Homemade Dog Treats: Ingredient Prep
If you’re thinking about making homemade dog treats for the first time, chances are you’ve done some research about exactly what ingredient makes an ideal treat for your dog (and what to avoid). Your dog’s presence is a positive force in your life and you want to return the favor by creating an ideal environment for them and feeding them the healthiest treats available. The idea of making homemade dog treats becomes even more appealing when one considers the spate of lawsuits being launched against some major corporations after dogs died from kidney failure purported to be caused by tainted treats imported from China.
The benefits of making homemade dog treats for your pup cannot be overstated. Your dog needs specific nutrients in their diet in order to be in peak physical condition, and additives and fillers present in many prepackaged treats are simply not ideal for your pup. A real reward is a treat that’s healthy and nutritious, contributing in a positive way to your dog’s well-being. Dog owners take many precautions to keep their pets safe, and homemade treats are one more way you can contribute to your pet’s continued good health.
Many dedicated dog owners have taken the creation of their homemade dog treats a step further. Instead of buying some of the most common ingredients used in treats, they make them to ensure that only the ingredients they want are present in the treats. Often, making a larger batch of these ingredients from scratch and freezing them is cheaper than routinely buying canned, jarred or boxed versions that create a lot of physical waste and can be pricey. Prepping ingredients for your homemade treats also ensures that you’ll have them on hand when you want to whip up a batch of your buddy’s favorite snacks.
So, what are some great ingredients for homemade dog treats that you can whip up quickly?
– Chicken stock: Seen in many homemade treats, chicken stock is a hearty broth made from chicken and vegetables. Roast a small whole chicken without salt or pepper. When the chicken is roasted, remove the skin and place the entire bird in the bottom of a stock pot. Add a few carrots, some stalks of celery and parsley if desired, but skip onions and garlic, which are bad for pups. Cover the contents of the pot with water rising about 3 inches above the chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat. Let the mixture simmer under observation for a few hours, until the broth is a deep golden color, and then strain and cool the broth. Meat can be saved as a tasty snack for you or your pet. When the stock is cooled, refrigerate it. This will keep the stock safe for use and will allow the natural fat to congeal at the top, which can then be easily removed.
– Applesauce: Peel, core and thinly slice 6 large, sweet apples, put them in a slow cooker and top them with about a half a cup of water, cooking on high for 4 hours. Stir the mixture twice during the process. If you were making this for yourself, you might include cinnamon and lemon juice. While these are safe for your pup, the flavors might be incompatible with other treat ingredients, so it’s best to keep it simple.
– Sweet potato or pumpkin puree: While you’re probably less likely to be steaming fresh pumpkin than you are with a sweet potato, these two firm orange plants steam up in largely the same way. Peel the sweet potato or pumpkin and cut it into 1-inch chunks. Put the chunks in a pan and cover with water, stopping right at the top of the potatoes. Boil them until they are tender, making sure to cover your hands to avoid steam burns. When tender, strain them, puree them and store them for an easy ingredient for your homemade dog treats.
Preparing ingredients from scratch can save dog owners who want to make their own treats a lot of hassle. The legwork that goes into finding a chicken stock that doesn’t use onion or garlic but is still reasonably priced is frustrating. Always making sure to remember to check the ingredients on pumpkin puree to make sure nutmeg isn’t present is a matter of life or death that can be easily forgotten on a harried shopping trip. Applesauce is easy enough to buy, but really, who wouldn’t want to give such an easy recipe a try? These ingredients, which are easy to make and store, are a great start to making fantastic homemade treats for your dog.