Canine Cuisine – Healthy Diet for Healthy Dogs
Dry food, wet food, raw, home-cooked? Which is best for your dog? We all wonder about what we are feeding our dogs … is it good for them? Do they like it?
Recently, we met with Wendy Ying, DVM, and a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine to talk about dog food and spend some time in the kitchen.
Dr. Wendy advises that every situation is unique and that owners need to make an educated choice for their pets based on his or her needs. Her choice is to cook for her own two dogs, Tameka, a Rat Terrier and Rolli a Norwich Terrier. As a busy traveling veterinarian, hours in the kitchen whipping up canine cuisine are just not possible, so she devised this easy to make a one pot-meal for dogs.
The recipe incorporates ingredients based on some of the philosophies of Chinese Veterinary Medicine and takes into account that our dogs, here in Florida, are living in a warm/hot environment. After the recipe, you’ll find some ideas to address issues like hot spots, allergies and even anxiety.
“Hot Dog” Base diet for Sarasota Dogs
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
1 bag of celery heart
3 cloves garlic
1 inch of ginger
1 head of kale
1 bag of frozen spinach
1 lbs of Barley
3-4 tablespoons of local honey
*Turmeric and fresh ground black pepper plus 3 tb coconut oil
Chop the garlic, ginger, carrot and celery and saute in large pot with coconut oil until soft.
Add ground meat and brown and season with salt Add Barley, stir, cover with water and season with salt.
Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to simmer until barley is cooked (approx 30 min). Add remaining veggies, honey and turmeric/black pepper coconut oil and stir. Taste, (it’s really good!) and adjust seasoning.
Let cool and serve.
Store for 1 week in the fridge or 1 month in the freezer. If you are going on a trip, freeze in individual servings and put in the cooler for travel.
Be sure to make any dietary changes gradually over a 1-2 week period.
*Turmeric is known as a healing spice, its active chemical is curcumin and it has anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties so it helps with many diseases caused by inflammation and free radicals, like arthritis, cancer, chronic pain. It is a great detoxifier of the liver because of the antioxidants. Studies in humans show it reduces the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain which cause dementia and alzheimers disease.
Purchase the turmeric for this recipe at a health food store, like Richard’s or Earth Origins. What you don’t want is turmeric that has been over-processed. You can see that our dogs loved the dish!
Variety is the key to a balanced diet. You are completely capable of feeding yourself and your family a health meal without processed foods. Not every meal is completely balanced by a variety in the diet with help you achieve a balanced diet over time for your dog.
Here are some ideas you can employ in the kitchen to help with specific problems:
- Damp heat – Hot spots, smelly skin – add green tea and marjoram to the barley water
- Yin deficiency – senior dogs with heat intolerance, panting at night – replace beef with ground pork and add apples, peas, string beans or pears
- Qi deficiency – weak older dog, deafness, infertility – replace turkey with organic chicken and add sweet potato.
- Shen disturbance – Anxiety – add chicken hearts and dark leafy veggies
- Blood deficiency – dandruff, dry skin, itching, seizures – add sardines and/or eggs
- Liver qi stagnation – behavioral issues, aggression, new living situation – add more dark leafy greens (kale/broccoli rabe) and tangerine or orange peel.
If you are interested in learning more … or talking to Dr. Wendy about your dog’s overall wellness plan, please contact here at Wendy@DrWendyYing.com, you can follow her on Facebook at 5 Elements for Animals.
About Dr. Wendy Ying:
Dr. Ying is the veterinarian at 5 Elements for Animals, a mobile traditional chinese veterinary medicine practice. She offers acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal therapy, food therapy, laser therapy, rehabilitation programs, nutritional and wellness consults for sport horses, companion and farm animals. She has a great interest in pain management and physical therapy and teaches exercise classes for dogs and horses which encourage not only a healthier body but a stronger human animal bond.
Wendy has a lifetime of horse experience and grew up showing hunters in New England, then received her colors from the Los Altos Hounds while completing her undergraduate degrees in Molecular Biology and Chemistry from San Jose State University. She imported, bred and trained Registered Irish draughts and RID sport horses in North Carolina and Virginia while completing her DVM from NCSU and her Traditional Chinese Medicine degrees from Chi Institute. She competed in combined and pleasure driving with singles, pairs, tandems, fours and has been known to drive a unicorn. She has USEF national championship titles in both combined and pleasure driving. Her horses are now retired to the backyard and go on the occasional trail ride or drive.
Wendy and Dr. Kyle live on a farm in Myakka Valley Ranches with the horses, 2 dogs, 2 goats, a flock of Cream Legbars along with some easter eggers and 2 adorable pet squirrels.
She co hosts the Horse Radio Network’s fastest growing show, The Driving Radio Show, with Glenn the Geek, a weekly podcast about everything driving. Dr. Ying leads the TCVM segment and is a frequent guest host on Horses in the Morning, a daily live podcast about everything horsey.