Kibble is convenient, but it doesn’t always make your pet feel happy or nutritionally satisfied. One of the best ways to improve your dog or cat’s diet is to make their food at home. Cooking pet food with a non-stick pan is simple, and your pet will love the results.
1) Choose the Right Foods
Pet food should be typically made from a combination of meat, vegetables, and grains. You can use any foods that are safe for dogs to eat and which have enough nutrients to satisfy their dietary needs. You should also look for things that taste good together; after all, you’re cooking for your best friend.
Dogs like nearly every kind of plain meat. Some dogs can’t eat hot dogs and other processed meats, but they usually do fine with either fresh or frozen cuts of beef, chicken, and even fish. Avoid cuts that are too fatty, as excess grease doesn’t usually agree with canine stomachs.
Dogs don’t need nearly as many carbs as humans do, which is why they aren’t usually fed things like bread or potatoes. In general, their meals should be composed mostly of meat and vegetables with a small portion of grains to fill out the plate. Contact your vet to discuss your dog’s unique nutritional needs.
2) Decide How to Prepare the Meat
Most dogs prefer their food to be cut into small pieces. A dog can’t exactly use a fork and a knife. It’s up to you to make sure that every bite is manageable and delicious.
Depending on the dish, you may want to cut the meat either before or after it’s cooked. Some dogs love thin, fajita-style strips of beef over a bed of rice. Many pet owners also have success with chicken. Cook it whole, and then either slice or pull it to match the dish. Other options include ground beef, fish, and pan-fried steak.
3) Avoid Toxic Ingredients
Some foods that humans love are unhealthy or even toxic to dogs and cats. Do your research before including a brand-new food in your dog’s diet.
Onion and garlic are incredibly unhealthy for dogs if served in large or consistent quantities. Never include onion and garlic in your pet’s normal food. This will make sure you don’t have to worry if they accidentally eat something with onion in the sauce.
In the same vein, it’s often hard to tell if spices and seasonings are truly dog-safe. When you’re cooking pet food, it’s smart to avoid too many exotic flavors. Instead, focus on making the main ingredients taste as good as possible by cooking them correctly. Remember to add a little salt for health and flavor.
4) Cook Vegetables and Grains Separately
The vegetables that are easy to cook in a non-stick pan, like onions and peppers, are not good for dogs. In the same vein, grains like rice and quinoa need to be cooked in a pot, not fried in a pan.
The solution is to cook your meat in the pan while cooking your vegetables and grains on the side. If you want, you can save yourself time by cooking your rice in advance. Only use rice that’s up to three days old; your pet deserves food that’s fresh and wholesome.
5) Don’t Turn the Heat Too High
The material that covers non-stick pans can be toxic to pets, especially if they are small. Teflon poisoning is most commonly noticed in birds, but there’s nothing wrong with taking precautions to keep your dog or cat safe.
Extreme heat is typically what causes Teflon to come off a non-stick pan. This happens when you let a pan burn on the stove when you have nothing in it. Avoid this by watching your pan closely. If you smell burning plastic, you might be cooking the pan.
Teflon can also peel off old non-stick pans. Do not cook pet food in a pan if the surface has been chipping off. Once the non-stick surface starts to flake, there is a chance that it will end up in the food.
6) Cook the Meat to Perfection
Pets love well-cooked meat. Whether you’re frying a chicken breast or a tuna fillet, put your whole heart into what you’re doing. The result will make your dog or cat feel appreciated and loved.
Every kind of meat cooks differently. Pan-frying a chicken breast is different from cooking ground beef. Use your eyes and your nose. Don’t be afraid to taste the meat to see how it’s coming along.
To avoid food poisoning, cook all meat to a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Pets are less susceptible to poisoning from raw meat, but you really don’t want to take any chances with your friends.
7) Let the Food Cool Down
Dogs and cats are more sensitive to temperature than humans are. Although that meat looks perfect coming out of the pan, it might be too hot for your pet to eat right away.
Some dogs are smart enough to wait for their own food to cool down, which means you can serve them meals more normally. But if your dog always dives in right away, keep the food on the counter until most of the steam has started to fade.
Cooking pet food with a non-stick pan is easy as long as you’re willing to give the meal attention and love. Heat the pan, place the meat down, and flip until it’s cooked. Serve with whatever vegetables and grains your dog likes to eat the most.