the appetizer:

Homemade pet food recipes that are safe for your dogs and cats.

Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen


Recipes for Fido and Fluffy

by Kate Heyhoe


Worried about what to feed your pet, given the recent pet food recalls?

Dogs and Cat
Here's three of our six furry friends

With four cats and two dogs, our household is lucky to have survived unscathed; we're all still fat and happy. If you're thinking of cooking your own pet food, try these sample recipes from Liz Palika, author of The Ultimate Dog Treat Cookbook: Homemade Goodies for Man's Best Friend and The Ultimate Cat Treat Cookbook: Homemade Goodies for Finicky Felines. For Cats: Chicken, Salmon, and Egg Cat Food and For Dogs: Chicken and Sweet Potato Dog Food.


For Cats: Chicken, Salmon, and Egg Cat Food

Cats can be incredibly finicky eaters, as all cat owners know. Some owners decide to prepare a homemade diet for their cats for just this reason. Others are concerned about the quality of commercial cat foods. No matter why you decide to cook for your cat, do so with the help of your veterinarian. Although this recipe has been checked by veterinarians, every cat has different nutritional needs.

* Makes two to three meals for a 10- to 15-pound indoor cat *

  • 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded finely
  • 1/2 cup canned or cooked salmon, shredded
  • 1 large egg, hard-cooked
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped greens
  • 1 tablespoon chicken fat or oil from canned salmon
  • 1. Put the shredded chicken and salmon into a bowl and crumble the hard-cooked egg over the meat.
  • 2. Add the greens and fat or oil and mix gently.
  • 3. To one meal per day, add a vitamin and mineral supplement and a 100mg taurine supplement.

If your cat weighs more than 15 pounds or is more active than normal, increase the amount of the ingredients slightly. If your cat is smaller or more sedentary, decrease the amount you feed.

Any homemade diet should be varied on a regular basis so that different ingredients add to the cat's diet. Variations to this recipe can include:
  • 1. Substitute turkey for the chicken.
  • 2. Substitute mackerel, clams, or other fish for the salmon.
  • 3. Substitute grated carrots for the chopped greens.
  • 4. Substitute tuna oil or water for the chicken fat.
  • 5. Add a dash of catnip to the finished meal.

You can double this recipe to make several meals ahead of time, but do not make more than three days' worth in advance. Keep the food in the refrigerator until you serve it.


For Dogs: Chicken and Sweet Potato Dog Food

Dog owners decide to cook for their dogs for a variety of reasons. Some owners begin cooking for their dogs when the dogs develop health issues. Others are concerned about the quality of commercial dog foods. No matter what your reason for cooking for your dog, do so in an educated manner. Malnutrition takes a while to show up, and your dog could suffer needlessly. This recipe has been scrutinized by veterinarians; however, every dog's nutritional needs vary, so if you decide to use this (or any other) recipe, keep the lines of communication open with your dog's veterinarian.

* Makes one meal for a 50- to 60-pound, moderately active dog *

  • 1 large chicken breast, deboned
  • 1/2 large sweet potato (or yam), cooked until soft
  • 1 large egg, hard-cooked and shelled
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots, raw
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped romaine lettuce, broccoli, celery, or spinach, raw
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt with live, active cultures
  • 1. Cook the chicken breast in water or chicken broth until done. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove the chicken from the broth, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and return it to the broth.
  • 2. Cut the sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and add it to the chicken and broth.
  • 3. Crumble the hard-cooked egg into the pan with the other ingredients.
  • 4. Add the carrots and greens. Stir gently, just enough to combine the ingredients.
  • 5. Empty into your dog's dish and plop the tablespoon of yogurt on top.
  • 6. Add one good-quality vitamin and mineral supplement daily.

Increase or decrese the amount of ingredients in the recipe according to your dog's size and activity level. If your dog seems to gain weight, cut back a little; if he loses weight, increase the amount slightly.

A homemade diet can be made better by offering a variety of ingredients, thereby adding different nutrients to the food. Variations to this recipe can include the following:

  • 1. Use canned or cooked salmon in place of the chicken.
  • 2. Use cooked turkey in place of the chicken.
  • 3. Substitute cottage cheese or other cheese for the egg.

This recipe can be made in quantity (three or four meals at a time) and kept refrigerated until serving time.


Recipes reprinted with permission from: The Ultimate Dog Treat Cookbook: Homemade Goodies for Man's Best Friend (Wiley, August 2005, $14.99) and The Ultimate Cat Treat Cookbook: Homemade Goodies for Finicky Felines (Wiley, June 2006, $14.99), both by Liz Palika.


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Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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