There are so many choices of dog food on the shelves today that selecting the right one for your pet can be confusing. There are the commercial foods sold in supermarkets which have been around for a long time, and “natural” foods and raw foods that can be purchased at a pet supply store. Formulas for puppies, adults, and seniors are offered in grain or grain-free form. Weight loss and foods targeted at specific health problems add to the mix. Canned food in different consistencies and dry food in different kibble sizes make the selection even more vast.
Dog treats are another area where there are many options, including ones that clean teeth, freshen breath, and aid digestion. By making your own, you control what goes into the recipe and avoid any unhealthy additives, preservatives and fillers such as white flour, corn, cornmeal, wheat, BHT and BHA (a food additive which helps food from spoiling). The “natural” treats may be healthier, but are also more expensive. Making your own can be fun, and you can share them with other doggie friends.
Here are some easy recipes to make your own dog treats:1
Leftovers Trail Mix
Combine any of these leftovers from your refrigerator:
- Pieces of meat (unseasoned)
- Potatoes (plain)
- Vegetables (no onions)
- Fruit (no raisins or grapes)
- Cut ingredients into ½ inch thick pieces.
- Spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Place in a food dehydrator or into a 200-degree preheated oven until dried.
Frozen Peanut Butter Yogurt Dog Treats – This is a great snack in hot weather.
- 32-ounces plain yogurt
- 1 cup peanut butter
- Melt 1 cup peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl
- Combine with 32 ounces of plain yogurt
- Pour mixture into ice trays
- Place in the freezer
Basic Dog Biscuits
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour (substitute regular flour or oats if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
- 1 tsp. salt (or less)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. Beef or chicken broth/stock
- ½ cup hot water
Optional Add ins
Bacon, eggs, oats, liver powder, wheat germ, shredded cheese, bacon bits
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees
- Mix all ingredients together
- Knead dough until it forms a ball (approximately 3 minutes)
- Roll dough until ½ inch thick
- Cut into slices or bone shapes (you can purchase a bone shaped cookie cutter to make shapes with)
- Place dough pieces on lightly greased cookie sheet
- Cook for 30 minutes
Bake up several batches of treats at a time so you’ll have plenty on hand to reward or please your best friend, and at the same time know that she is getting healthy and nourishing snacks. They make great training treats and it’s also a great way to use up leftover food from your meals.
1. Pajer, N. (2013, February). Recipe Ideas for Quick and Healthy Homemade Dog Treats. Cesar’s Way (Website). Retrieved from . Accessed on March 29. 2013.
Photo: Courtesy of sadiehart via Flickr (CC by 2.0)