|Barked: Wed Oct 4, '06 2:45pm PST |
|Okay, so we missed all of September. Sorry about that. We have a new plan, though, and hope to climb back on the weekly Dane . . . er, horse, especially since we have so many new members!
This week's dish is actually borrowed from Mom's newsletter last fall. It seemed relevant for us as Vaughn was quite ill with a virus over the weekend (he's on chemotherapy and because is immune system is so severely depressed combating viruses is top priority in our house), so I thought it might be time for it to be of use to other pups.
Colder weather necessitates different nutritive needs that are often neglected in a commercial diet. Four-legged bodies without clothing must work much harder to maintain the appropriate temperature and therefore consume additional calories, even with reduced activity, and essential fatty acids. The immune system is also busy fighting unwelcome visitors and may be especially taxed this year with the spread of the dog flu. With this in mind, you may want to consider some new additions in your friend’s diet this season.
If you have the time to prepare it, squash is a top pick for canine diets in fall and winter. It is easy to find, inexpensive, and boasts a wealth nutritive benefits. Winter squash is an excellent source of vitamin A and contains anti-cancer phytonutrients. The fiber in squash is an effective treatment for diarrhea and aids in heart and colon health. For the best digestion, over-bake or –boil squash (without the seeds) and serve small amounts. Our boys are especially fond of squash with a bit of cinnamon and maple syrup.
Turkey is also readily available this time of year and is a great low-fat, high-protein staple. Consider sharing the Thanksgiving offal with your friend rather than using it for gravy, and don’t forget the neck! Please remember to exercise caution, supervise your dog, and remove all bones from cooked meat before sharing with your pup.
We’ve found the best immune supplement for animals and people to be olive leaf extract. It is easily added to food in capsule form and provides natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial protection when taken daily. Olive leaf extract has different properties than olive oil, which is an excellent provider of essential fatty acids in the form of linoleic and oleic acids. While essential fatty acids may indirectly help with immunity, their primary benefits are arthritis relief, increased heart health, and improved skin condition.
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