Many dog owners enjoy making their own homemade treats for their pets. But when you are searching for dog treat recipes, carefully select your ingredients. The web is a great source for nutritious dog treat recipes, but a lot of unhealthy and even harmful ones are out there, too.
Here are some of the best ingredients you can find for making your own dog treats.
1. Chicken, Turkey, or Beef
Real chicken, beef, and turkey are wonderful ingredients to include in your dog treat recipes. Dogs love the taste of real meat and it adds flavour as well as protein for a filling treat.
Broths are a good way to add the flavour of meat to your dog treat recipes. Choose no added salt varieties for your dog’s kidney health.
While fish can be a healthy addition to your dog treats, avoid large fish varieties. Large fish such as albacore or canned tuna can contain large concentrations of toxic mercury. Avoid them in your pet's diet entirely. Choose safer fish with low mercury counts such as salmon, sole, or whiting to feed more regularly to your pet. [APA]
Yoghurt makes a delicious, protein and calcium rich addition to your dog treat recipes. It adds moisture and texture to baked goods in the same way oil does. Avoid no fat yoghurt and milk products as they often contain processed additives to alter the texture and taste [Ferreti].
3. Cottage Cheese
Most dogs love cottage cheese on its own, but it also makes a healthy addition to dog treat recipes. Cottage cheese contains high amounts of protein and calcium.
4. Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are often rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. In order for your dog to get all the nutrients, you need to do a little prep. Some nutritious fruits and vegetables for your dog include:
- Sweet potatoes
Since dogs can’t break down cellulose, many nutrients stored in fruit and veggie skins are unavailable to them. To make sure your dog gets the most he can out of his fruits and veggies, prepare fruits and veggies for your dog in one of the following ways [Donamor]:
- Puree or grind
- Cook or steam
- Juice your fruits and vegetables. Both the juice and the pulp is a healthy ingredient for dog treat recipes.
Avoid these toxic fruits and veggies for dogs [DogHeirs]:
- Raisins and Grapes
- Garlic , Onions, and Chives
- Unripe Tomatoes (ripe tomatoes are fine)
- Green or Raw Potatoes (if not green, potatoes are okay after cooking)
- Wild Mushrooms (white mushrooms okay)
- Fruit seeds and pits
5. Peanut Butter
Many dogs love peanut butter, and it can be a healthy fat and source of protein. Include peanut butter in your homemade dog treats for a yummy and nutritious snack. However, avoid tree nuts in your homemade dog treats.
The following nuts can be toxic to dogs [DogHeirs]:
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
6. Cooked Eggs
Eggs provide a high amount of protein, as well as other concentrated nutrients. Eggs are prevalent in baking recipes as they add texture and natural leavening.
However, make sure the eggs you give your dog are cooked. Raw eggs contain an enzyme that blocks the absorption of certain B vitamins in your dog over time [DogHeirs].
Homemade dog treats can be very healthy for your pet. If you are mindful of ingredients, you can make sure your dog has a delicious and nutritious snack - made with love!