We've never met a dog that doesn't love treats. But when it comes to what to buy, you'll find pet store shelves are lined with a dizzying array of options. The simplest solution? Show your dog extra love by baking homemade dog treats.
Why homemade dog treats?
Look at the labels the next time you go to buy treats. Many contain meat by-products, chemical preservatives and possible allergens such as wheat and corn. If you want to make sure your dog's treats are helping him put his best paw forward, control what goes into his treats by making them yourself.
Be selective with ingredients
Using organic ingredients ensures your canine companion has the healthiest treats. Avoid sugar, grapes, macadamia nuts, chocolate (substitute carob) and other foods that can be harmful to dogs. WebMD has a list of dangerous foods you can check. Peanut butter, oatmeal, unsweetened applesauce, pumpkin, and banana are all yummy and vitamin-rich ingredients for homemade dog treats, providing your pup doesn't have sensitivities to any of these items.
Show them puppy love
Baking homemade dog treats doesn't require any more effort than baking a batch of cookies. Use a bone-shaped cookie cutter for larger treats or a tiny heart shape for treats to use in training. To save time, double the recipe, pack the goodies in small plastic bags, store them in the freezer and defrost as needed. Isn't your dog worth it?
If baking isn't your strong suit, try making frozen pupsicles. Mix a liquid base plus another ingredient or two (chicken broth and pumpkin purée; yogurt, peanut butter and banana), poor it into an ice-cube tray and pop it in the freezer. During the dog days of summer, your four-legged BFF will appreciate a frosty treat, especially one that's made with love.
Want to try making a homemade dog treat? Here's one tested recipe your pup might like:
Frozen Yogurt Dog Treats
- 4 cups plain low-fat yogurt
- 1/3 cup organic creamy peanut butter (do not use peanut butter with high sugar content or articifially sweetened peanut butter; xylitol is toxic to dogs)
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- Melt peanut butter in microwave for about 30 seconds to soften it.
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into ice-cube trays and freeze until firm.
- Recipe makes about 30-40 treats.