Pumpkin and Veggie Kibble

Makes 20 to 30 servings

Pumpkin is one of my boys' favorite veggies, and I have the late Governor to thank. A few years back, while I was working on another cookbook, Governor was my main taste tester. When the book was finished, I took him for his yearly shots and found out that he had put on a few too many pounds. (This is why I now spread the job among friends and family members, and of course my three dogs.) My vet suggested adding plain pumpkin to Govey's meals and offering it as a snack. Pumpkin is loaded with fibber, is low in calories, and has lots of beta carotene and vitamin A. It's also naturally sweet, which dogs love. Within a few months, and with a few extra walks, Govey was back to his regular weight. This kibble will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer in an airtight container.

4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rye flour
2 cups non-fat milk powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons bone meal
1 cup plain wheat germ
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, or 2% tablespoons parsley flakes
4 eggs
1 cup safflower, olive, or corn oil
1 cup molasses
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups water
4 cups ground chicken, cooked and then pureed
2 cups canned pumpkin
2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup dried apples, crushed
1 1/2 cups dried veggies (a mixture is fine—use what you can find)

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray two large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, milk powder, rolled oats, bone meal, wheat germ, salt, and parsley.

3. In a smaller mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Blend in the oil, molasses, and Worcestershire sauce.

4. Add the water to the flour mixture and mix well.

5. Fold in the egg mixture and combine it all evenly.

6. Add the chicken, pumpkin, spinach, dried apples, and dried veggies and press into the dough.

7. Spread the dough on the cookie sheets, making it very flat and thin. Use a knife to cut the dough into small

8. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the kibble is golden brown and not doughy when you break a piece open.
    During the baking process, take a wooden spoon or spatula and move the kibble around on the cookie sheet so
    that it bakes evenly. Then turn off your oven, keeping the door closed, and let it dry out in the off oven for at
    least 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

9. When you remove your kibble from the oven, it will still be slightly warm and moist. Let it sit on cooling racks
    for another hour or two until it is completely dry and cool. Once dry, break the kibble into pieces.

Dr. Kevin Says

Sweet, easily digestible pumpkin is a great source of insoluble fibber. Adding a tablespoon or two to your pet's food can help minimize gas and diarrhea.





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