natural pet

Sprouts for Pets Crunchy Nutrition Animals Will Love

by Sandra Murphy D

espite 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 benefi ts.

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 Cen- ter & Pet Clinic, in Ohio. “Now they leave my house plants alone.” Both cats and dogs may show improved gastric intestinal health as a result.

38 NA Triangle

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. She counsels against serving Fido

onion, garlic, corn or mushroom sprouts. Peas, sunfl owers, radishes, alfalfa and clover are suggested; they are all tasty and easy to grow.


“We encourage people to make their own sprouts. It’s easy to get quality seeds for legumes or grains from Whole Foods, or,” says Ann Brooks, president of the all-volunteer

Phoenix Landing Foundation, in Asheville, North Carolina. T ey 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 Be sure to

Tracy Starr/

Sergieiev/Ermolaev Alexander/

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