My dogs, Kira and Angie, are always interested in whatever I’m eating. I could be eating very small rocks with a sprinkling of mulch and they would want to at least lick the bowl. Food rarely disappoints them. The only thing Kira (the Shepherd) hates is lettuce. She just lets it fall from her mouth after only a few chews, betrayal blazing in her eyes. I can’t think of a single thing that Angie (the Spaniel) won’t eat, but I’m sure there’s something.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that they love green smoothies.
It all happened when I was sitting on the couch one morning with Angie in my lap. I had just finished drinking my smoothie and was staring off into space, trying to make my brain start working, when I looked down to find half of my Spaniel’s head in my glass. She quickly licked up the remnants before looking at me expectantly as if to ask, “And where is mine?”
Since then I’ve been pouring a little out for each of them every morning, and they’ve begun to perk up at the sound of the blender pulverizing frozen bananas.
Though my dogs don’t need variety (they literally eat the same thing every day with an unending supply of enthusiasm) I like to pretend that they do. So I came up with three different shareable smoothie recipes for them to rate. If you’ve read their previous reviews, you know they’re basically professionals.
Note: These smoothies are meant to be treats, not meal replacements, but you probably already knew that. Please consult your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet.
This is the original, the one that made me realize that they were interested in sharing smoothies at all. I first started making these when I realized I couldn’t recall the last green thing that had entered my mouth. I keep making them because I really like the way they taste; I never taste the flax seed or kale.
Since dogs rarely take the time to chew anything, blending fruits and veggies beforehand lets them better absorb all of those amazing nutrients. Kale supplies vitamins K (avoid if your dog is on anticoagulants or prone to kidney stones), C, and A, while flaxseed oil provides fatty acids that are great for your dog’s skin and coat. I find my coat benefits a good bit too.
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Blend it up, pour it out.
Angie: This is a classic. It’s what got me into blending. On a scale from one to wet cat food, I give it an 8.
Kira: This is better than a pizza-grease-soaked paper towel, and that’s a compliment I don’t give out often.
This is a thicker, more protein-filled smoothie that really fills me up. Kira and Angie thought it could be more filling, but that’s because they are four-legged bottomless pits.
Greek yogurt has all sorts of cultures that are great for human and canine tummies, strawberries contain enzymes that can help whiten everyone’s canines, and peanut butter is always popular with every member of my family (except the cat).
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You know what to do.
Angie: I told Claire there was no way she could improve upon peanut butter. I’ll eat my words now. Right? That’s a thing I can do? Where are they? Are you hiding them? What do they taste like?
Kira: This is great, but I feel like it would really sing if you added a crunchy element. I would say we could use that half-eaten lizard I had hidden in by the bookshelf, but *someone* cleaned it up.
They say that you eat with your eyes first, so thank God dogs are colorblind. This smoothie is ugly, but delicious. I think it’s my new favorite. Strangely though, Angie did not share my enthusiasm. She kept eating a little then wandering away. Eventually, Kira just finished it for her. Angie didn’t even care. It was so weird.
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Angie: I’m not enthused. Is that half-eaten lizard still around?
Kira: I love the sweetness. I love that I can’t taste the leafy things. But most of all, I love the fact that Angie didn’t want to finish hers.
Overall, these smoothies were a big hit. These will be a great treat on hot summer days when the girls need to cool off.
Would you make smoothies for your dogs? Do you have any other flavor ideas? As always, be sure to always do research before adding new fruits and vegetables to homemade treats.
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About the author: Claire Lower is a freelance writer who holds a B.S. in chemistry. She was raised by two veterinarians and used to nap in kennels. Read more writerly things by her, see what she eats every day, or follow her on Twitter.