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by dr. ernie ward chow down wag expert advice For many pet parents, summer means chilling and grilling in the backyard with friends and family. While a BBQ with pet-friendly food may not be something you’ve ever thought about, you can create a menu that lets your pets in on all the good stuff. lean proteins Lean ground beef, chicken and turkey recipe: dr. ernie’s birdy burgers are great for sharing with your dog or this low-cal, healthy slider for your pet. Extra cat. Keep portions small (a 3-ounce Try points for sandwiching the burger in lettuce and a patty contains about 200 calories) and that finish this tasty treat! skip the sauces. To serve, cook until gold star for all canines medium and remove any charring. If you’re grilling steaks, I recommend dice sweet potatoes and finely chop greens. Finely feeding a 2–4 ounce serving. That patties. Mix all ingredients and shape into 3- to 4-inch portion equals 200–300 calories and Grill 6 to 7 minutes per side. should be considered your pet’s main meal of the day. Trim excess fat to reduce calories and risk of potential Yields 14 burgers, 124 calories each. pancreatitis. Use my “Dogs Don’t Do Division Rule” and break the meat into several small pieces to offer as courses throughout dinner. vital veggies Don’t forget to throw a few healthy vegetables on the grill. Some of my favorite pet-friendly veggies include squash, zucchini, asparagus and red and green peppers. Asparagus only takes 4 to 5 minutes to grill; zucchini and squash cook in about 7 or 8 minutes. If your dog is fussy, try a dash of salt or splash of lemon to spice up the treat. Slice and feel free to give a few extra; the calories in these veggies are minimal. 2 medium sweet potatoes 2 cups of greens & herbs (spinach, kale, parsley, cilantro, etc.) 2 lbs. ground turkey 2 eggs 1 tablespoon Kelp carb caution If you grill up a patty for your pet, there’s no need to top it with a bun. Take care to avoid chips, cakes and other breaded or sugary foods. If you’re cooling off with ice cream, don’t let your dog or cat clean the bowls (resist the puppy dog eyes!). The two biggest mistakes pet parents make are overfeeding calories and overloading carbohydrates. Each morsel of bread or sliver of sweet can cause an unhealthy insulin spike, and often leads to inflammation or obesity. Your summer BBQ should be a celebration of health, not the source of an upset tummy. fun in the sun issue 43


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