Categories
Articles and News

Listen to Sarah’s Radio Interview on Pet Connections

On Sunday, April 14,2019 I was the guest on the “Pet Connections” radio show based out of Minneapolis, MN. Host Cathy Menard interviewed me at length about the benefits of homemade dog food. What a wonderful hour!

We discussed recipe formulation, quality issues in the pet food industry, and healthy ingredients dog parents can include for optimal health.

We also spent some time talking about the “grain free” craze and the recent related discovery of diet-induced heart disease popping up in otherwise healthy dogs, and what you can do about it.

Please enjoy this interview and you can tune into Pet Connections every Sunday on AM950 Radio in Minneapolis.

Listen to my interview on Pet Connections

 

Categories
Articles and News Foods for Specific Issues Supplements

Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Dogs – Foods & Making a Long Term Plan

Just like us, dogs can get irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic digestive system disorders that can cause discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, mucus in stool and other GI issues.

Although the cause is not known for sure, it is an inflammatory condition. Therefore, it is important to reduce inflammation, eliminate unhealthy foods and add healing ones.  Fog caregivers can use good food to help fix the problem long term.

Sensitive intestinal tract compromised in irritable bowel syndrome

The intestines are lined with muscle that normally work and contract without discomfort. However, those with IBS may have muscles that contract more intensely or for longer times, resulting in discomfort.

Another reason is connected with the gastrointestinal (GI) nervous system. If the GI system and the brain are not communicating properly, it can cause the GI system to overreact.

Poor quality food, stress contribute to IBS

Other, perhaps more tangible reasons include food sensitivities, poor quality food, stress, anxiety or illness.

Do you know any dogs who are experiencing any of these issues or symptoms? Gradually experimenting with better diet can make a profound difference in the long term.   Begin with a bland diet of ground turkey and sweet potatoes, both cooked and mashed. From there, we branch out slowly but surely, adding one new food at a time – perhaps one per week, in small amounts. Please contact me if your dog is experiencing tummy troubles as a result of a bothersome food. We will work together to create a customized meal plan for your dog.

Other suggestions based on my readings geared to humans include stress reduction. This can include daily walks, lots of love, and a safe environment. Probiotics are another recommendation, as they help balance intestinal flora. And high quality omega-3s reduce inflammation.

Love, exercise and good food can help keep your pal healthy!

Categories
Articles and News Foods for Specific Issues

Is Your Dog Prone to Kidney Issues?

Oxalates in Vegetables

If you have a dog with kidney issues, you probably know about oxalates.

Oxalates are naturally occurring substances in many foods, including numerous vegetables. People who have dogs with kidney stones, crystals or kidney failure are often advised to stay away from oxalate-rich foods including some otherwise healthy vegetables like spinach (seen here), chard, Brussels sprouts and beets.

I recently read a study on vegetable cooking methods on oxalate content. A team of researchers analyzed nine different vegetables to see if cooking methods had any effect on oxalate content. Turns out, a great deal of oxalates actually boil out into the cooking water. So, according to their findings, pouring off the cooking water means pouring off a lot of the oxalates.

Most of the time, I recommend saving the cooking water because some vitamins boil out too. But in the case of dogs with kidney issues, boiling oxalate-containing vegetables and tossing the water can mean hope for including at least small amounts of nutrient-rich vegetables that are otherwise off the list. You can look at the study abstract here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15826055

If you’re not comfortable serving any amounts of these vegetables to your kidney-compromised furbaby, no problem. There are seemingly endless vegetables out there to enjoy. As with us, vegetables offer your dog dramatically protective benefits against cancer, inflammation and more. Basically every dog food batch I make, every recipe I create includes at least one type of vegetable, usually more than one. You can explore my recipes and much more here on DogFoodCoach.com.

Categories
Articles and News Recalls and Contamination

Hill’s Dog Food Recall Expands

Dear friends of dogs,

A few weeks back, I sent a notice about the Hill’s prescription food recall. That recall has expanded to include more products. You can see the new list on the FDA site here: https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/ucm634138.htm.

Serving better quality food is one of the most important ways to protect your dog – not just from unsafe foods, but from disease and so much more. Join me in this mission!

For the love of dogs,

Sarah

Categories
Featured Ingredients Recipes

Why Give Dogs Liver

I have older relatives who squirm at the memory of having to eat liver as a child .. but as with so many things, grandma was right! Liver holds a wide range of nutrients, including copper, zinc, iron, vitamins and more.

And you don’t need to add that much… about an ounce per pound of meat should do it.

How I Cook Liver

In my grocery store, beef and calf liver are in the freezer section in 1-pound packages – about 4 or 5 slices. I rinse it off, put it in a skillet with a few ounces of water, and cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat or until it’s cooked through, cutting it up as it cooks.

Once it cools, I freeze it in batches of about 2 – 4 ounces per bag. Then I take bags out periodically and use for a few days, supplementing my dog’s meals.

Eating Liver to Support the Liver

Did you know that you can serve liver to support liver health? This is based on an ancient practice known throughout the world… feeding specific tissues can help support the corresponding tissue. Therefore, you can feed liver to support liver health, feed hearts to support heart health, etc.

One thing to keep in mind is that liver is one of the body’s detoxifying organs, so try to buy as clean a version as possible. This is why I opted for calf liver here.

Enjoy!

Categories
Articles and News Featured Ingredients Foods for Specific Issues Supplements

Why Give Dogs Coconut Oil

Dear friends of dogs,

Inner and outer beauty… coconut oil does it!

On the outside, it feels velvety soft and can be applied to skin, rough paws, and can enhance skin’s health in general.

On the inside, it offers a wide range of benefits too. The fat in coconut oil (medium chain triglycerides, or MCT) is absorbed quickly and efficiently, making it quite usable by the body in general.

Coconut oil can aid in cognitive function, inflammatory conditions, viral and bacterial issues and much more.

Unrefined coconut oil is a staple in my dog’s diet, and I include it in many of my recipes and ingredient suggestions.

You can offer this gem straight out of the jar, or you can cook with it. Most dogs I give it to seem to like the taste.

I hope you and your dog enjoy this healthy addition. And remember, joining DogFoodCoach.com gives you full access to all members-only content, including recipes, articles and much more.

Best wishes,
Sarah

Sarah Whitman, MS
Founder, DogFoodCoach.com

Categories
Articles and News Supplements

Making Eggs? You Can Make a Calcium Supplement

Dear friends of dogs,

You know what they say about eggs … incredible, edible and lots more! They take very little time to prepare, can be used alone or in recipes, and provide a highly digestible protein for your dog.

If that didn’t offer enough reasons to include them in your dog’s diet, here’s another reason: You can use eggshell as a calcium supplement.

See below for more details on using eggs and eggshell as a natural, nutritious calcium supplement. You can see more in-depth members-only content about eggs and tons more ingredients.

Enjoy!
Sarah

Sarah Whitman, MS
Founder, DogFoodCoach.com

Incredible Egg!

What’s so great about ’em?

Eggs contain a wide range of nutrients and highly digestible protein. Eggshells contain calcium and other minerals and compounds that can promote bone health and more. Power food!

How can I make eggs?

Scrambled, fried, mixed into your usual recipes… you name it. They are versatile little buggers.

How can I make eggshells?

Eggshells are sharp, so they should be finely ground or well crushed. You can grind or crush them raw and then cook into your recipes, OR you can cook them on their own and then grind them into a powder.

How much should I use as a supplement?

The answer varies depending on what else your dog is eating. But the holistic vets I’ve talked with recommend approximately 1/2 teaspoon of ground eggshell per pound of meat, if you are making a homemade diet.

Is there anything to worry about?

Just a quick note aside from the need to make sure the shells are well crushed:

  • Some dogs are sensitive to eggs or just egg whites. Just start slow and see how your furbaby does. I recommend this with all dietary changes.
Categories
Articles and News Foods for Specific Issues Supplements

Arthritis in Dogs – Foods to Consider

Arthritis is common in dogs, just like it is in us humans. So what can we do for our furry friends who are feeling achy, inflamed and sore from arthritis? There are some dietary and lifestyle adjustments we humans can use — look into them for your dogs too!

What is arthritis?

Depending on its form, arthritis can cause swelling, pain, joint damage, reduced activity and lessened quality of life. Often it happens simply as a by-product of age, or can be a result of previous injury, overuse or underlying viral or bacterial causes

Often, anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed and likely provide some relief, but also can come with their own potential problems.

What’s a good diet for a dog with arthritis?

An antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet is crucial. As a holistic minded vet I know once said, “all commercial pet food is inflammatory.” This is true for many reasons, including heavy processing, nutrient depletion, poor quality and many other potential factors.

Transitioning to a clean, human-grade, homemade diet can work wonders for the body in numerous ways including reducing inflammation.

Recipes for dogs with arthritis

Pet parents can do this easily, using any of numerous healthy recipes found on my website.

You can help your dog by cutting out processed foods and poor quality items and replacing them with fresh ingredients that help curb inflammation. A clean, high quality diet in general will help with this, but specific foods that are known to reduce inflammation include many vegetables and fruits, healthy oils (real olive oil, unrefined coconut oil) wild fish, sardines and other high quality meats your dog’s body needs.

Other natural approaches to arthritis

For a more comprehensive summary of natural approaches to arthritis in dogs, you can order my e-booklet, Natural Approaches to Arthritis in Dogs.

Glucosamine with chondroitin is also a popular, likely beneficial supplement. Many other supplements have been reviewed, and I am working on a report about this. Contact me for more information.

Improving your dog’s diet, taking him for regular walks and providing him with a low-stress, love-filled environment can go a long way.

Outside of diet, there are other natural approaches that can really help. These include acupuncture, homeopathy, massage and more.

Exercise is beneficial in arthritis management, and can help keep weight in check – another beneficial aspect. Start slowly and gently, as your dog may be sore.

Feel free to contact me if you need help finding a holistic vet.

Categories
Recalls and Contamination

Think it can’t happen to you?


Dog Food Recalls


Dear friends of dogs,

We all hope bad things won’t happen to us. Unfortunately, this concept applies to pet food just as much as anything else.

When a pet food recall happens, it’s easy to think,”Well, my dog’s food wasn’t on the list.” But could there be problems with your brand too, either in the future, or at the current time and you just don’t know about it?

One of the latest recalls is from Hill’s; the company issued a voluntary recall due to potentially elevated vitamin D levels in many of their products.

So let me ask you this:

Are you willing to totally surrender control over your dog’s food intake? I know I’m not.

It might be worth it to spend a little time learning and start making your own dog food. It is safer, healthier and often even more affordable! You can always join DogFoodCoach.com for access to my recipes, articles and more.

Best wishes,
Sarah PS…You can see the FDA page here, with a list of recalled products.

Categories
Recipes

Homemade Dog Food Recipe – Granola for Dogs

dog granola for dogs
This recipe for dogs is a healthy dog granola snack.

See recipe.