I Cooked And Ate Like My Dog For 5 Days And Lived To Tell The Tail

·3 min read


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If loving dogs could be a personality, I would be the poster child of it. I've grown up with dogs my entire life (Cody, Hoku, Baloo, Louie) and when I moved to New York City and was no longer surrounded by a house full of dogs, I became a dog walker. A few months later, I wound up training and boarding strangers' dogs while working my full-time job—and spent what little money I had on dog treats and toys for said strangers' dogs.

As much as I think the word 'obsessed' is overused, it's safe to say I was unequivocally obsessed with dogs. You see, to be obsessed, your mind-slash-life must be continuously and intrusively preoccupied with an idea. I can say with the utmost confidence that if I wasn't already obsessed with dogs, the week I spent cooking for my own can only be encapsulated by this word.

The rules going into the week were simple: I must make my dog two meals a day. I must eat every meal with my dog. I must spend under $100.

Photo credit: Julia Smith
Photo credit: Julia Smith

Before I stepped foot in the grocery store, I caught up with Antoinette Martin from Hello Ralphie to go over the dos and donts of feeding my dog human food. Google is littered with conflicting answers on what dogs can and can't eat—search cheese, all-purpose flour, or avocado plus dog and you'll end up scratching your head at the correct answer.

"The cheeses and the nuts, it's really just the fat content that we're worried about," Antoinette explained on a call: "Be light and keep it simple instead of going for crazy high-calorie over-the-counter dog treats."

The TL;DR from Antoinette is to introduce one ingredient at a time to your dog, always check for seeds or bones due to choking hazards, and check the portion size before feeding. Oh, and, please, PLEASE check with your vet before embarking on this type of adventure. Every dog is different and what my dog can handle may be different from yours!

My dog Gus is barely 40 pounds, so his serving size was going to be a morsel compared to mine, and on top of that, he still continued to eat his normal food for consistency. Just like babies, dogs need consistency, y'all.

I spent $73 at the grocery store—hardly a Budget Eats success—mainly because I erred on the side of caution and bought organic produce and meat. Ironically, I rarely do this for myself, but it felt like the safe choice for my pet.

Photo credit: Julia Smith
Photo credit: Julia Smith

So what did I end up cooking for Gus for five days? So glad you asked. For breakfast, Gus indulged in banana pancakes, pumpkin waffles, a strawberry oatmeal bake, berry pupsicles, and cauliflower cheesy egg cups. Not all at the same time, guys! Over the course of the week! Woof!

For dinner, he was served pupioli with crispy veal, a slice of porridge loaf (...as terrible as it sounds), veal stuffing roll-ups (shockingly delicious), a chicken caesar waffle sandwich, and chicken meatballs with carrot gnocchi (will make for myself again). Did I mention I made a dog bone baguette and pupcakes, too? Again, "obsessed" is the only appropriate word choice in this moment unless we want to go with "unhinged."

Just...watch the full video, OK?

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