Would you cook a meal for your dog? The Doggy Cooking Network, a unique YouTube show for those into canine cuisine, recorded in Safety Harbor, Florida (AP Photos / Courtesy Kris Rotonda)
Would you cook a meal for your dog?
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Is the way to a dog's heart is through its stomach?

No one believes this more than Kris Rotonda and Denise Fernandez, the couple who conceived the Doggy Cooking Network and founded online dating service YouMustLoveDogsDating.com, where pooch-loving singles can connect with potential mates.

Their Doggy Cooking Network on YouTube taps into the popularity of cooking shows like "The Pioneer Woman" and "Barefoot Contessa" to show pet owners how to dish up fresh, homemade alternatives to commercial kibble. It struck a chord as serving safe, wholesome food and has become important to people putting more time, money and energy into pet care.

"The idea is simple. Food brings families together," Fernandez said. "Only people who are really devoted to their dogs are going to cook for them."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received reports that dog and cat treats made abroad have killed 1,000 dogs and sickened more than 4,800 pets since 2007. The agency has not been able to prove the chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats are causing the illnesses, but large retailers PetSmart and Petco plan to pull them from shelves.

Worried pet owners can find easy home-made recipes in Rotonda and Fernandez's cooking shows. In their videos, they use simple ingredients like chicken, rice and eggs to make everything from frozen yogurt bars and sweet bean rice to meatloaf birthday cake, and they incorporate food trends like organic and gluten-free snacks.

Fernandez and Rotonda are not professional chefs but display quick ways to please a pet's palate after testing the dishes out on their four dogs.

Viewers mix along with the couple as they joke, banter and show off their finished dishes during the four-minute cooking segments. They started their one-of-a-kind show about three months ago. Shows are being posted once a week on YouTube, but they hope to expand soon.

One viewer, Mary Montufar of Mountain View, California, builds on the show's recipes to make her own creations for her 11-year-old Maltese mix, Phoebe. If the Doggy Cooking Network features chicken with carrots and peas, she tries similar alternatives, like turkey and sweet potatoes.

Montufar tried all kinds of store-bought food, but none of it stopped her dog's scratching and discomfort. So she decided to give the online cooking shows a try. The ingredients are simple and cheap and the recipes are so easy that she can make a week's worth of food at a time, she said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is it important that the recipes be easy?

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COMMENTS (134)
  • LDakota-Sti
    11/13/2014 - 01:47 p.m.

    Id'e cook for my pets when I become a millionaire, the reason being is that it would waste money
    for feeding the human food pets aren't that fancy unless you'r a millionaire.

  • ratiaira
    11/13/2014 - 01:58 p.m.

    i might cook for my dog for a special occasion but on a regular day no my dog does not need cooked food just store bought i think its better for your dog

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    11/13/2014 - 02:21 p.m.

    It's so weird that any of that is even a thing, but I know where these people are coming from. My mom knows a lady that her dogs are literally like her children. She has birthday parties for them and everything. She could definitely be on the dating website.

  • naidag
    11/13/2014 - 07:52 p.m.

    I would want to cook a meal for my dog , yes . I would treat it like a human being , it eats , sleeps , uses the bathroom just like humans do . So , yes , I would cook for my dog .

  • devonm-3
    11/13/2014 - 09:27 p.m.

    Dog owners cook food for there pets themselves. Overseas pets foods and treats have sickened and even killed many pets and Kris Rotonda is sick of it. She has a YouTube channel to showes other per owners how to make organic and healthy pet foods for a decent price. " The ingredients are simple and cheep and the recipes are so easy," says pet owner Mary Montufar. Many pets can have a better diet and longer life but eating a more natural diet. I think this idea is great for all pet owners. A lot of name brands for pet food have gross and unnatural ingredients. My family used to do this for my cat and we still sometimes do because you see a real difference when your pet eats processed food to natural food.

  • KaelanB-Ver
    11/14/2014 - 09:11 a.m.

    I don't have dogs but I do have a kitten and sorry for the dog lovers but I love my kitten very much and I would cook for her but if I had a dog that would still apply.

  • Ashleypatt
    11/14/2014 - 01:35 p.m.

    It is very important to keep the meal simple if your feeding your dog because you dont want them to get fat or get an upset belly and throw up. I feed my dog at home and on her birthday its on thanksgiving and we always give her a plate of something so she feels special.

  • juanc-Koc
    11/17/2014 - 12:11 a.m.

    I would not cook a meal for my dog because its a dog. I rather just go to the store and buy dog food . I see rich Beverly Hills people doing this for their dog.

  • LeightonG7
    11/17/2014 - 02:43 p.m.

    Of course i would not cook a meal for my dog what do you think this is no he is a dog so he gets to eat his dog food or some of my food when i feel like giving it to him

  • Elizabethm7
    11/17/2014 - 02:43 p.m.

    my response to this is, maybe yes. Let me explain, first dogs have life like everone else. They breath like us, they see (not like us) but the point is, they have life. i would cook a meal for my dog (if i had one) because i believe that dogs deserve better than having to eat pieces of crumbs from the floor. DOgs are so mistreated in some other parts of the world and as same as homeless. Im not saying homeless people are like dogs but everyone should be treated the same, i understand you dont have time to cook meals for an animal but with just once at least a week or month, your dog is happiest mammel on earth.

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