Hold tight there, fanatical pastry people, I’m taking a brief break from the cake talk to write about something I love even more: my dogs.
My dog Bosco is the last “child” left at home with my parents. As such, you can imagine how spoiled rotten he is. He is showered with gifts that he doesn’t play with, offered more walks than he knows what to do with and has taken to sleeping in my old bed. Shortly after I moved out of the house, my mom even began covertly cooking him breakfast on occasion. While I thought that this was the first sign of descent into madness ( I love my dog and all, but I’m not making him bacon and eggs), I’ve come to realize that a lot of people cook for their dogs.
I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Los Angeles is the only place I’ve been where dog-friendly offices are commonplace, where public “dog bowls” are more readily available than public water fountains and where, sometimes, we even specifically choose to sit outside at a restaurant because that means that our dogs can come to dinner and sit with us.
I have only used homemade dog food once (and I wasn’t the one who cooked it). I was fostering a dog named Wes that was found on the street. Wes, skin and bones on four legs, needed some fattening up. The non-profit group that I was working with provided me with what looked like white rice fortified with beef, veggies and shmaltz. Big surprise, the pooch loved it. The closest I came to cooking for Wes was stuffing some doggie antacids in a big wad of peanut butter.
Obviously, if you are making your own pet food, you can determine the quality of the ingredients and where they come from. For me, the line is drawn at giving the dog leftovers from a, well, a doggy bag. But I would still like to know that I’m doing right by the environment when it comes to feeding the dog. How difficult could it be to find organic dog food in the land of posh pooches?
Not difficult at all. A recent trip to the pet store, accompanied with a single Google search brought up a litany of options. Many local pet stores and even some natural food stores carry eco-friendly options. Look for USDA certified food (find this logo on the packaging). You can find dog food without harmful chemicals, made with free range meat (or vegan options) and even packaged in recycled paper (which was a big “duh” moment to me). Obviously buying in bulk will also cut your packaging, assuming you can carry massive kibble quantities.
It would stand to reason that the same environmental and health benefits gleaned from eating organic food would also be gained by your dog eating organic food, but obviously you should consult your vet, not me, before you switch up ol’ Benji’s grub.
There are environmental responsibilities that come with pet ownership in the city, e.g., pick up the poo, please. Additionally, I’ll give my bit about adopting a shelter dog in need of a home instead spending thousands in a pet store.
And to the new readers out there: sit, stay, and clean your plate please.
Let the cake talk resume.