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Necessary Enzymes
June 17, 2008
Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

  • 1. Welcome

  • 2. Feature Article: The Necessity of Enzymes
  • 3. Reader’s Write
  • 4. Recipe: Frozen Pupsicles
  • 5. Wrap Up

  • Hello!

    Welcome to all the new readers who’ve been signing up for Baggins’ Bites;) I'm delighted you're joining the growing number of folks interested in their pet's health.

    I’d like to invite you all share pictures of your dog(s). It’s easy. Tell us a great story about your pet. We love to hear ‘em! You can comment on other pets too! Who's the funniest dog?

    Send Pictures of Your Dog!

    The Necessity of Enzymes

    I goofed. In the May edition of Baggins’ Bites I wrote about the importance of dental care and suggested dry kibble can help keep teeth clean in the Reader’s Write portion.

    Reader Marlene, owner of a natural food store for pets, wrote to set me straight. It’s not the dry kibble itself that helps to keep teeth clean but the enzymes in the food. And most dry kibble doesn’t have any enzymes.

    What’s an enzyme? They’re protein molecules that transform food into nutrients the body can use. Enzymes run our bodies. They’re that important. And they’re found in raw foods. Stuff like broccoli, raw meat, lettuce. Cooking actually kills the enzymes.

    So, dry kibble does not help keep your dog’s teeth clean but raw foods do.

    How can you work more healthy enzymes into your pet’s diet? Be sure to use a pet toothpaste fortified with enzymes and supplement Fido’s diet with raw meaty bones. Many vets call raw, meaty bones “nature’s toothbrush”. The enzymes from the meat help to clean your pet’s teeth plus the bones are a great source of calcium.

    In the next issue of Baggins’ Bites, we’ll explore more about raw, meaty bones. Where to get them, what the concerns are and how often you should offer them to your dog.

    Reader’s Write

    Hi! I love your emails! I've been a learning dog lover for years.

    Lately, the more I read about commercial dog food, the more concerned I get. I have been reading a lot about cooking for my dogs and would love to.

    I am not worried about giving them wrong things (I feel confident that I can avoid foods that are toxic for dogs: caffeine, chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, etc.) but I am worried I might leave something critical out of their diet. Most of the info I've read says that rice is a good digestible base and to add a variety of vegetables and meats - with chicken, lamb, and salmon being high on many lists. For the last week or so I've been experimenting.

    So far I've fed them:

    1.rice / chicken / carrots / broccoli / green beans / egg
    2.rice / salmon / sweet potato / garbanzo beans / cheese
    3.rice / chicken / spring mix / garlic / peas / carrots.
    They really eat it too!

    At first I mixed the home-cooked food with their dry (Royal Canin large breed) and then decreased the amount of kibble until yesterday it was just home-cooked food. I've been watching closely and have not noticed any difference in their coats (very shiny) but their stools are MUCH smaller. And soft (not diarrhea... just not big and not hard) Also, they seem to have a LOT of energy.

    So I am encouraged, but I am not a nutritionist, and I am worried that I might be depriving them of some essential nutrient. Also, I've been reading that different dog breeds have different nutritional requirements. I have Great Danes. They are prone to a lot of health issues. Do you think I'm doing them good or potential harm? THANKS SO MUCH!!!


    Congratulations, Jan for taking the step in home-prepared foods for your dogs. It sounds like you’re feeding a wide variety of foods and that’s great.

    Writer Mary Straus says in the June 2007 issue of Whole Dog Journal aim for a balanced diet over the course of a few days.

    According to her you don’t have to try and get it “right” at every meal. Do you eat a balanced meal at every meal? Feeding a variety of foods over a period of a few days should give your pet the necessary balance.

    thing to watch for is calcium. It's an important part of your pet's diet. Your dogs can get calcium through bones or you can grind up eggshells for their food or you can feed them a supplement.

    On supplements: you may want to add supplements to make sure they’re getting the right balance of vitamins and nutrients. Dr. Pitcairn has recipes with the supplemental ingredients. Because things like bone meal can be a little hard to find, I compiled a shopping list of the things you’ll need as recommended by Dr. Pitcairn. All of these items can be found at or your local natural health store.

    I’d recommend reading Dr.Pitcairn’s book if you haven’t already. It answers many nutrition questions plus has recipes for complete meals for your pet. There are lots of other good books out there as well. Some advocate feeding grains, others don't. It's a wide and woolly world out there in terms of canine dietary opinions.

    A home-cooked diet will result in smaller, harder stools because they’re absorbing more of what they’re eating. They’re coats will likely get shinier too and their eyes brighter.

    Different breeds will have different requirements. I suggest you consult a vet experienced with Great Danes and home cooked diets.

    Happy Feeding! Jennifer & Baggins

    I get many questions asking about refrigerating the treats like this one from Kellie.

    I have a question regarding "Bonnie's Dog Treats" Should they be kept in the fridge or will an airtight container work? Thanks Kellie

    All the treats can be stored in an airtight container if they're sufficiently cool and hardened.

    Things like muffins with more moisture will grow moldy quicker if left out so you might want to refrigerate those.

    Happy Baking!

    Keep up the comments, I love to hear from all of you.

    And remember, I'm not a vet but I care about our animals and want to share with you all that I learn!

    Frozen Pupsicles

    When the weather gets hot and steamy, try this recipe for frozen banana yogurt treats for your pup.

    Frozen Pupsicles

    Thanks so much for reading. Don’t forget, you can always write me by hitting “reply”. Give your dogs lots of love and remind them of their wonderfulness. ‘til next time,

    Your in health and treats,
    Jennifer and Baggins

    Your stop for all-natural-dog-treat recipes and tips on improving your dog's health and happiness all naturally.

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