Milwaukee Edition

Sprouts for Pets

Crunchy Nutrition Animals Will Love

Sergieiev/Ermolaev Alexander/Shutterstock.com

Despite their small size, sprouts pack a nutritional wallop with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and protein. Dogs, birds, horses and even cats enjoy the crunch, as well as the health benefits.

Cats

Notorious for being picky eaters, cats might balk at sprouts being added to their regular diet. Rather than upsetting the status quo, grow sprouts like alfalfa or barley on a handy windowsill for grazing. “My cats prefer self-serve,” observes veterinarian Carol Osborne, owner of the Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center & Pet Clinic, in Ohio. “Now they leave my house plants alone.” Both cats and dogs may show improved gastric intestinal health as a result.

Dogs

Dogs are more accepting of new content in their food bowl. “Add just a few sprouts so a dog gets used to the slightly bitter taste. Once acclimated, one-eighth to one-quarter cup daily per 20 pounds of the pet’s weight is the rule of thumb,” says Osborne.

Instead of sprouting one kind of seed per jar, consider creating a mix.

She counsels against serving Fido onion, garlic, corn or mushroom sprouts. Peas, sunflowers, radishes, alfalfa and clover are suggested; they are all tasty and easy to grow.

Birds

Tracy Starr/Shutterstock.com“We encourage people to make their own sprouts. It’s easy to get quality seeds for legumes or grains from Whole Foods, BobsRedMill.com or Nuts.com,” says Ann Brooks, president of the all-volunteer Phoenix Landing Foundation, in Asheville, North Carolina. They provide educational activities and facilitate adoption of birds, from parakeets to macaws. Sprouts from the store can be risky, because of bacteria, she cautions. “If not growing your own, the only one I recommend is the organic crunchy mix from SunnyCreekFarm.com. Be sure to get the freshest date possible.”

“One of my favorite sprouts is mung beans, because they appear in two days or less. Birds like the crunch,” says Brooks. “Sprouts are safe to leave in the cage all day because they are live foods.”

Horses

marijonas/Shutterstock.comWhen adding sprouts to a horse’s regular diet, it’s important to balance the intake. “A lot of barns feed forage three times a day. I know of a couple that feed one meal of sprouts and the other two of hay,” says Clair Thunes, Ph.D., a consulting equine nutritionist with Summit Equine Nutrition in Sacramento, California. “Several companies sell systems for large-scale growing.” The sprouts grow with matted roots in what is called a biscuit, weighing about 18 pounds. Difficult to mix with other feed, the biscuits are fed separately, roots and all.

“Because of sporadic drought conditions, the idea of growing your own fodder became more popular, thinking it might make forage supply more dependable and possibly cheaper after initial startup costs,” Thunes explains. “Owners have a sense of control over what the horse eats, there’s less reliance on a supplier and the seeds are less expensive than hay. Due to moisture and nutritional differences, you can’t swap sprouts and hay pound for pound. It’s best to consult a veterinarian or nutritionist.” Sprouts contain a lot of moisture and have an inverted calcium phosphorus ratio that has to be accounted for she says.

Horses enjoy barley, sunflower and flax sprouts for variety. The high moisture content may help reduce the risk of intestinal impaction and resulting colic.

Good for All

“Sprouts are a healthy form of nutrition and a hip way for both pets and people to enjoy greens,” says Osborne. “They’re a great go-to powerhouse of nutrition, often more nutritious than the adult plant.”


Connect with freelance writer Sandra Murphy at StLouisFreelanceWriter@mindspring.com.

 

Sprouting Tips

Benoit Daoust/Shutterstock.com• Always use organic seeds. SproutHouse.com and Rareseeds.com are additional sources.

• Seeds sprout in water or soil. Avoid direct sunlight.

• Practice good hygiene to avoid bacteria. Rinse seeds several times a day to prevent mold. Once the sprouts show a bit of green, dry them to remove excess moisture before refrigerating.

• Refrigerate for up to a week for peak freshness, but no longer.

• Use a mix of seeds or one kind at a time. Discard any seeds that don’t sprout with the rest.

• Sunflower seeds produce a particularly high volume of sprouts.


This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Raise a Glass for a Good Cause Through 12 Bars of Milwaukee Event

This holiday season, Milwaukee will join other cities including Denver and St. Louis in participating in the 12 Bars of Charity movement to raise money for selected local nonprofits, while supporting area bars and restaurants.

Wellness Professionals Unite to Offer Women’s Empowerment Circles

Aubrey Poglajen, of Ananda Healing Collective, along with registered yoga teacher Jozi Tatham and energy healer Ellie Badji, are collaborating to facilitate women’s empowerment circles starting January 10.

Natural Health Services is Now Thrive Holistic Medicine

Natural Health Services, on Farwell Avenue in Milwaukee, is now under new ownership and has a new name: Thrive Holistic Medicine.

Dr. John E. Whitcomb Now a Mold Qualified Doctor

John E. Whitcomb, M.D., director of Brookfield Longevity & Healthy Living Clinic, is now certified as a Mold Qualified Doctor.

Energy Worker a Goodwill Ambassador for Animals

Stacy Krafczyk combines her passion for animals with her energy healing abilities at All Spirit Healing, where she offers animal communication services, intuitive readings, reiki, after-life communication and coaching.

Understanding Clothing Insulation

Learning about clothing insulation—the different types, the advantages of each, and their sustainability and affect on animals—helps one consider the important factors before making a decision about what clothing to buy.

Letter from Publisher

As we wrap up another year, many of us find ourselves again asking, “Where did this year go?” Myriad articles have tried to explain why we often perceive time—and life—moving by too quickly, especially as we age.

Expecting Moms Need to Relax at Holidays

South Korean mothers-to-be whose first trimester occurred during the stressful New Year’s holiday delivered babies a third of an ounce lighter.

Meditation Soothes Anxiety and Improves Focus

A single mindfulness meditation session reduced anxiety levels for participants in a Michigan study, evident even a week later, and breath-based meditation enhanced mental clarity in an Irish study.

Blue Light Raises Cancer Risk

Spaniards exposed to the most blue light via white streetlight LEDs and screens on tablets and phones have up to twice the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

Rosemary Lowers the Blues, Aids Sleep and Memory

Iranian students taking rosemary for a month saw their anxiety and depression drop and their memory and sleep improve.

Dark Chocolate Proven Healthier than Ever

Chocolate with at last 70 percent cacao can reduce stress and inflammation and boost infection-fighting cells and creativity.

Add your comment: