(This is for Seven Cats and Counting and other new dogs parents)
My ‘cooking for dogs’ hack :
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).
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.
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)
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)
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:
If in doubt ask your vet 🙂