I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Our home was filled with visitors, both of the human and canine kind, during the week and nothing makes me happier than cooking for a houseful of people and dogs. It certainly got me not only ready, but excited for the upcoming holiday season as I am now already reviewing recipes for Christmas cookies and planning my holiday party menus. ’Tis the season!
As we become deep in the throws of the holiday season, here are some tips to keep your pets safe and healthy:
This will be our last blog post for 2016, so we want to take this moment to wish you and your family a holiday season filled with love, gratitude and affection. We look forward to reconnecting with you in the new year as we have so many exciting things in store for 2017.
Happy Holidays…from our family to yours!
PS: Many of you are probably already in the throws of holiday shopping as we are here at the farm, and if you are anything like me, you like to include your furry friends on that long list of gifts to give. If you are looking for that perfect gift for your pet or a friend that is a pet parent, then check out these gift ideas from Life’s Abundance!
I don’t know about you, but here at Ashling Place, November is one of our favorite times of the year. There is something about the spirit of this thanksgiving season that makes us feel so grateful. Sure, there are some bittersweet feelings as we put the garden to bed for the winter; however, we are extremely thankful for the bountiful harvest from which we will delight in during the cold months ahead.
A garden favorite here at the homestead is pumpkin - specifically pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies. It never fails that when asked to bring something to an event or dinner party, it is usually one of these two items. I thoroughly enjoy baking with pumpkin; however, I often find that my recipes never use all of the pumpkin I spent the whole morning roasting! Most recipes call from anywhere to a cup to 2 cups of pumpkin puree, so regardless of whether you use pie pumpkins (my preference) or canned pumpkin (comes in a 15oz can when you need 16oz), chances are you will have extra puree. So, what to do with it?
Fortunately if you are a dog owner, your pups will gladly take that extra pumpkin off your plate. You certainly can store it and add it as a small treat to your favorite pups meals, or you can use it to make a scrumptious goodie for your pup. Pumpkin is a healthy treat option for our canine companions. Its high fiber content is not only good for their digestive system, but it has also been shown to be beneficial for dogs that suffer from urinary incontinence and can even help with weight management (please consult with your veterinarian before making any drastic changes to your pet’s diet).
Here is the recipe we use here at the farm. Not only is it healthy, but it’s easy and can be prepared while your pies are baking in the oven…
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog treats
2 1/2 Cups Oat flour (use Bobs Red Mill)
1/2 Cup Pure Pumpkin Purée
2 Tbsps Krema Nut Peanut Butter
2 Large eggs, beaten
1 Tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together into one bowl. Roll dough out onto surface (sprinkle oat flour on surface to prevent sticking). If using cookie cutters, roll dough into about 1/4 inch thick sheet, or you can just roll into log and slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Bake for 40 minutes. Using your finger, test to the cookies to make sure they are hard in center. If not, continue to bake, extending the time in 3 minute increments until the cookie is firm to the touch.
Store in air tight container - should keep about 2 weeks if stored properly.
Using a 1 inch sized pumpkin cookie cutter, this recipe makes approximately 9 dozen treats! Plenty to share with your favorite furry companion, as well as all your canine loving friends.
Choosing the right food for our pets is a serious decision. Because our pets eat the same food every day for their entire life, it is critical to understand whether or not the food we decide to feed them is providing them with the necessary nutrients and vitamins that they need for a long and healthy life. Furthermore, identifying potentially harmful ingredients is essential in preventing long-term illness and disease.
The first step in keeping informed about canine nutrition is to know where to find unbiased information. Fortunately, there are a few websites that you can refer to that provide a wealth of insight into dog nutrition, pet food recalls, and food ratings. Two invaluable sights are:
www.dogfoodadvisor.com - An informational sight that provides unbiased dog food evaluations and ratings, analysis of brand specific ingredients, and up-to-date dog food recalls. You can sign up for free to receive instant notification of all dog food recalls.
www.dogfoodproject.com - An informational sight that provides research based information on canine nutrition and how to read and understand the good, the bad and the ugly of dog food labels and ingredients. Furthermore, you can find current information on dog food recalls and class action lawsuits related to recalls.
There is not one perfect dog food out there; however, if you can determine the difference between the good and the not-so-good, you are one step closer to making one of the most important decisions on your dog’s health and well-being. Understanding the label is the fist step, but also being aware of the brand’s manufacturing methods, storage procedures, and shelf-life is just as critical. While the ingredients in one brand may look similar to another, how it is prepared and stored can mean the difference between a nutritious vs. non-nutritious food. The fist step in responsible pet ownership is taking responsibility for their health needs, which includes proper nutrition, so please, take the time to understand what’s in your pet’s food.
If you are interested in completing a free Canine Wellness Assessment, please contact me by clicking here to make your request.