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Starting the Day

If longevity studies are on the mark showing that sixty percent of men and seventy-two percent of women who ate breakfasts every day lived longer, those same results should hold true for the dog of the family. A good, hearty start-the-day meal provides protein for day-long stamina and mental alertness, and nutrient-dense carbohydrates for energy, with a small amount of fat and fiber rounding off the menu.

Doggie Oatmeal

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup of chopped apricots, cranberries, blueberries, either separately or mixed together
  • 1 cup rolled oats (purchase the good, old-fashioned, steel-cut variety)
  • 1/4 cup chopped sunflower seeds and sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and soy nuts.

In a 1-quart sauce pan, bring the water to boil and add oats gradually, stirring. Reduce heat and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Ladle into a bowl and top with seeds, nuts, and fruits. You can serve with a tablespoon of plain, unflavored, live-cultured yogurt or 1/4 cup of soy or rice milk. This recipe makes more than is needed for one breakfast meal. Refrigerate or freeze uneaten oatmeal in single-portion containers. Warm for a quick breakfast on another day. This oatmeal mix is a general good meal with added ingredients for some medicinal factors as well. Essential fatty acids, vitamins C and E and the bioflavonoids from the fruit boost the immune system. Fruit carotenes provide artery and vein health. Mono-unsaturated oils from the nuts and seeds are used by joints and skin. The combined mineral content in the recipe are used by bones and teeth, nerve and muscle stimulation, slow wound healing if needed, and for blood clotting. This is a extraordinarily good meal for an older dog or one who has heart or circulation problems, a weakened immune system from a chronic illness, an auto-immune disease, high blood pressure or has had a stroke. The total ingredients can help slow down aging

This is an excellent recipe for a dog with a wheat allergy since buckwheat is not wheat at all, but a member of the rhubarb family. Buckwheat contains more high quality protein than wheat. It is a good source of Vitamins B and E, and rutin. Oat bran supplies the whole family of B's, calcium, and lysine the amino acid particularly effective in treating any herpes virus. Oat bran slows down the speed of food as it travels through the intestinal tract, allowing for better absorption along with pulling out of fats from the bloodstream. The fiber contained in buckwheat and oat bran reduces the build-up of toxins in the intestines. Zucchini, citrus, and apples are sources of flavonoids that provide for artery strength, eye health, and heart health.

Doggie Granola

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 cups uncooked rolled oats
  • ½ cup each of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, soy nuts or flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup each of wheat bran and oat bran
  • ½ cup chopped nuts

Preheat over to 250 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Pour water from the raisins over the oat mixture and mix to moisten. Spread the whole mixture on two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes. Add the raising, turn off the heat, and let sit in the oven for another 15 minutes until dry. If it isn't leave it in the oven a little longer with the heat on very low. Remove and let cool. Store in tightly lidded containers in the refrigerator or freezer.

When serving, you can add yogurt, cottage cheese, chopped fruits, dried or fresh. Wheat bran is high in fiber and provides such minerals as potassium, manganese, iron, calcium, and the B family of vitamins. Because wheat bran absorbs fluid in the GI tract, it is best to add it to the recipe in small increments and on a gradual basis to prevent diarrhea. Oat bran is similar to wheat bran with the added benefit of reducing any cholesterol problem. Seeds and nuts are great complex carbohydrates, rich in essential vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and essential amino acids. This recipe contains good sources of protein, Vitamins E and B, EFA's and EAA's and plenty of fiber. During the summer add such fresh fruit as berries and cut up melon, and in the fall add apple and pear slices. The fruit will enrich the mix with Vitamin C, biofavonoids and carotenes.


Congee is an Anglo-Indian word which means rice gruel or porridge. It is essentially a thin, rice soup. This simple food with unlimited variations, additions, adaptions, is easy to digest and the nutrients absorbed. Depending on what is cooked with the congee, it can have many medicinal applications. If your dog is ill, is recovering from an illness, or is in poor health, a congee recipe is a great tool for rehabilitation.

A congee can be made from any whole grain: rice, millet, barley, or wheat. The basic idea is to cook the ingredients over hours; the longer the congee cooks the more therapeutic it becomes and the more easily digested.

  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Put the rice in a pot and rinse it under cold running water to remove any residue. Drain in a colander. Put the rice and water in a heavy sauce pan, bring the water to a boil over high heat, uncovered. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for an hour. Stir occasionally,


  • Carrots cut, diced, or shredded and lightly cooked - a vitamin and flavonoid source
  • Ginger, thin sliced to heat the body, settle nausea, cure diarrhea, vomiting, and general indigestion
  • Pear with a little honey to cook the patient and bring down a fever
  • Mushroom congee of the enokui, shiitake, maitake, kind to boost the immune system

Congees can also be offered with milk and honey, chopped jujube or Chinese dates. For an ideal convalescent food add such tonic herbs as

  • 1 teaspoon ground Disocorea root
  • 1 teaspoon ground Codonopsis root
  • ½ teaspoon ground American, Korean, Russian, or Chinese Ginseng
  • 1/8 teaspoons each of ground cardomon, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves
  • If lack of appetite is a problem give 1 dropper full of Astragalus, he shou wu, and Ginseng herbs

Turkey Congee with Barley

This variation is recommended for a dog recovering from an illness but with a good appetite. 1 ½ pounds of turkey bones and parts

  • ½ cup water
  • 3 slices fresh ginger, cut from the root about the thickness of a coin and smashed lightly
  • 1 pound turkey meat trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup whole grain barley rinsed and drained (whole barley is more nutritious than pearl type)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery with ends trimmed and diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Put the first three ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour and remove the ginger. Add the turkey and barley to the stock and continue cooking over low heat for about 45 to 60 minutes. Then add carrots and celery and cook for another 30 minutes. Remove bones, skim the surface for any impurities, cool and serve.

When the congee is almost cooked, you can add herbal combinations such as a handful of small tendril rootlets of white ginseng root and 10 long thin slices of licorice root. The herbs are allowed to cook with the mix and removed an discarded before serving. Ginseng is a major energy builder, and licorice helps boost the adrenal glands which handle trauma and shock of an illness.

Another frequently used herb is Astragalus. Five or six pieces of root added to the stock toward the end of the cooking - about 20 minutes - boosts the immune system and if used daily heals post surgical trauma and wounds. Be sure to remove all cooked roots before serving, If the herbs in raw form are difficult to procure, the powder or tincture form are good substitutes. Equivalency in powder form is 1/4 to ½ teaspoon ginseng and licorice depending on the size of the dog. In liquid form ½ to one dropper full is sufficient.

Salmon Burgers

  • 2 cups or about 1 pound uncooked salmon. Salmon has to be ground. First remove the skin and
  • any bones from any fillets or steaks, then grind in a meat grinder or a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  • 1 cup cooked wild rice
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil

Mix together the ground salmon, wild rice, bread crumbs. Shape the mixture into patties. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook the burgers until highly browned. Turn them over with a spatula and continue cooking until cooked through. The burgers can be served with live culture, unflavored yogurt and a vegetable side dish. Salmon ranks neat the top in its Omega-3 fatty acid content. It is excellent protein and the rice is a great source of B vitamins.

Adding greens to your dog's diet provides additional nutrients. It is easy to grow greens in your home. In the late spring and through summer and fall, you can buy greens but is becomes difficult to buy good, organic young greens in the winter. This is the time to think of an indoor garden. You can start small pots on a windowsill in your kitchen. Plant a few seeds of each vegetables in every pot. As the early leaves emerge throughout the season, you can feed them to your dog. Start the seedling in organic soil. Purchase seed packets that have been left over from the summer. These are usually less expensive but sill have good growth potential. Plantings are chosen for their dark green color. If you have introduced greens to your dog in the summer, you may have an idea which plants are his favorites. Dogs can eat collards, mustard greens, beet greens, turnip greens and spinach.

Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts

  • 8 ounces of small broccoli florets
  • 6 ounces of small Brussels Sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 4 ounces almonds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium size piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into strips

Steam the broccoli florets and Brussels sprouts for about 5 minutes so that they remain fairly crisp. Set aside, Mix the honey, soy sauce, and lemon or lime juice together. Set aside, Heat a wok and dry-fry the almonds for 1 minutes, then remove from the wok and set aside. Heat the oil in the wok, add the ginger and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add the sauce and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the steamed vegetables and toss. Add the almonds and serve.

These vegetables are rich in vitamin A and C which preserve the integrity of capillaries, arteries and veins. Fresh ginger, lime or lemon juice and honey strengthen the cardiovascular system.

A Menu for Joints, and Muscluloskeletal System

One of the most prevalent problematic conditions dogs can suffer with is joint changes. Nutrition is important in treatment of this condition. The repair of tissue requires a starting point or a matrix to grow on. Cooking can slow down the progression of joint degeneration and renew strength and mobility. Stews and soups are an excellent starting place. You can cook large batches ahead and since they freeze well, serve them all through the week with variations. All can be made with root vegetables; stock made from bones are a good starting point. Cook the bones in water over very low heat for an hour with one tablespoon vinegar which draws out the minerals. Then discard the bones and you're ready to start. To keep it vegetarian saute the vegetables right in the pot, then add the water. Cover the pot to bring the liquid to a quick boil then lower the heat and cook partially uncovered. You will get minimal evaporation and no spillovers. Cook ingredients at a steady simmer. (There will be small bubbles on the surface) You may take a short cut by using vegetable bouillon cubes as a substitute. Look for no or low salt content.

A Basic Vegetable Stock (which be added to):

  • 1 leek, greens included, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, slightly chopped
  • 1 zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chopped Swiss chard
  • 8 cups of water.

Place all the ingredients in a large pot or stockpot and bring to a boil uncovered. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes and taste occasionally. When the flavor develops, remove from heat, strain, and cool You can alter the stock with

  • 1 celery stock, roughly cut
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and roughly cut
  • 1/2-inch piece of ginger sliced into sections
  • 1 tablespoon of shoyu
  • With the vegetable stock made you can go on to making the actual soup
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 to 2 pounds approx. Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium parsnip peeled and cubed
  • 7 cups of stock
  • 1 inch cube of peeled ginger (optional)

Warm 1 tablespoon of oil in large pot, add the squash, sweet potato, parsnips, stock and a bay leaf if you wish. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for about 20-30 minutes. While the soup I simmering, puree ginger in a food processor Warm the remaining 3 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and ginger. Add the mixture to the soup when the vegetables are cooked. Discard the bay leaf before serving.

Sloppy Joe

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup of beef bone broth, made from above recipe

Mix all the ingredients except for the broth and place in a frying pan. Cover over medium heat until meat is cooked through. Drain off the fat and add the beef broth, simmer for 10 minutes, cool and serve over noodles or other grains.

For supplies and further information consult Marie Cargill.


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Marie Cargill - Holistic Medicine for People and Pets.