Cooking For Your Dog
I have been a dog trainer and a vet tech for what seems like forever! I have never “catered” to my dogs’ food choices. If I were to let them choose, my 12 year old dog would opt for Reese’s Pieces and Peanut Butter Cookies for all of his meals! He is a dog after my own heart!
I haven’t jumped on the raw diet bandwagon and I don’t have the time or effort to cook all of my dog’s meals for them. I don’t believe in spoiling them when it comes to their meals either. You surely know someone who’s dog will only eat homemade meals.
Personally I don’t believe that most homemade dog food recipes and raw diets get the dogs all the vitamins and nutrients they need in all the right amounts. I know that most try, but I don’t believe that they have been around long enough to provide my dogs with all that they need.
I understand that there are many of my readers that make their own dog food or feed the raw diet and do a great job and have wonderful results, but for now it is just not for me. I believe in the research and nutritional components of some of the large dog food companies. I am not here to discourage anyone from making their own dog food.
However, I recently had a scare when it comes to dog treats.
I use to give my dogs a third of a piece of chicken jerky at night when we all went to bed. And, my dogs started begging to go to bed around 7 p.m. each night so that they could enjoy their nightly ritual! I didn’t realize that the FDA had been cautioning pet owners about chicken jerky products made in China since 2007! YIKES!!!
It got me thinking; perhaps it would be safer for me to make my own dog treats!
For years I have been telling my obedience clients to use human food for treats (in moderation of course) because if lots of small children get sick from string cheese we will know a lot faster than if dogs get sick and the process it takes to diagnose and relate it back to a food or treat item.
So I am going to start cooking for them, at least in moderation! And, I am going to share some recipes with you so that you can do the same!
When cooking for your dog, remember that simplicity is best! Dogs don’t need added salt or onion or garlic flavorings. Actually onions and garlic can be toxic for your dog, and salt is hard on his kidneys so when I cook for them I decrease or leave out any salt, garlic, onion or other spice. My dogs don’t care about spices! They just want treats that taste good to them, and we all know that dogs eat unimaginably gross things! Keep it simple, they also don’t need sprinkles or anything that “looks” like chocolate!
Chicken Jerky Oven
- 1 cooked chicken breast cut into thin strips
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees
- Place strips on baking sheets and bake 2-3 hours (depending on thickness) to remove moisture.
- Allow to cool in oven as oven cools to continue dehydrating
- Freeze to preserve freshness
Chicken Jerky Dehydrator
- Raw chicken breast (as much as you desire or have room for) cut into thin pieces
- Dehydrate for 8-10 hours depending on thickness
- Freeze to preserve freshness
I assume you could dehydrate almost any kind of meat this way!
- 1 lb Liver
- 1 box of corn muffin mix
- Liquefy liver in food processor or blender, mix with muffin mix, knead until doughy, spread on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cool, cut and put in fridge or freezer.
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.