Sunday, August 10, 2014

An easy, less expensive, grain free, hypoallergenic pill pocket substitute.

I have a dog that is seriously allergic to everything on the planet. I've never had a dog with allergies like hers before, so this has been a lesson that I could write a freaking book on. No kidding.

I think she's also allergic to grass, so that doesn't help. How do you keep a dog off of the grass? Well the simple answer is YOU FREAKING CAN'T!!!

That said, the one thing that plagued me more than anything was an affordable substitute to Greenie's Duck and Pea Pill Pockets. The problem is the cost. If I had a small dog who took an itty bitty pill, that would be one thing, but that's not the case. We have a dog that has hypothyroidism and has to take a pill twice a day. There's another dog with a disc problem so she has to take 4 pills three times a day. Then there's my allergy dog that has to take 4 pills twice a day, or sometimes more. Finally for a while, our other dog had to take 12 pills a day for a treatment she had to go through. One dog is 110 lbs., two are 60 lbs and one is 40 lbs, so none are really all that small.

Jiminy Christmas! All in all, at present, there are 22 pills for all of our dogs every single day of our lives. Sometimes more than that. Do you know how many pill pockets we were going through?! Granted, some pills were smaller than others and you could even use half of a whole pill pocket, and you could sometimes stuff several pills into one pill pocket, but in the end, there were at minimum 8 a day. That doesn't go very far.

I simply had to come up with a better and cheaper option. I searched the web far and wide for a recipe. The sad part was that there simply, at the time of this writing, wasn't one that didn't contain at least one (or more) allergens.

I posted this over at ask.metafilter. I absolutely LOVE that site. It beats wiki answers and Yahoo twelve times over.

Oh joy! Sorry to interrupt, but I just got a phone call from my daughter who just informed me that the vet increased the disc dog's medicine to an additional 2 pills twice a day! Good googly goo! How appropriate that she would call while I'm writing this.

Back to what I was saying. You basically get crap answers at Yahoo and Wiki. Then Amazon has crap answers too. Check this one out to see what I mean, and at the time I'm writing this, the ONLY answer I got was from Michelle L Baca. That was a total waste of my time to even read her answer. Why do people do that crap? It's simply rude.

Anyway, so if you went to the ask.meta site and read it, you probably know my answer already. I did manage to put together a recipe. I didn't measure anything, per say, but I just slapped it together. Here's my recipe:

Magnolia's Grain-free Hypoallergenic Pill Pockets

1 (2.5-oz) jar (probably about 1/4 cup) of turkey and broth baby food (NOT the ones with gravy and no broth at all would be even better, it's just that when I went shopping, that's all that they had)
1 (4-oz) container (probably about a 1/2 cup) of unsweetened applesauce, minus 1 tsp (see below)
1-2 tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional, but it's a great natural breath freshener for dogs; note that many quality commercial dog foods use parsley for that reason)
potato flakes, enough to form a doughy like ball

  1. Combine turkey, most of the unsweetened applesauce (I couldn't resist a big teaspoon for me, so minus 1 tsp) and parsley.
  2. Mix in potato flakes slowly until you can make a doughy ball. I'm bad at judgement guessing, so it's useless to try to tell you how much.
  3. It will never be as doughy as a recipe using flour. It's going to be wet, kind of grainy and a bit crumbly. However the consistency is, it will still wrap just fine around pills so long as you can form it into a ball.
  4. Pack it up into a large ball, wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a week; you can freeze this well too.
  5. To use it, just pinch off enough for your pill(s).
Now our dogs do not give a rat's bottom whether or not it's cold. They just begin to salivate now as soon as they hear "are you ready for your medicine?" They absolutely LOVE it. It also comes out of the yummy refrigerator where the humans have yummy things pop out every time it opens.

This was just a test to see if it worked. It did and it works well. The biggest test was using tramadol. That's often the one that dogs hate taking most, even with regular pill pockets. They all took this just fine, thank you very much.

Now that I have seen how well it worked, in the future, I'll puree my own turkey meat and apples (MUST be cored because apple seeds are toxic to dogs). I found this recipe for homemade potato flakes. I'd LOVE to make my own, but I don't know if the recipe will actually work or not. Even better may be sweet potatoes, which I'm sure will work for the recipe as well. Then throw in the chopped parsley. I can make several balls at once and freeze what's not presently being used.

So there you have it! A cheaper but safe, natural, nutritional and hypoallergenic alternative to expensive pill pockets. If you try it, please let me know how they worked for you.


1 comment:

Sandi said...

Thanks for posting this. Im going to try for my dog who is on many supplements and herbs for cancer, as well as grain free diet. Do you think coconut flour might be good substitute for potato flakes? we are avoiding carbs as well.