After spending a bundle at the vet’s office on my thirteen-year-old dog, Sparky, and finding there was nothing wrong (or not finding anything wrong) I analyzed Sparky’s behavior and eating habits. Since she had her teeth cleaned and quite a number of them pulled, Sparky tended to swallow her food whole. I know most dogs don’t make a habit of chewing their food well, but Sparky was really gulping it down! That’s when I decided to try some home-cooked meals – I say meals instead of home-cooked dog food because it’s perfectly fine for humans, too!
After researching online I chose several recipes – one using ground turkey and the other cooked chicken parts – drumsticks, thighs, breasts. The ground turkey is the easiest: You pour Six cups of water in a large pot, add Two cups of uncooked rice; add a pound of ground turkey, breaking it into small pieces and sprinkle in some dried ground basil. Don’t add onions or garlic since neither is considered safe for dogs to eat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, simmer and cook for about 20 minutes – or until almost done. Then add 1/3 to 1/2 package of frozen mixed vegetables or green beans or carrots – most dogs like quite a variety of vegetables; and cook 5-10 more minutes. This makes enough food for three meals for each dog. (Sparky is 50 pounds and Mandy is 15 pounds). This last batch only stretched to two meals because my husband, Roy, and I had some for dinner also! It was fine just as it was for Roy’s bland taste but I added some garlic powder and salt to mine.
In all the thirteen years we’ve owned Sparky she has always just laid there, watching me prepare her dry dog food while Mandy would be prancing and dancing around like she just couldn’t wait any longer. Well, after eating Mommy’s home-cooked food for about a week, Sparky has become vocal also, giving a few anticipatory woofs! Now, lest anyone think this is a burden cooking up food for their pets, I must say it has made me very happy! My husband has “exotic” tastes: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, swiss cheese sandwiches and salads. He doesn’t like to eat meat or most fowl – turkey once in awhile, prefers his meals cooled down (a lot). So, the “Joy of Cooking” for me had disappeared – until I started cooking for Sparky and Mandy! They’ve helped me to realize it isn’t so much what I feed them – it’s their wonderful response to my cooking that makes it such a pleasure to get in the kitchen and cook. Now if I could just get DH to do the same when I fix his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!