You’ve heard the mantra: Don’t feed your dog table scraps. It’s been drummed into our heads so incessantly — gee, I wonder if the commercial dog food industry could have anything to do with that? — that I often come across people who apologize for feeding their dogs perfectly healthy food just because it doesn’t come in pellet form or out of a can.
It’s true that leftovers of fast food and sweets are not good for your dog. But they’re not good for you, either.
Which brings me to Craig Zeleznik, who has raised people food for dogs to an art form with his Chef K9’s Doggy Bistro & Bakery. Zeleznik is featured on this week’s Animal Cafe podcast interview with Mary Haight.
I know food
In my other life — the one where I’m not writing about dogs — I write about food and drink. I’m the Contributing Dining Editor for Tucson Guide, the Tucson editor for the Zagat survey, and have written food stories for Sunset magazine and National Geographic Traveler, among other publications.
So when I say that Zeleznik’s creations sound yummy (that’s a technical term), I speak as a professional.
Taste testing and aesthetics
Zeleznik, a chef with a background in nutrition and fitness, uses ingredients like hormone-free baked chicken breast, pearl barley, and steamed broccoli in his creations, so it’s no surprise that he samples the food that he and his staff make for their canine clients.
The gorgeous presentations are for the owners of course. Dogs couldn’t care less about aesthetics, although I have known Frankie to toss items of food he doesn’t like over the side of his bowl onto the floor, so I suppose he wouldn’t mind the separation of ingredients into distinct sections for pitching convenience.
There’s nothing to argue with Zeleznik about when it comes to the evils of the commercial dog food industry, which is one of the many topics he discusses with Mary Haight. I’m interested to learn more about the rationale behind the breed-specific diets he creates. What about mixed breeds? Yes, every dog is an individual, just as every human is, but it would seem to me that weight and activity level would be far greater factors in determining what a dog should eat than genes.
So that’s what I plan to ask Zeleznik about at this week’s chat. Check out the podcast here and then come to the Chat Cafe on Wednesday, May 25th, at 9PM EST to ask the chef your own questions. Or just tell to him that his food looks awesome.