Super Foods for Dogs

Nutrition for Dogs

Got Goat Milk?

Mary Poppins sang how a teaspoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Sounds outrageous in today’s holistic world, right? But sometimes when you have a sick pet, trying alternative remedies can be a good thing. In fact, I wouldn't rule out voodoo if I thought it could work.

Let me explain

It all started with a sound best described as a dinosaur chomping down a giant Redwood.  But incredibly it was coming from my mom’s cat, Tuxedo.  Right then it struck me that I had never heard him chew his food before. So what was this new dining anomaly? It was a first sign of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) soon followed by intermittent vomiting, changes in stool, and non-stop eating frenzies. 

Steroid treatment has worked but led to diabetes which is a common side effect. He’s now on diet prescription food and hopefully won’t need insulin. The good news is that Tuxedo has rallied once again. He’s not sleeping 24/7 nor is his poop stinking like science lab sulfur. Honestly, I think he cashed in on one of his nine lives.   

Anyway, although Tuxedo is being treated by an extraordinary vet specialist mom is still looking for that magic bullet that will keep him alive forever. What better place to find it than Vegas.  
Let me explain.

You can get just about anything imaginable in sin city – legal and illegal – but what were the odds of finding a curative elixir for a cat with IBS? A million to one shot, but we got lucky. In a display freezer at a local dog boutique, I made my serendipitous discovery: GOAT MILK. 
Here was a product that I’d never thought about before. I needed to know more. 

maru-goat-milk

Goat Milk

Seventy-two percent of the milk used throughout the world is from goats. According to the Journal of American Medicine, goat milk is the “most complete food known.” Milk is raw food designed by nature. When pets are fed raw milk with all its nutrients, it is equivalent to giving them raw organ meat, raw fat and raw bones. 

Although the mineral content of both cow and goat milk is similar, goat’s milk contains: 

  • 13% more calcium…  
  • 25% more Vitamin B-6…  
  • 47% more Vitamin A…  
  • 134% more potassium…  
  • 27% more of the antioxidant selenium…  
  • 3x more niacin.

Goat’s milk helps to increase the pH of the blood stream because it is the dairy product highest in the amino acid L-glutamine. 

Benefits

So what is the biggest difference between cow and goat milk? Goat milk is alkaline and cow milk is acid. Because the protein in goat milk forms a softer curd, the body can digest it in just 20 minutes. Having fat molecules one-fifth the size of those in cow’s milk makes it easily digestible and tolerable to those with compromised digestive systems.  USDA and A&M University, Texas studies have confirmed that goat’s milk has more acid-buffering capacity than over the counter antacids. 

Brands

There are several brands on the market from dry to wet – pasteurized and unpasteurized. I bought unpasteurized flavored with cinnamon and honey. I was concerned about the honey because of Tuxedo’s diabetes so I called the company. They said the honey feeds the Probiotics (good bacteria) which convert the sugar to lactic acid. Essentially there is no sugar left and the lactic acid aids in digestion which is good for the IBS.  I hope that his next exam proves that to be true.

Safety Standards

Raw food does have a risk factor. However, raw milk has stricter standards than pasteurized. The bacteria count for pasteurized milk is 15,000 per ml while certified raw milk is 10,000 ml.  
With any type of raw food, however, proper handling is a must to ensure there’s no contamination.  It’s a good idea to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds if contact is made and best not to kiss your pet. Bacterial transmission is a real threat. 

Testing

My mom was nervous giving it to Tuxedo the first time. But, he loved the goat’s milk at first lick. He asked for it at every meal… or something like that. Miraculously, within a few days she said he seemed more alert, more social and more content. Those bacteria were doing their job and she felt better knowing he was feeling better. 

That’s when I decided to give some to my dog Maru. While she doesn’t have any known health issues, the goat milk could be considered as preventative care. She absolutely loves it. I have even developed a new frozen treat using it.  

To Go or Not to Go Goat

The raw food controversy is heating up on all fronts. Convincing arguments can be made both pro and con. So, how does a pet parent make a decision? By doing research and talking to medical professionals and knowledgeable pet store owners. Ultimately, it’s a personal choice. 
What I didn't expect was the guilt of going goat. By that I mean doing something that you know your vet might not support. That’s a real dilemma. For right now, goat’s milk may NOT be what the doctor ordered, but it IS food for thought! And, if this new treatment regimen doesn't work out, I’m going to grab my new bar of goat soap and indulge in a nice luxurious bath.

GOAT FACTS

Goats get a bad rap in fairy tales and the barnyard. They are seen as ugly bearded animals that eat tin cans and butt kick everything. Here are some facts that might make them a little more love-able and appreciated.

  • They were the first animal to be domesticated over 10,000 years ago in Iran.
  • Before coins were used as money, goats were traded for silver because they were so valuable.
  • Some goats can climb trees & jump as high as 5 feet or more.
  • There are about 300 varieties and each breed gives different tasting milk.
  • Sometimes goats are kept with racehorses as companions because of their calming effect on them. The term “get your goat” is rumored to have originated from the practice of stealing the companion goat so the racehorse would do poorly.
  • Goats have rectangular pupils which gives them 320-340 degree vision so they virtually see all around them without moving. 
  • One Egyptian pharaoh was buried with more than 2,000 goats.

Sources

  1. http://hungryhound.com/the-many-benefits-of-adding-raw-goats-milk-to-your-pets-diet
  2. http://blog.sandiegopetfooddelivery.com/2013/09/why-raw-goats-milk-for-dogs-cats.html
  3. http://www.dogsplendor.com/2013/03/gaga-for-raw-goats-milk
  4. http://dancingdogfarm.com/2011/07/22/benefits-of-drinking-goats-milk
  5. http://www.ibpet.net/#!Benefits-of-Raw-Goat-Milk-for-Pets/c1x62/BF351420-5A1A-4E32-998F-0278EDF9A88E
  6. http://www.thepetbeastro.com/2013/03/health-benefits-of-raw-goats-milk-for-pets
  7. A CAMPAIGN FOR REAL (RAW) MILK! Web. 18 Apr. 2010. http://www.realmilk.com.
    Gilbere, Gloria, N.D., D.A. Hom., Ph.D., "Natures Prescription Milk." Web.
    The Maker's diet, Jordan Rubin - Thorndike Press - Waterville, Me. – 2006
    The untold story of milk: green pastures, contented cows and raw dairy foods, Ronald F.Schmid - Sally Fallon - New Trends Pub. - Washington, DC – 2003

 

Top Nutritious People Foods and Super Foods for Your Dog

 Here is a list of top “People Foods” and some “Super Foods” that pack a big punch when it comes to your dog. Research has shown that in most cases dogs get the same benefits from eating them as people do. These types of foods are rich in antioxidants, nutrients, and proteins that provide your dog with many health benefits and a balanced diet.

 Our Dog Treats and Dog Ice Cream are handmade locally in Chicago in small batches so we can control the type and quality of ingredients that are being used in our products. All of the meats used in our Dog Ice Cream are sourced from a local Chicago Butcher and the jerky in our treats is sourced from a small farm in Michigan. We do not add one single preservative, not even natural ones. And we don’t use flavorings, you can see every ingredient. This is what makes our treats different. Just because it is a treat, doesn't mean it can't be nutritious.

Our handmade Dog Treats and Dog Ice Cream contain one or more of the following People Foods.


The Food
The Food

Carob Chips (PB&CC’s)- 

Comes from a tree and boasts vitamins B1, A, and Iron. Naturally sweet, rich in protein, and high in fiber. They contain no caffeine, are lower in fat then chocolate and dog friendly.

Dried Cranberries (Macaroons)- 

High in antioxidants, especially vitamin C. Just like in humans, cranberries can help with dogs having kidney issues and urinary tract infections.

Fresh Blueberries (Twists)- 

"Blueberries have been touted one of the top “Super Foods”, because it contains a high level of antioxidants it can help prevent a vast array of diseases. Antioxidants prevent cells from free radicals which can cause cancer, heart disease, and many other illnesses". The following link gives you more in depth information on what berries can do for your dogs health http://raisinghealthydogs.com/can-dogs-eat-berries

Fresh Carrots (Dog Pizza)- 

One of the greatest treats for dogs and is loaded with powerful phytonutrients. Full of Vitamins A, K and C, carrots have a ton of antioxidant power. Additionally, carrots help a dog’s vision, heart, and blood sugar levels. They are a great treat cut up or cooked a little to soften. 

Lean Meats (Dog Ice Cream) (Dog Pizza)- 

Lean meat is an excellent, balanced source of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle in your dog’s body. Meat is also a great source of B vitamins (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, and Cobalamine). These vitamins are involved in energy metabolism in the body. 

Organic Flaxseed (PB&CC’s, Twists, Dog Pizza)- 

Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids for your dogs skin and coat. You can find a whole article on the benefits here http://www.ehow.com/about_5143014_flax-seed-benefits-dogs.html

Peanut Butter (Dog Ice Cream, PB&CC’s)-

High in Protein. In our treats we use peanut butter that has no added salt or sugar.

Pineapple (Pumps)- 

Contains calcium and potassium which are good for their bones.

Pumpkin (Pumps)- 

A good source of fiber and beta carotene (vitamin A). All dogs need fiber in their diet.

Unsweetened Organic Coconut (Macaroons)- 

An excellent source of fiber, another factor in cancer prevention.

Unsweetened Yogurt (Dog Ice Cream)- 

A great source of calcium and protein. The active live bacteria found in yogurt is good for their stomachs, especially if your dog is on antibiotics. We only use a low-fat unsweetened one because the added sugar and calories are not necessary. On our site we go in to a little more detail on why our Dog Ice Cream is dog friendly v.s. regular ice cream made for people with milk.

 To further reading about human foods you can incorporate in to your dogs diet here are a few articles and sources that talk more about the benefits.