It’s no secret that I LOVE my dog. I mean, it’s even kind of a joke around our house that I treat him better than the rest of the family. I’m not too proud to admit that it’s kind of true. I didn’t even think I was a dog person, until we got Leonard (aka: @olman_leonard on Instagram). But here I am, 2 years later, and I’m sporting the paw bumper sticker that says, “Who rescued who?” Ok, I actually got the bumper sticker as a joke to play on Ben. But yea, it’s still there, cause it’s kinda true.
Leonard had a difficult start to life, as most rescues do. An amazing dog rescue in Houston Texas (K-9 Angels Rescue) found him, along with his mother and siblings after hearing a report that someone found the litter on side of the road and was shooting the puppies for sport. So K-9 Angels heroically headed out and saved the mom and the seven (out of 12!) remaining puppies. It’s an absolutely horrifying story but our sweet Leonard was one of them; he was about 2 months old at the time. A dear friend of ours introduced us to the rescue, and so our adventures with Leonard began.
When Leonard reached about 4 months of age he began to have some serious skin issues; Demodex mites being the first thing we tackled. It’s very common for this to not show up in puppies till around four months. They already have them, you just don’t know it at first. Dogs get the mites from their mothers when they are very young, and if left untreated, the mites can be cause terrible devastation to the dog. Some dogs are left completely hairless and with an extremely compromised immune system. Our vet told us that they are also more common in certain dogs, like Sharpeis and Sharpei mixes….which Leonard is. She told us to look out for other skin issues that might arise as well due to his Sharpei “heritage” because while all their wrinkly skin is cute, it can present some recurring problems. So with her treatment, supplements and a healthy grain-free diet in our tool box, we started his path to healing.
So when Wellness Pet Foods approached us about trying their grain-free products, I have to admit that I was a little nervous. We’d spent nearly two years of hard work finding the right supplements and figuring out the best food for him – we had seen him heal and thrive. His coat and skin was really starting to look great, so I was hesitant to mess with that, but we had been wanting to rotate his food sources anyway and it did seem that he was getting increasingly bored with his current food. So we said, “sure, why not try it!”
Wellness sent us a huge bag of their Complete Health Grain-Free Lamb Recipe and the first time we opened the bag, not kidding….Leonard came running like a kid on Christmas morning, haha! We tried mixing it with his old food to slowly transition him, but he literally kept picking out the Wellness Pet Food pieces and throwing the other food out of his bowl. It was kind of hilarious. Eventually we got him to eat a healthy mix so the transition would be easier on his system and I was pleased by how well it went! He didn’t have any of the stomach upset and gassiness that he’d had when we had previously tried out new foods, and he was LOVING the change too!
We spent about a month fully transitioning him to Wellness and I can safely say that four months later….he is still doing great! His skin and coat is gorgeous, his energy level is excellent – he’s healthy and happy and loving his life. Wellness Pet Foods actually has an incredible site devoted entirely to what you should look for in a healthy pet – it’s called 5 Signs of Wellness and it more or less describes EXACTLY what we’ve seen happen in Leonard since we made the transition. They’ve also got an incredible infographic that you can view by clicking HERE.
I’m always looking for excuses to pamper my pup so I thought I’d make a little special treat to share along with my review of Wellness Pet Foods. This summer has been a particularly hot one here in Texas so naturally cold refreshing things are on everyone’s mind 24/7. So naturally, making Leonard a “pup-sicle” was the perfect solution. This recipe is chocked full of skin nourishing ingredients designed to support his system while giving him a treat that he can’t wait to devour. And as an added bonus, now that I’m a huge fan of Wellness’ products, I went ahead and used their Soft Puppy Bites treats as popsicle add in’s, you know….just to throw things over the top, as I like to do.
So check this recipe and while you’re at it, look at what Wellness Pet Foods has to offer – they’re a great company and we’ve had an amazing experience with their food. Quick Disclaimer: Yes…we have tried a raw foods diet; we’re big time researchers so we know all about the great options and benefits it has to offer – its also not the choice we’ve made for this particular phase of our life and using high-quality dry food from companies who care is the best fit for our family right now. Thanks.
Turmeric has incredible anti-inflammatory properties, so it is great for the skin and over all health. Turmeric also boosts the liver’s ability to metabolize fat and remove waste from the body, as well as relieves stomach aliments, allergies and much more! To read more on Turmeric for you dog, check out THIS article.
Collagen makes up 75% of animal skin and more than 30% of the body’s protein. So taking it in dietary form promotes healthy skin, teeth, joints and more! The bone broth in this recipe, produces a good amount of natural collagen, so much in fact that the liquid will likely gel up once chilled. If you want to to go farther, you can dilute the broth with more water, you dog will just recipe less of the collagen per serving.
Gold Milk & Golden Milk “Pup-Sicles”
For the broth
3 – 4 pound chicken carcass (see note)*
2-3 chicken feet (optional)
optional: a handful of miscellaneous dog safe veggie scraps **
5 cups of filtered water
1 cup full fat coconut milk
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
*I get frozen chicken carcasses and chicken feet from a local co-op near my house, but you could get them direct from a farmer or just use a leftover carcass from a roasted chicken.
** Learn more about safe veggies for dogs HERE
***Get turmeric from the spice section, not form nutritional capsules. They can be much more concentrated.
For the popsicles:
Add in’s: Wellness Pet Foods puppy treats
6 or more dog jerky or meat stick (for the popsicle stick)
1. To make the broth: add the chicken carcass, feet, optional veggies and water to an InstantPot (get it HERE) or pressure cooker. Place the lid and lock it according to your cookers instructions for pressure cooking. Set the cooker to high pressure (be sure pressure valve is closed) and set the timer for 120 minutes or 2 hours.
2. Once the broth is finished, cool slightly then strain the broth into a shallow bowl and let it cool down on the counter top for 30-45 minutes. The shallow dish or bowl will help it cool faster than a deep one.
3. If desired, transfer the broth to a deeper container with a lid, or cover and use the one its in and put it in the fridge to cool down. I usually do this at night and leave to set over night. When it’s fully cooled down and the fat has hardened on the surface, skim off the fat and your broth is ready to use however you like! It will keep for about 5 days if covered in the fridge. I always make the golden broth (next step) and store it that way.
4. To continue and make the golden milk broth, simply add 4-5 cups of the broth, the coconut milk and turmeric to a blender and blend for 45 seconds or so. You can also whisk it together in a large container, but I find the turmeric blends in better using the blender. If you got a good “gel” on your broth it will look kind of like unflavored jello. This is GOOD! It should blend up fine with the coconut milk. However if you like, you can warm it slightly too till it returns to a liquid state, then blend it together with the other ingredients. You can also store this version of the broth in a covered container, in the fridge for about 5 days. When I am not making popsicles, I actually like to serve him abut 1/3 cup per day. I just warm it up a bit and serve it to him.
5. For the popsicles: I used THIS stainless steel mold and they take about 1/4-1/3 cup of liquid per mold. Amounts will be different depending on the popsicle mold you use. Pour the appropriate amount of milk broth into the molds then drop a few little treats into the broth and cover with the popsicle mold lid. Mine has a round hole for the popsicle stick, so I like to use a round doggy beef stick for mine, in place of a popsicle stick. If you dot have lids like this, you may need to cover the molds in plastic wrap and poke a hole in it, where you want the sticks to go through.
6. Now freeze them until solid. Once frozen, If using stainless steel, you will need to run warm water on the outside of the molds to get the popsicles to release. Now serve to your pup….and I guarantee he/she will love them!