HEALTH WEEK FOR PUPS
We’ve had a lot of little doggie friends lately who seem to have been “under the weather” for a variety of reasons…illness, allergies, eating things they should not have, etc….
So this week Mummy and I decided to do something a little different. We have researched several different items that might help out some of our sickly pals and hopefully it will help in their recovery…some of the info might even help in keeping future pals from getting sick.
Whenever possible we will include websites that we ran across so you can check into things in greater depth….happy reading! A good site for a variety of pet concerns is: www.animalhealthcare.ca
Ever since I wrote my cookbook, I have had people write to me and ask for a good recipe for doggies with upset tummies. If your doggie has an upset tummy with vomiting and diarrhea, put him on a bland diet like this for a day or two and he should be as good as new. Of course, you should ALWAYS contact your vet FIRST if your poochie is not feeling well! SEE A VET IMMEDIATELY IF A DOG HAS VIOLENT VOMITING AND/OR DIARRHEA, ESPECIALLY IF THE VOMIT OR EXCREMENT INCLUDES UNDIGESTED FOOD AND/OR BLOOD, OR IF THE DOG IS LETHARGIC. I have included a few other recipes I have used from the book “The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs” by Donna Twichell Roberts that you might also find helpful. I just love her little cookbook for doggies!
TUMMY UPSET DIET
1 quart water, divided
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Bring 2 cups water to a boil over high heat in a 3-quart saucepan. Add rice, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes until all water has been absorbed. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring remaining 2 cups water to a boil over high heat in a shallow saucepan. Add chicken breasts, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cook through. Remove chicken from water. Let cool slightly, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Stir chicken into rice. Can pour some of the broth over the rice if desired. Makes about 1 quart.
- Serve this mixture is SMALL amounts 4-6 times during the day. As your pup is able to keep the food down and digest it normally, add a little dry dog food after several days.
- Keep the dog on this bland diet for 24-48 hours, until normal digestion returns; then GRADUALLY resume feeding him his regular food at his usual feeding times.
- Other bland foods to consider include: Cream of Wheat cereal, cottage cheese, and hard-cooked eggs.
2 ½ cups water
1 ¼ cups uncooked white rice
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ pound lean ground beef
- Bring water to a boil over high heat in a 3-quart saucepan. Add rice, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until all water has been absorbed. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring frequently, until meat is brown and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir into rice. Makes about 1 quart. Serve with heart diet dry dog food.
- Note that common signs of heart disease in dogs include: Shortness of breath, lethargy or sluggishness…SEE A VET IMMEDIATELY IF DOG HAS LABORED BREATHING OR FREQUENT COUGHING, OR IF HE COLLAPSES!!!
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound duck or venison, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Heat Oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the duck or venison and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is brown and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Makes about 1 quart. Serve with a dry dog food formulated for dogs with allergy problems.
*Common symptoms of allergies include frequent to incessant scratching or rubbing, redness or welts on the skin, discoloration of fur…especially around the ears, eyes, mouth, and/or paws. SEE A VET IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR DOG BEGINS TO LOSE HAIR OR WELTS BECOME INFLAMED OR INFECTED!!!
*Start with a blank slate…a food he has never eaten before, such as duck or venison. It used to be that lamb was the protein of choice in an allergy diet, but lamb-rice dog food is now quite common. So start with duck or venison, either one of which your dog will be delighted to find on his menu.
*Serve it with a dry dog food formulated for allergy-prone dogs (check with your vet) for two months to make sure your dog is symptom-free.
*Then add one ingredient, such as plain cooked rice or cooked carrots, and serve that combination for two weeks. This diet requires PATIENCE!!!!
*Continue adding ingredients every two weeks until you see the allergic symptom return. Then you have identified the offending food or FOODS! There MAY be more than ONE!!!
*Eliminate the problem foods altogether from your dog’s diet, and make appropriate substitutions.
*If your dog appears to be allergic to wheat flour, you can possibly substitute rice flour or non-wheat products.
*If he seems to be allergic to dairy products, eliminate them and substitute soy-based products.
(Just a note here about allergies…I myself am allergic to tons of stuff…I didn’t start off this way. I used to be able to eat anything and then one day Mummy noticed that my little fat tummy had red bumps ALL OVER IT! I was chewing my feet and scratching all the time. Allergies was suspected and at the time I was just being fed a nice crunchy kibble…and doggie snacks. We by-passed all of that trying new foods thing and went straight for the lab testing. It was expensive but you find out right away what the culprits are…and there were quite a few. The test will tell you what you are allergic to…and HOW ALLERGIC you are to each one…is it just a little? Or does just LOOOKING AT IT cause you to break out in hives? This was very helpful and it was at this time that Mummy just decided to start cooking for all of us so she could be more in control of WHAT went into our food. We still get a tiny bit of kibble in our food, but it is mostly home cooking. We even have a recipe in our cookbook for homemade kibble if you want to really go all out!!! But our advice, if you are thinking you might have an allergy problem…is get the lab testing done. You will get a much larger report of food items than you may have even bothered to test for. The vet suggested we try allergy shots to control the outbreaks, but Mummy said NO…we would try controlling it with diet FIRST…any small outbreaks would be managed with Benadryl…and if that didn’t work…THEN we could talk about allergy shots. That was 6 years ago and the diet changes have worked fine. You should be aware that many allergic ingredients are ALSO in doggie shampoos! For example…I am allergic to oatmeal…so I also cannot use any shampoos with OATMEAL in them…which is actually hard to find…but I have a certain brand now that I LOVE and have recommended it to soooo many people. I will soon be carrying it in my new boutique as well. So you really have to stay on top of things when allergies are concerned!)
Other sites for feeding your doggie include:
www.seespotlivelonger.com (Mummy just ordered some of this “mix with your food” stuff…we’ll let you know if we like it!)
www.sthuberts.org/petpouri/articles/nutrition.asp (this site tells how many calories we should have a day and even how many TREATS we should have a day! EEH GAD! Maybe mummy shouldn’t have posted THIS site!!!!!)
Many books have been written on herbs and their health benefits and there are many pawrents out there who like to use natural or holistic means to treats us little furry babies…so for them, here are a couple of sites they can use:
Using herbs to improve health is not a recent fad; it goes back to the earliest origins of human medicine….and for animals, it goes back even farther! Animals have always sought plants to cure a variety of conditions. When pups chew grass…they KNOW this will settle an upset tummy! But before beginning on an herbal regime, always consult your vet FIRST! The safest way to administer herbs is to start with a low dosage, observe the effects for a month or so, and adjust the amount accordingly. Here are a few common herbs and the effects they may have:
Calendula: used externally to treat wounds and skin irritations
Chamomile: alleviates anxiety, insomnia and indigestion
Echinacea: stimulates and strengthens the immune system
Peppermint: soothes gas, indigestion and colic
Slippery elm: settles nervous stomachs and eases diarrhea
You can chop the herbs very finely and sprinkle them over your pup’s food or make an herbal tea by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried herbs or 2-4 Tablespoons of fresh herbs. Cover and let steep for 10-15 minutes, strain well and let cool. Pour over their food. If your dog won’t eat the food with this mixture poured over it, you can always squirt it into his mouth, along his lower back teeth, with a plastic syringe. He will thank you later.
I have the following five books in my doggie library and refer to them often…I love all of them and have found MANY useful tips in each of them.
The Nature of Animal Healing (The Definitive Holistic Medicine Guide to Caring for Your Dog or Cat) by Martin Goldstein, D.V.M.
Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog by Wendy Volhard and Kerry Brown D.V.M.
Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, PhD
The Encyclopedia of Bach Flower Therapy by Mechthild Scheffer
The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care by CJ Puotinen