Blog Archives

Recipe Friday – Turkey Cuppy-Cakes For Dogs

With Thanksgiving here in the USA just a few weeks away, here is a great recipe where you can use up some of your leftovers and make treats for your pups.  I have included gluten free ingredients for those pups with allergies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground Turkey, cooked and drained (If your dog cannot eat turkey, ground chicken, duck, pork or beef is fine.)
  • 1/4 cup dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree (check that label says gluten free if you are making it for dogs with allergies.)
  • 1 stick Butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Milk (you can use any other milk if your dog cannot handle cow’s milk.)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour (you can try 3/4-1 cup of rice flour if your dog has allergies.)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder (make sure the label says gluten free if your dog has allergies.)

 

Directions;

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin with olive oil or skip greasing and just line with paper cups.

2. In a medium bowl mix whole wheat flour (or rice flour) and baking powder then set aside.

3. In a large bowl mix cooked ground turkey (or other ground meat), cranberries, pumpkin puree, butter, milk and egg.

4. Once well combined add the flour mixture and stir until mixed.

5. Spoon cupcake batter into muffin tin until 1/2 full, flatten to fill the cups.

6. Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

7. Cool 5 minutes in pans then remove and place on wire racks to cool completely.

If you want something extra special, top with a scoop of mashed potatoes and a sprinkling of parsley.

Makes about 3 dozen cuppy-cakes.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week.  Freeze any leftovers and thaw as needed.

Recipe Friday – Pumpkin Treats For Dogs

Have any leftover pumpkin?  Here is a great recipe for some yummy treats for your dog!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Fresh Pumpkin
  • 1 and ½ Cups Rice Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • ½ Tablespoon Freshly Ground Ginger
  • 1 Free Range Egg
  • 1 Cup Honey (if you are worried about using honey, you can use less or omit if need be)
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper.

2. Peel and dice pumpkin into cubes and bring to boil in saucepan of water. Drain pumpkin and allow to cool. Puree in blender or food processor (or if you want to be old school, mash your pumpkin to a fine puree). Chill in refrigerator.

3. Combine flour, cinnamon and ginger in bowl and mix well.

4. Combine egg, honey and vegetable oil in large bowl and whisk until well combined.

5. Add the chilled pumpkin puree to the wet ingredients and whisk until well combined.

6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, whisking well until all ingredients are combined.

7. With teaspoons, spoon the batter onto the lined tray spacing about one inch apart to make mini cake patties.

8. Bake for 15 minutes. To test, insert a toothpick into the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready and can be removed from the oven. Allow cakes to cool and serve.

Makes approximately 30 pumpkin dog treats. Freeze any leftovers not consumed within several days.

 

Recipe Friday – Lickable Liver Treats For Cats

I may have posted a recipe similar to this before, but I thought I would share a cat treat recipe since I haven’t for a while.  Remember to feed in moderation.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of chicken livers (fully cooked)
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 ¼ cup of whole wheat flour (for gluten free flour choice, you can use 1 cup of rice flour)
  • ¼ cup of pumpkin (just the plain 100% pumpkin out of the can, or if you are ambitious, you can buy a pumpkin and cook it until you can mash it and  use it in this recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (unsalted or salted)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease a cookie sheet with olive oil or butter.

2.  Combine the flour and butter in a bowl.

3.  Blend the livers and water (in a blender or use a fork to mash well, then add to the flour and butter)

4.  Next, roll the mixture into balls and then cut it up into small, cat bite-size pieces.  Place the pieces on your greased cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 12 minutes, let cool and then serve.  You can keep these in an airtight container for about a week, then freeze.

Recipe Friday – Pumpkin Blueberry Cookie Treats For Dogs

These are sure to be a hit with dogs everywhere!  I have included information for the recipe to be regular and gluten free:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups 100% whole wheat flour (use about 2 1/2 cups of brown rice flour or almond flour for a gluten free option.  You may have to play with the amount to get the right consistency.)
  • 1/2 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup water

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Blend together the applesauce and pumpkin. Once the applesauce and pumpkin are well combined, stir in the flour and flax seed meal. Add in enough water until dough just becomes workable. The dough will be a little stiff, but don’t worry, that’s what you need. Work the rest of the ingredients together with your hands until well mixed.

3. Roll out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut in to your desired shapes.

4. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Press the blueberries into your treats (I made a circular cookie with a  thumbprint in the cookies and pressed the berries into the thumbprints.)  It is all right if the berries break open and get gooey.

5. Bake on one side for 20 minutes then turn over and bake on the other side for another 20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before feeding to your pups!

Store in the refrigerator for a week and freeze the rest if there are leftovers.  The amount it makes depends on the size of cookies you make.

Recipe Friday – Pumpkin Pupscicles

These cold and frosty treats are wonderful and will keep your dog busy (hopefully) for a few minutes at least!  Important: Make sure that you use 100% pure pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling, as it contains stuff dogs don’t need and can make them ill.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 15 oz can pure pumpkin puree
  • Same amount of vanilla yogurt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

If you have several dogs, of course you can double the recipe.

 

Directions:

1. Pour pumpkin into a large bowl.

2. Fill empty can with vanilla yogurt and add to the bowl.

3. Add cinnamon.

4. Mix well.

5. Pour into ice cube tray and let freeze, or if you have molds you want to use, fill it up and freeze, then serve.

 

Recipe Friday – Cheddar Pumpkin Treats Gluten Free (For Dogs)

Your dog will come running for these tasty treats.  I will post the gluten free version, plus the recipe if you wish to make yours not gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Oats
  • 1/2 cup Soy Flour (or you can use 1 cup of whole wheat or regular white flour, if you want a “lighter” gluten free flour, since soy flour is kind of heavy, you can use about 3/4 cup rice flour, you may need to play around with the measurements, since density and moisture content may be an issue)

Directions:

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

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.

3. Spread by hand onto the prepared baking sheet 1/4 inch thick. Then use a knife, or any kind of sharper cooking tool to kind of score it into a grid for cutting pieces later when cooked.

4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned at the edges. (you may need more time for this step)

5. Cool and break into pieces then refrigerate.

Recipe Friday – Chicken Stew (For Cats)

This recipe will be sure to have your kitty drooling for more!

Ingredients:

  • 32 oz ground chicken (or beef or pork)
  • 3 small carrots (grated and cooked, if your cat does not like carrots, you can substitute 2/3 cup of canned pumpkin, the 100% pumpkin, no spices kind).
  • 1 1/2 cup of rice (cooked)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2  clove garlic

 

Directions:

1. Fry chicken until cooked.

2. Combine all ingredients in a blender/food processor and mix well until in canned cat food consistency.

3. Serve to your cat, store the rest in a plastic container for up to one week or you can freeze the rest.

 

Cats and Constipation

Many of our furbabies have experienced bouts of constipation, but if these are not just bouts and actually continue for long periods of time, there may be something more serious going on.

Some diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Mega Colon, food allergies and others will produce periods of time of constipation.  The only way to know if your cat is suffering from one of these diseases is to make an appointment with the vet.  One thing to do is to keep a food/treat diary and an exercise diary before going in as this will help the vet narrow down what the issue may be.

When we first adopted Isis, she was being fed basically junk food in the shelter (Meow Mix and Friskies). These are not healthy foods for cats.  So when we changed her food very gradually, she started to get constipated on what her diet should be (mainly protein).  So what we did was add about a teaspoon of canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling but 100% pumpkin), to her food.  This helped quite a bit and she was back to normal.  What we sometimes do now is add about a half teaspoon of olive oil to her wet food and some canned pumpkin just to make sure she is regular and able to produce minimal waste.  It also aids in reducing hairballs.

At times she was quite constipated, and after seeing the vet and ruling out any kind of disease, I came up with my own solution.  I used to wait until after Isis ate and then have her come over to me on the floor.  I would then have her stand on all fours in front of me and I would massage her belly in gentle, circular motions.  I would do this several times per day, until it seemed that she was going on a regular basis.  I slowly tapered off from doing that until I was down to once per day, then after a week I stopped doing it.  I haven’t had to do it since and that has been about seven months ago.  I hope I never have to do that again.  It is because our cats are so used to the processed junk that they have been fed in a shelter, their bodies do not know how to digest and handle their natural diet.

Another thing to consider is playtime, playtime, playtime.  This gets the cat’s intestines working and helps them to produce waste. Having several short play sessions every day helps not only with constipation, but with weight management.

It is always best to check with your vet before doing anything with your cat, they may want to do procedures, depending how long it has been since your cat defecated.

This article explains what to do if your cat is constipated and how to help make your cat comfortable when they are constipated.

The All Important-Food and Diet

*I am not a vet, the ideas on this blog are just for your own purposes, and is a result of 20 years of research.  Please consult your vet if you are looking into changing your pet’s diet.

For some reason, what to feed your dog or cat seems to at times, turn into a heated debate.  What I am about to say is not to put anyone down, but to hopefully educate those who are looking for good, healthy food for your fur baby.

Go and look at the bag or can of food that you feed your dog/cat.  I’ll wait…okay.  Is corn or corn meal any of the first ingredients on the list?  If it is, you may want to think about changing the food you are feeding.

Let’s look at it this way, cornmeal, or corn of any sort is a filler in your animal’s food.  Also, if any of the first 5 ingredients are anything like wheat, soy, anything ending in -meal (cornmeal, chicken byproduct meal), these are comparable to humans eating junk food.  A lot of those ingredients are high carbs and can lead to health issues in your animal, such as: diabetes or even heart problems.  It’s like us eating at Taco Bell or McDonald’s all the time.

The reason the first 5 ingredients are important is that those ingredients make up the bulk of the food that you are feeding your pet.  If you start feeding healthier food, it’s cheaper in the long run.  Your trips to the vet will be cheaper and less often, your animal’s teeth and bones will be stronger and healthier, and the overall health will improve.  My Sasha was eating Ol’ Roy dog food at the shelter, and was not very active or healthy.  We started to feed her healthy food and right away we noticed she is perkier, her coat is so soft and shiny, her teeth are wonderful, and she is a healthy weight.

Also, your vet may be trying to push you to use Hills Science Diet.  A lot of vets end up getting a kickback from that food.  And admittedly, several vets have told me that in all the years they go to school to become a vet, they DO NOT take any classes on nutrition.  If a vet wants to learn about nutrition, they must do it on their own time and do their own research.

If you are curious about what types of foods to feed your dog, this site is wonderful for telling you all the information you may want to know about the health of the food you are feeding your dog.

Dog Food Reviews

On that link you will also see reviews for wet food and even raw food.  What is a raw food diet?  Here is a link that explains more about what the raw food diet (also known as the BARF diet) is.

Raw Food Diet

Similarly, there is a good site to review all the kinds of cat food that is out there to ensure your cat is being fed a healthy diet.  Here is the site for cats.

Cat Food Reviews

There are also raw food diets for cats, the idea behind these diets is that what a cat will eat in the wild is prey and organs and basically raw food.  If you want a healthy diet to feed your cat and to understand the benefits of this feeding style, here is a link to give your more information.

Making cat food

It is important to note that if you are changing your pet’s diet, you must go SLOW and TRANSITION the diet, otherwise you may risk stomach/digestion issues.

I will never tell someone what to feed their fur baby, I can only help guide someone if they ask.  People have asked me what I feed my babies because they seem quite healthy.

Sasha’s Diet

  • Morning: 1/2 cup Wellness Core original recipe dry food, 1/4 can of Wellness Core Salmon, Whitefish and Herring.
  • Afternoon: 1/2 cup Wellness Core original recipe dry food
  • Evening: 1/4 cup Wellness Core original recipe dry food
  • Bedtime snack: 1/4 cup Wellness Core original recipe dry food
Isis’ Diet
  • Morning: 1TBSP. Wellness canned cat food (whatever flavor at the moment, we rotate among all the grain free recipes). Plus 1/2 TBSP. pumpkin (helps to aid with hairballs, it helps to reduce them by having them move through the digestive tract and evacuating the body through bowel movements instead of through vomiting.  If you purchase, make sure it is 100% pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie filling).
  • Afternoon: 1 TBSP. Wellness canned cat food, 1/2 TBSP. pumpkin
  • Evening: Catswell Happy Hips and Vita Kitty treats (it’s jerky strips for cats, very tiny, and I just cut them up and give them to her, it’s like vitamins for her and helps her hips and joints. Since she has been eating these, she has turned into a kitten and runs and plays with vigor!)
  • Bedtime snack: 1TBSP. Wellness canned cat food, 1/2 TBSP. pumpkin.
Also, every once in a while, Sasha will get a treat.  We feed her all natural treats called Bully Sticks.  We order these online and they are delivered fast!
At the same Bully Sticks website, we order her Antlers as a chew toy, since she is in her chewing phase.  These are humanely harvested, since antlers are shed once per year.  If you are ordering these, make sure you order a large enough size so that your dog cannot get them in her back teeth, otherwise the antler will be gone within hours.  We order Sasha the Jumbo size antler and that lasts her about a month.  We may order her the Monster size for Christmas but sshhhh don’t tell her 😉

Here is the link to the food I feed both Sasha and Isis.

Wellness Dog and Cat Food

I feed both Sasha and Isis grain free diets, no gluten, no soy, no corn,no wheat, no grains.  These are the ingredients that cause the most allergic reactions in animals.  They would not be eating these things in the wild, so why feed that to them now?  I am a preventative person, so I make sure that I am not feeding them something that could potentially cause an allergy.

Some of the indications of an allergy to these ingredients include: diarrhea, constipation, constant scratching around the mouth or ears,scratching around the rump, skin rashes, indigestion and discomfort, sluggish behavior, irritability, constant scratching of the stomach area, as well as sometimes chewing of the paws.  There may be other reactions, it is best to ask your vet if you suspect your pet has an allergy.  They may suggest doing an elimination diet.

I am slowly going to transition them to raw food diets.  Since they are both shelter animals, the food they were fed was sub-par and I want to take it slow so that they do not get ill.  Right now, they are doing well and have had their wellness checks with the vet and passed with flying colors.  I always say to feed what you can afford, and to research, research, research what is out there for your fur babies.  I know I want mine to live long and healthy lives.  It’s not about quantity of life but quality of life.

I will probably write many posts about food here, but if you have questions, feel free to ask.  Like I have said, I have been doing research and I can find you the information you may need.