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Rick Woodford
Wellness: Recipes
Mackerel Makes Great Toppers

Rick Woodford, the man behind dogfooddude.com, is back with another highly informative, yet easy-to-use cookbook. His new, aptly titled Chow will enable even absolute beginners to try their hand at whipping up whole meals, or simple nutritious and delectable “toppers” (like the one here), for their dogs. Nothing says loving better.

Greyhound are known to reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour, making them one of the fastest breeds around. They’re perfect for running in a straight line or chasing prey, but as soon as the race is over, the greyhound is ready to take a nap. The Alaskan husky can achieve speeds about half that of the greyhound but can sustain the speed for much longer—all while pulling a sled. Both breeds are remarkable for their achievements, but are hardly interchangeable for the unique requirements needed in each racing environment.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be sourced from either plants or animals, and like the greyhound and husky, the different sources have different purposes and benefits. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can contribute to the fight against cancer and enhance brain function; but what your dog’s body really runs on is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Although your dog can convert some of the ALA into EPA and DHA, it’s not enough to support the body’s entire requirement. Supplying EPA and DHA as part of the diet, by including fish or meat from grass-fed animals, is far better in reducing inflammation and furthering cognitive development. Such foods as mackerel can provide a healthy dose of EPA and DHA when fed as part of your dog’s diet two or three times a week.

Whenever possible, purchase mackerel without such additives as sugar and monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer that overstimulates neurotransmitters in the brain. Mackerel packed in water or tomato sauce is preferable over mackerel packed in oil, because your dog will already be receiving enough fats in his diet.

1 cup of canned mackerel has about 300 calories; equivalent to about ¾ cup of commercial dry food

Replace 10 percent of your dog’s regular meal with the following amounts:

10-lb. dog: 2 tablespoons
20-lb. dog: 3 tablespoons
40-lb. dog: ¼ cup
60-lb. dog: ⅓ cup
80-lb. dog: ½ cup
100-lb. dog: ½ cup
KEY NUTRIENTS Calories 6% • Protein 30% • Total fats 15% • Omega-3 (DHA) 225% • Omega-3 (EPA) 123% • B3 (niacin) 46%  • B12 (cyanocobalamin) 26% • D3 69% Mackerel Mix-In — Meal Topper Recipe

Mackerel can be used in place of salmon in salmon cakes for your plate, but it’s also beneficial for your dog and easy to prepare. With a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, this meal topper is a must for any dog. Using canned mackerel and chopping the vegetables in a food processor enhances digestibility without your having to cook anything. Don’t worry about those tiny mackerel bones; they’re really soft and will break down even further in the food processor.

INGREDIENTS
1 (15.5-ounce) can mackerel
1 garlic clove
1 medium-size carrot
1 medium -size red bell pepper, seeded
½ cup frozen spinach, thawed
1 medium-size red apple, stemmed and cored
½ cup blueberries

1. Drain and rinse the mackerel.
2. Place the mackerel and garlic in a food processor and process until chopped finely.
3. Roughly chop the vegetables and apple, then add to the food processor.
4. Add the blueberries and pulse five or six times to chop all vegetables finely.

Yield: 5½ cups

Serve the following amount once per day, replacing one-fifth of your dog’s normal meal.

KEY NUTRIENTS 133 calories per cup • Protein 42% • Carbohydrate-to-protein ratio 0.4 to 1 • Total fats 40% • Antioxidants 38%
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Setting the Table
Healthy Eating

Whether you’re feeding your dog kibble, canned food, a raw diet or home-cooked meals, how you feed him can also make a difference. In his new cookbook/nutrition guide Feed Your Best Friend Better, Rick Woodford has some basic tips for setting the table at floor level that can be applied to all dogs.

  • Let your dog know that patience is a virtue. “We ask our to dogs sit and stay in place while we’re dishing up their food. This helps prevent accidents as well as dogs getting into one another’s food bowl.” If the dog moves while you’re filling his bowl, let him know it’s time to sit back down by freezing in place and waiting for him to go back into position. With practice, your dog will catch on, and mealtime will be just a little calmer.
  • A bowl licked clean is not a clean bowl. Dog bowls should be washed after every meal to prevent a build-up of bacteria, dust or pet hair. “We have a collection of bowls that we rotate through the dishwasher, so every dog gets a clean bowl at each meal. You can add to your dog-bowl collection by keeping an eye out at thrift stores or garage sales,” suggests Woodford. Make sure they’re ceramic, glass or stainless steel, all of which are preferred over plastic, which can leach toxins.
  • When serving, always put down two bowls: one with water and one with food. Your pet may not empty the water bowl, but throughout the day, it accumulates bacteria, dust and even pollen that can aggravate environmental allergies. There’s nothing like a fresh bowl of water to wash down a meal.
  • A scoop is not a very well defined measurement. A month of feeding your dog just 10 percent more than he needs can easily pack a pound or two on him. Measure the appropriate amount of food for your dog into a glass container and mark with a permanent marker to create a more precise measuring tool.
  • Feed twice a day, which will help keep your dog from being either frantically hungry or overfull. Smaller meals also put less pressure on dogs’ digestive systems.