With the amount of recalls and reports of tainted products inundating the airwaves these days, it’s so important to know exactly what your dog is eating.
One of the easiest ways to ensure the quality of treats is to make your own.
Here are six easy and healthy treats you can make for your dog:
Stuff and Freeze a Kong
Kong stuffing can be just about anything your dog likes. In my house the go to stuffing is pineapple. I use frozen pineapple chunks, let them sit out for a few minutes so they’re easy to cut, and chop them into the size pieces I want, depending on the size of the Kong. Add your pineapple chunks to the Kong, then frost the large opening with some canned pumpkin, yogurt, peanut butter, or ricotta cheese. If your dog is not a pineapple fan, try some sliced bananas, apples, peaches or pears. Place in the freezer for one to two hours to let the pumpkin solidify.
Side note: Make sure none of your fruits include the seeds or pits and also be sure to use an appropriate size Kong for your dog.
Frozen Yogurt Treats
1 soft banana, 1 cup of yogurt, a fruit that your dog likes. Peel and slightly mash the banana using a fork, and then fold in the yogurt. Use a silicone baking mold and fill each compartment with the fruit of your choosing. Pour the yogurt/banana mix over the fruit. Freeze for one to two hours. (You can remove the frozen treats from the mold and store in the freezer in a plastic bag or container. Just be sure to place some waxed paper between each treat.)
½ cup canned pumpkin, 2 tablespoons of the nut butter of choice (peanut, almond or sunflower). Place both ingredients in a bowl and stir together. You can use this for frosting the ends of a Kong, hiding medications or making frozen treats. If you are freezing into treats, don’t forget to add some fruit to your molds.
If you enjoy baking, here are three easy treats:
Beef hearts are a tasty little treat for your dogs and are a great, high-value treat to use for training purposes. I pick up a beef heart at my local grocery store, sprinkle a little garlic powder on it and bake it in a pre-heated 350° oven for 1 ½ hours. Let it cool, and cut into bite sized pieces. Store in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator.
1 banana mashed, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, ¼ cup dry oats, 1 egg at room temperature, 2/3 cup oat flour, and ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut. Melt the coconut oil in a glass dish over hot water. (Microwaving the coconut oil destroys the good stuff.) Mix all ingredients together (dough will be stiff, if you need to, add a tiny bit of liquid egg, or you can use water to aid in the mixing), drop by teaspoons onto a greased baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated 350° heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The cookies should be browned on the edges and bottom and firm to the touch… Cool and store in refrigerator in air tight container.
Pumpkin Coconut Treats
1 cut of quick cooking oats, ½ cup oat flour, ¼ cut coconut flour, ¼ cup shredded coconut, ½ cup canned pumpkin, 2 eggs. Mix dry ingredients together lightly, add eggs and pumpkin. Mix well. Dough will be stiff. Drop by teaspoon onto greased baking sheet and bake in pre-heated 350° oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and store in refrigerator in air tight container.
Reminder: Treats should be just that; a treat and never used in place of a meal.
Do you have any easy treat recipes that you’d like to share?
Jodi Stone is the author of Heart Like a Dog, a community based blog, where readers go to find humor, inspiration and support. Inspired by the challenges she faced when she rescued her dog, Delilah, Jodi’s goal is to let other dog owners know that their dog doesn’t have to be perfect and they definitely aren’t alone!
Jodi is cohost of the popular Barks and Bytes Blog hop, is co-creator of the DADO blog hop, and created the Caring for Critters Round Robin which resulted in a community health page for pets as a permanent addition to her blog.
Graduating with a degree in Communications, Jodi currently works as an administrative assistant.
Jodi lives in CT with her husband and two dogs, Sampson and Delilah. When she’s not blogging, Jodi can be found hiking the trails with Sampson and Delilah, spending time with her grandchildren, or cuddle up with a good book and preferably a dog.