Taking care of our dog's dental hygiene is very important, but with so many of the dental chews on the market being super high in fats and sugars, it's a minefield figuring out if we're really doing our dogs a disservice.
We've teamed up with Sarah, who curates her entire raw-fed menu at home, to bring you this very simple recipe that is sure to give your pooch that fresh feeling - in a fun and nutritious way!
For our first time making this recipe, we opted for a carrot and cucumber medley - carrots are a fan-favourite in this house, and always one of our go-to choices when trying something new! I peeled the carrots (optional), and sliced both veggies into chunky batons, ensuring they won't become a choking hazard.
DID YOU KNOW?
Much like humans, dogs greatly benefit from a balanced diet, including fruits and vegetables to provide nutrients that meat does not offer. It's important to vary your choices as each offers it's own advantages, which we'll go over a handful of in this post!
Submerge your vegetables in a dish of clean water and keep refrigerated for 24 hours, with added fresh mint leaves for a lovely fresh breath! Be careful, though - while most mint species are perfectly safe (and healthy!) for your dogs, there are some toxic variants too. We recommend purchasing known species rather than harvesting fresh mint, unless planted by yourself and thoroughly identified. Peppermint, spearmint, apple mint and lavender mint are all safe choices, and the most likely for you to find.
After their refreshing bath, drain your mint-infused vegetables before freezing. The mint can be discarded or fed as a garnish on your pup's next meal, however it is always recommended to feed in moderation.
HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH FRUIT AND VEG TO FEED?
Juggling elements of your pup's diet can feel so overwhelming, but this is a simple one! Your dog's diet should consist of no more than 25% fruit and vegetables, with a ratio of 1:4. Veggies are a great way to keep your dog healthy on a budget, and reducing their intake of sugary treats. Similarly, fruit offers a great range of vitamins, as well as natural fats and sugars that your dog can benefit from, too.
When frozen, these tasty treats will keep your pup occupied just a little longer than if they were soft, as well as offering a gentle clean for their teeth. Of course, there's also the benefit of that soft mint - as much as we love our dogs, bad breath really is the worst!
If you decide to have a go at making these for your dog, please do tag us in the photos using #darcysdigest - we'd love to see you pups enjoying your handy work!
Still unsure how to maximise the effects of these treats for your dog? Here's some nutritional benefits of just a handful of good choices!
Many veggies make great raw or cooked snacks for your dog, however do be careful to keep things plain - our dogs digest things a little differently than we do, and seasonings aren't always appreciated by our four-legged friends!
ONE LAST TIP!
Here are a handful of fruits and vegetables to avoid feeding your dog, as they may be harmful.
- Grapes, Raisins and Currants are particularly dangerous, and may cause significant kidney damage if consumed by your pup.
- Similarly to those above, Onions, Garlic and Chives are all a risk to your dog's kidneys.
- Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plums - the flesh of these fruits are perfectly safe, however the pits and seeds are toxic, and should be very carefully removed should you decide to feed them to your pet.
- Rhubarb can wreak havoc with your dog's organs, and should be kept well away from your furry friend.
- Much like mint, many species of Mushroom are perfectly safe for your pet to eat. However, there are several that are poisonous, so if in doubt do not feed. This is particularly applicable to any wild mushrooms you may find out on a walk.
Should your dog consume any of the above foods, please consult a vet for advice immediately.
Always ensure you monitor your dog closely when eating, ensuring they consume food and treats safely.