Dem bones is too big a temptation!

Dem bones is too big a temptation!

Whew! We made it through Halloween! We hope you and your pets made it through safely, too. Now we slide into the month of November and today is National Cook for Your Pets Day. If you are so inclined to cook as a treat for your pets, we bring you some healthful recipes from our friends at HeroPetBrands and SavvyHomemade:

Yes, the timing isn’t great as it falls the day after Halloween.  But our pets have seen us stuffing ourselves with Halloween candy for days.  Now it’s their turn to enjoy a special treat: a healthy, home-cooked meal for dinner.  If you’re ready to get cooking, we’ve found four delicious and nutritious recipes that will have your pets begging for seconds:

Treats are great

Treats are great

Recipes for Dogs

Crockpot chicken and brown rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, broken into segments
  • 1 medium sweet potato, raw, cut into medium-sized chunks (leave skin on)
  • 3 carrots, sliced into about 1″ thick rounds
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (with or without skin)

Preparation:

  1. Put all ingredients into the crockpot in the order given (layer, don’t mix).
  2. Cook on low for about 8 hours, on high for about 5 hours.
  3. When done, stir, breaking up the chicken into small pieces. Everything will be quite soft.
  4. Let cool and serve
  5. Refrigerate unused portion; keeps up to three days.

Substitutions are allowed! For vegetables, try broccoli florets, zucchini, spinach or any of several types of squash. For the protein source, beef cubes, turkey or lamb also work. Use organic ingredients if possible.

Mutt loaf

Makes 8-10 portions
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 – 1-1/2 hours

Ingredients

5 ounces carrots, finely sliced
4 ounces fresh or frozen peas
1 pound minced beef
3 ounces fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs, made with wheat and gluten-free bread
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1/2 ounce parsley, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
4 ounces low-fat Parmesan cheese, shaved
3 eggs, hard-boiled and shelled

Preparation:

1. Steam the carrots and peas until just tender and set aside to cool. Mix the minced beef with the breadcrumbs, tomato puree, parsley and beaten eggs until well combined. Stir in the carrots and peas.
2. Roll the mixture into a ball and divide in half. Place half of the mixture in the base of a greased 2 pound loaf tin, pressing firmly down into the corners. Make a slight dip along the center.
3. Sprinkle with the shaved Parmesan. Then place the boiled eggs in a row down the center of the tin. Place the remaining mixture on top, and press firmly around the sides and on top to completely cover the eggs.
4. Cover with foil and bake on the middle shelf of an oven preheated to 350 degrees F, for 1 1/2 hours.
5. Turn out onto a plate, and leave to cool. Cut into slices, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve. Store any leftover Mutt Loaf in the refrigerator for up to a week.

In addition to the great name, this is a super-healthy recipe for your pup. If you’d rather bake something instead of cook a meal for your pooch, they won’t mind if you spoil them with one of these yummy dog treats: Carrot Dog Biscuits or Bacon Bark Sticks.

Full kittys are contented kittys

A full kitty is a contented kitty

Recipes for Cats

Raw Diets For Your Cat

While raw diets have become very fashionable, many vets will tell you that many raw foods could potentially be infested with parasites or bacteria. You should cook any meat you intend to feed your cat to kill any bacterial contaminants.

You should also remember that raw meat alone could be lacking in sufficient nutrients to keep your cat in optimum health. You may need to add vitamins and minerals to help keep your cat healthy.

These could include calcium, phosphorus and Omega-3 acids. Your cat may also require alfalfa and wheat grass for added antioxidants and nutrients.

Always speak with your vet before switching your cat over to a raw diet.

Chunky Meat and Rice Cat Food

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground meat (chicken, beef, lamb or turkey are fine)
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 1 large hard-boiled egg
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Preparation:

  1. Mash the boiled egg.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium-low heat.
  3. When the stock is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the stock reduces. The rice will expand and swell and absorb much of the liquid.
  4. Remove your home made cat food mixture from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
  5. Blend the mixture in a food processor until all the ingredients are mashed together.
  6. Then place into an air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Chicken and Pasta Cat Food

Ingredients

1/2 pound ground chicken
1 small finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup macaroni
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Preparation:

Add the oil and chicken to a saucepan and cook until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
Add the chicken stock, carrot and macaroni and bring the mixture to the boil.
When it’s boiling rapidly, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, or until the macaroni becomes very tender.
Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely.
Blend the mixture in a food processor so the ingredients are mashed together.
Then place into an air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Good to the last bite

Good to the last bite

Sardine Feast Cat Food

Ingredients

1 tin sardines in oil
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped parsley

Preparation:

Cook the rice until it’s very soft.
Drain well, then add a complete tin of sardines in oil and the finely chopped parsley.
Mix the ingredients together well.
Store any unused mixture in an air tight container in the fridge until needed again.

Meat and Oats Cat Food

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
3 cups water
1 hard-boiled egg
1 pound minced beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped spinach

Preparation:

Boil the rolled oats in water until they become very soft and begin to absorb the water.
While these are cooking, boil an egg.
When it’s cool enough, remove the eggshell and mash the egg into the oats.
In a fry pan, add the oil and beef and cook thoroughly.
Add the beef into the oat and egg mixture and stir through the finely chopped spinach.
Mix the home made cat food ingredients together well.
Store any unused mixture in an air tight container in the fridge until needed again.

Click this link for Tasty Fish Dinners recipes.  You can ask your kitty if she wants mackerel, sardine, trout or salmon for dinner, or cook all four.

And yes, we have some easy treats you can bake for your kitty too:  Spinach & Chicken Purrk Me Ups, Cheesy Meowthfulls and Goats Milk Catsicles. If you’re thinking about cooking meals for your pet more often, we suggest you consult with your veterinarian first.  Cats and dogs have specific nutritional needs and it’s important they eat a balanced diet.

That's NOT for me?

That’s NOT for me?

People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

As a reminder – these are foods you should NOT feed your pets.

Chocolate, Macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you, but they’re actually quite dangerous for our animal companions. Our nutrition experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine

These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Avocado

The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Grapes & Raisins

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.

Xylitol

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.

Milk

Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Salt

Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!

FCVC hopes you have enjoyed these recipes that you can cook for your pets. Healthy food makes for healthy pets! If you have any questions about the nutritional needs of your pet friend, please come in and talk to us. You can make an appointment at 970-587-5140. We are happy to talk about canine or feline diets.

Related articles you may find interesting – 9 Dangerous Human Foods for Cats and Fall Toxic Pet Dangers to Watch Out For.

Attribution – from our friends at HeroPetBrands.com, Dogvills.com, DIYnetwork.com, SavvyHomemade.com, CatsLovetoKnow.com