No matter what kind of food you feed your dog, leafy greens are a fantastic addition to your dog’s diet. Leafy greens are packed with natural vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and fiber.
A study conducted at Purdue University on Scottish Terriers found that the addition of leafy greens to a dog’s diet can greatly help with preventing cancer! Because dogs have short digestive tracts, they process greens better and are able to absorb more of the nutrients when the greens are fresh and pre-blended. Fiber from greens is critical for you dog’s microbiome. I came up with this recipe because I wanted to add a variety of finely blended, fresh, and top-quality greens to Miles’ diet in a suitable, affordable, customizable, and simple way. The following recipe is cheap, easy to make, and yields a large batch (1+ months) of greens that store individually portioned in the freezer.
- 3 bunches organic leafy greens: For this recipe, you will need three bunches of organic leafy greens. I like to use three different kinds per recipe. Each time I make a recipe, I use different green mixes. These can include but are not limited to:
- flat leaf / Italian parsley
- dandelion greens
- broccoli sprouts
- non-leafy greens that are also great include bok choy, celery, fennel
- If your dog has any health conditions, please check with your veterinarian to ensure that the greens you use are appropriate. Lots of information is also available in The Forever Dog book!
- 3-4 cups bone broth: Bone broth makes the cubes taste delicious even to dogs who are new to greens, and it is full of healthy collagen. I get mine fresh from my local health food store for only $4 for 4 cups (aka your typical 32 oz soup container) and it is nice and gelatinous. The thicker and more jelly-like the better! Just make sure to warm it up when making this recipe so it is liquid. If you are going to buy packaged as opposed to fresh bone broth, make sure it is natural, low-sodium, and free from sugar and artificial ingredients. You can also make your own! Note: do not worry about herbs and garlic – garlic is not dangerous for dogs in normal quantities. The only things to avoid are onions, artificial ingredients, and sugar.
Prepping Your Greens
Start by rinsing your greens well. Don’t worry about drying them! Next, “twist” your greens (video below). I use everything but the very end of the stalk.
Below I have my washed and “twisted” greens and some bone broth ready for blending:
Blending The Greens
You can use a food processor, which is what I did for a long time. It is messy and involves working in batches, and doesn’t yield the finest blend. For years I’ve been using this very affordable, powerful, and sturdy blender. It is the best blender I have ever had, hands DOWN! I use it to make my own soups, smoothies, dressings, juice, and more. Best of all, I am able to make Miles’ greens in 1-2 batches with no mess and such a fine blend I can’t even see bits.
Blend the mixture until very well pulverized. If it isn’t mixing well, try adding a bit more liquid. If you run low on broth, just add water!
Pour the blended greens into a mixing bowl, and repeat this process until you have no greens left. Again, if you are using a good modern blender you should only have to do 1-2 batches.
Putting Your Green Soup into Ice Cube Trays
Now you are ready to put your green soup into ice cube trays! For a dog of Miles’ size, around 21.5 lbs, I fill standard ice cube tray compartments to create daily servings. You can get silicone trays that are fancy shapes, but I have found getting the portioning ideal can be tougher in those. For reference, my ice cube trays contain approximately 1 3/4 tablespoons each. Miles is 22 lbs and eats 1 full cube per day at dinner.
I simply spoon green soup into the trays.
Freezing Your Green Cubes
Now the ice cube trays are all ready for the freezer!
Since you are going to be freezing your green cubes in batches, you’ll want to refrigerate your green soup in the meantime.
Miles is so used to his green cubes that I no longer have to use broth if I don’t have any handy, I can just use water (although bone broth is so healthy, it is ideal to use it!). He relishes green cubes so much that he loves getting a little extra from a spoon when I make this recipe. This to me is really proof that we like what we are used to. Before I came up with this recipe, Miles would have never dreamed of eating plain greens! Now he gets excited when I let him have my discarded kale stalks when I cook kale for myself. Purely anecdotal: Miles rarely eats grass now since getting green cubes every day.
Storing Your Green Cubes
When the cubes are frozen, I transfer them to a labeled Ziplock bag.
Recipe Yield: Miles weighs around 22 pounds. I give him one full 1 3/4 tablespoon green cube a day. In the winter, this recipe usually produces 1-2 months of greens per batch. In the summer, when the bunches of organic greens are often huge, I get WAY more than that out of a batch!
Feeding Your Dog Green Cubes
Green cubes are a great addition to any dog’s meals, no matter what kind of food they eat. Miles eats raw food. I give Miles his green cube at dinner. Because I keep his raw meals in the fridge, I have the green cubes in his bowls thawed in the fridge as well.
I like to feed Miles his daily green cubes thawed most of the time. On really hot days, Miles and many other dogs enjoy their daily green cube(s) frozen.
If you try the recipe, send me pictures and I will share them below!
Mary Anne from KY, USA made Green Cubes for Tiffin Raam and Pigwig! “My three are LOVING these.”
Carol from MD, USA made Green Cubes for Atlas! “We made green cubes and Atlas loves them! I think he’s getting more veggies than me!”
Anne from MN, USA made Green Cubes for Mr. Darcy! “Mr. Darcy LOVES the new addition to his diet 👏🏼”
Shannon from Canada made Green Cubes for Pixel! “Pixel licked the spoon when I was done making these 😂”
Hi Emma, thanks for the recipe! Miles is VERY healthy looking as is my three-year old Welsh Pepe. I often put greens into Pepe’s homemade meatballs, but then I get lazy and feed her freeze-dried raw reconstituted with water. This greens recipe will be a good addition to the freeze-dried. Out of curiosity, I would love to know what brands you feed Miles (if you are able to give me that information) or any personal recipes you have for raw. If this is not information you normally share, please point me to your favorite website or resource. Thanks! I enjoy your posts.
Thanks Emma! Thanks for taking time to share this. I’m going to try this for Indie. Beautiful photography as usual.
Aww thank you Susan! Let me know what you (and more importantly, Indie!) think(s)! And thank you for appreciating my photography. You should visit when next possible so I can take pictures of miss Indie! 💕
Hi Martha! I’m going to email you now! 👍
I am definitely going to try this for Willow. I am careful with the broth I buy as a lot of human broth has onion and my understanding is onions are toxic to dogs. I am very excited to introduce healthy greens into her diet. By the way she LOVES her Zogoflex!! Thank you for that tip!
Hi Kim, I can’t wait to hear what you think! Most health food stores sell bone broth that does not contain onions. How fantastic that Willow loves her Toppl! Yay!
I think I may try this recipe. I’ve been buying a product called Green Juju made in the PNW which is similar. I’ll use fermented fish stock which she loves as a bone broth. Thanks!
Hi Gail! I am also in the PNW, so I have seen Green Juju pop up recently, along with Primal Pet Foods Elixirs. I think you’ll love my recipe because it is individually portioned and customizable. Fermented fish stock sounds perfect… Want to stop by and bring me some?! 😄 Any person or pup would be lucky to be under your thoughtful care! 💖
So amazing! I was just researching minutes ago healthy fruits and vegetables that George can eat. He gets broccoli and pumpkin every day, but I wanted a fun snack or treat outside of mealtime. Your post serendipitously popped into my email. 😊 I’m going to make these terrific cubes. I know George will just love them!! He says Woof! Happy birthday to Miles!!! Lucky 11. 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀❤️
Hi Denise, clearly I read minds! 😂 George is SUCH a lucky pup, and he’d love these green cubes. I wish there was an emoji for them! Haha to the clover leaves! Shooting you an email now!
Genius! I can’t wait to try this out. Thanks Miles and Emma!
Yay! Let me know what you think and/or if you have any questions! I can’t wait to hear what you think. 😀
OK, I made my version tonight…kale, blueberries, chicken bone broth and like you did, kelp in the bottom of the trays. Easy peasy and the dogs LOVE the taste. Wish I could attach a picture so you could see! Thanks Emma and Miles!
Hi Mary Anne! How fantastic! Email me (click here) some pics!
Can’t wait to try these! Pippin loves anything green already so the cubes will be an extra treat.
Hi Sue! That is great! I can’t wait to hear what she thinks. How cute that she loves green things!
Both Lily and Ceri love this! I am certain it has helped with Lily’s IBD issues. Thanks for sharing all of your great recipes.
That is amazing!!! Aww Lily, she gets nothing but the BEST!
I am so glad to have found you! We are lovers of terriers. We have had and loved three Airedales and two Wirehaired terriers over the years. We haven’t had a dog since our Annie passed. Of course Annie was “The Best Dog” of all time. We have moved up to Oregon and absolutely love it, the only thing missing is a dog! I have filled out an application with Airedale Terrier Rescue of the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been told there could be a two year wait. Blauch! One of the other rescue people gave me a list of all the AKC breeders in the U.S. I have called a few up in this area just to leave my info in case there is a dog available to adopt. My next step is to do the same search for a Welsh terrier! We have always had great experiences with our dogs and loved them dearly. For many reasons we are missing having a furry companion to love. Perhaps you could recommend a Welsh terrier rescue? Or may know a breeder with a Welsh terrier they might want to rehome. Any info would be appreciated. Absolutely love your story and your articles.
Thanks for writing Elsie! I just sent you an email reply 🙂
Since your original post, George gets green cubes with his raw food—beef, duck, and lamb—at breakfast and dinner. He thanks you, too! They are a little smaller (but not by much) than your cubes, given the size of the square ice cube trays we had on hand. And, after reading Forever Dog, I’ve been giving George more exciting healthy treats (instead of Ziwi Peak freeze dried lamb more exclusively) such as carrots—he loves the crunch—blueberries and coconut meat. I cut these up tiny so I can reward him on our walks. He says, woof woof! I must write his furr-friends we meet along our walks are not impressed. Typically, they take the carrot, but then spit it out and look up at me quizzically as if to say, no lamb? I also bought some mini red and yellow mini peppers to cut up for more “color” in this healthy variety. I thinking of trying sardines as an exotic dinner once in a while. Once a month?
I’d check the book for their recommendations about how often to feed sardines, I think they mention their thoughts on that but I lent it to someone. I do give berries but in moderation, and I avoid carrots, as for some reason Welsh Terriers are really sensitive to carbs.
You are welcome!