups oat flour
  • 1 Cup cooked butternut squash
  • 1/2 Cup applesauce (try to buy unsweetened)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoon maple syrup (some people do not like giving their dogs extra sugar, so if you want to omit this, you can)
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon sea salt (if you don’t have sea salt, you can always try regular table salt.)

 

Directions:

1. In large bowl thoroughly mix all ingredients and preheat oven to 350F.

2. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto paper lined cookie sheet. These can be placed close together since they wont expand. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon on top of each cookie.

3. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

4. Remove from the oven to a baker’s rack and let cool.

You can feed these with their regular meal or as a treat.  Keep in airtight container in fridge and after one week, freeze any leftovers.  They should keep for about 2 months in the freezer.