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Cooking for dogs?

asked 2017-02-17 19:31:11 -0500

Have any of you encountered clients who require special feeding for their dogs? We currently have a pair of Aussies at our house who are so sweet, but their parent requires that we cook their dinner. We steam vegetables and then mix in a different meat per night, then mix with kibble. For breakfast they get kibble, with a scoop of yogurt, and warmed coconut oil and as treats, we have hard boiled eggs to slice and give each dog.

I'm just curious if anybody else has run into a situation like this, and if you think we should have an additional charge, maybe even just $2 or $3? I know its part of caring for someone's family member, just curious of your opinions :)

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answered 2017-02-17 21:31:00 -0500

I've never encountered anything so elaborate. Aside from the additional charge, you could require that the owner provide the meals and treats already prepared and packaged. I've had owners unnecessarily put each meal's kibble in a little baggie. However, some of this (i.e., the dinner and unsliced hard-boiled eggs) could be prepared ahead of time and packaged for you. With the exception of having to warm the coconut oil (nuke it briefly), it doesn't seem too time-consuming.

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answered 2017-02-23 14:39:37 -0500

I would be really careful with that because of the "what if something happens to the dog", they can always blame what you feed them. I would encourage them bringing the food already cooked, maybe frozen for long term stays, just so there is less room for error and of course to save you time and effort.

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answered 2017-02-20 11:43:45 -0500

I have had pet parents bring precooked homemade meals divided in freezer bags. I kept the bags in the freezer but the night before I would take out one of the bags and put it in the fridge for breakfast. I would take it out of the fridge, mix a little warm/hot water to the bowl of food and stir it up before feeding. In the mornings I would take one out for the evening meal. But, no I have not be asked to cook the food and nor would I spend so much time preparing a dogs food unless the owner agreed to pay a higher daily rate.

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answered 2017-02-18 00:47:58 -0500

I discuss expectations during meet & greet, which includes that the pet parent must provide meals and any approved treats, except for baby carrots which I have stocked. All of them are really good about it. Some will pack many packaged baggies or plastic containers with different treats or nutritional add-ins, which ranged from dog supplemental oils, already prepared vegetables, foods used to administer oral meds., meat/poultry, to complete fresh home cooked meals. In instances where they forgot to pack fresh food sold at pet stores, they've reimbursed me upon return.

That said, for some of my regulars I have offered to provide something special and made sure it was okay with the pet parent (i.e. holiday special, unexpected extension of a stay, or the pet was declining prepared food that may have gone bad). It was my choice to do so and while I didn't charge for that, I was glad to do so and they showed their appreciation of my long term relationship. It was worth it.

If the pet parent wants you to provide meal service as mentioned (w/you buying kibble, meat, vegetables, eggs, yogurt, coconut oil, etc), then an additional $2-3 per meal charge seems justified, so long as it's agreed upon before booking. Boarding facilities near me charge if they provide the food. I'd guess facilities near you charge for that too.

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answered 2017-03-08 07:51:39 -0500

I would actually charge at least $5 a meal prep for using my stove and taking extra effort. All my clients bring dry dog food sometimes wet food to mix in. I don't mind. One client brings cooked chicken and roast beef for me to cut. It doesn't take much time so I do it. But if I needed to buy ingredients, cook and prepare them, I would charge additional rate for buying groceries and cooking.

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answered 2017-02-23 02:55:47 -0500

I require that all owner-clients provide the food their dog(s) eat, with the exception of one meal for dogs staying over Thanksgiving or Christmas (I provide a healthy and pet-friendly holiday meal that is what my dog is eating for dinner that night (plain (boiled) mashed potatoes, plain steamed green beans, plain roasted butternut or acorn squash, and skinless white meat turkey)). For dogs on "special" diets, clients have largely bagged things up individually, so all I have to do is dump the food into their bowl. The only exception to that was when I sat a dog on a raw diet for nearly 3 weeks. The owners came in and took a look at my freezer, and we agreed that I couldn't keep that much of his food in my freezer (I just didn't have the space). Their solution was to send an Instacart delivery of what he needed for his last 4 days to my house, and then I just had to portion up the chicken, liver, and veggies he got. It worked out beautifully.

I don't cook for myself every day, so I would be hard-pressed into service to do so for a client. Pre-cooking the food and packaging it so that you can just heat it up in the microwave or by steaming/boiling it seems reasonable. "Mixing" whether it's wet food, yogurt, a little warm water, or even some warmed coconut oil wouldn't seem unreasonable to me. Likewise simply slicing up a provided boiled egg wouldn't put me out much. But I would absolutely charge more if they wanted me to do anything beyond pop something in the microwave/drop it in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes.

It's unclear what they're asking of you. Steaming veggies is clear...but do you have to cook the meat that's mixed in with their kibble as well? I'd charge $3-4/night extra for only steaming fresh veggies (assuming they don't let you just nuke them in a little water), and $10+/night if they are also asking you to cook the meat add-ins from raw (again...whole different ballgame if they give you cooked chicken breasts and say "please microwave these," I'm talking about you having to cook them fresh).

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answered 2017-03-20 15:08:18 -0500

I have to agree with the majority on this, if they want their dogs fed cooked meals, they should bring those meals. I do have a customer who feeds their dog a concoction of turkey, a veggie mix, and something else and it STINKS! He cooks and pre-packages it all for her stay though, so I am happy to feed it to her. She also has her dry food for the vitamins that dogs need.

Be really careful about cooking another dogs food because you never know what you might get (salmonella in foods beyond your control) and the dog get sick.

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