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Cook for Your Pets Day: A dog taste test

If your pets are part of the family, why not include them at the dinner table?

Nov. 1 is National Cook for Your Pets Day, so we decided to include Phoenix, an exuberant collie mix, in our Sunday dinner routine with a little bit of home-cooked (and dog-safe!) food as a special treat.

How did he like our cooking? Check out the photos below to find out and to learn more about what kinds of people food are safe for your dog to eat.

This is Phoenix

Phoenix (seen here in his patriotic Halloween costume)
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Phoenix (seen here in his patriotic Halloween costume) always wants to be part of the conversation at the dinner table, and with National Cook for Your Pets Day approaching, the family considered what might be a safe treat for this big ball of fur to enjoy.

First, check the food is safe for your dog

We scoured dog food recipes, most of which
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

We scoured dog food recipes, most of which combine chicken or another ground meat with vegetables and grains and yielded more servings than were necessary. Phoenix's pantry is already well-supplied with fancy dog food, so we didn't need a big quantity. Then it dawned on us: Some of what we were eating for dinner that night seemed to be perfectly safe for him. These meatballs (along with little bit of thinly sliced beef that had cooked along with them) don't contain anything that is unsafe for dogs, according to the American Kennel Club's list of toxic foods.

Please note that if your meatballs (or your tomato sauce) contains onions, you should not feed it to your dog -- onions can be harmful to canines. But this version doesn't contain any onions, thanks to one family member's picky childhood palate. While your dog should not eat a tomato plant, it's the greens that are not good for them, not the fruit. Just make sure the meat you're feeding your dog isn't too fatty -- too much fat can be bad for a dog's pancreas.

If you are looking to make your own dog food for a longer period of time, here's a good basic recipe that includes lots of information about feeding your dog a balanced diet.

Time for a taste test

After mashing up the meatball a bit to
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

After mashing up the meatball a bit to make it easier to eat, we served Phoenix his snack on a nice Kate Spade dish, so he could feel part of the family. We anxiously awaited his feedback.

The review

Judging by the empty plate, which Phoenix nudged
Photo Credit: Jillian Jorgensen

Judging by the empty plate, which Phoenix nudged forward as if to ask for seconds, this once-in-a-while treat was a big hit.

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