Like any good cookbook, this one is organized into sections. This particular book includes recipes for dog biscuits, biscotti, main meals, celebration cakes, and fancy party appetizers and hors d'oeuvres. There are guidelines on the basic nutritional needs of dogs and recommended equipment and ingredients for ease of preparation.
The recipes are straight-forward, easy to follow, and jam-packed with helpful hints and informative facts to guide you along the way. There is a huge endorsement for cooking with organic and natural ingredients. The news reminds you almost daily about the effects of eating processed foods, preservatives, and trans fats. Not only can these foods have an adverse effect on your waistline, they can be devastating to your health as well. These concerns are no less important for your dog, as her body is smaller and more sensitive. Poor diet and nutrition can lead to illnesses and health problems in dogs at a more acute and accelerated rate than in humans.
The spring 2007 recall of more than $30 million of tainted dog food is only a further sign that taking control of what you feed your dog should be of paramount concern. Awareness is key, and this cookbook offers simple and small changes in diet and lifestyle that can dramatically affect your pet's well-being. This cookbook offers recipes to fill the void and guide you to a healthier way of cooking and baking.
You will find recipes for biscuits that incorporate fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. The combinations are often savory without the addition of salt, spices, and sugar, and the flavors appeal both to your dog's sense of taste and your desire to provide an alternative to store-bought treats. There are biscotti recipes prepared with the same baking methods as traditional biscotti, where the biscuits are baked twice. The result is a genuinely crispy, hard snack, with roots in Italian recipes revised appropriately to be dog friendly. The cake recipes are simple. The addition of vegetables and cooked meats will satisfy your need to offer your dog a cake, but without the sugar and empty calories he doesn't need. Party recipes include everything from chicken broth ice pops to liver pâté napoleons.
The main meal section includes favorites such as Chicken Cacciatore, Beef Stew, Baked Fish Florentine, and even a recipe for Green Eggs and Ham. There are pasta and rice dishes that can soothe an upset stomach and a whole section on simple “gravies” that can be used as kibble flavor enhancers. There is also a section on baking your own training treats that guarantee you will be able to teach an old dog new tricks.
The ingredients called for in most of the recipes are simple staple items, but the emphasis is on using fresh and organic products. You will not find a single recipe that calls for the addition of sugar or salt. This cookbook has been designed to be a useful resource as well as a treasure trove of creative recipes that cater to your dog's health and nutritional needs while allowing you to be creative and have fun. Health issues and allergies are two of the major concerns that dog owners deal with on a daily basis. Learning to identify your own dog's digestive sensitivities will allow you to prepare the right foods. Common food intolerances such as sensitivity to wheat, gluten, and lactose are discussed and appropriate ingredient replacements are profiled. Even if you know your dog should not eat chocolate, you may be surprised to find grapes, raisins, and even citrus oils on the list of no-nos.
In the end, the hope is that this cookbook will become a reference tool for you and your family. Your dog is a member of your family, and although she cannot participate in the preparation, she will certainly appreciate your efforts.