for our 4-legged family members
Some of you had the pleasure of meeting Kona, my beloved side-kick for 18 years. She passed in February of 2016, one of the great loves of my life.
Here I share with you her ‘secret fountain of youth’. When Kona was a young 12 year old dog I decided to become dedicated to helping her age gracefully. After all, this dog had been with me through a lot of personal growth - loss and growth again. She walked miles with me, licked tears off of my cheeks and warded off would-be trouble makers with her meager size and determined bark.
She’s my girl and deserves the very best so I sought out the best holistic veterinarian I could find and she was mind blowing! I am grateful for this experience as I believe it helped Kona live a comfortable life. I hope this can help you and your dogs too!
The key that helped Kona live to be a spry old dog has been ‘Kona Stew’. I call it this because I’ve made it up entirely based on my visits with Dr. Stefanatos and my personal nutrition beliefs. I did notice a drastic improvement in Kona’s life when the diet switch happened.
This is work. I can not lead you astray thinking that this will easy for the pet owner. It will become a weekly or bi-weekly commitment - depending on how much your fur baby eats.
4 Organic Sweet Potatoes
12 Organic Carrots
1 head Organic Celery
3-4 Cups Filtered Water
+/- ½ cup Kale, Zucchini, spinach
Chop all ingredients into chunks. Place Sweet Potatoes and Carrots into large soup pot with 2-3 cups of water (it’s not important to submerge all of the veggies and the less water, the easier it will be on you later - you’ll see). Let this mixture come to a boil with the lid on and cook for approx. 8 minutes before adding the celery, and optional zucchini, kale and spinach. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until everything is soft. Let it cool.
For the first few years I left it in this form, as a stew, and served it with boiled chicken and sometime rice or quinoa, whatever was available, and some additional water. Older dogs need more hydration than younger pups. They dry out with age just like we do (why I say to oil your skin up - but that’s a separate blog :) )
After a while I realized that it would be neater for the old dog to have it pureed so I began to blender the cooked mixture. Stored in small jars and glass containers so I can freeze most of the batch and have a few days worth defrosted and ready to go in the fridge.
Kona has historically maintained a weight of 35-40 pounds. Adjust according to your dog's size and appetite.
TO SERVE: Scoop ½ cup of puree, mix with ½ cup boiling water and serve over some meat source. There are vegan dogs out there, if you can get your dog to eat this without meat - Great! I’ve ended up supplementing Kona Stew with a Stella and Chewy’s dehydrated patties. Kona loves them and these days asks for a second patty. For an old dog I’m always happy to feed her as much as she asks for but please keep in mind that it’s healthiest for your dog to be a lean weight. Especially older dogs - they do best when on the slender side.
Another item that was news to me is that it’s important to keep elder pets’ food and water bowls at a height well above the floor. Their spine is no longer as flexible as it once was and it’s uncomfortable for them to reach down low. Visit The Correct Height for a Dog Food Bowl for help in calculating the correct height for your dog.
You can get creative with this entire process, just as you may do with your own personal cooking but keep this list in mind and avoid feeding these foods* to your dogs:
*If you know of any additional fatal dog ‘foods’ please leave a comment below.
Christine and the loving memory of Kona