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As a pet owner, no doubt you want to give your dog or cat the best care possible. And caring for your pet means feeding him the best diet you can.

Animals, because they are color blind, choose their foods by smell. Most dogs like gamey flavors best, as well as liver, fat, garlic, onions, horsemeat, lamb, beef, cheese and fish. Cats enjoy chicken, liver, fish, turkey, lamb, and yeast, and prefer fresh to aged flavors.

Remember that cats are fussy eaters and it is not wise to continually feed them their favorite foods. Soon they will refuse to eat anything else; it is your job to see your cat has a balanced diet.

Animals do not need salt added to their diet as the natural salt in the food is enough for them.

Dogs may eat any vegetable they want, but cats should not have any starchy veggies, like peas and corn. Some dogs and cats even enjoy fruits!

It's a good idea to always add a grain, such as Kibble, wheat germ, cooked oatmeal or whole wheat bread to meat dinners. For dogs use 75% carbohydrate foods (grains and vegetables) to 25% meat; for cats use half carbohydrate foods to half meat.

You will find, once you begin making your own pet foods, that it is really relatively simple and you will save some money as well. Remember that all pet foods should be served at room temperature; don't serve food cold from the refrigerator nor hot from the stove.

Incidentally, you should know that cats should be fed three times a day, while an adult dog needs only one meal a day.

Here are some pet recipes you can make at home:

SAUTEED LIVER

Heat 1 teaspoon corn oil in a pan.

Add 1/4 pound beef liver and fry on both sides until cooked but not dry inside.

Add 1/2 cup water to the pan and mix it up with all the brown bits.

For dogs, cut the liver into pieces and serve; for cats, grind the liver in a blender, using the pan juices.

CHICKEN SOUP

Combine 1 chicken liver, 1 giblet, 1 chicken heart, 1 chicken neck, 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley.

Cover and simmer until the giblet is tender.

Chop all the meat for dogs removing bones and mix with kibble; for cats, you may want to grind the meat in the blender.

VEAL STEW

Combine 1/2 pound stewing veal, 1 cup canned tomatoes, 1 cup water, 1 chicken bouillon cube, 1/2 onion (chopped), parsley and a dash of garlic powder in a pot and simmer.

When meat is tender, remove all the bones.

For dogs, cut the meat in chunks, and mix stew with kibble or some other grain; for cats, grind the stew in blender, adding a tablespoon of wheat germ or 1/2 slice of whole wheat bread.

LIVER COOKIES

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine 1/2 cup dry milk and 1/2 cup wheat germ; drizzle 1 teaspoon honey on top.

Add one 3 1/3 oz. jar of strained liver baby food or homemade blended liver and stir until everything is well mixed.

Form the mixture into balls; place them on an oiled cookie sheet and flatten them with a fork.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes.

Consistency should be fudgy.

Store in a jar in the fridge; freeze if keeping more than a few days.

LAMB STEW

Follow the recipe for Veal Stew, using chunks of lamb instead and leaving out the tomato if desired.

MACKEREL DINNER

Heat 1 tsp. corn oil in a skillet and fry 1 small mackerel until it flakes apart easily. Remove and cool. Pour 1/2 cup hot water into the pan and scrape the brown bits into it. Remove the bones from the fish and mix with the juice. For dogs, serve in pieces with kibble; for cats, grind with the pan juices.

FISH COOKIES

Follow the recipe for Liver Cookies but use instead 3 1/2 ounces of mashed and boned mackerel, either canned or freshly cooked.

BEEF COOKIES

Following the recipe for Liver Cookies, using cooked beef puree instead.

DOG MORSELS

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups white flour
1 cup skim milk powder
2 eggs
water
1/2 cup melted beef or pork drippings (or lard)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix ingredients together with enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll out and cut into Christmas shapes. Bake on cookie sheet until hard.

KITTY TREATS

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup tuna oil, chicken broth or beef bouillon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients into a dough. Dust hands with flour and form small, 1/2-inch-thick, round "biscuits". Set on greased cookie sheet. Bake 30 minutes (or until biscuits are slightly browned).

Cool 30 minutes before serving.

BUDGIE BROWNIES


1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. finely ground cuttlebone
1 cup hulled millet
2 tbsp. liquid honey
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
2 tbsp. raw wheat germ
4 egg yolks (for larger birds add 1/2 cup peanuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Pat into a greased and floured baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm (if edges start to get too brown, cover with foil).

Cool and cut into small squares.