Dish up your own pet food—May 16, 2008
Hastings Public Library occasionally gets asked the question “How can I make my own dog or pet food?” Yes, the Library has cookbooks for dogs, cats and other pet foods available!
Don’t the recipes “Bow-Wow Brownies,” “Pawsitively Pleasing Pasta,” and “Marvelous Mutt Meatballs” sound interesting? Arden Moore had an overweight beagle, used regular human groceries to put his dog on a diet and succeeded in keeping his dog happy and healthy for 16 years. Moore says dogs placed on “crash diets” lose more muscle mass than excess fat just like humans. He tells you how to place your dog on a safe, effective diet in his book “Real Food for Dogs: 50 Vet-Approved Recipes to Please the Canine Gastronome”. Moore includes a section for dogs with special diet needs also.
In his book “Choosing the Best Food for Your Breed of Dog” William D. Cusick says that dogs bred in different climates developed different survival mechanisms which determined not only the thickness of their coat but also their nutritional needs. For example, the Alaskan Malamute (a Nordic breed) thrived on fish, the German Shepherd Dog (a low plains farmland breed) thrived on beef and grain and the Greyhound (a desert breed) thrived on rabbit. In eating the fish, beef and grain or rabbit, the dog also received the plant protein nutrients that the prey had eaten. Thus, the breed still needs the same plant nutrients as well as the same meat protein today.
Wendy Nan Rees and Kevin Schlanger give information about how to make home-cooked meals, how much to feed your dog or cat per pound and what nutrients each animal needs in their book “The Natural Pet Food Cookbook: Healthful Recipes for Dogs and Cats.” The recipes are edible for animals and humans. A section about which foods can be toxic to pets such as chocolate, grapes and seeds guides the cook to what substitute ingredients would be appropriate. “Ham Upside-Down Casserole”, “Barkin’ Beef Stew” and “Cat Sole” recipes look delicious and healthy for all species.
These and other books about making your own pet foods can be found at the Hastings Public Library