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FIDO & WINE Is Back!

January 9th, 2013

 

The wait is over! Fido & Wine is back for a new season! We’ll be premiering new episodes online, right here at www.thepetnetwork.tv, starting this Monday. Here’s the news release with all the details:


TORONTO, January 7, 2013: Fido & Wine, the world’s first cooking show dedicated to sharing ideas and recipes for meals that both people and their pets can enjoy, is returning to The Pet Network for a second season.

New episodes of the half-hour program, hosted by Laura Ducharme, will premiere online at www.thepetnetwork.tv, starting on Monday, January 14. The episodes will make their broadcast television premiere on The Pet Network in the spring of 2013.

Viewers will find full episodes of the show, along with recipes and more, at www.thepetnetwork.tv/fido-wine.

Fido & Wine Producer Jen Mitchell Oddi says this Pet Network original series taps into an area of growing interest among animal lovers.

“More and more Canadians are concerned with finding alternatives to processed pet foods and making sure that their dogs and cats enjoy healthier, more wholesome diets,” says Ms. Mitchell Oddi, who also authors My Dog’s Breakfast, a popular blog devoted to home cooking for canine companions.

“People often assume that preparing homemade meals for a pet is difficult, time-consuming and costly – but it doesn’t have to be,” she says. “Fido & Wine is all about finding inspiration to create simple, enjoyable and affordable meals for the special animals in our lives, using fresh and natural ingredients.”

The highlights of season two will include a “round-up” dinner inspired by a demonstration of duck and sheep herding, and a hearty cold-weather meal for some hard-working sled dogs. Fido & Wine will also take on the issue of pet obesity, with an episode devoted to weight-loss recipes. All this, plus a look at meal ideas for felines, and guest appearances by some of Canada’s leading design and renovation celebrities.

Don Gaudet, Vice President, Programming and Production for Stornoway Communications, which owns and operates The Pet Network, says the return of Fido & Wine reflects the station’s commitment to delivering entertaining and informative stories about the animal companions who share our lives.

“Pets are important members of our families. And as with other family members, we want the very best for them. Fido & Wine speaks to the many Canadians who care passionately about making sure their pets enjoy long, healthy and happy lives.”

The success of Fido & Wine has also sparked a spin-off project from the same production team: an original documentary for The Pet Network, now in development, that will explore the link between nutrition and aggressive behaviour in canines.

Season two of Fido & Wine is produced with the assistance of the Canadian Media Fund.


 

Oh, Canada!

June 26th, 2012

 

One of our favourite reads, as you know, is My Dog’s Breakfast, the blog created by Fido & Wine producer extraordinaire Jen Mitchell. Jen’s constantly posting imaginative recipes for people who, like her, want to prepare nutritious, homemade meals for their dogs.

For the upcoming Canada Day long weekend (Yay!) Jen has come up with something extra special: red and white maple leaf cookies! (There’s no food colouring involved, by the way. To get the desired shade of patriotic red, Jen borrowed an idea from Fido & Wine colleague Melissa Auger and used beet juice.) Why not give these a try?

Don’t forget to check out Jen’s blog HERE. Here’s wishing you — and your furry friends – a very happy Canada Day.

Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

- 5 1/2 cups of flour

- 1 cup no-sugar-added applesauce

- 1 cup chicken stock (with no onions, preferably no-salt added)

- 1/4 cup canola oil

- TSP baking powder

- TSP cinnamon

 - 1/3 cup of beet juice (My grocery store has it in the “natural” section. You could also make your own beet juice.)

Begin by fork-whisking together the canola oil, chicken stock and applesauce. Then, whisk in cinnamon, baking powder and flour and mix together until your dough “ball” forms. Gently knead to get it firmly together, wrap in parchment, and then put her in the fridge for at least an hour.

When you’re ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough to about a 1/4-1/2 thickness. Use your cookie cutter and start cutting away! (I bought myself a large leaf one at the bulk food store; they have small ones too.) Bake them on the parchment paper for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven, take them off the pan, and let them cool down. Here comes the fun part – get out your pastry brush and a small bowl (I like my silicone one because it washes well, although it’s harder to use) and paint as many as you want red with the beet juice. You don’t need much at all — just do the entire cookie and two-three coats should cover it.

Pretty cool, eh?

Remember to catch Fido & Wine every Tuesday and Saturday on The Pet Network at 8 pm ET/PT.

 

Play It Cool

June 11th, 2012

 

Phew! Hot enough for ya? Summer has arrived in full force — and if you think you’re sweltering, just imagine how it must feel to be sporting a fur coat. Fortunately, our Fido & Wine producer extraordinaire Jen Mitchell has come up with a cool ‘n’ creamy treat that will help your pooch to chill out a bit on the stickiest of summer’s afternoons. Jen’s “Berry Good Pupsicles” are made with plain yogurt, which is good for dogs in small doses, and can help you introduce some fruit into Fido’s diet.

Don’t forget to bookmark Jen’s blog, My Dog’s Breakfast. She posts a ton of great recipes and ideas for folks who want to prepare healthy and delicious meals for their canine companions.

Here’s her “Pupsicle” recipe:

INGREDIENTS (Makes three to four pupsicles)

- 1 cup of plain yogurt

- 2 TBS peanut butter (preferably natural)

- 1/4 cup blueberries

- 1/4 cup diced strawberries

In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and the yogurt. A spatula works well for this. Then, add in almost all of the blueberries and diced strawberries. Save a bit of each.

Take three plastic or styro cups and place the reserved berries at the bottom of each cup. Then, add the yogurt mixture on top, distributing evenly between the cups. The pupsicles in my picture appear larger than they actually are, by the way. I only filled small plastic cups about 2/3 of the way. This is a good size for a large dog. If you have a medium-sized dog, you might distribute between 4 cups. If you have a smaller dog, use ice cube trays.

Freeze the pupsicles. When you remove from freezer to serve, let them thaw enough upside down to “drop” them out of the cups — or, if you lack patience like me, run them under a bit of hot water to set them free.

If you’re really nice, like my friend Laura, you can make these in popsicle trays and hold them for your dog as he/she licks it like an ice cream cone …

Enjoy — and have yourself a cold treat too!

Remember to catch Fido & Wine every Tuesday and Saturday on The Pet Network at 8 pm ET/PT.

 

Purina Walk For Guide Dogs

May 28th, 2012

 

Posted by Christina Dun

Some dogs are cut out for more than just playing in parks and running around the house — they have what it takes to be trained to help people with visual or hearing impairment, physical disabilities and other medical conditions. The Purina Walk for Dog Guides is a national event, held in more than 250 communities across Canada, that raises money to help train dog guides. Each walk is organized by local volunteers, with support from Lions Foundation of Canada. This year’s national walk date was Sunday May 27

Last week, I got to cover Woofjocks with the PETnews team. While the Purina walk in Toronto didn’t have dogs jumping over hurdles or running through obstacles, there were plenty of enthusiastic canines — and their owners — on hand to enjoy a great day for a great cause. Purina president Karen Kuwahara was there with her dog Belle to do the official leash cutting, which kicked off the walk down Queen’s Quay.

All photos by Christina Dun. Follow her blog HERE.

 

Woofjocks @ Purina PawsWay Toronto

May 21st, 2012

 

Posted by Christina Dun

Our newest PETnews contributor, blogger Christina Dun, joined Kalen, Michael, Jonelle and the rest of the team this past Saturday at Purina PawsWay Toronto as Woofjocks presented thrilling demonstration of agility, flyball, freestyle disc and other canine sports. Check out the full photo gallery HERE, and don’t forget to follow Christina’s blog HERE.

For all you Toronto dog or cat owners looking for pet-friendly places to spend a great long weekend afternoon, PawsWay is the place to be. Located at Queens Quay, it’s full of activities, exhibits and special events for both you and your pet. And on Saturday May 19, Woofjocks was the highlight of the day.

Woofjocks is an educational and entertaining variety-type show with the goal of demonstrating that dog training can — and should — be fun. It’s all about building relationships with your pet. And even though I don’t have any pets of my own, I do love being around animals, so shooting this segment for The Pet Network was pretty fun.

When we arrived, the Woofjocks show had already begun, so we got settled and started getting footage of the event. I’m not used to photographing animal events, so it was a challenge to get good shots — they were constantly moving, and I’ll admit, I do get distracted when cute dogs are around. But in the end I think it went well.

Woofjocks showcased agility, speed, and obedience, along with choreography to music and fun tricks. Following the show, Kalen and Michael set foot onto the obstacle course and shot some footage while trainers and their dogs ran around them. It was pretty entertaining to watch.

Some other great features of PawsWay are the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, a breed match station, and the Williams Fresh Cafe.

Check out the full photo gallery HERE.

New FIDO & WINE Web Exclusives

April 9th, 2012

 

The Fido & Wine production team are busy putting the finishing touches on two new episodes of The Pet Network’s flagship series. Check out the Web exclusive clips we’ve posted for “The Luck Of The Irish” and “Dogtoberfest” — the latter airing next Tuesday April 17 & Saturday April 21 @ 8 pm ET/PT.

Behind the scenes on FIDO & WINE‘s upcoming “Luck of the Irish” episode, The Pet Network’s Melissa Auger gets schooled in the mysteries of the oyster — and gets her first taste of bivalve — courtesy of master shucker Patrick McMurray.

Join the FIDO & WINE team behind the scenes on their “Dogtoberfest” episode at Toronto’s Steam Whistle Brewing, where editor Wes Champion finds out what hops taste like before they go into making that delicious pint of beer. Prost!

 

Cheap Chow For Bow Wows

March 20th, 2012

 

A salmon dinner for just $1.25? A French omelette for 97 cents? Yup, you read that right. Tonight’s episode of FIDO & WINE (airing at 8 pm ET/PT) reveals the secrets of making “Doggie Dinners On A Dime.” Producer extraordinaire Jen Mitchell has the scoop in the latest post on her must-bookmark blog, My Dog’s Breakfast:

Our latest episode of Fido & Wine, Dog Dinners on a Dime, set out to bust the myth that it’s too expensive to home cook for your dog. My team (Hey-yo Melissa Auger!) went on a mission to pet stores and grocery stores in our area and calculated the average cost of a half a can of wet food and a cup of kibble. (The amount of food each of my labs would need to eat twice per day). The processed meal averaged out at $1.45, so it was a challenge to create some divine dinners with wow factor for less than this!

In the first part of our episode, Kim Clancy of the popular website frugalshopper.ca shared cost saving tips with our hostess with the mostest, Laura Ducharme. She had a lot of great suggestions, and the one that worked really well for us in this case was to check the flyers for sales. We found a great deal on frozen wild salmon filets: Four bucks each. Portioned into four, and served with two sides,  this dinner deal rang in at even less than the average processed meal. TAKE THAT PROCESSED FOOD!

Fresh, wild salmon, pot barley (a better carb for dogs than rice), and vibrant green peas that we always have kicking around – topped with dollop of plain yogurt. I know a lot of people say that salmon is too expensive to eat often, and yes, the unfrozen, thick ruby beauties at the seafood counter are more appealing and cost more than these – but you can turn the less expensive frozen filets into a beautiful meal – just look at the picture! The trick, which I learned while developing this recipe, is to dry the bejeezus out of the filet first with some paper towels. You will get a mushy result if you simply thaw and broil, but a dry fish to roast will give you a nice crust on it like you see in the picture [above].

The other dinner Laura Pants will show you is a Fluffy French Omelette – only 97 cents! KA-CHING!! Get cooking for your dog already – and don’t let me hear you say it’s too expensive! OK, sure, if you’re feeding cheap kibble only, it’s going to be cheaper than these meals … but if you’re buying even a medium priced kibble and mixing with cans or feeding a can as a meal, you will not be breaking your bank with these dinners! Real food for your dog IS an option.

Find recipes and more from tonight’s episode HERE. Follow Jen’s blog HERE.

 

Sláinte!

March 15th, 2012

 

 

We’re all a little bit Irish on March 17 — and that goes for our dogs as well. Fido & Wine producer Jen Mitchell decided to get her Irish on and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by creating these shamrock-shaped dog treats. She used spinach and peas instead to colour her “ShamBowWow Treats” the glorious green of the Emerald Isle. You can find loads more fabulous recipes for Fido on Jen’s blog, My Dog’s Breakfast. (Bookmark it now!)

Here’s how she made them:

INGREDIENTS

* 1 cup of whole wheat flour
* 1 cup of cooked peas (from frozen, they’re greener than the canned ones)
* 1 cup of spinach
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 1 egg
* tsp sea salt
[Optional – 1 additional egg for egg wash]

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a big bowl, add the cup of flour and tsp of sea salt.

Now, puree a cup of peas and a cup of spinach with the canola oil. If you don’t have a power tool – get one. OK, if you don’t, just mash your peas and chop chop chop that spinach like a chump. Er, champ!

Add the green mixture to the flour, and crack in your egg on top. Blend together until dough forms – it will be a damp dough. Now, I like to wrap in parchment paper and put in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes, but you don’t have to.

Now, sprinkle dough with flour and roll out to about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. You don’t want them too thin or they will turn brown on the edges in the oven. Use your shamrock cookie cutter to cut out your shapes, or use your wily ways with a knife to make them look like a shamrock. OR … you can make circles or squares, they’re still gonna be green and be festive for St. Patty’s day.

[Optional – lightly beat an egg and brush it on top of the treats to make them glossy. You don’t have to do the egg wash, they’ll still look great without it.]

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Follow Jen’s blog HERE.

 

Video Blog: Travel Tips

March 14th, 2012

 

Looking forward to a spring getaway? Make sure your vacation plans include provisions for your pet while you’re away. In this video blog post, The Pet Network’s Melissa walks you through the best options, from posh doggie hotels and spas to professional dog walkers and nannies.

 

A Fish Dish With Balls

February 28th, 2012

 

Fido & Wine producer extraordinaire Jen Mitchell has a great new dish posted on her blog, My Dog’s Breakfast. It’s a recipe for salmon balls (insert joke here) — an idea she came up with in an effort to introduce more fish into her dog Miko’s diet. As Jen explains, Miko had a bit of an (ahem) odor problem — she refers to it as “THE STANK” — and fish like salmon help  to promote healthy skin, which in turn is one of the keys to keeping your canine pleasingly unscented. So: salmon balls. Here’s the what and how:

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups cooked salmon (poached, baked, etc.)

I cup cooked brown rice

1 egg

1 tbs sesame oil

1 tbs ground ginger

TO ROLL BALLS IN:

1/4 cup white sesame seeds

1/4 cup black sesame seeds

Combine all ingredients (except for sesame seeds) in a bowl and mix well.

Spoon the mixture into a bowl. Have your sesame seeds at the ready for rolling.

Using a large spoon, begin to form balls of salmon.

Roll each ball in sesame seeds – yields approximately five white and five black balls.

Bake in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes.

Follow Jen’s blog HERE.

 

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