Monday, July 17, 2017

My Rotten Cats: Stella & Chewy's Dinner Morsels #ChewyInfluencer

It's well known and well documented that my dogs are fans of Stella & Chewy's products. They enjoy various formulas of it for breakfast pretty frequently.

Cats, being obligate carnivores, also benefit from the raw goodness Stella & Chewy's has to offer. Our friends at Chewy.com (no relation) sent the girls some Yummy Licken' Salmon & Chicken Dinner Morsels to try out.


Salmon, chicken, chicken liver, and chicken gizzard are the first four ingredients. Check, check, check, check. These are all foods I would feed the kitties raw, if I could get them to eat most types of raw. But they are picky, so I get them raw in other forms.

Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried raw is a convenient, shelf-stable way to offer raw goodness to your cats. They can be served as is, or rehydrated with a bit of warm or cool water.


But do the ladies like them? They do! The girls snarfed these down. I love the noises that cats make when they are enjoying their food, and there was no shortage of purr/growl combos while these were being consumed.

These are so well-liked that Noelle ripped into the bag and helped herself to some the other day!


I am more than happy and grateful to feed this to the girls. A quality food made of quality ingredients. And raw that they more than willingly eat.

I was provided with complimentary product. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cooking With My Dogs' Food - Grilled Beef Heart with Beer Mustard Marinade

beef heart recipe

A couple of months ago I decided it was time that the dogs started sharing their food with me. About 75% of what I purchase for them is human grade and intended for human consumption. It's usually incredibly healthy, so why not?

I first made a meal of turkey hearts, as there are many benefits to eating organ meat. Hearts are considered meaty meat for dogs, but are technically classified as an organ meat. Heart (and other organ meats) are typically less expensive, and usually contain higher amounts of protein, vitamins, and macronutrients.

I purchase my dogs' beef hearts from a local butcher, and they are trimmed and sold for human consumption. How much do the beef hearts cost me? I get them for $1.99/lb.

Beef heart trimmed for human consumption (by the butcher). The fat cap has
been removed, has have the valves and vessels. For perspective, the blade on
this knife is 8".


Ingredients


  • 1 beef heart, sliced. I cut off slices, each approximately 1.5-2" thick. I then fed the rest of the heart to my dogs.
  • 1/2 bottle of beer.
  • 1/2 cup whole grain, stoneground, or Dijon mustard. I use stoneground, because I like the pungency of it.
  • Diced/minced/grated garlic, to taste. I grated three cloves.

Process

Slice your beef heart.


Prepare the marinade by mixing the beer, mustard, and garlic together. Drop beef heart into marinade, and let sit for 4-24 hours. I prefer to marinate in a large Ziploc bag placed in a bowl, so I can easily toss the meat in the marinade.

After your selected amount of time, remove the beef heart from the marinade, discarding the marinade. Heat your grill to medium-high heat, and place the strips on the grill.

grilled beef heart

DO NOT OVERCOOK IT! Beef heart is very lean, and will become very tough if over cooked. Medium is the most you want to cook it.

Sear, with grill lid closed for 3-6 minutes per side, then remove from heat and allow to rest, without cutting, for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This was delicious. I enjoyed it with a grilled onion and a salad of mixed greens with red onion, pickled grapes, watermelon, and goat cheese.

grilled beef heart

Beef heart, if prepared correctly, is as tasty and as tender as cuts of beef 5x the price. I'm looking forward to trying this again, with various marinades and preparation methods.




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy Gotcha Day Faolan!

Five years ago today I left work early so I could make it to a shelter in a nearby county to "look at" a dog before they closed.

Five years ago today I ended up adopting a scared, fearful, skinny older puppy who was named Dante.

Five years ago today I renamed him Faolan.

The above photo was taken about three months after I adopted him. He was still small, but his coat was a million times better, thanks to raw.

Neeko played a large role in helping him to develop some confidence, as did patience, kindness, love, and consistency.


He is now a fun adult dog who is always up for an adventure. He loves meeting other people and dogs, and will do just about anything I ask of him. He is very confident now, and very rarely fearful.


Walking out onto and balancing on a narrow fallen tree for me.
He is funny. He is smart. He is sweet. He is pushy. Sometimes he is impatient.

He has become my favorite hiking buddy, and he doesn't tire out easily. He learns quickly, and most of the time will work for food.

I love how far he has come, and how far he and I have come together.

Happy 5th Gotcha Day, sweet boy!




Thursday, June 29, 2017

Raw Goodness on the Go! #StellaAndChewys

It is officially summer, and summer is travel season.  Many Americans travel with their dogs each year, to destinations near and far.

Some of these traveling dogs are bound to be raw fed...and lugging around a heavy cooler (and keeping it iced) or going to the store daily for dog food (if there is even one nearby) isn't something most would consider a good time. 

Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried raw is the perfect solution!

camping wolfdog
Who wouldn't want to go camping with Faolan?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My Rotten Cats: Instinct Healthy Cravings - Gravy Without the Gluten #ChewyInfluencer

As many know, I try to feed my cats as much wet food as possible, as they are averse to most forms of raw.

My girls seem to prefer "gravy" types of wet foods to pates. Unfortunately, the majority of gravy foods contain gluten as a thickener.

Our friends at Chewy.com sent the kitties some Instinct Healthy Cravings to try out. We received the Tender Chicken Recipe.


This product is not a complete/balanced meal. It is intended as a dry food topper, or occasional wet food treat. I will always be a fan of adding moisture to a cat's diet.

Chicken broth, chicken, and chicken liver are the first three ingredients. I am good with this. It is gluten free, which is quite unusual for gravy-type foods.



The girls are very much enjoying it. I feel good offering it to them. They are getting this every 2-3 days, of an evening, and are eagerly licking the plate or bowl clean. It adds moisture to their diet, doesn't contain a ton of ingredients, and is gluten free.

I was provided with complimentary product. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Live Releasing the Raccoon that Killed My Chickens

One morning last week I noticed that my chickens weren't outside when looking out one of my back windows.

I have a secure, well-ventilated coop. Hardware cloth is your friend when keeping chickens. I put a lot of thought and effort into the design and construction of my coop. In three years, nothing has gotten in.

I have an automatic chicken door opener. It works great. It is based off of a light sensor, and opens at sunrise, closes at sunset. Chickens intuitively know to go to safety as darkness approaches, and most predators are nocturnal. They have a run area to keep them confined when I don't want them to free range, but it is not secure, just a barn bay with a livestock gate covered by field fencing. It keeps them in.

Raccoons are smart. And one figured out how to slide my chicken door up along the tracks.