Pet owners have a way of gravitating toward each other.
The other night, I was taking my dog for a walk when he decided to sniff the butts of two sister pomeranians out for an evening stroll. Their owner and I got to talking and she willingly shared that her dogs were like children to her.
“We have cappuccinos together every morning!” she shared.
Now while I never have or will give coffee to my cat or dog – the latter is hyper enough without it – fresh juice is something I’ve tried on the both of them.
And while I’m not a pet nutritionist – please consult your vet if your dog or cat has health problems and/or before embarking on administering fresh juice to your pets – here is what I’ve learned so far about juicing for your pets.
Juicing for Cats
Before revving up your juicer to whip up some fresh juice for your cat(s) – it’s important that you keep a few things in mind.
Firstly, cats are obligate carnivores and their bodies are best able to get more energy from protein and use it more efficiently. That’s not to say that carbs are terrible for your cat, but their little bodies just don’t derive as much nutritional benefit from vegetables.
That being said – giving your cats fresh vegetable juice has its merits too. Cats in the wild hunt and eat their fresh-caught prey, getting the vegetable matter found in the prey’s guts. As such, cats bodies can handle a certain amount of “roughage” and some cats may even display an occasional “craving” for veggies – like, when they try to eat your house plants.
Introducing small amounts of fresh, very low-sugar vegetables can also have benefits for your cats, such as helping to ease constipation and digestive problems and even giving its energy levels and immune system a boost. I haven’t tried it long enough to notice benefits – but chlorophyll-rich greens like wheatgrass are also meant to help reduce fecal odor for cats.
If you’re thinking about juicing for your cat – here are a few simple tips to get you started:
Do’s and Don’ts of Juicing for Cats
- Start very, very small. How small? Like a-teaspoon-a-day small. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your cat with carbs, especially since they lack the enzymes to efficiently break them down and use them for energy.
- Avoid fruits, stick to very low-sugar veggies. Fresh fruit juice is high in sugar – so is the juice from certain (especially root) veggies, like carrots and beets.
- What can you juice for cats? Stick to green stuff like asparagus, broccoli, green beans, leafy greens, and wheatgrass. Corn and zucchini are also okay.
- What should you NOT juice for cats? Stay away from anything sugary – like fruits – as well as anything that can be abrasive like onion and garlic. Tomatoes and mushrooms are also difficult for cats to digest so shy away from these as well.
- How do I get my cat to drink it? For my cat, he’ll eat anything (really anything) when it’s mixed into his favorite cat food – tuna or salmon. Just blend a teaspoon of green juice into your cat’s favorite wet food!
Juicing for Dogs
Juicing for dogs is much less…intimidating than juicing for cats. Partly because dogs – at least my dog – will eat pretty much anything. Oh, and also ’cause unlike cats – dogs are omnivorous.
I first noticed my dog was very open to fresh fruits and veggies when whatever I was chopping would fall to the floor. Whereas my cat would only paw at it to make sure it was dead, my dog would eagerly run over and eat that thing up! It didn’t seem to matter if it was carrot, cucumber, or a slice of apple.
Still, I didn’t try juicing for my dog ’til he started suffering from a skin rash and another pet owner suggested we try replacing his store-bought, processed snacks with homemade, veggie-based treats.
My dog showed a surprising fondness for the latter – even preferring sweet potato to pig ears!
Pretty soon, we started adding small amounts of fresh juice to his wet dog food as well as mixing juice pulp into his dry food.
He enjoys both 🙂
Overall, juicing for dogs is nowhere near as complicated as juicing for cats, but here are a few tips to get you started!
Do’s and Don’ts of Juicing for Dogs
- Expect more “calls of doody.” I’m not sure if this is going to be the case for all dogs, but for mine (he’s had digestive/constipation issues in the past), the addition of juice pulp led to increased “regularity.” Prepare to take your dog(s) out more often.
- Pulp is better than whole. Or rather, blended or ground food is better and easier for dogs to digest since they cannot break down cellulose.
- What can and can’t you juice for dogs? You can definitely juice a wider range of fruits and veggies for your dog – here’s a great list to refer to!
- Fresh vs dry juice pulp. This definitely depends on you – if you have a dehydrator, dried dog snacks are easy and cheap to make – not to mention they store well and are portable. But fresh pulp works great, too – ‘though it can get a little more messy. 🙂
Have you ever tried juicing for pets? How did it go? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!