The birth of the dog nutritionist cook book
Ever since I first started home cooking for my dogs some years ago, I’ve had my own dog nutritionist recipes cook book in mind. To be published in 2022, The Dog Nutritionist’s Cook Book is not simply another dog treat recipe book. It’s a full-on cookery book for dogs. It covers everything from lavish and exotic dog cuisine to simple, nutritious and healthy meals that can be prepared for your dog in minutes.
Breakfasts, dinners, suppers, dog-friendly desserts, frozen treats and natural and healthy dog treats. Dressings & toppings, drinks, snacks & mini-meals, get-well food and special diets. The Dog Nutritionist’s Cook Book has them all!
Cooking for your dog does not need to be complicated
Cooking for your dog can be as simple or as complicated as you wish to make it. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either. If you take into account the fact that your dog’s improved immune system will mean fewer vet bills, making homemade food for your dogs can be even cheaper than commercial dog food.
But that’s not the reason most of us cook for our dogs. We do it because it enables us to take responsibility for the way we feed our canine companions. To take control of our dog’s diet. To be happier knowing exactly what is going into our best friend’s food bowl.
No more concern over harmful additives and chemical supplements. No more worry over dog food recalls. An end to asking ourselves the question, if commercial dog food manufacturers are happy to feed my dog sawdust, what else are they putting in his or her food that I don’t know about? Because whatever way you look at it, sawdust is not proper nutrition for a dog!
Cooking for your dog can be fun
Before I began cooking for my dogs in earnest, I had no idea how rewarding it could be. How much fun.
In animal husbandry there is something known as behavioural enrichment. In terms of our dogs, it means identifying and providing environmental stimuli.
Finding things our dogs enjoy so as to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing. In short, it all boils down to giving them a better life.
Dogs enjoy good food just as much as we do. They can appreciate different smells, different tastes, different textures. They also instinctively know what’s good for them. But they also get mental stimulation knowing you’re cooking for them.
In the case of my two large dogs, my wife and I have to cook for them more frequently than most. Between them they eat nearly two kilograms of cooked food a day. Okay that means a lot of cooking, but it also means a lot of stimuli. Because my dogs know something exciting is going to happen when their mixing bowls and their pots and pans come out to play. Every sight, every sound, every smell adds to their heightened awareness that something special is going to take placde. More to the point, something special that involves them!
Dogs love home cooking
Our dogs are very much part of our lives. If my wife is in the kitchen dealing with the meat and I am in our prep room preparing vegetables, we are each guaranteed to have a dog at our feet. That’s the way we like it. I have no problem stepping backwards and forwards over one of my dogs. I’m just happy they want to be with me. Self interest or not.
So our dogs are not laying in their beds bored out of their brains waiting for that evening’s bowl of nutritionally bereft dry dog biscuit. They’re at our feet because they know what’s happening. They’re on high alert because they know there could be tidbits coming their way all day. Meanwhile there’s smells to enjoy and samples to be tasted. Later there will be ladles and bowls to be licked. Saucepans to be tongue-washed until they’re almost so clean they’re ready for the next cook. All this adds to their behavioural enrichment. And before anyone suggests we’re being less than hygienic, we have separate kitchenware for both our dogs and ourselves!
Freestyle homemade dog food
Making dog nutritionist recipes for your dog should be fun. You don’t have to be a slave to it. Because our own dogs eat such a wide variety of foods, we’re not concerned that they may be missing out on something. We know they’re not. So if we don’t have all the ingredients for Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato & Parsley, we’ll make them Dodecanese Minced Beef Stew instead. And if we’re short on ingredients for that, then we’ll simply give them chicken thigh and mixed vegetables and make up for it next day. As I’ve said before, cooking for your dog can be as complicated or as simple as you like.
Importantly, every meal we make for our dogs includes an oil such as salmon oil, and my own dog calcium supplement for essential calcium. Every meal is also topped off with a range of herbs and spices for essential vitamins and minerals. We also vary their ingredients as much as possible. The fundamental principles of successfully home cooking for your dog are balance, variety and moderation. If you follow those you can’t go far wrong.