Frequently Asked Questions
Some common, (and some not so common),
questions about We Cook for Dogs!
Where is We Cook for Dogs! made?
Everything we sell is made by ourselves in our own kitchens in rural Somerset. Our Food for Dogs, our Dog Treats, our Dog Crisps, everything is made in our own kitchens by our own team. Rest assured, we never, ever, outsource the production of any of our food.
Is any of your production outsourced?
Absolutely not. All We Cook for Dogs! products are made by our own staff in our own kitchens in rural Somerset, with just as much love, care and attention to detail as we applied when we were just making food for our own dogs.
What products do you make?
We have a number of ranges:
Real Food for Dogs
Proper, Complete & Balanced meals for dogs made to order by ourselves in our own kitchens, using only the finest natural, human grade ingredients. These can be purchased from our Self-Selection Menu or by subscribing to one our Bespoke Meal Plans.
Snacks & Treats
A range of natural, healthy, handmade Snacks & Treats which can be purchased from Our Shop.
Dressings & Toppings
A range of Dressings & Toppings ideally suited to fussy eaters or to make a dog’s existing food more tasty, interesting and palatable. These too can be purchased from Our Shop.
Monthly Box Scheme
Our Monthly Box Scheme provides a monthly selection of all of our products, including our Meals, our Snacks & Treats, Our Dressings & Toppings, our Dog-safe Crisps and more. Visit our Monthly Box Scheme for more details.
If you feel like having a party for your friends and their dogs we also produce a Party Box which comes complete with Meals, Treats & Party Ideas, and we also produce a Sample Box containing a range of our products in case you would like to make a one-off purchase to try out our products or to send a gift to a friend.
Would you say you are the best?
Yes, we would. There are one or two small companies like ourselves producing high quality, natural food for dogs, with a similar business model to ours. Sadly, they are so small, so niche, most people will never have heard of them.
If you come across them, and there are only one or two in the UK, you will know who we are talking about because, like ours, their food looks like ‘real’ food.
Despite what any of the larger manufacturers will tell you, if their food does not look like real food, it isn’t. Real food should look just as good inside the packet as it does on the outside.
Ours most certainly does. And it tastes just as good as well. That’s why we consider ourselves the best, at the same time as acknowledging that one or two others comes close.
Why do you cook your food?
1. It increases the digestibility. It makes the food easier to digest.
2. It increases the available nutrients in the food. The nutrients in some ingredients are only released – made available for your dog to benefit from – once they have been cooked.
3. It decreases the risk of bacterial infection. Cooking meat for example removes the risk of the likes of E Coli.
How much should my dog eat?
Remember. Overweight dogs are likely to live shorter lives. If your dog is overweight, feed 2% of its body weight until it reaches a normal, healthy weight.
Don’t dogs prefer the same food all the time?
No, Marketing Man invented that old line in order to keep you buying the same old kibble you’ve always bought for your dog. Actually, dogs are a lot happier and a lot healthier if they are given a wide variety of food, just as they would if they were living in the wild.
Isn't raw food better for dogs?
There is nothing wrong with raw feeding. Nothing whatsoever. It is simply not to everyone’s taste, and it does require considerably more in the way of food hygiene awareness as the potential for the spread of harmful bacteria is greatly increased by feeding a dog a raw diet.
In a study conducted in the USA, E coli was found in more than 50% of tested raw food products, and the consequences of the spread of infection can be catastrophic.
People should also be aware that there is actually no scientific evidence to back up the health benefits claimed by raw feeding proponents. None whatsoever. There is however considerable evidence to support the fact that many nutrients are only available to dogs once the ingredients have been cooked.
Yes, the forebears of today’s domestic dog did eat raw food, but that was more than 15,000 years ago. Since that time, and prior to the relatively recent advent of commercial dog food, most dogs would have eaten the scraps from the human table – largely left-over cooked meat and vegetables. Not dissimilar to the meals we produce, except we set out to produce them for your dog so he or she doesn’t have to rely on potentially nutritionally incomplete table scraps for sustenance.
Bottom line, raw food or Lightly Cooked the We Cooked for Dogs! way is a matter of preference. But either is infinitely better than commercially produced dry dog biscuit!
Is it true that freshly prepared food for dogs is on the increase?
And by variety, we don’t mean variety of kibble. Kibble is kibble, end of story. Despite what manufacturers might tell you, there is little to choose between one brand of kibble and another. Here we are talking about the increasing variety of proper food for dogs.
Yes, freshly prepared meals for dogs are more costly to make and buy, but they are so, so much better for the health of your dog than nutritionally-compromised dry or canned foods.
Would you feel safe in feeding yourself or your family a dry biscuit that, without being frozen, can sit in your kitchen cupboard for a year or more without going off? Wouldn’t you wonder how on earth they managed that, and made it as nutritious and healthy as freshly cooked food? (The fact is of course, they can’t).
And wouldn’t you get just a little bored with the same food day in day and day out.
(Despite what you may have heard, dog’s have a digestive tract very similar to ours and digest their food in much the same way as we do. Therefore they are able to benefit from many of the same foods as us).
Despite what the large kibble manufacturers along with many vets would have you believe, dogs were never, ever, designed to exist on one variety of food alone. That is simply nonsense!
My dog's a fussy eater. What can I do?
No matter how great the quality of the food, some dogs, for any number of reasons, can decide not to eat on any given day.
If your dog is a fussy eater, you could try popping its meal into the microwave briefly just to warm it a little or at least take the chill off it. Or you could try sprinkling a little cheese over it.
If you’re still having difficulties, drop us a line and we’ll see if we can tailor a solution just for your best friend.
It’s important to remember though that no dog will starve itself to death. Not all dogs are motivated by food. When your dog is hungry enough, he or she will eat!
How should my dog's meals be served?
Your dog’s We Cook for Dogs! Gourmet Dinners and Meals for Dogs will be cooked to order, vacuum sealed, and chilled immediately after cooking in order to retain their natural goodness. They will be delivered to you in specially insulated, ice-cooled boxes. We recommended you either refrigerate the meals for a maximum of 7 days, or place them in the freezer until they are required.
If refrigerated, simply open and serve shortly before required. Leaving them to rest at room temperature for a short while will make them gentler on your dog’s tummy and bring out the full flavour and aroma of each meal.
If frozen, remove from your freezer the night before and allow to defrost in the fridge over night before following the instructions above.
If you happen to forget, remove the meal from your freezer as and when required, immerse in cold water or leave under running cold water until defrosted and then serve. As before, our meals are best served at room temperature.
Always ensure a ready supply of clean, fresh, drinking water.
How should my dog's meals be stored?
We recommended you either refrigerate the meals for a maximum of 7 days, or place them in the freezer until they are required.
How will my dog's meals be delivered?
Do you deliver to every area in the UK?
Your dog’s cooked-to-order handmade meals are packed in such a way that they can be delivered to you by normal courier services and still arrive with you as fresh as when they left our kitchen.
We’ll even let you know when your dog’s meals are on their way so you’ll know when to expect them.
Are your meals Complete and Balanced?
How fresh is We Cook for Dogs! food?
Does We Cook for Dogs! use any preservatives?
In fact not a single preservative, colourant, filler, artificial ingredient or anything that is not completely natural. Nothing we at We Cook for Dogs! wouldn’t and don’t feed to our own dogs or wouldn’t and don’t eat ourselves goes into the making of our food.
Why do you always cook the Fruit and Vegetables in your meals?
Many dogs enjoy eating a Carrot, for example, but one look at their stool will show that most of the Carrot comes out the way it went in, complete with its cellulose shield and nutrients locked inside.
By lightly cooking our Fruit and Vegetables, dogs are able to absorb the nutrients locked inside them to maximum effect.
How is your food made?
We shop, prepare and cook just as you do at home for you and your family, using fresh ingredients purchased on the day or within a day or two of cooking for your dog.
Our food is prepared and lightly cooked in small batches by our own staff in our own kitchens.
Immediately after cooking, our food is apportioned by hand and the meal-sized portions vacuum sealed to keep in the freshness, ready to be delivered to you for your dog to enjoy.
Essentially, we Home Cook for your dog so you don’t have to!
What's the difference between your Gourmet Dinners and your Meals for Dogs?
When our youngest dog, Ava, came to us at the age of 5 months, she was a particularly fussy eater who struggled to gain weight.
We were concerned that her fussiness and inability to put on weight might impact on her development and not allow her to develop to her full potential.
So we experimented and over time created an extra special range of meals, still made with 100% natural, human grade ingredients, but with more attention paid to the protein element. Once we’d gotten that right, we added a few subtle touches of luxury and our Gourmet Dinners was born!
Want to see how Ava looks now? Take a look at Meet The Team (And prepare to say “WOW”)!
Do you use any feed grade ingredients?
What is your Botanical Nutrient Blend?
Our Botanical Nutrient Blend, added to each of the meals supplied as part of one of our Bespoke Meal Plans, contains our specially formulated selection of health-giving botanical nutrients specifically designed to ensure that your dog’s meals are completely nutritionally balanced.
It contains Alfalfa, Brewer’s Yeast, Burdock Root, Celery Seeds, Chicory Root, Dandelion Root, Kelp, Nettle Leaf Powder, Pumpkin Seeds and Turmeric. All botanical, all natural, all proven to be nutritiously beneficial to your dog’s health.
Importantly, we do not use synthetic vitamins in our nutrient blend. Every ingredient is COMPLETELY natural!
My dog has a wheat allergy. Do you offer Grain Free options?
Yes we do. We offer Grain Free options for most of our meals. Simply visit: Grain Free Meals for Dogs. Naturally they’re also Gluten Free as well!
My dog is a fussy eater. Can We Cook for Dogs help?
Yes we can. Particularly for fussy eaters we have introduced a Mince & Mashed range of our meals. Instead of chopping and dicing, we Mince & Mash to ensure that all the ingredients are properly mixed. Just visit: Mince & Mashed Food for Fussy Dogs.
Is every ingredient you use canine safe?
Absolutely. Every single ingredient, in addition to having been passed fit for human consumption (which means you can eat it as well), is also proven to be completely safe and beneficial to the health of dogs.
Are all your ingredients Human Grade?
Yes, they are. And more than that, they’re also fit for human consumption.
Before any product is tasted by Ava, Marco or any of our team of canine tasters, we insist that our products are tested by those who cook them. For this reason we only use meat and other ingredients from human-grade facilities that have been passed fit for human consumption.
Granted, not everyone likes the thought of eating the likes of Ox Heart, for example, although from a dog’s point of view, heart is muscle meat and very highly nutritious. It is also considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. Importantly though, if an owner did want to sample his dog’s meals which contain Ox Heart, he most certainly could.
Anyone thinking of trying this should be warned though. Ox Heart is considered a luxury in many countries. You might get to enjoy it!
Do you use any rendered meats in your food?
No, we do not. Rendered meat is the waste from human food production. That’s what goes into traditional dog food.
We on the other hand make Food for Dogs, and only use meat that has been passed fit for human consumption. High quality meat from the same suppliers who supply the meat that the human staff at We Cook for Dogs! eat every day of our lives.
What are Prebiotics and why does my dog need them?
Why don’t you use bone meal in your meals?
Because all our ingredients are of human grade quality (which bone meal most certainly is not), and because ground eggshells are an excellent and safe Calcium source as well as containing other beneficial minerals, we use ground eggshells instead.
Why do you add eggshells to your meals?
Our washed, baked and finely ground eggshells, contributed by our own free-range chickens, provide your dog with the best possible source of Calcium, second only to raw bones.
Why do you occasionally replace one ingredient with another?
For example we may replace Cabbage with Kale or Cavolo Nero (also known as Black Kale or Black Cabbage), depending on the season and availability, but we would never consider replacing, say, Cabbage with Tomatoes.
In that regard, we cook in a similar way to which you would at home, in this case, simply substituting one Leafy Green for another. This also adds variety and interest for your dog, and ensures a good mix of nutrients.
However this only applies to our Fruit and Vegetables, not to our sources of Protein (Meat and Fish), which will always remain as advertised unless we introduce a different product altogether as we do occasionally with our Seasonal Specials.
Why do you add Fruit and Vegetables to your meals?
For that reason, in the wild their diet would consist of fruit and vegetables as well as meat, with the fruit and veg either eaten fresh, or consumed when they eat the stomach contents of their herbivorous prey.
Besides, fresh fruit and vegetables provide valuable nutrients not found in meat and fish and their diet would not be complete and balanced without them.
Records show that this method of feeding domestic dogs has been practised by owners and breeders since at least the mid-1800s. There is no reason to presume that the fact that dogs need plant matter (fruit and vegetables) for vitamins was not known and practised by owners and breeders for many centuries before records began.
Either way, it was long, long, before Marketing Man on behalf of the large commercial dog food manufacturers decided that dogs needed nothing more than artificial ingredients made to look like meat (dog biscuit or kibble) to survive.
Are all your ingredients completely natural?
How do I find out more about your ingredients?
Alternatively, please visit our Ingredients page.
What kind of fish do you use in your meals?
For that reason we use Alaska Pollock, Atlantic Cod, Atlantic Salmon, and line-caught Sardines from off the coast of Spain.
We DO NOT use Tilapia and we do not use any species of Pangasius, variously marketed by supermarkets as river cobbler, Vietnamese river cobbler, basa or panga.
Tilapia and Pangasius, both of which are sometimes labelled by food manufacturers – both pet and human – as “white fish” or simply “fish”, are farmed in some of the most heavily polluted waters in the world. We would not eat them, and we would most certainly not feed them to either our dogs or yours!
Do you use any feed grade ingredients?
Why do you add Liver to all of your meals?
All that having been said, it truly is possible to have too much of a good thing. For that reason, and because Liver is so rich in nutrients, we add just 5% of this meaty nectar to all our meals.
What's the difference between your Bespoke Meal Plans and the Monthly Box Scheme?
Our Bespoke Meal Plans are designed as a long-term option to replace your dog’s existing food with We Cook for Dogs! complete and balanced, bespoke, cooked to order meals for dogs.
Our Monthly Box Scheme is a monthly dog subscription box which provides a monthly snapshot of all our products – our meals, snacks, treats, dressing and toppings.
Is being overweight really such a problem for my dog?
As well as enjoying a shorter lifespan, an overweight dog is likely to be more prone to weight-related health issues such as diabetes and arthritis.
How can my dog join your Tasting Panel?
Easy. This explains all about joining our Tasting Panel.
How do I share We Cook for Dogs! with a friend?
Thank you. We’ve so pleased you’re happy to recommend We Cook for Dogs!
If you would kindly submit your friend’s email address through our in-account referral section, they will receive an email invitation from you together with a 50% discount voucher off their first order.
By using #wecookfordogs you can also share We Cook for Dogs! with your friends via social media.
Do you yourself try your Meals for Dogs and Gourmet Dinners?
We have applied that same philosophy to the food we produce for our dogs and yours. We are all of us investing in the future health of our dogs. The better we feed them, the healthier they are likely to be and the longer they are likely to be part of our lives.
That’s why the meat we use at We Cook for Dogs! is supplied by the same local suppliers who also supply our own meat.
Do you offer a We Cook for Dogs! Sample Box?
Yes, we do. Since we introduced them a short while ago, our Sample Boxes have proven to be a popular way to try out our Food for Dogs.
To view our Sample Box visit Sample Box of Real Food for Dogs.
Monthly Box Scheme for Dogs
What is the Monthly Box Scheme for Dogs?
The We Cook for Dogs! Monthly Box Scheme for Dogs is a monthly subscription service designed to deliver fresh, natural, homemade treats and healthy snacks direct to your door for your dog to enjoy.
You might be perfectly happy with your dog’s current food but feel that he or she deserves a little treat once in a while.
Perhaps you have a fussy eater. Maybe you’d like to try a variety of toppings or dressings for your dog’s existing food to make it more interesting or palatable.
Or perhaps you’d simply like to add a little regular variety into his or her life. The opportunity to experience the very best in healthy, all-natural, homemade, canine cuisine.
For just £19.95 a month, we’ll send your dog his or her personalized Monthly Box. It will contain the likes of portions of our regular meals, toppings, dressings, treats, cookies and new recipes so far only enjoyed by our own dogs.
Everything will be natural, healthy, handmade by us, and created only with ingredients passed fit for human consumption. Which means you too can eat them well if you so wish. You may laugh, but we know for certain that’s what happens when most people get to sample our Apple Crisps for Dogs. The dogs barely get a look in!
If at some stage you would then like to transition your dog to our Meals for Dogs or Gourmet Dinners on a permanent basis, then you could try one of our Bespoke Meal Plans for Dogs.
How does the Monthly Box Scheme for Dogs work?
Once you join and tell us about your dog, at the same time every month we’ll send a box of goodies, every one of which will be handmade by us in our own kitchens in rural Somerset, using completely natural and healthy Grain Free ingredients.
When can I expect to receive each Monthly Box?
Each Monthly Box will contain one of our standard Gourmet Dinners or Meals for Dogs either as a meal replacement or topping for your dog’s regular food. It will also contain one of our Food For Dogs Dressings or Toppings, ideal for fussy eaters who might need a little encouragement to eat their regular food. It will also contain
Can I choose what goes into my dog's Monthly Box?
Unfortunately not. Each Monthly Box will contain a wide variety of food and treats in order to provide your best friend with as wide a range of tastes, textures, smells and nutrients as possible. In the unlikely event your dog doesn’t like a particular product – which in our experience is highly unlikely – you can always give it to a friend’s dog or eat it yourself. (Everything is human grade so why not)!
What we can say is that everything will be Gluten and Grain Free and we’ve never yet known a dog turn down a single one of our offerings.
When will my first Monthly Box arrive?
How would I cancel my subscription if necessary?
What payment methods do you accept?
Do you deliver throughout the UK?
Your dog’s Monthy Box is packed in such a way that it can be delivered to you by normal courier services and still arrive with the goodies inside as fresh as when they left our kitchen.
We’ll even let you know when your dog’s Monthly Box is on its way so you’ll know when to expect it.
Can I cancel my subscription at any time?
Yes, you can cancel or pause your subscription at any time. Simply log in to your account and make any changes before your plan ends. We will not renew it once your plan has finished.
Can I give a Monthly Box as a gift?
Yes you can. Simply complete the subscription process entering both your own details (your billing address) as the gift giver and the shipping address of the recipient together with any message you would like to send.
Can I see what's been in previous boxes?
Most certainly. Just visit: Previous Food for Dogs Monthly Boxes.
What makes your Monthly Box Scheme different from the rest?
We don’t buy in highly-processed, mass-produced, heavily-packaged products from around the world, put them in a fancy box, add a profit margin and sell them on to you.
We do make every single item, by hand, in our own kitchens in rural Somerset, using only canine-safe, human-grade, natural and healthy ingredients.
First and foremost we’re committed to the health and happiness of dogs through good nutrition. That’s what makes our Monthly Box Scheme different from the rest!
Do you offer a Grain Free Monthly Box for Dogs?
Yes we do. In fact everything in every Monthly Box for Dogs will not only be Gluten Free but also Grain Free as well.
Can I buy a single Monthly Box?
Can I order something from a previous Monthly Box?
Yes you can. If your dog particularly enjoyed something from a previous Monthly Box, we’d love to hear about it.
You should find everything you need in our Shop, but if you can’t find what your dog desires, do please contact us and we’ll see how we can help.
Bespoke Meal Plans
Why should I consider a Bespoke Meal Plan for my dog?
Our individually customized Bespoke Meal Plans are specifically designed to ensure your dog benefits from the widest possible variety of essential nutrients ensuring long-term balance in his or her diet.
We Home Cook for your dog so you don’t have to!
How does it work?
We devise a personalized meal plan
specifically for your best friend based
on his or her calorie requirements.
WE PREPARE AND COOK
We lovingly prepare and lightly cook
your dog’s meals to order in our own
kitchens in rural Somerset.
WE BOX AND DELIVER
We package and deliver your dog’s
meals direct to you in insulated boxes
to ensure maximum freshness.
YOU UNPACK AND SERVE
We know your dog will enjoy and you’ll
be happier knowing you’re feeding
the best food for dogs that money can buy.
Why do you need to know whether or not my dog has been neutered?
It has been scientifically proven that neutered, spayed or castrated dogs have 25% to 30% less energy requirement than entire or unneutered dogs. Because they need fewer calories, they require smaller meals to enable them to maintain a healthy weight.
Neutering does not automatically lead to weight gain in dogs. Their reduced hormones simply mean they burn less energy and so need fewer calories in their diet.
Why should I change to We Cook for Dogs!?
As witnessed by the Internet, there are literally tens of thousands of documented cases of dogs whose medical conditions have improved by changing to a more natural diet. Everything from skin complaints to digestive problems, from seizures to arthritis and from allergies to ear infections. All have been improved or cured, simply by changing to a healthier diet. Don’t just take our word for it. Check it out for yourself!
As good as a Homemade diet undoubtedly is, not everyone has the time, the inclination or the knowledge required. Despite it being the major cause of concern for modern dog owners, most owners stick to their current dog food not because they’re happy with it, but because they don’t know how to go about changing it.
We Cook for Dogs! Meals for Dogs and Gourmet Dinners address those concerns. We make Homemade meals for your dog so you don’t have to. We make our meals with as much care and as much love as you would if only you had the time. Using our skill and our knowledge in combination with the finest ingredients, we make proper food for your best friend.
Other manufacturers make dog food. Here at We Cook for Dogs! we’re proud of the fact that we’re the first in the UK to make proper, natural, healthy Food for Dogs!
What size are your meals?
The size of our Meals for Dogs and Gourmet Dinners is based on the weight of your dog together with other parameters such as it’s age, activity level and whether or not he or she has been neutered or spayed.
Dogs need to eat between 2 and 3% of their body weight per day. Either you will have told us your dog’s weight, or we will have tested their weight ourselves with our on-board dog scales.
In consultation with you, we will have decided upon the ideal size of your dog’s meals. Between us we will then monitor your dog’s weight – together with his or hers desire for more or less food.
If necessary, we will adjust the size of meals for future deliveries in order to ensure that your dog is receiving the optimum sized daily meal, without being unnecessarily hungry, or gaining or losing weight except when either is deemed necessary for the benefit of their health.
My dog has been neutered. Does this affect her calorie requirements?
Yes, it does. Studies have proven that neutered dogs (both male and female) have 25% to 30% less energy requirement, therefore require less calories than entire or unneutered dogs.
How do I change my dog's diet from one food to another?
Start off by giving your dog 75% of its normal meal together with 25% of one of his or her new Meals for Dogs or Gourmet Dinners.
Feed this combination for a couple of days before introducing a 50/50 combination for a day or two, and finally, after a further day or so, just 25% of its normal meal and 75% of his or her new diet.
At the end of a week, your dog’s tummy will be fully adjusted to his or her new range of meals.
Are your meals suitable for all life stages?
When you think about it, once a puppy has been weaned in the wild, it will thereafter eat exactly the same food as its parents and the rest of its pack. The only difference is that it will eat more because it is growing and needs that extra protein and those extra calories and nutrients.
Similarly, prior to the relatively recent phenomenon of mass marketed, commercially produced food for dogs, if a dog lived in the same environment throughout its life with its parents and its siblings – hunting dogs on country estates for example – it would once again have eaten exactly the same meals as the rest of its family.
It would simply have eaten more when it was young and growing, less when it was older and less active.