The Dog-Gone Good Cookbook: 100 Easy, Healthy Recipes for Dogs and Humans by Gayle Pruitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am taking in account that no matter where I find a recipe, there may be tweaking needed for it to look and taste appetizing to me and my family's tastes so I am not taking any stars away for this.
I have three small dogs that you can see in the video portion of this review. I am not happy with all the chemicals and other things in the commercial dog food, even one of the best dog foods (and very expensive) had a recall not to long ago. My dogs are starting to experience health problems, some of which I believe is because of their diet so I thought about feeding them real food so I can control what and how much they get. Although human food has recalls, I just feel better knowing what is in their food and I feel it would be healthier for them besides, I love to cook. I came across this book and thought I'd give it a try.
The book starts off covering some information on how to use the book, staples to have in your house for cooking with as well as to keep on hand for use in recipes. It goes over the dogs digestive system and oral care. There are lists toxic foods, and safe foods. Of course these lists don't cover every food there is but the basic things that most people have in their house or use and eat often. The only thing out of these sections is the spices listed were very basic and I wish the list of them was expanded upon a bit more.
There is a sections of basic techniques followed by recipes, some for humans and canines and the other is canines only which takes up the majority of the book. I am so thankful for this basic techniques section because the first recipe in there is for 'Brined Chicken' and start off by saying, "If you have never eaten chicken that has been brined, then you are in for a treat." I never had a chicken that was brined and never brined one. I followed the directions and brined a chicken then turned the page to the 'Best Roast Chicken' and followed that recipe. This is where the tweaking comes in because I normally cook chicken on 350°F or even 375°F but the book calls for 325°F. By the time the chicken should have been done (hour and half to two hours for this size chicken) the temperature in the thigh was not even 160° never mind the 165° that is considered safe. Even when taking the temperature on the breast it wasn't high enough, also, the skin looked so white and undone so it wasn't even pleasing to the eye. This chicken was not done at all and I failed to see how the skin would 'crisp' using this temperature. So, I turned it up higher than normal (475°) for about 15 minutes which turned the skin a bit black in spots but at least it looked cooked and the internal temperature reached 165°. (Next time I make it, I will just cook it on 375°F.) Anyways, the true test was tasting it. In the video you can see what the dogs thought of it but both me and my husband agree that the author named it correctly, it was the 'Best Roast Chicken' we ever had.
I also made the 'Boney Beef Broth' and used it to make the 'Beef Stew' which was another hit! Again, next time I will tweak it by separating human portion from canine portion and add the onion and garlic and a few other things to it (toxic to dogs) but other than it being bland (but good) to us, the dogs loved it.
I feel this book covers basic things that those like me who are just starting out cooking for their pets need to know (including supplements). I also appreciate the links that are provided and the suggested websites and blogs. The recipes are easy (if you can find the ingredients) but like every cook book I've come across may need tweaking to suit taste or substitutions. (An example of a substitution is I wanted to make the 'Red Rice and Lentil Soup' but I just can't find red rice here at any stores in this area and I am not fond of buying my food on-line so I will substitute another rice in its place.) However, after saying that I want to be sure to say that it isn't like there are a whole lot of 'weird' or 'special' ingredients in it, so far the red rice is the only thing I am unable to find.
I recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of or just starting out to cook for their dogs. You'll be surprised to find the food is so yummy!
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