Magpie Anthology

Doggy Dining

Dogs’ Dinners is a cookbook for dogs written by writer and member of the Guild of Food Writers Debora Robertson. We asked Debora how the book came into being and whether her own dogs Barney and Gracie are fans.

“I wrote a piece for the Daily Telegraph which was a sort of guilty confession about cooking for my dog and how I never thought I would be that person. I was inundated with emails, letter and tweets from readers who also cooked for their dogs so I knew I wasn’t alone. Then Katie Cowan from Pavilion Books emailed me to see if I might like to write a book about it.”

Does she think that a home cooked diet affects the wellbeing of dogs? “I can only speak for my own dogs, They are fit and happy and love their food. When I used to feed Barney bought, dried food, he was never very excited and sometimes just left it in his dish until he was ready to eat. Now they both leap on their bowls as soon as I put them down, which is lovely to see.”

As well as recipes, Dogs’ Dinners also has dietary advice and some interesting dos and don’ts when it comes to what to feed your dog. Debora says, “I add parsley and mint to quite a few dishes. They are good for digestion and sweeten the breath. Comfrey, wormwood and pennyroyal aren’t good for dogs, but most of the common herbs are fine. The allium family – onions, leeks, spring onions – are toxic to dogs, though a little garlic now and again is fine. Chocolate and all of the vine fruits, fresh and dried, such as grapes, sultanas, raisins and so on are potentially highly toxic. Also though I use peanut butter in quite a few treats, it’s really important to find one which doesn’t contain the sweetener Xylitol as that is very harmful. I do discuss raw food in the book and my dogs do eat some raw, but Barney in particular doesn’t love it so most of the recipes in my book are for cooked food.” All of the Dogs’ Dinners recipes are thoroughly tested by Barney and Gracie and we road tested Debora’s Doggy Breath Biscuits on the Magpie’s own Lolo – it was impossible to get a picture of her eating them because they disappeared in an instant!

Lastly we asked Debora if you could be any famous dog which one would she be and why?

“I suppose I would love to have been one of the Queen’s corgis or Obama’s dogs, Sunny and Bo – imagine all of the things they have seen. Of course, famously Trump dislikes dogs, which says it all.”

RECIPE

Doggy Breath Biscuits

Makes about 32 bones

A big bunch of parsley, about 120g, finely minced, stalks and all

1 large carrot, grated

60g Cheddar, or whatever cheese you have left in the fridge, grated

3 tbsps olive oil

300g wholemeal flour

2 tsps baking powder

130-200 ml of hot meat stock

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4 and line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment.

Stir together the parsley, carrots, cheese. Trickle over the oil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Tip the parsley mixture into the flour and mix everything up with your hands until well combined.

Gradually add half of the stock or water, mixing until you have a nice dough – you may not use all of the liquid, you don’t want it to be too sticky. Knead it together gently with your hands, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until it’s about 5mm thick. Cut them out with a 4-5cm pastry cutter.

Bake for about 25 minutes until the biscuits have browned. Cool on a wire rack

Buy Dogs’ Dinners HERE

Debora’s Instagram: @lickedspoon

Debora’s Twitter: @lickedspoon

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