How To Cook Food For Your Dog? 3 Vet Approved Homemade Recipes

Bone Appetit: Recipes for a healthy, happy dog

No one likes to eat the same food for every meal every day. Neither does your dog, says pet lover Arden Moore of Oceanside, Calif. So she put her dog’s favorite recipes into a cookbook designed to help you prepare your own nutritious, delicious dog food and treats.

“Dogs are chowhounds, and I like to make sure they’re eating the right chow,” says Moore, author of “Real Food for Dogs” (Storey Books, $12.95), which includes veterinarian-tested recipes for healthful treats, rewards, and special-occasion meals.

“There is a direct connection between dogs’ food bowls and their health. And we love to give our dogs treats; it brings us joy.”

Moore isn’t advocating that people quit using commercial food to become, as she says, chefs to their dogs at all times. The meals in the book – made with human-grade ingredients – aren’t designed to replace your dog’s daily food. But she does encourage readers to celebrate special occasions with tasty treats, many of which can be prepared for the entire family.

“So, it’s actually a time-saver,” she says. “Two-thirds of the recipes you can actually eat, too.”


l Keep in mind that your dog is an omnivore. Dogs like meat and vegetables. The best food has meat, not wheat, not rice, or anything else, as the first ingredient.

l Do make sure, though, that their meals also include a good portion of tasty and nutritious grains and vegetables. Try rice, bagels, oatmeal, green beans, tortillas, peas, broccoli, and spinach.

  • Some dogs, such as Westies, poodles and cocker spaniels, can be prone to food allergies. Consult your veterinarian to select the appropriate foods, with the best ingredients, for those dogs.
  • When serving food, use a measuring cup to make sure you’re doling out the right amount for your dog’s age and activity level.
  • Weigh your dog monthly. An overweight dog will be susceptible to more health problems and a shorter life span. If your veterinarian says your dog is overweight, cut back on the food approximately 10 percent per day for gradual reduction. No crash diets.
  • When substituting a homemade dinner for your dog’s regular food, make the amounts equal.
  • To maintain healthy teeth and gums, provide suitable chew toys and dental chew treats. Some dogs even enjoy ice cubes.
  • If you like the idea of homemade treats but need a shortcut, Fidough Bakery in Springfield, Ill., may have just what you’re looking for. Co-owners Cathy Leslie and Donna Weller bake gourmet dog cookies in their own homes so you don’t have to.

Fidough Bakery has a selection of treats in a few retail stores, but most of their business comes from online and telephone orders.

“We’re doing pretty good,” Weller says. “We’re keeping busy. We’ve gotten a lot of dogs hooked, I think.”

Fidough offers two main flavors of treats: the Pawnut Butter crunchy treat and the Fidough Fave, a cookie-style, honey-flavored treat. Neither is made with sugar, salt, additives, byproducts, or, as Weller says, “anything you couldn’t eat. We use only ‘people ingredients.’ You could pick up one of these and eat it and not have a problem. They do taste like they need salt and sugar, but they just smell so good when they’re cooking, and dogs just love them.”

Fidough’s Web site,, highlights the high-quality ingredients and the love that goes into all of the cookies.

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Tips on making homemade dog food and treats, from Arden Moore, author of “Real Food for Dogs”:

  • Wash your hands in warm, soapy water and rinse well before handling food.
  • Clean all produce in cold water to wash away any pesticides, dirt and bugs.
  • Keep the recipe simple.
  • Select fresh ingredients.
  • Opt for variety.
  • Always cook meat, seafood, poultry and eggs.
  • Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to four days, or in the freezer, where they will keep indefinitely.

Here are three of Moore’s favorite recipes, from “Real Food for Dogs.”


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine all ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Scoop out by the spoonful and roll into mini meatballs. Place the meatballs on cookie sheet sprayed with nonfat cooking spray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool and store in refrigerator in a container with a lid.
  • “They’re bite-size, fun to make, taste great, and are excellent rewards when cut up as training treats. I love ‘em, actually,” says Moore.


  • 2 cups brown rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound ground chuck hamburger
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Cook rice in a steamer. Steam carrots and broccoli until tender. Warm vegetable oil in pan over medium heat. Add hamburger and garlic and saute until cooked through.
  • Combine all ingredients. Allow to cool before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
  • “A feel-good homemade meal for both you and your dog.”


  • 1 pound sliced beef liver (save the juice)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small box corn muffin mix
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. In food processor, blend liver one slice at a time on high until liquefied. Add a little water and liver juice as you add each slice.
  • Pour corn muffin mix into a large bowl. Add liver and mix thoroughly.
  • Spray an 8 1/2-by-11-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Pour liver mix into pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the middle springs back at touch.
  • Cool and cut into small cubes. Store the cubes in resealable plastic bags in the freezer.

“My top pick of the treats. It’s disgusting, really gross, but they’ll love it. So hold your nose and satisfy your dog’s belly.”

By DiAnne Crown
Copley News Service

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