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Good Dog Goodies

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Our pets are members of our family, so we love to present them with holiday gifts of their own. We can make sure our gifts are of the highest quality by making healthy, natural dog treats at home.

Our pets are members of our family, so we love to present them with holiday gifts of their own. We can make sure our gifts are of the highest quality by making healthy, natural dog treats at home.

Not for the Pooch

Several foods are not good for dogs; in fact, some foods can be harmful and, in higher quantities, fatal. Chocolate tops the listnever feed your dog chocolate. It can be fatal to puppies. Large amounts of grapes and raisins (a handful to a pound or two, depending on the size of the dog) can cause permanent kidney damage. Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, as are onions and garlic in large quantities. Sugarless candies containing xylitol can be toxic to pets, and avocado is toxic to them as well. Never add these foods to homemade snacks for your dogs or any other pet.

During the holidays, dogs are more prone to digestive upsets and pancreatitis than at any other time of year simply because we indulge them in too many high-protein, high-fat people foods. Dogs are omnivorous and, like their human counterparts, require fibre in their diets. Avoid giving out too many human goodies; instead make special canine treats that are lower in fat and protein and higher in fibre.

If your dog has wheat allergies, substitute organic whole rice flour in the recipes below (available in your health food store). Corn is difficult for dogs to digest, so avoid recipes that call for corn meal. Many dogs cannot tolerate turkey or pork; feed your pet the dog food recommended by your veterinarianand for holiday treats, know what's in them by baking them yourself.

Happy holidays!

Here are a couple of tasty and healthy recipes that are sure to please your discerning pooch. Organic ingredients for your pet's holiday treats are available at your health food store.

Molly's Organic Muffins

1 cup (250 mL) unbleached white flour
3/4 cup (175 mL) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) flaxseed meal
1 Tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
1 cup (250 mL) grated low-fat cheddar cheese
1 cup (250 mL) grated carrot
2 large eggs
1 cup (250 mL) skimmed milk
1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil (olive, flaxseed, or grapeseed oil)

Combine all dry ingredients, then mix in cheese and carrot. Beat milk, eggs, and oil, then pour over flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350°F (180°C) until muffins feel springy.

Cool before serving. Ok to freeze. Makes one dozen.

Dave the Dog's Peanut Butter Yummies

4 cups (950 mL) organic whole-wheat flour
2 cups (500 mL) large flake organic oatmeal
3/4 cup (175 mL) organic peanut butter
1/4 cup (60 mL) organic banana chips, coarsely crushed
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) hot water

Mix all ingredients, adding more water if too dry. Knead well. Roll out 1/4-in thick, and cut into shapes or squares. Bake on a greased cookie sheet (use non-stick spray, not butter) at 350°F (180°C) for 40 minutes. Cool at least two hours before serving.

Makes two dozen.

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