Review: Real Food for Dogs: 50 Vet-Approved Recipes to Please the Canine Gastronome ~ Arden Moore, Anne Davis

DogsLots of people enjoy making or buying treats for their pets, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to cook a real meal for the four-legged member of the household? Quirky yet practical, these cookbooks provide recipes that are nutritionally balanced and veterinarian-approved. They even include sections on “tandem” recipes – recipes for humans that, with slight modifications, can also be served to pets.


4 Thumbs-UpI know this is not the kind of book I would normally review, but after being asked many times if I have any recipes for dog treats, and what do I feed our very old dogs, I decided to review this book of recipes.

Since it was recommended by our vet, who is very much aware of what ‘rubbish’ they put into the generic store bought dog foods; and once I received the seal of approval from her to use it with a couple of tweaks for our dogs, it is a book that it used on an almost daily basis in our house.

Having older dogs, and being aware that as they age even more their taste buds tend to deteriorate, this is an ideal book full of recipes for people who are worried about their dog not eating or enjoying their food as much as they used to.  It is chock full of tasty recipes that can be cooked ahead and frozen, plus a section on recipes that can be made for both human and canine (with some tweaks) consumption.  Some of the recipes do call for a large amount of garlic and as too much of this is not good for our furry friends, I either ramp back the amount I use, or omit it all together from the recipe.  This doesn’t seem to affect the enjoyment the dogs get out of this food, and since I have been cooking for them they have lost a lot of that ‘middle age spread’ so many breeds (especially labs) seem to suffer from.  Not giving them processed foods has also resulted in a decline in that nasty gas dogs are able to conjure up at a moment’s notice, and has put a spring in their step.

One of my complaints about this book is that the Author, both vets themselves, seem to be under the impression that the reader has bottomless pockets with which to buy the ingredients; I find that there are some very well priced substitutes for some of the items listed in the ingredients that will not break any pet owners budget.  On the plus side of this review are the recipes for dog treats; the favourite on for my dogs is the peanut butter dog treats which only involves 4 ingredients, and makes enough treats to last a couple of weeks.  Another good thing about this book is that is caters to dogs of all sizes, so there is no scaling up of amounts for large dog breeds or reduction for their smaller counterparts.

I would recommend this book to all dog owners who are looking to remove processed foods from their animal’s diets; however, please make sure to check any and all new recipes or food items with your vet before feeding them to your pet. And, for the cat lovers out there, there is also a cat recipe version of this book.