Here we are already into August…I’ve decided to dedicate this delightful month to recipe requests. To those of you whom have taken the time to comment on a post via the reply option at the end of each post and to those of you who have taken the time to email me – THANK YOU. While I have a great support network of hardcore My Dog’s Breakfast fans (friends/family) who have been amazing with their positive feedback and suggestions, it’s both helpful and rewarding to hear from other readers.
The first request that I’ve been able to fulfill is for a low cal recipe for Barbara Ince from Whitby, Ontario. Barbara took the time to introduce herself and share her story with me via email back in May. Her two cutie pies, Diesel and Iggy the Dachshunds, were by no stretch of the imagination obese, but they had an extra 1-2 pounds that Barbara was uncomfortable with. I should explain that Barbara is more than just into fitness & nutrition. Barbara is a Certified Fitness Professional and Registered Nurse who was also a multi-sport Canadian National Team Athlete (as was her husband). She is a certified expert in TRX Suspension Training which is perfect for all levels of fitness from beginners to Olympic athletes. Her company is called Physically-Fit, check it out! Needless to say, these two little guys get plenty of exercise, and the extra weight was driving her crazy! Deisel (the red fellow) is on Potassium Bromide for Seizures (although now well controlled) the meds caused an increase in appetite and weight gain. Barbara had been cooking up a storm, using some great lean meats like Elk, and had been home cooking various weight loss recipes that were created by popular vets or animal nutritionists. The dachshunds’ menu included a very regimented 2 meals and 2 snacks plan. One of the weight loss menus was a complete fail for Barbara as her dogs were constantly hungry, and the other one did not help them shed the pounds. I can relate to Barbara’s caring concern in terms of keeping Deisel as fit as possible. Hank has had arthritic hips for years, so far he’s10 and has blessedly remained med free. Part of my job as his mama is to keep him as slim and trim as possible. The less weight on those wobbly chicken legs, the better.
(Now, aren’t these two just the cutest?!!) I took a look at two of the weight loss recipes that Barbara had been cooking, and while they seem healthy enough and are perhaps lower cal than most home cooked dog meals, there were a few things that stood out to me. Now, as I mention in each post, I’m not an animal nutritionist, and I’m not a vet, so these are just my own opinions based on my research and nutritional knowledge. Some of the ingredients listed were things like white potatoes and rice. Those are not staples in my dogs diets, there are much more nutritious options out there for them. White starches are great tasting to us humans (especially deep fried, yes?) but I don’t think that they’re the most nutritious ones for dogs. I also saw cottage cheese, and I just don’t think dogs should have dairy every day. And as for brown rice, from my research pot barley is better, and you know what I think is even better than that? Quinoa! I always thought it was a grain, but once upon a time, my friend and dog food expert Lori Dzingala of Heronview Raw & Natural informed me that Quinoa is actually a seed that contains all of the essential amino acids, the building blocks of life.
I took a trip out to Heronview Raw & Natural to visit Lori and get her opinions on a low cal recipe for these boys. We talked about various meats, and discussed Elk, Buffalo, Venison ( – depending on where it’s from) and Turkey as being among the leanest choices of meat. I decided to use Turkey as it’s the most available and affordable for the gen pop. Lori kindly donated the turkey for my recipe development – my first sponsor, LOL! Thanks, girl. I must say, her turkey is very nice to work with as it is beyond finely ground, and her prices are much lower than the grocery store for human grade, quality meat.
I researched low carb veggies and lower sugar fruits and incorporated them. I also used coconut oil as among it’s many benefits and deliciousness, it promotes weight loss. A nutritionist had suggested I use fitday.com to calculate the calories, fat, carbs, etc. and wow, this is such a great tool, I plan to use this going forward for meal recipes.
It’s essential to consult with an expert (vet/animal nutritionist) before you put your dog on any kind of weight loss plan or when implementing any new menu or trying new foods. You need to know how much your dog weighs, how much it should weigh and if it does need to shed some pounds, how fast he/she should lose it – and this needs to be constantly reevaluated. The Skinny Muttloaf recipe is not meant for anyone to use as a long term meal plan, it is for occasional use only and with proper consultation with an authority, it can be modified to provide a variety of foods and balance over time, including a dog appropriate calcium supplement. Barbara has a great relationship with her vet. She knows exactly how many calories her dogs need per day to get them fit and what supplements she needs, so her dogs are in great hands! And to Barbara – you are an amazing doggie mama – your caring concern and determination are to be admired. Thank you for connecting with me. Here’s to continued health for your boys.
1 package (2.24 cups) of extra lean ground turkey
1 cup of cooked quinoa
1 cup chopped asparagus
1 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup raspberries
1 egg white
1 tsp coconut oil
(Based on their individual caloric needs, Barbara worked out that or Diesel this would be 6 meals, and 5 1/2 for Iggy.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Simply mix the ingredients together in a large bowl and bake in the oven like a meatloaf for an hour.
To hear Barbara’s comments and to hear the results, check out my follow up “Barbara’s Skinny Mutt Muffins” in the Community Cookbook section.
Next up are some Smooth Moves for Bentley! Hint, hint I just love talking Poop