Supertreats

title image

Bernese mountain dogs are gentle, majestic and intelligent, but sadly they get the short end of the stick when it comes to longevity.

To ensure that our dogs have the best chance of living their lives to their fullest potential, we supplement their diet with homemade super-treats that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. We created these treats to feed our dogs the appropriate amount of fruits and veggies consistently and easily, but also because they are a convenient way to add various supplement powders to their diet. These supertreats are a great addition to any diet, though, and especially helpful if you want to include powder supplements for allergies, joints/arthritis, skin/coat or just general health!

At A Glance

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read our disclosure here.

Whole Food Supplements

As outlined in our Raw Diet article, there are two main raw diets: The BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) and the PMR (Prey Model Raw) diet. The primary difference between these two diets is that the BARF diet includes 10% fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. We follow a BARF diet.

We blend a variety of whole “superfood” fruits and veggies with several supplement powders, which we pour into ice cube trays to freeze in bulk for enough frozen bite-sized treats to last a month or two. This recipe should last around 3 to 6 months for one dog. You can also scale down the recipe, but this amount is convenient because it utilizes the whole fruit/vegetable.

Have fun and experiment with what makes sense for your dogs! The mixture should be primarily veggies, as fruits have higher sugar levels. The recipe below is our go-to combo of Pumpkin, Papaya, and Purple Cabbage that packs a powerful antioxidant punch.

But first, some facts!

Papaya (Fruit)

  • High in vitamins C and A, and healthy antioxidants known as carotenoids (particularly lycopene) which reduce inflammation and lower the risk of several diseases including cancer.
  • Papaya has a substantial amount of soluble fiber that can aid digestion.
  • Papaya seeds help prevent worms and other infections.
      • Like green (unripened) papaya fruit, the seeds of papaya contain high levels of the enzyme papain, which can help eliminate parasites such as intestinal worms by dissolving their protective biofilm and fibrin.

      • Papaya seeds also contain a unique deworming alkaloid called carpaine that is effective at killing parasitic worms and amoebas.
      • The seeds also have a strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on the digestive system. Studies have shown an extract made from papaya seeds is effective at killing E coli, Salmonella, Staph and other dangerous bacteria.
  • Papaya seeds improve digestive health
      • The papain enzyme is found in papaya seeds and is one of the most powerful natural substances that break down undigested protein in the digestive tract. Many digestive supplements include Papain. It can prevent problems that arise from the buildup of toxic compounds which promote the growth of bad gut bacteria.
      • These digestive enzymes also help to improve and normalize intestinal ecology, making it less hospitable to worms and other parasites and harder for them to breed.
      • Precautions:
        • Papaya seeds should not be fed to puppies because they may be too powerful for young gastrointestinal tracts.
        • Not all seeds are edible! Some contain more cyanide or arsenic than others, so please do your research first.

Pumpkin (Vegetable)

*Technically a fruit, but it is also considered a vegetable because it is low in sugar

Miniature pumpkin isolated on white
  • Rich in vitamins A and C as well as minerals like iron, which can help boost the immune system.
  • Great source of insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to the stools and helps to keep the digestion system regular and healthy.
  • Contains antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, which protect cells against damage by free radicals and may lower the risk of cancer, eye diseases and other conditions.
  • Pumpkin is also one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds linked to lower risks of age-related vision loss and cataracts
  • Pumpkin seeds are edible, nutritious and linked to numerous health benefits.
      • Rich in iron, zinc, magnesium and many other nutrients.
      • Contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin E that reduce inflammation and may help protect against cancer.
      • Full of essential fatty acids that support a healthy urinary tract and can prevent kidney or bladder stones. Omega-3 fatty acids help improve the condition of the skin and coat.
      • Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of fiber, which improves and regulates digestion and is associated with many health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity

Purple Cabbage (Vegetable)

cabbage
  • Belongs to the Brassica group of plants, which includes some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale.
  • Loaded with anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting compounds that give purple cabbage its characteristic color. Antioxidant levels in purple cabbage are around 4.5 times the amount in green cabbage!
  • Purple cabbage offers the some of the highest levels of antioxidants per unit of cost. In other words, it’s one of the most economical superfoods!
  • Its antioxidants include vitamin C, carotenoids, anthocyanins, and kaempferol, and it is also a good source of sulforaphane, a sulfur-rich compound that may help against certain types of cancers.
  • Provides vitamins A, C, K, and B6.
  • Great source of fiber.
  • Boil it! Raw purple cabbage is spicy and our dogs don’t like it. The antioxidants in purple cabbage are also easier to absorb from a cooked state. Unfortunately, when cabbage is boiled, many of its valuable minerals and vitamins are lost in the water, so we save the purple water and use it as a base to which we add all the fruit and vegetables for blending. 

Recipe

Wash & Peel

1. Wash fruits & veggies. Peel the skin off the papaya and pumpkin using a potato peeler. Remove the outermost layer of the cabbage.

2. Fill pot with 3 liters of water and bring to boil.

Prepare the Cabbage

3. Chop cabbage roughly

chopped-cabbage

4. Fill pot with 3 liters of water and bring to boil.

5. Drop cabbage into boiling water and simmer (set temp to low) for 5 minutes

boiled-cabbage

6. Strain water into container and set aside for step #7

Prepare the pumpkin

6. Chop pumpkin roughly into pieces small enough to use in your blender or food processor.

chopped-pumpkin

7. Drop pumpkin into blender and add enough purple cabbage water to liquefy.

pumpkin-blender

8. Pour blended pumpkin into a large container and repeat with remaining pumpkin chunks.

9. Drop cabbage into blender and add enough cabbage water to liquefy.

10. Pour blended cabbage into the container filled with pumpkin puree.

Prepare the Papaya

11. Cut papaya in half

12. Scoop out seeds and set aside.

13. Chop papaya roughly. Liquefy papaya and seeds in blender using remaining cabbage water. The papaya seeds must be pulverized by the blender in order to be effective because their shells are tough.

blended-papaya

14. Pour blended papaya into container filled with pumpkin and cabbage puree.

Adding Supplements

If you wish, you can add any supplements at this point. That’s actually why we came up with these treats in the first place. When we first started feeding our dogs a raw diet, we consulted with our veterinarian to make sure we were not missing anything and he recommended Pure Synergy. This powder is awesome! It contains everything you could imagine — aquatic greens, grass juices, sprouts, fruits & vegetables, mushrooms, herbal extracts. 

We no longer use Pure Synergy because over time we selected what we believe are the most important ingredients and purchased them in bulk for economy. We currently use chlorella powder and spirulina powder along with immunity mushroom extract, curcumin extract, and licorice root powder which help with our dogs’ allergies

 

15. Mix your supplement powders in separate container. We use 1/2 cup spirulina, 1/2 cup blue-green algae, 60g of dried mushroom powder, 25g pure curcumin, 1 cup turmeric, 1/4 cup black pepper (to increase absorption of curcumin), and 60g of licorice root powder. 

16. Add supplement powder mixture to container with Pumpkin, Papaya, Cabbage puree and stir thoroughly.

17. Add fish oil. We give our dogs each one fish oil capsule daily (two for soshe – she’s a senior now) because capsules are higher quality, but we add about a cup of this salmon oil to the puree for the aroma and flavor. They really love the stuff!

18. Add Flaxseed (about 2 cups). Ideally you should pulse it in a blender to make it easier to digest and absorb. 

Prepare the treats!

18. Pour puree into ice cube trays and stack in freezer.

19. Pop your treats out and place in freezer bag. I find that a butter knife helps loosen the cubes faster. Feed one frozen supertreat daily.

20. Give all pots and utensils to your dog(s) to clean!

You’re done 🙂

What fruits and veggies do you feed your dogs? Comment below!

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Read our full disclosure here.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
trackback

[…] Supertreats […]