Bonnie Emmerich, a private pet chef from Hampton Bays, got a thrill when she opened her e-mail one day to see a message from Animal Planet — The popular channel wanted to film her for an upcoming episode, called "Must Love Cats."
"I thought it was a prank at first," said Emmerich, who said Animal Planet found her through her business website. "They gave me five hours to find someone that would allow me to cook in their house."
They also wanted, said Emmerich to film at a local animal shelter — she said she immediately thought of the , where she has volunteered.
The show, she said will air on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Emmerich said she couldn't be more excited.
Emmerich says she got the idea for her business after doing private catering in the Hamptons for years and working in a veterinarian's office.
"People are really conscious about what they eat and I started to think about pets," she said.
She soon launched her business, Hampton Pet Chef, offering chef services for pets.
Emmerich says all of her dishes are basically people-food, but they are prepared with the dietary needs of dogs and cats in mind. They are also veterinarian approved and meet AAFCO guidelines.
"I will talk with the owner and get a feel for the pet before coming up with a menu," said Emmerich, who says no salt or garlic is used in her doggie meals, but supplements such as calcium and Omega 3 oils are added.
Some dishes prepared for dogs include, chicken with brown rice, sweet potatoes, green beans in home-made broth; meatloaf; all natural ground turkey with oats and spinich and carrots; and meatballs.
On holidays, she makes lamb stew and Christmas meatloaf.
For cats, she said she uses all local fish and vegetables and uses less carbohydrates since cats don't need them as much.
Emmerich says feeding pets healthy foods that are grown local do not contain additives or hormones can make a big difference.
For example, she said she cooks for a shitzu, who before she started making meals for, was lethargic.
"Now he is eating my food and doing much better."
Aside from the personal chef service, Emmerich caters birthday Pawties, making foods that both people and their pets can enjoy at a party. She also has a dog sitting service and hosts yappy hours.
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