What’s cooking?

IMG_3842
Nothing much…

(This is for Seven Cats and Counting and other new dogs parents)

My ‘cooking for dogs’ hack :

meat+vegetables+herbs

Grains are optional, brown rice is better than white, wheat is not the best choice (it’s been modified too much through history). Cook till it’s cooked. Serve room temperature rather than hot (adjust to the elements: on a cold day serve warmer, on a hot one: colder).

IMG_3846
Charlie prefers to eat from Lily’s bowl

The longer version:

Meat should be as fresh as possible, from reliable sources if possible. Odd cuts are welcome, though liver shouldn’t be eaten too often. Opt for leaner meat most days (game, rabbit, poultry, fish) but beef is good, so include it, too. Some beef cuts aren’t fat either: ox tongue is lean and my dogs (and cats) love it. Pork can be eaten occasionally as it tends to be quite fatty. Pig trotters (yes, I know) are a great source of collagen and are great for joints, coat and skin. I make broth (it turns into jelly), freeze it in small containers and use as broth cubes. If you feed your dog any bones, please supervise. Seriously, be there and watch, from the beginning to the end, dispose of the bone after it’s been sufficiently stripped of meat. Beware: the process can take hours and many dogs wish to bury the sad remains ‘for later’. Never give chicken bones to your dog. Chicken feet are less of a threat if they are cut close to the claws/toes? (without the longer, brittle bone) and the hard, nail like claws themselves have been removed. Surprisingly, turkey necks are reasonably safe (still, the ‘supervise’ rule applies here, too). And they are cheap. And dogs love them.

Vegetables can be frozen (cheap and convenient). I use lots as my dogs eat very little grains. Most green, leafy ones are fine. In fact, most vegetables are fine (check the ‘unsafe foods’ list, or if in doubt, just don’t use it- I don’t use garlic as it seems to be controversial).

I use lots of herbs, mostly dry, but because I grow some in my garden, some 30 -40%would be fresh. I never use salt.

Fruit is mostly safe (again, refer to the list), so if you have a fruit lover, snacking on fruit is fine. Just remember: sugar needs to turn into energy, so exercise your dog.

I disapprove of the term: ‘superfoods’. Most unprocessed food could be called that. But I do use foodstuff that I believe is particularly beneficial for my dogs: fish oil, flax seeds, coconut oil, turmeric (and the bone broth).

The dish in the bowls in the photos is chicken stew.

Ingredients:

2 chicken quarters

one pound/ half a kilo each: chicken livers, chicken stomachs, chicken hearts

about 300-400 grams of diced carrots, peas, string beans (frozen)

1 parsley

a slice of celeriac,

half of a small broccoli

basil, oregano (dried)

parsley (fresh, a generous bunch)

optional: ground flax seeds, turmeric and fish oil (added after cooking and mixed with the meal)

Method:

fill a big pan with water, turn the hob on

chicken tights go into the pot first

bring to boil and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes

add frozen and fresh vegetables, herbs, chicken hearts and stomachs, bring to boil and simmer  for 10-15 minutes

add chicken livers, bring to boil and cook for about 5 minutes, then turn the hob off, when cooled, remove the chicken bones and cut the meat into chunks

Optional: add a pinch of turmeric, half a teaspoon of ground flax seeds and half a teaspoon of fish oil to each bowl

Freezes well 🙂 You can even freeze the excess liquid and use it as your broth next time.

Unsafe food lists:

fruit and veg

more general and this one

herbs

If in doubt ask your vet 🙂

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21 thoughts on “What’s cooking?

  1. I really want to start giving my dogs tumeric, I’ve read so many good things about it. How much should I be giving the pups?

    I also want to start doing more home cooked meals…I looked into semi-raw feeding but got really confused having been a vegetarian since I was a young child (I do not know much at all about what different bits of meat are called – I thought tripe was a fish, like trout!!) and we wouldn’t be giving bones anyway because one of our dogs especially cannot be trusted with anything even slightly crunchy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dogs are not fans of turmeric, so I can only use very little of it (strange, as I don’t really think it tastes of much). There are turmeric tablets that do the job (it’s just concentrated turmeric, really) but I doubt the dogs would appreciate that-and the tablets are far more expensive compared to the ground stuff. Half a teaspoon for small to medium dog is great if you can manage that most days. I’ve been a vegetarian/vegan pretty much all my life, too (though my mum, under pressure, fed me some meat till I was about 3), but I probably know more about meat than many devoted meat eaters 🙂 You can buy bone powder for dogs (though I really think it’s not necessary). As to the raw diet (BARF and similar): I know some people swear by it, but my vet doesn’t recommend it (and I do trust my vet, it took me ages to find the one I really like), there’s too much evidence against it (bacteria and so on), so I cook the meat. My dogs seem to thrive on no-grain food, so I don’t add grains (and their dry food is grain-free, too) but everyone should watch their dog and decide what works best. Working dogs often need more energy and seem to do better with rice/potatoes (easily accessible carbs). I like cooking anyway, so it gives me a lot of pleasure to see my dogs enjoying their homemade dinners 🙂 x

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks! Do you cook your dogs’ meals daily, or do you do a batch that will last a few days? I’m really interested in trying to do a home cooked diet, with a small amount of kibble or wet food. I think my three would LOVE it.

        Even if I wanted my three to eat raw I don’t think we could manage it – for starters we don’t even have a freezer atm haha, but I think it’d be too expensive and fiddley too. I’d be too scared about missing something and getting it wrong. And the thought of raw meat kind of icks me out. It’s interesting that your vet doesn’t recommend it.

        I just love the idea of preparing meals for my dogs, and I know for sure that all three of them would enjoy it more than kibble and probably even wet food 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm373757.htm
        This is probably the latest, but there are plenty of science based articles – just check the sources (as with everything). My vet charges enough not to depend on pet food companies to pay him, so I do trust him 😉 And it’s not the ‘raw’ that’s the problem, it’s more the bacteria 🙂 So, unless I find scientific evidence that it’s safe, I’ll carry on cooking. Even as it is, free range is hard to find and not particularly cheap, if we went raw, I’d just have to go hunting somewhere in Norway (or some relatively unpolluted, human-free environment) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I do tend to cook most days, but all the meals for my dogs can be frozen (I do it sometimes, when I cook too much). They can also be kept in the fridge for a day. It’s so easy that I don’t even consider it ‘cooking’ 🙂 And they definitely love it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha if I can learn for anyone it would be for my pup! My husband & I are vegetarian prior to that I never cooked meat but recently was gifted a cook book for dogs meals and want to give it a go. I guess Styx will let me know how I did

        Like

  2. Great post-really useful information too, especially in light of the information that’s coming out about shop bought animal foods. We’ll all be round shortly for dinner…
    Great post, Mum’s going to try your recipe for Erin tomorrow :)x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 though my ‘recipe’ is just the description of what Charlie and Brian were eating…I like cooking, but cooking for pets is a bit less challenging than for people 🙂 And I wouldn’t mind having you round for dinner, you’re the best story-teller I know, so we wouldn’t be bored! x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol! Thank you!
        Your recipe is a good starting point which can easily be adapted to cover other meats, and your animals look wonderful on their diet. I was pretty disgusted with some of the findings on shop bought pet foods…will be researching alternatives for my four x

        Liked by 1 person

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