Bookcover of Chow by Rick Woodford

CHOW: Simple Ways to Share the Foods You Love with the Dogs You Love

Rick Woodford

Countryman Press
December 1, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1581572889

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Rick Woodford

Rick Woodford, known as the Dog Food Dude, began cooking food for his dogs after his dog Jackson was diagnosed with cancer and given a year to live. Rick resolved to send Jackson out with style by cooking him food usually reserved for humans, only to find out the transition to human food made Jackson feel better and live for four more years, cancer-free. Woodford lives near Portland, Oregon.

Nobody keeps us company in the kitchen as faithfully as our dog (or dogs!). However, too often we feed dogs unhealthy treats like cheese and fatty meats, leading to upset stomach or obesity. Lists of foods that are dangerous to dogs are widespread, but there is little information out there on the foods that are healthy for our dogs.

CHOW provides pet owners with an easy-to-use guide explaining what foods can easily be shared, how much is the right amount for various size dogs, and the benefits and proper portions of more than 100 foods that we are already using to prepare our own meals. In addition to a simple swipe-into-the-dog-bowl method, each of the foods is accompanied by a recipe with a few ingredients that combine to provide a powerhouse of nutrition.

Think your dog won’t eat a blueberry? Try providing it frozen, cut in half, or even a dried version, and your blue-heeler might have a whole new perspective on what she likes. CHOW provides tips for each food and helps us teach our dogs that not every food needs to have the shape and smell of kibble.

Chicken Cookies

Yield: 40 cookies

Achieving thin, dried chicken strips is possible with a food dehydrator and plenty of patience to wait out the eight to ten hours they take to dry. This is a slightly thicker version, creating something more akin to a cookie. It’s a great stuffing for a Kong because it takes longer for dogs to retrieve than soft foods, and it doesn’t crumble like a regular cookie.

  • 1/4 cup coconut or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley or rosemary (do not use rosemary for dogs prone to seizures), ground cumin, or ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or foil. Pour the oil onto the prepared baking sheet and let it melt in the oven while you’re slicing the chicken.

Slice the chicken lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick strips and transfer to the baking sheet (Careful, it’s warm!).

Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and your herb or spice of choice, then toss together to thoroughly mix.

Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.

Flip the chicken and lower the oven temperature to 200°F. Bake the cookies for 2 hours, or until completely dry.

Store the chicken cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.

Daily Allowance:

  • 10-pound dog: 1 cookie
  • 20-pound dog: 1 cookie
  • 40-pound dog: 2 cookies
  • 60-pound dog: 3 cookies
  • 80-pound dog: 4 cookies
  • 100-pound dog: 6 cookies

Key Nutrients:

  • 28 calories per cookie
  • Protein: 32%
  • Carbohydrate-to-protein ratio 0 to 1
  • Total fats: 27%
  • Antioxidants: 7%


Yield: 3 1/3 cups

Because eggs are a moderately inflammatory food, I often combine them with anti-inflammatory kale and butternut squash, especially for senior dogs. This meal ends up being very low in calories and a great source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Try making this for your dog, then try making another for yourself. It’s simple and with a little salt and pepper and a topping of Parmesan cheese, it’ll be a welcome addition to your breakfast or dinner table.

  • 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
  • 3 cups diced or grated (use a food processor) butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup chopped kale
  • 6 large eggs

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. (Do not use a nonstick pan, because higher than medium heat can break down the pan’s coating.)

Add the squash and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The squash should be lightly browned at the edges and very tender.

Sprinkle the kale over the squash.

Whisk the eggs and add to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Let the frittata rest for 10 minutes, or until the eggs have completely firmed up.

Allow the frittata to cool, then cut into portions for your dog. Store any extra in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Serve the following amount as a meal, twice a day:

  • 10-pound dog: 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  • 20-pound dog: 1 to 1 1/3 cups
  • 40-pound dog: 1 2/3 to 2 1/3 cups
  • 60-pound dog: 2 to 3 cups
  • 80-pound dog: 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups
  • 100-pound dog: 3 to 4 1/2 cups

Key Nutrients:

  • 231 calories per cup
  • Protein: 202%
  • Carbohydrate-to-protein ratio 1.3 to 1
  • Total fats: 355%



These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

Recipes from CHOW: Simple Ways to Share the Foods You Love with the Dogs You Love by Rick Woodford. (Countryman Press, December 2015; $17.95/hardcover; ISBN: 978-1581572889).

Contact: Devorah Backman