“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” the ancient physician Hippocrates is supposed to have said. In Dog, the saying goes: “Woof! Woof-woof-woof!”
Of course, we all know that aspirin is better for pain relief than celery, and that old Greek guy probably never said that anyway. What we could interpret it as, though, is that we should look for cures in medicine, but also eat well to avoid becoming sick in the first place. The same presumably applies to non-human animals.
As a general rule, the closer something edible is to its natural state, the better it is for you: wholewheat bread instead of white, raw vegetables vs. cooked, beef that was fed on grass instead of a grain/hormone/antibiotic mixture. Packaged dog food tends to be a long, long way from anything you would call “natural”.
The Dangers of Branded Pet Food
The crunchy texture of dry pet food, for instance, is achieved by mixing the other ingredients with starch, heating it and squirting it out through a nozzle. This is called extrusion and works somewhat like making popcorn. Now the crunchiness may make eating more fun for your pet, but the added starch represents empty calories that can lead to weight gain and possibly also diabetes and other problems.
Canned pet food comes with its own set of issues. It’s a good thing when the label says that it contains some percentage of meat: you might be vegetarian, but your beloved Sparky isn’t biologically equipped for a meat-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, when it comes to pet food, “meat” pretty much means “any dead animal parts”: animals that died from disease, rendered fat, even euthanized dogs and cats. Of course, we haven’t even gotten to the preservatives and colorants: in the U.S.A at least, several chemicals that have been banned for human consumption can still be legally added to pet food.
We should also mention here that all brands are not the same. The dry food I buy for my cat costs three times more than the regular kind, but she also eats half as much and the only vet bills I get are for yearly checkups. But she also gets a small amount of raw, natural protein (not sea fish) at least once a week. It’s never occurred to me, though, that she might like home dried food, or even cooked, seasoned and accompanied with side dishes.
How Does This Book Help You?
In the first place, while most store-bought dog food is more or less adequate for the majority of furballs, you’ll probably have noticed that special formulations exist for large breeds, older dogs and so forth. This book goes a little further than that, advising you on how to cook for and how much to serve each dog depending on how large and active they are, and of course of what breed.
People with busy lifestyles will be delighted to know that most dishes can be frozen and therefore made in large batches for later use.
And as I’m certain you’re wondering by now: what kind of Fido-food can you make with these recipes?
Essentially, there’s nothing in there that I wouldn’t want to order in a restaurant – although designed around dogs’ nutritional needs, you can basically make the exact same dinner for your two- and four-legged family.