A major benefit in making homemade treats is that you have complete control over the ingredients. You can choose high-quality, nutritious ingredients and avoid any allergens or food sensitivities your pet may have. Did you know the most common allergy in food for dogs is chicken? Chicken can be found in almost every treat on the shelves. Making them at home allows you to cater to dietary restrictions as well, and they can be made free of preservatives, fillers, and artificial colors.
In cooking healthy homemade dog treats, certain ingredients should be included, while others should be avoided. For instance, you can use protein sources like beef or turkey. Fruits and vegetables such as apples (without seeds), carrots, and pumpkin are excellent options for adding fiber and essential nutrients. Whole grains like oats or brown rice are also beneficial. However, some ingredients are toxic to dogs and should never be used in their treats or food. These include onions, garlic, chocolate, raisins, grapes, avocados, macadamia nuts, alcohol, etc. Always research any ingredient you're unsure about before including it in your dog's treat recipe.
Here are a few simple recipes:
Peanut Butter Cookies
Dogs absolutely love peanut butter! It's not only delicious but also packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. However, remember to use *unsalted and unsweetened peanut butter*, as Xylitol, a common sweetener, is toxic to dogs.
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
1/4 cup of water
Mix all ingredients thoroughly until a dough forms. Roll out the dough and cut it into dog-friendly shapes using cookie cutters. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Sweet Potato Chews
Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and beta carotene. They can be made into easy, healthy, chewable treats that dogs love.
1-2 sweet potatoes
Slice the sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch slices. Bake at 250°F (120°C) for 3 hours, flipping halfway through. Let them cool before serving.
Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber and vitamin A. It's great for a dog's digestive health and can help keep your pet feeling full.
1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
4 tablespoons of dry quick oats
4 tablespoons of dry brown rice
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Roll the mixture into small balls and chill in the refrigerator until firm.
Carrot and Apple Dog Biscuits
Both carrots and apples are packed with vitamins and fiber. These ingredients make for a crunchy, healthy treat that's great for your dog's teeth.
2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of chopped carrots
1/2 cup of applesauce
Mix all ingredients until well combined. Roll the dough and cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 40-45 minutes.
Frozen Berry Yogurt Treats
This is a perfect treat for hot days. Berries like blueberries and strawberries are safe for dogs and packed with antioxidants. Yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein.
2 cups of plain yogurt
1/2 cup of strawberries
1/2 cup of blueberries
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until solid.
Always consult with your Veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's diet or introducing new foods. Be careful to avoid any ingredients that may trigger your pup's food allergies. Remember, these treats should not replace their regular balanced diet. Whether you're training, rewarding, or just spoiling your dog a little, these homemade treats offer a healthier alternative to many store-bought options. Plus, making them can be a fun and rewarding experience! Enjoy baking these delightful treats for your furry friend.
Stay at Barkwells
If you are traveling with your furry friend, look up Barkwells for your trip. At Barkwells, we create happy vacation Asheville dog-friendly cabin memories for dogs with people who love them by providing exceptional vacation accommodations, fun, and freedom for dogs and their families. That means more than just allowing pets to stay in the room with you.
If you are ready to book your memorable vacation in an Asheville pet-friendly cabin with your dog, we would love to answer your questions and tell you more about how you and your dog(s) will be a welcomed guest. Contact us for more information, or reserve your place on our website!