Michael and I are privileged enough to share our home [and our sleeping space] with the world's sweetest canine. He adopted us last year. It was really sweet of him.
Clearly, he did his research: he was looking to be taken in by a couple of humans who liked plants almost as much as he does. I suppose we fit the bill (we eat a lot of plants).
Truly, I have never met a more herbivorous dog. While he is content to eat chicken he finds on the ground in our neighborhood (it's a thing -- we've grown to accept that the sidewalk is frequently strewn with chicken), and he'll happily accept it when we visit Michael's parents, Brixton is a veggie dog when it comes to every other eating situation. We have tried giving him regular dog food, both canned and dry, and he won't touch it. We discovered that he's agreeable to the Wellness Whitefish + Sweet Potato variety, which has more veggies and seeds in it than anything else. Treats, same thing: he prefers brands that have more veggie ingredients than anything (especially Fruitables).
Because of his affinity for green things - and the frequency with which I cook with them - he's also a great help in the kitchen, taking the place of a compost and a vaccuum at the same time. (The cauliflower-all-over-the-floor incident of Cauliflower Pizza? Brixton was there. The someone-needs-to-do-something-about-these-kale-stalks situation while making Coconut Milk Okra Curry? He was such a help then, too. #grateful) Also, he's getting all kinds of excellent vitamins into his little dog diet without a bit of fussing. What more could we ask for?)
During our week of juicing, we generated a veritable ton of pulp at home: kale, apple, celery, cucumber, ginger, carrot, romaine. All things that are nutrient-rich and high-fiber, and all of which are healthy options for pups (albeit a little untraditional). They're also all things he's eaten whole when offered, so I figured his sophisticated dog palate would be on board with something combining them all at once. (Sidebar: I never thought I would actually have this kind of inner dialogue about feeding a dog. Clearly, health coaching thinking has extended into every crevice of my world, and I am quite okay with that!)
I decided to put all of that otherwise bound-for-the-compost pulp to use and create some yummy (healthful) homemade dog treats for our small canine, inspired by the success that was our last batch, which are these little guys here:
They were a melange of carrot, apple, and kale pulp; oats, flax meal, and peanut butter. Brixton loved these! They didn't keep as long and were definitely pretty decadent. I'd definitely try them out again, but I think I have found an awesome new (simpler!) combination in this week's version. Here they are:
Interestingly enough - as I think it influenced my plan to make these - our vet recently sent out a 'helpful reminder' to the community that one extra dog treat is the caloric equivalent to a human eating 'one extra cheeseburger'. Unless we're raising an Olympic dog, it might be a good idea to keep snacks in check (makes sense for humans, too, yes?). These little orbs have just three ingredients - very few calories - and take about five minutes to throw together. They bake for less than half an hour, and for basically $0.00, you have a huge batch of treats to keep a pup happy (and trim!).
Here's how you make 'em:
2 cups juicer pulp (whatever you have on hand; you can also store extra pulp in the fridge for a few days if you're not making the treats right away)
5 tbsp flax meal dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup teff flour (or other non-wheat, non-corn flour -- almond would work, too!)
Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.
Spoon onto foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes until cooked all the way through.
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days.
Does your pup love veggies, too? Feel free to share your whole-family (including canines!) veggie-loving photos over at the From the Ground Up Facebook page. Everyone does better with a little more green in their diet, hey? :)
Have a great week!