The calendar's flipped from August to September, there's a chill in the air, and pumpkin spice everything is in full effect. It can only mean one thing: Football season is here! Since your dog or cat is such a big part of the family, why not include them on game day? They can't have buffalo wings or guacamole (avocado is toxic to dogs), but we've got healthy alternatives for cooking for your pet!
[Remember, always consult your veterinarian before cooking for your pet the first time, and do not overfeed.]
Healthy Dog Stew: A staff favorite here at Michelson Found Animals, create this hearty stew by combining freshly ground turkey, yams, steel cut oats, spinach, and green peas. This stew freezes well, making it an easy dish when cooking for your pet!
3 lbs ground turkey (We prefer the 15% fat / 85% lean turkey)
3 large yams (aka Sweet Potatoes)
¾ to 1 cup of steel cut oats
1lb spinach (fresh or frozen)
1lb green peas (fresh or frozen)
1. Wash the yams and chop into medium sized chunks (the smaller the chunks, the faster the stew will be ready). Using a large non-stick pot, place the yams in the pot and cover with enough water to have about two inches of water over the yams.
2. Bring water and yams to a boil (uncovered) and continue to let yams boil until they start to become soft. Once the yams start to become soft, add the steel cut oats. Let yams and oats cook for about 20 more minutes. When the yams and oats are almost cooked, add in the turkey. Mix well with the yams and oats until all the turkey is covered and starts to cook. Let the turkey cook for about five minutes.
3. Add in peas and spinach and mix well. The spinach and peas should cook very quickly - do not overcook or they lose nutritional value.
4. Cool and serve! If you want, you can portion out the stew into several containers and freeze.
Wholesome Kitty Casserole: Note that opinions vary on raw feeding vs. cooked. This recipe is a good baseline to try out if you want to give cooking for your pet a go, but please consult with your vet before drastically changing your cat's diet. From a nutritional standpoint, the first two ingredients your cat needs to consume are meat and bone. Bone supplies much needed calcium while meat supplies phosphorus, the ratio which these two ingredients should be fed is 1.2:1 - that means 1.2 units of calcium for every unit of phosphorus. For this simple recipe, chicken thighs are the meat and bone source of choice because the thighs are the meatiest part of the bird with the smallest ratio of bone. You don't want to feed to0 much bone - that will result in constipation and an unbalanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.
3 lbs of chicken thighs
2 raw egg yolks
1 to 2 teaspoons or 2,000 mg of fish oil (wild salmon or cod liver)
1 cup of water
3/4 tsp light salt (with iodine)
2,000 mg taurine
100 g vitamin B-complex
400 IU (268 mg) vitamin E
You will need a meat grinder or Vitamix blender to be able to grind the bones and meat into a paste.
1. Rinse the chicken thighs under cold water and cut the meat into chunks for easier blending/grinding. Blend in the Vitamix or press through the meat grinder. Set in the refrigerator.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the water, salt, vitamin supplements, egg yolks and fish oil.
3. Mix together.
If you want to start off with a small batch, you can cut this recipe in half. If not, you can freeze the majority of the food in freezer bags and just portion it out. When thawing, run the bag under warm water or thaw in the refrigerator. Never use a microwave to defrost when cooking for your pet. Some cats like food warmer, like-mouse warm, but your cat may not be too picky about this.
Serve and let your cat enjoy!
The Michelson Found Animals Foundation's mission of saving pets and enriching lives is made possible by the generous contributions of Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson.