Making treats at home for your dog can be a very rewarding thing to do. It may be easier to just go to a pet food store and buy stuff off the shelf but, as we are increasingly aware these days, some of the ingredients that go into mass produced, processed pet food and pet treats can be bad for the health of our pets.
Steer away from commercially produced treats
It is widely thought among many veterinarians and health care professionals, and indeed many studies have shown, that commercially mass produced dog food and dog treats are not necessarily the best thing for your dog. There are many good quality products on the market but these are often prohibitively expensive to buy and unfortunately the cheaper ones often contain ingredients which have the potential to cause serious illnesses in dogs such as diabetes, skin problems and even cancer.
The ingredients are probably already at hand
It is so easy to rustle up some homemade biscuits for your dog just using basic store cupboard ingredients like oats, peanut butter, honey, among other things. One of the simplest things to make are dried liver treats; liver strips baked in the oven and stored in the fridge. What dog wouldn’t love those! The food which we eat, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables can all be utilised to make dog treats or to simply add to his regular food. By using ingredients which are already in your cupboards you could save money too.
Looking after your dog’s health
The primary advantage to this of course is that it is much healthier for your dog because he will be getting something nutritious and wholesome. By making treats yourself you can regulate what goes into his food. You can better control his calorie and fat intake and you can be sure that he is not consuming any nasty additives, preservatives or chemicals which could make him ill. If your dog has any medical conditions, allergies or special dietary needs you can match your recipes exactly to your dog’s requirements. Always take advice from your veterinarian though if you’re unsure regarding any medical conditions.
And when we’re talking about treats we can include toy treats, which can also be expensive to buy and are often brightly-coloured plastic things with who knows what chemicals in them? Dogs are just as happy playing tug-of-war with the leg of an old pair of denims. A hardwood log or an old tyre – properly cleaned of course – will provide many hours of chewy fun.