Homemade Dog Treats: Best and Worst Ingredients
Sharing food with your dog under the table is a long time habit from childhood which can make your best friend fat! Since most commercial dog treats are loaded with fat and sugar they don’t really make the best substitute for table scraps… so let’s stick to the low fat end of the table for now and see what else can be used. (Make sure you read the commercial dog jerky recall post so you dont make your dog sick.)
Good Ingredients for Dog Treats
- Dried chicken strips.
- A shocker: baby carrots. It comes with a dogs love for chewing and what better than an orange stick all juicy and sweet!
- Banana: great for muscle and blood vessel function as well as for regulating the acidity of body fluids and much more.
- Rutabaga (boiled and mashed).
- Sweet potato (boil, mash and add a bit of good oil)
- Flaxseeds: Whether grounded or as an oil add it to the dogs food to increase the nutrient density of any meal. (Store in refrigerator to maintain freshness)
- Non-fat yogurt: great way to disguise medicine!
- Salmon: full of Omega-3 (it’s good for both of you so share it together!)
- Nori: dried edible seaweed that can be found in the Asian food items isle.
- Blueberries either fresh or frozen. Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential here since blueberry “trots” are most unpleasant (and you’re the one who will be cleaning up!).
- Swiss chard: It is best maintained by blanching (not boiling) the leaves and stalks to mush. This sweetens the leaves and frees up some of the oxalates, which can bind minerals. Optional: use the water in which the chard was blanched too to “lap up” any leeched nutrients.
Dangers to Dogs!
Common human and household foods that are toxic to dogs:
- Onion and garlic
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Green tomatoes and the tomato plant itself because of the tomatine they contain. As the tomato ripens and turns red the tomatine disappears so the tomato becomes safe for the dog to eat.
Nothing beats home cooking! A few favorite recipes’ use Dog Treat Mix since it has no wheat, no soy, no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no hydrogenated fats and no preservatives. But feel free to try something else instead!
Preheat oven as indicated in the flavor chart. Spray cooking pan with non-stick spray.
**Oven times are appropriate as individual ovens will vary.
For even browning – turn treats over after 25 to 30 minutes.
One thing to remember for your dog if you do decide on store bought treats is their overall caloric intake. A general recommendation is that treats should not make up more than 15% to 20% of the pet’s total diet. In other words don’t give them too many and if it looks like junk food it most likely is junk food!
Cesar the dog whisperer has some good recipes you can follow.