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Creating a Balanced Immune System for your Pet

creating a balanced immune system for your pet

The immune system is “the great protector.” A balanced immune system protects against a specific disease by inoculation or because of innate or acquired resistance.

The immune system protects the body from pathogens and other foreign substances. It also destroys infected cells.

Why is a Balanced Immune System Important?

The immune system’s job is to respond to infections.

Recent studies show that an animal’s emotions have a tremendous effect on immunity, both positive and negative. Environmental influences including noises, odors, light patterns, and pollutants can also dramatically affect the immune system.

The goal of a holistic approach is to integrate all of the components of the immune system to bring them back into balance.

Balance is very important, because an imbalance in either direction –the immune system is underactive or overactive – can ultimately lead to disease in the body.

Immune System Disruptors

There are many ways immune function can become unbalanced.

Diseases can directly attack the cells of the immune system or they can slowly invade parts of the immune system, decreasing its effectiveness.

Stress can overwhelm the ability of the immune system to respond, which makes your pet more susceptible to disease.

Antibiotics can assist the immune system by killing off bacteria. But they also destroy the protective friendly bacteria that live in an animal’s gut, on the skin, and in other areas of the body.

Maintaining Your Pet’s Immune Health

A healthy immune system is a balanced immune system, and there are several things you can do to maintain your pet’s immune health.

1.  Encourage Your Dog’s Innate Love for Play

Exercise can benefit for your pet’s immune system. When you keep your dog fit it can boost immune health and promote overall well-being.

When your pet works their muscles, it helps to cleanse their body of toxins.

2.  Feed Your Dog the Right Foods

Your dog’s diet is extremely important for good immune health. The gut contains about 70 percent of your immune system.

3.  Harness the Healing Power of Dog Massage

Touch and massage can be beneficial because it promotes relaxation, healing, and emotional health and therefore, your pet’s immune health.

4.  Consider Certain Supplements for Your Pet

To increase the effectiveness of the immune system, you may consider supplementing probiotics because they introduce beneficial microorganisms into the digestive tract. Healthy gut flora promotes improved gut immunity, which has shown to promote improved internal immunity.

5.  Keep your dog at their ideal weight

An appropriate diet will help manage inflammatory responses, which improves your pet’s immune function.

The more antioxidants they receive the better. This is impossible to do if you’re feeding an entirely processed diet in the form of dry or canned pet food.

Animals have very high antioxidant requirements. You can either provide a synthetic vitamin and mineral supplement like pet food manufacturers do it, or you can provide whole food nutrition.

To be vibrantly healthy, animals need lots of unprocessed fresh foods to meet their antioxidant requirements. These include vitamin A, all the B vitamins, vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, and vitamin D. Fresh meats and organs, herbs, and organic, non-genetically modified (GM) vegetables are excellent natural sources of the vitamins and antioxidants your pet needs for a balanced, healthy immune system.

6.  Reduce the amount of toxins and chemicals your pet encounters

Reducing the amount of chemicals on and around your pet is important for maintaining a good immunity.

Offering chlorine-free water is very important, as is toxin-free air.

Holistic veterinarians advocate the importance of balanced immune systems. They have many tools to help re-balance an under-active or overactive immune system. We hope this article has helped you find ways to create a balanced immune system for your pet.

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6 Common Health Problems Your Dog May Be Suffering From

6 Common Health Problems Your Dog May Be Suffering From

Health Problems Your Dog May Be Suffering From

Your dog may be happy and energetic, but does that mean they are free of health problems? Just like humans, they can have a variety of health issues. Some are more common than others, but here are some of the common health problems your dog might be suffering from.

Ear Infection

Just like humans, ear infections can happen for a variety of reasons. Be it allergies or ear mites or bacteria, they suffer just the same. Some signs they might be suffering from an ear infection are:

  • Head shaking or tilting
  • Strange back-and-forth eye movements
  • Redness in the ear canal
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
  • Ear odor
  • Inability to remain balanced
  • Outer portion of the ear swelling
  • Vigorous scratching

If you suspect your dog has an ear infection, take them to a veterinarian right away.


Just like ear infection, vomiting can be caused by a variety of reasons. Intestinal parasites, kidney failure, poisoning, or heatstroke are only some of them. If your dog is suffering symptoms of vomiting – including heaving in their abdominal region, repeated vomiting, inability to hold down liquids, or lethargy, contact your veterinarian immediately. Otherwise, they are at risk of live-threatening dehydration.


Diarrhea can be caused by stress, infections, or food issues, among many other options. If you suspect your dog has diarrhea, look for their stool to be loose, watery, or a liquid. Like vomiting, this can lead to dehydration. Make sure your dog has plenty of clean water and take them to the vet if their diarrhea lasts more than one day. If they have a fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, or dark or bloody stools, take them to their vet immediately.

Eye infection

If your dog is showing discomfort, redness, or a sensitivity to light, they might have an eye infection. Eye infections can also have a variety of underlying reasons, such as pink eye or red eye, an inflammation in their cornea or another interior portion of their eye, or an anomaly in their tear glands or their eyelids. Symptoms your dog might have an eye infection are

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Watery/thick/smelly discharge
  • Squinting
  • Blinking
  • Holding their eye closed
  • Light sensitivity
  • Pawing of the eye

It is important to take them to their vet, as they can identify and provide a solution to help your dog. To help prevent an eye infection, considering closing the window to your car when you drive – this can allow foreign elements to hit their eye, and keep the hair around their eyes trimmed and the rest of their face clean.

Bladder infection

Pets who look like they are trying to go, even when there is little pee available, are likely to have a bladder infection. If your pet is passing little to no potentially blood-tinged pee, or they are having accidents in the house, they might be suffering from a bladder infection. In certain cases, they might not be able to pee at all. If this is the case, take them to a vet right away.


Like humans, dogs can suffer from joint-paint and arthritis. The symptoms your dog has arthritis will be subtle – as if they are limping or giving any outward signs of pain it could be a sign of long-term degeneration. The subtler symptoms include weight gain, less interest in playing, changes in attitude, or they begin to sleep more. If they are cautious when climbing stairs or not as excited when greeting you from returning home, these can also be signs of arthritis.

If you suspect your dog has arthritis, take them to see a vet and discuss options for medications – but do not under any circumstances give them medications intended for humans, including Ibuprofen. To help relieve your dog’s arthritis symptoms, try to help keep your dog at a reasonable weight and get them a soft and comfortable surface they can sleep on instead of hardwood, tile, or a doghouse.

To improve your dog’s immune system try Max-Immune Forte™.  A specially formulated powder that contains five important immune-supporting ingredients.  The fact is, intestinal flora imbalance is a major underlying cause of veterinarian visits. Complications such as persistent diarrhea, vomiting and constipation are stressful for both pets and owners. Dietary changes, exposure to environmental stressors, a less than optimal diet, or ingestion of found substances can all contribute to gut issues in animals, leading to further reduction of health and immune function.


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Holistic Pet Care the Natural Option

holistic pet care therapies

Holistic Pet Care Therapies

Holistic pet care therapies can work well for pet parents seeking more natural and effective means for the overall health and wellness of their pet. By blending conventional medicine and holistic medicine, if offers pets customized care. This way healing can be focused on the individual pet rather than a standardized approach to treating an ailment.

Holistic pet care therapies may include:

  • Veterinary acupuncture
  • Herbal remedies
  • Homeopathy
  • Nutritional counseling and targeted supplements

The benefits of these holistic pet care for dogs and cats can include:

  • Reducing or eliminating side effects from regular medications.
  • Improving mobility and pain management for older pets
  • Addressing chronic diseases and health issues through improved healing, and strengthening of the immune system
  • Reducing healthcare costs over the life of your pet

Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine that can be applied to pets by promoting the body to heal itself naturally. Acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin where nerve bundles and blood vessels are located, called energy points that improve blood circulation, oxygen, nerve stimulation, and releasing hormones to help with inflammation and pain.

As part of an integrative approach to pet care, holistic pet care can complement conventional medicine. Herbal therapy combined with veterinary medicine has a long history of effective and safe treatment for many conditions and illnesses including: allergies, digestive issues, heart disease, and pain management.

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10 Signs Your Dog May Be Sick

Holistic pet care therapies

Your pets can’t tell you when they are sick or hurting. Here are some signs and symptoms that your dog may be sick.  By watching for these signs and symptoms you can help keep your dogs as healthy as possible.

Excessive drinking or Urination

Excess drinking is frequently a sign that your dog is sick and losing water at an unhealthy rate. Polydipsia, or extreme thirst can be an early indicator of several serious illnesses. In addition to excessive thirst, your dog may also experience an increased appetite, hair loss along the back, and increased panting. Contact your vet for a diagnosis if you notice any combination of these symptoms.

Bad Breath or Drooling

Bad breath is a result of bacteria in your dog’s mouth, lungs or gut. Persistent bad breath can indicate that your dog needs dental care of that something is wrong with the gastrointestinal tract, liver or Kidneys. This is something to investigate with your vet.

Cloudy eyes or discoloration

Red eyes in dogs often indicate a negative reaction or allergy. Red eyes may also be the result of a tear or injury to the eyelid or tissue. If your dog has cloudy or bluish-gray eyes it can be a sign of cataracts or nuclear sclerosis, a normal change in aging eyes.


Many dogs can’t vocalize their pain until someone tries to touch them. If your sweet pup suddenly growls when people approach, he may be protecting a painful body part or injury. Seek veterinary care if your dog develops a sudden grumpy growling disposition.


Frequent coughing in dogs can be an early sign of lung disease, heartworms, or other heart diseases. A hacking cough is a common symptom of kennel cough. As the name suggests, kennel cough is most often contracted from other dogs in crowded areas like dog parks and daycare facilities.

For most dogs, symptoms of kennel cough typically go away within two weeks. Puppies with kennel cough, however, may be at risk of contracting pneumonia. Furthermore, kennel cough and other respiratory problems are often more severe for dog breeds with flat faces, such as boxers, bulldogs, and Boston terriers.

Appetite change

When your dog won’t eat it is called anorexia. This is a complete loss of appetite in dogs. Even though most dogs can go a few days with out eating, it is better to address the problem as early as possible. This can be a sign of cancer, infections, pain, liver problems and kidney failure.

Dry, itchy skin

Dry and itchy skin is often a sign of allergies to a food in their diet. Dry skin may also indicate a flea allergy or atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis can affect dogs of any age and is often accompanied by recurring ear infections.

Sores or skin ulcers

Sores or skin ulcers can be a sign of a food allergy or other nutritional issues. Severe and widespread sores may be the result of a fungal or bacterial infection, autoimmune disorder, congenital disorders, and parasites. If the top layer of your dog’s skin has been compromised, it may result in skin lesions and ulcers that affect the deeper layers.

Hair loss

The most frequent cause of hair loss are pesky ticks and fleas, but it could also be a sign of a more serious illness. Like dry skin, hair loss can indicate food allergies, and is often accompanied by redness and hot spots. Hair loss in dogs may also be a sign of a hormone imbalance like thyroid disorders, pituitary dwarfism, and adrenal gland deficiency.

Stiffness or arthritis

If your dog has difficulty when walking or getting up and down, it may be an early sign of arthritis, disc disease, ruptured ligaments, or hip dysplasia, which causes the hip joint to develop abnormally.

Though arthritis and stiffness are often signs of aging, there are many tools and practices to improve your dog’s quality of life in their golden years. If you notice stiffness as a sign that your dog is sick, contact your vet to discuss options to preserve their mobility for as long as possible.

Help keep your dogs as healthy as possible. Remember, your dog can’t describe their symptoms to you. By being aware of the signs and symptoms of diseases in dogs, you can help reduce the risk of being affected by them. If your 4-legged friend shows symptoms of being ill, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

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10 DIY Homemade Natural Dog Food Recipes

damn delicious DIY homemade dog food

Do you cook for your dogs? Many people have gotten started when one of their dogs gets sick and has tummy problems or medical reasons that they need homemade dog food.  But there is something amazing about sharing homemade yumminess with your most loyal companions.

It’s important to note that dogs have different nutrient requirements than humans for their proportional body size, such as:

  1. High-quality protein (meat, seafood, dairy or eggs)
  2. Fat (meat or oil)
  3. Carbohydrates (grains or vegetables)
  4. Calcium (dairy)
  5. Essential fatty acids (egg yolks or oatmeal)

DIY Homemade Dog Food by Damn Delicious

Found here:

damn delicious DIY homemade dog food

Photo by

It’s healthy, easy to make and inexpensive. This is also the perfect meal to make in large batches and then freeze as single servings you can thaw for days and days!



  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen



  1. In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks.
  3. Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely.

Scooby’s Stew

This doggie style stew was created by Happy and Yummy


Photo by

Michelle knew she wanted to create something she could whip up once a week and serve all week and settled on a stew that that only takes about 15 minutes of prep and then 5-8 hours in a slow cooker. She says it stays fresh in the fridge for a couple of days and thaws beautifully while she makes human food the other nights of the week.


  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped


  • Place ingredients in slow cooker in order listed, covering chicken completely with vegetables
  • Cook 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low
  • Remove from slow cooker, shred chicken and stir into rice and veggie mixture until evenly distributed.
  • Store covered in fridge for up to three days or freeze in single-serve portions

Beef & Veggie Crockpot Creation by Damn Delicious

easy and delicious crockpot homemade dog food

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This recipe is similar to the previous recipe by Damn Delicious, but these veggies will hold up a little better in the slow cooker.  It’s easy, it’s healthy, it’s nutritious, and you know exactly what’s going into your pup’s bowl. This recipe is also completely customizable to veggies that you have on hand – just be sure to double check what your pup can and can’t eat.


  • 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup peas, frozen or canned



  1. Stir in ground beef, brown rice, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots, peas and 4 cups water into a 6-qt slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, stirring as needed.
  3. Let cool completely.

Turkey & Veggie Mash

Created by the Skinny Ms.

Photo by


This recipe is made with 100% natural ingredients and the lean, ground turkey and nutrient rich veggies are sure to be a hit with your pup. The addition of Safflower oil is added to help give shine to your dog’s coat and provide needed fats for a healthy diet. It’s important to remember that when you consult your vet about making your own meals for your dog, that you ask about supplements that might work well for them as well, and anything else you might provide to be sure they’re receiving all the nutrients they need! This can differ a lot from dog to dog.


  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons raw turkey or chicken liver, finely diced or pureed
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup broccoli florets


  • Add 1 1/2 cups water to a double boiler, place carrots in a steam basket over the pot and cover. Heat until boiling, reduce heat to a low boil and steam until carrots start to get tender, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, add the turkey and liver to a large skillet and cook on medium-high heat until done and there’s no more pink color. Drain off any fat and discard.
  • Add broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini, and continue steaming until all vegetables are tender, but not mushy, about 6-8 minutes. Allow vegetables to cool slightly then either chop in a food processor use a knife. The size of the vegetables will depend on the consistency preferred. We usually pulse about three times in the food processor and get the vegetables to a finely chopped consistency, similar to canned dog food.
  • Add chopped vegetables to the turkey and liver, stir to combine. Add the olive oil and toss to combine with the turkey & veggie mixture. Allow to cool before dividing into freezer safe containers.

Homemade Meatballs for your Dog

Created by Sumika from the Mrs. Pacman Blog

HomeMade Meatballs for your furr babies

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Sumika created this recipe for her pup Maru, who had grown tired of her usual dry food diet.  She tried switching her to a wet food diet, but her pup had difficulty licking her mushy wet food which is where she came up with the Meatballs. This recipe is good for the use of pumpkin which is a stool softener for senior dogs and oat bran which is fiber to help with a healthy digestive system.


  • 10 lbs ground beef (lean)
  • 3 slices of bread, cubed small
  • 2 cups of oat bran
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cans pumpkin puree
  • Some salt
  • 4 carrots, boiled/steamed and mashed
  • Flour
  • Leaves of 4 kale stalk chopped finely


  • Put all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix them all together and form them into any size of balls you’d like.
  • Dredge the balls lightly in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  • Put them in 400-degree oven until done. Bake time will depend on the size of your balls; usually mine only take about 25 min. (Mine are about the size of a muscadine or those donut holes)

Dinner Layer Cake for your pet

Wag the Dog UK is a blog run by Maggie the Beagle and Trina Cooper


Photo by

This is the perfect thing to whip up for a doggie birthday party! Like chicken pot pie without the crust.


  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) Chicken
  • 1 medium Apple
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 1 Egg shell and all
  • 1/2 cup of peas
  • 1 cup of Brown rice
  • 1/2 cup of sweet corn


  • Preheat oven to 170º C
  • Pop the chopped carrots, peas, and sweetcorn in a pot to cook and soften.
  • Peel and chop apple into small pieces
  • Minced the chicken in a food processor or just buy it already minced
  • Cook brown rice according to package
  • Mush vegetable mix
  • Pulverize a whole egg so that shell is totally crushed.
  • Blend chopped apple, egg and chicken together in a mixing bowl
  • Mix vegetable melee and rice together in bowl


  • Grease a cake pan or line with baking paper.
  • Take 1/2 of chicken mixture and place in bottom of cake pan.
  • Take about 2/3 of the veggie and rice mix and place on top of chicken base
  • use the rest of chicken mixture and place on top of the veggie and rice mix
  • Top up the cake with the last of the veggie mixture
  • Pop it into your pre-heated oven and cook for 35 minutes or until juices run clear
  • Let cool and then remove from pan and slice a piece of posh chicken heaven for your dog.

Crunchy Kibble

By the Knot and The Bump blog The Nest.

Photo by

crunchy kibble DIY Dog Food

This recipe is perfect for the pup who just so happens to love their standard dry food and for whom you’d just like to fancy-up the old standby.


  • 6 cups of flour — white, whole wheat or oat
  • 3 large eggs or four medium eggs
  • 1 cup of powdered milk
  • 1/3 cup baking oil
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 2-1/2 cups of milk, broth or water
  • 2 wooden spoons


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with a light coating of baking spray and set it aside.
  • Pour the flour and powdered milk into a mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients and set the bowl aside.
  • Mix the eggs, baking oil and liquid choice in the second mixing bowl with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix into a thick, moist dough, like bread. Add any additional ingredients that you wish to mix in, such as the cheese, shredded meat, pureed fruits or vegetables. If the dough is too dry, add some additional liquid; if it is too wet, add some additional flour to get a smooth consistency.
  • Use the wooden spoon to spread the kibble dough onto the greased cookie sheet until it is approximately one-half inch thick. Place the tray in the oven.
  • Bake the dog food for approximately 45 minutes until it is brown and firm to the touch. Pull the cookie sheet from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Remove the baked “cookie” from the tray and break it into bite-sized pieces for your dog. Store the crunchy dog food in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Chicken and Rice Balls

From a blog called Mommy? I’m Hungry!

chicken and rice balls for dogsPhoto by

These chicken rice balls are gorgeous and full of so many things your pups will love – chicken, sweet potatoes and eggs. Yum!


  • 4-5 C. cooked brown rice
  • 16 oz frozen peas
  • 2 plain whole chickens, about 4 lbs each
  • 2 small bunches fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 medium orange sweet potatoes (yams), chopped
  • 2 small-medium bunches kale, stems removed
  • 8 whole carrots, chopped
  • 8 eggs


  • Roast chicken in 350′ oven for about 1 hour 25 minutes or until juices run clear. As chickens are roasting, cook the rice (4 C. water & 2 C. rice) and let cool.
  • Peel and chop yams, and carrots, add to a large stock pot with about 1/2 cup water. Add in peas, kale and apple. Allow to boil then simmer until carrots and yams are tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to remove any liquid to a food processor, add fresh parsley and pulse until pureed.
  • Cook scrambled eggs, plain.
  • Cool chicken, then pick apart and add meat to a large stand mixer. On medium speed, mix until chicken is shredded. Add in cooled rice, veggie puree and eggs. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out portions onto a lined baking sheet. Flash freeze then place portions in a freezer safe container/baggie.
  • To use, keep a day or two worth in your fridge to thaw. I microwave thawed portions for 22 seconds, frozen for about 45 seconds. Feed to your furry baby.

Woof Loaf

Created By Popsugar

woof loaf homemade dog foodPhoto by

Loafs are a great way to ensure ease of making while stockpiling a large amount of food for the week and turkey and veggies with eggs and oats are a great combo for most canine pals.


  • 1-pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs


  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF. In a bowl, mix together the lean ground turkey, chopped carrots, and peas. Both are healthy for cats and dogs, giving them the nutrition they need for strong eyes and good digestion.
  • Add the oats and eggs. Mix until the loaf mixture comes together. Oats help your pet’s coat shine, and eggs offer extra protein. Lightly grease a loaf pan with olive oil and then add half the mixture to the pan.
  • Place the three hard-boiled eggs along the center of the loaf and then cover with the other half of the ground turkey mixture. Pop in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Cut a half-inch slice from the cooled loaf and offer it to your pet. He’ll be woofing for seconds! If feeding a slice to your feline, it’s a good idea to chop it up before adding it to her feeding dish.

Mini Omelette Treats for your Dog

By Pawsh Magazine

Photo by

dog-treat-recipe-omelettesThis healthy recipe is incredibly easy to make and can be whipped up at a moment’s notice. It is also incredibly versatile — not a fan of green pepper? Simply replace it with tomato instead, or broccoli or shaved smoked ham. Whatever your little pupster loves to gobble up! The egg offers your pup a wonderful protein boost, but just be sure that the egg is cooked all the way through as uncooked eggs can cause an upset stomach for canines.


  • 2 organic eggs
  • green pepper, diced
  • smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • 1 oven-safe ramekin


  • Lightly grease ramekin with a small drizzle of olive oil. Crack eggs directly into ramekin.
  • Stir thoroughly with a fork until combined.
  • Bake at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned on top and cooked completely.
  • Allow to cool and serve.



10 DIY Homemade Dog Food Recipes – Natural Health for your Dog