Festive Recipes for Dogs | Animal Wellness Magazine

Including your dog in your seasonal festivities? These healthy and delicious recipes will fill him with comfort and joy any time of the year!

Looking for a fun way to thank your dog for the unconditional love she gives you year round? Since most dogs would probably place food at the top of their wish lists, here are three fabulous recipes to try over the holidays or really any time of year. One thing’s for sure — he’ll be licking his lips and asking for more!


Choose organic ingredients wherever possible. Brush olive oil on a loaf pan, and place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom. Cover the bottom of the pan with the sweet potato and/or yam mash. Add half the raw ground turkey in another layer. Sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs; leave a bit aside for the top. Add a layer of vegetable mash, then the other half of the turkey. Top off with cranberry mash. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.


This recipe makes a great addition to Turkey Pup Pottage.

Cover the bottom of a medium-sized pot with olive oil, and turn stove burner on high. As soon as small bubbles begin to appear, add the sliced Brussels sprouts, and turn heat down to medium. Sprinkle with sea salt, then add honey, a splash of Balsamic vinegar, and the water. Stir with a wooden spoon, then turn heat down to simmer. Keep an eye on the pot until most of the liquid has disappeared. Remove from the stove, cool, and store in the fridge.


Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. A wooden spoon works perfectly for this recipe. Transfer dough to the middle of the parchment paper, pat it down, and draw it out to the edges with your fingers. Place the cookie sheet in a cold oven and turn the heat to 350°F on the convection setting. When the oven reaches heat, turn it down to 200°F and bake for one hour. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, turn the Dogged Duck Delight over, and return it to the oven for one more hour. Turn off the heat and allow the “leather” to cool completely before taking it from the oven and storing in an open container in the fridge. This treat can also be frozen.

Ingredients and their health benefits

Brussels sprouts

These cruciferous veggies contain a variety of antioxidants, including beta-carotene, glucosinolates, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Glucosinolates are sulphur-containing compounds; via chemical reaction, they produce sulforaphane, another powerful antioxidant that has been found to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects.


These rich red berries offer many bioactive components, including antioxidant proanthocyanins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid:

  • Anthocyanins, the pigments that give cranberries their color, have been found to possess the strongest antioxidant power out of 150 flavonoids tested — they’re even more powerful than vitamin E. Anthocyanins also have an anti-inflammatory action that can help lessen allergic reactions – 50 mg to 80 mg of this powerful antioxidant are found in a 100 gram serving of cranberries.
  • Proanthocyanins belong to the bioflavonoid family. They help strengthen blood vessels and improve the delivery of oxygen to cell membranes.
  • Ellagic acid has been found to cause apoptosis or “cell death” in cancer cells.

Cranberries also contain dietary fiber, manganese, and vitamin K, and are rich in vitamin C and tannins, helping to keep bacteria like E. coli, the most common cause of urinary tract infections, from adhering to the walls of your dog’s urinary tract.


Often considered a novel protein, duck is nutrient-dense and easy to digest. It is a good source of both Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids. Duck contains a variety of vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of amino acids. It’s also a good source of selenium, which helps prevent cell damage and has anti-inflammatory properties.


The colors and flavors of honey differ, depending on the bees’ nectar sources. There are more than 300 types of honey in the US, ranging from basswood, alfalfa, wildflower and fireweed honey, to avocado honey with its rich buttery flavor. The darker the colour, the deeper the flavor, and darker honeys like buckwheat, sage, and tupelo contain the most antioxidants. Some strains of New Zealand’s amazing Manuka honey have been found to contain a special antibacterial property that is phytochemically derived; this honey is used as a treatment for infected wounds and is effective against antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Olive oil

Called “the ancient giver of life,” olive oil (next to salt) is considered the “essence of civilization.” It is a very rich source of vitamins A and E, helping to neutralize cancer-causing free radicals. It is also rich in Omega-9 oleic acid, a mono-saturated fat that helps protect the heart and support skin health. When you purchase olive oil, ensure that the label says “extra virgin” or “first pressed,” for the most health benefits.

Sweet potatoes

These are rich in antioxidants, and have even been called an anti-diabetic food because research has demonstrated they can help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance. Sweet potatoes also have anti-inflammatory properties and are soothing to the digestive tract. They contain vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, along with vitamins B-6, C, and E, copper, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, and potassium.


Yams are a heart-smart, power-packed food. They have been cultivated in Africa and Asia since 50,000 B.C., and are rich in vitamins B-6 and C, dietary fiber, manganese, and potassium.

Suzi Beber has been successfully creating special needs diets for companion animals for two decades. She founded the University of Guelph’s Smiling Blue Skies® Cancer Fund and Smiling Blue Skies® Fund for Innovative Research. She is the proud recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and was honored with the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, for her work in cancer, from the University of Guelph/Ontario Veterinary College. The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund is also the recipient of the “Pets + Us” Community Outreach Champion Award.

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