Dinnertime for many dogs involves the owner ripping open a bag, pouring kibbles into a bowl and walking away.
Not the stuff of a meaningful relationship.
Kris Rotonda likes to take an occasional break from that routine and give his four dogs – Rocky, Coco, Kobe and Jordan – a special treat.
Rotonda and his fiancée, Denise Fernandez, prepare the canine quartet cooked meals using recipes they share on their Doggy Cooking Network on Youtube.
Rotonda sees it as a way to occasionally give his pets what he refers to as the “Royal ‘Treat’ Ment.”
“I started cooking for my dogs because it’s a healthier way to go for meals,” Rotonda says. “Plus, it’s just fun and my dogs are an important part of my life.”
His doggie devotion now has inspired him to develop a creation he calls the PupPot (www.puppot.com), a cooking, serving and storage system for preparing those homemade meals for dogs.
The PupPot consists of a 3.8-quart stainless steel cooking pot, a paw-shaped serving base and two serving and storage bowls. Rotonda and Fernandez also put together an e-book with recipes.
For Rotonda, the PupPot just seemed like the “logical next step.”
“I figured that if Denise and I were teaching people to cook for their dogs, it just made sense to provide them with the right tool,” he says.
Dr. Jena Questen, a holistic veterinarian, says taking that extra time for preparing those meals can be worthwhile. The benefits of feeding a dog homemade dog food include reducing the risk of skin allergies, boosting their immune system, improving their digestive system, as well as giving them renewed energy.
“It’s no different from humans,” Questen says. “We couldn’t eat the same processed food every day and maintain optimum health, and neither can our pets.”
Rotonda shares a few recipes for giving your canine pals the “Royal ‘Treat’ Ment” as well:
Bacon Rice Cakes
Ingredients: 1 cup brown rice, cooked, 2 slices lean bacon, cooked, finely chopped (Retain bacon fat), 1 large egg, ½ cup dried bread crumbs
Directions: 1. Mix chopped bacon and rice. / 2. Add egg and breadcrumbs to rice and bacon mixture. Combine thoroughly. Wet hands to prevent sticking, and then form the egg-rice mixture into 4 thin patties. / 3. Reheat the bacon fat in a skillet over medium heat. Add the rice cakes and cook, turning once until golden brown. About 4 minutes on each side.
St. Puppy’s Day Hash
Ingredients: 2 baking potatoes (1-1 ½ lbs.), peeled and shredded, Sea salt, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, ½ cup shredded carrots, ¾ cup chopped corned beef, ½ cup of half-and-half, ¼ cup grated cheese, Ground pepper. 4 large eggs, scrambled
Directions: 1. Place the potatoes in a colander, lightly salt and set aside. / 2. Melt butter in the PupPot over medium heat. Mix in the potatoes, carrots, and corned beef. Increase the heat to medium-high. Cover pot. Stir every 5 minutes. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. / 3. Stir in half-and-half and turn off hear. Season with pepper and cheese. / 4. Top hash with the cooked eggs.
Ingredients: ½ cup cooked brown rice, ¼ cup of peas, thawed, 1/3 cup of rotisserie chicken, meat shredded, 1 egg, 2 Tbsp. plain breadcrumbs, ½ tsp of dried parsley, 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Directions: 1. In a medium bowl, stir together the rice, peas, chicken, egg, breadcrumbs and parsley. Form into 4 equally sized patties. / 2. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken patties and cook, turning once, until golden-brown for approximately 7-8 minutes. Remove from the skillet and let cool slightly.