Tripawds Nutrition

Healthy Three Legged Dog & Cat Diets, Supplements & Health Tips

Why Our Dogs and Cats Need #SomaPet

July 25th, 2014 by jerry in Supplements · No Comments

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Tripawds members are some of the most dedicated pet pawrents in the world. We do our best to make sure our dogs and cats are getting good nutrition and staying fit, but it can be tough to tell if they’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals and exercise needed to stay healthy and strong.

Wyatt checks the ranch ponds.

One way to tell is by looking at your dog or cat and asking yourself:

Are his eyes bright?
Does she have shiny skin and coat?
Is she full of stamina and vitality?
Is he looking overweight and sluggish?

Recently we jumped at a chance to try a new pet supplement called “SomaPet,* because of our Wyatt Ray’s recent change in lifestyle.

SomaPet Natural Dog Dietary Supplement

You see as Chief Regulator at a Colorado dude ranch where we work each summer, this is the time of year when he’s surrounded by many more opportunities to swim, run, jump and play. If ever there’s a time that his body needs extra support, it’s now.

Wyatt regulates dude ranch work.

Eight Great Reasons to Try SomaPet

We found this 100% organic, premium supplement worthy of trying because it contains eight pure free-form L-amino acids – the building blocks of protein that promote good health and energy.


SomaPet contains:

  • L-arginine
  • L-lysine
  • L-ornithine
  • L-glutamine
  • Glycine
  • L-leucine
  • Leucine
  • L-isoleucine
  • L-valine

These eight amino acids in SomaPet work together to boost critical body functions such as building strong cardiovascular and immune systems, strengthening bones and muscle, regulating blood sugar and more.

SomaPet Natural Dog Dietary Supplement

Each time SomaPet is sprinkled onto Wyatt’s morning meal, it supports the release of growth hormone from his pituitary which aids his body in cell repair and regeneration. You’ll know SomaPet is working when you see your dog or cat is enjoying:

Better Immune Function
Improved Nervous Function
Strengthened Collagen and Bone
Increased Healing
Promoted Cellular Energy
Minimized Exercise Damage

This SomaPet Informational PDF details how each amino acid works when it’s consumed every day.

SomaPet Natural Dog Dietary Supplement

SomaPet Vitality Supplement Results are In

Wyatt has been taking SomaPet for close to a month now and it’s clear that this pet health supplement is doing what it’s supposed to. He’s not slowing down despite all the extra activity he’s been getting. Each day he has more opportunities than ever to put his body to the test, and each day he bounces back from the previous one, just as healthy as ever without aches, pains or groans.

Wyatt watches the forest.

Now that Wyatt is officially “middle aged” at five years old, we’re doing our best to find nutritional supplements that will keep him strong  as he enters the senior years. SomaPet is definitely going to be in our mix of nutritional aids to help him stay there.

Want to learn more? Watch this SomaPet video, then order yours today!

YouTube Preview Image

Please discuss all supplements with your veterinarian before introducing them to your pet’s diet. This information is for research purposes only and not meant to act as veterinary advice for your pets.
*This post is sponsored by SomaPet and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. We are being compensated for helping spread the word about SomaPet, but Tripawds only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. SomaPet is not responsible for the content of this article.

To remove ads from your site and others, upgrade to a Tripawds Supporter blog!

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Simple Cabbage Poultice Heals Wounds

July 21st, 2014 by jerry in Medication · 2 Comments

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Did you know that an ordinary cabbage has healing powers? A simple do-it-yourself-cabbage poultice has anti-inflammatory properties to reduce joint inflammation and can help drain infected wounds.

According to the Hartland Institute:

“Cabbage is abundant in vitamin C and glutamine, a crystalline amino acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. A simple cabbage poultice reduces inflammation in joints and increases local circulation, relieving lymphatic congestion. It also draws out infected matter and toxins from the body. Use a cabbage poultice for arthritis, chest infections, laryngitis, tonsillitis, mastitis, lymphatic blockages, tumors, gangrene, sciatica, and other nerve pains and skin infections.”

Dottie’s Cabbage Poultice

We first learned about the healing powers of cabbage from Tripawds Member Dottie. Her holistic-minded vet used it to help treat a stubborn infection and it worked:

“We clean the cabbage leaves, dry them and then crush them well with a rolling pin so they are floppy and be moulded to the body. Once applied directly to the inflamed or infected area you cover the cabbage with something warm, I have used warm washcloths or a clean towel and a heat pack.

The white towel that I’m lifting up has a gel heat pad wrapped in it and I have arranged this over the cabbage leaves that are on Dot’s wound site and butt to help relieve the pressure of infection. She is having a lovely rest on her back, a favourite sleeping position in happier days.” — Victoria, Dottie’s pawrent

Dot’s Cabbage Poultice

There are two ways to make a cabbage poultice:

Create a paste as explained by the Hartland Institute:

1. Wash cabbage leaf thoroughly and drain water.
2. Lay the cabbage leaf flat on the table, and then apply pressure with a rolling pin to soften the leaf.
3. Apply the leaf on the affected area, cover with plastic and then cloth, and then pin it in place.

Make a poultice as explained by

  • Finely chop green cabbage sufficient for the area to be treated
  • Place the cabbage in a blender with just enough water to make a thick paste
  • Spread the cabbage paste 1″ thick over a piece of cheesecloth, muslin or a clean tea towel. The size should be sufficient to cover the desired part of the body
  • Place the cloth, cabbage side onto the skin, over the area to be treated
  • Cover with a clean, dry cloth then wrap the whole area in a thick towel or wool flannel cloth
  • Leave the cabbage poultice in place for 15 to 60 minutes depending on the severity of the condition and the reactions of the person. It is intended that the treated area should get red and warm but no burning should be allowed to occur. If the person becomes uncomfortable then remove the poultice and wash the area with cool water
  • Have the person lie down and rest for the duration of the application
  • After removing the poultice wash the area with tepid water
  • The cabbage poultice can be repeated two or three times daily as needed, using fresh cabbage each time.

For more details about the healing properties of cabbage, visit the Hartland Institute and

Dottie rests with her cabbage poultice

Do you have a nutrition tip you’d like to share? Start a conversation below, we’d love to hear from you!

DISCLAIMER: The information contained here is intended as education/information only. It is not intended to replace your veterinarian. Please use your own good judgment and always discuss any DIY treatements for your pet with your veterinary team.

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Frozen Treats for Hot Dogs and Cool Cats

July 7th, 2014 by jerry in Diet · 1 Comment

Do your dogs and cats have the summertime blues? Perk up their spirits with these homemade frozen treats for pets!

Hannah’s Homemade Banana Popsicle Recipe

Tripawd Hannah

Here’s how Tripawd Hannah’s personal chef Kim makes them for the pack:

Banana Pops Recipe


  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (healthy for us dogs, make sure you get the good stuff with all the live stuff in it)
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (we like chunky but you can use either)
  • 1 banana (good for everyone)

Steps (it’s complicated. Are you ready?)

  1. Mix all together in a blender or food processor
  2. Fill a standard ice cube tray
  3. Freeze, then serve!
  4. (For bigger dogs, try pouring some into a larger mold and then freezing. A large 16 oz. disposable Solo cup does the trick!

More Easy Frozen Dog and Cat Treat Ideas

If that recipe is too complicated for you, then these frozen treats by Honest Kitchen are right up your alley!

Honest Kitchen Ice Pups

The Honest Kitchen Ice Pups Healthy Liquid or Frozen Pet Treats are unique and easy!

This tin is filled with a powdery mix that is combined with warm water to offer your pet a liquid delight. Or, during those hot, humid days, you can freeze them and offer a cool treat. Also helpful for dogs and cats with kidney problems who benefit from increased fluid intake.

  • 8-oz box filled with (16) 0.5-oz single serving packets
  • Serve as a hot liquid, a cool drink or a frozen delight!
  • Used for pets with kidney problems who need increased fluids
  • Great for animals with lowered appetite and post-operative recovery
  • Use as a tasty gravy to increase palatability or help with transitioning foods
  • Makes about 15 trays of ice cubes

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When Surgery and Chemo Are Not Enough to Fight Dog Cancer

June 23rd, 2014 by jerry in Supplements · 1 Comment

Nothing is scarier than hearing your dog’s vet say the word “cancer.” If you’re swimming in the midst this frightening diagnosis, remember: you are not alone and your dog’s life isn’t over. Although fifty percent of all dogs will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime, a diagnosis not an instant death sentence when you stop to look at treatment options.

Stay Strong, Fight Back

Take for instance, Bart, an AKC champion hunting Vizsla who was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2008. At the unthinkable age of just three years old, he developed an osteosarcoma tumor that required an immediate leg amputation and chemotherapy treatments in order to save his life.

Three Legged Vizsla Cancer Hero Bart

Bart the Extraordinary Vizsla

His mom Darcy looks back on that fearful time and remembers;

“I felt confused, scared and determined…mostly determined,” she says. As Darcy stayed focus for Bart’s sake, she discovered that she knew one thing for sure: “Cancer was not going to take my boy!”

And thanks to a process called “Immunotherapy,” it didn’t. Bart is one of over a million dogs who successfully fought cancer by activating the immune system’s cancer-fighting response with naturally-occurring compounds derived from certain species of mushrooms, including PSK, polysacharide K, found in the mushroom Coriolus versicolor, and a substance called Lentinan, derived from shitake mushrooms.

Recognize, Destroy, Repeat

Historically, Western medicine uses the same primary methods to destroy and manage cancer tumors in people and animals: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. And while they are effective treatments for removing or shrinking tumors, what these methods cannot do is address the underlying reason for the cancer tumors; the immune system’s failure to recognize and destroy “bad” cancer cells.

Fight dog cancer with K9 Immunity

A secondary method that can fulfill this role is a process called immunotherapy. By using a powerful combination of the three most widely used anticancer compounds in the world today, an all-natural, American-made supplement called K9 Immunity™ can jump start this process and train the immune system to recognize, destroy and prevent cancer cells from overtaking the body.

K9 Immunity is a robust combination of organic compounds derived from six species of American grown, laboratory cultivated medicinal mushrooms, as well as nearly 200 other closely related immune-active polysaccharides which trigger other aspects of immune function.

More Energy, Better Quality of Life

Increased energy is one of the benefits of introducing immunotherapy to your cancer fighting toolkit. Karen’s 14-year old Pug Tani is a perfect example.

Tani, 14 years and thriving

This senior girl had three mast cell cancer tumors removed in 2007 and when a recurrence occurred four years later, Karen says “I added K9 Immunity Plus to her diet in the Summer of 2011 and within a week or so I noticed an improvement in her energy level.”

Another Tripawds member, Sally, says she had the same experience when her 125-pound Bull Mastiff, Happy Hannah went through four rounds of chemotherapy to fight osteosarcoma.

Happy Hannah and Sally

“I observed a higher energy level when she was on K9 Immunity Plus and Apocaps and felt like I observed a slightly lower energy level when she was off them,” she says.

“Do I believe these supplements have given her an extra boost of quality extended time? Yes!”

As thousands of dog parents like Darcy, Karen and Sally have experienced, K9 Immunity and its companion products including Transfer Factor, K9 Omega and Apocaps can add a powerful boost to your dog’s health that results in more energy and a better quality of life, even while fighting nature’s most dreaded disease.

K9 Immunity, Apocaps: a Powerful Combo

Orders may be placed any time of day or night by visiting or, or by dialing their toll-free number
1 (888) 366-3641. They also have friendly and knowledgeable staff who can answer your questions during normal business hours by calling their hotline at 1 (775) 883-1974, Monday through Friday between 9 am and 5 pm (PST).

*This post is sponsored by K9 Medicinals. Tripawds has been compensated for helping spread the word about the benefits of K9 Immunity. We only share information we feel is relevant and beneficial to our readers. Neither K9 Medicinals nor the manufacturer of K9 Immunity are responsible for the content of this article.

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How Manuka Honey Helps Heal Wounds

June 11th, 2014 by jerry in Medication · No Comments

When it comes to wound care, the sweet goodness of Manuka Honey is making a comeback in the veterinary community. Groundbreaking holistic vets like Dr. Richard Palmquist, who you’ll meet Saturday on Tripawd Talk Radio, has long been an advocate for applying Manuka honey to wounds

Manuka flowers and native bee. Source: Wikipedia

According to Dr. Jean Dodds, this unique strain of raw honey from New Zealand is being used by both conventional and holistic veterinarians for patients with wound-healing complications.

When applied to the wound, Manuka honey has been shown to kill more than 250 strains of bacteria, including:

  • MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
  • MSSA (methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)
  • VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)
  • Helicobacter pylori (which can cause stomach ulcers)

We first heard about Manuka Honey when Tripawds member Charley had an oozing pressure sore on his elbow. His veterinarian, the renowned Dr. Karen Becker, suggested Manuka honey. Charley’s pawrent says:

Charlie, my nine year old Lab, is a right rear leg Tripawd. Right after his amputation he got a pretty serious pressure sore on his left front elbow. Before getting a custom wrap made, our holistic vet, Dr. Karen Becker, recommended trying Makuna honey. It worked beautifully!

Charlie now gets occasional sores on his remaining back “ankle”. The honey clears it right up. It has to be raw honey, of which Makuna is a special kind. It is great stuff, with antibacterial properties. I use it on my own cuts too. It might be hard to keep dogs from licking it, even when wrapped, but applying it at bed time might help. Charlie still took the wrap off, but thankfully just a touch of Makuna honey works wonders.

Keep in mind that Manuka Honey is NOT the kind you see at the supermarket: that one should never be used on wounds. Manuka honey is medical-grade, sterilized honey that should only be applied to an open wound by your veterinarian at diagnosis. Users must be cautious of fake Manuka honey products too.

According to, Manuka honey is different because:

Compared to other types of honey, Manuka has an extra ingredient with antimicrobial qualities, called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). It is so called because no one has yet been able to discover the unique substance involved that gives it its extraordinary antibacterial activity. Honey releases hydrogen peroxide through an enzymatic process, which explains its general antiseptic qualities, but Active Manuka honey contains “something else” that makes it far superior to other types of honey when it comes to killing off bacteria.

The level of UMF can vary between batches, so each batch is ranked and priced accordingly. The higher the concentration of UMF, the darker, thicker, and more expensive it is. . . A rating of UMF 10 or higher is recommended for medicinal use.

IMPORTANT: Never apply any type of honey without consulting your veterinarian first. Here are some resources to learn more and share the dialogue:

Dr. Jean Dodds: Raw Honey, Sweet Food for the Health of Your Pet The Sweet Golden Treat That Can Help Wipe Out Deadly MRSA
PetMD: Honey is Great for Wound Care, But Not All Honeys Are Created Equal
Veterinary Practice News: Jump Starting the Healing with Manuka Honey

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A Healthy Grain-Free Cake Fit for a Canine Cancer Hero

May 19th, 2014 by jerry in Diet · No Comments

Finding a healthy dog cake recipe for a bone cancer hero is challenging, since many recipes rely on ingredients like sugar and wheat that feed cancer cells.

Bone cancer hero Charley

Bone cancer hero Charley

But here’s a tasty recipe that’s healthy enough for all canine cancer heroes. We know it’s good because Charley had it on his birthday and for all of his cancer victories over the last 3.5 years!

Charley’s Meat Cake Recipe

Healthy cake recipe for dogs

A healthy cake for dog cancer survivors

  • 2 pounds of ground sirloin, 2 eggs, and about 1/2 container of cottage cheese (large size container)
  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl
  • Place ingredients in an 8″ spring form pan (the pan used for cheesecake) on top of a cookie sheet to catch grease from meat
  • Flatten ingredients level in the pan
  • Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes depending on how well you want it cooked; I cooked it for about 50 minutes
  • Ice meat cake with softened Philly cream cheese
  • Decorate with turkey bacon
Healthy dog cake recipe

Mini-cakes made just for small dogs

Charlie’s Mom Shares More About this Recipe

“I made the recipe up myself! I don’t give Charley grains because he has a grain allergy or intolerance (he vomits after eating grains), so I needed a recipe without grains or carbs (since I limit carbs/sugars because of cancer).

We put cottage cheese in our red meat sauce for pasta and I figured Charley would like it too…plus it keeps the cake moist.

Healthy dog cake recipe for parties

Try cream cheese frosting on dog cakes

We have a ton of cream cheese on hand to give him his artemisinin and other supplements so that was easy to use as icing. I’ve also decorated the cake with peanut butter too, but turkey bacon is easier than writing!”

Learn all about Charley’s amazing 3.5+ year bone cancer victory in his fun Tripawd blog, Chocolate Kisses.

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Tripawds Post-Amputation Nutrition Needs are Covered at That Pet Place

April 28th, 2014 by jerry in Diet · No Comments

From raised feeders to human-grade treats to stimulate finicky appetites, finding the right post-surgery products for a Tripawd is easy at That Pet Place, where you’ll find hundreds of high quality pet supplies to make your Tripawd’s quality of life even better.

We hope you’ll hop on over and give them a try, especially since That Pet Place is generously helping the Tripawds Community get the word out about life on three legs by sponsoring our appearance at Blog Paws 2014!

Raised Feeders

Tripawds have an easier time eating and drinking when their bowls are lifted up off the ground. This is especially true for Tripawds missing a front leg, since they still carry more weight up front even with a missing leg. A raised feeder helps with their center of balance and makes for better digestion. Here’s a raised feeder that we love for both dogs and cats:

3 Quart Double Diner with Stand, for Tall Tripawds

Double Diner with Stand - Tall - 3 qt.

1 Pint Double Diner with Stand for Small Tripawds

Double Diner with Stand - 1 pt.
Appetite and Digestive Help


Tomlyn Nutri-Cal Dietary Supplement for Dogs and Cats

Tomlyn Nutri-Cal Dietary Supplement Cat

Whether your animal is stressed, ill, or just plain picky, you can rely on Nutri-Cal(R). The trusted low-volume, high calorie formula has been vet recommended and used for over 50 years to supply nutrients and energy to those pets that need it, when they need it most. Features: For stressed or debilitated animals, those suffering from illness, recovering from surgery or whelping, aging animals and picky eaters. Potent dietary supplement supplies Vitamins A, D and E, Phosphorus, Thiamine, Calcium, Manganese, Iodine, Potassium, Iron, Folic Acid, Riboflavin and other essential nutrients. Easy to digest. Stimulates the appetite with a delicious taste no dog or cat can resist. Easy to give—offer it on your finger, on your pet’s paw, or in food

Fruitables Pumpkin Digestive Supplement

Fruitables Pumpkin Digestive Supplement - 15 oz

Fruitables Digestive Supplement features great tasting; all-natural; harvest fresh pumpkin; ginger; and cinnamon to promote regularity and intestinal health. Pumpkin provides a low calorie; healthy balance of soluble and insoluble fiber to support healthy digestion; and ginger is a natural remedy for stomach upset; diarrhea; and nausea.

Interactive Treat-Based Games

Keeping a Tripawd dog or cat entertained during the confinement period is easy with some great interactive games!

Everlasting Beanie Ball Treat Holder for Dogs

Everlasting Beanie Ball Treat Holder - Medium - 3.5 in

Cheese Chase Cat Toy

Cheese Chase Cat Toy - 11 1/2 in. diameter

These are just a few great recovery supplies you’ll find for your Tripawd hero. Be sure to check out the great selection of supplies at That Pet Place and tell ‘em Tripawds sent you!

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Think Outside the Bag: Frozen Raw, Dehydrated, Freeze-dried, and Canned

April 21st, 2014 by jerry in Diet · 1 Comment

Let’s give another round of applawse for Tripawds Nutrition correspondent Alison Martin, author of these terrific blog posts about animal nutrition. Alison just wrote another informative article about feeding healthy, we hope you find it as informative as we do. And remember, if you have a blog post you’d like to contribute, contact us today.

Honest Kitchen Force Dehydrated Grain-Free Chicken Dog Food (4 lbs)As many of you know, the pet food market is vast and often overwhelming. So what can you do when your dog says, “No, thanks!” to his regular old kibble? Start thinking outside the bag!

Frozen raw is just that, frozen raw ingredients. You can get a variety of styles – patties, nuggets, niblets, and scoopable cartons – depending on your needs and available space.

Freeze-dried and dehydrated are often confused but they are two different processes. The nutritional differences are negligible, but there can be noticeable differences in texture and palatability.

Freeze Dried vs. Dehydrated Food

Freeze-drying uses cold air to remove the moisture from the food while dehydration uses hot air, which means dehydrated foods are actually lightly cooked. Dehydration also has a more significant impact on the cellular structure of the food and can alter taste and texture more than freeze-drying; rehydrated freeze-dried foods will much more closely resemble their original form than will rehydrated dehydrated foods.

Sojos Complete Dog Food MixFreeze-drying is a more costly process which makes it impractical as the primary diet for many, especially dogs over 40lbs, but thanks to its great palatability, freeze-dried formulas can be used as a nutritious, tasty mix-in to other diets to make mealtime more appetizing. Some companies, like Sojos, will use dehydrated fruits and veggies mixed with freeze-dried raw meats to maintain that raw meat texture and taste while keeping costs more reasonable.

Canned food is fully cooked and is certainly one of the most convenient options to feed. It is also much easier to find in stores.

The caveat to canned food is that it contains binders which prevent the mixture from separating in the can. These binders are sticky, which can expedite the accumulation of plaque and tartar on your pet’s teeth.

Adding some water to the canned food will break down some of those binders to help prevent excess buildup on your pet’s teeth.

AAFCO – the Association of American Animal Feed Control Officials, which is the governing association for pet foods – defines pet food in one of two ways: “complete and balanced” meaning that it meets AAFCO’s nutrition standards or “supplemental or intermittent only” meaning that it does not meet those requirements. Be sure to look for these statements if you are shopping for alternatives to kibble; I have not come across a regular dry dog or cat food that is not complete and balanced but it does happen with some frequency in these alternative diets.

Many of the options available are complete and balanced, some are intended for supplemental or intermittent feeding, and some can be made complete and balanced with the addition of one or two other ingredients.

For example, Answers Pet Food has two lines of frozen raw for dogs, their Detailed Answers line is complete and balanced but their Straight Answers line is considered supplemental or intermittent. However, by feeding Straight Answers with their Additional Answers Raw Goat’s Milk, it is then considered a complete and balanced diet. The Answer’s raw cat formula is complete and balanced.

Many formulas have additional fruits and veggies to round out the nutritional profile of the food, most use a vitamin and mineral pre-mix to meet the AAFCO standards. A few companies, like Vital Essentials, formulate their foods to be complete and balanced with the addition of as few non-meat ingredients as possible, instead relying heavily on organ meats, blood, and bone meal to meet the AAFCO guidelines.

Vital Essentials Canine Freeze Dried Beef Nibblets Entree

In both their frozen and freeze-dried lines, Vital Essentials adds only two vitamin sources to all their foods, herring oil for vitamin D and tocopherols for vitamin E. their cat food also has added raw goat’s milk, a great source of pre- and probiotics, and apple cider vinegar, which helps palatability. Everything they make is grain-free and many of their formulas are made from a single protein source which can be very helpful when trying to feed a pet with allergies or intolerances. Because there are no added fruits, veggies, or grains, the Vital Essential line is also exceptionally low-carb, a big plus for cancer warriors.

The Honest Kitchen , a favorite around here, is a dehydrated formula that is, at this time, still the only pet food made in a US human food facility. THK products are complete and balanced (with the exception of the base mix) with a great variety of options, including grain-free, novel proteins, lower calorie, and higher protein options. Foods like THK can be used exclusively or you can use them in smaller portions as a mix-in with kibble or other diets to help with palatability.

Weruva Green Eggs and Chicken Canned Dog Food Case

At this point, canned food is still the most readily available but quality varies widely with canned foods. Many grocery store brands are still full of grains, preservatives, and by-products. If you don’t have a high quality pet supplies store nearby, canned food can be shipped fairly easily from a variety of online retailers.

Weruva is a favorite with many of the staff and customers where I work. The company is very particular about their meat sourcing – no hormones, antibiotics, or by-products – and manufactures in a human food facility in Thailand (a world leader in food production and safety standards). When you open a can of Weruva dog or cat food, you will know exactly what you are feeding, without looking at the label – their Paw Lickin’ Chicken looks just like the canned chicken you would buy for yourself at the grocery store, except that Weruva’s chicken is nutritionally complete for your pets and not loaded with a ton of sodium.

This side of the pet food market is an ever-changing landscape.

  • Read labels but also do some research on your own.
  • If you have a knowledgeable pet supplies store in your area, ask them questions.
  • If not, use those 800 numbers you see on pet food labels and web sites. Speaking from personal experience, the people on the other end of the line are usually more than happy to answer your questions about their products.

Life is a little easier when you find a complete and balanced option, but if you don’t, talk to your vet about a multivitamin – or call the company to ask if there is a simple way to make their food complete. I’m always willing to help if you have some questions, too.

Recommended Reading

Tripawds Nutrition Blog: The Basics of Cat Nutrition

Tripawds Nutrition Blog: Grain-free vs. Low Carb: Understanding the Differences in Dry Food

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Perso and Snoopy’s Drastic Change When Switching to a Raw Diet

April 7th, 2014 by jerry in Diet · 2 Comments

The following guest blog post was submitted by Carol Segovia, Mom to Perso the Great Dane Tripawd and his sidekick Snoopy. If you have a nutrition story you’d like to share, contact us today!

Two years ago, if you looked in my kitchen pantry, you would see two bags of dog food; a bag of Nutro Large Breed Puppy and a bag of Nutro Weight Control.


My Great Dane puppy and Walker Beagle had always eaten kibble except for the occasional table scrap. They ate two times a day once in the morning and once in the evening. They were both healthy and lived an average dog life.

Snoopy my Beagle would occasionally throw up. It was almost always yellow frothy foam, no food bits. I noticed that when he would throw up it was about an hour or so before their next meal time. I eventually came to the conclusion that he was throwing up because he was hungry.

In an effort to combat his hunger, I increased his food portion by a half a cup. The throwing up stopped for a time but he started gaining weight. Because Snoopy was never much for running around or playing, he wasn’t losing any weight. I called him my grumpy old man. To combat this second problem, and because he was getting up in age (seven years old) I switched him to Nutro Old Age. I lowered his severing size back down to what he used to get since it was a new food. He gobbled it down like usual and didn’t have any upset stomach since it was the same brand of food. After a few weeks of being on this new food he started throwing up again.

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I once again increased his food portion by a half cup. He was great for a few more weeks and then he started throwing up again. So, I once again increased his portion by a half a cup.

My Walker Beagle, who was supposed to be around 35 pounds, was now eating four cups of food a day and tipping the scales at 50 pounds! Even with four cups a day he was throwing up every other day and always about an hour before his next meal.

With our work schedule we couldn’t add an extra meal during the day. And even if we could, Snoopy’s weight screamed “Diet!” not “More food!”

Finally I was fed up with always cleaning up frothy vomit and started looking online for a different diet option. I came across a web site talking about feeding Raw. I never heard about it before so I started digging.

After a full day of researching online, I told my husband I wanted to put Perso our Dane and Snoopy on Raw. He rolled his eyes and said “Yes dear, whatever you like.”

The next day I went to the store and bought everything I needed and got to work. Perso our Great Dane didn’t react to the switch in food very much. He was still a puppy at 1.5 years old and was always happy and playful. He had softer stools for a day or two but other than that he was great.

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Snoopy however, was another story. He had some softer stools for a few days as well but his personality was a completely different story. My grumpy old man, who never ran unless it was raining and who never played, was running circles in the back yard and playing with Perso.

He had a whole new level of energy. Once he got good food into his body he was a new man. He stopped throwing up and he was acting like a puppy again. I started noticing some physical changes with Perso.

Growing up he always had pimples. They would be spread out on his body and sometimes on his face. We tried medical shampoos and such with no success. He is a Harlequin Great Dane and both of his sides, just past his ribs, are white. As he got older and his spots started filling in, he got lots of tiny brown spots in the white parts on his sides. We assumed it was just his markings. After a few months on Raw, Perso’s pimples were all gone.

I also noticed he had fewer brown spots on his sides. It finally clicked that Perso was allergic to something in his food. The pimples and brown spots were allergic reactions to the kibble! I couldn’t believe it. Today, Perso no longer has brown spots and he only has the occasional pimple (I still give them milk bones every day when I get home from work).

The change in both of my boys was huge. Once I received confirmation that Raw really worked for them in how they acted and looked, I never turned back. They have been on Raw for over a year and a half and they couldn’t be happier.

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My Raw Ingredients

Through lots of research online I put together a list of foods that were safe and not safe for the boys to eat. If I saw even one website or forum that listed a food as being bad for dogs, I took it off my list of foods. Here is the list I came up with:


  • Uncooked Bones (Calcium)
  • Boneless Fish
  • Eggs (Shell included)
  • Organ Meats
  • Sardines
  • Turkey Wings
  • Turkey Necks (Should get between 25%-50% meat per meal)
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Beans (Canned or Cooked)
  • Beats
  • Berries
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cheese
  • Collard Greens
  • Flaxseed (Ground)
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Yogurt
  • Zucchini


  • Avocado
  • Barley
  • Broccoli
  • Corn
  • Garlic
  • Grains
  • Grapes
  • Oatmeal
  • Onions
  • Ox Tails
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Soy Beans
  • Wheat

I believe corn is considered bad simply because it’s not a good source of nutrition for them. It won’t kill them or make them sick but it doesn’t provide any vitamins or nutrients either. Rice is listed as bad for the same reason I believe. There have been a few occasions where I had to feed Perso rice and cooked chicken because of an upset stomach after going to the vet’s office for X-Rays. From the list above, I selected several foods based on price and availability and I made these my staples in the boy’s diets. The food I selected and still currently use is:

  • Chicken (Bones, skin, tendons, etc.)
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Black Beans
  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Turnip Greens
  • Tomatoes

I occasionally add Apples, Bananas, and Eggs (no shell because my boys won’t eat it).

For their meat, I went with chicken because it was the cheapest meat on my list. I can get a 10 pound bag of chicken leg quarters at Wal-Mart for about seven dollars a bag. I usually buy 40 or 50 pounds at a time (four or five bags) for less than $40 total. It’s perfect and the chicken lasts my boys about two weeks. The way I used the do their chicken is I would take the chicken leg quarter and chop it into five pieces.

I stopped doing this however because when the boys would eat it, the chicken would be flying around and flinging juices everywhere. Additionally, it’s difficult to get accurate weight measurements with pieces this large. It still works you just have to constantly clean your walls of chicken guts and veggies. What I do now is I use a meat grinder and grind up all the chicken (bones and everything). I get accurate measurements and there is no need to clean the walls anymore.

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For their veggies, I buy the cabbage, celery, and carrots fresh. Everything else is canned food. I tried using fresh greens but it just adds more time to the process because I have to put them in the food processor as well. When I select my cabbage, I go for the biggest heads I can find. They usually weigh 3-5 pounds a head.

I do my veggies in batches and I use three heads of cabbage per batch. I use about one pound of carrots per batch (I cut off the leafy tops from the carrots and throw them away). I use one bunch of celery per batch (I use the leafy tops in the batch). For the canned food I buy 12.5-15 ounce cans of everything except the tomatoes. I get the cheapest brand I can find for all the canned food. Also, if the canned food is offered in a no salt or low sodium option, I get that.

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I buy four cans of green beans (cut doesn’t matter; French or other) two cans sweet peas, two can black beans, one can each of mustard greens, collard greens, and turnip greens, and one large can of petite diced tomatoes (28 ounce can.) All of this makes up one batch of veggies which is usually between 20-25 pounds of veggies.

I use my shredder attachment on my food processor and shred the cabbage, celery, and carrots. I drain as much juice out of the canned foods. I combine all the above ingredients into a five gallon, food grade bucket, and mix everything together. The veggies are done. All that’s left is to separate the veggies into the containers and pop them into the deep freezer.

The “Technically” Raw Diet for Weakened/Compromised Immune Systems

In January, Perso was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his left hind leg. On January 16th we amputated. On January 30th he received his first treatment of Chemotherapy. At his first appointment the Oncologist recommended we take Perso off Raw. He stated that when receiving chemo, there is the chance that it will affect his white blood cells making him more susceptible to getting an infection. Also, if he gets a bad batch of chicken, something that wouldn’t be a problem for a healthy dog, could put him in the hospital while receiving chemo. He suggested cooking the chicken or switching him back to kibble. He didn’t even finish his sentence and I already made up my mind what I was going to do. I was going to cook the chicken.

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Everything is the same in regards to the veggies and the weight he gets. He still receives the same amount of chicken as well. Once I grind the chicken up using the standard plate on my meat grinder, I double grind the chicken using the smaller plate.

I do this because I need to make sure the bones are as small as possible because I don’t want them to puncture his insides but I still want him to get the bones. Once the chicken has been ground up the second time, I cook it. I use my largest pot (a canning and preserving pot from Ball) to boil the chicken in. I fill it halfway with water and get it boiling.

I take the chicken mash and roll into large meatballs. They are about the size of a baseball or softball. I drop them into the boiling water. I’ll put about 20 meat balls in the pot at a time. Once the water returns to boiling, I set my timer for 15 minutes. I mix them every five minutes or so just make sure each one gets cooked. Once my timer is up, I’ll find the biggest one and take it out. I split it in half to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. If not, I cook the whole batch another 5 minutes.

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Once they are all cooked, I take them all out and put them into another bowl. I put the whole bowl of cooked meat balls in the sink and fill the bowl with cold water. I keep the cold water running over the meat balls for about 5 minutes. This cools them down quickly and allows me to package the chicken almost immediately after it’s been cooked. Once the chicken has cooled down and has been packaged up, I put the containers back in the deep freezer.

One thing to keep in mind when cooking chicken is that the fat from the chicken gets cooked out. But he still needs some fat in his diet. What I did after cooking the chicken, I left the broth in the pot to cool overnight. The next day I mixed up the broth and bits and ladled it into ice cube trays. I put them in the freezer overnight. The next day I emptied the trays into gallon zip lock bags. Now, with each meal Perso gets one “fat cube”. Now I know he is getting at least some fat in his meal. It is a longer process because it takes about one to one and a half extra hours to cook 30 pounds of chicken (Snoopy gets about 10 pounds raw). Plus the two days it takes to freeze the fat. But, I am willing to give it the extra time to ensure Perso is getting the best diet possible while going through chemo and fighting cancer.

Check out my videos for detailed instructions on
how do everything listed here.

The Measurements for Raw Diet

Figuring out the measurements was a challenge. When I switched my boys to Raw Perso was getting eight cups of kibble a day and Snoopy was getting four cups of kibble a day. I started Perso with one pound of chicken and one pound of veggies, two times a day. Snoopy got 5 ounces of chicken and seven ounces of veggies, two times a day. When I switched them, I didn’t go a little at a time, I went cold turkey. They had some softer stools for a few days but that was about it.

After a few months Perso started losing weight. We could start seeing his ribs a little too much. I increased his chicken to two pounds and 1 pound veggies, two times a day. He put the weight right back on and actually started getting a little chunky. I dropped his chicken down to 1.5 pounds and 1 pound veggies, two times a day. This helped him stop gaining weight but he needed to lose a pound or two to be at a good weight. To do that I lowered his chicken to 1.25 pounds and 1 pound veggies, two times a day. This is what he is currently getting. It keeps him on the leaner side which is preferred with his amputation. Extra weight would put extra strain on his one back leg.

Snoopy is maintaining a good weight on his current serving of five and seven ounces.

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How I Store Raw Food

I thought of several different ways to store my boy’s raw food. Zip lock bags, Food Saver bags, and Tupperware. The first two options were not really cost effective and I would need a large amount of bags constantly. I decided on using Tupperware. It could reuse the containers and I was able to find them really cheap at Wal-Mart. I use a 3.75 cups container for Snoopy’s food and a 7 cup container for Perso’s food. It’s about $1.88 for one pack with 4 containers and lids.

I weigh out the needed veggies and chicken in the containers and then I put them into a deep freezer. The boys have their own small deep freezer. I also have three days’ worth of food in the refrigerator at all times. Once I feed the boys a meal, I rotate the food in the refrigerator and put in a meals worth of frozen food. By the time that frozen container gets to the front of the refrigerator, it’s been thawing in the refrigerator for 2.5 days. It does require extra storage space unless you want to share your freezer and a shelf in the refrigerator with your pets. But, I’ve found this to be the best option.

Feeding Raw does become a bit of a pain when it comes to traveling. We have to take an ice chest with us and take several days’ worth of food depending on how long our trip is going to be. In regards to leaving the boys somewhere, we do not kennel them, ever. We tried kenneling Perso once when he was about a year old. Even though they kept Perso and Snoopy together in the same kennel, Perso stopped eating (they were still on kibble at the time). We had to cut our trip short and come back and get them. Now they go on all our trips.

I did all my research online and after talking to other pawrents that fed raw. Here is a list of a few websites I visited.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained here is intended as education/information only. It is not intended to replace your veterinarian. Please use your own good judgment and always discuss any dietary changes for your pet with your veterinary team.

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Bentley’s Osteosarcoma Journey and Cancer-Fighting Diet

March 24th, 2014 by jerry in Diet · 7 Comments

Today’s pawesome guest blog post was generously provided by Bentley’s Mom, Kate. If you would like to share your Tripawd’s nutrition plan, contact us today!

My 7 year old, 110lb Rottweiler Bentley, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his front left leg on 11/27/2013. It was by far the worst day of my life thus far. CANCER. That word in itself, can give chills to most people. It ruins lives. It stops a mother in her tracks. Human child or not, this boy is my world. To say my world was turned inside out, and the wind knocked completely out of my sails in an understatement! I cried for 4 days straight, but then I woke one day with a new fight in my heart.

Bentley and Kate

We have vowed to fight the good fight, and will do everything in our power to beat this monster – until the day that my sweet boy says it’s time to let go. We have heard so many positive story, and although we know that statically this disease in 95% fatal in the first year…we are determined that we can be part of that 5%. Here is a little bit of our history:

  • 11.27.13: OS Diagnosis
  • 11.28.2013: Began home cooking the ‘anti-cancer’ diet and supplements, he loves it!!
  • 12.3.2013: Visit to Oncologist, elected to put him under anesthesia and do a complete CT scan to assess the progression of cancer.
  • 12.4.2013: Results from scans back – no spread of cancer that we can see wahoo!!! But scan did show tiny nodule on his spleen, took him back in to be sedated and biopsy nodule.
  • 12.5.2013: Result of biopsy showed that is was just a fatty tumor – yayy!!!
  • 12.6.2013: Amputation of front left leg: Bentley is now a member of the badass tripawd nation!!
  • 12.20.2013: Bentley’s first round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered at half of the full dosage.
  • 1.15.2014: Bentley’s blood work all looks perfect, second round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered at the full dosage.
  • 2.6.2014: Bentley’s blood work all looks perfect again, third round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered

I have always felt that the biggest part of winning any battle, is mental and emotional health! Since the first week Bentley’s was diagnosed, I have not shed a single tear. We have vowed that as long as Bentley is happy and loving life, we are not going to act any other way!

We go about our day everyday just as we used to, with the exception that we have really learned to slow down and enjoy life. It’s crazy how much this monster can change how you live your life. Not only does my schedule and life revolve around his medications haha, but I never take for granted a day we have together.

We enjoy daily walks and morning snuggles. I have people tell me every day, I can’t believe how strong you are, I could never do what you do. But in reality, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different than anyone else in our shoes would do. What else can I do? Giving up and NOT fighting this, isn’t an option. And there are dogs that beat the odds every day, so why can’t Bentley be one of those??

Waiting Patiently

Bentley’s Dog Cancer Diet

Upon receiving our diagnosis, the other big puzzle piece that we needed to change was diet! At first I was home cooking, all grain free, and A LOT of proteins. Bentley absolutely LOVED this, and I continued this for about 6 weeks until I couldn’t do it any longer. I was spending about 6 hours a week preparing food for him, and it became really frustrating and hard to manage.

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe Guidelines

My schedule is very flexible with work, so I tend to work odd hours sometimes. We have a full time dog sitter that stays with Bentley, and there were times that I would have to get up really early in the morning or stay up super late at night to make sure that Bentley had food for the next meal. Then if we were traveling at all, I’d have to be sure to plan days ahead to make sure he’d have enough food while we were gone.

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe

I did get some really good, simple, crock-pot recipes from my holistic vet – but unfortunately with Bentley weighing in at 96 lbs (we slimmed him down a bit after amputation so that he would get around better), the crock pot meal would only last him about a day. Here are the anti-cancer crock pot meals, along with the feeding guide for home cooking.

When you’re home cooking, the amount that they need to eat is significantly more than when they eat kibble (because it tends to be more calorically dense). Remember, if you’re going to do home cooking for your baby – always use ORGANIC EVERYTHING (you want to avoid any chemicals possible), and do not cook meats above 212 degrees (to avoid carcinogens being produced).

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe

Once I decided that I could no longer home cook for him as his main source of nutrition, I began my hunt for a very high quality kibble that was grain free, packed with proteins and fish oil, and that was NOT heated when processed. I did find Orijen Six Fish that I found to be an excellent alternative to home cooking, and the best part is that Bentley LOVES it.

I do still cook for Bentley occasionally on the weekends when I have time, just to give him a special treat! The Orijen Six Fish runs about $85 a bag, which lasts us about 5-6 weeks. Because the Orijen is PACKED with good lean protein (fish), the amount that he has to eat is about a 1/3 of what he would have to eat if using any other typical dry dog food.

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe

Aside from food change, the other side to this coin is adding supplements to help boost his immune system and assist the Chemotherapy in killing cancer cells. This is where things can get very overwhelming and stressful. There are SO many different theories out there about what supplement therapies work and what don’t.

Bentley’s Supplements

Even from vet to vet, some will swear by a supplement, and others will say it has only negative effects. This is where you have to become your own scientist, experimenter, researcher, doctor, vet, mother, etc. You have to lead this fight, and only you know what is best for your baby! I relied a lot on knowledge and support from two Yahoo groups that we belong to: Bone Cancer Dogs, and Artemisinin and Cancer. The people in these groups have SO much knowledge about all of the trials that are going on, current ‘up and coming’ therapies, and experience with most of them as well.

Holistic Supplements to Fight Dog Cancer

It took me a little bit to get Bentley’s protocol in order, and to be honest – I’m still changing it weekly. You really have to listen to them and see how they handle everything, especially as you’re introducing new supplements it’s best to take it slow!

Here are the supplements and medications Bentley is currently on and what they do:

  • Vetri-Science Glyco-Flex III: supports joint health and helps with range of motion (Bentley was diagnoses with severe hip and knee dysplasia in both rear legs at 6 months old)
  • Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil 8 ozTramadol and Gabapentin: given for hip and joint pain
  • Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil: promotes tumor shrinkage
  • K9 Immunity Plus: Immune system booster
  • Ester-C (Vitamin C) and Vitamin E: given daily to help flush out dead cancer cells
  • Tumeric and Curcumin: given in the morning as an anti-inflammatory, and also at night after Arte combo to increase efficacy of Arte
  • Artemisinin, Artememther, and Butyrex: given as an anti-cancer supplement believed to attack cancer cells

We have also purchased Coconut Oil which I will be adding next week, and Essiac Tea which we will begin once Bentley is finished with Chemotherapy.

Here is Bentley’s actual protocol and timing breakdown:


  • 1 ¼ cups Orijen Six Fish dog food (fill just under purple line in cup)
  • (2) Glyco-Flex III Tablets (cut up into tiny pieces)
  • Vetri-Science Glyco-Flex III Joint Dog 90 Tablets(2) tsp. of Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil (10 mls)
  • (3) K9 Immunity Plus Chews
  • (1) Ester-C Capsule 500mg (open capsule and dump directly into food)
  • (1) Vitamin E Capsule (400 i.u.)
  • (1) Gabapentin (300mg)
  • (2) Tramadol (100mg total)
  • (1) Curcumin 95 Capsule (500mg total)
  • ¼ tsp. of Tumeric Powder (in labeled bottle)
  • *Mix Ester-C & Glycoflex in with food and stir in Fish Oil.
  • Put Tramadol/Gabapentin, Curcumin, & Vitamin E into one chunk of
  • Orijen Six Fish Dry Cat Foodcream cheese & Turmeric in another – then put chunks on floor in front of him*


  • 1 ¼ cups Orijen Six Fish dog food (fill just under purple line in cup)
  • *After dinner he needs to stay very active for 2-3 hours, playing with his toys or playing with you outside are his two favorite things*

8 PM:

  • (1) Gabapentin (300mg)
  • (2) Tramadol (100mg total)
  • *Put into chunk of cream cheese, and set in front of him on floor*

9 PM:

  • Doctor's Best's Artemisinin (100 mg) 90Vcaps(2) Hepamether Capsules (80mg total)
  • (4) Artemisinin Capsules (400mg total)
  • (5) Butyrex Capsules (3000mg total)

(Put 3-4 pills together in chunks of cream cheese and place on floor in front of him)

10 PM:

  • (2) Curcumin 95 Capsules (1000mg total)
  • ½ tsp. of Tumeric Powder (in labeled bottle)

(open Curcumin capsules each into their own chunk of cream cheese and Turmeric in another, then place in front of him on floor)

Whew, seeing all of this written out makes my head spin! Noone ever said fighting cancer would be easy, but I know he’s worth it!

Bentley and Family

We know that the odds are not in our favor, but we also know that we have no reason not to fight! We are going to continue to fight until our sweet boy says that he’s had enough! I encourage everyone facing this battle, to fight it from every angle – and of course love, snuggles, and kisses are great medicine!

As we always say at the start of every new day,

You have to fight through some really tough days, to live the best days of your never stop fighting!”

Healing hugs from Kate and Sloppy Rotty Kisses from Bentley

Recommended Reading:

Tripawds Downloads Blog: Dr. Dressler’s Free Dog Cancer Diet Guide
Tripawds Nutrition Blog: What’s All this Talk About Artemisinin?
Best Diet Tips in The Tripawds Nutrition Blog

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