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Best Dog Cookbooks: Whipping Up Dinner for Your Woofer!

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Dog Food By Kate Brunotts 11 min read June 30, 2021

Best Cookbooks for Dogs

Cooking for your furry friend can be fun, and Fido is sure to appreciate your efforts! But for those who don’t know where to start, a dog cookbook can help guide you through the process.

Dog cookbooks outline plenty of mutt munchies that are perfect for showing your four-footer some extra appreciation. We’ll share some of our favorite options, and provide some general canine culinary tips below!

Best Dog Cookbooks: Quick Picks

  • #1 Feed Your Best Friend Better [Best Overall Dog Cookbook]: Packed with 85 recipes — including several designed to address specific health problems — this cookbook is actually a comprehensive guide to feeding your dog.
  • #2 The Healthy Homemade Dog Food Cookbook [Best Canine Cookbook for Beginners]: Perfect for the beginning canine chef, this book includes recipes, as well as basic information about the nutrition your dog needs.
  • #3 The Healthy Hound Cookbook [Cookbook with the Most Recipes]: Packed with 125 different recipes, including raw, paleo, and grain-free options, this cookbook is sure to have something that works for your four-footer.

The 8 Best Dog Cookbooks: Cookin’ Up Some Canine Chow! 

reasons to cook for your dog

Without further ado, here are some of the best dog cookbooks for all of your canine culinary needs. Each book has plenty of recipes to please your pup’s palette. 

1. Feed Your Best Friend Better

Best Overall Cookbook for Dogs

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Feed Your Best Friend Better

Feed Your Best Friend Better

In addition to 85 recipes, this book provides portion information, as well as solutions for common mealtime problems.

About: Feed Your Best Friend Better provides 85 recipes for your furry friend, and many of them can be whipped up within an hour! You can also make recipes like “cooked kibble” which may feel more familiar to your furry friend. 

Features:

  • Features plenty of meal and treat recipes for your furry friend
  • Includes information about supplementing your dog’s diet with homemade food 
  • Cookbook includes recipes for dogs with conditions like arthritis and kidney disease
  • Offers information on how to improve your mutt’s meal manners
  • Each recipe has guidelines for feeding your four-footer based on weight

Pros

  • Owners loved how this book was super easy to follow
  • Cookbook provided additional information on. supplementing your dog’s current diet and curbing poor mealtime habits including excessive begging.
  • Dogs loved the taste of these meals and the portion guide helped owners feed a variety of furry friends.

Cons

  • Some recipes include ingredients like salt and butter which are often too rich and unnecessary for four-footers.
  • Recipes do not have nutritional panel for more precise information on your dog’s meal intake. 

2. The Healthy Homemade Dog Food Cookbook

Best Dog Cookbook For Beginners

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The Healthy Homemade Dog Food Cookbook: Over 60 'Beg-Worthy' Quick and Easy Dog Treat Recipes: Includes vegetarian, gluten-free and special occasion ... dog health and nutritional considerations

The Healthy Homemade Dog Food Cookbook

A great beginner’s guide, complete with basic info about canine nutrition and common dog food ingredients you’ll need.

About: This dog cookbook by Charlie Fox features over 60 recipes including recipes for diabetic dogs and gluten-free recipes. Your pooch is bound to fall in love with tasty treats like homemade fishcakes and cinnamon apple crisps.

Features:

  • Cookbook features vegetarian and gluten-free recipes
  • Includes recipes for treats and complete meals
  • Book outlines basic pooch pantry staples
  • Includes a special section for dogs with allergies
  • Gives a general overview of the components of a balanced doggie diet 

Pros

  • This book has plenty of specialized recipes for dogs on special diets. 
  • Owners loved the variety of both “sweet” and savory recipes.
  • Simple, direct instructions make these recipes easy to follow. 

Cons

  • This book only provides relatively general information on serving size, so it’s difficult to determine more detailed diet information like calorie count, protein percentage, and other nutritional details.

3. The Healthy Hound Cookbook

Cookbook with the Most Recipes

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The Healthy Hound Cookbook: Over 125 Easy Recipes for Healthy, Homemade Dog Food--Including Grain-Free, Paleo, and Raw Recipes!

The Healthy Hound Cookbook

Featuring 125 nutritious and easy-to-follow cooking recipes, this canine cookbook is sure to have a recipe your dog loves!

About: The Healthy Hound Cookbook by Paris Permenter provides plenty of fun snacks for dogs, including those who require specialized raw, paleo, or grain-free diets. With over 125 recipes, you’ll have plenty of snacks to satiate Spot’s appetite! 

Features:

  • Extensive cookbook featuring both full meal recipes and several snack options too
  • Includes a portion calculator to determine how much food your four-footer needs
  • Provides food options for specialized diets
  • Wide selection of over 125 recipes to choose from
  • Includes helpful tips on how to personalize treats for your furry friend

Pros

  • Dogs seemed to love the taste of these recipes.
  • Owners found the recipes easy to follow and prepare.
  • Plenty of treat options for dogs with specialized diets.

Cons

  • No pictures of the recipes are included. 
  • This book is more treat-focused than meal-focused. 

4. The Healthy Dog Cookbook

Best Cookbook with Veterinarian Commentary

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The Healthy Dog Cookbook: 50 Nutritious & Delicious Recipes Your Dog Will Love

The Healthy Dog Cookbook

This cookbook features 50 nutritious and appealing recipes, with veterinarian comments for each meal.

About: This canine cookbook by Jonna Anne has helpful tidbits from a veterinarian to help you balance Buddy’s diet. Each recipe features a nutrition panel and portion calculator so that you can serve your Great Dane or Chihuahua with ease. 

Features:

  • Cookbook features 50 recipes for your furry friend
  • Features meal recipes along with treats 
  • Provides comments from a veterinarian for each meal
  • Some recipes can be frozen and prepared ahead of time
  • Includes a nutrition panel and portion calculator for each meal

Pros

  • Dogs loved the taste of these recipes and cookbook includes a couple geared towards specialized diets, like gluten-free dog meals.
  • Owners found the recipes easy to follow. 
  • Portion calculator and nutrition panel proved invaluable for many owners.

Cons

  • Some owners found the vet advice to be somewhat redundant. And you’ll still need to work with your veterinarian when crafting meals from this book. 
  • Being spiral-bound, this book may not hold up especially well over time.

5. K9 Kitchen Your Dogs’ Diet

Best Cookbook with Ingredient Substitutions

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K9 Kitchen Your Dogs' Diet: The Truth Behind the Hype

K9 Kitchen Your Dogs’ Diet

In addition to 60 meal recipes, this book contains substitution recommendations for dogs with unique dietary needs.

About: Your Dog’s Diet is a great canine cooking resource providing plenty of insight on the different types of specialized doggie diets, with 60 helpful recipes mixed in-between. This book can also be used as a guide for supplementing your dog’s commercial dog food diet with fresh ingredients. 

Features:

  • Offers insight on a variety of four-footer diets
  • Book provides specialized recipes to meet your dog’s individual needs
  • Provides information on how you can supplement your dog’s current diet
  • Cookbook provides a portion guide for recipes
  • Author provides ingredient substitutions for many of the recipes

Pros

  • Owners loved this detailed breakdown of the various specialized dog diets.
  • Versatile book provides supplemental recommendations in addition to full meal recipes. 
  • Great introduction to home cooked dog food that provides a basic outline of how pooch portions are calculated.

Cons

  • Information may be somewhat dated since it was last updated in 2009.
  • More of a nutritional guide than a recipe book.

6. Dr. Becker’s Real Food For Healthy Dogs and Cats

Best Cookbook For Multi-Pet Households

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Dr Becker's Real Food For Healthy Dogs and Cats: Simple Homemade Food

Dr. Becker’s Real Food For Healthy Dogs and Cats

Ideal for multi-pet households, this 60-recipe cookbook features nutritious recipes for both dogs and cats.

About: This canine cookbook is perfect for multi-pet households as it provides 60 recipes, including some for dogs and some for cats. Along with detailed information on crafting nutritious homemade foods for your furry friends, you’ll find treat recipes, and different diets for puppies and adult dogs. 

Features:

  • This book was written by veterinarians
  • Includes a detailed breakdown on the important components of a balanced diet
  • Homemade meal recipes for both cats and dogs
  • Includes recipes for full meals as well as treats 
  • Book was formulated according to 2014 AAFCO guidelines

Pros

  • Owners loved that this canine cookbook was written from the perspective of two veterinarians.
  • Includes meal and treat recipes for dogs and cats. 
  • Owners appreciated the food schedules for adding variety to their furry friends’ diets. 

Cons

  • Some owners found this book’s organization somewhat hard to follow. A couple of owners suggested reading the book in its entirety (which is about 200 pages) before whipping up one of the recipes. 

7. The Ultimate Dog Treat Cookbook

Best Cookbook For Making Treats

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The Ultimate Dog Treat Cookbook: Homemade Goodies for Man's Best Friend

The Ultimate Dog Treat Cookbook

Featuring 50 tasty treats, this book includes a comprehensive index for searching by ingredient or flavor profile.

About: This canine cookbook by Liz Palika is perfect for presenting your pooch with unique, homemade dog treats. With 50 treat recipes to choose from, your dog will adore devouring recipes ranging from frozen magic meatballs to birthday blueberry pupcakes. 

Features:

  • Provides meat-free, grain-free, and reduced-fat treat recipes
  • Breaks down essential baking terms making it a great choice for beginners
  • Recipes include helpful tidbits on storage and ingredient substitutions
  • Detailed index makes it easy to track down recipes by ingredient or flavor profile
  • The book has plenty of easy, no-bake recipes for owners stretched for time

Pros

  • Owners appreciated the simplicity and ease of use of this cookbook.
  • The book includes plenty of tidbits on how to save time while whipping up treats for your dog.
  • Specialized recipes are great for dogs with dietary limitations.

Cons

  • This book will not provide full meal options, only treats.

8. Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook

Best For Making Organic Treats

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Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook (Revised Edition): Over 100 Tail-Wagging Treats

Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook

Filled with more than 100 organic dog biscuit recipes, this book helps you spoil your dog and help the planet at the same time.

About: If your best buddy deserves a biscuit, it’s definitely worth checking out this cookbook full of organic dog biscuit recipes. Featuring more than 100 treat recipes, this book will help you spoil Spot during any occasion.

Features:

  • Book includes recipes for gluten-free biscuits
  • Author offers substitution suggestions with many of the recipes
  • Included bookmark makes it easy to keep track of your treat selections
  • Treats can be frozen to last longer
  • Cookbook features seasonal treat recipes for every hound howliday

Pros

  • Owners found these recipes easy to follow and appreciated the author’s substitution suggestions.
  • Well-made book is made to last and provides pooch-approved recipes.
  • Some owners even enjoyed the taste of these human-grade treats. 

Cons

  • There aren’t any photos of the treats in the book. 

Why Cook for Your Dog in the First Place?

why cook for your dog

Commercially prepared dog foods that satisfy the AAFCO guidelines for your dog’s life stage are the best option for the vast majority of owners. This takes all of the guesswork out of providing your pooch with proper nutrition.

Additionally, homemade food can be time-consuming to make and pretty expensive to prepare. Plus, it’s challenging to consistently provide your pooch with the nutrients he needs to thrive. 

However, some owners may want to make some of their pet’s food for any of several reasons: 

  • Your dog has challenging food allergies or intolerances. Some pups may struggle with food allergies which can make it difficult to select a commercial dog food. That being said, there are plenty of hypoallergenic dog foods and foods made with kangaroo or other novel protein sources that may be well received by a pooch struggling with allergies. You can even purchase custom-crafted dog foods made specifically for your pupper.
  • You just enjoy cooking and would like to do so for your dog. There’s nothing wrong with whipping up a tasty homemade treat for Fido! But for the sake of your dog’s health, we recommend limiting home-cooked meals to special occasions, unless you’re working with your vet to cook up a safe and nutritious diet. 
  • You want to provide a diet that differs from commercial products in some way. For a variety of reasons, some owners prefer novel doggo diets. However, keep in mind that some specialized diets, like raw dog food for example, are available online even if they can’t be found at your local pet store.
  • You just realized you’re out of dog food. It’s happened to all of us: You got to feed Fido, but then you notice that the bag is almost empty! But while making a meal from scratch is possible, there are a lot of same-day dog food delivery options for dealing with these kinds of situations.
  • You are in unusual circumstances, such as living in a place where it’s hard to get dog food shipped. If you’re in a spot with limited resources, cooking for your dog might be one of the only options available. Just be sure to consult your veterinarian regarding the best ways to keep Fido’s homemade diet well-balanced. 
  • They want to utilize all organic ingredients or avoid GMOs. This probably isn’t enough of a reason on its own, since there are plenty of organic dog foods available (including several made with non-GMO ingredients). However, there isn’t necessarily wrong with wanting to cook your canine a fully organic meal as long as the recipe is nutritionally sound. 
ingredients for dog foods

But no matter your reason for making homecooked meals for your mutt, ALWAYS consult with your vet when providing home cooked meals. 

It’s imperative that your furry friend is provided with all of the nutrients he needs — and these nutrients need to be provided in the correct ratios, which can be tricky to accomplish on your own. We generally advise against solely cooking your dog’s meals anyway, but if you’re going to — do so in collaboration with your vet. 

Also, while some owners like to prepare their dog’s food for increased safety, home-cooking your dog’s dinner does not alleviate the possibility of obtaining contaminated ingredients (such as may occur during a dog food recall) — human foods are included in recalls all the time! 

But while feeding your dog a home-cooked diet isn’t something to take lightly, there’s not really anything wrong with giving your pooch the occasional home-cooked meal as an extravagance or to celebrate special occasions. As long as you’re using safe ingredients and adjusting the recipe according to your dog’s unique nutritional needs, home-cooked foods can make an amazing treat for your furry friend. 

Beware of Unsubstantiated Health Claims in Recipes

Unfortunately, some cookbooks contain extraordinary claims about the health effects the recipes will provide.

But you’ll want to take these types of health claims with a big grain of salt. Just because something is published in a book doesn’t make it true.

While you may notice an improvement in a dog’s health after switching to a new food, all medical advice should be sourced from your veterinarian.

Will You Save Money Cooking for Your Dog?

how much does it cost to cook for dog

Many owners consider cooking up homecooked meals to save a bit of cash. But unfortunately, cooking for your dog from scratch is unlikely to save you money

In most cases, cooking for your dog is more financially taxing and time consuming than simply feeding Fido a commercial dog food.

However, saving a bit of change may be possible in rare circumstances. For example, if you have a small pooch to feed or grow some of your own produce, it may be slightly cheaper to make your mutt’s meals. 

Regardless of the dollars and cents of the situation, always consult your veterinarian before making any substantial changes to your pet’s diet.

***

Cooking for your dog is a great way to show your dog just how much you care. Though we generally advise against fully homemade diets, these canine cookbooks are perfect for whipping up your four-footer the occasional treat. 

What’s your favorite thing to cook for your dog? How do you spoil your best buddy? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

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Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

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