If you’ve ever given your pet a treat, you know how excited they get about them. Many pet owners, especially those with dogs, use treats as a way to reward their pet for some positive action or trick. There are also many pet snacks available in the market today, so most of us might prefer to go the convenient way and simply buy our furry friend’s favorite.
Puppy treats are like snack foods for humans. They are fun to eat, but they must be consumed in moderation. Since treats are looked forward to, they must be made with healthy ingredients so your pup won’t put on extra weight. Conventional store-bought treats may contain additives, preservatives, and coloring that have no nutrition. You can opt for all-natural treats made with real ingredients, but they can be very expensive.
The best option here, of course, is to make your own homemade puppy treats that are filled with wholesome yet delicious ingredients. Homemade food is much more likely to be healthier than the market stuff, so it’s recommended to whip up a large batch and freeze it for your puppies:
Making your own Puppy Treats
Making your own homemade puppy treats is an inexpensive way to make your pup enjoy eating while keeping their health in line. Through that, you can control what exactly your pet consumes, and you can easily adjust the portion size. The best part is that even if it doesn’t turn out picture-perfect, your dog will love it just the same! Here are some examples of puppy treats you can give your dog:
Peanut Butter Treats
A lot of dogs love peanut butter, with some owners even giving their pets a spoonful to lick as a reward for good behavior. If your pup has the same taste, there are a number of peanut butter treats you can try out.
One easy way for your pup to enjoy peanut butter is to freeze it. Mix peanut butter and vanilla yogurt, pour the mixture in molds and freeze it until frozen. You may also add banana slices. This will create some delicious peanut butter pops for your pup to enjoy on a hot day. Of course, you and your children might enjoy the same snack as well, as there are no nasty preservatives or fillers involved.
You can also bake some peanut butter after making dough out of it. Mix 2 cups of flour with half a cup of peanut butter and 2 eggs. Combine the ingredients well and add water until it’s wet enough to be rolled out as a dough. Form it into your desired shapes and cook the dough into the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The benefit of this cookie-like treat is that it’s portable and easily stored as well. The cookies will last for several weeks when stored in an air-tight jar. If you live in a tropical climate, putting them in the fridge or freezer will make them last longer. You can slip some into a ziplock bag and take them with you when walking your puppy, rewarding them for any positive actions along the way.
More Baked Treats
Baked treats like cookies, cupcakes, and biscuits are dog treats perfect for training because dogs would love sniffing them along with enjoying the taste. You can make flavored goodies featuring cranberry, apples, pumpkin, oats or even meat like bacon.
There are several baked treat recipes online, but here’s something you must keep in mind: baked treats for dogs must be more dehydrated than those we used to eat. To achieve this, lower your temperature and bake the cookie longer than usual.
You might also want to consider healthier alternatives to white flour such as oat, cornmeal, buckwheat, coconut flour, and rye. Don’t overwhelm the dog by mixing a lot of ingredients in the treat, and remember not to mix ingredients that are harmful to dogs. These include milk, raisins, and chocolate.
We love fried potato snacks, but regular potato fries are too salty and oily for dogs. If your pup is a chewer, he’ll go crazy for yummy treats made with sweet potatoes. When cooking, cut the sweet potato in the same way as the usual potato we enjoy. You can slice them thinly like mojos, or into strips like fries. Bake them at a low temperature until they are tough and chewy. If you want a quick fried option, you can fry it in coconut oil.
More Frozen Options
During the summer, dogs need refreshment just like us. While you may be tempted to share your ice cream with your puppy, the sugar and flavoring inside it are not good for your puppy’s tummy. It’s much better to make special frozen refreshments for your canine friends. Fortunately, this project is quite easy.
Use freezable bases like water, fruit juice or yogurt, and then add one or two fruits your dog can eat. The best options include watermelon, apples, berries, and banana. You may also add peanut butter or pumpkin. It might sound a bit strange, but dogs find meat in frozen pops is very appealing. You can freeze bacon strips or chopped chicken in water or low-sodium broth. Put in some sticks and create a meaty Popsicle that will nourish your dog and cool them down during the long summer days.
Meat is essential in a dog’s diet. Puppies would love it whenever you reward them with meaty treats after they have been a “good dog.” Simply cut out some thin beef strips, dehydrate them and you’re done. If you want to use chicken or salmon, rub the thinly cut meat with herbs, and then dehydrate it. Fried bacon is well-loved by dogs as well, but give them only in moderation.
Some people find that drying the meat in the sun is a suitable option, while you can also invest in a device for dehydrating meat. Look online for some methods on how to create your own beef jerky, and make enough for that upcoming road trip!
Benefits of Making Your Own Puppy Treats
Making your own puppy treats and home might take some time and effort, while it’s much easier to just throw a packet into your shopping cart every month. However, there are some obvious benefits in making your puppy their own homemade treats. We’ll touch upon these below:
- You get to control what goes into the treats themselves, thus ensuring a wholesome and nutritious result. If needed, you can also customize the recipes according to what your dogs like
- The treats in stores have several preservatives for lengthening their shelf life. You can avoid these preservatives and also have somewhat long-lasting treats by using less water and dehydration techniques
- Some dogs have dietary restrictions due to allergies, age, and other medical issues. By making your own treats, you can ensure that the snacks won’t be unhealthy for your pet.
Homemade is usually best, so every pet owner should seriously consider switching over from store-bought snacks and meals. If you can’t find the time or opportunity to make your own puppy treats, see if any local pet owner is selling them. Taking care of what your dog consumes can save a lot of grief and hassle in the long run.