Cooking meals for your dog is nothing new. Before dog food, everyone cooked for their dogs because they had to. Now a growing number of dog lovers are returning to these pet care roots.
Jeffrey Steingarten detailed his foray into canine cuisine in an essay called "The Man Who Cooked For His Dog," mentioning the delight of a golden retriever named Sky King as he discovered freshly roasted marrow bones as an alternative to rubber ones.
Amazon now has countless titles with recipes for dog biscuits, stews and other dishes that bear descriptions that would fit in on a fine-dining menu. Paleo diet dog cookbooks are big now. Raw food is hot, too. Most of these titles assume that you have the time to cook a meal from scratch for your dog, after you do the same for yourself, lest Fido eat better than you do.
That's where Dog-Gone Good Cooking comes in: The author suggests recipes fit for the both of you.
Imagine your dog's delight when you announce the days of endlessly repetitive desiccated pellets made from chicken meal are over, to be replaced by salmon florentine. Picture yourself saddled up to a table across your most loyal companion as you both enjoy twice-baked broccoli and asparagus souflée. Now picture that cute little whiskered face lapping at a bowl of tomato carrot soup. Forgot your spoon?
You know what to do.
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Veterinarians will no doubt bristle and carry on about sensitive digestive systems, nutritional requirements and the other things that your doctor bristles about and you completely ignore. If you can have a Big Mac, why can't the little guy that keeps your feet warm at night enjoy a curry beef slider now and again?
Your friends (the people ones) will likely make fun of you, and you'll feel a little awkward when your neighbor shows up unannounced and finds the two of you on the floor with a shared bowl of spaghetti, but think about your pet's happiness. Imagine the conversations your dog will have with other dogs. There will be riots at the dog parks.
Just make sure you're committed. Any dog exposed to the wonders of flesh and butter will likely be pissed if you burn out three months in and return to bags of kibble. The change could drive a dog learn to wield a chef's knife, but your angry Afghan won't be chopping onions.
Dog-Gone Good Cooking, Gayle Pruitt St. Martin's Griffen: Keeping single people single.