Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homemade Wormer for Pets

I am happy to say that my dogs are not on any medications.  Aside from being slightly overweight, our 7-year-old lab mix is a happy, healthy middle-aged pooch.  Our 4 month old Doberman is also very healthy, despite living in a region of the country known for lots of mosquitoes, ticks and other parasites.

Recently, I discovered (through a Yahoo group) that Guinness Beer can be used as a wormer for pets and I was excited to do some independent research on the subject... To my surprise, this remedy has been studied in Japan and is used in many animal rescue centers when the animal is too weak for conventional treatment, mainly for heart worms.  Yes, this treatment kills heart worms!

From my research, I learned:

1. The Black Label Guinness Draught (see photo), which is brewed in Dublin, Ireland, is the ONLY beer that works for worming pets.  This is because of the ancient strain of hops used in the brewing process.  The hops actually causes the worms to become sterile, so they are no longer able to reproduce.  (In conventional treatments for heart worms, the worms "know" they are being poisoned and release harmful toxins into your pet's bloodstream.)

2.  DOSAGE should be 1oz beer per 25lbs body weight.  For prevention, the first two doses should be two weeks apart, then monthly from then on.  To treat a severe case of worms, you may up the dosage to every 2 weeks for the first 3 months, then back off to a once-monthly dose.

3. The small dosage does NOT get your dog drunk.  After their first dose, my dogs showed no signs of dizziness or sleepiness. 

4. The beer will keep in the fridge between doses, even if it goes flat.  If you don't drink Guinness (like I do), just put the cap back on between doses and stick it in the back of your fridge... I have to admit, I just drank what was left in the bottle :)  YUM.

5. In addition to dogs, this treatment has been used successfully in cats, dogs and ferrets!  And, you could see die-off of parasites the same day of the first treatment.

**I read in one article that whip worms will not be affected by this treatment... ? I'm curious to know why, but haven't found an answer yet. **

So why pump your animals full of expensive drugs when the answer is right in your fridge?  Get your pets off the prescription meds and let them enjoy a happy, drug-free life! 

For additional research, see these sites:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Homemade (EASY) Sourdough Sandwich Bread

I haven't been this excited about a recipe in a long time!  I found a sourdough recipe online, then I tweaked it by using real ingredients and it turned out great.  Two of my children ate sandwiches on this bread today, and they were all impressed- and my kids are picky about their bread! 

Here's what you'll need for this easy-peasy sourdough recipe:

1 1/2 c warm water
1 1/2 t real salt or fine Celtic salt
1/3 c rapadura
1/2 c liquid coconut oil
6 c flour (I used unbleached all-purpose)

1.  Mix all ingredients into a large bowl.  You may need to add more flour or water to get a good consistency, depending on the hydration of your starter (that's fancy talk for the proportions of water to four).
2.  Knead the dough until it is elastic (I think I kneaded for a total of 5 minutes) and dough doesn't stick to your hands.
3.  Place dough into a large greased  bowl- I greased mine with butter.  This is how is should look at this point:

5.  Let your dough sit overnight, covered with a damp cloth.  In the morning, it will have risen a good deal!  Mine was nearly busting out of the bowl.  Punch it down and knead it again (5 minutes).  Add small pinches of flour, if needed.
6.  Divide the dough into two loaves and place in bread pans to rise again.  I did not grease my stoneware pans.

After the second rise (about 2 hours), your dough should have doubled:

7.  Bake your loaves in a 350 degree F oven for about 40 minutes.  They are done when golden brown and sound hollow when tapped:

I was impressed with the rise of this bread.  The sugar in the recipe really helped the sourdough starter take off, and there was no sweetness in the finished product!  This bread is perfect for a sandwich loaf- it cuts very well and the crust is thin and easy for picky eaters to ignore :)

Check out this other sourdough recipe! Or this more advanced loaf... Enjoy!