A day in the life of a normal dog
Think about a day in the life of the average dog. He or she gets up when you get up. Typically, you rush them into the garden for a toilet break because they’ve had their legs crossed half the night. You come back in and they pace up and down waiting for you to take them out for a brief walk before you begin your day in earnest.
Perhaps you go out to work. Maybe you take the children to school or go shopping. For many dogs, that means spending the majority of the day alone. Laying around doing nothing. That really is a dog’s life!
So you put their bowl of kibble in front of them and off you go. Your dog manfully struggles through a bowl of biscuit. Then fitfully lays around waiting for your return while its body struggles to digest an unpalatable meal.
You come home, greet your excited dog, and perhaps take them into the garden for another toilet break. Once back inside, you prepare dinner, take care of the children. And maybe, just maybe, a little play time with the dog before his or her second meal of the day. Yes, yet another bowl of dry, nutritionally-bereft dog biscuit. Super. Really worth waiting for, that!
You settle down to watch TV and your dog does the same. Immediately before you go to bed, you let he or she out for another toilet break and then you all go to bed. Sound broadly familiar?
Now imagine you home cook for your dog and, like me, you cook on a regular basis. You’ve followed the early morning routine above. Only instead of the dog settling down to yet another boring day in front of the fire or gazing longingly out of the window, he or she hears the sounds associated with cooking. Pots being manhandled, ingredients being prepared.
A day in the life of a well fed dog
When you home cook for your dog, in a surprisingly short space of time, he or she will know what’s going on. He or she will have memorised every sound. Every smell. Every movement associated with the preparation of food. Especially when you’re cooking up something for them. Because believe me, they know!
So his or her brain will be working overtime from the moment you begin. The nose will be twitching. The wide eyes following your every movement. Sometimes even interpretting what you’re going to do next. Seemingly seconds before you know yourself. It never ceases to amaze me how they know. They just do!
That’s your dog’s brain working overtime. Exercising his or her mind. And they say that for a dog, mental exercise is just as beneficial as physical exercise you know.
So you continue. Opening drawers. Organizing ingredients. Filling pans and preparing to start cooking. Your dog registers every move. Every sight, sound and smell. Maybe the occasional tidbit will drop to the floor. Then your dog will let you know that he or she wasn’t really asleep at all. That tasty tidbit will get hoovered up the instant it hits the ground.
That’s all good by the way. Every single thing you do throughout the cooking process matters. It adds enjoyment, interest, engagement, excitement and anticipation to your dog’s life. It makes that particular day way, way, more interesting and mentally stimulating than it would otherwise have been.
Dogs know you know
And your dog will know that what you’re doing is for them. You may think that what you’re doing is exactly the same as if you were cooking for your human family. But subtle things will be different and your dog will pick up on every single one of those differences. Now that’s a proper dog’s life!