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Cooking for your Dog - Give your dog their best life challenge - Rafferty -

Cooking for your dog can significantly increase their health. While there are several human foods that are toxic to dogs, there are many others that are perfectly safe for your pup. Make your dog’s day by sharing a delicious, home-cooked meal with them.


Know What’s Good for Your Dog

Before you begin to supplement your dog’s diet, be sure to check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog can handle whatever you’re planning to feed them.

You should always be aware of the foods that are toxic to dogs. You probably know the obvious ones-chocolate, onions, and grapes & raisins. But there are some foods you shouldn’t feed your dog that might surprise you.

I recently learned that dogs can’t have mustard. Xylitol is a sweetener commonly used in peanut butters that is highly toxic to dogs, so be sure to check ingredients! Avocado, nuts, fruit seeds, mushrooms, caffeine, alcohol and cooked bones are all big no-nos.

If you’re ever unsure if a food is ok for your dog, don’t feed it! Better your dog misses out on one tasty treat than they get sick or worse.

Add Fresh Food to your Dog’s Kibble

Dogs can benefit greatly from fresh food. If you’re already feeding your dog fresh or raw food, that’s great! If you’re feeding kibble, you can significantly boost the nutrition of your dog’s food by adding some fresh foods to their bowl.

Studies have shown that adding vegetables to your dog’s diet just three times per week may help prevent cancer!

It’s easy to boost your dog’s food. Add some carrots or cucumbers to your dog’s breakfast Give them a little ground beef or chicken with their dinner. Or crack an egg over their kibble.

Hannah Zulueta, a Certified Canine Nutritionist from Daily Dog Food Recipes, has great information on preparing real foods for your dog. In this article, she shares lots of foods that are safe and healthy to use to supplement your pup’s kibble.

Share your Dinner

The most convenient way to cook for your dog is to share a little of your own dinner with them. When you’re preparing your food, before adding spices or other ingredients, save out a little meat and cook it in a separate dish. Your dog will love being able to eat with her pack!

Cooking for your Dog - Give your dog their best life challenge - Rafferty -

Cook a Dog-Safe Meal

If you really want to treat your dog, cook your own meal using only dog-safe ingredients and share the same food with your pup.

Below is an example of a meal you could make and eat with your dog.
(Again, be sure to check with your vet before feeding any new foods to your dog!)

Butternut Squash Chicken Lasagna


Whole Chicken
Lasagna Noodles
Medium Butternut Squash
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese



Boil chicken with salt and pepper to make stock. Save the stock.
Debone chicken.
Cook lasagna noodles.
Bake squash with butter salt, pepper.
Puree the squash with some of your chicken stock.
Make a roux with the butter and flour, then add the rest of your chicken stock to make a sauce, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
Layer cooked noodles in a greased baking pan.
Add chicken then squash, sauce, and more noodles.
Continue layering until the pan is full.
Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350* for 45 minutes or until heated through and bubbling.


Cooking for your Dog

Do you cook for your dog or feed them human foods? If so, what’s their favorite? Did we miss any foods dogs shouldn’t have? Leave a comment to let me know.


Give your Dog their Best Life Challenge

Give your dog their best life challenge - Rafferty -

This article is part of Rafferty’s Give your Dog their Best Life Challenge. Take the 5-week challenge for tips and ideas to live your best life with your dog every day, and make the most of the time you have together.

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