The way to your pet’s heart may be through their stomach. Whether your pet has a food allergy, is a picky eater or just deserves to be spoiled (don’t they all), you’re not the only one who’s making home-cooked meals for your pets.
“I guess the word got out that I’m a crazy woman who cooks for her dog,” said Marie Mayeur.
Mayeur began cooking for her 13-year-old dog about a year and a half ago and she’s seen improvement in her pet’s health.
“It used to be that you’d feed your dog table-scraps until they were full,” said Marie Mayeur. “There’s so many weird food allergies that dogs get you wonder if human food is actually better for them.”
Her recipe is very simple too.
“I just fill a pot with water, boil a whole chicken until the meat falls off the bones and add collard greens, rice, and a little olive oil to add some fat,” she said. “She likes collard greens, she’s a southern dog.”
Amber Rushing just began cooking for her two cats, Boris and Bruce. Like Mayeur’s dog, the cats had bad allergies. It’s only been a week that the cats have been on their new diet. Rushing’s vet told her it could take up to three months to see a difference.
“The cats get excited because they know it’s for them and they are involved in the taste testing process,” Rushing said. “It’s very rewarding knowing that my cats are eating as well as I am.”
Cooking for pets isn’t new to Mayeur, she cooked for her previous dog as well.
“She liked scrambled eggs and chicken gumbo—and she lived until she was 18,” she said.
You can spoil your pets too with recipes below from Ashley Dickerson of The Spotted Dog and Rushing.
Banana Bones Dog Treat Recipes from Ashley Dickerson of The Spotted Dog
1 cup oat flour (You can use wheat flour if you don’t have oat or brown rice)
1 cup whole wheat flour (substitute with Brown Rice flour for a “wheat free” treat)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted peanut butter
1 ripe banana
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup water
Preheat oven to 325F. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. In another bowl, mash banana, then add peanut butter and water and mix well. Then make a well in the flour and pour in banana mixture. Add water if needed to form a ball of dough. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut with a bone shaped cookie cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool in oven, and store in a container. Good for 2-3 weeks.
Chicken and Cheese Cat Food Recipe from Amber Rushing
10 Chicken hearts with fat still attached (I get mine from Green Acre Farms)
1/4 cup wild red rice
2 cups water
1/2 inch slice of pork liver, chopped (also from Green Acre Farm)
1/3 tsp Marmite or Vegemite (a hydrolyzed yeast extract)
1 wedge Laughing Cow swiss cheese (optional)
3 Tbsp plain gelatin*
Put the first 3 ingredients in a small pot and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the rice is full cooked.
Drain the pot. Reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid and add the gelatin to it. Stir until disolved.
Put the hot hearts and rice in a food processor or Ninja and pulse until a chunky puree.
Add liver and the yeast extract to the hot puree an pulse until incorporated. The heat of the hearts and rice will gently cook the liver.
Cool a spoonful and let your cat try it. Give them a few minutes. If they don’t eat it, add the cheese to the mix and let them try it again.
Now blend in your gelatin mixture, portion into sealable freezer safe portion cups (I use 4oz.), put one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer.
*Some gelatin is stronger than others. If you find your cat food doesn’t set up after being in the fridge overnight, just add another tablespoon to the next batch.