Like humans, the quality of life and health of your pets largely depends on their diet. Food is the foundation upon which health or illness is built. If you’re like a majority of pet owners and pet lovers, then you’re most likely concerned about giving your pets the proper nutrition they deserve. After all, pets like cats and dogs are not just animals you take care of — they’re a loving and important member of your family.
Remember, the type of foods you give to your pet can either heal or harm. Dogs which are carnivores and predators by nature require a species-appropriate, meat-based diet. Dogs don’t require grains, so finding “cookies” and treats that don’t have an abundance of corn, wheat flour, or rice flour can be difficult, which is why I created this treat blog for you.
The best dog treats should pack plenty of protein. They should also be free of unnecessary additives like artificial flavors, sodium, and extra sugar.
Treats and snacks should only make up 10% of a dog’s daily calories. To get an idea of how many treats that is, ask your vet. They can make a recommendation based on the treats your dog likes, his weight, and how active he is.
But dogs love treats. And people love giving their dog treats. It’s a way to bond with your pet, and that’s a good thing.
You can still give your dog treats. Just give them one at a time.
Preservatives are necessary for making treats shelf-stable, but there are a few that raise some long-term health concerns.
Avoid these potentially harmful ingredients in favor of natural preservatives like tocopherols (vitamin E) or ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
BHA and BHT:
BHA and BHT are artificial preservatives used by the popular dog treat brands like Milkbone and Purina, but there’s evidence to suggest that they’re carcinogenic to animals.
Glycerin is used as a preservative, but it’s often derived from petrolatum, and the FDA has raised concerns over methanol contamination. (Note that “vegetable glycerin” is a different and totally safe ingredient.)
Many artificial dyes are suspected carcinogens as well — and they’re used for nothing but a cosmetic effect that your dog won’t care about.
The 4 Best Dog Treats
Stella & Chewy’s Carnivore Crunch Beef Recipe Best Chewy Treat
Zuke’s Mini Naturals Fresh Peanut Butter Formula Dog Treats Best Jerky Treat
ZiwiPeak Venison Treats Best Jerky Treat
Canidae Grain-Free PURE Heaven Dog Biscuits with Salmon & Sweet Potato Best Baked Treat
Dogs are open to all foods, potentially. So vegetables can be a great snack option for your dog.
Try fruits, too. Banana slices, berries, watermelon and apple slices, (with no seeds, of course). Steer clear of grapes, raisins, onions, chocolate and anything with caffeine. These can be toxic to dogs.
Other snacks that can work well as low-calorie dog treats are air-popped popcorn with no salt or butter, and plain rice cakes broken into little pieces.
Foods your dog should never eat slideshow link
The best treats can be made at home
Below are the recipes I make the most
Making your own pet treats may seem intimidating at first, but with the right instructions, you can prepare creative and yummy treats that will nourish your pets. And the best part? You’ll have fun while preparing them!
- 2 6 oz cans tuna OR 1 14 oz can salmon do not drain either
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour or Spelt flour
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
- 2 eggs — lightly beaten
Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spread the mixture out to 1” thick and bake in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.
- 4 cups flour
- 2 or 3 or 4 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
Mix it all together and then knead it on a floured surface for a minute or two. Roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/4" or so, put on an oiled baking sheet, use a pizza cutter to cut into small squares and bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. A double batch makes a gallon of treats.
Peanut Butter Treats
- 1 ⁄2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 ⁄2 cup white flour
- 1 cup oats
- 3 ⁄4 cup cornmeal
- 1 ⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 ⁄4 cup butter melted
- 1 ⁄4 cup peanut butter 2 eggs
Mix flour, oats, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder together in a bowl. Beat butter, peanut butter, and eggs together. Mix all together in a bowl. Roll out the dough and bake in a 325-degree oven for approx 40 min.
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