Cook Up the Good Stuff for Your Pup
Central Florida Health News|March 2021
You look down at the floor, and the little guy looks back at you, expectantly. The unspoken message transferred from his eyes to yours: “It’s dinnertime, right?”
CAROL CORLEY

“Not yet, cutie,” you reply. “I still have to cook it.”

Your dog looks back, unimpressed, but settles down in a corner to watch.

Cooking for your dog. What a concept!

When feeding your pet, most people turn to a commercial product — likely a high-grade kibble. Some of us add extras to make the kibble more interesting. Cooked and shredded chicken or other meats, cooked vegetables, maybe cooked rice or oatmeal. Some people feed entirely canned food, or mix in canned food for taste.

And then there are those who give their pets only home-cooked foods and no kibble at all. They include a balance of healthy cooked meats, vegetables, and grains. And a few follow a raw diet plan, prey-model or other. Veterinary surgeon Ian Billinghurst promoted it — called BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or Bones And Raw Food). There are books explaining how to do this safely and appropriately, making sure your dog has a balanced diet.

Regardless of how you choose to feed your dog, he will certainly appreciate home-cooked treats for training, special occasions, or just because you love him. But dogs are not humans, and there are some foods that are dangerous, even fatal, for your pets.

Banned foods include Xylitol in anything, but it is often found in peanut butter — it can be fatal very quickly. Also seriously dangerous are chocolate, grapes and raisins, and most nuts, according to the American Kennel Club. Alcohol is harmful. Also risky are garlic, too much bread, avocado, onions, cinnamon, caffeine, cooked bones, pits or seeds of fruits, salt, sugar, and raw dough.

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