We live in the Pacific Northwest. Often times when I say that, in my mind I hear the call of trumpets and envision fish jumping about in a glacial stream while glorious pine trees billow in the mountain wind. Yup, I’m in love with the beautiful PNW, truly an awe inspiring part of this glorious country. We value organic farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, and ranchers are allowed to graze cattle in national forest land free of herbicides and pesticides – and our salmon are some of the best you’ll ever taste, fresh from ocean and rivers. The abundance of high-quality food is one of the reasons we cook for our dogs.
Cooking for Your Dog
The main source of protein for one of our dogs is fish. Lulu’s diet consists of a majority of fish protein if mixed with other sources. We often make her salmon or sardine-based meals and treats. Mookie on the other hand can eat any protein, including salmon, beef, lamb, buffalo, turkey, duck and chicken. We cook and un-cook meals for our dogs. Un-cook? Yup, raw. Our dogs eat a wide-variety of high-quality food that we cook and un-cook for them. The trick with raw food is proper handling techniques and to freeze it all, and safely thaw the portion you serve each day. Don’t save left overs in the fridge. Put them back in the freezer (only once) and serve what remains in a few days (again follow safe thawing protocol). Cooking for your dog is fairly simple: cook like you would for yourself, using dog-safe ingredients, and again freeze. Don’t give your dog cooked bones, period. It’s really not that complicated – even though you may hear that it is. And, you may want to add a high-quality supplement to your dog’s meals – we use Dr. Harvey’s Herbal Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Supplement for Dogs.
10 Must Have Tools When Cooking For Your Dog
When you have had dogs in your family since you were a kid, you learn a few things about how to cook for them. When I was a kid I tried feeding my dog a cake from my Easy Bake Oven. You can put that down under ‘bad idea’ – hey I was nine! Since that time I’ve learned a few things, and just like cooking for a human it often comes down to having the right tools. Here are some of the best tools we’ve discovered for making your dog’s meals and treats:
1. Vitamix Blender | 2. Excalibur Dehydrator | 3. Heart Shape Mold | 4. Cuisinart Mini-Prep | 5. Silicone Mason Jar | 6. Dog House Cookie Cutter | 7. Bone Shape Cookie Cutter | 8. Dehydrator Liner | 9. Porsche Small Knife | 10. I Like Dogs Dish Towel
- Vitamix Food Blender. A must have for making green veggie mix for your dogs. Sure a kale leaf is healthy, with this patented tool you’ll be able to pack in 100 times more green anti-cancer, free-radical fighting veggies, making for one healthy, kick-butt mix that your dogs will love. Here’s our much asked for green veggie mix recipe. And for storing our pup’s green mix we now use the Brew Armor Silicone Mason Jar.
- Excalibur Dehydrator. This gadget is the key to making healthy dog treats. Select what items are fresh, and dog-friendly, from your garden or local farmer’s market, clean and trim, dehydrate and treat! We use ours quite frequently for making green bean snacks, carrot and apple rings, and salmon jerky. Say what? Yup, salmon jerky – here’s the recipe. To make dog-friendly fruit and veggie leathers, and to keep your dehydrator clean use a liner. Also, make sure you have good knives – we use Porsche knives, I’m a real stickler when it comes to high-quality knives.
- Baking/Freezing Trays. We can’t get enough of these little trays that can be used in the oven as well as the freezer. Want to make a little dog muffin, bake with these and for those cool treats packed full of gut-friendly probiotics just mix up your recipe, pour into a mold, freeze and serve one a day. Don’t have a recipe? Here you go! Also, have some fun making your dog cookie treats with dog-themed shapes.
- Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus. This sturdy and compact tool makes small-job chopping and mixing a breeze. We use the Mini Prep almost every week, whether we’re making the dogs some salmon sliders or a dog-friendly burger this tool makes mixing easy and clean up a breeze. Speaking of clean up, you’ll want to stock up on dog-themed cleaning towels – while any towel will do, come on, dog-themed cleaning towels make the world a happier place!
Bonus Recipes – go ahead, pin ’em!
Preparing food for the one you love is very rewarding – and that’s why we make our dogs their meals and treats. In some cultures food preparation is a labor of love, and that’s true for me as a Latina – but with these gadgets, it’s less laborious and more love-orious. Ha – I just made up a word!
Thanks for reading, and until next time – take care and keep on lovin’ your dog!