In her 28 year career, our holistic vet said she had only ever encountered two dogs with low calcium, and Luca was the second! She said it was extremely low and looked genuinely surprised at the review of the full workup blood panel, but it didn’t surprise me one bit. Did I expect low calcium? No. But with Emi and Luca a rare diagnosis tends to be the norm.
I don’t speak “vet” so in laymen’s terms essentially his body doesn’t absorb calcium properly. He was getting it, it just wasn’t being properly processed.
In addition to prescribing an array of herbal supplements she sent me home with a list of high calcium foods to start adding to Luca’s diet.
Chopped and Steamed Collard Greens
Chopped and Steamed Kale
Chopped and Steamed Broccoli
Chopped and Steamed Sweet Potatoes
Salmon, canned with bones
The National Osteoporosis Foundation has a full list of calcium rich foods with how many mg per serving available at http://nof.org/articles/886.
After reviewing the calcium content of each, we opted to go with collard greens whenever possible. Our vet said chopping it into small pieces and steaming it for about 4 minutes would make it easier to digest. We use kale and salmon when collard greens aren’t available and give the occasional dried fig as a yummy treat. He absolutely LOVES all of his new foods (although he’s never been a picky eater!).
Luca is about 60 pounds (stay tuned for the weight-loss post!) and she said to add 1/2 cup of the steamed veggies per meal.
*Note that giving your dog too much calcium can adverse health effects. Always consult your vet on dietary changes or other medical issues. I am not a vet and the information in this post should not be substituted for the care and advice of your veterinary practitioner. As a rule of thumb I always consult the Pet Poison Helpline website before introducing anything new to my dogs. If you’re investigating calcium options for your dog I suggest you run a quick search on each as well.
Recent (necessary) dietary changes for Emi resulted in unwanted weight loss. Due to her abundant allergies and limited food options I was temporarily at a loss on what to feed her to help put some fat back on her quickly. Thankfully her allergy test showed no restrictions on peanut butter or quinoa so I had an idea…
Here’s the best, gluten free, high fat treat a dog could ever want. She LOVES them, and I have to admit to sneaking one myself they smelled so good!
*Cautionary note – We’ve struggled for a long time with Luca being overweight and are always on the lookout for low fat treat options (more on recent revelations on the cause of this soon). This is NOT a low fat dog treat option!
Overcook the quinoa – you want this super mushy to the point where you can’t tell one seed from another so don’t follow the normal cooking instructions. Use about 4 cups of water and after bringing to a boil simmer for about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on it, you may need to add extra water to keep it from drying out.
Add the whole jar of peanut butter and stir well, should be a rather thick consistency.
Scoop into a mini muffin pan, no need to grease the pan because the peanut butter provides plenty of oil.
Bake on 250 for about 2.5 hours until the goopy mixture hardens up enough to easily remove from the pan
Am I crazy? Maybe. But the pups are going crazy for these!
Banana dog treats are always popular and since I have little interest in baking banana bread in the summer when the bananas get a little too ripe, I’m always trying to come up with a creative new homemade dog treat with them. (See Red, White and Blue Pops and Baked Banana Chips for just a few fan favorites). Plus bananas are one our go-to 5 healthy fruits for dogs!
Although broccoli is also on our list of 5 healthy vegetables for dogs and Emi LOVES broccoli, I had yet to really find a dog treat recipe with broccoli in it.
So as I looked around the kitchen for something to add to the bananas I thought “why not!”
RECIPE: Puree 2 ripe bananas and about 1 cup of broccoli florets in a small bowl, fill an ice cube tray with the mixture (looks a bit like creamy pesto) and freeze.
That’s it, super simple and remarkably well received by the dogs. Luca attacked them like they were made of cheese!
What do you think, do your dogs like broccoli? Share your dog’s favorite fruit or vegetable in the comments below and I’ll see what kind of recipe I can whip up next!
An extra special treat for the pups in honor of the 4th of July.
Typically when our bananas get a little too ripe I turn them into some crispy Homemade Banana Dog Treats but it was just too hot to bake today and after a little walk around town I thought the pups could use a frozen dog treat to help cool them off. So voila, frozen pup pops to the rescue…
These are a super easy and extra healthy home made dog treat you can do yourself!
2 extra ripe bananas for easy mushing
1/4 cup frozen blueberries provide the “red and blue”
Mash the banana in a small bowl
Stir in the frozen blueberries
Drop into an ice cube tray
Freeze until solid
Call the pups to enjoy (oh, and they are human safe if you need to cool yourself off as well)
Just like some vegetables, select fruits have great health benefits for dogs, and can be a great addition to a dog’s diet.
Fruits are great dog treats whether they are fresh, frozen or dehydrated. As with any treat, they should be given in moderation. Fruits should be cut into small pieces to avoid choking hazards. Make sure to remove any seeds, stems, leaves or rinds prior to giving to your dog.
With all the recent dog treat recalls, I know many of us are hesitant to give our dogs any processed treats from the store. The good news is that you might have some healthy alternatives already in your house that your dog will love!
Vegetables have great health benefits for dogs, just like for people, and can be a great addition to a healthy diet. They are a great alternative to fatty treats that contain peanut butter, cheese or meat. As with any treat, they should be given in moderation. Cooked vegetables may be easier to digest for some dogs but make sure they have cooled thoroughly before giving them to your dog.