This book is good for new Doggie Chefs. It was published in 2007, after the commercial pet food recall. Pets were sickened by food containing wheat gluten contaminated with melamine and pet owners were scared. The author does a good job of introducing readers to the merits of homemade pet food diets.
Like other books on the subject, the author informs readers about dog nutrition, food groups and sources, and ingredient labeling. There’s also a brief chapter on why the author doesn’t recommend raw food diets. Another chapter called, “Basic Recipes for Dogs,” contains several recipes that might be helpful to new Doggie Chefs.
The introduction was my least favorite part of the book. It almost turned me off to reading further. I felt like the author was trying too hard to convince me she's a credible source. It seemed so unnecessary. Weiskopf is a Doggie Chef! She cooks for her dogs and tells others how to in her book. It seems to me if her pets are healthy, happy and long-lived, she doesn’t need to explain her credentials or make excuses for any she doesn't have.
This book does contain some useful information for Doggie Chefs.
Some dog care experts recommend giving pet dogs filtered or bottled water but I give Gracie regular tap water. I am, however, a little obsessive about making sure she always has fresh, clean, cool water. I usually change Gracie's water at mealtimes and every time she drinks from her water bowl (that's not very often; maybe once or twice a day). I'm especially careful to change her water after she takes a drink after playing outside. That's when she slobbers into her bowl, so it would be gross not to change her water then.
I've always used a stainless steel water bowl (pictured above) since it's easy to clean and can be sanitized, in the dishwasher or with boiling water, if needed. More often I wash it by hand with hot water and dish soap (and rinse it thoroughly) just before feeding Gracie her breakfast and dinner. I wash Gracie's water bowl at least once each day.
I ALWAYS bring a filled water bowl outside when Gracie and I play --- even in the winter.
I very rarely feed Gracie beef liver. I find it unpleasant to handle and cook (it doesn't smell very nice when its cooking). It's also loaded with Vitamin A, which can be too much of a good thing if fed too often. So I only buy it for Gracie a few times a year, just for variety. She eats chicken liver more often, whenever I buy a whole, fresh chicken.
When I do make beef liver for Gracie I prefer calf liver to regular beef liver. My guess is that because calves have (unfortunately) not lived as long as older cattle, they've accumulated less toxic substances in their organs. On the rare occasion I buy calf liver I get it from my grocery store's frozen food section. It probably would be more nutritious purchased fresh.
I fry the calf liver in a pan with a little oil and water. I try not to overcook it but that's hard because liver tends to look pink even when it's cooked through. I don't like the idea of feeding raw meat to Gracie.
Once the liver is cooked I'll give Gracie one meal with liver as the main protein source. The rest goes in the refrigerator to add (just a small piece) to a few meals later in the week. Gracie seems to like it but I prefer to feed it as a special treat rather than a regular part of her diet.