Friday, November 21, 2014

Get Those Tails A Wagging

Get Those Tails A Wagging
Martha Char Love

Even as a child in the 50s, I enjoyed making my dogs some treats in the kitchen. I must admit that those treats were made from commercial canned dog food that I rolled up in little balls—not really so different from what they got for their nightly meals. Still, they ate it and I suppose they liked it. Somehow, it never occurred to me to use people food ingredients for making my dogs some treats and I suppose it is just as well that I did not think of it back then, as I am sure my family would have balked at the idea. 

While I always liked the idea of making food for the dogs in my life, it was not until the past two years that I started actually cooking for them. And this came out of need when my Shih Tzu grand puppy, Momo, was suspected to have severe food allergies. She was given the Liquid Gold Allergy Test (which claims to have no false positives). It was found that she is highly allergic to many common ingredients in commercial dog food and dog treats, including peas, barley and rice—as well as turkey, lamb and pork. Once we started researching the ingredients in her store bought food and treats, it was surprising how many dog food brands use peas in their products! 

With the difficulty in finding treats of which Momo could eat and not get sick, I decided to help out and try my hand at making some up myself that would fit her particular dietary needs. This seemed to also fit into what I had been doing in the kitchen with the humans in our family. A number of my family members and friends have for some years needed to make dietary changes, avoiding processed foods. And to help with this situation, I had been creating special recipes for specific family members that had high nutritional density with more alkaline than acidic ingredients to help with digestion (see my recent cookbook Mom’s Island Bakens: Over 50 Altered Recipes for a Happy Gut and a Healthy Heart). It made sense that our pets may be having the same problems with digesting the processed foods that are in commercial canned dog food as us humans were having with human processed foods. Our bodies seemed to all be screaming for some good home cooking—both human and canine bodies alike.

When Mamie and Doug rescued Maggie as an abused puppy and began telling me that they were cooking for her to help with her digestion problems, I realized that cooking for our beloved dogs is more than a fun activity but a growing necessity for good canine health. I was thrilled and inspired when Mamie asked me to co-author Maggie’s Kitchen Tails and thus began to experiment developing recipes and cooking for  some of the other dogs in my life as well. 

One dog I love to cook for is “Aloha, the adorable little Chihauhau that comes to visit us every day on her daily walk here in Waikiki. Aloha and Momo have very different dietary needs and very different likes and dislikes. So, while this can be challenging, it has helped me to vary the treats I create and variety is one thing you will certainly find in our book. All of the recipes that I have created and contributed in Maggie’s Kitchen Tails have been tested by Momo and/or Aloha, as well as a number of other dog friends of various breeds. I know you will also enjoy the stories I have included about these wonderful lovable beings!

Although people have always given their dogs bones and even raw meat or table scraps, there is a growing need and trend to actually cook one’s own dog food treats using all human grade food, including organics whenever possible, in these treats. All the dog treat recipes in Maggie’s Kitchen Tails use human grade food ingredients because we feel that our pets deserve the very best. 

So, get out your cooking spoons and bowls and get prepared to bake for your dog some delicious, healthy treats with Maggie’s Kitchen Tails as your guide. It is a snap to do with our easy-to-follow recipes, and also quite economical as well. And best of all, you will be nourishing your beloved dog with excellent nutrition and there will be no question as to how very much they enjoy it! Take it from Momo, Aloha and Maggie, dog tails will be wagging with anticipation when the oven is a baking these delicious recipes. 

Martha Char Love

Author of:
Mom’s Island Bakens: Over 50 Altered Recipes for a Happy Gut and a Healthy Heart

What’s Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct,  a narrative of the maturation of sciences of psychology and neurology.


  1. Love your piece Martha and the backstory with your favorite pets. They surely are a great motivator and have a way of working their magic on families! Dogs and cats are my favorite facebook topics and always manage to get wrapped around the heartstrings of pet lovers everywhere. Look forward to your next entry

  2. Martha this is such a moving post. It takes me back to the same time frame as you speak about. I grew up at the same time and we had a boxer and a duck. It was my job to feed them and although it was given to me as a chore, I loved waking up to these wonderful pets. They gave me reason for being and challenged my mine each morning to find treats they would eat good for them as a meal too. I remember making carrots sticks with curls on them and baking a potato or cook some ham or bacon.

    Yes, they deserve the best we can offer them and today if you read ingredient labels on dog food and treats, no matter what brand, most have fillers or garbage in them but perhaps the most expensive brands. It’s possible with our Maggie’s Kitchen Tails that the every day person can find recipes affordable to keep their dogs strong and healthy.

    Our baby at eight weeks was so badly treated her digestive track was not developed properly and so every bite of food that we fed her had to be made with our own hands. She’s turned out to prefer chicken so its been fun to learn so many ways to work with chicken.

    Thank you Martha for sharing your story that walked me down memory lane while younger and where happy memories were so few. These memories are now forward and it feels good to think back on ways we can treat our Maggie that came from the simple times of the 50’s.