Dog treats are essential as it serves various purposes like to appreciate them during training, some behavioral work or just to reward them. Though there are two simple things to keep in mind, i.e., the treats should be low in calorie and healthy. There are different options available in the market which are healthy. The makers have started paying attention towards the quality of natural and organic ingredients that have low-calorie content. But one can make their treats at home with a variety of components. However, it was seen that the commercial treats are healthier as compared to the homemade as they are nutritionally perfected. Two mains things that veterinarian warns owners while picking up the treats are calories and specific ingredients.
Factors to Consider
It is ideal to keep the treats at 10% of the daily calorie intake and keep a track of the total calorie intakes. Many commercial foods contain more calories than it is initially thought. Additionally, they also include harmful bacteria which can put health down. Hence, it is advisable to check the ingredients, especially calorie count before buying them.
To maintain the calorie content, owners can give their pets treats twice or thrice a day and not more than that. However, there are certain types of foods which should be avoided like a bone treat or anything that it too hard. Other chews that are hard can lead to an unexpected visit to the veterinarian. Offering hard chews can not only damage their teeth but also can lead to future health problems related to teeth and in rare cases, it can be fatal too. For the best quality, one can choose soft ones that are specially designed for its overall health.
Paying attention to the ingredient quality is crucial to maintaining health. Best quality treats will have fewer components than the primary food. Like few have meat as the main ingredient and few additives while others are specifically designed for dental health. Therefore, one needs to choose wisely which one is required. Developed nations like the USA follow strict guidelines for manufacturing pet food items, while others do not. Hence, it is advisable to pick commercial treats wisely by checking the manufacturing instructions, ingredients, etc.
There are things which owners need to avoid while choosing treats like artificial additives, harmful agents like food dyes, glycerin. These ingredients are unnecessary and various research has revealed the dangers. Few brands still use BHA and BHT preservatives which are harmful according to some experts. On the other hand, preservatives like vitamin E and Vitamin C are few preserving agents that are proven safe for pets.
Homemade Dog Treats
Making homemade treats is fun, and it also controls ingredients that go into the recipe. It offers a healthy and nutritious snack. One can also make the treats according to the taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Homemade treats are not only nutritious but also free from harmful additives.
Yogurt and frozen peanut butter
It is easy to make and is also an ideal snack to cool down pet after heavy exercise or play session.
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 32 ounces vanilla butter
- Melt the butter in a microwave bowl
- Mix the melted butter with yogurt
- Pour it into cupcakes
- Place in freezer
Mix all the leftovers from the refrigerators to make a colorful and favorable mix.
- Fruit( no raisins and grapes)
- Vegetables(except onions)
- Pieces of meat( rinse off flavorings if seasoned)
- Cut all the items into small pieces
- Spray lightly with a cooking spray
- Place it in a preheated oven until dried
These can be easily made at home to pamper pet’s palette
- Salt as required
- 2 ½ cups of whole wheat flour (add oats if the dog is allergic to wheat)
- One egg
- ½ cup warm water
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Dissolve the mixture in warm water
- Mix and make the dough to make balls
- Roll dough to make it a ½ inch thick
- Cut them into slices or to bone shapes with a bone shaped cookie cutter
- Place these pieces on a lightly greased cookies sheet
- Bake or cook for 30 minutes
- ¼ cup applesauce (unsweetened)
- Two ¾ cups water
- 1/8 tbsp vanilla extract
- Two tablespoon honey
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- One egg
- 1 cup dry apple chips (unsweetened)
- One tablespoon baking soda
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
- Pour the mixture into lightly greased muffin pans
- Bake for one ¼ hour
It’s a delicious snack with fiber, beta-carotene, Vitamin A, iron, and potassium.
- Four tablespoon water
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- Four tablespoon molasses
- 2 cups wheat flour
- Two tablespoon vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- One teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- Pre-Heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Mix all the ingredients and stir until it softens
- Make small balls with wet hands
- Keep the balls on a little-greased cookie sheet then flatten it with a fork
- Bake it approximately for 25 minutes until the mixture hardens
Make sure while preparing homemade treats one should check if the pet has allergies to specific ingredients. Avoid allergy causing ingredients which can poorly react. If experimenting something new, feed it in a small amount to check its reaction. Store the homemade treats in an airtight container and keep them in the freezer. Unfreeze the treat for 10–20 minutes before feeding. Homemade treats can last up to 3-6 months in the fridge.