News / USA

    'Dog Chef' Creates Healthy Meals for Canines

    'Dog Chef' Creates Healthy Meals for Caninesi
    Deborah Block
    January 15, 2016 1:26 AM
    A "dog chef” in Baltimore, Maryland, makes healthy meals and treats for canines that are displayed in his inviting cafe. Dogs can have birthday parties there, too. VOA's Deborah Block reports.
    'Dog Chef' Creates Healthy Meals for Canines
    Deborah Block

    Tails wagging, several dogs with their beaming pet parents are attending a birthday party at the Dog Chef Cafe in Baltimore, Maryland. The music is blaring, and the table is set with plates and food, where Pierre, a cute white toy poodle, is the center of attention.  

    “He’s not just a dog to me; he’s a member of my family,” Jazzmen Knoderer says as she pets her pup.

    She and her husband, Daniel, adopted Pierre five months ago, after he was found wandering the city streets. And even though they don’t know when he was born or exactly how old he is, they thought it would be fun to have a birthday party at the cafe, which is known for healthy meals and treats for canines. 

    “Like most dog owners, I care about the snacks and treats that I give my dog," Jazzmen said.

    So does dog lover Kevyn Matthews, “the dog chef” and owner of the cafe, who uses his skills as a chef for humans to create nourishing dishes for canines. He uses human-grade food to provide an alternative to manufactured dog food, which he said may be “full of stuff that’s not good for dogs.”

    His dog-friendly shortcake, on the other hand, is "made with no sugar at all, just a little honey and topped with a raspberry reduction.”

    Yummy to dogs — and humans

    Matthews’ attractive creations, from muffins to candy to pretzels, don't merely look good enough for people to eat — they are.

    Customer Kyla Thomas samples a peanut butter cup. It is unsweetened and covered with carob instead of chocolate, which is toxic to dogs. 

    She’s pleasantly surprised. “This is really, really good. This just doesn’t taste like food for a dog, but food we would eat,” she told Matthews, who is helping her from behind a glass counter that is also stocked with cookies, rolls and even yogurt-filled cannolis. 

    “I make it look like something that a human wants,” explained Matthews, “but what’s in there is what the dog actually needs” — things like fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. 

    Customer Blythe Pruitt likes that “the food is natural and wholesome, there’s no preservatives and it’s freshly made.” She bought a meal in a plastic foam carryout container. “Our little pup is going to get his own little hamburger and sweet potatoes,” she said.

    Accent on health

    As Matthews chops kale to put into pretzels he’s baking, he said he does not use wheat, soy, corn or other fillers found in some packaged dog food that may cause allergies. He said his dishes help dogs with health issues.

    For dry skin, he suggests "a coconut muffin because it’s filled with the proper oils, or one of the pumpkin muffins if they have a problem with digestion or they're constipated.”

    Matthews’ treats and meals are not cheap, but his customers think they are worth the price.  Some spend between $100 and $1,000 per month for his meal service. Some want the best food possible; others want the health benefits his food provides.  

    At the birthday party, the pet parents talked about their dogs and canine gadgets on the market, while they stuffed their pups with healthy treats.

    “The dogs really seemed to like the food,” said Jazzmen. “Pierre has a Twitter account and Instagram — he is @PierrePup — so I will post pictures from his party today to share with his followers.”

    For Matthews, the best part is knowing the dogs were fed the best food he can give them. “A dog spends its life making us happy, and what makes me happy is seeing a dog happy,” he said.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora