By Dr. Becker
What dog doesn't get a hankering for fresh turkey or chicken now and again? You can take this tasty mainstay up another notch – in both the taste and nutrition departments – by pairing it with fresh basil and banana slices.
The end result is nutrient-packed bite-sized pinwheels of sorts that provide a cool treat for your pets that you can feel good about feeding. With absolutely no fillers, additives, or byproducts – and loaded with nutrients to boot – you'll want to keep a batch of these on hand at all times!
Frozen Banana Basil Towers for Dogs
Let Your Dog Feast on Raw Free-Range Poultry
Poultry, such as turkey or chicken is an excellent source of protein and it contains all B vitamins along with minerals like selenium. Other nutrients in poultry include zinc, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron, along with sulfur-containing amino acids like cysteine, which help thin mucus in the lungs so it's easier to discharge.
Other amino acids in poultry, notably leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are important for cardiac and skeletal muscle health.1 Ideally, choose free-range, organic chicken. This recipe has the added benefit of using raw poultry, which is the ideal form to feed most dogs.
The reality is most pets live their entire lives without consuming any living foods. They eat an entirely processed diet from birth to death, which is unfortunate because both cats and dogs are designed specifically to consume raw meat. Their bodies are adapted to process raw, living foods like these frozen banana basil towers.
Basil Is an Antioxidant Powerhouse!
Many dogs miss out on fresh antioxidants in their diets, which is why feeding antioxidant-rich treats can help to fill in the gap. Basil certainly fits the bill here, as the vitamin A in basil consists of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the cell lining and blood vessels against free radical damage.
This essential vitamin also prevents the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood to avoid atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. Basil also contains iron, calcium, manganese, vitamin C, and potassium, along with vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting.
It's also packed with DNA-protecting flavonoids and volatile oils such as estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene, which are important in fighting off different kinds of bacteria like listeria, staphylococcus, E. coli, yersinia enterocolitica, and pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Basil even has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help provide relief from inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. Plus, most dogs love its flavor, so it's a perfect snack-time ingredient.
Bananas Provide Potassium and More
Bananas might not be the first ingredient you'd think of for a pet treat, but dogs love them and they're incredibly healthy. For starters, they're a rich source of potassium, which is useful for controlling heart rate and blood pressure. They're also a good source of flavonoids, including lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene, which act as antioxidants to gobble up free radicals.
Bananas are also rich in B vitamins, including vitamin B6, which helps to soothe the nervous system, and magnesium, which is important for bone and heart health. Bananas are relatively high in sugar, but that's why this treat recipe only uses one slice of banana at a time – a moderate portion that's healthy for dogs. Plus, the bananas are frozen, which makes them easier to feed to your dog with no mess.
Looking for more homemade pet treat recipes? Check out my e-cookbook, Homemade Treats for Healthy Pets: Nutritious Recipes for Your Cats and Dogs. This e-book is filled with homemade dog and cat food ideas, which are personally formulated by my mom and me, and that I'm sure your pets will love. Over 20 species-appropriate recipes – crunchy morsels, savory treats, and even pet-friendly desserts – are included for cats and dogs.