Preparing for Easter with the kids? Here is how you can keep your pets safe while having fun.
There are several popular Easter toxins lurking around your home:
Chocolate – Caffeinated products such chocolate contain methylxanthines that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, anxiety, seizures and possibly death.
Easter Lilies – All parts of the Easter lily are poisonous; leaves, petals, stems and even pollen. The smallest amount of pollen on a cat’s fur ingested when the pet grooms or as few as 1-2 leaves are toxic to cats, and can result in severe renal (kidney) failure.
Artificial grass/ Easter basket grass – If ingested the grass may form into a ball in the stomach or intestines, or may anchor in the stomach and create a linear foreign obstruction as it attempts to pass through the small intestines.
For signs, symptoms and treatment please refer to a recent blog post from our good friends at Augusta Ranch Animal Hospital.
Have a happy and safe Easter!
Providing pet sitting and dog walking services in Mesa, AZ we are frequently asked about “people” food our pet parents can feed their pets. There are a lot of good “people” foods you can feed your pet, as a matter of fact, many people have their pets on raw or cooked “people” food diets. I have one client that feeds her dog raw chicken, exclusively. He is very healthy, not overweight, and if your dog is used to eating raw meat, it doesn’t bother them at all.
When I work with pet parents who’s pooch needs to lose weight I suggest that they supplement their dogs diet with carrots and green beans. They still get dog food, just a little less than they are used to. Mom adds a 1/4 cup of carrots or green beans and the pet feels full but doesn’t get the extra calories dog food provides. This also helps with pooches that tend to eat poop. Add some carrots or green beans to their food and again, they feel full, so they don’t feel the need to supplement their diet with poop.
I do suggest that whatever “people” food pet parents feed their pets is not given from their plate or from the dinner table. This will make a beggar out of your pet and you cook with spices that are not good for your pet.
Here are some foods to AVOID feeding your pet:
Chocolate (the dark kind)
Bones (cooked – raw bones don’t tend to splinter like cooked bones do)
Grapes & Raisins
Milk & other dairy products
Grapes & Raisins
Do you provide a raw or cooked diet to your pet? We can do that too!
Flavored Chicken Chewies – Courtesy of http://kolchakpuggle.com/
Use what you’ve already got at home for your healthy treats. Super easy and FREE!
The website I got this recipe from (link above) offered some optional marinades. I am keeping this recipe as simple as possible just to keep unwanted or unneeded ingredients in the chews. If you’d like to add additional flavor to your chews check out his website for ideas.
3 lbs. chicken breast chunks (or thinly sliced chicken breast)
How We Do It (Instructions)
(Skip the first 2 steps if not using a marinade)
Whisk together marinade ingredients of your choice.
Place chicken in a shallow dish or plastic bag and cover with marinade. Place in fridge and marinate 12 – 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 425F.
Line baking trays with parchment paper. Lay out chicken pieces on the trays. Bake chicken 15 minutes or until cooked through.
Reduce heat to 200F and slow cook for 3 -12 hours, flipping occasionally until jerky is dry.
Place chicken chunks onto dehydrator trays. Set to the HIGH or MEAT setting. Dehydrate for 2 – 12 hours, no flipping necessary, until jerky is dry
Cut a piece in half to test for doneness. Jerky is dry when there is no moisture in the centre of the treat and it is the same colour throughout.
Organ Meat Dog Treats – Also from http://kolchakpuggle.com/
Organ meat is liver and lung. The linked website mentions heart, which you can use, but it isn’t considered an organ when feeding raw. Heart is considered meat. Organs are rich! Feed a few of these treats at a time. If your dog eats too much it may give it the runs.
Slice your organ meat into thin slices (This will be a bazillion times easier if it’s partially frozen.) The thinner you can slice it, the better you’re final treat will be. Line a baking sheet or dehydrator tray with parchment (for easy clean up, plus, these can stick if you’re not careful!) Place baking sheet in an oven heated to the lowest setting or plug in dehydrator on the “meat” setting (if you have one). Dry for 12 – 14 hours, until they snap crisp and there is no moisture left in the middle.
Dehydrating organ meat may be a bit stinky. If you have a dehydrator try plugging it in outside to keep from stinking up the house.
Fish Chew – Also from http://kolchakpuggle.com/
1 lb. of fresh or frozen/defrosted white fish pieces – You can use Tilapia, Sole, Haddock, Cod, Pollock etc. I use what ever is on sale.
How We Do It (Instructions)
If desired, trim the whitefish into bite sized pieces. ( Note: The fish will shrink by about 50% as it dehydrates, so cut your whitefish pieces larger than the size of chew you want to end up with.)
If you are marinating your chews (you can get some marinating ideas from the website), whisk the ingredients together. Place your fish pieces in a bowl or zip top bag, pour the marinade over them and toss the fish to coat well.
Place in the fridge and marinate for as long as you like. (I prefer to make the marinade the night before and let it sit all night.)
Lay out fish pieces on your dehydrator trays and turn on. Allow your fish chews to dehydrate for 6 – 10 hours. (Actual drying time will depend on the moisture in the fish and the humidity in your area.)
Fish chews are done when they are firm, no longer flexible and break cleanly in half.
Oven Method: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Lay out your fish pieces on a foil lined baking sheet or a drying rack. Cook fish for several hours – Mine took 4 hours. (Again, actual drying time will depend on the moisture in the fish and the humidity in your area.)
Store in a sealed, airtight container. Do not refrigerate.
Grain Free Dog Treats – Courtesy of Primally Inspired
½ cup chicken or beef broth (or homemade bone broth) – I like the bone broth idea. It adds additional nutrients and doesn’t add extra sodium.
½ cup fat or oil of choice (bacon fat, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) – BACON FAT! Don’t know what to do with your leftover bacon fat? Now you do!
1⅓ cup tapioca flour
⅓ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon sea salt (or just leave it out)
2 tablespoons brewers or nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (sometimes called ground flax or milled flax)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small pot over medium heat, bring the chicken broth and fat/oil to a boil.
While that is coming to a boil, mix tapioca flour, coconut flour, sea salt, brewers yeast and flax meal in a medium bowl.
Once the broth/fat mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat and add to the flour bowl. Mix well.
On a piece of parchment paper, press out the dough into a ¼” thick rectangle. Either cut into squares with a pizza cutter or use cookie cutters in desired shape.
Bake for 15 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. When the timer goes off, shut off the oven, crack the door and leave in the oven until cool (about 10-15 more minutes).