This post is for all wanna-be Doggie Chefs who are afraid to start feeding their dogs themselves.
You can do it!
You don’t have to be a veterinarian, or an animal nutritionist. You don’t have to have a college degree. You don’t even have to be a good cook.
This week I started reading a newly published book called, “Feed Your Pet Right,” by Marion Nestle and Malden C. Nesheim. Both are human nutrition experts and Nesheim is also an animal nutrition expert.
For the most part I’m focusing on the section of the book called, “Alternatives to Commercial Pet Feeding.” Specifically the chapter called, “The Home Cooked.”
In this chapter the authors say they view cooking for pets no more difficult than cooking for yourself or your family. Here’s something else they say that really caught my attention:
“Isn’t it just amazing that most Americans --- and for that matter, most people in the world --- manage to survive and do pretty well without eating AAFCO-approved, complete-and-balanced diets every day?”
It’s so true! Think about it: What did you eat the past few days?
How many people’s diets strictly adhere to any type of dietary recommendations for optimum nutrition? Yet so many of us survive and thrive.
Christie Keith, whose column, “Your Whole Pet,” can be read on SFGate.com., home of the San Francisco Chronicle, has some words that might encourage fearful, wanna-be Doggie Chefs. In the May/June 2007 issue of “The Bark” magazine Keith is quoted saying:
“There is a lot of wiggle room in formulating a diet for your dog. Canines are, overall, rather forgiving nutritionally.”
Keith interviewed Nestle and Nesheim about their book and wrote a column about it called, “Talking About Pet Food at Chez Panisse.” Nestle and Nesheim told Keith how pet food nutrition experts often insist it’s too difficult for pet owners to feed home-prepared diets.
Nesheim, who used to teach animal nutrition to veterinary students at Cornell University states, “There's a quote we give in the book from the AVMA [American Veterinary Medical Association]. They go on and on about how you shouldn't cook for your pet, because after all, the commercial pet food foods are made by Ph.D. nutritionists. As Ph.D. nutritionists, we got a big kick out of that. You don't need a Ph.D. to cook for yourself, and if you can cook for your family, you can cook for your pet."
None of this means you shouldn’t worry at all about feeding your dog homemade dog food. Yet, have courage to trust yourself. Chances are if you’re opened minded enough to be wary of commercial dog food, you have enough common sense to learn and figure out how to best feed your dog.
Years ago I was so afraid to start feeding Gracie homemade dog food. Gracie turns 11 this year. She looks great, is full of energy and I’ve never regretted becoming her Doggie Chef.