5 home-cooked meals for pets

Pet owners are worried about what to feed their cats and dogs since the recent recall of 95 brands of pet food.

The Food and Drug Administration reported that several cats and dogs have died of kidney failure after eating tainted pet food. The cause of the contamination is under investigation.

The Herald published a story on preparing homemade meals for your pet in the Food section on March 7; readers who didn’t take notice then might be interested in the recipes now.

Many animal experts say that pet owners have a fear of feeding people food to their animals. The fear is mainly unfounded because most animals eat the same food as humans. A few generations back, there was no such thing as canned or dry pet food.

Dogs and cats basically require a diet of meat such as chicken, beef, lamb or turkey; some vegetables such as carrots and peas; rice, potato or macaroni; and a source of calcium such as milk, cheese or sardines.

Pet owners should consult their veterinarians about a reliable vitamin tablet to supplement the homemade menu.

One detailed source of information is “Home-Prepared Dog &Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative” by veterinarian Donald Strombeck ($42.99).

Meatloaf

This recipe is from “The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs” by Donna Twichell Roberts.

3/4cup water

1carrot, peeled and diced

1rib celery, diced

13/4pounds meatloaf mix (see note)

1cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1egg, slightly beaten

1tablespoon ketchup

Bring water to boil in a small skillet. Add carrot and celery. Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.

Place meatloaf on foil-lined baking sheet. Form into a bone shape measuring approximately 9 inches long by 5 inches wide by 1 1/2 inches high. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven about 1 hour.

Remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes. If desired, spread additional ketchup or mild barbecue sauce on top of meatloaf, pipe mashed potatoes around the lower edge, and garnish with a cheese slice cutout.

Makes 1 meatloaf.

Note: A combination of ground beef, pork and veal (or chicken or turkey).

The following recipes ran in The Herald on March 7.

Servings are approximate, varying by the size of the animal.

Potted sweet potatoes, carrots and chicken for dogs and people

132-ounce container (4 cups) chicken broth

1cup apple cider

4whole peppercorns

2whole cloves

1bay leaf

36-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

3boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

2sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

11-pound bag of baby carrots

Salt, to taste

Parsley, to garnish (for people)

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the broth, cider, peppercorns, cloves and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and add the chicken, sweet potatoes and carrots. Simmer until carrots are tender and chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes.

Spoon out the peppercorns, bay leaf and cloves. Season with salt. Let cool slightly before serving to pets. For humans, garnish with parsley and serve with buttered whole-grain bread.

Makes 4 servings.

Chicken paprika for cats and people

1teaspoon corn oil

1garlic clove, minced

1teaspoon salt

2tablespoons paprika

1cup hot water

3pounds of chicken, skinned, boned and cut into bite-size pieces

1carrot, finely chopped

2medium potatoes, cut into small cubes

1/2cup chicken broth

2tomatoes, chopped

1red bell pepper, finely chopped

1green bell pepper, finely chopped

Fresh parsley, to garnish

Additional ingredients for cat portions:

1/4cup cooked rice

1/2teaspoon brewer’s yeast

1/2teaspoon bone meal

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over low heat. Add the garlic, salt, paprika and 1/2 cup of the hot water. Cover, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chicken, remaining water, carrot, potatoes and broth. Return to a simmer and cook another 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and red and green peppers. Stir well and simmer another 10 minutes. For people, garnish with parsley.

For cats, chop the chicken into smaller pieces and mix with rice, brewer’s yeast and bonemeal. Allow to cool before serving.

Serves 6 people, or 4 people and 2 or 3 cats.

From Patti Delmonte’s “Real Food for Cats”

Gotta have heart (for dogs)

2beef hearts

1cup white rice

1/4cup breadcrumbs

2garlic cloves, minced

2tablespoons sunflower oil

1cup water

1/2cup finely grated carrot

1/2cup finely grated turnip

In a small saucepan, combine the hearts and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 17 minutes.

While the hearts are boiling, cook the rice according to package directions.

Drain the hearts and chop into small pieces. Transfer the pieces to a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Allow to cool before serving.

Makes 2 servings.

From Arden Moore’s “Real Food for Dogs”

Gil’s carrot salad for dogs and people

6medium carrots, trimmed and grated

2oranges

1/2cup raw pecan pieces

1/2cup dried blueberries or cherries

2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

Place the grated carrots in a medium bowl. Peel one orange, cut the segments into bite-size pieces and add them to the bowl. Add the dried fruit, parsley, olive oil and oregano, and toss to combine.

Cut the remaining orange in half and squeeze the juice into the salad. Mix well.

Makes 4 servings.

From Kymythy Schultze’s “The Natural Nutrition No-Cook Book: Delicious Food for You … and Your Pets!”

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