Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


December 19, 2012

Family dog is on the guest list for holiday dinner


They look like crabcakes, with brown rice, vegetables and shredded turkey. You mix that with an egg, make patties and sear them in a pan," she said.

How would you fix a traditional holiday dinner of appetizers, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, biscuits and dessert to serve dogs and humans? No matter how spicy the human food is, the dog's has to be bland and low-fat.

"Before dinner, they can graze like everybody else, have a couple of carrot sticks and cheese cubes," Zorn said.

When it comes to preparing the turkey, go saltless, she said. Eliminate onions and garlic, white flour, refined sugars and processed foods.

That doesn't mean you can't put anything in the dog's meal. "There are actually a lot of herbs that are good for dogs. Parsley is good for them — it's a natural breath freshener. Ginger is good for digestion and turmeric is good.

It's hard to make biscuits without flour, Zorn said. "But try to use whole wheat, barley, rice, flax or amaranth because they should really have a low-gluten diet."

For side dishes, make the green beans with chicken stock or sauteed mushroom soup. Before you candy the sweet potatoes, take one out for the dog and steam it with a little cinnamon and ginger. White potatoes are OK, too, although not as healthy as sweet potatoes. A little cranberry sauce is good for a dog. Instead of gravy, use turkey juice or stock, Zorn said.

For dessert, Zorn recommends gingerbread biscuits. Dogs also love peanut butter cookies with yogurt frosting, she said.

Zorn tries out many of her creations on her own dog Rowdy, a hound mix. "He is the first rung of the testing process. He's my child to be sure — obsessed with food. If this dog doesn't eat it, the recipe needs to be scrapped," she said.

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