Keep Your Pet Safe: Avoid These Dangers

Homemade Dog TreatsPet owners searching out homemade dog treat recipes are often doing so because they’re concerned about the well being of their pet. It’s not uncommon to see dog and cat treats being recalled for contamination and other dangerous issues, and those products aren’t put under the same scrutiny as food for humans. Despite this, the FDA releases a report when a serious incident takes place. This includes a scandal that took place in recent years involving tainted chicken jerky treats which were imported from China. The treats were sold under several different brand names by major pet and household retailers, but it was discovered that their consumption led to death by kidney failure in a large number of pets. These kinds of scares are enough to make most responsible pet owners seriously consider trying out homemade dog treat recipes.

Dogs are incredible animals, and part of caring for them responsibly is providing them with the healthy, balanced diet they need to thrive. When making homemade dog treat recipes, consider the fact that the ingredients you use should reflect your pup’s nutritional needs. She needs healthy whole grain based carbohydrates to stay energetic and keep her blood sugar low. Before her species was domesticated, they were wolves, which means lean proteins like chicken, tuna, turkey, beef and salmon are great for your dog. Healthy fat contributes to heart health and an attractive coat in your pup, and vitamins and minerals found in some of our favorite vegetables and fruits that are easy to work into homemade dog treat recipes.

Another important aspect of making homemade treats for your pet is knowing what foods should be avoided at all costs. The list of foods that are dangerous to dogs is a long one, but there are some common products pet owners might think are safe for treats that could actually be toxic. Grapes and raisins are very dangerous for dogs, as are onions, garlic, macadamia nuts and nutmeg. Dairy, caffeine and alcohol can also cause very serious problems for your pup. Some dogs tolerate dairy better than others, but it’s not something their stomachs are evolved to handle well, and it’s best to avoid it. Conversely, human foods like berries, apples, pears, cantaloupe, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, lean protein meals and eggs are all fantastic additions to your homemade dog treats.

Looking for safe, no-nonsense homemade dog treat recipes?

Try these High Energy Biscuits, packed with healthy carbohydrates and essential nutrients your pup thrives on.

HIGH ENERGY BISCUITS

6.5 oz whole grain flour
1/2 oz wheat germ
1 tbsp crushed flaxseed
1 beaten egg, large
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c + 2 tbsp low sodium chicken stock, homemade is preferred

In a large mixing bowl, stir together all dry ingredients until fully combined. In a smaller bowl, blend all wet ingredients until fully combined.

Use a mixer or sturdy spoon to combine the two mixtures into a dough that should be quite firm and smooth in appearance. If this isn’t the case, add more whole grain flour in one tablespoon increments until the dough is smooth, firm and can be easily rolled. When the dough is prepared, cover it and let it rest for one hour.

After an hour, heat your oven up to 350 F. Grab your favorite sturdy baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.

Roll out your treat dough to a thickness of about one quarter inch. Cut out shapes using pet themed cookie cutters, which are available at many pet stores and kitchen retailers, or whatever you have on hand. If you’re not much of a baker, the top of a standard drinking glass works fine for making small circle shapes. Gather the dough and roll it back out to cut more shapes when necessary, until all the dough has been used.

Place the shapes on the papered pan and bake them for approximately half an hour. When they come out of the oven, cool them for at least an hour before storing or sharing with your pet. These treats can be kept in an airtight container for about two weeks, but if you want to store them longer, keep them in the freezer to extend their shelf life.

Following recipes for homemade dog treats is just as easy as whipping up a batch of your family’s favorite cookies or muffins. That small effort can have immense benefits for your pup, who will be given the gift of nutritious and healthy treats that keep her feeling great. Making homemade treats is a great way to show your dog how much you love her while maintaining her long-term health.