Beat Bad Breath

Considering whipping up a batch of homemade dog treats for your pup? Easy to make and healthier than many store-bought treats, homemade dog treats are becoming a popular endeavor. Our dogs are capable of a lot of amazing things but it’s up to us to make sure their diets are healthy. In recent years, a number of major brands have come under fire due to pet deaths resulting from treats imported from China. The treats caused repeat incidences of death from kidney failure, leading owners of affected pets to seek legal action.

In the effort to keep our pets safe and healthy, we make sure they get exercise and have plenty of mentally stimulating playtime. Another part of maintaining your dog’s health, however, is making sure they have a healthy diet. It can be difficult to trust just any treat after hearing horror stories about the harm they can cause to pets, which makes the decision to switch to homemade dog treats even easier. When you make your dog’s treats from scratch, you know exactly what’s going into their creation. You can make sure to choose the freshest and most nutritious ingredients available and be assured that the treats with which you reward your dog are beneficial to their health rather than detrimental.

Still need convincing? If you’ve been struggling to deal with your dog’s bad breath and can’t seem to find a solution, you’ll be happy to know that parsley is a dog-friendly ingredient that can be included in homemade dog treats. Much as it does in humans, parsley gently and naturally corrects breath odor issues and can leave your pup’s kisses smelling a bit more fresh. Parsley is not the only human-friendly food that translates well into cuisine for your pup. Wondering what other human foods are safe for your dog?

– Cantaloupe

– Berries, including strawberries, blackberries and blueberries

– Cooked autumn and winter squash, especially pumpkin

– Sweet potatoes

– Pears

– Carob, a common chocolate substitute

– Peanut butter

– Tuna(white albacore packed in water is always best)

All of these foods, which are commonly known to be nutrient dense and ideal for a human diet, are great additions when creating your own homemade dog treats. Your dog also benefits from the antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids these foods contain. When making treats for your dog, remember that while he or she can digest some human foods, not all human foods are friendly for dogs. Never feed your dog chocolate or anything containing caffeine. Alcohol, grapes, macadamia nuts, dairy products, nutmeg and highly fatty meats should also be avoided since they can lead to a proliferation of sometimes fatal illnesses.

Wondering about how to make those parsley treats we mentioned?

Try out this recipe to combat your pup’s bad breath issues. Please note that if your dog is pregnant or has kidney problems, parsley should not be given without first consulting your vet.

APPLE PARSLEY BARK BISCUITS (approximately 60 treats)

1 1/2 cups rye flour

2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

6 tbsp natural and unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup water or low sodium/homemade chicken stock

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 F and lining two sturdy cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients to made a loosely formed dough that may be a little sticky.

Lightly sprinkle some extra flour over a clean surface and turn out your dough, kneading it gently until it is no longer sticky.

Roll out the dough to a thickness of approximately 1/2 inch and cut out treats in your favorite shapes – check your local pet store or kitchen supply store for cutters in fun pet-related shapes. Gather and reroll dough until you’ve cut all you can.

Place the cut shapes on the cookie sheets and bake them for approximately 10 minutes. When the treats are firm when touched, they’re ready.

Cool these treats and allow them to continue firming up for at least an hour. Like most homemade dog treats, they have a shelf life of about a week but can be stored in the freezer to extend shelf life.

Dogs help humans in many unique ways, and one of the ways that we can help our canine companions is by providing them with the nutrient-rich diet that is essential to their health and longevity. Making treats at home is a very easy process that can be fun for the whole family. By taking the time to educate yourself about making homemade dog treats, you can gain a very simple skill that can do your pet’s health a world of good.