Have you ever noticed that as the seasons change, so does your taste in food? When temperatures plummet, warm foods just make sense; they’re like a cozy sweater for your insides. But can your pet also benefit from warm foods? Absolutely!
- Warm Foods Help the Body Stay Warm
Warm foods provide an immediate sense of internal warmth as they travel from the mouth to the stomach. They also help to increase blood circulation by reducing constriction that occurs when the body is cold, enabling blood to flow away from the core to the extremities. This increased circulation creates a sense of warmth.
- Warm Foods are Easier to Digest than Cold Foods
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, warm foods are quicker and easier to digest than cold foods because the body better assimilates foods that are closer to its own internal temperature.
- Warm Foods Entice the Olfactory Senses
The better a food smells to an animal, the more appetizing it becomes. Warm foods release aromatic vapors, which stimulate an animal’s desire to eat.
- Warm Foods are More Palatable
Warming food to just below the animal’s normal body temperature (101 – 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit for dogs and 100.5 – 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit for cats) increases the food’s palatability. As with increasing the food’s aroma, creating a more palatable taste experience may help entice older, ill or finicky pets to eat.
Best Way to Heat Warm Food for Pets
An excellent method of preparing warm food for pets is to mix some warm water into commercial or fresh food to create an enticing cold-weather “stew.” Avoid warming food in the microwave, as this may destroy important nutrients and create uneven heat that could scald your pet.
Note to Raw Feeders
If you feed your dog or cat a raw diet, consider that your pet may enjoy his food at a warmer temperature in the colder weather, even if it is simply brought to room temperature (be sure to never cook any food containing bone).
The next time you start to put that bowl of cold food in front of your dog or cat, why not try gently warming it for an extra satisfying culinary experience on a cold day?
Want to share a warm meal with your dog? My warming Thai-style butternut squash soup will have you both licking the bowl clean! Just be certain that the temperature of your dog’s portion is tepid, but definitely not hot. My favorite “thermometer” is my index finger. If I can dip my finger in the food and comfortably hold it there, then it’s ready for Chase to lap it up!
Thai-Style Butter Nut Squash Soup
• 1 10-oz bag frozen butternut squash (preferably organic)
• ¼ cup canned, unsweetened light coconut milk (preferably organic)
• 1 TB maple syrup
• 1 ¼ cups water (preferably filtered or spring water)
• 1/8 tsp cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp turmeric
• 1/8 tsp ginger
• Pinch of ground black pepper
Empty butternut squash into a medium-sized saucepan. Add ¼ cup of the water. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the squash is completely tender, stirring frequently and breaking up the chunks of squash with a wooden spoon.
When the squash is fully cooked, stir in the coconut milk, maple syrup and remaining water. Stir to fully integrate. Add the cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and ground black pepper and stir. For a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender to puree the mixture or transfer the soup to a standing blender, puree and return it to the pot.
Makes approximately two cups.
Originally posted 2017-11-07 15:41:24.