Every day, around 10:30am the same thing happens. I’m tucking in to that cup of coffee and toast I’ve been craving all morning, and then there they are. Those puppy dog eyes. They’re not looking at me of course. No, they’re looking at that piece of toast.
If I’m really lucky, a patch of drool will indicate the desired ‘landing zone’ for a portion of my breakfast.
This stare (aka Toastface) goes on, and is ultimately met with the following verbal response: “What? Have you never been fed? You had your breakfast at breakfast time….”
“Oh, ok, but just a little bit!”. And then two other collie faces appear, and my peanut butter on toast is no longer mine.
Now feeding your dog the food you are eating is something that splits the dog owner community firmly down the middle. Rightly or wrongly I do share a little bit with my girls, because quite frankly, I’m a bit of a soft touch. A slither of toast is the only source of grain they are fed, and the peanut butter is unsalted and reduced fat. And I always buy a brand without Xylitol in the ingredients list. Xylitol – if you didn’t know – is a ‘sugar alcohol’ used as a sweetener in some off-the-shelf foodstuffs. It can be fatal to dogs in doses higher than 100 milligrams to every kilo of bodyweight. It can cause hypoglycemia and result in a loss of coordination followed by collapse and seizure in as little as 30 minutes.
Now it would be sensible to think then that Xylitol is easy to spot on jars of food because it’s an artificial sweetener, right? Wrong. Because it exists naturally in fruits and vegetables in low concentrations, it can be considered a ‘natural sweetener’ on food labeling, and in some cases it’s classed as ‘sugar free’ because it is not even technically sugar.
The thing to look out for is the term ‘sugar alcohol’ – if you see this, then don’t give the food to your dog. Not all sugar alcohols are toxic to dogs, but it’s best avoided, as Xylitol doesn’t have to be specifically named on the label as an ingredient – it can just be listed as sugar alcohol.
But this doesn’t mean your dog can’t enjoy some food that we keep around the house if you so wish. Here is our guide to food that is perfectly safe, and some foods you should avoid:
Of course, the list above is no way exhaustive. There’s lots of good advice out there – but none better than from your vet. If in doubt, always ask your vet.
So let’s focus on the yummy. Now we’re approaching the height of Summer – yes we really are – here is one of our favourite healthy recipes for dog-friendly ice cream. It’s super easy to make, you can knock-up a big batch in no time, and it’s perfect as a nice treat for your pal to cool down with on a hot day (when we get one).
What you need:
1 ripe banana
1 cup of peanut butter
2 cups of natural plain yogurt
2 tablespoons of honey
What you need to do:
- Mash the banana up and stir it into the yogurt
- Warm up the peanut butter a little so it’s easier to mix, and add the honey
- Combine all the ingredients together
- Pour the mixture into a non-stick container and then freeze overnight
We use individual pots for the mixture as it’s quick & easy to pop out equal portions for 3 foodie collies, but a big container works just as well. Alternatively, if you have one of our Planet Dog Strawberry, Carrot or Nooks, you can freeze the mixture inside – this will really keep them occupied!
We’d love to know your recipes – send us your suggestions and we’ll share them in our blog and on social media through the Summer!
Of course, there’s more to wellbeing than just food. Our friends at Wayfair have created this great infographic on keeping your pet healthy all year round:
Image credit: Wayfair.co.uk