But the Carroll County Humane Society has come up with a unique twist to this popular fad — a pet food cookbook with meals and treats for dogs and cats.
The idea for "Happy Pet Cookbook" came from Humane Society board member Susan Holland.
“When she came to me with her plan, I knew it was a winning idea," said local Humane Society president Teresa Leslie. "We started soliciting recipes from our members through the newsletter and our Facebook page, and got a great response.”
Leslie said the recipes include a variety of meals and treats, along with food to stuff into treat toys. They include delicacies such as Holland’s “Mutt Loaf,” made with a variety of vegetables and lean beef, and “Carrot Cake,” by Maggie Harden, daughter of local veterinarian Dr. Jason Harden.
“A lot of our members prepare homemade treats for their pets so they can control the quality of the ingredients and avoid the additives and preservatives found in commercial products,” Leslie said. “Some want to create healthier alternatives, but others just want to do something special for their four-legged family members.”
She said all recipes were reviewed by a veterinarian to make sure they are safe for animal consumption. The book includes information for storing the treats and lists of foods that are unsafe for pets.
Holland headed up the cookbook committee, which also included Keri Ashworth, Laura Clawson, Maren Henry and Claudia Ortega. Holland designed the book, which was printed by Carrollton Printing Co.
“They provided invaluable help in producing a professional looking book that we could sell at an inexpensive price,” Leslie said.
The books sell for $10 each and can be purchased locally at the Carroll County Animal Shelter, Horton’s Books and Gifts, Carroll County Animal Hospital and The Pineapple House in Carrollton; at Gentle Paws in Sand Hill and Clayton Pharmacy in Bremen.
All proceeds from the book sales go toward Carroll County Humane Society Programs, including Empty Pet Bowls, the Rainbow Fund and the Angel Fund.
Leslie describes Empty Pet Bowls as a “soup kitchen for animals.” It provides pet food for Carroll County families in financial need. More than 150 families pick up food once a month from the Humane Society, which distributes on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the county animal shelter.
The Rainbow Fund provides medical care and behavioral training for homeless animals, both in the Humane Society’s foster program, and in special circumstances, animals at the local shelter.
The Angel Fund, a new program which will begin this year, will provide financial assistance to qualified county residents for non-routine veterinarian care.
“The Angel Fund is for responsible, but struggling pet owners, who are faced with unanticipated pet medical expenses, such as an accident or serious illness,” Leslie said. “To qualify, a pet owner must have applied for, and been rejected by Care Credit, a national loan program available through veterinarians’ offices. The fund does not pay for routine checkups, vaccines or reproductive surgery.”