Squeezing the Juice - For Your Dog
The single factor that stands between me and glowing skin, a svelte figure and weekly juice cleanses is that my juicer is so bloody annoying to clean. Honestly. I love fresh vegetable juice. It makes me feel like I’ve just had ten coffees and done a yoga retreat. It’s probably mostly psychological, but I love it nonetheless. I used to really struggle with the amount of waste it produced and as much as I told myself I would make dehydrated vegetable pulp crackers, we both know that never happened. Although I did once make raw carrot cakes and they were delicious. But now that I have a dog-come-garbage disposal, I no longer have this issue.
Raw vegetable pulp from my juicer is my absolute favourite way to feed plant matter to my dog. It ticks all my boxes: it’s raw, it’s processed in a way that means he obtains maximum nutrient benefits from it, it’s low in sugar, he gets a variety of different nutrients from different sources, it utilises waste and of course he loves it.
I’ve discussed it many times previously (like here + here) but dogs don’t produce the necessary enzymes to effectively digest plant matter, because it is not a food they are designed to digest. This is the number one issue with processed pet foods. There are many, but being biologically inappropriate is definitely up near the top. They also have the ability to synthesise vitamins C + K, so theoretically they don’t have a lot of need for things like carrots and leafy greens, especially if they are eating a varied, species appropriate diet.
But this is reality and times they are a changin’. Realistically, the way we go about agricultural farming nowadays, what we feed our livestock, the nutrient depletion of our soil, the environmental toxin load of our daily lives – all of these things impact our pets and their ability to heal themselves from the inside. This is a major factor in why I advocate for the addition of whole food supplements in a homemade canine diet, and vegetables are one of the most easily accessible, nutritious and well tolerated choices. They improve digestion, boost the immune system and fill nutrient gaps that are commonly present in a homemade diet.
Now I know you’re probably thinking that vegetable juice pulp is just what’s left over after I’ve extracted all of the nutrients for myself, but bear with me. Generally I will set aside some of the juice to recombine with the pulp so my dog is also getting some of the concentrated nutrients, but reducing the amount of juice he receives allows me to manage his sugar intake. I also often mix this juice + pulp into another nutritious food he loves, like unsweetened probiotic yogurt, a whole organic egg, or a serving of homemade bone broth. This turns the humble vegetable juice pulp into a veritable doggie multivitamin.
My favourite juice recipe for both of us is as follows (give or take):
4 stalks of celery
a good knob of ginger
Finish with squeeze of lemon juice