Tag: dogs

This One’s For The Dogs: Can Canines Consume Green Drinks & Veggies?

Chef V feeding Coconut Green Drink

No offense to you if you’re on my Green Drink Plan

But my favorite Green Drink customer of all time is Coconut. 

He’s my five pound, six-year old canine kid (a toy maltipoo). That’s right, Coconut sips on Green Drink. 

Just as Green Drinks support the health of bipeds like you and me, lapping up some cold-blended dark leafy greens can benefit your four-legged furry best friend.  

In this article, I’ll highlight: 

  • The foods you never want to feed your dog
  • What the research shows about feeding foods other than meat to canines
  • Tips on how to best prepare veggies to ensure easy digestion for your dog

Veronica and Coco

Are Vegetables Necessary For Dogs?

Not if you go according to mainstream advice. For instance, WebMD’s pet website, FETCH, says that if you purchase a brand of dog food that contains the seal of approval from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (or AAFCO), it means it offers a balanced diet.

But to me, that’s like saying if you purchase packaged human food from the supermarket that meets the criteria for the USDA Food Pyramid, it’s adequate for human consumption. And with the continuing rise in metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity, we all know how the federal government’s nutrition guidelines are working out for society….

The article on FETCH says that because all the nutrition dogs need is already in their food, you don’t have to worry about giving them vegetables to get a balanced meal.

But in my opinion, if I want Coconut to not just survive but thrive, Green Drink it is. Now considering he only weighs as much as a 2-liter bottle of soda, Coconut doesn’t need 16 ounces a day like I do. 

The fact is that dogs live such short lives. It’s one of my biggest beefs I have with the universe. Hopefully, with exercise and a little bit of Green Drink and other healthy food, Coconut will live to a ripe old age of 20 or so. 

veronica and coconut

Give Dogs These Veggies But Don’t Feed Them These…

Carrots, green beans and broccoli are some of the most popular veggies that dogs can safely eat. 

But by no means should you ever give your dogs the following:

  • Beans and other legumes
  • Potatoes

A research article published in the Journal of Animal Science says that in July 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about a possible relationship between a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs and the consumption of dog food formulated with potatoes and pulse ingredients. (Pulses are legumes like lentils.)

The popularity of feeding veggies to dogs has increased because of the same reason more people are eating organic human food. More and more dog owners have become conscious about the connection between the health of their pet and the quality of the food their pets eat. 

For instance, some of the questionable ingredients in dog food include wheat gluten, corn, grains like rice, meat by-products and preservatives. 

There are other ingredients that like beans and potatoes may seem harmless. But in reality, they can cause digestive upset or worse in dogs. These include:

  • Chocolate 
  • Citrus
  • Artificial sugars
  • Coconut oil (Sorry, Coconut, no coconut oil for you!) 
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Nuts
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy products
  • Onions 
  • Garlic (Your dog probably wouldn’t take onion or garlic from you anyway.) 

Best Way To Give Veggies To Your Dog

According to the Journal of Animal Science, pet dogs have dietetically evolved much differently than their wild wolf ancestors. Whereas wild wolves consume a very high-protein diet, domesticated canines like my fluffball Coconut can much better metabolize carbs. The research article suggests that dogs consume a diet that’s about 30% protein. 

That means that there’s plenty of room to add veggies in your dogs diet. In fact, the research article’s co-authors say, “The inclusion of whole food ingredients in natural pet foods as opposed to the fractionated ingredients [in commercial pet food] may result in higher nutrient concentrations, including phytonutrients.”

The article adds, “The processing of commercial pet food can negatively impact digestibility, nutrient bioavailability, and safety….” 

But you shouldn’t just hand feed your dog a huge piece of raw broccoli or carrots. Even if your dog would eat raw veggies, chances are the food would pass mostly undigested. And perhaps your poor poochy would have an accident in your home because it’s not used to eating raw veggies. 

So the best way to give your dog a little dose of whole, unprocessed veggies is the same way I like eating my veggies: lightly steamed or pureed. 

Veronica, Brandon, and Coconut

Research On Feeding Veggies To Doggies

I found one interesting study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Society. It  looked at the effects of vegetable consumption and vitamin supplementation on the risk of developing bladder cancer. 

Sorry, Coconut. The dogs involved in the study weren’t toy maltipoo but Scottish Terriers. The owners of 92 adult scottish terriers with bladder cancer completed a questionnaire regarding their dogs’ diet and intake of vitamin supplements in the year prior to being diagnosed with cancer.  

Dogs who ate veggies three times a week—especially green leafy veggies—had the lowest associated risk of developing bladder cancer. 

I’ll drink Green Drink to that. 

And so will Coconut. 

Chef V and Coconut

CBD for Pets? Don’t Give Until Reading This!

CBD for pets - Veronica and Coco

CBD for pets? Got a furry friend that’s in need of some healing? Whether it’s anxiety or arthritis, seizures or nausea, or even cancer, pot for pets has gotten lots of attention lately. But before you dose your dog with cannabis compounds, here’s what you need to know….

I would personally need to take CBD for anxiety if I couldn’t spend lots of time with Coconut, my absolute best friend in the world (no offense, hubby, Brandon). Luckily, being my own boss, I can bring Coconut with me to work.

But what about when I travel abroad? I’m sure Coconut isn’t as content not having us around. And what about when Coconut inevitably gets to 10 or 12 years old and begins suffering from arthritis? How is he going to live to the ripe old age of 18 pain-free? (I’m projecting longevity- and health-consciousness on him.)

I’m not giving Coconut CBD now, but I want to know about it. Does CBD oil for pets work? Is it safe for Coconut to take if he needs it one day?

Cats and cbd oil

CBD For Pets: Miraculous Anecdotes, Limited Research

I’ve heard miraculous stories about pet owners giving CBD tincture to their dogs or cats as a last resort.

In one case, I saw a segment on the Today Show in which a pet owner said her dog was diagnosed with cancer and given two months to live. After spending thousands of dollars on traditional remedies like prescription drugs, she gave CBD oil a try. All she did was add a few drops of CBD oil to her dog’s food. The dog’s owner swears that after being on the brink of death, the dog is now cancer-free.

And on CNBC, I watched a video in which a pet owner claims his dog’s seizures were cured because of CBD oil. Moreover, his doggie, who previously had very little appetite, was devouring all the food. All for the cost of about $40 a month.

However, before you start dosing your dog with CBD, keep in mind that there are possible side effects. CBD oil may indeed be a miracle worker for some pets. But there have been relatively few studies done on CBD and pets. So until there are large studies, we can’t say for sure that it’s perfectly harmless—or effective.

coco and green drink

CBD For Pets: Possible Side Effects

Before I would  ever start to give Coconut CBD oil, I would research it thoroughly. I decided to take a look into the research and possible side effects.

The good news is that there doesn’t seem to be any really serious side effects. The American Kennel Club lists dry mouth, low blood pressure and drowsiness as possible side effects. But that’s only in the case of large doses.

CBD seems to be way safer than medications given to pets. Reported side effects from prescriptions for pets include kidney and liver damage.

One preliminary study suggests CBD can curb inflammation that causes allergies in dogs. Another small study shows CBD prevents convulsions and has anti-epileptic properties in dogs, while this study demonstrates that industrial hemp oil (CBD) is effective for pain-relief in dogs with osteoarthritis (OA).

CBD and pets analysis

CBD For Pets: Dosage

In the above studies, a dose of CBD oil at 2 mg per kilogram of the pet’s weight, given every 12 hours was used.

However, one of the studies suggests getting your pet’s liver enzyme values tested (especially ALP), if your pet starts taking CBD products. This is because dosage standards have yet to be established.

My recommendation is that if the tincture dose says 5 drops, start off at a lower dose like 2-3 drops. That’s probably what I would do if I ever gave it to  Coconut.

Where to Buy CBD For Pets?

Even in California, where recreational pot is now legal, a veterinarian can’t write your furry friend a prescription. You have to get it yourself from a dispensary. There are some products that are veterinarian-formulated. If I decide to buy some CBD for Coconut, that’s what I’ll look for.

I’ll also make sure the product is organic. It’s bad enough when we eat food that’s laden with pesticides. But small fluff balls like Coconut are even more sensitive to agricultural sprays.

cbd legal states

Quality Matters

And keep in mind your pet deserves high-quality stuff. I’m fully aware that having a pet is like having a kid. Pet food can be just as expensive as buying organic food for a child. But you wouldn’t feed your kid TV dinners every night, would you? Keep in mind that a dog or cat requires food that has a moisture content of approximately 80%. Do you know what the average moisture content of dry pet food is? Try 15%. That’s why I try to mix raw, wet food with Coconut’s dry food.

I realize I’m on a tangent here, talking about pet food. But with buying a CBD product, it’s the same thing. If you buy a cheap CBD dog treat, it’s probably not going to have much positive effect on your dog’s health. In fact, it may not have much CBD at all.

Make sure you can confirm that the CBD product you purchase (I think tinctures are best) for your pet has a verified amount of CBD. The high-quality products will include 3rd-party verification.

One final piece of advice: make sure whatever CBD product you buy is very easy to measure the dosage. You want a CBD product that not only is effective but one that also won’t make your pet lethargic.

To your furry friend’s health!

Chef V

Chef V, Coco and 21 day detox products

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.