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Things in your fridge it's OK to feed your dog

(article, Cynthia Lair)

In my book, it’s not just OK to feed your dog some fresh food; it's vital.  

When I was a new mother, I was horrified at the idea of filling up my baby's little tummy with what they called baby cereal. You know — the stuff coming out of the box that looks like shredded plastic. And when you mix it with water, you get something that looks like papier-mâché paste. 

Nope. Not doing it. Going to give baby real food. (And hence the book Feeding the Whole Family.)

[%image reference-image float=right width=400 caption="Cynthia's dog, Olive."]

When I became a proud dog owner, and started scooping brown pebbles into the bowl each day, I had baby-food flashbacks. The canine stuff smelled better than the baby cereal, but it looked even worse. 

The last thing I needed were more things to do,  but I just couldn’t bring myself to give my dog kibble alone. So I did some research, and figured out which fresh foods I could give my dog to supplement her diet.

Most of the items listed below are found in dog treats and in some high-priced kibble. But there they have been dehydrated and pulverized beyond recognition. I say, give Fido the real McCoy.

Don’t go crazy and switch your kibble-eatin’ mutt to a total real-food diet all at once. But do consider adding a tablespoon or two of fresh food to her bowl each day. Her coat will shine and her breath will be fresher.  

# Fresh green herbs. When I’m chopping parsley, mint, basil, or cilantro to put in a dish I am cooking for humans, I always chop extra and throw it in the dog-food container that lives in my refrigerator.
# Cooked sweet potato. This vitamin-rich vegetable is amazingly versatile. If your doggy likes sweet things, like a slice of apple, he’s going to swoon over a tablespoon or two of mashed sweet potato in his kibble.
# Finely grated carrots. Vitamin A and C for Fluffy can be found in the common carrot. Anytime I use my food processor, I give it a quick rinse, then throw carrots and a few leaves of a dark green leafy vegetable in there and pulse it fine. (Dogs don’t really have the right teeth for grinding vegetables, so we need to do it for them.) I save the purée in the fridge, then add a tablespoon of it to my dog’s food each day. 
# Cottage cheese. Dogs love it. Plus, it’s lean protein. A little plain yogurt is nice, too. Just a tablespoon or so a day is plenty for a medium dog (35 to 45 pounds).
# Eggs. Our dog is so used to egg treats that as soon as she smells one of us making breakfast, she sits, stares, and drools. Needless to say, we almost always scramble an extra one just for her. 

Bonus for summer: Not only can you make a little fresh food for your best canine friend, you can make your own flea spray instead of dousing your doggy in chemicals. It’s easy; here we show you how on Cookus Interruptus.


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Read more on Culinate about feeding dogs: Make treats for your dogs, Going to the dogs, and Dog's Stodge.

reference-image, l