I can hardly believe it, but today my little girl, Pebbles, turned three! Back in 2015 around this time we were just getting ready to say goodbye to my heart dog, Porter. He had Degenerative Myelopathy, which meant we’d spent a long time with him, watching him deteriorate and suffer. It was hard, to say the least. Some of the darkest days of my life.
Around the same time, our angel, Pebbles, was born. To cheer ourselves up we drove to northern Alberta to meet her litter, and take some photos of them for fun.
Little did we know that Pebbles would come into our home just a few short weeks later, just after our loss of Porter, and put some sunshine back into our days. Despite her blue steel “photo face”, she’s actually a clown and not very serious at all. She greets each new day as an adventure and is more happy to be alive than any creature I’ve ever met.
So today, is a special day that required a special birthday cake! When creating this recipe I was inspired by one of my favourites – meatloaf. It’s gluten-free, grain-free, and if you choose broth instead of yogurt, it’s also dairy-free. If your dog has allergies, you can choose the ground meat that best suits him! Lots of flexibility in this one! Enjoy!
P.S. A note about the garlic included in this recipe. In recent years garlic has gotten a bad rap, despite dogs having eaten it safely for ages. For garlic to be toxic to dogs, they have to consume large amounts of it, not the small amount in one serving of this cake. However, if you are uncomfortable feeding your dog garlic, simply leave it out. No biggy!
- 1 Small Zucchini, Quartered
- 1 Stalk Celery, Quartered
- 1 Carrot, Chopped Roughly
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 2¼ Pounds Ground Bison, Beef, Pork or Turkey (or a mix)
- 1 Cup Gluten-free Rice or Garbanzo Bean Flour
- 1 Large Sweet Potato
- ¼ Cup Plain Yogurt, Goat's Milk, or Broth (you choose!)
- Optional: dry dog treats of your choice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In a food processor, pulse the zucchini, garlic, celery and carrot until they are finely chopped.
- Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat, and add veggies.
- Stir veggies occasionally until they are soft.
- Mix together the meat and flour, then add the veggie mixture and combine thoroughly.
- Form into a large oval loaf on a shallow baking pan or cookie sheet. Bake in oven for 1 hour.
- For the "icing", boil 5-6 cups water in a saucepan. Peel and cut your sweet potato into 1" cubes and add to boiling water. Cook until cubes are soft.
- Drain and add potatoes back into the saucepan. Add the yogurt/goat's milk/broth and mash potatoes until smooth.
- Spread the sweet potato mixture onto the meatloaf.
- Optional: crumble your dog's favourite treats onto the sweet potato "icing".
- Cut into slices and serve when cooled.
I used Benny Bully’s Liver Chops for my topping! You can grab yourself a bag at Tail Blazers – Copperfield. They make really great training treats too!