Bingo's Bounty Vegetables for Dogs

Farm Fresh Goodness for Your Furry Friends

Sidebar
Menu
Feb 2011

20 Min Can Give Your Dog Years

images
Did you know that making homemade dog food can add years to your dog’s life? The ability to select only top-grade ingredients and adjust them specifically to suit your dog’s needs at any given time allows you to address any health issues through diet. Many people who have switched to homemade dog food have noticed that their dog is living healthier and longer. Carol Boyle, a wonderful author of a book about homemade dog food has actually doubled the longevity of her Great Pyrenees from seven to fourteen years! Why we cannot guarantee that this will happen for your dog, the question still remains, why not at least try it?

In my many years of talking to people about homemade dog food, the first, and biggest obstacle to getting them to try it is the old excuse of time. Invariably, the comment I hear the most is, “I don’t have time to cook for myself, how can I find the time to cook for my dog?” That is an excuse born out of ignorance. When I tell people I cook for my five dogs, they imagine me standing over my stove for hours every night, concocting elaborate meals for them. Wrong! In reality, I spend 20 minutes twice a week - on Sunday and Thursday - THAT IS IT. If I didn’t have five hungry mouths to feed, it would be only 20 minutes once a week, and I am going to tell you how I do it.

images
You will basically be making three different food groups; meat, vegetables and grains/legumes. You will store the individual ingredients in tupperware and then mix them together at mealtime.

Protein


Good quality protein will make up the largest portion of the ingredients going into your homemade dog food. I alternate between chicken, beef and turkey, with the occasion meals of eggs or canned fish mixed in. I cannot tell you how much protein to cook to last you a week as there are too many different factors such as the size, weight and activity level of your dog, the size of the muscle meat you are cooking (ie: breasts versus thighs) and the fat content of the meat. You will need to experiment for a couple of weeks in order to get the right amount cooked to last your dog for as long as you desire.

Chicken


I purchase my chicken either as frozen bags of boneless/skinless breasts or boneless/skinless thighs. You can but them with the bone and skin still on, but I find they require more time to remove the bone and the skin adds quite a bit of fat. I also will buy whole chickens if they are on sale, but those do require a bit more effort.

I cook the boneless breast or thighs the same way, heat the oven to 375 degrees, throw the frozen (no need to defrost) meat into two or three roasting pans and cook for one hour and 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then grind up in a food processor and add the appropriate amount of calcium (if using eggshell calcium, one teaspoon per pound of meat). Total prep and finishing time: 20 min.
I cook whole chickens using a crock pot. Following the instructions on your particular crock pot. Once done, allow chicken to cool, pull meat from the bones and grind up in a food processor. Finally, add the appropriate amount of calcium. Total prep and finishing time: 25 min.

Beef


I purchase my beef either as ground beef (I prefer 7% or less fat) or chuck roasts if they are on sale. I cook my ground beef in a big dutch oven until done. Allow to cool and add the appropriate amount of calcium. Total prep and finishing time: 20 min.
I cook the chuck roast in a crock pot according to the directions. Once done, allow to cool and grind up the meat in a food processor. Add appropriate calcium. Total prep and finishing time: 20 min.

Turkey


I buy turkey either in ground form, or as a whole breast or bird if they are on sale, but those do require a bit more effort. I cook the ground turkey the same way as ground beef. Allow to cool and add the appropriate amount of calcium. Total prep and finishing time: 20 min.
I cook whole turkeys in the oven, whole breasts in the crock pot. Cook according to directions, allow to cool, then grind up in a food processor. Add the appropriate amount of calcium. Total prep and finishing time: 25 min.

Eggs


I scramble these one to two times per week. I do not cook these ahead of time. Total prep and finishing time: 10 min.

Canned Fish


I don’t like to cook fish, and so I buy it in canned form. I buy tuna, salmon and sardines. I do not feed this more than once a week due to mercury levels and high salt content. Simply open the can and serve. Total prep and finishing time: 5 min.

Carbohydrates


A good time to prepare and/or cook your carbohydrates is while your meat is cooking. Some people who have dogs that are sensitive to grains may only want to make the vegetable portion. That is perfectly fine, but if your dog has no grain sensitivities do not be afraid to try certain grains. It is untrue that dogs cannot digest grains - they cannot digest UNCOOKED grains - but cooked ones are perfectly fine and supply a much needed source of fiber for colon health.

Vegetables


Bingo’s Bounty has made the vegetable portion of your dog’s meal easier than ever. Simply measure out the amount of Bingo’s Bounty needed to last your dog for four days and add the appropriate amount of water. Allow to rehydrate for 8-10 minutes and then cool. Drain off any excess water if necessary and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Total prep and finishing time: 8 min.

Grains


I cook grains in a variety of ways; steaming, boiling and microwaving. I usually make two different types at one time (or a grain and a legume) so that they can have a bit of variety between their morning and evening meal. Microwaving is the quickest, but not all grains cook well in the microwave. Steaming takes the least amount of effort as you have to check in and stir grains that you boil. Below is a list of grains that I feed my dogs followed by the different methods you can cook them.

Amaranth - steaming, boiling
Barley - boiling
Brown Rice - steaming, boiling
Buckwheat - microwave, boiling
Bulgar - microwave boiling
Millet - steaming, boiling
Oats - microwave, boiling
Quinoa - steaming, boiling

Allow to cool and refrigerate. Total prep and finishing time: 5 min.

Legumes


Legumes are a great way to not only add fiber to your dogs diet, but to give him some extra protein as well. Although the best source of protein for your dog will always be meat, you can “boost” the protein of the meal with some legumes. As most legumes require the long process of soaking before they can be cooked, I cheat by using those varieties that do not have to be soaked, such as mung beans and lentils. I will also buy legumes ready to feed from the can. I only by a brand from a company called “Eden” as they are low salt, organic and come in a BPA free can. My dogs all love the following: aduki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, butter beans, garbanzo beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, mung beans, navy beans, pinto beans, and red beans.

For canned beans there is no prep time. For lentils and mung beans, total prep and finishing time: 5 min.

Prepped food

Putting It All Together


Here are the ingredients all prepped and ready to serve. We have Bingo’s Bounty Original Formula, ground cooked turkey with the calcium already added and brown rice. My dogs get 2/3 of their meal as the meat, the other 1/3 as the vegetable/grain mix. Below is a photo of one of their bowls ready to be served. On this particular day I added some dairy in the form of cottage cheese. They get dairy added to their meal four days a week and fruit three days a week. For more detailed instructions about portions and ingredients, please visit our homemade dog food page.

Bon Appetit!
Bowl ready to go

Coprophagia

images
Dogs are no different than people when it comes to weird behaviors. Often, if we take a bit of time we can figure out why a particular behavior has developed and then take the steps necessary to eliminate or at least minimize the triggers that cause the behavior. Other times, certain behaviors are idiopathic, meaning they arise spontaneously or from an unknown cause. Either way, there are behaviors that dogs can pick up that can be amusing, annoying, or even down right disgusting.

Coprophagia is the name given to the behavior of eating feces. There are few things more disgusting than having your dog greet you with a big, slobbery kiss that reeks of poo. Coprophagia can be caused by a number of issues, but it can also be idiopathic. Some dogs will eat their own, others only another dog’s. I have known dogs who will not eat it during the warmer months, but come winter time they love to gnaw on a frozen poop-cicle. Below is a list of reasons why your dog may be munching on this disgusting treat, followed by a few recommendations for helping to eliminate this behavior.

Your dog may be hungry.


Some dogs, especially those on a diet, may get hungry and with no other food in sight may eat their feces. If you feed your dog only once a day, try feeding him two to three smaller meals throughout the day. There are many vegetables for dogs that provide not only great nutrition, but will fill them up without adding a lot of calories.

The food you are feeding may be lacking sufficient nutrients or may not be appropriate for your dog.


If you feed a low-quality or inappropriate dog food and your dog acts hungry, you may be compelled to feed him more. Unfortunately what your dog is really craving are nutrients, which a low quality food will not provide no matter how much you give him. In fact, the excess food generally goes through his digestive tract undigested, resulting in stools that look and smell much like the food he just ate which simply tempts him further. Feeding more is not the answer - switch to a better quality kibble, or make homemade dog food. Dogs who eat the stools of other dogs or animals may also be seeking minerals and nutrients their current diet is not providing.

A dog who is confined to a kennel, chained, or restricted to a small area may eat his feces out of boredom, loneliness, anxiety or to clean up.


Just as with humans, dogs that lack interaction with others, mental stimulation and exercise can develop neurotic behaviors. In addition, if you allow stools to pile up in your kennel or yard, your dog may feel the desire to do his own ‘house-cleaning’. If your dog cannot be an interactive member of your household, it might be a wise decision to find him a home where he can be. Good housekeeping extends to your yard, which should be cleaned of feces every day.

Internal parasites can cause dogs to eat their feces.


Worm infestations can leach nutrients from your dog’s body, which will cause your dog to not only feel hungry, but also crave those nutrients he is being denied. Have your dog examined by a veterinarian to determine whether he has internal parasites, and if so, have him treated. I recommend switching your dog to homemade dog food that is high in antioxidants to prevent future infestations.

Dogs that have accidents in the house may eat their feces to hide the evidence.


Getting angry at your dog for going to the bathroom in the house is pointless as the responsibility for making sure he not only has been trained to go outside, but also has ample opportunity to do so belongs to the owner. Accidents are YOUR fault, not theirs. Stop punishing them and this ‘evidence hiding’ behavior will go away.

Some breeds of dogs enjoy carrying things in their mouth.


If you have one of those types of dogs who love to carry things eventually, if they have access to them, feces will end up in their mouth. The best way to avoid this behavior from ever starting is to keep your yard cleaned up and give them plenty of other toys to carry.

Coprophagia can be instinctual.


Bitches who whelp will eat their puppy’s feces. This is an instinctual behavior that usually stops once the puppies are no longer nursing. Some females however will continue to eat poop long after the puppies are gone. This is especially true of bitches rescued from puppy mills where they have been denied quality food and have had litter after litter. Their bodies become so starved for nutrition that they begin to eat not only their puppies stools, but their own as well. Even after they have been rescued and given better food, these dogs will still continue that habit because it has become ingrained.

Eating feces can be learned from others.


Puppies will often see their mother eating poop and give it a try themselves. They can also observe other dogs with the habit and pick it up from them. Some dogs will develop a taste for it, while others in a multi-dog home will not eat their own, but relish another dog’s. This is very common with submissive dogs.

So, what is the best solution to this nasty habit? Coprophagia in older dogs is very difficult to eliminate completely as it is a self-rewarding behavior. There are however several steps you can take to minimize it.

1. Feed your dog a better quality food. Homemade dog food is your best option.
2. Clean up after your dog daily. Even better, pick it up right away.
3. Have you dog examined for parasites by your veterinarian.
4. Make sure your dog has plenty of social contact and exercise.
5. Take the time to properly potty train your dog to prevent accidents in the house.
6. Feed your dog probiotics and digestive enzymes that will allow him to get plenty of nutrients.
7. Feed your dog two to four tablespoons of pumpkin which tastes good going in and bad coming out.

There are several products available that you can either feed your dog (like Forbid) or apply to the stools (like hot sauce) to discourage the habit, but I have found through personal experience that these do not always work. In some instances, like applying the hot sauce to feces in the yard, it is usually easier to simply pick them up. In my current pack I have two dogs that like to eat feces - never their own, just those from a particular dog. The younger one learned it from the older one who suffered from terrible allergies as an adolescent until I switched her to homemade dog food. The diet change helped minimize the behavior, but I was too late in addressing it and so it became a habit. Currently the problem only occurs during the winter when the snow hides some of the feces when I clean up every day. The rest of the year they are fine as I pick everything up twice a day. Indeed the solution that works best for everyone is simply to pick up after your dog. The upside to that is your yard stays clean and you don’t have to worry about “soggy land mines” as my nephew calls them!








Baby It's COLD Outside

images

With the recent spate of freezing temperatures all across the United States, it seemed like an appropriate time to revisit some important advice regarding keeping your dog safe and happy during the winter.

Don’t leave your dog outside.


You may think that because your dog has a nice, thick coat that he can survive outside while you are at work or away. This is simply not true. A good rule of thumb is that if it is uncomfortable for any length of time for you to stand outside wearing a coat, then it is uncomfortable for your dog. Once again, here is the perfect reason for putting a dog door into your home. That way, your dog can make the decision as to whether they want to go out into inclement weather and for how long. If you cannot purchase a dog door and do not want to leave your dog in the house while you are away, then the garage might be an option as long as your dog has a raised bed off of the concrete and can get away from any drafts. On very bitter cold days, a doggy day care facility would be an excellent choice.

Don’t overfeed your dog.


It is a misconception that your dog will burn more calories during the winter in order to stay warm. In fact, many dogs become more lethargic during cold spells and actually require less calories than usual. However, if your dog does spends a great deal of time outdoors by choice, monitor his weight to ensure he is getting enough to eat. If your dog acts hungry, or you are not sure whether he needs extra calories and are afraid he will get fat, you can select vegetables for your dog that are low in calories, but provide energy and help your dog to feel full.

Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water.


Your dog can dehydrate just as quickly in cold weather as he can during the summer months, and just because you see him eating snow does not mean he is getting an adequate amount of water. If your dog has the ability to go in and out of the house, make sure you keep his water bowl inside where it can remain at room temperature. Dogs are just like people in that they don’t like to drink extremely cold water when it is cold outside. If your dog’s water bowl is outside, be sure to purchase a heated bowl to keep ice from forming.

images

Dress appropriately.


Many people think, “My dog has a thick coat so he doesn’t need to wear one.” While it is true that some breeds have a dense undercoat that provides extra protection against the cold, every dog can benefit from an extra layer, especially if your are going out for a long walk or extended play time at the local dog park. This is particularly important for dogs with short hair. There are many types of dog coats available on the market today, from the fanciest couture to understated casual - just be sure your dog has enough room to jump and play without getting caught in anything.

Protect their paws.


Just as the skin of your hands can get dry and cracked during the winter, your dog’s paws suffer a lot of damage from snow, ice, slush and salt. If you are planning on a long excursion and your dog will tolerate them, dog booties are a wonderful asset. In fact, one of our dogs, Oliver, wears them frequently as the cold bothers him greatly. They do take some skill getting them on just right and you will need to be patient (and try not to laugh too hard) while your dog gets used to wearing them. If your travels take you through salty areas, be sure to wash your dogs feet upon returning home as many de-icing products contain toxic chemicals. Also there are many paw specific salves out there that are great for keeping their pads from getting cracked and sore from the cold.

Be aware of potential toxins.


Antifreeze presents the greatest danger to dogs during the winter months. It’s sweet taste is irresistible to dogs and only a small amount can be fatal. If you plan on keeping your dog in the garage, be sure to examine underneath your vehicle to ensure that nothing is leaking. Many de-icing products can contain chemicals that can make your dog sick if they walk through it and then lick their paws. We have found one of the best and safest ways to remove ice from our dog-traveled walkways is good, old fashioned kosher salt.

images

Shovel, shovel, shovel.


While snow can be a great deal of fun for your dog, it can also pose problems or be dangerous. Snow that piles up too high along the fence can make an ideal escape ramp for the potential wanderer. Snow covered overhangs near areas where your dog likes to nap can pose an avalanche danger to a sleeping dog. Small dogs will greatly appreciate a cleared path to their favorite potty area, as will senior dogs who can’t move as well as they used to.

Take extra precautions around heat sources.


Dogs are no dummies and they will seek out heat sources in order to stay warm during the winter. Fireplaces, radiators and space heaters are all potential burn threats to your dog. Never leave a space heater unattended with a dog as it could start a fire if tipped over. Provide your dog with a comfy bed and extra blankets in a warm area away from drafts.

Don’t forget to groom!


Many pet parents believe that once their dog gets a good winter coat, they don’t need to bring out the brushes again until spring. Wrong! Dogs continue to shed, even in winter and a matted coat will leave areas of skin exposed to the elements. A well groomed coat will keep him properly insulated. If you wish to bathe your dog, be sure to use a shampoo that does not have sodium laurel sulfate in it because it can strip the coat of important oils, making it dry and brittle and more likely to mat. Dry your dog completely before allowing them back outside to prevent frostbite. Feed a homemade dog food with plenty of omega fatty acids to ensure a thick and healthy coat.

We wish you all a very safe and warm winter!

DCP_0278


Did you know...?