Monthly Archives: July 2011

Cheesy Twists Recipe

I love this recipe as it’s a great treat for training and puts you in control of how much to give.  One treat can last a short walk or trip into the store if you need the dog’s attention.  You can also just give them a whole twist as a snack.  Personally, I love being able to break small pieces at a time off and give while training.  No mess, no fuss!

As with most of my recipes you have flexibility in what to put in these treats.  I used Parmesan cheese but you can certainly change it up to a number of dog friendly cheeses.  These also include Flax Seeds which are an amazing supplement for you dog.  You can’t go wrong with these treats!

Ingredients  

  • 2 cups of Organic Spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup of Organic Oat bran
  • 1/2 cup Flax Seeds
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Organic Brown Egg
  • 2 tablespoons Organic Sunflower Oil
  • 1 cup water
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 300.
2.  Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3.  Mix egg, sunflower oil, water and cheese until well blended.
4.  Add in Flax seeds and Oat Bran.
5.  Mix in Spelt Flour slowly until well blended.
6.  Roll out dough on a well floured counter.
7.  Using a pizza cutter, cut these into a length and width you want.  I would go about 4-5 inches long and about 1/2 and inch in width.  Keep in mind that cooking times will vary depending on depth, and width.
8.  Once you’ve got these cut into the correct width and length, twist these and place on cookie sheets.
9.  Bake 20 minutes.  Remember to check earlier so they don’t burn.  It’s also a good idea to flip these 1/2 way through baking to they have an even bake on both side.

You can see the ultra nutritional Flax Seeds in this dough!

Pizza cutter works best to cut this dough.

You can make these as tight or as loose in the twisting

Turn for even baking. Otherwise you'll end up with flat twists.

A great treat to break apart or give as a wholesome snack!

Bone Appetite!  


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Dog Nutrition – Brief Look

On the 13th I taught a Healthy Living For Your Pet class at Chuck’s Produce in Vancouver.  The class included useful information on basic care, grooming, and vet care with a focus nutritional matters.  I’ll be teaching this class again on August 17th at 6:30pm.  You can sign up and get more information here:  http://www.chucksproduce.com/events.html

 

I wanted to just give you some food for thought when it comes to dog nutrition.  If I were to ask you; “What are the first three ingredients of your current dog food”?  Could you tell me without looking at the bag?  No?  You should really know this information.  How about this; go right now to your dog food and list out the first three ingredients.  What are they?  If they aren’t meat or vegetable (not by-product, not meal meal and not flavor) then you’re feeding a bad dog food.  If any of the first three ingredients are corn, any type of by-product meal, anything “flavor”, wheat, or soy based product, throw it out and get something better!  Think of it this way; if your dog was standing in the middle of a corn field and the corn was his only source of food he’d starve to death.  Click any of the slides to make them bigger.

 

Dog's don't recognize corn as food - for a good reason!

 

The below are some things you should think about when it comes to your dog’s nutrition.

 

 

Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that you’re saving money by purchasing cheaper food.  In the long run, cheaper foods will cost you more over the year.

 

It will cost you more in the long run to feed cheaper food. Due to the high quality ingredients in higher end food you end up feeding less and thus save money.

 

When you buy things you check the ingredients right?  Why don’t you do the same for your dog?

 

 

Here’s a great example of WHY you need to be checking:

 

Mmmm...anti-freeze and swimming pool cleaner. You love your dog more than that don't you?

 

And finally… do you know who is making your dog food?  Are they really the best people to be making a nutritionally packed food for your dog?    You might be surprised.

 

Surprised? Even "high end" dog foods are on here.

 

So…what’s a human to do?  First, check your ingredients to make sure you’re feeding a quality food.  Commercial dry kibble isn’t your only option.  Raw and homecooked are also very viable options.  You can also purchase commercial raw foods as well.  Second, make sure you’re supplementing with proper nutrients to give your dog a well-rounded diet.  You can see my previous post on that here.  Finally, if you’re not sure what’s best for you dog; ask.  You can ask your vet, read up, ask someone who has had success with particular foods, or get advice from a certified canine nutrition educationalist. When you give your dog what they need nutritionally they will look and feel better and that’s sure to make you feel better as well.

Note: The slides here are only a portion of what’s discussed in the class taught at Chuck’s.  If you’re interested in joining us we’d love to have you.  Also, if you have any questions about your dog’s nutritional needs don’t hesitate to contact me via email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Squealer’s Delight Recipe

I’m really behind on posting recipes.  Thurston’s test kitchen has been extremely busy lately but blog posts seem to be left for last.  I’ll make an attempt to get caught up without flooding you with recipes.

This is a kitchen favorite.  Decadence of a different kind!  What canine wouldn’t love the taste of bacon and cheese in one amazingly tasty cookies?!  In case you’re wondering, in general, it’s a good idea to not give your dog pork products.  However, there is so little pork in these that as an occasional treat it’s perfectly fine and safe.  I’ve heard folks complain this recipe is just too fatty and while I admit that there is quite a lot of “bacon” in these I make sure to use low-fat cheddar cheese and the amount of bacon spread throughout the entire batch isn’t too bad.  It’s entirely up to you what to feed your dog though!

 

Ingredients  

  • 2 c. Organic Spelt Flour
  • 1/2 c. low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 lb of bacon
  • 1 Organic Brown Egg
  • 1/2 c. Water OR Left over Bacon grease from cooking the bacon*
* I like to use the bacon grease that gets left over to make these treats extra special.  If you want to cut the fat back use water instead.
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  Cook bacon until well done and crispy.  Set aside on paper towel to cool.  If you’re opting to use the bacon grease, put it in a container and set aside to cool.  IMPORTANT: You want to cook your bacon ahead of time and set aside to cool before starting this recipe.  All ingredients should be ready to go before you start.
3.  Chopped bacon into extremely small bits.
4.  Combine water (or grease), egg and cheddar cheese in mixing bowl.  Blend thoroughly.
5.  Add bacon and blend thoroughly.
6.  Slowly add in spelt flour.
7.  Put on floured surface and cut to desired shape or roll by hand and flatten on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
8.  Bake 20-25 minutes.
9.  Turn off oven and let cookies sit for 1-2 hours.
10.  Remove from oven and let sit on wire rack to cool.
11.  Store in an air tight container in your fridge.

Cook bacon well ahead of time so it has time to cool and handle.

 

Give your bacon, and especially the grease, time to cool. You don't want hot bacon grease cooking your egg!

 

Chop bacon as fine as you can.

 

The dough smells great! I could imagine a bacon/cheddar breakfast biscuit for people!

 

Pigs!!! A natural choice for these treats.

 

Ready for baking!

 

Look at the bacon pieces in those! A favorite treat!

 

Bone Appetite!  

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My Letter to Petco (recent experience)

Blizzard needed a rabies vaccine and I saw no reason to pay the outrageous office visit just to get that vaccine done.  So I took him today to get that vaccine.  Low cost vaccine clinics are a great way to go if you have healthy dogs and just need something done without having to step into a vet’s office.  They are by no means a replacement to regular vet care but in some cases they just make sense.

Needless to say, the line was LONG and I had to wait about an hour.  While in line I had an experience that really turned my stomach (my ears were already turned by the guy in line with the dog that had the shrillest bark I’ve ever heard and barked non-stop without this guy blinking or even once telling his dog to stop – as a matter of fact when I corrected Blizzard for something he shot me the look of death).  Anyways, this particular stomach turning event prompted me to write the below email to Petco:

 

I attended the vaccine clinic in the store on July 16th.  One of the groomers was going up and down the line talking with people, giving treats and discussing grooming services.  She had with her a brown, long coat Chihuahua (who was a great behaved and good looking dog).  However, I was appalled when she asked the woman in front of me about her Chihuahua’s and if she wanted to breed.  She said “My puppy is AKC registered and has papers…I really want puppies…just let me know if you ever want babies.”  I observed her doing this to another woman with a Chihuahua later on in the store.

I find this extremely unprofessional and appalling for anyone to do but an absolute shame for a Petco worker (who had her Petco branded grooming outfit on) to be doing to random people.

I myself own a purebred and have no problem with people wanting to buy, own and breed purebred dogs.  HOWEVER, asking random people in line at a vaccine clinic is pretty low.  She would be considered a BYB (back yard breeder) by any standard.  You breed to BETTER the breed, make sure they are a good specimen and are healthy.  I know this isn’t Petco’s stance on breeding (I should certainly hope not) but when representing Petco as a worker she represents your brand and I’m certain that’s not the image you want.

 

Seriously….shame on that groomer for asking random strangers in line at a low cost vaccine clinic.  If you’re going to breed, for the love of all dogs everywhere, breed responsibly!

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