Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

Turkey Day for dogs

I think I’ve already mentioned that I love Thanksgiving.  I like the sentiment behind the holiday — being thankful for the good things and people in our lives.  And I definitely like the food.  I like it, too, because it’s not quite as commercial as Halloween and Christmas.  You don’t see people going all out to decorate their yards with blinking pilgrims or blow-up turkeys.  It’s kind of a laid-back holiday compared to the others.  I know there can be family tensions sometimes but I think the food makes up for it.



2055470604_a1cce2a261_mIf you’re trying to make Thanksgiving dinner at home, as I am, then you may have a dog or two trying to “help” you in the kitchen.  They know good things are cooking!  Just be careful not to let them accidentally eat a plastic roasting bag or the pop-up timer from the turket.  Watch out for string and skewers, too.  It’s one thing for them to lick a pan but it’s something else for them to grab something that could mean a trip to the vet.


You may be tempted to let your dog enjoy some of the turkey, too.  Be careful if you do.  Turkey bones splinter easily, especially after they’ve been cooked.  They can easily tear your dog’s intestines.  It’s best to put all bones safely outside in trash containers with tight lids so your dog won’t be tempted to try to get them.


Turkey skin and other fatty food can upset your dog’s stomach.  Many vets see an increase in pancreatitis in dogs this time of year, which results from eating too much fat.  Symptoms include a painful abdomen or abdominal distention, lack of appetite, depression, dehydration, hunched posture, vomiting and diarrhea, and a change in stool.  There is often fever along with these symptoms.


Try to avoid giving your dog a big bowl of Thanksgiving leftovers that radically changes his diet.  He will probably have an upset stomach as a result.  You can safely add some boneless, skinless turkey meat to his regular food along with some broth from the turkey.


If you’d like to try something fancier, the Halo company, which makes gourmet dog foods, is giving away the recipe for their Spot’s Stew so people can make it at home.  The company was founded on this recipe.  It was developed by their founder when her own dog was struggling with allergies and other health problems.  She purchased ingredients from the grocery store and began making her dog food at home.


Here’s the recipe if you’d like to make a tasty Thanksgiving meal for your dog:


Spot’s Chicken Stew from Halo

2 1/2 pounds whole chicken 

1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic

1 cup green peas

1 cup coarsely chopped carrots

1/2 cup coarsely chopped sweet potato

1/2 cup coarsely chopped zucchini

1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow squash

1/2 cup coarsely chopped green beans

1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery

1 tablespoon kelp powder

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

11 to 16 cups spring water


For dogs only: Add 8 ounces whole barley and 6 ounces rolled oats, and adjust the water content to a total of 16 cups or enough to cover the ingredients. (According to Halo Veterinarian, Dr. Donna Spector, cats require zero carbohydrate content in their diet, so this would be an unnecessary addition for cats).



Combine all of the ingredients in a 10-quart stockpot (stainless steel, please) with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat as low as possible and simmer for 2 hours (the carrots should be quite soft at the end of the cooking time). Remove from the heat, let cool, and debone the chicken. With an electric hand mixer, or using a food processor and working in batches, blend all the ingredients into a nice puree; the stew should be slightly thicker for dogs and more soupy for cats. Using zip lock bags or plastic yogurt containers, make up meal-sized portions. Refrigerate what you’ll need for three days and freeze the rest. Be sure and seek your pet’s advice (and your vet’s) on ideal meal sizes.


Serving Size: Amounts will vary depending on age, activity level, current health, weight, and season, but here are some guidelines: The average adult cat will eat roughly 1 cup a day. Because dogs vary so much in size, consult the table below. The amount shown should be split into at least two meals daily.


Dog’s Weight                 Total Daily Portion

Up to 10 pounds            1 to 1 1/2 cups

11 to 20 pounds             2 to 3 cups

21-40 pounds                 4 cups


For each additional 20 pounds, add 2 cups. Remember, all pets are individuals, so let your intuition and observations guide you, and always consult your vet.


Halo Spot’s Stew and many other recipes can be found in The Whole Pet Diet, by Halo founder Andi Brown.


For additional Halo recipes, visit the Halo Pets web site.


November 24, 2008 - Posted by | General | , ,

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