Well, it’s Monday again and we are wishing and wanting for some comfort to cushion against the jarring reality that is Monday. Of course our dogs have no understanding about the potentially devastating effects of Monday Syndrome, but if you just want to do something nice for your sled dog, how about preparing some nice comfort food for them? Today I am giving you two healthy “entrée” recipes and 2 “dessert” recipes that are sure to please even the finickiest doggy palette.
Doggy Stir Fry
This is a great make ahead meal to have on hand for your dog anytime they need some extra spoiling or when they are just off their food. Super simple to make, portion, and then freeze for later use.
- 2 cups of brown rice, cooked ahead
- 1 ½ cups (total) of shredded or chopped fine) dog safe veggies that your dog likes ( carrots, broccoli, green beans, peas, etc)
- 1 tsp oil ( olive or coconut)
- 1 pound of meat ( beef, chicken, turkey)
- 1 clove of fresh garlic* ( used as a rub)
- Prepare and cook brown rice according to directions.
- Meat: Before cutting up the meat, take one clove of peeled fresh garlic, cut it in half and rub the meat surface with the cut side of the garlic. This allows you to get the taste and smell of the garlic on the meat without really adding the *toxic element (n-propyl disulfide) to the food. Discard garlic clove.
- Once you have rubbed the meat with the garlic, cut up meat first into thin slices and then again to create bite size pieces of meat.
- In a non-stick frying pan, heat the oil, and then add the cut up meat. Stir often while meat is cooking.
- When the meat is almost cooked add the fresh vegetables to the meat mixture. Stir the mixture together and cook until the meat and vegetables are fully cooked.
- When the meat and veggie combo is cooked, add the cooked rice to the mixture. Stir well to blend.
- Set aside food mixture until it has cooled off enough to comfortably handle.
- Once the mixture is cool, distribute one meal’s worth of a portion into a zippered freezer bags.
- Before you completely zip the top of the bag closed, lay the bag on its side and gently flatten out the contents of the bag to make it easier to freeze and store. It also makes it easier to unthaw and reheat because the contents of the bag are an even thickness.
- To reheat, remove contents from freezer bag and microwave until thawed OR set the sealed frozen freezer bag into a bowl of hot water for a few minutes until the mixture has thawed.
*The Garlic Debate
There are few differing opinions in the ongoing argument about the safety of garlic for dogs. Some say you should never feed dogs onions and garlic under any circumstance. Some say garlic is fine in small amounts. Everyone agrees that the compound in onions and garlic in question is called n-propyl disulfide. Onions have this compound in greater quantities than does garlic. In large doses this component causes oxidative damage to red bloods cells. If large doses of this compound are ingested on a regular basis it can cause anemia or death in dogs.
However, the lethal dosage in dogs would have be over .5% of their body weight so that means a 60 pound dog would have to eat a whole 5 oz onion or several whole cloves of garlic for the damage to start occurring in their red blood cells.
Garlic does have some good properties too. It contains germanium which is an anti-cancer agent. It can help strengthen the immune system against allergies and it helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body. Germanium is helpful in treating diabetes, liver, heart, and kidney disease. Garlic also provides Vitamin A, B, B2, C, Calcium, Potassium, and Zinc to the body.
So, using common sense, tiny amounts of garlic given infrequently are fine for your dog. If you are very worried, then just omit the use of the garlic in this recipe.
Hearty Late Summer Bar(k)ley Soup
This thick “soup” is not only healthy, it is yummy for your dog. It is a real kitchen sink soup and you can add or subtract ingredients to suit your dog’s requirements. This is a great meal when your dog is off his food or you need to get liquid or calories into your dog.
Prepare the night before
• 1 cup of pearl barley, soaked in about three cups of water over night. Leave covered at room temperature overnight to soak.
- 4 pounds whole chicken or 4 pounds of chicken parts (breast, thighs, and drumsticks) BONE IN.
- An assortment of fresh cut up vegetables:
- 3 ribs of Celery, with tops, string removed.
- 3 or 4 large carrots,
- 2 cups of green beans,
- 2 cups summer squash flesh,
- 1 – 20 oz can of lentils, drained,
- ½ cup of chopped fresh parsley,
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach or kale.
- In a large stock pot, place whole bone in chicken into the pot. Add soaked barley plus the water it was soaking in. Now add more water until the chicken is completely covered in liquid plus an additional 4 or 5 inches of water. Bring water up to a boil and immediately turn down heat to simmer. Simmer chicken for about 1 hour. Stir often to keep barley from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Do not boil the soup.
- After an hour, remove the chicken plus any bones that may have fallen into the broth. Set aside to meat to cool. You have about 2 ½ to 3 cups of thick chicken broth.
- Into the broth add the cut up vegetables and cook on med heat for about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often. You can add an additional 1 to 2 cups of water to this mixture if it should become too thick. When the veggies are cooked, remove soup from heat.
- When the meat has cooled enough to handle, remove meat from the bone and discard the bones. Cooked bones should never be fed to dogs.
- Shred meat with a fork or chop up into bite sized pieces and add back to soup.
- Place soup in fridge to cool. Soup keeps in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. Freeze unused portions.
- When the soup has cooled, ladle one meal portions into heavy zipper lock freezer bags. Freeze up right to keep soup from leaking. When soup is in a very slushy state, you can lay the bags on their side to redistribute the contents of the bag before it freezes hard. This allows the bags to store more efficiently in your freezer. Store frozen.
Cheese and Spinach Tasty Bites
This recipe calls for whole wheat flour but you could try using some other types of flours (rice, potato, spelt etc.)
- ¾ cup quick cooking oats,
- ¾ of cup of whole wheat flour (or substitute a different flour),
- 2 heaping tablespoons of grated cheese (try parmesan, romano, cheddar etc.),
- 2 cups freshly finely chopped baby spinach leaves,
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- Flour and oats into a mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Then add cheese and mix well again.
- Then add chopped spinach leaves. Mix well.
- Drizzle in small amounts of olive until the dough is easily workable.
- Mix dough to ensure that ingredients are well distributed.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop out uniform balls of dough (about the size of golf balls).
- Roll them into round ball shape and place them on a non-stick cookie sheet. Do not crowd the balls.
- Use a fork to press down on the balls slightly flattening the balls.
- In a 350F oven, bake the treats for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow them to cool.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week or they can be stored frozen in a container.
Mango, Coconut, Banana, Pineapple Frozen Dog Treats
This is one you can share with your snowdog. It’s an absolutely yummy frozen treat for dogs and for people too.
- 1 ripe banana
- ½ cup well drained crushed Pineapple
- 1 cup of 2% Greek Yogurt (vanilla)
- ¼ cup of dried tropical fruit medley (mango, pineapple, banana, coconut) Make sure the fruit is dog safe.
- Blend all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
- Using a silicone mold, scoop mixture into mold tray. If you don’t have a silicon mold tray then you can use a tray that makes large ice cubes.
- Allow treats to freeze overnight to allow them to freeze hard.
- Once they are frozen pop the frozen treats out of their mold and immediately move treats into a freezer bag and store in the freezer.
As always we welcome your questions, comments and stories regarding this topic. When we share our stories and wisdom we may be helping someone who is struggling with their Snow Dog.
Helping ALL Snow Dogs … one owner at a time.