16 Months into the DCM Diagnosis

It has been 16 months since Limoncello was diagnosed with DCM, and 11 months since she has been on a kibble that includes an appropriate source of protein, goods grains, and is free of legumes. As scheduled at her last check-up with Dr. Bossbaly, Limoncello had a cardiology exam and echocardiogram on July 23, 2019.

As Limoncello was getting her echocardiogram, I waited in Dr. Bossbaly’s exam room praying she would return with news that Cello’s DCM had not worsened. When Dr. Bossbaly entered the room with a big smile, exclaiming, “YAY!” I was completely caught off guard, and confused! My nervous response was, “What do you mean?… Her DCM stayed the same and didn’t worsen…RIGHT?” What came out of Dr. Bossbaly’s mouth next made my own heart skip a beat… “Limoncello’s heart has completely corrected itself from DCM,” she said. “NO WAY!?” Was all I could manage to get out before I burst into tears of joy.

Dr. Bossbaly explained that Limoncello’s heart was back to normal both in size AND function. Cello did still have a murmur, but it downgraded from a 3 out of 6 to a 2 out of 6. Dr. Bossbaly lifted all exercise restrictions, and approved of Limoncello coming out of her dock diving retirement to compete again! After speaking with our primary veterinarian, Dr. Campbell, she agreed as well. HALLELUJAH!

We understand that we have been blessed with the fact that Limoncello’s heart has healed to the point of normal size and function. Unfortunately, not many dogs have been this lucky. Limoncello is a prime example of a dog diagnosed with DCM directly related to Taurine deficiency. We are beyond grateful that Limoncello made a complete turnaround with the implementation of a dietary change and proper supportive supplements.

Many people have asked us what food we suggest they switch their dogs to in order to get their pups off of a grain-free diet. Our suggestion is the same for everyone. All dogs are unique – and all dogs have different nutritional needs, just like humans. Take into consideration your dog’s health issues, daily activities, do some research on dog food companies, and consult the doctors you trust the most before making a decision on food. Keep in mind that not all dogs do well on all foods. It may take a bit of experimenting before you settle on appropriate food and supplement choices for your pup.

10 Months Into the DCM Diagnosis

As scheduled from Limoncello’s last echocardiogram, Limoncello had her next echocardiogram and cardiology exam with Dr. Bossbaly on January 15, 2019.

During this appointment, Limoncello’s heart disease slightly improved on the current supplements. However, her heart function still remained abnormal. At this point we were told to:

  1. continue the current supplements with no changes
  2. keep tracking Cello’s sleeping respiratory rate

An echocardiogram was scheduled in 6 months.

Cardiology Service Update: Dog Food & Dilated Cardiomyopathy

The following handout was forwarded to me by Limoncello’s cardiologist, Dr. Beth Bossbaly. The Direct link can be accessed by clicking HERE.

CARDIOLOGY SERVICE UPDATES: DOG FOOD & DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY
The Cardiology Service has developed this document in response to the alerts from the FDA. These alerts identify an
associated risk for some grain-free diets containing certain ingredients (legumes like peas, pea components, lentils; white
potatoes, sweet potatoes) and a diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The links provided throughout this document
can be copied and pasted to obtain additional information.
FDA Alerts found here:
https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm613305.htm
https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm616279.htm


What is Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)?
DCM is a heart muscle disorder that results in a weak pump function and heart chamber enlargement. In the early stages of
this disease pets may appear totally healthy with no apparent clinical signs. Later in the course of this disease, dogs may
have a heart murmur, an arrhythmia (irregular heart beat), collapse episodes, weakness or tiredness with exercise, and even
trouble breathing from congestive heart failure. While there are some breeds of dogs (like Dobermans) that have a genetic
predisposition to development of DCM, there are also nutritional factors that may result in this disease.


What should I do?
If you are feeding a diet of concern based upon the FDA alert we recommend that you consult with your veterinarian or
veterinary cardiologist. We provide 4 general points for guidance below:

  1. An initial step is to consider whether you are willing or interested in performing additional testing to assess whether
    your pet is affected with DCM. If you believe your dog is at risk, showing any of the aforementioned clinical signs or would
    prefer to simply rule out any heart disease, we recommend that you first have your pet’s taurine levels tested (both whole
    blood and plasma levels) as well as seek an echocardiogram by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist. Low taurine levels
    are associated with development of DCM in dogs and are sometimes a component of this current issue.
    Information on taurine testing can be found here: https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/labs/amino-acid-laboratory
  2. At this time, diet change is recommended when possible and should be considered regardless of the results obtained
    from any testing. You can consult with your veterinarian in selecting a new diet that avoids the ingredients of concern listed
    by the FDA. When selecting this diet, we recommend that you choose a diet that is manufactured with rigorous quality
    control measures and research behind the formulation. A way to ensure that your diet meets these recommendations is to
    follow the following guidelines that were generated by a large number of the world’s leading experts in veterinary nutrition.
    Food selection guidelines found here:
    https://www.wsava.org/WSAVA/media/Arpita-and-Emma-editorial/Selecting-the-Best-Food-for-your-Pet.pdf
  3. If your pet is identified through testing to have a low blood taurine level or evidence of DCM by echocardiogram, we urge
    you to report this information to the FDA.
    FDA reporting guidelines found here: https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm182403.htm
  4. Work with your veterinarian(s) to determine the best course of action and medical treatments if indicated. In the case of
    a DCM diagnosis, diet change alone may not be sufficient and additional medications may be prescribed.

Please continue to monitor the FDA website and the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Newsfeeds for updates and
recommendations regarding this issue.

How to Report a Pet Food Complaint

The following handout was given to me at Limoncello’s 5-Month Check-Up appointment at VSEC with Dr. Bossbaly. You can also access the link directly by clicking HERE.

How to Report a Pet Food Complaint

Report a Pet Food Complaint

You can report complaints about a pet food product electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or you can call your state‚Äôs FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.Your report to the FDA is important. Thank you for submitting it. The FDA continues to devote time, energy, and resources to monitor reports of illness that could be related to pet foods, to determine their root causes where possible. The FDA will review your report to determine whether any follow-up investigation is possible or needed based on the information provided. A follow-up investigation could include collecting pet food or treats, or seeking a diagnostic sample from your pet for analysis. Even if no testing of pet food products or diagnostic samples is needed, your report will be part of adverse event and product surveillance to help prevent future problems. You may choose to have your pet food product tested by a private laboratory, but testing may be costly. The FDA cannot pay for private laboratory testing costs or provide reimbursement for veterinary costs associated with your animal‚Äôs illness.

Please have as much of the following information available when submitting your complaint:

Consumers often transfer dry pet food into other containers for easier handling.  If possible, please save the original packaging until the pet food has been consumed.  The packaging contains IMPORTANT information often needed to identify the variety of pet food, the manufacturing plant, and the production date.

  • Exact name of the product and product description (as stated on the product label)
  • Type of container (e.g. box, bag, can, pouch, etc.)
  • Product intended to be refrigerated, frozen, or stored at room temperature
  • Lot number – This number is often hard to find and difficult to read.  It is stamped onto the product packaging and typically includes a combination of letters and numbers, and is always in close proximity to the best by/before or expiration date (if the product has a best by/before or expiration date).  The lot number is very important as it helps us determined the manufacturing plant as well as the production date.
  • Best by, best before or expiration date
  • UPC code (also known as the bar code)
  • Net weight
  • Purchase date and exact location where purchased.
  • Results of any laboratory testing performed on the pet food product
  • How the food was stored, prepared, and handled

Description of the problem with the product.  Examples include:

  • Foul odor, off color
  • Swollen can or pouch, leaking container
  • Foreign object found in the product.

If you think your pet has become sick or injured as a result of consuming a pet food product also provide information about your pet, including:

  • Species (dog, cat, rabbit, fish, bird, other)
  • Age, weight, breed, pregnant, spayed/neutered
  • Previous health status of pet
  • Any pre-existing conditions your pet has
  • Whether you give your pet any other foods, treats, dietary supplements or drugs
  • How much of the suspected product your pet normally consumes
  • How much of the ‚Äúsuspect‚ÄĚ product was consumed from the package?
  • How much of the product you still have
  • Clinical signs exhibited by your pet (such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy)
  • How soon after consuming the product the clinical signs appeared
  • Your veterinarian‚Äôs contact information, diagnosis and medical records for your pet
  • Results of any diagnostic laboratory testing performed on your pet
  • How many pets consuming the product exhibited clinical symptoms
  • Whether any pets that consumed the product are not affected
  • Whether your pet spends time outdoors unsupervised
  • Why you suspect the pet food caused the illness

Cardiology Consult and Dilated Cardiomyopathy Diagnosis

On March 19, 2018 we had a consult and echocardiogram appointment with Dr. Bossbaly, the cardiologist at VSEC. We honestly expected Dr. Bossbaly to confirm the heart murmur Dr. Campbell heard, and move on. However, what we left there with was a diagnosis we had no idea even existed.

Limoncello’s echocardiogram did in fact confirm a grade 2-out-of-6 heart murmur with leakage of the mitral and tricuspid valves, but also revealed that the dimensions and contractility of Cello’s heart was consistent with the early onset of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). Because Limoncello is an athlete, Dr. Bossbaly said that we would have to consider that some of these findings may be induced by her athleticism.

We were informed that the progression of dogs with occult DCM is difficult to predict. If and when clinical signs arise, symptoms that may be seen could include lethargy, exercise intolerance, difficulty breathing, or panting excessively. We were also told that at this time there was no reason to be concerned since Cello’s heart rate was normal and her lungs were clear.

It was suggested that we do a repeat echocardiogram in 5-6 months, or sooner if any observable cardiac symptoms surface. It was also recommended that we start Cello on several supplements, keeping an eye out for any signs of loose stool or diarrhea:

  1. L-Carnitine (1 gram twice daily)
  2. Taurine (1000mg twice daily)
  3. Coenzyme Q10 (30mg once daily)

We were instructed to record Limoncello’s sleeping respiratory rate (SRR), as this is a subtle indicator of changes. Increasing trends may suggest the development of congestive heart failure. Normal sleeping respiratory rates should be less than 30 breaths per minute. If Limoncello’s SSR and effort increases, it was to be reported to Dr. Bossbaly and Dr. Campbell immediately. To help us keep track of Cello’s SSR, we downloaded the Cardalis¬ģ app in the Apple Store. I believe this app is available for other devices as well.

It was suggested at this point that we retire Limoncello from dock diving to be on the safe side.

Coo-Coo for Coconut Cookies!

Cello and Hooch are coo-coo for coconut, so I decided to try a new recipe that includes both coconut oil and coconut flour.  These treats are organic and grain-free.

Coo-Coo for Coconut Cookiesunnamed (1)11

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¬Ĺ cup broth (I make my own from boiling Bison meat from Whole Foods). ¬†If you do not make your own, be sure that the broth has no traces of onion or onion powder in it.
  • ¬ľ cup organic coconut oil
  • ¬ľ cup canned organic pumpkin (100% pumpkin ¬†– NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1‚Öď cups organic tapioca flour
  • ‚Öď cup organic coconut flour
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon ¬†sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons organic ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon organic fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Use parchment paper to line a baking sheet.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth and coconut oil to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the pumpkin.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the tapioca flour, coconut flour, sea salt, yeast, flaxseed and parsley. Pour the broth mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until no traces of dry ingredients remain (the dough will become stiff).
  4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper,¬†¬†to about ¬ľ-inch thickness, ¬†and cut into desired shapes. I cut mine into 1-2 inch squares.
  5. Transfer parchment paper with cut treats to the prepared baking sheet,  and bake for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, leave the treats in the oven and crack the oven door until they are cooled completely (this will help them dry out a bit, and make them crunchy). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month, or in the freezer to keep longer.

 

 

unnamed (1)

Original recipe from Primally Inspired

Nutty Squirrels!

 

This cute squirrel treat recipe was taken from Dog Treat Kitchen РI modified it a bit from the original recipe.  I loved the look of the cookie, but wanted to make the treat grain free, and as organic as possible.

unnamed (1)

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 1/2 cup organic buckwheat flour (I used Arrowhead Mills brand)
  • 1 cup organic almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp organic ground flax
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 very ripe medium organic banana
  • 2 Tbsp organic beef broth (I make my own – but be sure if you purchase to check that there is no form of onion listed in the ingredients!!)
  • 1 Tbsp organic safflower or sunflower oil

 

Topping Ingredients: 

  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp organic honey
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped organic raw sunflower seeds

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬į F
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, almond flour, flax and cinnamon.
  3. In a small bowl, thoroughly mash the banana, then stir in the beef broth and oil until combined.
  4. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture.
  5. Stir together until you reach a coarse crumby texture.
  6. Knead the dough with your hand, in the bowl, until it forms a dough ball.
  7. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper, or dust it with buckwheat flour so the dough will not stick.
  8. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness, between two sheets of parchment paper (or dust top of  dough with flour).
  9. Transfer cut outs to baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Turn off the oven, and leave the treats inside while the oven cools.
  12. Once completely cooled, apply the glaze and sunflower seed topping.

Topping Instructions:

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the water and honey.
  2. Microwave on high for 5 to 10 seconds.
  3. Stir together until the honey is completely dissolved.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush the honey glaze on the tail of the squirrel.
  5. Press the tail into the finely chopped nuts.
  6. Set aside,  and let the glaze dry before serving to your dog.

 

These treats will stay fresh  in the fridge for up to one month, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Yield – Depending on the cookie cutter(s) you use, you’ll be able to get about 9, 1/2 inch thick squirrels. Using the squirrel cookie cutter I had, I got 9 squirrels, and used an acorn cookie cutter for the smaller, left over dough pieces. ¬†The yield will vary, depending on the size of dog treat cookie cutter(s) you use and how thick you roll the dough.

 

TIPS:  

  • Rolling dog treat dough is so easy with parchment paper. ¬†¬†If you don’t have it, you can to dust your work surface and rolling pin with buckwheat flour to keep it from sticking. You can line your baking sheets with parchment paper ¬†– or spray your baking sheet with non-stick spray before placing the cut outs onto it.
  • For some dough mixtures such as this one ¬†that may be a bit stickier, try filling¬†a shallow dish or bowl with flour and dip the cutter into it before each cut. Then very gently wiggle the cutter back and forth to separate it from¬†the rest of the dough.

 

I hope your pooch enjoys this treat as much as Cello has!

Cello’s Cheezy Cheez-Its

Who doesn’t like Cheese?! Cello’s Cheezy Cheez-Its is the¬†newest recipe tried in Cello’s Cucina! ¬†As always, this treat is made with all organic ingredients, and is 100% grain-free.

cheezits

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup organic almond flour
  • 1/4 cup organic tapioca flour
  • 1 certified organic egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup organic finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp organic safflower oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬į F
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour and tapioca flour.
  3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg. Then stir in the cheese and oil.
  4. Pour the cheese mixture into the flour mixture, and stir with a fork until thoroughly combined.
  5. Cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit your baking sheet, and use this piece as your work-space.
  6. Next, place the dough onto the parchment paper, and cover with a second piece of parchment paper. Using a rolling-pin, flatten the dough very thin (to about 1/16 inch).
  7. Remove the top piece of parchment paper and transfer parchment with the dough onto your baking sheet.
  8. Using a pizza cutter, cut the flattened dough into 1 inch by 1 inch squares.

unnamed

  1. Bake for 15 minutes. Leave the treats in the oven to cool after the oven has been turned off to ensure they get nice and crunchy!

Storage: These treats can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

“Bone” Appetit!

Grain Free Mock-Choc Peanut Butter Treats

Your pup will enjoy these grain-free peanut butter- carob “mock-choc” treats! ¬†These treats are made with buckwheat flour, which is surprisingly grain free! Of course dogs can¬†not have chocolate, since it’s on the list of poisonous food to dogs,¬†but¬†your pup can enjoy the natural sweetness of the carob in this homemade dog cookie recipe.¬†I chose Santa, Snowman, and Christmas tree cookie cutters since we are just days away from Christmas, but you can choose any cookie cutter you like for this recipe!

unnamed (6)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 3/4 cups organic buckwheat flour
  • 4 tsp carob powder
  • 1 cup of organic, unsweetened/no salt added peanut butter
    • (NOTE: Be sure the peanut butter you use doesn’t contain xylitol !!)
  • 1 cup of organic low fat or fat free milk (you can substitute almond milk or goats milk if your pup cannot have milk)
  • 1/4 cup carob chips

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬į
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour and carob powder.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, warm the peanut butter for approximately 30 seconds.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the warmed peanut butter and milk (or water) together with a fork until thoroughly combined.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the peanut butter mixture.
  6. Stir until combined – add water if necessary to get dough to a consistency you are comfortable working with
  7. Fold in the carob chips.
  8. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  9. Using cookie cutters of your choice, cut our shapes in the dough.
  10. Bake for 15-18 minutes on a parchment paper-lined cookie tray. Cool completely on a wire rack. Or, for crunchier treats, leave in the oven, once turned off, to cool and harden for 2 hours.

 

These treats will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for longer duration.

Banana Biscotti

A week or so ago, I saw this yummy recipe on Dog Treat Kitchen. Tonight I decided to bake these treats for Cello.  Cello is currently on a grain-free diet, so I knew I had to alter the ingredients a bit.  I decided I would exclude the rolled oats in the original recipe, and substitute Buckwheat flour for the whole wheat flour also listed in the original recipe.

At the same time I was preparing to bake some treats, I also decided to boil my usual batch of hard-boiled eggs for my breakfast, and for Cello’s weekly dinner additive. ¬†Perhaps doing two things at once was not such a good idea!

…Figuring I was being super-productive getting the eggs and biscotti done simultaneously, I was too focused on rushing, and was not attentive¬†enough to the biscotti ingredient preparations!¬†¬†After I had¬†already started boiling the eggs, I reviewed the ingredients for the biscotti. ¬†…OOPS! ¬†…

The recipe called for 2 eggs – and now I was all out. ¬†I Google searched what I could substitute for eggs, and was pleasantly surprised to find that 1/4 cup of applesauce could be substituted for each¬†egg in most backing recipes. ¬†As luck would have it, I had some organic, unsweetened applesauce in the fridge (PHEW!!)… turns out, my mistake blossomed ¬†into a blessing…the biscotti turned out great!! ¬†They were nice-and-sweet with the added apple sauce!

banana biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium organic bananas
  • 1/4 cup organic peanut butter (organic, so salt or sugar added)
    • Be sure that the peanut butter you use doesn’t contain xylitol)
  • 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cups organic Buckwheat flour (may need extra to add, depending on the consistency/level of stickiness you are comfortable with)

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬į F
  2. Place the peeled bananas and peanut butter into a large microwave safe bowl.
  3. Microwave the bananas and peanut butter for 30-60 seconds, to soften.
  4. Thoroughly mash the bananas while mixing in the peanut butter.
  5. Mix in the applesauce.
  6. Stir in the water.
  7. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the banana mixture.
  8. Using a fork, stir together the wet and dry ingredients until completely combined. If needed, use your hands to mix together the mixture.
  9. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  10. Turn out your dough ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently press the ball into a rectangular loaf shape about 1 inch thick. Try to make your shape as uniform as possible for even baking.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Let the banana biscotti loaf cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  13. Cut the loaf in half, lengthwise.
  14. Cut strips about 1 inch thick.
  15. Place the slices, cut side down, and bake for another 20 minutes.
  16. Turn biscotti pieces over (flip), and bake another 20 minutes.
  17. Turn the oven off, and let the treats cool completely in the oven.

biscotti

Cello and Hooch approve…hope your pooch does too! ¬†“Bone” Appetit !

Grain Free, Sugar Free Canine Candy Canes!

Cello’s Canine Candy Canes

DSC09205INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups organic garbanzo bean flour (plus more – see note)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup organic beef stock/broth, chicken stock, or vegetable stock (see note)
  • 2 large organic, free range eggs
  • 2 tsp red, all natural food coloring (see tips)
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 large organic, free range egg, whites only¬†(for an egg wash)

DSC09202

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Whisk together the flour, powdered milk and baking powder.
  2. Pour beef stock in small bowl, and whisk the eggs into stock.
  3. Form a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  5. Knead the dough for about two minutes.
  6. Add more flour until the dough is no longer sticky (dough will be VERY sticky and hard to work with.  Keep adding flour until dough is reasonable to work with.
  7. Divide the dough in half.
  8. Form a well in one of the halves of dough.
  9. Add the food coloring and peppermint flavoring to the one half of dough.
  10. Wearing food safe gloves, knead the coloring and flavoring throughout the dough.
  11. Cool the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350¬į F
  13. Scoop a tablespoon of each half of dough  into tablespoon-sized balls.
  14. Gently roll each ball into a “worm” shape, letting the dough rest when needed. Each strip should be about 5 inches long.
  15. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  16. Twist one plain strip with a red strip, and curl the end to shape a candy cane.
  17. Place on the baking sheet.
  18. Whisk the extra egg (whites only) in a small bowl.
  19. Using a pastry brush, thoroughly coat each candy cane with the egg wash.
  20. Bake for 10-15 minutes. (let cool in oven for crunchier treat)
  21. Cool completely on a wire rack.

NOTES:

Garbanzo bean flour:  Although a great alternative to grain-based flour, this flour is SUPER sticky and can be difficult to work with. Keep adding flour until dough is at a consistency you are comfortable working with.  Allowing the dough to cool in freezer will help with handling this sticky dough.

Broth/Stock:  No matter which stock you choose (Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable), be sure to check that it does NOT contain any form of onion, or onion powder

Food Coloring: rather than use artificial coloring, I chose an all-natural vegetable base coloring made from beet juice (India Tree brand vegetable colorants).  Beet powder is also another great alternative to artificial coloring.

Yield: ¬†will depend on how long/thick you make each “worm” when you are twisting the candy canes. ¬†My batch made 15 candy canes.

Storing: Remember, these treats do not have any preservatives, so they will need to be refrigerated, or frozen for use at a later time. These canine candy canes will keep fresh for approximately two weeks in the refrigerator, or for about 6 months in the freezer.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pooch Pleasers (Grain Free !!)

Cello has had recurring ear infections lately. ¬†It was suggested to us to try her on a grain-free diet for 30 days to see if her ear problem ceases. ¬†Her dog food is of very high quality, and is already grain free. ¬†However, all of the treats I was making her had whole-wheat flour as an ingredient ¬†…so – this is the first grain-free treat to be made in Cello’s Cucina!

We are going to go camping for Thanksgiving, so I decided to make these treats to bring on the trip for Cello… I chose Fall cookie cutters…a turkey, 2 different shaped leaves, an acorn, and a Squirrel (Cello’s favorite!)

 Fall cookie cutters

DSC08617

Cello is licking her lips waiting for her treats to be done! DSC08622

DSC08629

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ¬†1/2 to 3 c. of organic garbanzo bean flour (SEE NOTE)
  • 2 ¬†1/2 Tbsp of creamy organic peanut butter (unsweetened and no salt)
    • Be sure that the peanut butter you use doesn’t contain xylitol)
  • 2 Tbsp pure natural organic honey
  • 3/4 c. organic canned pumpkin (PURE pumpkin – NOT pumpkin pie filling)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  preheat oven to 300 degrees F

2.  In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients until completely combined

3.  The dough will be very sticky Рso generously flour everything Рincluding your hands.  Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness.

Use cookie cutters of your choice to cut out the cookies.

4.  Place cookies on a parchment paper-lined cookie tray, and bake the cookies for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  The cookies will

come out a pretty pumpkiny-brown!  Let cool on a wire rack for soft treats, or turn oven off and let treats sit in oven for 1-2 hours or more if you want crunchier treats.  I baked mine at night, so I just shut the oven off and left treats to cool overnight. In the morning I put some in the refrigerator, and some in the freezer to take on our camping trip.

Cookies can be stored in an air tight container in refrigerator for approximately 2 weeks – or in the freezer if you would like them to last a bit longer, or if you wanted to save them for a later date.

NOTE:¬†have lots of extra garbanzo bean flour ¬†– the dough is REALLY sticky…so you will need to add flour to the dough, the cookie cutters, the roller, and the work surface (I used a glass cutting board – which worked the best with this sticky dough)