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Pets Index
Can Dogs Help Us Eat Better?

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  • Dogs' coats get shiny and they thrive on additions of raw or cooked egg yolks to their diet, so you don't have to feel guilty about throwing out part or all of the egg yolks to reduce your own cholesterol intake.   Add yolks to the dogs' refrigerated leftovers container as you cook.
  • Dogs help you make fabulous chicken broth.   Buy the cheapest cuts of chicken and follow the directions for this delicious flavored base.   Strain well and reserve broth for yourself.   Pick off any lean parts of the chicken you want, and save for soup, stew, stir-fry, salad or sandwiches.  If the bones aren't soft, add a little more water to the chicken remnants, bones and veggies  and pressure cook a little more until the bones are crumbly.  Put the results through the food processor or blender, including the bones for extra calcium and the veggies for fiber, antioxidants and vitamins.

    Don't feed this stuff to your dog straight; it's too rich. Divide the resulting chicken mush into small portions to add to dry dog food.   You may freeze individual portions in sandwich bags for later use if you wish, as it will keep only about three days in the fridge.  
  • Dogs help you keep sweets and treats locked away out of sight and out of mind (hopefully).
  • Dogs will remind you when it's dinner time.  Always.

    So you see, dogs can help in varied ways to make our diets healthier and tastier.    Keep a perspective, however.  If you have a large family and one small pup, Fido may be in trouble if you overdo the leftover additions to his diet.

    Dogs are social animals, and if you are away a lot or your dog spends a lot of time outside guarding, get a second dog after your first one is trained.  The first dog will help train the new one, and they will behave better, be happier and live longer having each other for company.  Unless you live alone, you will probably generate enough scraps to add to two dogs' dry food diet, so you'll need two dogs to help the family eat better.  Enjoy!

    * Note #1:  Be aware that beans, broccoli, cabbage and the like can cause dogs to have excessive gas.  If you are expecting company or live in a small apartment you may wish to skip giving the dogs these items.  

    * Note #2:  Before dog care experts get in a snit, let me state we buy lean meat to begin with, so there isn't much fat.  We render the trimmings in a small skillet over low heat, drain most of the fat and add the crispy trimmings to their dry dog food.

    * Note #3:  Hold the bones!   The most dangerous are small splintery ones like pork chop, fish and poultry bones which can puncture an intestine, causing an agonizing, expensive and life-threatening crisis.  Don't give even large bones to dogs with powerful jaws, such as Rottweilers or Pit Bulls; small splinters chunked off big bones can lodge in the alimentary tract, causing more subtle problems.  When you put bones in the garbage, add a slop of ammonia.  This cuts the eventual smell as they decay, and may save a garbage hound from pain and death.   Small bones from poultry or fish may be pressure-cooked until soft, ground up and added to dogs' diets, however.  It's good nutrition for them.

    * Note #4:  While we're on the subject of pets, never feed cats raw egg whites!   Egg whites can cause a serious vitamin deficiency in cats, as does a diet of nothing but tuna.

    * Note #5:  Pick out any larger pieces of onion (a good reason to put larger pieces into the chicken broth rather than chopped).  Large amounts of onion, cooked or raw, can cause hemolytic anemia in which the dog's red blood cells are destroyed.  This is not a good thing!    Too much garlic can also cause a similar problem, although small amounts are good for dogs and they love it.

    * Note #6:  Excessive calcium can actually harm puppies as well as adult dogs with kidney problems or constipation.  Don't go overboard with chicken mush at one sitting for such dogs,  since it contains a lot of calcium.  

    * Note #7:  Remove any chocolate from your dog's reach.   If a large dog steals a piece or two of chocolate candy, probably the worse that can happen is possible vomiting and/or diarrhea.  If a small one eats a whole package of good chocolate, you're in deep doggie doo.  Baking chocolate is the most dangerous; prepared chocolate candy actually has very little chocolate!  According to experts, less than one ounce of good baking chocolate or cocoa can cause death in toy or very small breeds;  four to eight ounces can kill a German Shepherd or Doberman Pinscher.  If in doubt, call your vet, who can fix it as long as you get there promptly.  

    On the subject of sweets, another warning.  If you use xylitol (also knows as birch sugar, although it's frequently made from corn byproducts) for sweetening,  as I do, be sure you NEVER let a dog have anything containing this useful sweetening product.  The human body does not recognize it as a sugar and absorbs almost no calories from it; even diabetics can use it.  It normally passes harmlessly out of the body, yet tastes, acts and looks like regular white sugar.  However dog's bodies recognize it as a sugar without end!  Their bodies start throwing insulin into their system until it kills them!  If a dog eats an item containing xylitol, take them to a vet without delay!   Unless you are sure you can keep foods containing this sweetener away from your dogs, don't use it to begin with!

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