Walk into any food mart or big box store and you’ll find a huge variety of dog treats. Some “taste like” cheese or bacon or beef and many come in a variety of happy colors and shapes. You’ll also find that the only way to determine the healthiest snacks for your beloved pooch is to carve out most of your day to read and define ingredients listed on the side of the many bags and boxes. But let’s face it — you’ve got to do it because doggies love their treats and there’s a real enjoyment in rewarding our pets for their friendship.
Homemade Dog Treats
Every once and a while, take a break from the usual and make doggie a treat that will get that tail waggin’. We all like surprises and dogs do as well. Homemade dog treats are easy to make, usually inexpensive, and these days, recipes are all over the internet. From celebrity sites like Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray to vet sites and animal blogs to the large food sites, one can spend hours and hours perusing all the ideas. There’s wheat free, gluten free, organic cookies and cakes, and peanut butter is the hands-down favorite flavor. There are recipes to combat bad breath (parsley is the go-to here), to aid weight loss, and for dogs that may have dental or digestion issues.
There are also ideas for fresh fruit snacks. Apples, bananas, watermelon, strawberries,
oranges, blueberries, pineapple, pears, peaches, raspberries and even mangos all provide benefits such as vitamins and fiber when cleaned and cut properly. But say NO to grapes and cherries that can have devastating effects on your dog! Check out the American Kennel Club site for a list of fruits and vegetables, the good and the bad.
Food Toxic to Dogs
Most important: check with your vet or Google “food toxic to dogs” to make sure your treats will not make your dog sick. Surprising to many is the array of people foods that can be threatening to the health of dogs. For example, a little bit of cinnamon is okay, but nutmeg that’s often found in pumpkin spices is highly toxic.
But back to the fun of homemade yum…
Did you know that you can get cookie cutters to take your doggie delights to the next level? Wilton makes a set that includes shapes of a bone, a paw and a dog and a house. And who knew that one can find silicone molds to make ice cubes (or anything else) in the shape of bones? Find these fun accessories where baking items are sold — like Walmart, Target, Hobby Lobby or Bed Bath and Beyond. For over-the-top fun, visit Etsy to find made-to-order cookie cutters that will feature your dog’s name or likeness.
It’s party time!!