What's in your Garden?
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Thread: What's in your Garden?

  1. #1
    windycanyon's Avatar
    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultWhat's in your Garden?

    Does anyone here garden for their dogs? Yesterday, I was getting *my* garden prepped, and cut the 10' row of parsley for the girls. I turned around to catch Fuji eating the tender green asparagus heads! Hey, that was for ME! :'(

    Anyhow... does anyone have ideas of what to do w/ all the Flat Parsley--a full kitchen garbage bag full this cutting alone! I just planted it last year and don't remember it growing so darned fast. I threw most in the freezer in the past and chopped/crumbled it up over their food. Or toss some into the broth after boiling liver for treats, etc, and add that to their food.

    How much fresh parsley is too much to chop and give to the Labs? They'll eat ~1/4 cup a piece, no problem. I also give a green powder supplement w/ spirulina, nettle leaf, alfalfa, flax seed, pumpkin seed, garlic, kelp and such but otherwise feed Canidae.

    Other ideas of what to plant? I still want to buy some zucchini plants for the girls too, as they really like squash ground into a pesto type sauce w/ the parsley. Needs to be easy to grow as I will get sidetracked w/ heavy work season before too long. I planted tomatoes, various pepper species for myself as well as spinach, arugula and butter lettuce. Any suggestions are appreciated.

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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  3. #2
    jlab Guest

    DefaultRe: What's in your Garden?

    Although it's clear to me that plants are not a necessary part of a dog's regular diet, I think there may be some merit to plant's medicinal properties.

    For example, I've seen my labs eat grass to aid digestion or vomit something particularly upsetting to their stomach.

    I think it's interesting to observe the plants that dogs would eat when left to their own devices and the possible reasons for why they would eat these plants. Certainly there is no real nutritional value - a canine's digestive system is very short and not designed to break down cellulose walls. Even if the enzymes/nutrients are released from plant cells, a canine digestive tract cannot utilize them to any significant degree. Basically all these plants just quickly pass through a canine's digestive tract or vomited if eaten too much in too short a period.

    I wonder if the main reason that dogs would eat plants would be a cleansing of their digestive system. Plants like asparagus probably smells new and interesting to a dog so they probably think: "Why not try it?". As all of us who own labs know, dogs will eat just about anything. I'm guessing that asparagus probably is better tasting and has a more appealing texture than sticks or dirt so it's got to be a preferred recreational food.

    All the fresh herbs and veggies that you describe in your garden are making me hungry! These are all great for humans, since as omnivores we're designed to make use of the wonderful foods. They may make an excellent periodic digestive cleanse for dogs but not much beyond that.

    Where do you find the time to grow all these wonderful plants yourself? All the gardens I've ever had took loads of time to maintain. Do you have any tips for low maintenance veggie or herb gardens?

  4. #3
    Labnut is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: What's in your Garden?

    I think that parsley could be a diuretic, so, I wouldn't give more than 1/4 cup chopped for each doggie. I remember when we went raw a couple of years ago that this was a recommendation in one of the books. My Gus was sure that last fall the Apple tree was full of bug Red Kongs, just for him. He did a pretty funny dance. I have to regularly keep them out of the grapes and tomatoes late in summer.

    As for all your parsley, aside from some pestos (one with garlic called pistou that is really good on vege soup made from one of Jack Pepin's series on PBS), I'd hand it out to my neighbors!

    We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet: and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us.--M. Maeterlinck

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  6. #4
    windycanyon's Avatar
    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What's in your Garden?

    Quote Originally Posted by Labnut
    I think that parsley could be a diuretic, so, I wouldn't give more than 1/4 cup chopped for each doggie. I remember when we went raw a couple of years ago that this was a recommendation in one of the books. My Gus was sure that last fall the Apple tree was full of bug Red Kongs, just for him. He did a pretty funny dance. I have to regularly keep them out of the grapes and tomatoes late in summer.

    As for all your parsley, aside from some pestos (one with garlic called pistou that is really good on vege soup made from one of Jack Pepin's series on PBS), I'd hand it out to my neighbors!

    Ahh yes, I've already been handing some out! Have another stop at a Golden retriever friend's house tonite on the way to agility.

    Thanks on the info about it being a diuretic. I pulled this off a website:

    Parsley- is a storehouse of nutrients including vitamins A, B, C and E; potassium, iron, magnesium, chlorophyll, and organic sulfur. The flavonoids and volatile oil components of parsley help the body resist infection, neutralize some carcinogens and help stop the multiplication of tumor cells. Parsley assists the bladder, thyroid gland, kidneys, liver, and lungs. It cleanses the blood, stimulates the digestive system, maintains healthy skin, helps expel worms, and refreshes the breath. What a powerhouse leafy green plant this is!

    I also give a green antioxidant powder w/ alfalfa, kelp, spirulina, flax seed, pumpkin seed, etc. I DO think the greens help cut down on the grazing and dirt eating. It's helped mine and others! I don't feel I can overdo on the B vitamins especially They sure have energy to spare lately!


    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

  7. #5
    windycanyon's Avatar
    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What's in your Garden?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlab

    Where do you find the time to grow all these wonderful plants yourself? All the gardens I've ever had took loads of time to maintain. Do you have any tips for low maintenance veggie or herb gardens?

    You'd be surprised at how easy gardening CAN be if you put your mind to it. I've gotten a bit lazy, to be honest. I have a small garden strip, ~6' x 50' long up against one fence/property line. The asparagus is on the outside, where it gets the least amount of water-- C. WA is an arid region, btw, so irrigation is essential. I "Roundup" in the early spring anything that was planted to annuals, then use the "no till" method so don't disturb any more weed seeds than possible during planting, and have a soaker hose that I try to remember to turn on every now and then. :snore: My neighbor has a hay field on the other side of the fence (well, it looks like a cheat grass field right now!) that he waters... and the overspray catches my garden. That's probably the worst part is the weed seeds that can be introd thru the irrigation water we use. Before he replanted his field last year, I was relatively weed free since my soaker hose is well water, so I do expect more weeds this year. Anyhow, nothing fancy at all here! I do need to go get some fertilizer since I used all for my lawn (over an acre), though I'll be ordering bulk soon for my hay field after first cutting is off.

    Asparagus, tomatoes, green peppers, chili peppers, onions and garlic, etc do quite well w/this minimalist approach. I typically let my greens get away from me though!

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    kootenaydogs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What's in your Garden?

    I must say that there were very few things in my veggie garden that my two old labs, Sunny and Knight, wouldn't eat. And, they did a fine job of passing on that trait to my GSD, Tasha. Sunny especially was the ultimate "forager".

    They would eat raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and wild Saskatoon berries. They weren't too keen on the red currants--too tart, I guess.

    As for veggies, carrots were always a favourite. They'd also eat radishes (believe it or not, some dogs really like them). Sugar snap peas which can be eaten with the pod much like snow peas are good. Winter squash can be stored for a few months if they are cured properly and dogs like them cooked or baked. They'd also steal tomatoes. Sunny always checked them for ripeness. It took me a while to figure out why my tomatoes would have 4 holes in them until one day I saw Sunny grab one, give it a careful bite and then walk away--not quite ripe enough. She would also eat sweet peppers and zucchini right off the plant and I caught her munching on a cob of sweet corn which she managed to husk. She had it clamped between her paws like a peeled banana. But, be very careful if you have a corn thief. Poor Mr. Knight also stole a cob, but he didn't chew it up very well and ended up taking a trip to the vet and having surgery to remove part of a corn cob. Sunny even tried to eat beets after I had pulled up all of the carrots. She looked like she had a serious injury because her paws and muzzle were all red with beet juice. They'll even eat broccoli and cabbage.

    Melons of all kinds are also a big hit, but be aware that a dog with a keen nose will be able to tell when the melon is ripe before you will. I remember a few times when Sunny beat me to them.

    As was mentioned, unless the fruits and veggies are either juiced/pulverized or cooked, it's debatable whether or not a dog will get much nutrition from them. But as a low calorie treat, they are ideal.

    I should mention that just because my guys could eat these veggies and fruits without any ill effects, you dog(s) might not handle them as well. And, be careful what kind of garden chemicals you use. Even some sprays which are classified as organic can be harmful to a dog--so the fewer the better.

    Some pics:
    Knight teaching Tasha that Saskatoon berries are good:



    The "beasts" in the cabbage patch:





    Before anyone has a "fit", the dogs never touched the leeks growing beside the cabbage. And, take my word for it, but you do not want to have three big dogs in your living-room after they've been over-indulging in cabbage.

    As for a garden being a lot of work, I find that mulching with straw really helps to control weeds and reduces the need for water.
    Marianne
    Trip (LabX)
    Tasha (GSD)
    Sisko (Lab)

  9. #7
    jlab Guest

    DefaultRe: What's in your Garden?

    Quote Originally Posted by birdbrainz
    I don't feel I can overdo on the B vitamins especially They sure have energy to spare lately!
    The only reason I can think of that dogs would need any more B vitamins is a lack of meat in their diet. You don't have your labs on a vegetarian diet, do you? :surprise:

  10. #8
    windycanyon's Avatar
    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What's in your Garden?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlab
    Quote Originally Posted by birdbrainz
    I don't feel I can overdo on the B vitamins especially They sure have energy to spare lately!
    The only reason I can think of that dogs would need any more B vitamins is a lack of meat in their diet. You don't have your labs on a vegetarian diet, do you? :surprise:

    No, I feed Canidae. The reason for added B (and antioxidants) is Stress. We train and compete regularly. I trial nearly every weekend, which means long days with 150 mile travel each way. This weekend is agility with the 3 & 4 yo, but the last 2 were hunt tests with the 1.5 yo, and in 2 weeks, Obed and Rally with all of the above. Somewhere in there I need to fit in tracking w/ my 9 yo too. I also have a 13 yo, and feel the B's are very critical for aging dogs.

    I take B vits as well, same reason. LOL.

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    windycanyon's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: What's in your Garden?

    Quote Originally Posted by kootenaydogs
    I should mention that just because my guys could eat these veggies and fruits without any ill effects, you dog(s) might not handle them as well. And, be careful what kind of garden chemicals you use. Even some sprays which are classified as organic can be harmful to a dog--so the fewer the better.
    Agree. I work in the ag/fruit industry, and use VERY FEW chems on my own place. The ones I use are "soft" chems and only when absolutely needed. I agree on organic... believe me, if most people knew what was put on organic produce, they'd toss their cookies. :vomit:

    That said, because some of the fruit I test comes in well before harvest time, chemical residues can pose an issue so I have to be careful about disposing it so the dogs don't eat it. Otherwise, my girls probably get much better apples and pears (and peaches/nectarines at times) than most people ever get to eat! 8)

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    ObedienceLabs4Me is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What's in your Garden?

    Quote Originally Posted by kootenaydogs
    And, take my word for it, but you do not want to have three big dogs in your living-room after they've been over-indulging in cabbage.
    I bet! All my Labs have liked to eat fruits and veggies. Don't try to eat a banana or blueberries or apples! Geez! Friend of mine, when she was young and her parents were still farming, they always new when the blueberries were ripe cause their dog would go and help herself and come back to the house with a blue face! So, they do go on their own and get stuff.
    Susan
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    FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN

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