Your Dog is making Minnesota winter doable. Help them stay healthy!
Yes, winter’s here and it’s cold, days are shorter, and snow has fallen(!).
Minnesotans love their comfort food in winter-time! Make sure your dog friend stays safe from things they shouldn’t eat.
- xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in gum, candy, and toothpaste)
- grapes & raisins
- onions & garlic
- human supplements (not dosed or designed for dog biology)
- macadamia nuts
- rising yeast dough (as the yeast continues to raise the dough, it can cause bloat or obstruction)
- toothpaste (fluoride isn’t meant to be eaten, just brushed with and spat out)
If you think your dog has ingested a toxin, call your vet or an emergency vet immediately. Put that number in your phone right now so you’re not trying to find it when already in a panic.
Then you can have a safe and fun winter that makes you and your dog happy.
Bone Broth, Dogs Love It and It’s Healthy
You almost can’t get on the Internet without hearing about bone broth’s healing and healthful properties. It’s like having a friend who does CrossFit. You’ll hear about it. Bone broth is the latest thing sweeping health and wellness groups, including those catering to dogs and overall pet health. It’s touted to help joint health, and to keep sick dogs hydrated or to jump-start eating in a dog who has stopped.
Essentially bone broth is what comes out of bones and any vegetables that are slowly boiled together all day or for up to 24 hours. Some people use a slow cooker and others use a pressure cooker such as an InstantPot. If you think to yourself that’s stock or broth, you’re not far off. Because it cooks slower for longer, proper bone broth is like a jelly when it’s at room temperature. People tend to drink it warm. Dogs don’t care; they go bananas for the stuff. That’s one reason it’s a good appetite stimulant for a sick dog who hasn’t been eating.
What’s in bone broth depends on what you use to make it. Fundamentally it’s made of raw bones that have marrow and cartilage, water, and vinegar or some other acid. Bones can come from any animal, it doesn’t make a difference as long as it’s a bone with marrow. Think chicken thigh, oxtail, beef marrow bone, and the like. Save some when you cook and keep them in the freezer until you have about 2 pounds. Some people encourage the addition of vegetables, such as carrots, celery, and ginger, and herbs such as parsley.
Put all your ingredients in a sturdy pot, add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and enough water to cover everything by about 2 inches. Bring your pot to a low simmer and let it cook slowly. It’ll need an entire day on the stove or 24 hours in a slow cooker. A pressure cooker will do it in about 2 hours on high pressure with a natural release.
Take out all the bones and the cooked veggies. If you used fresh whole veggies you can eat them. It’s okay to leave any meat scraps or skin in the broth. Once it cools a layer of white fat will solidify on the top. Remove and discard it. You should be left with a jello-like substance underneath. That’s bone broth. Store it in single servings in your fridge or freezer.
There are more opinions about bone broth’s benefits than there are people feeding bone broth. No one is arguing that it isn’t tasty and good for dogs who aren’t eating. Dogs will feel fuller longer, so if your dog friend needs to lose some weight, add a little bone broth to their meal.
It’s not a great source of protein, but it’s better than nothing. It has glucosamine and chondroitin which help joints and might reduce inflammation. The collagen in bone broth supports healthy connective tissue. It contains amino acids that are good for a healthy digestive system. Bone broth has calcium, magnesium, and sulfur, but it’s not a great source for any of these minerals. Watch out for loads of salt or other additives in store-bought broth.
The phosphorus in bone broth means you shouldn’t feed it to any dog with kidney issues or mast cell disease unless the disease is advanced and you’re just trying to get them to eat or drink. And if you’re a raw feeder, bone broth is not a replacement for real bones your dog needs to be physically and psychologically healthy.
Once the broth is completed and has cooled enough to handle, freeze servings in ice cube trays or some of those handy silicone molds intended for candy-making. The broth will keep in the freezer for a couple of months. Throw one in your dog’s food at breakfast or whenever you need to inspire eating. They also make a nice cool treat on a hot day.
The philosophy of feeding bone broth is probably something like spirulina or coconut oil. Each was a fad. Claims of their benefits and healing properties wove their way through inboxes and community groups. They cured cancer, fixed memory loss, improved mobility, cleared up eyesight, and improved coat quality. Well, depending on who you asked. The thing is, spirulina and coconut oil are good for certain things. So is bone broth. Do some research and try it if your circumstances warrant.
Written by Ann Warren of Blue Box Word Service, LLC.
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