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Cooking for Your Dog

Cooking for your dog can be fun as well as nutritious!

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Benefits of Home Cooked Dog Food

  • You have much more control over the ingredients that go into the food.
  • Some foods such as carrots and tomatoes actually release more nutrients when cooked. 
  • Most dogs will enjoy tasting whatever you concoct or whatever recipe you find.
  • You can experiment as you like with different recipes as some of our visitors have done.
  • You can create meals that humans and dogs can share.*

* Please be aware when cooking for your dog some human foods are UNSAFE for dogs (e.g. onions). For more information, see Dangerous Foods For Dogs.




Methods of Cooking for Your Dog

Healthier methods of cooking for dogs to maximize nutrition and minimize nutrient loss include:

GENERAL

  • Avoid using high heat for a prolonged period.
  • Aim for nutritional balance. Dogs need more protein and animal fats and fewer carbohydrates and vegetables than humans. 

If you have any doubts about your dog's diet, please consult a professional or do further research.

VEGETABLES

  • Steam your vegetables or use a minimal amount of water for cooking vegetables.
  • Cook vegetables unpeeled.
  • Add the cooking water from steamed vegetables to your dog's meal.
  • Use vegetables that are as fresh as possible or else frozen vegetables rather than canned products.

EGGS

  • Partway poach eggs or place eggs in their shells in boiling water for only 5 minutes.
  • Bring water to a boil, then add eggs and let sit for 15 minutes.

MEATS

  • Cook red meats in a non-stick frying pan till they just lose their red color (except pork, which should be thoroughly cooked till it looks grey to avoid trichinosis).
  • Heat chicken in seasoned water to the boiling point then let it simmer for an hour or more till done, rather than vigorous boiling.



Visitors' Ideas: Cooking for Your Dog

Canine Casserole by Daisie from Grundy, Virginia

Ingredients:
1b any type meat (beef, venison, chicken)
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 small potato, finely chopped
1 stick celery
1/2 cups sliced green beans (stringless)
1 Tbsp Gravox or steak sauce

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a large casserole dish that is microwave safe.
Cover with water and mix.
Place the lid on the casserole.
Microwave on high for 10 minutes, mix again and then microwave on medium for 10 minutes.
Remove from the microwave, put it on a hot plate to prevent burning your counter, and take off the lid.
This should be cooked at least an hour before feeding so that it's well cooled.


Editor's note: Looks like a good recipe, Daisy - thank you!




Num Nums for Dogs

This idea was submitted by Emily Schott of Boise, Idaho, to add organic, lean protein to your dog's diet - thanks Emily! 

If you [or someone in your family] is a hunter, this is for you! When gutting your deer, elk, duck, etc., save the liver, bladder, kidneys, lungs. When you get home, cut up the pieces and cook them in water for about 1 hour on medium. Cool the broth and parts, then bag the pieces in small storage bags and supplement your dogs dry dog food with 5-6 pieces of this meat. They go nuts for it and it's good for them too. [And the broth is a delicious addition to dry dog food.]




Kibble Stew by Teresa

Ever want to make a fancy form of food for your fluffy friend? Here is how.

-Take your dogs food bowl and fill it with a little less food than you usually do.
-In a different bowl, fill with warm water and frozen vegetable (thawed) (you can even take those leftover vegetables no one ate the first time) (make sure they are dog safe, such as carrots and peas)*
-Combine the mixtures. The excess water will look like gravy after a while.
-Feed to hungry dogs!

You can use garlic or garlic powder if you want to, but some people think it is bad for dogs and others don't. If you believe it's bad, don't include it just to be safe.

Make sure the water isn't too hot, it could hurt the dog (especially if your dog scarfs food down fast).

If your dog eats too fast, it can cause problems. Try putting in a rubber chew toy in the bowl, but nothing too small that they could swallow it.




How About Raw or Commercial Dog Foods?

Proponents of canine raw food diets say that uncooked foods are best because the nutrients are not altered by cooking heat. And, of course, dogs’ digestive systems are still geared toward what they would eat in the wild; namely, freshly killed animals. The link offers additional information.

Others claim that raw foods can contain things such as salmonella that will make a dog sick. These claims seem to mostly originate from companies selling dry or canned dog foods.

However, despite many pet food recalls, commercial pet foods are apparently still not regulated as stringently as human foods and may contain parts of diseased animals, feces, rancid fats, antibiotics etc. They often also have unnecessary and/or harmful additives such as filler grains, salt, preservatives and sugars. Yuck!



We hope you've gotten some useful ideas about cooking for your dog. Remember that we welcome your input, so please submit your own cooked dog food recipe ideas on our Homemade Dog Stuff page...


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