I mentioned in my last post how important it is to make sure your dogs are getting a well-balanced diet. This healthy powder supplement I make, which is from Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs And Cats, helps ensure that they are. Think of it as a multivitamin. There are a few substitutions you can make that are outlined in the book, but I’m going to concentrate on what I do. You can use this as a supplement even if you don’t homemake your dog food and add this to your commercial food.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it. Some of these things are hard to find, especially if you don’t have a good health food store nearby. If that’s the case, try looking online.
My grocery store has this in the health section by the normal baking yeast. My health food store has this in the bulk bins. It is cheaper from the bulk bins. It is $10/pound, but this stuff is so light that a pound goes a really long ways. It is yellow and flaky. You will need 2 cups for each batch you make. It gives your pups vitamin B and iron, among other things.
Lecithin is a naturally occurring fatty acid- this is a very good fat. It is typically derived from soybeans. It helps the body absorb vitamins and fats, which can improve the appearance of your pets coat and aid in digestion. Make sure you buy the granules as lecithin also comes in pill form. The granules look like little yellow beads. You will need 1 cup for each batch. The big can I pictured is $11 and lasts about 8 months or so.
Kelp is an underwater plant that provides iodine and other minerals. It helps keep the thyroid healthy. It is a green powder. This is in the bulk spice part of my health food store. You will need 1/4 cup for each batch. I honestly can’t remember how much it cost.
When you use eggs, wash them out and let them dry in the carton to use in this supplement. Make sure they are totally dry or they will cause the powder to clump. Egg shells provide calcium and also balance out the high phosphorus levels in the yeast and lecithin. I like to count these as free since I buy them anyway. Plus, I have less food waste!
The book says this is optional because dogs can make their own vitamin C, but that studies suggest it is helpful. I buy the powdered form. This can cost about $10, but it is a lifetime supply as I only use 1,000 mg per batch. I don’t really know how to measure mg so I just use a very small amount!
Once you have all your ingredients, it’s pretty simple!
Smash your egg shells until they are very very fine. If you have some frustration you need to take out, you can put them in a plastic bag and pound away.
Otherwise you can do this in the food processor.
Then combine all the ingredients and mix well.
Here’s what it will look like when done.
Store in the refrigerator. Give 1-2 tsp a day for small dogs, 2-3 tsp a day for medium dogs, and 1-2 Tbsp per day for large dogs. When I make my food, I roughly calculate how many days it will last, take that times 2 since I’m feeding 2 dogs, and then mix that amount into the food. That way I don’t have to worry about adding it to each meal. For example, if I think my food is going to last 10 days, 10 days X 2 dogs= 20. Since my dogs are small and need 1-2 tsp per day, I would put somewhere between 20-40 tsp in the food.
Even if you don’t homemake your dog food, you can supplement your commercial food with this stuff. It’s a good way to make sure your critters are getting all kinds of goodness! That one batch lasts me around 6 weeks.
Here’s the complete recipe:
- 2 cups nutritional yeast
- 1 cup lecithin granules
- 1/4 cup kelp powder
- Egg shells (about a dozen)
- 1,000 mg vitamin C
Crush the egg shells, put all ingredients together, and mix well. Store in the refrigerator. Give 1-2 tsp a day for small dogs, 2-3 tsp a day for medium dogs, and 1-2 Tbsp per day for large dogs.