As a New Yorker, I am lucky enough to call Central Park my backyard. Having dogs in Manhattan is an experience, a joy, and an extreme pleasure no Manhattanite should be deprived of, but it does take some conscious thinking, planning, and care in order to insure that your dog is as happy and healthy as he or she can be.
Whether its a picnic in the park or a long walk along the river I am always conscious of heat, hydration, and hunger! I will usually pack a container of cubed, seedless watermelon, as watermelon is loaded with vitamins and contains a high water content, ideal for boosting energy and hydrating. My female corgi, Lady Bird, thinks she’s a camel, and I always have a tough time getting her to drink water. But there is no way she’ll ever turn down a piece of watermelon so it has become my trick for making sure she stays hydrated on warm days.
If your dog is older or is suffering from joint pain, stiffness, or arthritis you may want to consider bringing along some cubed pineapple. Dogs love the natural sweetness, but you will love that pineapple is an anti-inflammatory, as well as a good vitamin source.
I am constantly amazed at how hard my dogs will play, but they always need water and treat breaks. I am often found enforcing a 30 second break where I’ll be trickling water on top of their heads- it aids in keeping them cool- and feeding them an organic homemade treat. My Protein-Packed Maple-Bacon Biscuits are major corgi-crowd pleasers, and parent pleasers as well.
The biscuits are gluten and dairy free, and made with tender love and care- which you just cannot by off the shelf, no matter how much you’re willing to pay!
Protein-Packed Maple Bacon Doggie Biscuits
1 cup Whole wheat, spelt, or gluten free flour mix, avoid white flour if you can but (if you use a GF flour that does not list Xanthan Gum in its ingredients, add ¼ tsp of XG to 1 cup flour)
½ cup Old fashion oats
1/3 cup Peanut or almond butter
2-3 tbsp Flaxseeds (whole or coarsely ground)
¼ cup Fresh parsley, chopped
4 slices Turkey bacon, pre-cooked and finely chopped into bacon bits
2 tbsp Real Grade A maple syrup
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 tablespoons water (if dough seems dry add 1 more tbsp, 3 max)
Good pinch of sea salt
*optional: add a squirt of Flax Oil (excellent for decreasing shedding & increasing shinny coats)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a medium to large bowl mix together all ingredients till just combined. Then gently need the dough ball on a lightly floured surface, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
3. Roll out the dough to about ¼ of inch thickness and cut with desired cookie or biscuit cutter and place the cut dough on a spray greased baking sheet.
4. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and fairly hard. Let cool on a wire rack. Wrap and freeze or package up and take them out with you and your canine kiddies!
I often make Pumpkin/Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Currant biscuits in the fall and Apple-Cinnamon, Cranberry, Walnut ones in winter. Feel free to mix up your fillings, bake a few batches, and freeze them for up to 3 months for endless, year round treats!
So if it’s not a Saturday in Central Park, I love to take my dogs for walks along the Hudson River: up from beautiful Battery Park up through the Tribeca Piers, the edge of Soho, and into the West Village. Getting some fresh air is something my corgis live for, and as a building-locked Manhattanite, I do too!