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Planning Your Dog-friendly Holiday
T minus 5 days: Plan ahead
Tis the season to give thanks and cook for your furry best friend.

Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing my recipes for gluten-free Crock-Pot stuffing (on Saturday), mashed potatoes and cauliflower (on Sunday), and gluten-free pumpkin pie (on Monday)—all suitable to share with your pup. (Remember, my feeding guidelines from yesterday.) If you’re like me, you’ll want to plan ahead. Today, I’m suggesting a schedule for your holiday preparations.

 
5 to 6 days ahead: Purchase any specialty ingredients. You will need the following gluten-free flours: buckwheat and tapioca. Tapioca flour is also called tapioca starch. (Gluten-free flours have a shorter shelf life than white processed flours. Extra flour will keep for seven months if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.) You will also need xanthan gum, Celtic sea salt and plain, unsweetened hemp or coconut milk. If your market does not sell the products you need, planning ahead leaves time for Internet ordering and delivery. 
 
2 days ahead: If you want or need to bake your own the gluten-free breads for stuffing, you’ll want to get started 2 days early. Once baked, tear bread into pieces and allow to dry overnight on a cookie sheet.
 
1 day ahead: Make the pumpkin pie (allow to cool, then cover and store in the refrigerator). Prepare the stuffing but do not cook; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (You’ll place it in the Crock-Pot 5 hours before serving for final preparation.) Prepare mashed potatoes and cauliflower. (Place in a buttered 2 quart casserole dish, refrigerate. Heat through before serving.)
 
Thanksgiving Day: Cook your turkey in your favorite way. Remember not to season with garlic or onion. When making gravy, do not use regular flour to thicken the gravy as it contains a type of gluten that, if dogs sample it, may upset their digestive system. Instead, use cornstarch or a combination of cornstarch, tapioca starch/flour and oat flour. 

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Guest blogger Heidi Biesterveld is a certified canine nutritionist. She is the author of Bone Appetit Bistro, a blog dedicated to canine-friendly recipes. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, son and a chocolate Lab named Duncan. boneappetitbistro.com
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