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:

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

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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.


Homemade Dog Food Recipe – Fish and Beef Stew With Vegetables

homemade dog food fish beef vegetables
This recipe for dogs uses fish, beef stew meat and vegetables.

See recipe.

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Juicing for Dogs?

Juicing is all the rage right now, for dieters, detoxers, athletes and others on a mission for health. Fruits and vegetables have amazing nutritive value, with their intense vitamin and mineral content, antioxidant levels, fiber and other respectable qualities.

There are two ways to make juices. The first way is to use a juicer and extract the liquid portion only, tossing the fiber and pulp. The second way is to use the whole package, minus any seeds, stems, core or other inedible portions. Essentially, this version is the same as a smoothie.

Personally, I believe the smoothie route is a better deal, because it includes the fiber. Although indigestible, fiber is healthy because it helps sweep away toxins and cholesterol from the body. Making juices can benefit not only you, but your dogs. Choosing dog-friendly fruits like watermelon, berries and apples, along with vegetables like carrots, broccoli, beets and many others, you can whip up a healthy juice / puree / soup for your dog (and perhaps you!). Fruits can be juiced raw, but vegetables should usually be cooked.

If your dog has a specific health condition, incorporating these foods into a healthy meat-based diet has the potential to help heal him or her. For example, watermelon and beets have been shown to protect the liver. Basically all fruits and vegetables have impressive antioxidant qualities, which can also help protect and heal your dog.

If you have questions about how to go about incorporating juiced fruits or vegetables to your dog’s diet, let me know!