Our Dogs Love Their Treats and Table Scraps

We are trying to eat healthier foods these days. At any given moment you will find each of the following in our fridge:

(a) HART’s FAMOUS CHILI RECIPE – based on using 3 kg of Extra Lean Ground Beef

(b) GARDEN SALAD – Large Family Value Pack size bag

(c) ABUNDANCE OF OTHER VEGETABLES – carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, etc .. and

(d) A CONTAINER OF PEPPERS – I love all sweet peppers. Every week I, myself, go through a dozen peppers. I get 4 red peppers, 3 orange peppers, 3 yellow peppers, and 2 green peppers to round off the dozen. I am very particular in the way I cut them too. I cut them vertically, in about 1 cm width pieces, then in half for each pepper except the red peppers. For the red peppers, I cut them 1 cm width too, but cut them in thirds, so I can get more red pieces. Ingenius, eh? I like red peppers!

Now, if you are a fan of Tina Brook’s – Confessions of a Chilihead blog, I’m sure you have visited their website Brook Peppermaster Foods and seen their ‘Global Fusion Gourmet Hot Sauces’ and product line (hint: *nudge, nudge, say no more*). If you like hot peppers, this is the place to go. If you have dogs – well, I would test your theory about them liking hot peppers on a floor, not a carpet. I had fond memories of BRANDY, an Irish Setter that we used to have, who liked Pringles and salsa. I could put a pringle with salsa on his paw while he was lying down, and he wouldn’t touch it until I snapped my fingers. He knew nobody else would eat that chip after being on his hairy paws. Well, one day we made our own special salsa with the “Hottest Peppers in the World”, and tried the trick with a Pringle for company. Let’s just say it took a while before we got the carpet stains out, and my guests still make fun of the incident whenever a BLUE MOON comes and we get together.

Well, since then, only sweet peppers for me! I don’t even add them to my famous chili. The hot taste is from those prepackaged Club ‘Super Hot Chili’ mixes. I don’t even add real chili pepper powder!

But, our dogs enjoys watching us prepare our daily dinners anyway. They also enjoy watching me make my weekly chili and cutting up all of the peppers, the celery and my ‘other’ secret chili ingredients. Sophie particularly likes to stand inbetween my feet, against the kitchen cupboards waiting anxiously for to “accidentally drop” a piece or two of cut peppers and shout ‘Vaccuum!’. Both Maxxie and Sophie quickly try to win the spoils of the day and clean up my mess – the dropped table scraps. To the loser, I usually toss a smaller piece as a consolence prize.

I have always felt that you should NOT feed your dogs at the table. When we are eating, I will fill up their dog food dish and if they want to eat, they can go eat their own kibbles. If they are quiet, and good the table, we might (okay, always) save little scraps of food to feed Maxxie and Sophie when we are done. If we have BBQ chicken or turkey, we will give some meat to Zeussie. But not while we are eating!!

Snacking is a different matter. Maxxie and Sophie are not only part of this family, they ARE family. If I’m going to take out a snack between meals, say while I’m working or relaxing and watching TV, I believe it’s okay to give them treats too. Of course, if you are snacking on beer, pizza, potato chips or chocolate (which took me a long time to realize that these were not your four basic food groups), you do not want to feed your pets these foods. You can’t just keep giving the milk bones either. It’s like eating sugar and cookies to dogs and they will get fat.

So, when I feel like a snack between meals .. I take a heaping bowl of my cut peppers and baby carrots, and call ‘The Kids’ and we go snacking! I like dipping my carrots and raw peppers in Kraft 3-Cheese Dressing. Vegetables are good for you. Vegetables are also good for your pet! What do you think animals were eating in pre-historic days, before Purina and Iams were invented? With a regular cereal bowl size, I might give Maxxie and Sophie about 10 pieces each at a time. They have to work for it however. They can’t jump for the food. They have to sit nicely. Sometimes they have to lie down, get up, roll over, shake a paw, but every time, I only let them take it out of my hand when I say “here”. They sure love their sweet peppers. I tell them what color each is before I give them to eat and swear, that their eyes light up when I mention the orange peppers.

And speaking of orange, carrots are really good for both humans and your pets. Maxxie and Sophie both love to eat carrots just as much as they love to eat peppers. Many believe that eating carrots are good for the eyesight (it’s not – I eat carrots all the time and I wear glasses :Ptftftf), but apparently eating carrots are good for your teeth and bad breath too! Eating baby carrots will remove plaque from your dog’s teeth and eliminate bad breath.

I would highly recommend these type of healthy treats for your pet too. If your dog doesn’t like baby carrots, try spreading a little peanut butter on them until your dog eats the baby carrots on their own. Your dog will thank-you for saving him/her to a trip to the Vet Tooth Fairy.

There are other dental treats that are specifically designed, like the carrot, to remove plaque and give fresh breath to your pet… in fact, we use them all of the time.

* Daily – Pedigree DentaStix for Maxxie and Sophie. Sophie only get’s half a piece however. I usually give them “DentaStix” when I go out to do banking, mail run, or errands.

* Occasionally – Greenies Smart-Treats Petite Size Value Pack for Maxxie and Sophie. Yvonne likes to give the dogs this in the early evening. We have to watch them carefully, because it takes time to chew these. If we don’t watch, Sophie will end up with both of them!

* Once a month – Petrodex Dental Treats for Cats for Zeussie. The package suggests once daily, but Zeus hates this with a passion. I have to add VIP Fresh Premium Catnip Leaves and Blossoms to entice him to at least play with it and hopefully chew it. Sophie has to be put in another room because other wise she will try to take it away as her toy. I just figured once a month is better than never. He usually tries to clean his breath by licking my unshaven whiskerred face every night while I am sleeping anyway.

Feel free to click on the above links to look at or even shop at the PETCO Store.


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