Body Mind and Paw : Dog Friendly Gardening

Welcome to Body, Mind & Paw, the newsletter of The Growlin' Gourmet. Each month we provide advice, tips and articles on caring for your furry companion. You'll also find special offers and news from The Growlin' Gourmet.

If you like this newsletter please feel free to forward it to your friends. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas please reply to this e-zine and let us know what you think.

All the best,

Marianne & Steve

In This Issue

  • Featured Article: Dog Friendly Gardening

  • Recipe of the Month: Cheesey Kong stuffer

  • Specials

Dog Friendly Gardening

Get a dog and say goodbye to the garden. Yellow spots on the lawn….trampled flower beds. This is what many homeowners conclude. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way! This month we will talk about how plants and pets can co-exist happily and safely.

The first step towards achieving harmony is to think like a dog. What is your dogs personality? Observe your pets behavior and work with it. Dogs don’t see a small shrub, they see a very appealing stick. Dogs can’t appreciate the delicate nature of your flowers. Bigger shrubs and fairly hardy plants are more likely to withstand some doggie attention. Dogs are also more likely to stay out of densely planted areas.

Does your dog like to patrol the perimeter of the yard.? Many dogs perceive this as their job. If so, leave room between the shrubs or flower beds and the fence. 2-3 feet of clearance is likely enough. If scruffy is also a little escape artist, you will need to prevent tunneling under the fence by installing and underground barrier such as chicken wire. Decorative fences and raised beds will keep plants out of harms way. If there is a certain spot that your dogs tends to dig or lie in then don’t place your flower bed in that area.

Your dog will also need a place to relieve himself, but it doesn’t have to be your flowerbeds. Set aside a corner of your yard as the toilet area. You will have to invest some time in training Scruffy to use the designated area. Consult a training manual for instructions.

There are lots of products available which claim to change the dog’s urine so it doesn’t damage lawns. Don’t believe the claims. Many of these products pose health risks for your pooch. The only reliable method for decreasing the nitrogen in the urine is to feed a highly digestible food. The dog digests more of the protein, resulting in lower nitrogen in the urine. These are not the bargain brands of foods. Wetting dry food with water may also slightly decrease the urine nitrogen. Watering the spot on the lawn up to eight hours after urination has also been shown to be effective.

Does your dog like to dig? Some dogs dig to escape the heat or cold. Other dogs dig out of boredom or nervous energy. Dogs enjoy lying in the sun, but remember dogs can overheat very easily, so it is important to provide a cool shady area as well. In the colder months it is important that they have shelter to keep them warm. Be sure to provide plenty of toys for entertainment . Exercise regularly with the dog to eliminate nervous energy.

If your dog is a digger , provide a spot where digging is permitted. To eliminate inappropriate digging place a lawn sprinkler in the place where your dog typically digs. When the dogs begins to dig in that area quickly turn on the sprinkler. It may take a few tries but soon he will associate digging with being sprayed.

It is important to think about the safety of your pets when selecting plants. Avoid thorny or spiney plants which can cause serious eye injuries. Many plants are toxic to dogs and should be avoided in easily accessible areas. Bulb plants such as tulips and lilies can be toxic to dogs and if your dog sees you plant them he may be curious and dig them up. Click here for a list of toxic plants. Never use cocoa shell mulch.

Minimize the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Not only is this safer for your pet it is better for the environment. Use caution even with organic fertilizers as many contain ingredients like bone, fish or blood meal which are very enticing to dogs. Digs these deep into the soil. For safe fertilizers use compost in the flowerbeds and mulch your grass clippings back into the lawn. If making your own compost don’t include meat products or leftovers as these are very appealing to dogs and can make them very ill.

For more information on Gardening with your dog check out the book Dog Friendly Gardens Garden Friendly dogs by Cheryl Smith

Recipe of the Month

Cheesy Kong Stuffer
  • 1 quart plain low fat organic yogurt
  • 1 medium organic sweet potato
  • 1 organic apple
  • 1 ounce organic shredded parmesean
  • cheesecloth

Scoop out the yogurt into a strainer or colander lined with cheesecloth. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours to drain off the whey.

Peel the sweet potato and apple, and cut into chunks. Toss with a little bit of oil and bake in a 375 degree oven until totally soft . Remove and let cool to room temperature them mash together.

Remove yogurt cheese from the cheesecloth and place in a bowl with parmesan. And mashed sweet potato mixture. Chill several hours to firm it up before using. ( Plain yogurt cheese is also great on a bagel for Mom and Dad as a substitute for cream cheese)

You can mix the chilled yogurt cheese mixture with some broken up treats as a kong stuffing or spread a little on a sharp cheddar biscuit and make an “oreo” type cookie for your dog.


Come see us at the Saco Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, and the Scarborough Farmer's Market on Sunday mornings. Bring this coupon to receive a FREE large bone with every purchase!

The Growlin' Gourmet

Free large bone with your purchase

Redeemable with this coupon at the Saco or Scarborough Farmer’s Market

Expires 7/31/09

Come see us!

Saco Farmers Market

Saco Valley Shopping Center

Saturdays 7am to noon

South Portland Farmers Market

Hinckley Drive (Millcreek)

Thursdays 3pm to 7pm

Where to find our biscuits

* The Animal House, Damariscotta

* Axis Natural Foods, Auburn

* The Belfast Coop, Belfast

* Bearded Collie Club of Maine

* Black Cherry Provisions, Falmth

* Call Me Pet Sitter, Rockwall, TX

* Camp Bow Wow, Portland

* Creative Turtle, Boothbay Hrb.

* Dakota Dog Company, N.J.

* Fetch, Portland

* Harvest Hill Farms, Poland

* Jordan's Farm, Cape Elizabeth

* Maine's Pantry, Portland

* Misty Meadows Farm, Grand Isle

* Paws Applause, Scarborough

* PetScripts Pharmacy, Yarmouth

* Sooper Dogs, Biddeford

* State of Maine Cheese, Rockport

* Stone Soup Artisans, Saco

* The Good Life Market, Raymond

* Wags and Wool, Lubec