I think you all know by now that we own a very spoiled and finicky Siberian Husky named Cannoli. Let me repharse, Cannoli, a spoiled and finicky Husky owns us. I guess like most pet owners and animal lovers we tend to spoil our fur balls who bring so much joy to our lives.
My husband recently asked me who I spoil more, the grandkids or the dog, LOL! As if! The question should be who does HE spoil more. I categorically deny spoiling anyone, people or pets! After all it was under his watch that Cannoli decided she preferred expensive pouches of Blue Wilderness dog food toppers over the dry food it was supposed to top. So what does brilliant husband do while sensible wife is away? Why of course he was feeding spoiled mutt 4 pouches a day at a cost of almost $2 a pouch on top of her Blue Wilderness dry food (which I’m told she picked out and only ate when absolutely starving). Ouch! To be fair she did gain some needed pounds, which my hubby explained was the main goal to begin with.
Well when I got home I had to whip both mutt and husband back into shape! It wasn’t easy because Cannoli had a very vocal advocate on her side, aka dear husband who called from work several times a day to ask if Cannoli was eating. For the first few days Cannoli absolutely refused to eat the dry food, she left it for the wild birds who now due to free food like to hang out in our yard! I on the other hand was not going to relent, well not at $8 a day anyway.
We tried mixing in canned food instead of the topper. That had mixed reviews from the miserable mutt! She didn’t like the pate style, not that I can really blame her, that’s the pureed stuff that really looks unappealing. She somewhat preferred the grills and stews which were chunks of meats and veggies. But she definitely didn’t like the dry. I was baffled, she was originally on Merrick dry food, a very good grain free high protein food that our Doberman Portia thrived on. I had switched her to Blue Wilderness that other Husky owners were gushing about. She had liked it! Of course I had to keep various flavors, she likes variety. But then for whatever reason she decided she didn’t like it after all.
In the end I switched her dry food to Solid Gold, a holistic and natural brand which my vet assistant recommended and is highly recommended by Pet Food Talk’s review. But I wasn’t going to keep a variety of flavors this time, she would have to eat the High Protein Barking at the Moon flavor. I did decide that toppers were a must but they would be homemade, it would be healthier, provide the variety the finicky pup seems to need, and be cheaper. So I’ve been making homemade dog food toppers for the last couple of months.
(I feel that I must say this for new pet owners. If you’re going to switch dog food BRANDS do so slowly by mixing small amounts of the new food with the old. You do this over a week or so increasing the amount of new food mixed in daily. I usually wait until I’m low on the old food and buy a small bag of the new one to mix until I’m sure that it works for her.)
Anyway toppers are very easy to make and can be frozen until you need them. I usually cook up a batch, store them in small freezer safe containers (I reuse the round plastic containers from KFC, the red topped ones that the sides come in when you buy individual meals – I’ve been saving them for years and have build up quite a stash.)
I’ve shared my recipes for Beef and Chicken toppers in previous posts. Today I’ll be sharing a Salmon & Dill topper which is very healthy for dogs. Salmon is good for dogs, it’s a good source of the fatty acid Omega 3 which keeps her coat shiny and healthy, it also helps boost her immune system. Dill is also good for dogs, it helps calm their stomach and is rich in vitamins and minerals. The other ingredients in this topper are 2 types of squash which also have health benefits for your dog. They are in potassium which may help in reducing heart failure and Vitamin A and Calcium which help keep a dog’s kidneys healthy.
Now remember this is a dog food topper. It’s designed to make dry food more appealing. It is not meant to replace commercial dog food. I use only about a 1/4 to top her Solid Gold dry food. If you’re looking to eliminate commercial dog food from your dog’s diet that’s fine, but you must use a balanced recipe to ensure your dog gets the proper nutrients. Commercial dog foods are balanced to provide your pet with the nutrition they need, homemade food may lack some essential vitamins or minerals your pup needs. You may have to give your dog supplements to meet her needs. Before you switch to homemade dog food consult your vet and find a good well balanced recipe.
Having said all that here’s the recipe for Salmon & Dill Dog Food Topper!
1 Lb. Fresh Salmon with skin, cut into chunks
1 small Long green squash (also called Opo, bottle squash, or Calabash found in Asian Markets), peeled, seeds removed, and cut into chunks
1/2 Yellow Winter Squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into chunks
1 Can Low Sodium Chicken Broth
4-6 sprigs of fresh dill, chopped
1 Tbls. Olive Oil
Heat oil in frying pan.
Add Salmon and cook until it’s no longer opaque. It should turn somewhat white in color.
Add squashes and cook about 2-3 minutes.
Add broth and simmer until squash is tender. No more than 10 minutes.
Stir in dill.
Cool then portion out in freezer safe containers.
Toppers should keep in the freezer about a month. Thaw them out as needed. I’m not sure if it keeps more than a month because we use it all within a month. The containers I use hold about 1/2 cup of topper which is good for 2 feedings. I thaw one out a day and store in the fridge until I’m ready to use it.