Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's a dog eat jello world...

Yes, I did a jello post last time. I can do more than one, it's my blog. :)

This jello isn't for you though, it's for your pooch. You could eat it if you really wanted, but I don't think it would taste that great. :/

Why make jello for your dog? That's silly, and weird... 

But did you know gelatin is really good for your dogs? It contains an amino acid called glycine that has anti-inflammatory and brain protecting abilities. It has been shown to be helpful to dogs with hip dysplasia, arthritis and even epilepsy.

I have found these benefits to be true with our beagle, Ben.
Can you believe this dog is only 6 years old? Crazy huh. He has aged SO fast. I blame commercial dog food. I really do, at least in part. Have you read the labels on dog food? Even the fancy stuff, nothing but artificial-ness pressed into fun little shapes. Blech.

Anyways, step off your box Davi...

He has had inflammatory issues for a while now. Years actually. He was 2 or 3 when we first noticed his limp. Nothing big, we thought he tweaked his leg, but it never went away. He favored his rear leg for years. Sometimes it would be worse than others. If the weather was cold, or after a day of playing with other dogs he was pretty stiff.

Then it got worse, a lot worse. He was miserable. He wouldn't even walk around anymore. And then one day I noticed he didn't have any feeling in his hind legs, at all. Nothing. 
My heart sank. We already lost our hound at the age of 6 from an auto-immune disease, now we might loose our beagle at 5? Not okay.

We took him to the vet and he did some tests and found Ben had a disk that was inflamed and blocking the signals to and from the brain. He gave us some medication and sent us home to wait and see.
A paralyzed pup can't tell when he has to "go", so we fashioned a doggie diaper.

We started noticing improvement a few days later, then in about 2 weeks he was slowly walking around again. That was such a huge relief and answer to prayer.

He still wasn't happy though, he couldn't run or climb the stairs. He thought the worst part was not being able to get up on the couch. Spoiled dog problems...

Enter hunting season. What does hunting season have to do with anything? Free meat scraps. That's what. I had begun to loath commercial dog food and wanted something more "natural" for my pups. So we started to feed them raw meat scraps. 

Major improvement! Ben started playing and running again. It took his tummy about a week to adjust, but once it did he did great. 

The problem with raw meat is it isn't readily available for a good price, so we eventually ran out. Back to the bagged stuff. Grr... His mobility stayed for the most part, but with good days and bad days.

Now is where we get into the jello for pups. About time!

I had just gotten my new grass fed gelatin in the mail and was excited to use it. I made jello for the kids and thought hey, I bet the dogs would like jello.

So I whipped out my chicken stock and was going to make a batch when I started thinking about all the veggies and herbs I had used to make it. Are those good or bad for dogs?
Turns out, onions are very bad for dogs. In large quantities onions can cause a dog's red blood cells to rupture.
 Well that's not good. I didn't figure my stock would have enough onion to really cause a problem, but as a daily supplement I didn't think it wise. So it was out.

I had some beef bones in the freezer so I threw them in a large pot and covered them with water and let that simmer for 24 hours. Nice nutrient rich, onion free stock.

On to the recipe.

Heat up 1 cup stock until almost boiling. In another 1 cup of stock stir in 2 T gelatin. When it's nice and thick stir it into the hot stock. Pour into an 8x8 pan and refrigerate overnight. In the morning cut into little squares and transfer to an airtight container. 
I didn't skim any fat off my stock. The right kinds of fat are good for pups.
 The dogs get one or two jigglers with every meal.

Ben is doing so much better now. It's cold outside, and he can still run and play. 
He may or may not have been chasing the neighbor boys on their four wheeler the other day, ahem... I call that a win.

Happy days all!

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