An introduction to home-cooking
Congratulations on taking your first steps towards a healthy and more rewarding way of feeding your dog!
In this first module, we’ll show you how easy home-cooking can be, and help you cook up a quick, easy, and nutritious meal for your dog. After this quick tutorial, you'll be able to:
Understand the basics of home cooking for your dog
Cook up a simple home-cooked meal and introduce it to your dog alongside their normal food
So, sit back, watch this short video, and get cooking :)
Your dog’s first home-cooked meal!
Here are a couple of suggestions for easy and delicious fresh meals to cook up for your dog
Chicken & rice
with spinach & peas
This is a super-simple dish that is easy to digest and suitable for almost any dog, with good protein levels, energy from rice and micro-nutrients from spinach.
The quantities below will make enough for one meal for each size of dog (or half a day’s worth).
To cook, simply add all the ingredients together in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for around 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the rice is cooked and most of the water has been absorbed (add a little more water during cooking if the mixture becomes too dry).
Pork with sweet potato and spinach
This is another easy dish, and it’s ideal for dogs who need to avoid rice in their diet. It combines tender protein from pork, with energy from sweet potato, vitamins and minerals from spinach, and a healthy boost of flavour from sage.
For this dish, you’ll need to chop up the sweet potato into small chunks – wash them first but there‘s no need to peel them. Then add all the ingredients together in a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for around 25-30 minutes, stirring regularly, until the sweet potato is soft.
Once you’ve cooked up your first recipe, make sure you let it cool thoroughly before serving – check the temperature with a finger to make sure it’s cool all the way through.
Then mix half of the fresh food in with half of one of your dog’s normal meals – so for example, if you normally feed 100g of kibble twice a day, mix up 50g with half of the fresh food. You can then feed the second half of the fresh food the following day..
Dr Joe's top tips
Take it easy
The first meals you introduce to your dog’s diet should be quick and easy to prepare and made with simple ingredients that are unlikely to upset your dog’s digestion..
Use 'one pot’ dishes to begin with, as they are much less time-consuming than more complex recipes.
Make sure you cook well in advance of your dog’s dinner time to give the food plenty of time to cool down before serving.
How did it go?
Hopefully you’ve found the experience of cooking up your dog’s first meal to be a positive one, and your dog enjoyed the result, with their bowl licked clean and a happier-then-usual wag in their tail!
Next week, we’re going to look at how to ensure a home-cooked diet provides all the nutrients your dog needs. If you don't want to wait for the email to come through, click here to skip forwards to week 2.