Pet food pro still Cookin' . . . launches new book

Woodford with Jackson (l) and Raleigh/Photo: Four-Legged Photo

Woodford with Jackson (l) and Raleigh/Photo: Four-Legged Photo

With a nickname like the “Dog Food Dude,” years of practice as a dog food business owner, knowledge in data analysis, and a new book coming out in April (Feed Your Best Friend Better), Rick Woodford clearly knows canine nutrition.

For several years, Woodford owned DogStew in Portland, a home-delivery dog food service.  His focus on creating healthy food for dogs resulted in many customers calling to thank him for “healing” their dogs.  What seemed like miracles to his customers made perfect sense to Woodford:  the dogs were getting a balanced diet of nutrients.  Word quickly spread, and he was soon receiving calls from pet parents desperate for help with their sick four-legged friends. 

Woodford’s help made for many success stories of dogs whose health improved, some in as little as a week.  More and more people took notice, including veterinarians who would recommend him to clients.  Woodford’s own dog benefited from his recipes and lived 4 years longer than his vet predicted.  Woodford eventually closed DogStew in order to devote all his energy and focus on the cook book he hoped would bring health and healing to an even wider audience. 


“I didn’t want to write a book,” says Woodford, “but I felt I had to for all my customers.”  He wanted to educate dog lovers on feeding their best friends differently, according to what works best for each dog and pet parent.  “It’s not a book about ‘shoulds’,” he says.  “There really isn’t one right way.”  Whether you want to feed your dog all homemade, half homemade/half store-bought food, or if you just want to feed scraps off the cutting board, Woodford will show you how to do it in ways that help dogs thrive. 

“…most processed dog food is little more than fast food for dogs laced with a multivitamin.” –Rick Woodford

Woodford is quick to point out that you shouldn’t feed your dog human food.  “Human food is anything that goes on the table; don’t feed it to your dog, but while it’s still on the cutting board, it’s just ingredients and the right ingredients and the right proportions can be great additions to the dog’s bowl.”  He readily admits that there are some meals that he and the dogs both love — like blueberry pancakes on Sunday mornings.  “The dogs go crazy for them.  The only difference is mine have syrup and theirs do not.  Dogs and their waistlines don’t need added sugar.”


Numerous recipes in his book offer variety of choice, ease, cost, and make-ahead options.  Some are so easy all you have to do is chop some ingredients and stick them in the slow cooker — Done!   Feed Your Best Friend Better has great recipes for yummy treats and much more.

See Woodford’s new Dog Food Dude website at  You'll find info about Rick and his dogs, his blog (including video recipes), and upcoming appearances and events.

Feed Your Best Friend Better can be ordered through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound.