Thanksgiving is a time when many gather with those they cherish as family. We at the Wag know full well that family can come in a variety of sizes, shapes, ages, breeds and species. How many legs one has is of little importance when it comes to those we choose to love with all of our hearts.
Given that the majority of this holiday is spent eating... a favorite pass time of our furry friends and family....it seems fitting that they too get to share in the festivities. While most humans end up kvetching on Aunt Rita's couch after one too many pieces of pie, it's important that we critter moms and dads shield our companion animals from ingredients that cause such gluttonous discomfort.
Thankfully- just in time for the holidays, author and animal nutrition expert, Lucy Postins has the perfect resource for human companions who set a place at the table for Fido and Mittens. As a health conscious mom to both humans and critters, Lucy realized she could use many of the same healthy ingredients in the home cooked meals she was making for both her two-leggers and four-leggers respectively.
After much research, and with the help of some eager taste testers, Lucy wrote, Made out of Love, a recipe book with 65 meals and treats to prepare for -and many to actually share with- our animal companions. An easy-to-follow color key delineates which recipes are suitable for those who meow vs. those who bark vs. those who complain after eating too much at Thanksgiving... humans that is.
The book not only offers fun recipes (see below) for the WHOLE family- but it is packed with useful information on how to maximize health and minimize potential hazards. Lucy offers valuable information on the medicinal benefits of specific foods and how to manage certain ailments through diet.
I had the good fortune to interview Lucy about her work and related interests....
Q. What motivated you to write the Made Out of Love recipe and reference book?
A. I really feel that food can be a powerful part of the bond we share with our animals and I believe that food that's been prepared with love and good intention can have a healing effect on our animal companions. I wanted to create the book as a resource to inspire people to think more about their animals like they do the human members of their families; pets deserve real food just like we do.
Q. Is there an animal welfare issue that you feel strongly about?
A. The puppy mill problem is a big concern and something I really think needs to be addressed. We're working hard to help people understand the difference between a responsible breeder and a "backyard breeder" or a "puppy mill."
Hmmm... are you thinking what i'm thinking?... A canine culinary reality show with host Johnson, pug taste-tester extraordinaire...
Here's wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all creatures everywhere.
Dr. Pia Salk
From Made Out of Love: Recipes to prepare (and sometimes share with) your animal companion. By Lucy Postins
These goodies are easy to make and taste delicious! The cranberries also make them well suited to pets (and humans) who are prone to urinary tractinfections.
1 cup boiled and mashed butternut squash (You could substitute mashed pumpkin or sweet potatoes if you don't have butternut squash available.)
1½ cup uncooked oatmeal
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp honey
What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 370°F and butter a large cookie sheet.
2. Combine the cooked, mashed butternut squash with the oatmeal, cranberries, yeast and honey.
3. Mix well so that all the ingredients are very thoroughly combined.
4. Using a teaspoon, scoop small balls on to the buttered cookie sheet.
5. Make sure they are evenly spaced out about 1 inch apart and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes.
6. Allow the bites to cool.