I have to admit, I am not one for cooking for people, let alone dogs. I don’t like to spend time in the kitchen, especially when the weather is nice. I want to spend as much time as I can outside. Therefore, as much as I adore my dogs, the thought of cooking for them never really entered my mind. I have been feeding all my Setters the same dried food my breeder recommended to me back in 1992 when we got our first English Setter. They have been healthy and have had beautiful coats. Our elderly dog Trudi lived a wonderful long life reaching 16 years, 2 months.
Well – that has all changed now! I have just finished reading Carlotta Cooper’s book Canine Cuisine that offers 101 natural dog food and treat recipes promising to keep my dogs healthy and happy. Carlotta’s book is well-researched, detailing the history of dog food, and citing alarming facts about commercial dog food today. Carlotta, herself, has fed a homemade diet to her dogs since the 1980’s. She presents a strong case in favor of canine home cooking and backs it up with numerous yummy recipes for meals and treats your dog will love. Along with all the tempting recipes included in Canine Cuisine, you will find tips on foods that help with things like diarrhea and foods to avoid for dogs with joint or arthritis problems, important information on vitamin supplements, portions, and storage.
To be fair to those who simply won’t or can’t convert to home cooking for their dogs, Carlotta does provide information on the best commercial dog foods available. These do exist, but it is up to the wise consumer to READ THE LABELS CLOSELY. There is no getting around it, advertising makes any commercial dog food sound great. Don’t be fooled. Your dog’s health and well-being are in your hands. It’s hard to ignore these facts after reading the information provided in Carlotta’s book.
Okay. Again, I will confess, as I read with horror the startling facts she presented on the commercial foods we so freely give to our beloved canine family members to fill them up, I still kept thinking of my disinterest in culinary arts and looked over the list she provides of commercial dog foods considered to be the best, hoping to find a good excuse to overlook the hard, cold facts I was reading. When the book moved on to the recipe section, I became intrigued. Yow! These recipes sound delicious! And, they’re quick and simple to make! Just what I like! And, they sound just like the meals I like to eat myself. I read on and on. Simple. Easy. Yummy. All of us could benefit from eating these recipes. So many different ones to choose from. Such variety. The recipes left me with no reason not to cook these home cooked meals.
My plan: Don’t start cold turkey. Go with one meal that sounds great, like Cheese Omelet, containing cheddar cheese, sweet potato, fresh spinach, and plain whole milk yogurt. I love a meal like this! Starting with one home cooked meal a week and building up to a completely home cooked diet, or even 1/2 and 1/2, helped me feel I could ease into this whole idea of spending time in the kitchen. After all: Anything for my dogs! I highly recommend Carlotta Cooper’s book as a knowledgable resource on home cooking that every dog lover should have on his or her cookbook shelf.