Best

Fresh Fruit Salads for Dogs!

FNot an uncommon topic, I always knew dogs could eat fruit, but I never knew the many different kinds of fruit …

Apples – Bananas – Blueberries – Pears – Strawberries – Cantaloupe – Blackberries – Watermelon -Coconut – Raspberry – Oranges – Grapefruits – Mangos – pineapple …

With the exception of a few (grapes, raisins, apricots, peaches, raisins), the list can probably go on.  I honestly only fed my dog Apples, sometimes, Pears.

Overall, you can definitely get inspired when making fruit treats.  I have seen a bunch on Pinterest, like Raspberry Birthday Cakes…for Dogs. But, we at tha MUNCHbox, like to keep it simple.

Check Out this popular Quinoa Fruit Salad w/Honey Lime Dressing.

Yes! This recipe is for humans, which means, you guessed it… Sharing is Caring.  With Spring in the air and summer around the corner (we hope), the both of you can kick-back and enjoy a healthy, but delicious treat.  A simple Fruit Salad, another plus about this recipe, is that you can mix it up.

For Example:

If you don’t want Quinoa, then don’t add it…

If you or your dog prefers Pineapple to Mango, then use that instead (or both)…

Try Watermelon, Honeydew Melon and Cantaloupe… 

Don’t just garnish with Mint, try Parsley or even Low Fat Whipped Cream…

For the dressing, add a beneficial teaspoon of Ginger to the Honey Lime Dressing…

See, the possibilities are endless.  But, remember to keep your dog in mind; No Grapes.

Now, if this is too much work for you, just throw everything in a blender, with some Unsweetened Peanut Butter or even Greek Non Fat Yogurt and VIOLA!  You got a smoothie, that you and your dog can lick up.

MUNCH love!

Check Out Our Fruit Pops at thaMUNCHbox.com!

Learn About 6 Antioxidants that Fruits are filled with by CLICKING HERE!

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D-I-Y | Dehydrated Grain-Free Duck Treats!

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IF ONLY I HAD THE TIME!

I would love nothing more, than to make grain-free Duck treats for my little midget, who is 3 lb. of tough Yorkie; he LOVES + DEVOURS Duck! I honestly don’t know what it is, although I am guessing the soft “DUCKtile” texture has something to do with it.

Quick Note: I definitley feel as though a dog’s body, just like ours, will tell us what nutrients they need (or don’t need). I think this is why Ballou tends to push away or ignore some foods, like beef, versus others, like duck, which may contain nutrients his body is yearning for.   

Anyway, although Duck is on the expensive side and can be harder to find than say…chicken, it’s a novelty protein that stands as a wonderful alternative to common proteins (Lamb or Beef), especially for dogs with allergies.  Moreover, being that my midget is on the small side, I do feel as though he can stand to gain a few pounds and with Duck being higher in fat and calorie content…than chicken, I think Grain-Free Duck Treats are perfect for him.

For those of us who may not be fortunate to be close to a butcher or Grocery Store (i.e. Super 88) where Duck is readily available, definitely check out Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow at www.Hare-Today.com. This site has everything from Duck gizzards to Duck Necks; although I think I will personally start off small with Duck Liver + Duck Hearts.

Doing my Due-Diligence on making dehydrated treats, I have created a list of things/steps/tips that I will keep on hand for when it’s time for me to chef it up in the kitchen.  Check them out below:

1.) If you’re going for breast meat, leaner cuts are best (be sure to remover any skin or fat)

2.) Strive for equally sized pieces for a consistent drying time.  If the meat does need to be cut, know that partially freezed meat makes for easier cutting; try cutting against the grain (I think I know what this means)

Quick Note: Placing meat between wax paper and taking a rolling pin or meat pulverizer to flatten the pieces will also aid with a consistent drying time, cooking the meat evenly.  

4.) Whether you are using a Dehydrator or an Oven, you typically want to set your device on the lowest setting or between 150-200 degrees.  The lower the temperature, the longer the time, which can be anywhere from 2 hours to 7 hours (even more).  As mentioned, the thickness of meat will also play into drying time.  Also, meat should be fully thawed when dehydrating, too much moisture could prolong drying time as well.

Quick Note: Rotate meat every couple of hours.  The decision of whether the treat is ready is really under your discretion; some like a little moisture (shorten shelf life), while others like dried-out.

5.) If you are using a rack, use non-stick cooking spray to make sure the meat doesn’t stick.  If you are using a baking pan, you can also spray the pan down or sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Lightly basing the meat with oil helps

Quick Note: Make sure the meat is evenly spaced on the rack/baking pan (not touching)

6.) Don’t be afraid to Chef it up a bit.  Knowing Duck is apart of the fowl family, I have discovered some chicken jerky recipes for dogs, like the Honey Lime Chicken Jerky by Doggy Desert Chef, that I definitely plan on using for inspiration. To be specific, Cinnamon, Parsley, Sage, Mint, tumeric, basil, ginger…are all things I plan on using, but not all at once of coarse.  If you are not sure about using a certain ingredient, just google it.

Quick Note: For the healthy and beneficial properties, Olive and Coconut Oil will be my seasoning base of choice

7.) Store in freezer for up to a month in an airtight container (no time for defrosting, this makes a cool summer time treat).  Refrigerate no more than 3 days to a week.

Although my midget is familiar with Duck, I still will take the proper precaution in slowly introducing his new treats.  I feel this is especially necessary because I am choosing to season/marinate the meat before dehydrating.

Until I am able to make these yummy treats, Ballou is currently in love with Dehydrated Duck Feet (a perfect chew for his size, check out this DIY Dehydrated Duck Feet Post), Primal Canine Duck Freeze-Dried Formula (a great food topper or full meal), and Lucky Duck Krispies (a wonderful training treat stemming from Polka Dog Bakery).

Dehydrated Duck Feet + Lucky Duck Krispies can both be taste-tested by ordering a MUNCHbox!

What are your thoughts on Duck as a protein?  Have you ever made dehydrated duck treats? If so, what was it like?

Any questions or concerns, just email us: thaMUNCHbox@gmail.com!

– MUNCH love –

Bull Pizzles |tha Exclusive Dog Chew!

BIf you don’t already know, Bull Pizzles (a.k.a Bully Sticks), are basically the private part (to put it nicely), of a bull/steer cow.

Made of pure fibrous muscle (a by-product), these chews are low in cholesterol + fat, yet, high in protein. Once cleaned and stretched, bull pizzles are twisted into some interesting and functional sizes, shapes and forms, varying slightly in thickness and color.

Not containing any chemicals, additives or hormones, these chews are great for all life stages (puppies, adults, seniors) and are easy to digest (great alternative to Rawhide).  Depending on the size of a Bull Pizzle and how aggressive a chewer your dog is, they can provide hours of chewing/gnawing entertainment, which is perfect for teeth cleaning; reducing tarter.  Our suggestion, the thicker and bigger the pizzle, the longer lasting it will be.

BullyPretzel

tha Bully Pretzels are Great for Puppies!

If you are worried these chews are too fattening (high in calories), then just limit the amount given to your dog (remember, its a treat).  We like to compare these bad boys to Snicker’s Bars.  We personally wouldn’t eat 1 everyday, but once a week or even two weeks, isn’t that bad…right?

Quick Note: Treats should make up no more than 10 percent of your dog daily calories –

Additionally, similar to the Antlers, if your worried about the protein content upsetting your dog’s stomach, monitor the intake.  Allow your dog to chew between 1-2 inches and then take it away (Quick Note: Bull Pizzles can be freezed in a ziplock bag to keep them fresh).  If all is well, continue this process, but increase the intake each time (like giving sugar to your kids for the first time, at some point you start to know when enough, is enough).

Quick Note: Bully Bites are a good place to start (top picture), as they already come in 1-2 inch size sticks –

Afraid of being exposed to E-Coli or Salmonella Bacteria? Simply put, WASH YOUR HANDS (as with any raw meat)!

Looking to try a Bull Pizzle? Check Out thaMUNCHbox.com. Any question or concerns, please email us at thaMUNCHbox@gmail.com.

MUNCH Love!

ANTLERS| 3 Quick Tips!

Quick Tip 1: Deer, Elk or Moose?

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Elk Antlers, tha Perfect Medium

Not all Antlers are created equal.  Elk Antlers (moderate pricing) are considered to be optimal in density, having a low outer-structure to marrow ratio.  Deer Antlers (cheap pricing), are hard through out, lack core marrow and are prone to snap/crack (may cause dental injuries).  Moose Antlers (expensive) are flatter and less dense than both Deer and Elk Antlers.  Having the lowest outer-structure to marrow ratio, they are known to be better in nutrients (greater marrow content), but, do not last as long as Deer and Elk Antlers.

Quick Tip 2: Where Did the Antler Go? Secretly buried somewhere in the backyard…

While I find the natural forest/pine smell of an Antler to be pleasing, some dogs are just not into it. On that note, try rubbing olive oil, peanut butter or worcestershire sauce (???) to peak their interest.  Another trick is to boil and then soak the Antler in water, chicken, or beef broth/bouillon for 24 hours.  You can even rub the Antler down with a piece of sandpaper, especially if there are any sharp edges you may be worried about. Generally speaking, the more appealing the Antler, the better.  Moisture Content, Aroma, Texture, Palatability, Color (etc.), all play a role, so…GET CREATIVE!

Note: If you are too lazy to be creative, try a split Antler. Ultimately, your dog is interested in the marrow and the main reason as to why they probably weren’t interested in the first place, is because they were too lazy to chew through the outer-structure…to get to the marrow.  Split Antlers are good, because the marrow is readily available, but be advised that the hours of chew time is cut down.  

Quick Tip 3: Perfect for ALL dogs…or Naw!

The ultimate prize of chewing on soft, nutrient rich marrow, comes down to one word…PROTEIN.  And, too much protein can be bad.  We are talking upset stomach bad, or even vomiting.  If this is a concern, it would be wise to monitor you dog, allowing your dog to chew no more than an inch or less a day.   It is always best to provide plenty of drinking water when your pet is dealing with an Antler (or any bone).  Additionally, if the Antler becomes small enough to swallow, take it away.  Likewise, make sure your dog is gnawing and not trying to chomp the Antler into pieces.

Any questions or concerns, please send an email to thaMUNCHbox@gmail.com.

For Yummy Treats Delivered, Check Us Out at thaMUNCHbox.com!

MUNCH love!

6 Antioxidants GOOD for Your Dog!

What are Antioxidants? Well, according to one definition, it is a substance that inhibits oxidation {combine or become combined chemically with oxygen}, which in turn, helps the immune system fight cancer and aging, by neutralizing free radicals.


Include, but are not limited to:

1. Beta-Carotene – A precursor of vitamin A {retinol} which is awesome for healthy skin, mucus membranes, the immune system, good eye health + vision.

2. Vitamin C – Also known as Ascorbic Acid, this vitamin is needed to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle, + blood vessels, assisting in the absorption of iron.

3. Vitamin E – Apart from strengthening the cardiovascular system, vitamin E has the ability to strengthen tissue +  act as an anti-inflammatory effect on skin disorders; assisting with redness and itchiness due to allergies.

4. Selenium – Found to have anti-cancerous properties, this antioxidant is also a preventive for inflammatory bowel disease, seizures, heart disease + rheumatoid arthritis {hip/joint issues}.

5. Alpha Lipoic Acid – Big on restoring numerous biological functions that diminish with age {very good for older dogs}. Especially beneficial in preventing cataracts.

6. Polyphenols – Antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties, help to improve heart health + contain anti-tumor and anti-carcinogenic properties,

These antioxidants can be found in fresh carrots, sweet potato, blueberries, pumpkin, kelp, ground flaxseed, yucca, cranberries, spinach, broccoli, apples, bananas + asparagus…the list can go on.  So, don’t be afraid to add some fruit + veggies to your dogs diet {FRUIT SALAD}. Eating these types of foods can not only keep your dog from getting sick, but they can help your dog look + feel GOOD!

Check out some pure dehydrated sweet potato for your dog at thaMUNCHbox.com, they taste superb {yes, i have tried them}!