Keeping a dog is easy because they demand very little. But what should they be fed? Too many people err and then pay thousands of rupees when the dog falls ill. Kidney and liver failure, malnourishment, obesity, tooth decay, allergic reactions are some of the problems that arise from an inadequate diet. The dog needs a healthy meal, not scraps from the family dinner. Give food with ingredients that are balanced with the correct levels of proteins, carbohydrates and a little fat — remember to vary the ingredients. Most dogs need to be fed twice or thrice a day (puppies need more frequent, smaller meals).
This article is for those who care about the well-being of the animals that share their lives and for people who won’t keep dogs because they think they have to feed them meat. And for people who don’t believe in feeding one animal to another unnecessarily. A lot of people will not even buy the better pieces of meat — they buy leftovers, which have no nutrition, chopped up to look like mincemeat. Processed dog food companies use the worst kind of meat leftovers and there is no guarantee as to the species of the animals and their health before killing. Recent exposures abroad showed that while dog food companies claimed that their food was made from chickens, cows, sheep and buffaloes it was made from dead horses and donkeys. But it could be minced bodies of cats and dogs as well. It is much simpler and cleaner to keep your dog vegetarian. A dog is an omnivore, which means that he will thrive on a vegetarian diet. Vitamins and minerals are essential to your dog’s health.
Vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, peas, zucchini, et al, are rich source of vitamins. A combination of any of these — carrots, green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, soyabeans, wheat germ, cauliflower, pumpkin, tori, parwal, yeast, cheese, legumes, melon, beans, rye, whole wheat, potatoes, molasses (jaggery ), cottage cheese, wheat bran, whole grains, bananas, yogurt, sweet potatoes, squash, tomatoes should give you all the vitamins and minerals your dog needs — calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus.
Protein is found in dal, egg whites and dairy. Split yellow lentils and split red lentils are the most digestible. Fatty acids regulate the immune system and are anti-inflammatory. Most importantly, fatty acids are omega 3 and 6. Omega 3 is found in flaxseed oil. Omega 6 can be found in sunflower oil but half a teaspoon is more than enough oil for your dog’s daily intake.
Half of the diet should include carbohydrates in some form — corn, sweet potato, brown rice, oats or soy beans and any form of whole wheat. Not all grains suit all dogs; some can be an irritant, but the only way to find out is to try them in small quantities. The least irritant grain is barley, particularly used for upset stomachs. Dogs like it..
Dogs can eat herbs and seeds, and some of the common ones are — parsley, mint, basil, rosemary, celery seeds, dhaniya, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds. Do not give garlic or onions. Treats can be biscuits, carrots or apples.
Start the day with a bowl of milk with cornflakes and dog biscuits. Around 2 pm, you can give your dog plain rice or chappatis with curd, vegetables and dal. Small pieces of banana, papaya, mango, apple can be given after the meal. Dogs are very happy to munch on pieces of cucumber/ tomato/ radish/ carrot. At night you can give your dog chappatis or rice with soyabeans, dal and a boiled or scrambled egg.
Here are some recipes
Ingredients: � Two cups wheat flour � ¼ cup wheat germ � ½ cup powdered milk � ¼ tsp salt � Six tbsp butter � One egg, beaten � One tbsp molasses (or jaggery) �Water (approx ½ Cup) Procedure: � Combine dry ingredients. � Blend in butter. � Add egg and molasses, mix thoroughly. �Add enough water to form a dough ball. � Roll out ¼ inch thick and cut into shapes. Place on greased cookie sheet. � Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
Ingredients: � One cup wheat flour � ½ cup oats � One cup carrot, grated medium � Two tbsp peanut butter � Four tbsp honey � ½ cup milk � One tbsp olive oil � One tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped Procedure: � Mix all ingredients in the order listed above, mix well with hands until its ready to roll out about ¼ inches thick. � Use small circle cookie cutter. What dough is left, roll in to marble size and put on lined cookie sheet. � Heat oven to 325°F put in treats and cook seven to 10 minutes. � Cool. Serve
Ingredients: � Nine cups wheat flour � One cup nutritional yeast (not baking yeast) � ½ tbsp sugar �Vanilla extract Procedure: � Mix dry ingredients. Add approximately 3 Cups water. Knead into pliable dough. Roll out to 1/8 inches thickness. Cut into desired shapes. � Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350°F. (Important: After turning off the oven, leave biscuits in the oven overnight or for an eight-hour period so they become hard and crunchy).
Cheesy Heeng Cookies
Ingredients: � 1½ cups Flour � Two cups Milk � One cup Cheese (grated) � ½ stick Margarine � Asafoetida (Heeng) Procedure: �Whip the grated cheese and margarine in a bowl for two or three minutes. � Add the flour and mix thoroughly. � Pour some milk and knead the mixture into a ball. � Refrigerate the ball for half an hour. � Roll and shape it into as many cookies as possible. � Bake until cookies are a light golden brown.
Oatmeal Wheat Treats
Ingredients: � One cup Oatmeal � Egg, beaten � 1 ½ cups of hot water � ¾ cups cornmeal � Three cups whole wheat flour Procedure: � Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. �In a large bowl pour hot water over oatmeal and let it stand for five minutes. � Stir in cornmeal and egg. Add flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. � Knead three to four minutes, adding more flour if necessary to make very stiff dough. Pat or roll dough to ½ inch thickness. Cut into shapes and place on a greased baking sheet. �Bake for 50 minutes. Allow to cool and dry out until hard. � Store in an airtight container
Ingredients: � ½ cup mashed raw pumpkin � ½ cup water � Two tbsp sunflower oil � One tsp ground cinnamon � ½ cup oatmeal � Two cups whole wheat flour Procedure: � Preheat oven to 375°F. �Combine pumpkin, water, oil and cinnamon. � Add flour and oatmeal slowly, mixing after each addition. �Roll dough on a floured surface to ¼ inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes. �Bake for 40 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Frozen Yogurt Delights
Ingredients � 170gm container of plain, non-fat frozen yogurt � One cup of no-sugar added fruit juice � ½ cup of carrots, minced Procedure: � Add the yogurt, fruit juice, and carrots into a mediumsized bowl. Stir until the ingredients are smooth and wellblended. � Drop the mixture into the ice cube trays by spoonful. � Freeze until the ingredients are solid.
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