Did you know that the calorie count for dogs matters just as much as it does for humans? In fact, keeping an eye on the nutrition facts for your homemade dog treats is essential to promoting an active and healthy dog lifestyle.
Who doesn't want to treat their furry friend to a special
treat on occasion? Whether you're using them for obedience
training or just to remind your pooch how much you love them,
manufactured dog treats are usually hit-or-miss. Some are made
overseas using terrible quality scraps while others, even those
made using high quality ingredients, contain common allergens or
simply far too many calories for you to feed your dog with a
According to Dr. Donna Raditic, who is a veterinary
nutritionist based out of Georgia, most off-the-shelf dog treats
are filled with preservatives, salt, sugar, coloring, and
artificial flavors. All of those things spell trouble for your
dog's health, especially if they happen to already have weight or
health problems developing.
So, the question becomes, how can you give your dog a nice
treat without contributing to obesity or poor health? Baking your
own dog treats might be the answer!
However, just because you whipped them up in your own
kitchen doesn't necessarily make them healthier for your dog. In
order to promote good health for your pup, you need to follow
some basic nutritional guidelines. If you do, you can make
delicious and drool-worthy treats every time.
Before making homemade treats for your dog, you should
consult with your veterinarian, especially if your dog happens to
be on a prescription diet or has special requirements. For
instance, if your dog is eating a special diet in order to
prevent urinary stones from forming, you need to carefully select
the ingredients you put into their homemade treats. The same goes
if your dog has sensitivities or allergies to certain
Keep Your Dog Safe
Avoiding accidents and foodborne illness is essential when
baking dog treats at home. Make sure that you follow these tips
to help keep you and your pooch safe!
First, prevent injury by barring your dog from the kitchen
while you bake. They are sure to smell all the delicious
ingredients you're using and end up craving a taste test, but
having them under your feet is a tripping hazard. Dogs also can't
grasp the concept of a hot oven or stove. Keep them away while
working by putting up a dog gate at the door.
In order to promote good health, do not use baking molds
that contain BPA as it has been linked to health maladies such as
cancer. Also, be sure you check all ingredients for dog safety
before using them in your treats! Xylitol, onions, chocoholic,
garlic, and raisins are among some of the most toxic foods for
dogs. They should definitely be avoided and kept away from your
Several peanut butters these days use xylitol as a
sweetener, so be sure to check the label of all the products
you're using for your homemade dog treats. You never know when
something non-dog friendly might sneak through!
If you are confused about whether or not something is safe
for your dog, don't hesitate to do your research. The treats can
wait! The Animal Poison Control Center, ran by the ASPCA, runs a
database of ingredients that are known as toxic to animals. You
can also call 888-426-4435 if you believe that your pet has eaten
something they shouldn't have, and they can help you through the
Finally, be sure that you cook all ingredients to an
adequate temperature. Salmonella, for instance, is one common
pathogen that could be present in the eggs you use along with
flours and other ingredients. If you're using meat, be sure you
cook it to at least 165 degrees before serving.
Make Them Healthy
Don't add unnecessary or unhealthy ingredients to your
dog's treats. Even though you might like a certain ingredient in
your favorite treats, that doesn't mean it is good or even
satisfying for your pup. There is no need to frost their
biscuits, for example. They will eat them just fine as a plain
If you want to make a fun and cute treat that is healthy
for your dog, instead employ stamps and molds to make adorable
shapes. These don't add any extra calories or sugars and they
deliver a result that's just as sweet.
When finding a recipe or coming up with your own, it is
also important that you avoid fat. When eating high-fat foods and
treats, your dog can develop pancreatitis. This is when they have
painful inflammation in their pancreas, and it can even lead to
hospitalization for your dog.
Vegetables and fruits are often a safe bet when trying to
flavor and even color your dog's treats. Broccoli, carrots,
summer squash, Brussel sprouts, zucchini, pumpkin, celery,
cucumber, kale, spinach, apple, and dandelion greens are all
great things to include. Peaches, pears, strawberries, bananas,
and even sliced blueberries can also be a good choice.
Count The Calories
Your dog might not be watching their figure, but you should
be. Overfeeding your pup can lead to nutritional imbalances, and
that's especially harmful if your dog already eats an incomplete,
unbalanced diet. You should not substitute a part of their
balanced diet for a treat, but you also should not keep your
dog's food intake the same and add treats on top of it.
Be sure to calculate the calories for each dog treat based
on the ingredients you used and how many servings you made. In
all, the treats you give your dog should make up less than 10% of
their daily caloric intake. The other 90% should come from a
complete and balanced diet. Ideally, treats should be less than
Weigh your treats on a food gram scale to help you get
accurate measurements. If your dog is eating 100 grams of food
per day that gives them 35 calories per gram, they are eating
about 350 calories each day through their diet. If you add a
10-gram treat that has 4.0 calories per gram, you have raised
their intake to 390 calories and that can have a significant
impact on their weight.
Do your research, do the math, and take the time to keep
your pooch healthy!
5 Delicious Homemade Treats for Your Dog!
All dogs love a delicious treat every once in a while. So instead
of running off to the store to buy a commercially prepared treat,
why not try one of these easy, lip-smacking dog treat recipes to
please your buddy!
TreatIngredients:• Whole wheat flour-
2 cups• Peanut Butter-1 cup• Baking powder-1 tablespoon• Skim
milk-1 cupCombine the flour with the baking powder. Take
another bowl to mix the milk and peanut butter. This needs to
be added to the flour mix. Make a smooth dough by kneading the
mix and roll into a sheet (one-fourth inch in thickness). Use
cookie cutters to create bone shape cookies and make for 20
minutes at 375 degrees.
BiscuitsIngredients:• Cottage cheese-
2/3rd cup• Egg yolk-1• Flaxseed-6 teaspoons• Oatmeal-2 cups•
Milk-6 teaspoonsPreheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all
the ingredients to create small balls. Put the balls on a
baking sheet (parchment lined). Bake for about 30 minutes or
till you see a golden brown color on the edges. Place on a rack
and allow them to cool completely. The cottage cheese biscuit
treat is ready!
PopsiclesIngredients:• Peanut butter (no
added sugar or salt)-1/4th cup• Ripe banana-1• Unsweetened
almond milk-1 or 2 teaspoons• Plain yogurt-1/2 cup (replace
with Greek yogurt if preferred)Mix all the ingredients to a
smooth consistency using a blender. Pour this mix into small
bowls or an ice cube tray/s. Allow to set in the freezer till
absolutely solid. Take out from the freezer five to ten minutes
prior to serving.
cookiesIngredients:• Eggs-2• Melted
bacon fat-10 tablespoons• Whole wheat flour-5 cups• Milk-1 cup•
Water-1/2 cup• Salt-1 teaspoonSet the oven to preheat at 175
degrees C (250 degrees F). Spray the cookie sheet with some
butter. Take a large bowl to beat the eggs. Slowly stir in
water, milk, bacon fat and salt. Blend till the mixture forms a
smooth consistency. Now stir in the flour. This will help
stiffen the dough. After pinching off the dough pieces, roll
into small 2-inch balls and place them on the baking sheet. Put
the tray into the oven and bake for approximately 35-40
minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on a rack. Keep in an
airtight container in your refrigerator.
Apple Caramel Cheesecake
SmoothieIngredients:• Chard-1.5 ounces•
Banana-1• Chopped red apple-1• Soaked almonds/cashews
(optional)-1/4 cup• Ice-1 cup• Water-1 cupPut all the
ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth!