April is National Pet Month, an observance that raises awareness of responsible pet ownership.
As a proud owner of two beautiful rescue dogs — one from Cayman and the other from Phoenix, Arizona — I encourage potential pet owners to consider adopting one of the many pets that need a home.
My dogs and I have travelled together over the past 17 years, lived in various cities throughout North America, and now they're here with me in the Cayman Islands.
Like many other pet parents, I consider my two dogs to be members of the family and spoil them with toys and treats. They’ve been known to wear some unique collars, which they've never complained about. That could be because I feed them very well.
When we lived near mountains, I’d take the dogs for long hikes. In New York, we would walk from Battery Park to Soho. Now, our favourite activity is enjoying time at the beach. I always pack water and treats, which I often make myself.
The following non-bake treat bar recipes are easy to prepare and always well received. Here are some recipes:
In a bowl, combine a ripened mashed banana, a couple of tablespoons of organic peanut butter, a sprinkle of unsweetened cranberries, a tablespoon of unsweetened shredded coconut flakes and a few tablespoons of organic, plain rolled oats. Mix all ingredients until well incorporated and place on a tray in the refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes, then portion them into bite-sized pieces. They freeze well, so you can consider making a large batch for future use.
Another of my dogs' favourite treats that I've been making for years incorporates three simple ingredients. Just mix equal amounts of organic peanut butter, organic instant oats and water. Put small amounts into ice trays and freeze. They become a refreshing and crunchy treat to help the dogs cool down on hot days.
Meal toppers go well to add flavour on their daily dishes. For my dogs, I just add a spoon of organic pumpkin puree, plain steamed rice, cooked eggs, sardines (in water) or plain steamed chicken.
I'm sure most pet owners would agree that every day is a celebration with our faithful companions, but since it's National Pet Month, let's spoil them just a little more.
Massimo De Francesca is the executive chef at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.
This article appears in the April 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.