While I was washing my dog Trixie with the Shampoo Bar for Dogs, by the Southampton Soap Company, I realized that I needed to get on my own soapbox and share with you a recipe for an all natural food supplement that I developed for my dog Trixie. "What are we feeding our four-legged friends? Shouldn't the same amount of concern to our own health and nourishment be given to our furry family members?"
In March of 2008, my husband Chris and I adopted our dog Trixie from a high-kill shelter in Kentucky. Rescuers and volunteers from states as far away as New Jersey were working together to save these animals. Trixie was placed on a flatbed truck with a group of other lucky dogs and transported to their foster families in hopes to find a forever home. It was a rainy Saturday, March 8th to be exact, and I remember the drive from New York City to Atco, New Jersey where Trixie was being cared for. I grew up with: cats, dogs, birds, fish and even snakes, but it never occurred to me the responsibility we were about to undertake. The closer we got to our destination the more I thought about becoming a parent to this furry fellow; I guess this is how someone would feel when adopting a child. The list of concerning items were rambling off in my head, particularly “What should we be feeding her?”
As we pulled up to the house the barking was most alarming. Chris said, “I hope that is not Pixie [now Trixie as we renamed her] howling on the top of her lungs.” When we walked into the home there was a family meeting their new dog for the first time, and three dogs in the backyard who were insistently barking. As I looked more closely across the room into the kitchen area, I finally saw Trixie, who was wiggling and yelping her way out of the crate to meet us. Thankfully, Trixie was not the barker, but she was and still is the jumper; any opportunity to give you a sloppy kiss she will. Before we drove back to New York City, I was given a bag of low-grade kibble that was being fed to Trixie (foster families do the best they can to provide shelter and food for animal rescues so this is not a judgment on their heroic and thankful efforts) and it was noted that we should find a better diet for her.
Since then, with a little bit of trial and error, Trixie’s diet has evolved. My formula has been to use organic, pasture-raised, all natural products whenever possible, just as I would do for myself. In fact, one thing a veterinarian and a nutritionist would agree on is a balanced and wholesome diet that is not filled with chemicals and words you cannot pronounce.
For the first few years, Trixie had bouts of gastroenteritis; an irritation of the stomach and intestines, usually resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. For us folks who live in New York City we are required to pick up our dogs poop; a law that I feel is a blessing in disguise, to closely analyze how our dogs are feeling.
Depending on who is walking Trixie the conversation between my husband and I go like this, “Chris, how did Trixie’s poop look?” “Perfect”, says Chris. When you become dog parents, it all comes down to analyzing dog poop.
I don’t know about you but Trixie inhales her food. I said to myself, “If she is swallowing un-chewed food I am sure she is not getting the proper health benefits, which is causing havoc in her digestive system." Three years ago, I started to experiment; making a vegetarian based puree, called DOGMASH™ for optimal nutrient absorption. This is not a meal replacement but a supplement that is added to Trixie's food; her digestive tract has improved considerably, not to mention a shiny coat.
All natural wholesome foods contribute to a healthy life for us humans and for our four-legged friends. Next time you are shopping for dog food, take a look at the ingredients; if you cannot pronounce half the words you may want to leave it on the shelf.
The recipe below is one of a few DOGMASH™ lines I am developing. Here is a list of dog friendly foods for you to experiment with.
1 bunch of organic parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup of Bob’s Red Mill organic brown flaxseed meal
3 large organic carrots, chopped in chunks
1 large head of organic broccoli, chopped in chunks and fibrous stalks peeled.
1 organic apple cored, chopped in chunks with skin
In a food processor or blender place the parsley, flaxseed meal, apple and broccoli stalks. Pulse until the consistency is smooth and green.
In a medium pot steam the broccoli heads and carrots until just tender. Do not over steam.
Let the steamed carrots and broccoli cool for 5 minutes; then place with the green mixture and pulse until it is puréed.
note: If the mash looks dry add some of the steamed water; 1 tablespoon at a time. The consistency should look slightly wet.
Yields 4–6 cups. Refrigerate for up to 5 days and freeze for future use; up to 1 month.
note: I mix 1 heaping tablespoon of DOGMASH™ with Trixie’s food in the morning and once again at night.