Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fish Stock for Dogs

My Pug, Ferdi, was diagnosed with a mass cell tumor and was treated with chemo. He now has several health issues, including a a depressed immune system., inflammation and other issues. He just started seeing an integrated vet and is getting supplements to support his system. In addition, he is eating chicken, and chicken fish and beef stock and vegetables.

Fish stock is high in anti-inflammatory amino acids (great for arthritis), it is beneficial for dogs with kidney issues, and it is a  natural source of iodine and thyroid nutrients Fish stock has gelatin which lines the digestive system and acts as a barrier to bad bacteria, it holds digestive juices in the belly longer which aids in digestion of nutrients and aids in increased absorption of vitamins and minerals.  It is high in glycine which encourages liver detox. The omega fatty acids are great for the coat and skin.

I started Ferdi with chicken stock and the vet asked me on his second visit if I was giving him fish stock yet. I hadn't and he suggested I start. So I called Whole Foods and asked if they have fish carcasses and they do--they freeze salmon carcasses and sell it for $1.00 a pound. So I picked one up a couple days ago.

I put it in my 12 quart stock pot that has a pasta insert/strainer. Covered it with water and cooked for 3 hours. I lifted the pasta strainer and drained off the liquid and threw the carcass away. Really liked having the strainer because it caught all the bones. Put the stock in several containers and froze all but one.

I gave both Ferdi and Cobi (healthy dog) the stock with their meals. They loved it!  

Chicken Stock for People and Dogs

The key to great chicken stock is to cook the bones a long time for fantastic flavor and best nutrition for both you and your dogs! I have made stock for years, and my elderly and sick Pug got healthier and lived for years eating chicken and stock. 

Homemade chicken stock in recipes makes dishes so much better than store bought stock. . You can even make chicken stock from leftover bones with any remaining meat--from a roast or rotisserie chicken--just put into pot with plenty of water, some vegetables (see below) and cook about 3 hours.

Some cooks make chicken stock by adding the chicken and cooking it to death and then throwing away the tasteless chicken. There is no reason to do this! Instead, cook chicken until it's done--about an hour if cut into pieces--then return the bones to the pot so they can continue to add flavor to the stock. The bones are the key to making great tasting and healthy stock. The bones release collagen and gelatin which is beneficial to animals and people. 

I cook 2 hickens at a time for my dogs and put the chicken and stock in containers and freeze all but one. To save space, I make the stock very concentrated. When feeding my dogs, I put the chicken and stock in their bowls and add a bit of hot water. 

Chicken Stock
1 organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces (do not use organs; neck is fine)
1 onion, quartered, skin on (OMIT for dogs)
2 stacks celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped (Some dogs are allergic to; can omit)
1 parsnip, roughly chopped
1 turnip, roughly chopped
Sea salt and pepper (No pepper for dogs, 1/2 tsp salt for dogs)
Put chicken pieces into a large pot, add remaining ingredients and fill with water. When water comes to a boil, lower hit to a medium simmer and skim off any scum that forms on the top. Boil for about an hour. Remove meat and reserve. When meat is cool, remove meat from bones. Throw bones and skin (and any of the vegetables) back into the pot and simmer 1-3 hours. Occasionally check water level. Remove bones and vegetables (a Chinese slotted spoon is perfect.).

Give your dogs any of the soft tissue from the bones;  it is highly digestible and good for them!

Whatever stock you don't need can be frozen and stored in plastic or glass containers. Fat will rise to top when chilled overnight and can be removed. (Fat is good for dogs unless they have pancreatitis.)