Top critical review
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Great info, but the recipes are problematic.
on November 19, 2013
My pooch was a reluctant eater and he had a lot of digestive upsets and so I decided to try home cooking, but I really didn't know how much to feed him or what his needs were as far as protein and carbs etc. The strength of this book lies in its explanations regarding how dogs' nutritional needs are different from ours and its information on doggy nutrition and dietary requirements. Now I know how much protein, carbs, and fats my boy needs and I also make sure he gets the vitamin and mineral supplements he needs.
The recipe section of the book, however, leaves much to be desired. There are 76 pages of dinner recipes plus another 15 pages of treat recipes. However, the 76 pages of dinner recipes amount to about 4 recipes for each of 20 weight classes of dogs (from 5lbs to 150lbs). Now, the idea of recipes tailored for a certain weight seems sensible at first, but it ends up being impractical when you actually try to work with the recipes. No one is going to buy a book for 4 recipes, so you have to look outside your dog's weight class at recipes tailored for dogs of other sizes and that's when things become a little obnoxious because the recipes repeat in many cases, but with new recipes being added in occasionally as you go up in weight classes. So locating recipes means a lot of flipping and searching. Then, because the recipes are all for different weight classes, the process of adapting the recipes is all over the map. It's not impossible to work with, but it is a bit frustrating and time consuming.
For each weight class there is one "basic" recipe and three "gourmet" recipes. There are essentially 4 "basic" recipes in the book that keep cycling through: 1)turkey and rice; 2)beef and rice; 3)lamb and rice; 4)chicken and rice. The "gourmet" recipes include: stir-fried ginger beef with greens; barbecued hamburgers; lamb souvlaki in a pita; chicken fricassee; breakfast burrito; luscious lasagna; scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast; rotini with meat sauce; chicken fried rice; Texas-style chili; beef stew; cottage cheese, fruit, and toast; red snapper stew; tomato and chicken rotini; salmon and dill pasta; basil chicken and vegetable pasta; divine dinner burrito.
I tend toward "basic" cooking for my dog, but I do my own thing entirely and end up making doggy casseroles, doggy meat loaf, and doggy stews with a vareity of meats, veggies, fruits, and grains that my boy LOVES. He's no longer a reluctant eater and we are not missing the digestive issues. So, if you're new to home cooked dog food and need nutritional info, you will find the info in this book (or you might want to check out the 2012 edition) useful. If you already know the nutritional stuff and are just looking for recipes...hopefully I have provided enough info for you to know whether or not the book is for you.