I’m a Chef and I Cured My Sister’s Dog With Gourmet Food

Sometimes your four-legged friends need Michelin-star service too
Freddie and I at the market

Anyone who is a pet owner knows that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows with our furry pals. Once in a while they get sick, and most of the time it’s at a very inconvenient time — as was the case for me a couple of weeks ago. My sister asked me to house-sit for her, and seeing as I have had a longstanding love affair with her little sausage-sized nugget, Freddie, I happily agreed. Just as I was getting settled into the house, I realized the dog was not looking quite right. As the hours passed, he didn’t seem to move much and had a terrible case of diarrhea. I figured he would sleep it off and it would be fine in the morning.

But instead, it got worse. I woke up not only to a dog with diarrhea — he seemed to be heaving too! At this point I had to call out of work and rush to the vet. No way was anything going to happen to this little critter under my watch!

The vet gave Freddie some pills, and I called my sister to tell her the news. She seemed unsurprised, and told me they had been through this song and dance before with the vet and usually the pills help a little but his stomach problems have been going on for a while now. As I brought him back home, I began to think of him like a little human. And what do I need when I’m feeling sick like that? Liquids! Aha!

Freddie isn’t the biggest water drinker, so I figured I’d make him some simple chicken soup with a tiiiny bit of ginger in hopes that it would soothe his little stomach. At this point he wasn’t eating any of his dry food so I figured if I made it soft and tasty in the chicken broth it ought to do the trick! That puppy slurped it up in no time, and I was thrilled.

In the morning he seemed to have perked up a bit, but the poor little guy still had diarrhea. I spent a good amount of that day researching which human foods dogs could eat — I figured I was going to treat him as a nutritionist would a client and curate his meals! As I went deeper down the internet rabbit hole of dog-friendly foods, I came up with a nutritional plan: I would take him off his dog food and meds, incorporate white organic meat chicken for protein, rice for fiber, the ginger-chicken broth of course, and organic carrot for its minerals and more fiber. And here was the big win: cilantro. Eating cilantro, for both humans and dogs (in small amounts, obviously), is an excellent method for detoxifying and removing heavy metals and other neurotoxins.

That night I went into full kitchen action as Freddie’s beady little eyes watched and nose twitched at all the exciting sights and smells swirled around him. He must have known it was all for him, because he didn’t even beg.

Dog prep meals

The prep meals I made for Freddie

The results were miraculous: Within 2 days the little guy was looking much happier — and pooping much more appropriately! I don’t think it’s the best idea (for time’s sake, mainly!) to have your dog on this sort of a diet forever, but incorporating it every now and then when things get a little hairy could be a really useful card to have up your sleeve. Regardless of whether your dog has Michelin-star taste or not, here are the top 12 human foods you shouldn’t feed to your dog!


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Natalie Lobel is a Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal who enjoys navigating the food space with a compass and a wooden spoon. You can follow her food andventures and diet experiments on her Instagram @natlobel.