It seems everywhere I look lately there’s someone touting their cupcakes made for dogs! Bettie’s Cakes has their “puppie cuppies” that Uschi is quite a fan of. Sloppy Kisses has a wheat-and-corn free cupcakes that Yara can eat! Even Sprinkles has one! Given all the cupcakes I make it’s no wonder that one of the most frequent questions I get asked is about homemade dog treats even though it wasn’t until last year that I specifically made my own “pupcakes.”

Since Yara was first diagnosed with EPI I’ve had a few people call me out for being a “dog food snob.” I’m certainly not the last word on dog nutrition, but I have done more than my share of research and I’m certainly far more knowledgeable on the subject than I was before having a dog with digestive issues. Yet, while I’ve become quite the advocate for feeding raw, I couldn’t help but feel baking for a dog seemed like too much of a fad and I just couldn’t see the point. Granted my pet dogs all had more than their share of people food so making anything specifically for them would have been absurd. Dolly was always so distracted by food that such an effort would have been largely a waste since her allotment of treats was small and infrequent.

Anyway, since I first made them, I’ve had few things be requested more than those pupcakes. So, much to Uschi’s joy I made a huge batch:

"Pupcakes" in yellow liners topped with peanut butter sitting on a cooling rack

As you can imagine, Uschi was very pleased by this. Oh, and no, there was no specific reason they’re in yellow liners other than the fact that I seem to the most excess in that particular color.

AVMA Passes Raw Food Policy

As I feared, AVMA passed its policy advising against feeding raw.

I know that AVMA has a lot of policies that I’m not in agreement with and they certainly aren’t forbidding anyone from feeding raw, but I still am very wary of what impact this policy will have in the future. What bothers me the most is this paragraph that was taken out:

The AVMA recognizes that some people prefer to feed raw or undercooked animal-source protein to their pets. The AVMA recommends that veterinarians inform pet owners of potential risks and educate them on how to best mitigate the risk of pathogen exposure in both handling the food and in managing pets consuming undercooked or raw animal-source protein diets.

It’s wishy-washy at best so with or without the paragraph I’m not copacetic with the policy, but if I’m understanding it correctly without these few sentences it seems AVMA is more firmly on the side of not feeding raw. This takes away the acknowledgement that people can choose to feed raw even though AVMA discourages it. Mostly I am confused by the veterinarian bit because either way it seems ambiguous.

Frankly, it bothers me that so much stock is put into what a vet’s opinion is anyway. Nothing against any specific vets, but being a veterinarian does not make one an expert of pet nutrition. Of course, I’m not saying there aren’t vets knowledgeable on the subject. However, in my personal experience vets tend to push the food that just so happens to sponsor them rather like many doctors tend to suggest prescriptions they got as a free sample. In fact, I’ve had vets suggest foods that aren’t just subpar in my opinion, but were in fact unhealthy for my dogs. The whole thing gives me a headache.

Personally, I’m of the opinion that you need to do what works for your specific pet. Not every diet will work for every pet any more than every diet works for every human. My best advice is to do your own research and learn about what the healthy foods are and which are the foods you want to avoid.

Attention: Raw Feeders!

EDIT #5: The policy was passed.

Multiple posts in a single day is a rare thing around here, but I wanted to share this post, which details information regarding an upcoming vote by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine to create a new policy that will “discourage the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans.”

The article author urges all concerned parties to act on this and contact the AVMA. Her sample letter contains a lot of pertinent information about feeding raw and I urge everyone to please read it and then shoot off an email or letter to AVMA via the contact information she has provided.

Also, there’s a petition that you can sign.

Please share this with others! This potential policy could have extreme impact and it will only be through educating others and bringing awareness about raw pet food that we’ll get anywhere with this.

EDIT: AVMA’s post regarding the policy, including the official “exact document that will be considered.” My thoughts on this are that so far as I’m privy to information there were no outright claims that AVMA was working with pet food companies and/or setting any law precedents. The concern is that this decision itself will be the beginning of such things and that will certainly greatly impact raw feeders. Also, their “scientific studies” only show one element of fact and don’t quantify the risks other types of food present or the fact that raw pet food is no more or less a risk than handling raw human food.

EDIT #2: Dr. Amy Nesselrodt  has posted a letter to AVMA on Facebook. Also, I’ve now made this post a sticky and I’ll continue to update as I come across information.

EDIT #3: Susan Thixton has another post on Truth About Pet Food going into some further detail of the history of the raw food backlash and her theory on where AVMA’s proposed policy could lead.

EDIT #4: Dr. Karen Becker has posted a very thorough summary of the proposed policy.

Pup Cakes

With all the cupcakes being made around here of late it seemed fitting that Uschi get her own batch considering her birthday is coming up. Plus we’ll be at Jenn’s tomorrow and as she’s already covered dessert, I thought Tally might enjoy a treat. Behold:

Tray of oatmeal cupcakes topped with a swirl of peanut butter

This is basically an oatmeal muffin recipe that’s been slightly doctored to be more hearty and canine-friendly by substituting in unsweetened applesauce and peanut butter for some of the wet ingredients and sugar. Oh, and I threw in some mashed banana since I had some ripening for cookies I’m baking on Sunday and I know Tally loves bananas. The frosting is just peanut butter that I piped on.

They aren’t too bad, actually. Yes, I taste-tested one. Basically they’re just more bland (i.e., not very sweet) and are more dense than an actual muffin or cupcake. More importantly Uschi and Shadow, Cindy’s golden retriever, have both given their respective seals of approval by wolfing down one each.

Two Meals

Happy Pi Day! I’m hardly a math nerd, but the geekiness is hard to let slide. ^_^

Anyway, as of yesterday, Uschi is now fully transitioned onto Nature’s Variety Chicken Meal and I’m happy about this for a number of reasons.

For one, during most of the transition she’s had intermittent diarrhea, which is why the transition has taken over two months. She’s been doing much better towards the latter portion of the transitioning so I’m confident that she doesn’t have any issue with the kibble itself.

I’m also glad to see that she’s eating more regularly. Getting her onto a schedule has been something of a struggle between her disinterest in food and her own quirky habits. I can generally get her to eat breakfast with little issue, but dinner is often completely ignored. I think this might be chalked up to a “funky tummy” from switching foods because she’s been consistently eating both meals for the last week or so. I haven’t weighed her since our first trip to the vet’s, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s dropped a bit because of this. Though, I hardly think it’s anything as substantial as Yara’s dramatic loss. Either way, I expect she’ll pack it back on just fine if she continues this new trend.

And given the advent of nicer weather, I hope to get both of us out for more. So the increase in activity should certainly keep her appetite in check.