PET FOODS AND TREATS TO KEEP THEM HAPPY & HEALTHY!

These little beef, turkey or chicken burgers are easy to make, nutritious and your pet will probalby enjoy every bite.  I actually have to hold on to it, so my little girl fur baby doesn't swallow it whole.

Don't laugh at my ugly baking sheet.  I bought this at a local store and it was so shiny and pretty, but after a few uses, it turned brown.  Then I discovered that brown baking pans cook the best.  I'm keeping the pan.

Using a ground meat, your choice, make little balls the size you desire, place them on a cookie sheet and flatten them with your finger.  Place them in the freezer until completely frozen.  Remove them from the tray and place in a plastic bag.  Refreeze and use as desired.  Because of their size, they defrost very quickly.  Please don't defrost in the microwave.  They are a great training treat.

LIVER, CHEESE AND BLUEBERRIES

You might need a dehydrator for this recipe unless you know how to use your oven to work as one.  It will also work best mixing the ingredients with a food processor.  

YOU WILLL NEED:

A food processor
A dehydrator
Plastic dehydrating sheets, usually used for making jerky
Several sheets of parchment paper (these can be washed and reused for other doggie treats, but not for foods for human consumption.  The odor of liver usually remains on them.)
A rubber or siicone spatula or something to spread the liver mixture on the parchment sheets

INGREDIENTS:

1 package of beef or calves liver (this is usually in the freezer department of most grocery stores, but ask.  Sometimes it is available fresh.  The package I purchase is about 1 lb.)
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
3 oz. cheddar, Jack or similar cheese, shredded or cubed

HOW TO:

1.  Add all ingredients to your food processor.  Mix well until you have a nice liver mush.  Don't worry, you might hate liver, but most dogs love it...even some kitties.
2. Place a sheet of parchment paper on your plastic dehydrator sheet.  Scoop out the amount of liver mush you desire onto the paper and spread out until it is about 1/8 inch thick.  I like to form this into a rectangle, which makes it easier to cut or break apart later.
3.  Place this on your dehydrator tray.  Fill each shelf with a tray.  Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's recommendation for meat.  My Excalibur recommends 145 degrees.
4.  This may take some time.  I recommend moving the papers around to get the best drying effect.  Once they are easily removed from the parchment, turn them over and dry the other side. 
5.  Once they are dry and nothing is mushy inside, remove the liver treat, cool and then cut or break into the size pieces you desire.  Place these in a plastic bag and freeze.  I find they last much longer frozen.  I had some that were refrigerated go moldy on me, so now I freeze each bag.

The idea for this recipe was taken from some Liver Cheese treats sold by Dr. Mercola.  
Recipe can be doubled, etc.

HOMEMADE DELICIOUS DOG FOOD

I have always spoiled my dogs (puppies, fur babies) by making their food and not serving kibble or canned foods.  Research assured me that I was doing the right thing.  I wouldn't eat it even if the "ingredients" sounded human consumable, so why should I give it to my little sweethearts?  This is the recipe I have used for years and actually still feed it to my 8th puppy/dog.  The only change I made was feeding our 2 Pyranees, because we raised rabbits and fed them that instead of chicken.  We used that as it was more abundant.

You will need: (1 cup for every ten pounds or whatever your dog will easily consume. I found that my puppy didn't want that much food.  She is now 20 lbs and gets by with 1.5 cups of my recipe and Dr. Marty's Freeze Dried Food.)

Double or triple the recipe as needed. I use chicken legs because they are readily accessible at my grocery in organic.

INGREDIENTS:

4 chicken legs, organic if possible
3 carrots, organic, cleaned and halved
1/2 sweet potato, large (organic if possible), skin on.  They will be removed.
1/2 to one cup cooked brown rice, organic
1 tsp olive oil, organic
pinch of salt
broth from cooked veggies and chicken rendered down to about 1/2 to 3/4 cup

HOW TO:

1. In a 6 qt pot add carrots, sweet potato and chicken with enough water to just cover.  Add a lid.  Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium low for about 60 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow the pot to naturally cool for 60 more minutes.  This allows more of the nutition to seep out of the bones and grizzle. It also make it easier to remove the meat from the bones.
2. In a medium-sized bowl add carrots, sweet potatoes (removing skins).  Mash until desired consistency.  Place chicken on a board or plate to cool and shred.  
3. To the bowl add rice, oil and salt.  Mix well.
4. While de-boning the chicken, render the broth down to amount desired.  I recommend 1/2 to 3/4 cup. 
5. De-bone chicken paying close attention to bones and pieces of bone, knuckles that may come off.  This is important.  I use my fingers for this task so that I can feel for anything that could be a chocking hazard.  This has occurred.  I do one piece at a time and place that shredded meat into the veggie/rice mixture.  
6.  Mix all ingredients well.  Fold in the cooled, rendered broth.  Place in an appropriate container for refrigerator or freezer storage.  You can also portion freeze as needed.

NOTE: My spoiled puppy doesn't always like "boiled" food, so I periodically bake it.  I place the chicken in one pan and the carrots and sweet potatoes in another (tent the veggies with foil and add a couple of tablespoons of water), sprinkle the chicken with some basil, dill or oregano and bake it at 375/400 degrees for an hour.  Then I chop up all into bite-sized pieces and mix it with the pre-cooked rice.  If you want it to be more moist, try boiling the leftover chicken bones until the broth is thicker and using this as a "gravy" to moisten the food.  I leave the knuckles and some of the loose skin on the bones for this to make the broth richer and then strain the broth.  Works great!

This meal can also be made in a food processor.  I cook my veggies separate from the chicken.  Then allowing all to cool, I first quickly pulse the veggies and add that to a medium-sized bowl with the pre-cooked rice.  Then I do the same with the chicken meat that I sliced off the bones.  Stir all ingredients together, place in a storage container and refrigerate.  Pls be sure to warm the food a bit before serving.

As an added treat periodically I add some chopped hard boiled egg or a teaspoon of organic yogurt or cottage cheese to the top.  My pups all enjoyed this.  Spoiled! Over-loved!  : )

Another happy fur baby!

PUPPY FEEDING PLACEMATS

Originally I had plastic store-bought placemats for my puppies (big or little), but then I realized they do not absorb liquid and the bowls and plates move around as the puppies eat. Having some left over double-sided, quilted fabric and blanket-size bias seam binding, I constructed these placemats shown in the photo. They are cloth, which allows them to absorb liquids and the bowls and plates are stable. I made two so that I could change them out. I find they wash really well in the washing machine. Because the fabric is quilted, I don't put them in the dryer. Quilted fabric sometimes puckers when machine dried.

I measured the size I needed for the number and size bowls I would be using. My mats are 15" x 22". I purchased the double-sided, quilted fabric online.

PUPPY MOOD BOOSTER

This came from Dr. Marty (yes, dog food fame) and I thought it was worth sharing:

Try THIS major “mood booster.”
(I do this at LEAST once a day — it’s my dog dad ritual, if you will.)

First, go to your living room… plop down on the couch… call your pup up to join you…
And snuggle the heck out of them!

Now, don’t you feel super calm, and maybe even a little… smiley?
That’s because snuggling with your dog is one of the best things you can do for your brain and body.

Doggy snuggle time produces the “feel-good” compound, oxytocin
Which can help soothe stress, balance your heart rate, and support healthy blood pressure.1
And here’s the icing on the cake —
Snuggling is a doggy favorite too!

Of course, your pup may have their own special way of being affectionate. That said…
Here are 3 BIG reasons why dogs love snuggling:

Reason #1: To be closer to the leader of their pack

YOU are your dog’s best friend and devoted caregiver.
They can count on you for anything, and see you as the leader of their “pack,” or family.
So instinctually… your pup wants to be close to you.2
This is why your dog might follow you around the house, watch your every move…
And of course, snuggle up close whenever they get the chance.
(For instance, my dog Redford will lay down and get comfy on my feet while I’m washing the dishes…
And anytime I sit down on the couch, Tilly races over for some snuggles.)

Reason #2: For warmth and comfort

In the wild, puppies “huddle” with their littermates to stay warm.
Overtime, they associate this warmth with feelings of safety and comfort — creating a special bond.3
So it’s no surprise that when your dog’s feeling chilly OR a little overwhelmed
They choose YOU as their go-to security blanket!
Your special snuggles can help them feel safe and extra toasty.

#3: It just makes them plain ol’ happy

Snuggling with you can release your dog’s “feel-good” oxytocin too4
Helping them fight off any stress or anxiety they might be feeling…
And supporting their relaxed, tail-wagging good moods.
That’s why this “bad-day” snuggle buster is a great tactic for THEM too. See, snuggling is GREAT for you and your pup. It’s relaxing, comforting, helps combat stress… and can even strengthen your unique bond.

So the next time your dog snuggles up beside you… lean in a little extra.
Chances are, this quality cuddle time is making you and your pup’s day a million times better!

To you and your best friend,

Dr. Marty