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Dinner PAWsible: A cookbook for healthy, nutritious meals for cats and dogs. Paperback – September 13, 2011
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About the Author
Cathy Alinovi DVM Dr. Cathy Alinovi received her general veterinary education at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine. However, the universe kept sending patients to Dr. Cathy that couldn’t be fixed by general veterinary medicine. So, she started by learning veterinary spinal manipulation (chiropractic to some). Many of her lame patients became much better. But there were a few who needed more. Dr. Cathy learned applied kinesiology as it applied to chiropractic. More patients got better. Then, she took the course that changed everything - it was supposedly about allergies. Well, it was about allergies, but really it was about feeding real food and what commercial food does to our pets. After a major guilt trip for feeding corn and by-products (but it’s a prescription line!!) to her allergy dog, she switched to real food and in 3 days her Lady dog stopped a lifetime of aloof behavior and became friendly and loving. Oh, and Lady stopped itching and shedding. After that, Dr. Cathy became certified in veterinary food therapy, herbal therapy, tui-na, acupuncture, and aromatherapy. She is a student of homeopathy, is completing her training in advanced functional neurology (there are still a few patients requiring more education), and she is an instructor of the Healing Oasis Wellness Center in Wisconsin. Nutrition is at the heart of every exam in her integrative practice, curing over 80% of all problems. Her practice, Hoofstock Veterinary Clinic, is located in Pine Village, IN providing care for dogs, cats, small ruminants, llamas, horses and livestock. Susan Thixton Susan Thixton, dubbed the 'Caped Crusader for Safe Pet Food', is a pet food safety advocate. Her website, TruthaboutPetFood.com provides pet food education to pet parents all over the world. To learn more about commercial pet food, read Susan's first book 'Buyer Beware, The Crimes, Lies, and Truth about Pet Food' and subscribe to the free newsletter on TruthaboutPetFood.com.
Top customer reviews
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I thought making their food would be a great way to do it. I saw this book and started reading the 'look inside' portion and saw items listed such as peas, carrots, cauliflower, and so on. For dogs maybe, but for an ancestral diet for cats, carbs are not a necessity. Infact, carbs are a not anything to cats. Based on the information I've read, written by vet(s) veggies are a better carb, but still not necessary to their diets, and grains? Something cats can't assimilate into their bodies b/c they do not have the enzymatic pathways to do so. (This book speaks to the use of whole wheat pasta, and brown rice...) Not to mention grains are a well-known source of allergies, skin troubles, and can cause problems with IBS, and diabetes.
It's not that I'm condemning this book, I'm not. It's just after everything I've read, it seems a great idea taken from the partyline ingredients of the regular pet food industry that's prepared worry-free in your own kitchen. THIS aspect I do like, preparing it in your own home; you totally know what's going into it, no surprises from CHINA and so on. But the idea that cats need veggies is just not something that sits well with me when I know differently. Too many foods contain WAY too high amounts of carbs, some upwards of 40%! Cats food should primarily be made up of fat and protein, carbs should be low and dead last. 10% or less. I think this diet would most likely be good, doesn't sound overly carb/veg heavy, maybe I'll try it. Besides, you can omit the veggies and grains or go to places like Felines Pride and get their total nutrition ingredient packet and add the nutrients to the food you cook and keep it simple; broth, chicken, fish and the packet....the kitties will probably still love the reciepes....I think I might still try the cookbook.....I'm just happy to see a vet is on the side of making home cooked food, so many are against it. Bravo for that.
The bottom line here is that somehow, no matter how long it takes, I will get my cats to eat these balanced recipes. It's real food, and if you're a member of the Association for Truth in Pet Food and Petsumer Report, you'll do what it takes too. Most of the pre-made foods out there contain adulterated meat, fake meat, and so much worse. All the info is in the posts on ATPF. It's a consumer funded association that is so well worth our time and money that we can't afford not to join and support it. Google "Jerry's story/rendering plants" for even more reasons not to feed most pre-made foods, even if you believe you're feeding a good one. I believe you can ask Dr. Cathy Alivoni some alternative food-sourced nutrients via ATPF. She's a brilliant vet! And Susan Thixton, co-author and founder of ATPF is a dedicated and knowledgeable consumer advocate. Great sources of information!
After just 3 months on these recipes, my 15 year old dog has come off her thyroid meds. The vet says she doesn't need them any more! Is it from her new diet? I don't have conclusive proof but I believe, yes. So the book is actually saving me money, since I don't have to buy medication any more.
This book has a very detailed section in the front about different ingredients, and their nutritional value for pets. (This section is very helpful for when you eventually improvise recipes on your own, using what you have on hand.) Then there is a recipe section for cats, and another recipe section for dogs. I do follow some of the recipes exactly, particularly at first, but I also now use them as reference and inspiration for my own creations. Even if you are improvising yourself using fresh ingredients, there is no doubt the food is healthier than something you pour out of a bag that has an expiration date of a year away!
Basically, the book shows you that every meal does not have to be fully nutritionally balanced, but by feeding a variety of fresh foods over time, your pet will get a healthy balanced diet overall... just like we feed ourselves and our children.
The trickiest part at first, is that you want to make more than one serving at a time... you want to make enough for 2-3 meals. If you have multiple dogs and they weigh and eat different amounts, you have to figure out how to adjust the recipe quantities to make it come out in the right amount for your particular pets. This takes a little thought at first but you'll soon get the hang of it. I find if I triple the printed recipe, that gives me roughly enough for my 30 and 50 pound dogs for a few meals.
I do not find it more expensive than buying premium dog foods. My dogs sometimes refused to eat cheap commercial dog foods and the premium dog foods cost a minimum of $3/pound.. often much more, as much as $4-$5/pound. A recipe from this book using boneless chicken thighs ($3/pound at costco) plus starch, vegetables, and fruit ends up costing less then premium dog foods. You make a large batch at once that will serve 3-4 meals in a row, or you can portion it out and freeze it.
To save money on the ingredients I've found good quality, low-mercury, name brand, not-made-in-China canned salmon, clams, oysters, and sardines, at Walmart of all places. Boneless chicken thighs from Costco. Local beef and beef liver from the supermarket or local ranches. Local eggs. Fresh fruit (or frozen fruit). Beans and some nut products (the book tells you which are toxic). Fresh veggies (or frozen veggie mixes for ease, the book tells you which vegetables are good and which are toxic). Starches include oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pasta, sweet potato, and pumpkin. I know a previous reviewer said they don't think you should feed your pets starches, but the starches don't bother my dogs and they do make the recipe go farther, as well as supplying specific nutrients.
The only expensive supplement used in the recipes is fish oil, which I did have to hunt around for a little, to find one that was not too expensive but good quality, and not cherry flavored... I finally found a big bottle at a larger health food supermarket. Also, you add some calcium, which you can buy, or make your own with ground-up eggshells. I use the egg shells.
My dogs never had a problem with stomach upset when I switched them over to these real food recipes, if anything it constipated them a little, and they poop less than they used to.
Is the book a good value? ABSOLUTELY YES if it helps you avoid expensive vet bills and medications. Plus the consultant author Susan Thixton is a tireless national advocate for pet food safety on MANY levels, and I am very happy to support her work by buying this cookbook.
MOST IMPORTANT-- MY DOGS LOVE IT. THEY LICK THE BOWLS CLEAN, AND THEY LOOK GREAT.