We now know to beware of jerky treats for pets. Thousands of illnesses and over 500 deaths (mostly canine) during a six-year period appear to be directly related to jerky treats, and the focus now is on those made in China. While the FDA investigates, do your own research. Check the websites of the companies responsible for the pet food, treats and chews you buy, read food labels, and call the store that sells your favorite pet food products to see if they have additional information to share. According to recent reports, the challenge can be determining where the food was made and where the ingredients originated. If you don’t get clear answers and are in doubt about a product, don’t buy it.
This is also an opportunity to ask your vet about your pet’s nutritional needs and to revisit the idea of making treats at home. But don’t stop there–consider making kibble and special dinners for your pet, too! Here are two unique cookbooks in the Pets Neighborhood section of the New Books area that feature creative canine recipes:
In The Dog-Gone Good Cookbook: 100 Easy, Healthy Recipes for Dogs and Humans, author Gayle Pruitt, a certified nutritionist, chef, and writer for Petological magazine, shares her recipes for Chicken Tenders with Coconut and Sesame Seeds, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Salmon Dinner with Braised Fennel. Pruitt’s recipes exclude soy, corn and gluten, and most are human and dog friendly with some canine-only entrees featured in the last chapter. Artistic photos throughout make this an entertaining book to browse and one to consider giving to a pet loving friend. Pruitt reminds us to consult with your vet to find out if these recipes are suitable for your dog. Keep in mind these are for special occasions and are not meant to be consumed daily by your dog.
Dinner for Dogs: 50 Home-Cooked Recipes for a Happy, Healthy Dog is a terrific book full of tips, ingredient substitutions, and a list of fruits and vegetables your dog might like. The “Tasty Treats” section has a super easy recipe for carrot cakes. A lengthy two-page Homemade Kibble recipe is worth a try. Number of calories and percentage of protein and fat are included with the recipes. Author Henrietta Morrison is the founder of Lily’s Kitchen in England. Her “chief taster” is her border terrier, Lily. Check it out!