Welcome to The Canine Chef Cookbook
If you have stumbled upon this online dog friendly cookbook that means you are ready to start feeding your dog good food! We use human grade ingredients found at your local grocery store to make healthy homemade dog treats and dog food. Every recipe has been thoroughly researched and then Kirby tested, Kirby approved.
Even though I have done, and continue to do, extensive research please seek the advice of your Veterinarian before changing your dog's diet or adding any ingredients to your dog's food especially if your dog has any underlying health issues.
These are the answers to some of the main questions I have been asked over the years.
Why do I prepare the majority of Kirby's meals and treats? The dog food recalls, the dog treat recalls, and the fact that I was slowly poisoning Kirby before I knew what I know now has led me to take great care in what goes into his body for optimal nutrition and longevity of life. Not only is Kirby thriving with a beautiful coat, bright eyes and boundless energy, I have seen our fosters transform from the scraggly, malnourished states in which they arrived to healthy, energetic animals when they left for their forever homes.
Why do I follow a rotation diet to provide a variety in Kirby's diet? Varying wholesome ingredients on a regular basis lessens the chance of developing food allergies many dogs develop to certain proteins or grains due to repeatedly eating the same foods over and over again. Also, rotating meat and vegetables exposes the dog to a healthier range of nutrient sources. Read The Spice of Life by Lucy Postin, CEO of Honest Kitchen, to better understand the concept of providing variety. Then there's the boredom factor. Imagine only eating a hamburger and fries every day. Not only would that be unhealthy, just think of the flavors and nutrients you're missing out on. Just as we humans have cravings, so do dogs. I know Kirby's favorite flavors and what he doesn't like. For example, he won't touch a raw carrot which is very nutritious and low fat. Easy remedy? Mix chopped carrots in a meal or treat.
Why do I use portion control when feeding Kirby? Free feeding is easier but then I have no way of knowing how much he has eaten or not eaten if he is ill. Portion control provides the information I need to oversee his well being. Wondering how much to feed your pup on a daily basis? Read Portion Control for Healthy Feeding to understand and determine the proper daily portion your dog needs.
Why do I not worry about achieving proper nutritional balance? I raised two healthy children and never worried about counting or measuring vitamins or minerals. Common sense told me they were receiving what their bodies needed from the variety of healthy foods they consumed every day. They also took a daily vitamin to ensure they received any low or missing nutrients. Kirby is provided a wide variety of healthy appropriate foods and takes a daily multivitamin. In a nutshell I believe the basic principles of sensible eating should apply to your pet as well.
For those concerned about proper nutritional proportions, they generally run 25 - 60% meat, 30% carbohydrates (grain or sweet potato) and 20-40% vegetables. A multiple vitamin-mineral mix plus a calcium supplement are recommended. I add ground egg shells as a calcium supplement for Kirby’s homemade meals (not the treats) by adding 1/2 teaspoon (this equals about 400 milligrams of absorpable calcium) to each pound of meat used in the recipe.
Why do I only allow Kirby to eat a small amount of dry kibble on a daily basis? The natural diet of dogs is made up of 70 percent water which means moisture content is missing in a mainly dry food diet. Kibble is just too dry to be considered healthy as it requires the dog’s body to provide sufficient moisture to reconstitute the food in their digestive tract. Over time this becomes stressful to multiple organs, especially the kidneys.
You can calculate roughly how many calories are in a treat based on its weight in grams by assuming there are 3 to 4 calories per gram in a treat.
FORMULA: weight in grams of one treat x 4 = # calories in treat