Monday, December 21, 2009

Naturally occurring Vitamins!

Home-prepared meals offer many health benefits to your dog - we have discussed many of those benefits in previous newsletters.

But what about vitamins?
One point to remember if you are home-preparing meals is that the wholesome, fresh food contain many vitamins - all perfectly balanced and 'bio-available' (a fancy term meaning your dog can actually absorb the vitamins)

How do I know my dog is getting proper nutrition?
Here is an example:
Last night our girls ate some cooked oatmeal, pureed pumpkin and chicken. Lets take a quick look at what 'vitamins and minerals'  were in that meal.

Vit A                    1125 IU
Vit C                   .3 mg
Vit E                      5.3 mg
Vit K                     1.25 mcg
Thiamin                  .3 mg
Riboflavin               .4 mg
Niacin                    4.3 mg
B6                        .8 mg
Folate                  158 mcg
B12                      1.3 mcg
Pantothenic Acid     .2 mg
Calcium                   402 mg
Iron                          7.1 mg
Magnesium             36.5 mg
Phosphorus              134mg
Potassium                 138 mg
Zinc                          .9 mg
Copper                    .1 mg
Manganese               1.1 mg
Selenium                  9.5 mcg

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.

Protein                  2 grams
Carbohydrate       12 grams
Dietary Fiber       3 grams
Calcium               37 mg
Iron                      1.4 mg
Magnesium          22 mg
Potassium             564 mg
Zinc                            1 mg
Selenium                 .50 mg
Vitamin C                   12 mg
Niacin                           1 mg
Folate                         21 mcg
Vitamin A                  2650 IU
Vitamin E                       3 mg

Vit A                           29.4 IU
Vit E                             .4 mg
Vit K                           .4 mcg
Thiamin                         .3 mg
Riboflavin                     .4 mg
Niacin                            19.3 mg
B6                                   .8 mg
Folate                           5.5 mcg
B12                               .5 mcg
Pantothenic Acid         1.2 mg
Calcium                         21mg
Iron                                 1.5 mg
Magnesium                 40.5 mg
Phosphorus                 319mg
Potassium                    358 mg
Zinc                                1.4 mg
Copper                            .1 m
Selenium                     38.6 mcg

WOW! - then we added our Green Power!, Bone meal (dogs do need a little extra calcium), and some flax oil
As you can see - the oatmeal and pumpkin are nutrtional 'super foods' -and the meal is chock full of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.

We have a new recipe - Beef Vegetable Stew

This traditional  Stew is full of healthy ingredients for dogs!
But first.... here is the makeup of a healthy main dish:

PROTEIN - from beef, pork, lamb, poultry, fish and eggs. Protein sources contain the 10 essential amino acids required by dogs. No one protein source contains all the essential amino acids so vary the proteins throughout the week.

FAT - from oil (try our FLAX OIL) and fat naturally present in meat. One of the fatty acids, linolec acid is essential to dogs. It provides energy and helps to fight inflammation.

CARBOHYDRATES- from rice, potatoes, pasta, barley and other grains as well as vegetables and fruits. Carbs, including high-fiber foods are a source of energy and provide roughage to help keep the digestive system functioning properly. Don't overdue the carbs!

VITAMINS and MINERALS - from vegetables, fruits, meats and grains (see middle article) Remember, fresh food has abundant amounts of nutrients! (vitamins)

Beef Vegetable Stew


2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 lb ground beef
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups water, beef or chicken broth (unsalted)
1 tomato diced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup green beans or peas
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped


1. Heat oil gently in a large pan. Add the beef, salt and cook until meat is brown. Stir in oregano and basil.
2. Add the water or broth, and tomato
3. Add potatoes, carrots peas/green beans and celery, stir
4. Cook slowly for about 15-25 minutes until vegetables are done. Add water if necessary but keep a 'stew' consistency.


Walking the Dog!

The average dog owner gets more of a workout walking his dog than someone with a gym membership, a pet health-care expert said.

Research indicates dog owners exercise their pets twice daily for 24 minutes each time, totalling more than five hours a week. In addition, dog owners take their dog on three long walks a week, adding another two-plus hours to the total.

By comparison, pet-less people spend about an hour and 20 minutes exercising, whether in a gym or on their own.

A spokesperson for pet health, expert Bob Martin, said the difference seems to be a matter of perception -- going to a gym can seem like a chore while walking the dog could be considered fun.

"A couple of short walks a day soon adds up and this research shows that it amounts to more time than people spend in the gym," the spokesman said.

Martin's study of 5,000 people, including 3,000 dog owners, indicated 86 percent said they enjoyed walking their dogs daily, while 22 percent said it could be a chore.

By contrast, 16 percent of respondents said they enjoyed exercising in the gym while nearly 70 percent considered it a chore.

The survey showed 60 percent of pet owners said they always go for a walk with their dogs, even when pressed for time while 46 percent of gym-goers said they often find other things to do to get out of exercising.

Beyond the exercise value - dogs love to sniff around, play fetch and just be with us! From a dog's perspective the value of the walk is a very important social activity - for them it's like getting the pack together to go out for a hunt.

There are also health benefits for the dog - the movement keeps the internal organs healthy and aids digestion.  Everyone benefits!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dogs & Devotion - new book

Perhaps one of the reasons we are so devoted to our dogs is that they help us become who we're supposed to be.

"How easy to get lost in a dog's eyes!" write the Monks of New Skete in this new book celebrating our lives with our dogs.

Far from getting lost, though, you might very well find what really matters most to you as you read through these soul-stirring meditations and enjoy the heartwarming photographs of dogs doing what they do best--being themselves.

A gift book that reflects on the value of the extraordinary and loyal friendship between dogs and their owner.

About New Skete

For over 35 years, New Skete's German Shepherd breeding program has dedicated itself to providing the best possible companion dog for you and your family.

The excellence in temperament, personality and structure for which our German Shepherds are known is the result of carefully researched and selected bloodlines and the all-important early handling we give our puppies from the day they are born until they leave us between 8 and 10 weeks of age.

All of our German Shepherds live right in our monastery, with each monk responsible for the training and care of a female or male dog

Recipe - Beef Barley Stew

A new Gourmet recipe!

But first here are a few good reasons to cook for your dog:

  • To provide a healthy diet based on fresh ingredients
  • To meet his special needs and accomodate his taste preferences
  • To nurture her as you would any other member of the family!

Beef Barley Stew


1/2 cup barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water or unsalted beef or chicken stock
1 tomato (diced)
2 medium potatoes (peeled and diced)
2 medium carrots (peeled and sliced)
1/2 cup peas (frozen)


1. Cook the barley according to package directions. Typically for 1/2 cup barley you would use about 1 1/2 cups liquid (this could be unsalted chicken or beef broth)

2. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot or large covered saucepan. Add the beef, salt and cook, stirring frequently - about 5 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, water, potatoes and carrots - cover and cook for 10 minutes until vegetables are done.

4. Remove from heat and stir in the peas and cooked barley


How much to feed?

The amount of food to give your dog each day depends on his/her weight, age and activity level. Here are some general guidelines - if in doubt - feed the same amount of the home prepared meal as you currently feed dry food.

3-10 lbs.        1/2 - 3/4 cups

11-20 lbs.     3/4 - 1 1/8 cups

21-30 lbs.  1 1/8 - 1 1/2 cups

31-40 lbs.  1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups

41-60 lbs.  1 3/4 - 2 1/3 cups

61-80 lbs.     2 1/3 - 3 cups

If you are new to home-prepared meals you can mix the cooked meal with their current dry food. (take out some dry and add the fresh to keep the overall amount the same) Refrigerate leftovers - cooked meals last 2-3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

C.J. Snake Sniffer

Another in our 'Working Dog Series'

C.J. the wonder dog couldn’t cut it in the harsh world of drug detection, but doesn’t mind using his trained schnozz to sniff out a snake or two for a good cause.

The 6-year-old chocolate Lab has gone green, working with environmentalists to save the Eastern indigo snake.

For the past couple of months, the snake-sniffing dog has worked for Project Orianne at the organization’s Mopani Preserve near this small central Georgia town. This land, with its long leaf pines and sand hills, is Ground Zero in the effort to save the Eastern indigo snake, and the nonprofit Project Orianne is in the forefront of the movement.

The snake, the largest nonvenomous snake in North America, was once plentiful in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, said Project Orianne Executive Director Chris Jenkins, but its population has been decimated for a variety of reasons. It is listed as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act.

A familiar find

On Tuesday, C.J. worked his last day for the project, sniffing for snakes at Mopani and at The Nature Conservancy in Georgia’s Broxton Rocks Reserve. On Wednesday, he was to head back home to his owners in Washington state, Pack Leader Dog Training.

C.J. checked out a few promising burrows at Broxton, but failed to roust a snake. Within minutes of arriving at Mopani, however, he found a 7-foot male lounging in the sun on the side of a sand hill.

C.J. has been on the job since November, and has aided in locating 10 individual snakes at the 1,000-acre preserve on the banks of the Ocmulgee River.
He’s also been tested by the staff to determine his ability to sniff out the snakes. Bits of shed skin have been hidden, and C.J. has been successful 90 percent of the time in locating the “bait.”

“This is unique, novel science we’re doing with the dog,” Orianne field ecologist Dirk Stevenson said. “It’s been very successful.”

C.J. was trained to find indigo snakes and avoid rattlers, Ravenscroft said. When he gets back to Washington, he’ll be retrained to search for other wildlife. He’s too high-strung for drug work, she said, but loves the out-of-doors.

“He’s found bats and spider monkeys in Nicaragua,” she said.

Now, he can add indigo snakes to his resume.

Dogology - new book!

Dog owners, this book reveals, fall into 9 distinct personality types: Angel, Dynamo, Soul Mate, Idealist, Observer, Expert, Buddy, Master, and Free Spirit. While most of us recognize that a rescuing Angel needs to save the neediest dog at the local shelter, what makes a Soul Mate a soft touch for round-headed, big-eyed toy breeds such as Shih Tzus, Pugs, and Pekingese.

Authors Vicki Croke and Sarah Wilson, experts on the complex bond between dogs and their owners, use quizzes, psychological insights, and humor to analyze why dog owners gravitate toward certain breeds as pets—and to explain what owner’s choices reveal about their character and emotional makeup. With Dogology in hand, anyone visiting a dog park can instantly spot the various types and subtypes, from the Image Maker fashionista with her accessory Yorkie peeking out of her Prada bag, to the Free Spirit, whose dog often bears a botanical name and rarely comes when called.
Similarly, readers will themselves learn that paying attention to the words they choose to praise their dog reveals the specific approval that they crave themselves. With quick checklists to identify what type of dog owners readers are, tips for training, and exercises for bonding with one’s dog, Dogology will make a welcome addition to any of the 43.5 million American households that now own at least one dog.

Review: I LOVED Dogology!
Nearly every page made me laugh or cry and wonder if Sarah and Vicki had somehow been watching me with my dogs for years. These authors know dogs, and just as importantly, they know people and what makes them tick. They also write in an engaging and entertaining style while delivering significant insights.
As a dog trainer, I find this book a helpful read for understanding the various mindsets and personalities that I encounter in my work. I'm also sure the write-ups about the different personality types will help me with my relationships in other spheres of my life, as it discusses people and what lies behind some of their choices. I highly recommend this book to anyone with a dog or anyone who wants to understand their dog-loving friends or relatives

How long do I have to do this?

Marlene and I get many emails from pet owners telling us that they have switched from a processed, premium kibble to one of the Natural Canine home-prepared diets. Along with the new diet, they have also used our herbal and homeopathic remedies and their dog is doing fantastic - acts like a puppy again - and their vet is amazed at the results!  
Then... they ask us:
"How long do I have to do this?"
At first we blinked a couple of times when we read the question. 
If the home-prepared fresh diet, homeopathy and herbs made such an amazing improvement, then why stop?
Looking at the question a little deeper, we began to realize how far many of us have become removed from the connection between eating fresh foods, and health.

Another often overlooked piece of health and well-being, beside the fresh diet,  is lifestyle and  exercise - two very important factors.

We answered the question with -
 'Continue indefinitely!- Keep your dog healthy and vibrant!!'

A balanced diet will do wonders for your dog’s health and well being.  We hear this over and over again from people who use our Essential 3 Supplements.
A healthy, fresh, natural diet will help support your dog no matter which disease or condition he or she has!
Many conditions may be helped or improved by diet alone – these include

  • skin conditions,
  • digestive disorders,
  • bad breath
  • incontinence
  • arthritis
  • urinary (kidney bladder)
  • dull coat to name a few

Jeepers Creepers

Another in our 'Working Dog Series'

A working dog's life is not easy. Some canines gain glory by sniffing out bombs, drugs or land mines, but most do less glamorous labor. Beagles hunt home-munching termites, terriers track toxic fumes from Chinese drywall and collies chase Canada geese off golf courses.

Bedbugs are the latest dirty job. Largely eradicated in the United States after World War II, thetiny, bloodsucking parasites have invaded city after city in the last four years, leaving painful skin welts and pricey pest control bills from Boston to San Francisco. 

Sara pulled on her leash, sniffing up one side of a cluttered bedroom and snuffling down theother. The black Labrador retriever suddenly sat beside an armchair.

Rich Wilbert, her handler, flipped the chair over and poked at thestuffing and seams. He spotted pin-sized drops of human blood -- clear signs of an infestation of bedbugs in the small apartment.

"Good girl, Sara," Wilbert said.He fed her a few treats from a bag as a co-worker made a note to treat the room with insecticide. Sara went back to searching for Cimex lectularius, as she does six days a week.
Bedbugs hide during the day in wall cracks, behind light switches or in other dark places. But the dogs sniff along baseboards, beds and furniture for the pheromones,the faint chemical odor that the insects emit to signal one another, and then alert the handler of an enemy invasion.

No one knows why bedbugs are back. Scientists theorize that the wingless insects hitched a ride on visitors or cargo from abroad, or that they resist pesticide better than their forebears, or even that a new, super-strong strain of household pests has evolved.

What's clear is they are hard to eradicate. Bedbugs may survive a year without feeding, and unlike termites and other insects that cluster in colonies, they can create havoc in small numbers. A single female may lay enough eggs to infest an apartment -- and then crawl 100 feet a day to bite neighbors down the hall.