Keeping a dog is easy because they demand very little. But what should they be fed? Too many people err and then pay thousands of rupees when the dog falls ill. Kidney and liver failure, malnourishment, obesity, tooth decay, allergic reactions are some of the problems that arise from an inadequate diet.  The dog needs a healthy meal, not scraps from the family dinner.  Give food with ingredients that are balanced with the correct levels of proteins, carbohydrates and a little fat- remember to vary the ingredients. Most dogs need to be fed twice or thrice a day (puppies need more frequent smaller meals).

This article is for those who care about the well-being of the animals that share their lives and for people who won’t keep dogs because they think they have to feed them meat. And for people who don’t believe in feeding one animal to another unnecessarily. A lot of people will not even buy the better pieces of meat – they buy leftovers which have no nutrition, chopped up to look like mincemeat. Processed dogfood companies use the worst kind of meat leftovers and there is no guarantee as to the species of the animals and their health before killing. Recent exposures abroad showed that while dog food companies claimed that their food was made from chickens, cows, sheep and buffaloes it was made from dead horses and donkeys. But it could be minced bodies of cats and dogs as well.

It is much simpler and cleaner to keep your dog vegetarian. A dog is an omnivore which means that he will thrive on a vegetarian diet.

Vegetables

Vitamins and minerals are essential to your dog’s health. Vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, peas, zucchini, etc. are rich source of vitamins. A combination of any of these : Carrots, green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, soyabeans, wheatgerm, cauliflower, pumpkin, tori, parwal, yeast,cheese,legumes, melon,beans, rye ,whole wheat, potatoes, molasses (Jaggery ), cottage cheese,wheat bran,whole grains, bananas, yogurt,sweet potatoes,squash, tomatoes should give you all the vitamins and minerals your dog needs - Calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus .

Protein is found in dal, eggwhites and dairy. Split yellow lentils and split red lentils are the most digestible.

Fatty acids regulate the immune system and are anti-inflammatory. Most important fatty acids are omega 3 and 6. Omega 3 is found in flaxseed oil. Omega 6 can be found in sunflower oil, but  ½ a teaspoon is more than enough oil for your dog’s daily intake.

Cornflakes

50% of the diet should include carbohydrates in some form- corn, sweet potato, brown rice, oats or soy beans and any form of whole wheat. Not all grains suit all dogs; some can be an irritant, but the only way to find out is to try them in small quantities. The least irritant grain is barley, particularly used for upset stomachs. Dogs like it.

Dogs can eat herbs and seeds, and some of the common ones are : Parsley, mint, basil, rosemary, celery seeds , dhaniya, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds. Do not give garlic or onions.

Dog treats can be biscuits, carrots or apples.

Start the day with a bowl of milk with cornflakes and dog biscuits. Around 2 p.m., you can give your dog plain rice or chappatis with curd ,vegetables and dal. Small pieces of banana, papaya, mango, apple can be given after the meal.  Dogs are very happy to munch on pieces of cucumber/ tomato/ radish/ carrot. At night you can give your dog chappatis or rice with soyabeans, dal and a boiled or scrambled egg.

Here are some recipes:

Baked Breakfast

Ingredients:

  • ·  2 Cups Wheat Flour
  • · ¼ Cup Wheat Germ
  • · ½ Cup Powdered Milk
  • · ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ·6 tbsp. Butter
  • ·1 egg, Beaten
  • ·1 tbsp. Molasses(or Jaggery)
  • ·Water (approx. ½ Cup)

Procedure:

1. Combine dry ingredients.

2. Blend in butter.

3. Add egg and molasses, mix thoroughly.

4. Add enough water to form a dough ball.

5. Roll out ¼ inch thick and cut into shapes. Place on greased cookie sheet.

6. Bake 20 min. at 375 degrees.

Doggie Delight

Ingredients:

  • · 1 Cup Wheat Flour
  • · ½ Cup Oats
  • ·1 Cup Carrot, Grated Medium
  • · 2 tbsp. Peanut Butter
  • · 4 tbsp. Honey
  • · ½ Cup Milk
  • ·1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • ·1 tbsp Fresh Mint, finely chopped

Procedure:

1. Mix all ingredients in order listed above, mix well with hands until its ready to roll out about ¼ inches thick.

2. Use small circle cookie cutter. What dough is left, roll in to marble size and put on lined cookie sheet.

3. Heat oven to 325°F put in treats and cook 7-10 min.

4. Cool. Serve

Wheat Treat

Ingredients:

  • · 9 Cups Wheat Flour
  • ·  1 Cup Nutritional Yeast (Not Baking Yeast)
  • · ½ Tbsp. sugar
  • · Vanilla Extract

Procedure:

1. Mix dry ingredients. Add approximately 3 Cups water. Knead into a pliable dough. Roll out to 1/8" thickness. Cut into desired shapes.

2. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350°F. (Important: After turning off oven, leave biscuits in the oven overnight or for an 8-hour period so they become hard and crunchy.)

Cheesy Heeng Cookies

Ingredients:

  • · 1½ Cups Flour
  • · 2 Cups Milk
  • · 1 Cup Cheese (grated)
  • · ½ Stick Margarine
  • · Asafetida ( Heeng)

Procedure:

1. Whip the grated cheese and margarine in a bowl for 2-3 min.

2. Add the flour and mix thoroughly.

3. Pour some milk and knead the mixture into a ball.

4. Refrigerate the ball for ½ hr.

5. Roll and shape it into as many cookies as possible.

6. Bake until cookies are a light golden brown.

Oatmeal Wheat Treats

Ingredients:

  • ·1 Cup Oatmeal
  • · 1 Egg, beaten
  • · 1 ½ Cups Hot Water
  • ·  ¾ Cups Cornmeal
  • · 3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 325degree F.

2. In a large bowl pour hot water over oatmeal and let stand 5 minutes.

3. Stir in cornmeal and egg. Add flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4. Knead 3 to 4 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to make very stiff dough. Pat or roll dough to ½ inch thickness. Cut into shapes and place on a greased baking sheet.

5. Bake for 50 minutes. Allow to cool and dry out until hard.

6. Store in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Treats

Ingredients:

  • ·  ½ Cup Mashed Raw Pumpkin
  • ·  ½ Cup Water
  • · 2 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • · 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ·  ½ Cup Oatmeal
  • · 2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Combine pumpkin, water, oil and cinnamon.

3. Add flour and oatmeal slowly, mixing after each addition.

4. Roll dough on a floured surface to ¼ inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes.

5. Bake 40 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Tasty Bones

Ingredients:

  • · 3 Cups Minced Parsley
  • ·¼ Cup Carrots, chopped very fine
  • · 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ·  2 ¾ Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • · 2 tbsp Bran
  • ·2 tsp Baking Powder
  • · ½  to 1 Cup of Water

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F, rack on middle level. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

2. Stir together parsley, carrots and oil. Combine all the dry ingredients and add to veggies.

3. Gradually add ½ Cup of water, mixing well. Make moist but not wet dough. If needed, add a little more water. Knead for one minute.

4. Roll dough out to ½ inch thickness. Cut out the shapes and transfer them to the baking sheet. Gather the scraps and reroll and cut.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes until biscuits have browned and hardened slightly. (They will harden more as they cool.) Speed cooling by placing them on wire racks. Store in an airtight tin.

Frozen Yogurt Delights

Ingredients

  • ·  170gm container of plain, non-fat frozen Yogurt
  • · 1 Cup of no-sugar added Fruit Juice
  • · ½ Cup of carrots, minced

Procedure:

1.  Add the yogurt, fruit juice, and carrots into a medium-sized bowl. Stir until the ingredients are smooth and well-blended.

2.  Drop the mixture into the ice cube trays by spoonful.

3.  Freeze until the ingredients are solid.

Healthy Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • ·  1 Apple
  • ·  3 Carrots
  • · 1 tsp Turmeric
  • · 1 Cup of Vegetable stock
  • ·  1 tbsp of Sunflower seeds
  • · 2 globs of Peanut Butter

Procedure:

1. Blend it all together

Day/Night Meals for Dogs

Potato and Lentils

Ingredients:

  • · 1 large Potato
  • · 1 Cup Lentils
  • ·  1 Cup mixed, chopped Vegetables , specially pumpkin
  • ·  1 Cup organic low-fat Cottage Cheese
  • · 3 Tablespoons of Flax Seed Oil (remember to keep this refrigerated!)

Procedure:

1. Dice the potato, leaving the skin on and boil in just enough water to cover for 15 - 20 minutes over medium heat.

2. Cook the lentils. Put the chopped vegetables as the lentils cook, by adding them to the lentils for the last 10 minutes of cooking time . 
3. After cooking, cool all the ingredients down and mix together with the remaining ingredients (cottage cheese, flax oil ) and serve.

Oat and Soy Meal

Ingredients:

  • · 1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
  • ·  ¼ Cup Soy flour or Soy milk powder
  • ·  ¼ Cup Wheat Bran
  • ·  1 tbs. Soy Lecithin
  • · 1 tbs. Wheat Germ
  • · 1 tbs. Ground Sunflower Seeds
  • ·  1/6 tbs. Molasses
  • · 1 tsp. ground flax seed
  • · ½ tbs. Oil (organic, un-processed oil) optional for healthy dog, not cooked

Procedure:

1.  Mix all together and soak in hot water for about 20 minutes and it will be ready to serve.

Note:  You can put all ingredients in a small plastic jar or prepare multiple jars at the same time and place all of them in the freezer. Take each jar out when you are ready and add hot water.

King’s Rice:

Ingredients:

  • ·  250 gm Rice (soaked in water but not cooked)
  • ·   Soaked Soya Beans
  • ·  Two Carrots
  • ·  1 Capsicum
  • ·  French Beans (2)
  • ·  Turmeric Powder
  • ·   Cumin Seeds
  • · Just a little bit of Oil

Procedure:

1.  In a pressure cooker, put just a little amount of oil and let it heat.

2.  Add 1 tsp cumin seeds

3.  Add freshly cut carrots, capsicum and beans

4.  ½ - 1 tsp Turmeric Powder and  Soya Beans

5. Mix the mixture and then add Rice.

6. After thoroughly mixing it again, add water ( double the amount of rice)

7.  If you have added one Cup rice, add 2 Cups water.

8. Close the cooker lid and wait for the first whistle to go up ( approx 4 min)

9. When the second whistle is half through, take the contents out and serve.

To join the animal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in, www.peopleforanimalsindia.org