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---"I want to add my praise for WiggleLegs Frog toy.  My cat loves to play with WiggleLegs No other toy will do.  When I ask her to find WiggleLegs she goes right to it!  I just ordered 3 more as I'm afraid you will stop making them and then I don't know what we will do!"

---"Once again, you have provided excellent service with an excellent product. Thanks for the extra - it was a hit! My cats are totally addicted to the WiggleLegs Frog, so please keep plenty in stock!"

---"I just wanted to let you know that my cat, Molly, is absolutely addicted to your FlyToys. I literally have to hide them from her so she will go to sleep at night, but as soon as morning arrives she is sitting right in front of their hiding place waiting for them to come out and play."

Each MetPet FlyToy is handmade by skilled artisans with great attention to detail.  They come in the form of bugs, amphibians, mammals and more in three very reasonable price points.

---"I can't believe how your company understands cats so well"

Fresh Salad for Dogs

Add fresh ingredients, extra nutrients, roughage and taste to your dog's diet Staff Writer

Making a fresh salad a few times a week is one of the easiest ways to add extra nutrition to your dog's diet.  It is fast, relatively inexpensive and may provide phytonutrients not present in commercial dog foods and dog treats.  Phytonutrients are organic compounds found mostly in plants that are not considered 'essential' to life but may be beneficial.  Phytonutrients, sometimes called phytochemicals, may aid in preventing diseases and disorders such as cancer, heart disease, inflammation, etc. 

Making a fresh salad for the dog may also encourage people to shop for and make more salads for ourselves.  Since few people manage to eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day, every little bit helps.

Shopping for Vegetables

The base of this salad is green, leafy vegetables mostly in the lettuce family due to their easy availability. We have found that our dogs prefer greener, richer and more nutrient dense vegetables.  They prefer broccoli crowns to iceberg lettuce and zucchini squash to cucumbers. Perhaps it is taste or perhaps they know something about nutrition that we do not.

The easiest additions to salad are lettuces such as romaine, butter, green leaf or red leaf.  Dogs tend to leave iceberg lettuce in the bowl unless it is shredded. Other additions are steamed or finely chopped broccoli, squash, celery, carrots, english cucumbers, green and red cabbage, peas, spinach, green beans, alfalfa sprouts and cauliflower. 

Although we have fed our dogs broccoli, garlic and mushrooms with no ill effects, some dogs become ill.  Broccoli, in large quantities, has been found to cause problems in large animals but there is no specific understanding of problems in dogs.  We have also not found any ill effects with grapes and raisins but these appear to have also caused serious illness and even death in other dogs.  When in doubt, simply leave them out of the mix.  Please note our list of potentially toxic foods for dogs available also in a printable version to put on your refrigerator. 

We avoid onions, radishes, chives and other spicier foods in order to avoid stomach upsets.  Onions can also cause anemia in dogs.  We tend to avoid bitter or tough greens at least initially. If your dog enjoys salads then you might try adding cooked greens like kale or dandelion greens. We do add the occasional fruit such as tomatoes, apples, berries and peaches but we try to limit the amount of sugar. 

Bigger Bowl

The nice thing about this salad is that you prepare it directly in the dog bowl so there is no need to clean extra bowls or bottles.  You can prepare and store dressing ahead of time but it is easy enough to prepare it fresh each time. 

You will need to use a larger bowl so you can toss ingredients without having them spill.   Stainless steel bowls are easy to use but any relatively deep bowl should do. 

Clean and chop

Thoroughly wash and drain all vegetables.  In particular, lettuce, spinach and sprouts should be soaked in a tub of water and then rinsed clean as they are difficult to clean thoroughly otherwise. 

Some dogs will chomp through an entire head of raw broccoli (see our concern about broccoli above) but most dogs prefer their raw vegetables chopped into bite-sized pieces.  Older or more finicky dogs may have to eat vegetables lightly steamed in a steamer or in a covered container with a small bit of water in the microwave. 

One of our dogs managed to swallow an entire, peeled baby carrot.  Dogs tend to swallow things in chunks rather than grinding them in their mouths.  The baby carrot came out the other end in pretty much the same condition as it went in.  We now grind or mince tough vegetables. 

None of this has to be done exclusively for the dogs because all of this is good for human consumption as well. 

Pour, mix and you're done

The following salad is enough of a meal for a large 60-70 lb dog.  Cut in half for a medium-sized dog and use a couple of scoopfuls for a small dog. 

Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the bowl
Add a teaspoon of rice wine vinegar that has a milder, sweeter taste than either white or cider vinegar.  This is purely optional. 
Mix together
Add 2 cups of loosely packed chopped, raw or steamed (and cooled) vegetables to the bowl
Mix thoroughly

If your dog is not used to fresh vegetables, you may want to start off by adding a half teaspoon of sugar to the oil and vinegar.  Alternatively, you can add sweet tomatoes or grated, minced or shredded baby carrots, which are also quite sweet.  Most dogs have a sweet tooth and it is an easy way to get them to eat something new.

Substituting homemade foods for 10% of your healthy, adult dog's diet should not cause any problems.  If you enjoy making your dog's dinner, you can continue to add more homemade and fresh foods by slowly substituting them for your dog's current diet.  Drastic changes can cause digestive problems for your dog. 

Always ask your veterinarian before making major changes to your dog's diet.

Related Information:
Round Sweet Fruit and Vegetable Toys For Your Dog
Cooking for Dogs While Cooking For People
Shredded Roasted Chicken for Dogs and Cats
Semi-Raw Beef For Dogs and Cats

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