It’s that season. You know the one I mean. Not Autumn. Pumpkin Spice Season.
Everyone who has every tried to sell you anything is going to spend the next 6 weeks of so slapping some PSL on it and calling it “seasonal”. I don’t want to rock the boat or make enemies here, but here goes:
There is more to fall than pumpkin spice.
And if you happen to be a dog lover? Pumpkin spice can be dangerous for your dog. One of the main ingredients in pumpkin spice, nutmeg, is incredibly toxic to dogs, the worst effects being tremors, seizures, convulsions or death. I cringe every single time I see a dog treat recipe for “Pumpkin Spice” because even if that recipe only has cinnamon? What if people miss that and use a pre-made pumpkin spice mix or think they can share a human PSL treats with their dog? It doesn’t take a ton of nutmeg to be hazardous (as little as 2 tsp. in humans). The risk just ins’t worth it to me. Say no to doggy Pumpkin Spice.
So in the spirit of sharing some seasonal snacks with your pet that won’t make them sick, we’re talking about our favourite fall flavors you can share with your dog.
Apples – Apples are one of the stars of fall. If you live anywhere in orchard country, you can find any number of local apple strains that are crisp, delicious and totally dog friendly. Always wash apples carefully to remove any chemicals or pesticides on the skin and cut out the core and any seeds, then share this fresh, flavourful fruit with your dog. Serve them fresh or check out our apple dog treat recipes.
Beets – These rich, earthly flavoured vegetables are absolutely dog friendly and they are freshest and at their best in the Fall. Fun story, the first time I fed my dogs beets, I forgot to tell the Daddy. He took them for a walk and was so worried he took them to the vet because their poop was red. WHOOPS! My bad. I love beets, hot or cold, and now that my dogs recognize the smell, they beg for a taste of their own. I love making this dog-friendly roast beet, quinoa and goat cheese salad and sneaking the dogs bites off my plate.
Kale – Don’t throw hot garbage at me! I know. Calling kale “delicious” in controversial, but my dogs and I LOVE IT. EatSmart makes this bagged sweet kale salad with brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and chicory and Kolchak will actually eat a whole (dressing-free) bowl of it. We all think kale is really tasty, but if you don’t think you’re dogs are down for a bowl of it try these Turkey and Kale DIY Dog Treats or these Kale Chips.
Cranberries – These tart, bite sized berries are full of antioxidants for pets and their people. You might have a hard time convincing your dog to eat them plain, but they make a tasty addition to other flavours like sweet potato and turkey. Try incorporating the bright flavours of cranberry into your dog’s diet with our Thumbprint cookies or Thanksgiving Jerky Treats.
Squash – While all the world is shouting their pumpkin-based love affair from the rooftops, I’m a secret admirer of the other members of the squash family. Butternut squash is my favourite and a staple at Casa de Kolchak. Anywhere you use pumpkin, you can use squash. (Just steer clear of kabocha squash and decorative gourds which have some anecdotal evidence to suggest they may not be fully dog safe.) Try our Autumn Gold squash dog treat recipe or this baked apple and squash dish that you and your dogs can share.
Pears – I love a pear. Juicy, fresh and so flavourful, pears are one of my favourite things to eat in the fall, so it’s only natural that my dogs enjoy them too. Just like with apples, you want to wash them well and remove the core and all the pips. Try them anywhere you would usually use apple, in a coconut dog treat or (my fav) on top of dog-friendly pancakes.
Sweet Potato – Oh sweet potato, how much do I love thee? Let the count the ways. I love sweet potato roasted and mashed and in baked goods and in soups. I love the warmth and richness it brings to fall food. It’s also a darn staple of the dog treat works and there are SO MANY WAYS you can use sweet potato in dog treats.
Broccoli and Cauliflower – OK, so these are two separate things, but I’m listing them together because they are both dog friendly and pair PERFECTLY with one of my dog’s main obsessions: cheese. No need to do anything fancy, I just steam these babies, sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top and watch the dogs (and humans) go wild.
If you’ve read all this and you’re still all #TeamPSL, well, you do you, boo. I think you’re missing out on SO MANY awesome, dog friendly Fall flavours. You can make delicious dog treat recipes with pumpkin, but they aren’t by far the only dog friendly fall flavour.
Not interested in homemade treats? Check out these tasty fall treats you can buy for your pooch:
What is your favourite fall fruit or vegetable? Is it dog friendly and what do you make with it?