The weather outside is frightful! As the weather gets cooler, your dog may be craving something a little warmer to hold them over. According to the American Kennel Club, 24% of Americans warm their dog's food regularly. There’s some science behind this too – warming up food enhances taste and aroma, making it more appealing for your pooch to dig in.
What kinds of food are heat and dog-friendly? Let’s discuss:
CHICKEN SOUP FOR DOGS -
One of the best ways for dogs to get protein while warming them up is making some chicken soup. It should be bland (salts aren’t good for a dog’s digestive system) and consist of a lot of chicken. From Dogs Naturally Magazine:
- “Place three to four chicken thighs in six cups of water. You can also add chopped celery and carrot.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours.
- Remove skin and bones, and set meat aside.
- Strain broth and use it to boil 1 to 2 cups of chopped vegetables (like carrot, celery, yam, cauliflower) for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool before serving.”
According to Dogs Naturally, this soup is great for dogs with an upset stomach or diarrhea as well.
Another warm and filling treat for dogs is plain oatmeal. Though oatmeal should never be a meal replacement as it lacks essential ingredients, oatmeal is high in fiber. Remember, when preparing a hearty bowl of oatmeal (experts suggest a half-a-cup two times a week at most) make it with water instead of milk. Many dogs and cats can’t digest lactose easily.
(SOME) THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS –
After the feast is over, you will likely have a lot of leftovers. Your dog wants in on the action! Here’s a list of things you can feed your dog after Turkey Day. Remember only to feed in small amounts, as too much of a good thing may upset your dog's stomach.
- Turkey (this is a great lean protein for both dogs and cats!)
- Plain Mashed Potatoes (avoid giving too much of this, or avoid altogether if it has a lot of butter and gravy)
- Green Beans (fresh veggies are always a welcome addition to your dog's diet if they’ll eat them!)
Do NOT feed your dog the following: Grapes, Garlic, Scallions, artificial sweeteners, or chocolate. Many of these items are either choking hazards or toxic to your pet's health.
CROCKPOT STEW -
Enjoy this well-balanced seasonal bounty with your dog. The best part is that this stew is freezer-friendly, so you can feed them this meal again and again throughout the winter.
“2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned
Directions: Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed. Let cool completely.”
DOG FOOD -
Yes, you can even heat up the dog food you already have! Many pet owners mix in a little hot water or wet food with their dry food. It changes the texture and enhances flavor.
Between giving your dog a leftover Thanksgiving feast or a warm cup of oatmeal, your dog will be one cozy canine this winter season.