Friday, June 29, 2012

Feeding Tika

Neither Tika nor Nacho are vegetarians - both eat mainstream kibbles (Nacho started out on VeganPet but she abruptly stopped eating it after a few months so we switched over). However, both love various veggies and other "human foods", so we are happy to oblige them. For Nacho, green peas, dried TVP crumbles, oats, mashed pumpkin, nori sea weed, and especially raw corn are just tops. We're still working out what Tika's favourite foods are, but she seems fond of pretty much anything except for capsicum and star fruit so far - she even ate a pear core that our neighbour-baby gave to her.

Though they eat meat-based kibbles, none of the extras we give them will ever be animal based. It is easy and quick to make dog treats that Tika scoffs down, we make chewy dried sweet potato slices for her to clean her teeth on, and we supplement her dinner each night with a bit of extra something. We do this because it looks tastier than the kibbles, to give her a bit of variety, and because it is cheaper - especially once our veggie garden gets growing and we have more sweet potatoes and zucchinis and chokoes and other veggies than we know what to do with (I hope). The only draw back - and sorry if this is TMI - is that all the veggies turn Tika into a serious poop factory. I guess that means she's getting plenty of fibre, but it does mean we have to clean up more around the back yard, and watch where we walk.

(Nacho doesn't like treats, as such. I once tried combining pumpkin and oats - two of her faves - into a biscuity treat and she wouldn't even sniff it. Even mixing peas & corn makes both a little less appealing to her.)

Here is a basic idea of the extras we feed to Tika. She was a skinny girl when she moved in with us, so we were first trying to fatten a little and now we're trying to maintain an ideal weight - so if your dog is on the, ahem, fluffy side, you should probably cut back on the rice.

1 c. rice
2 c. water (or bean cooking juice)
1 tsp. vegemite
1 tsp. chicken or beef stock (vegan, of course)
1 potato, chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 ear of corn, cut off the cob
1/2 c. green peas
1/4 c. peanut butter

In a saucepan, bring the water, vegemit, stock powder and rice to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 8 minutes. Then, stir in the potato, sweet potato, and carrot. Replace the lid and continue to simmer for another 8 minutes (check it every now and then to make sure it doesn't burn on the bottom). When most of the water has been absorbed, turn off the heat, stir in the corn, green peas, and peanut butter. Combine it really well, then replace the lid and let it cool. This makes enough for at least 2 weeks' worth of dinners, so we freeze half.

When we serve this up to Tika for dinner, mixed with her kibbles, she pushes the kibbles aside to get to this rice mixture. We don't always make this - sometimes it is more like plain rice, or whatever veggies we've chopped for ourselves that night for dinner. But this is her hands down favourite dinner, and it's good enough for us to eat, too.


Kari said...

Not only is it good enough for you (and me!) to eat too, I'd say Tika is eating better than a fair few humans I can think of. Very impressive!

Anonymous said...

such a cute pup!

Joey said...

The comment above really made me chuckle - I was just thinking 'I'm with the dog - I could definitely go a big bowl of that too!'

Hannah said...

This is awesome! Vegemite and peanut butter makes me want it. Jedda gets raw chicken wings and dry kibble with soy milk over the top in which to hide her medicines :P

Mel said...

Sounds like you have got Tika on a great diet! Jasper had kibbles and our leftovers for most of his life but after his cancer diagnosis I starting cooking up similar meals with rice, cooked mung beans, flaxseed oil and vegetables. At the time I read that dogs aren't able to digest some vegetables like carrots and corn, perhaps they are contributing to the poop issues?

Emma said...

She's a beautiful dog! We are just about to start feeding our cats some vegetables as extras too. Our cats love things like sweet potato and pumpkin, Bob LOVES vegetmite. And garlic/capsicum/chilli ... anything that cats don't usually eat ha. It should be interesting.

urban vegan said...

Lucky furry ones! They are so adorable. Love that shot of them snoozing.