Having stated several times that fruits and vegetables are NOT a necessary part of a dogs diet I do understand that some people WANT to feed them. If you do you have to realize that in order for the dog to get ANY nutrients from these items you have to pre-process them before feeding them to the dog. A dog's physiology is not designed to break down these fibrous items.
So, how to pre-process fruits and veggies? There are several ways.
- Freeze them first, then thaw and feed
- Steam them, then cool and feed
- Juice them, then add the pulp to the juice and feed
- Blenderize them
I think everyone knows how to freeze and steam things so I'll show you the last two. They both have their advantages and disadvantages.
I use dark leaf lettuce (Romaine, Red Leaf, etc.) as the base ingredient and add a variety of vegetables. Some vegetables should be avoided - like onions or chives. Members of the Nightshade family (green peppers, potatoes, chives) can cause stomach problems and are known to aggravate arthritic problems in dogs. Garlic is a very good thing to use - in SMALL amounts. Too much garlic can be unhealthy for a dog.
I’ve used carrots (not much as they are high in sugar), green beans, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, asparagus, and more! I use fresh and frozen veggies. When I’m ready to make a mix I thaw the frozen veggies by putting them in a colander and running warm water over them for a minute or so. Then I let them sit while I get everything else ready. By the time I am ready for them – they are completely thawed.
You can use either a blender or a juicer for making veggie mix.
Each appliance has it’s benefits and drawbacks. The blender is easier to clean but needs extra liquid to make sure the motor doesn’t freeze up. The juicer doesn’t need extra liquid but doesn’t always get all the veggies completely processed. And it is more work to clean.
I have examples of using both appliances.
Using the Blender
I start with my basics:
Eggs, garlic (forgot to put that in the picture - pretend it's there!), Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother in it), and some oil. I also add some powdered Vitamin C to each batch.
I place the eggs, shell and all into the blender and start it up. Once the egg shells are ground I add the Apple Cider Vinegar (about 1/2 cup total) and the oil (about 1/4 cup). The Vitamin C goes in next. I add the equivalent of 500 mg of Vitamin C per dog. Then I add one garlic clove per dog to the mix.
While the blender is still going I chop up the carrots, cukes, green beans, etc. into manageable sized pieces and add those to the mix. If the motor sounds like it is starting to struggle I might add a quarter cup of water or more Apple Cider Vinegar until the motor is running smooth again.
I tear up the greens and stuff them in the blender.
I try to make a little more than I need for one days feeding for my group. If you are making this for just one dog you can make a full batch and divide it into individual bags. For small dogs you can use ice cube trays and freeze the veggie mix. Then just dump the cubes into a bag in the freezer. When you want to feed this you simply remove the number of cubes you need and let them defrost in the dogs bowl. Very easy!
I place a zip-close plastic bag inside a plastic container so it will stand upright. I roll the top back on the bag to keep it open. I place the container with the bag on top of the scale and reset it. Then I just pour in the veggie mix until I have the desired amount. I fill as many bags as I can this way, until I run out of mix.
Then I go start another batch. Once I have several bags I double bag them in a small garbage bag (to help control any leaking into the bottom of the freezer) and put them in the freezer.
Some batches will have more of one veggie than another and will vary in color. This is not a science. There are no exacts.
Using the Juicer
With the juicer I juice the veggies first then add in the eggs (without shells), the Apple Cider Vinegar and the oil. If the pulp from the juicer is not well ground I will run everything through the blender after I’m finished juicing. If I do that I can add in the egg shells.
I put my plastic zip-close bag in a container to hold it up and open and place that under the spout of the juicer.
I cut up the veggies enough to get them to fit in the top of the juicer. I then dump in some veggies, press down with the stopper and the juicer takes over. The juice is expelled into the bag (to the right of the machine) and the pulp comes out the other end (into the container on the left of the machine).
After everything has been fed into the machine I mix the pulp back into the juice. This is the pulp on the left and the juice on the right:
If I don’t think the pulp is ground fine enough I will run this mixture through the blender along with the whole eggs and other liquid supplements. I then fill individual bags with the amount I need and freeze.
Before I had a dishwasher I used the blender as it had less parts to clean and is not as messy to use!
Now I still prefer the blender as I often have to run the juiced veggies through it anyway. I’m always looking for ways to make this diet preparation easier!
When I fed the veggie mix I mixed it with ground turkey or beef.