As vegetarians, my husband and I do our best to eat fresh fruits and veggies as much as possible. Don't get me wrong, we love cheese pizza, but we all know that we can't live off the stuff alone.
For this reason, we started a square foot garden in our yard. The beauty of square foot gardening is that you can grow one virtually anywhere, even in a tiny space. Since we planted it earlier this year, we've been enjoying radishes, boy choy, and are currently expecting our first harvest of cucumbers, carrots, spinach, and more.
When planning our garden, my husband and I decided to plant a number of veggies that we could share with our dogs. Studies have shown that adding beneficial foods like leafy greens and yellow-orange root vegetables to dogs' daily diets can reduce their cancer risk significantly.
We don't feed our dogs veggies daily because they are on a complete semi-raw diet that includes nutrient-rich Dinovite and have to consider that our dog-food budget is pretty limited after buying the meat, eggs, and other ingredients we need to make their food.
That said, any time we have veggies that are threatening to wilt, rot, or will inevitably be forgotten because of a crazy work week, weekend, or due to travel, we serve them up to our pack by making what I like to call our "puppy pesto."
Most dogs aren't fans of eating raw greens. Some people cook veggies for their dogs but I personally prefer raw foods because they maintain the integrity of the many vitamins and minerals these veggies have been grown to provide. So, instead, I mix greens in a blender or food processor with a small amount of olive oil and water then store it for up to a few days in a mason jar in our fridge. I scoop a teaspoon on the larger dogs' bowls and half a teaspoon on the smaller dogs' bowls at each feeding until it's gone and they love it. Here are some photos of The Poos (my nickname for them) this morning after I made a fresh batch. That's what obsession looks like!
Remember, when making "pesto" for dogs, skip the cheese, the salt, etc. They don't need much more than the nutrient-rich greens; even the drizzle of olive oil should be light. Also, make sure that any and all veggies you're using are dog-safe. There are tons of websites out there that talk about vegetables that are safe for canine consumption. For the purposes of our garden, we stick to arugula, spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus.
When planting your garden, invest in high quality organic seeds and check out this awesome video to grow a garden from your kitchen scraps!
The opinions, recipes, and experiences shared on this blog do not constitute the practice of medical or other professional health care or behavioral advice, diagnosis, prevention or treatment. Always talk to your vet before considering alternative diets, supplements, etc.