Even if you’ve never baked a thing in your life you can make these simple dog treat recipes. It’s hard to go wrong with five ingredients or less, and there’s comfort to be found in knowing exactly what’s going into your dog’s food. I make homemade dog treats when we’re working on any new training behaviors – the extra focus they bring is priceless.
Sit. Lay down. Roll over. Paw. Who’s a good girl? (Or, of course, boy!) These are common phrases uttered by dog owners around the world before their dogs favorite time of the day—treat time. While it’s common for dog owners to want to shower their dog with treats to keep them happy, you’ll want to make sure that you're choosing the best option for your pet. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to dog treats — does your dog like the treats, have any allergies or health conditions, and do the treats you choose support overall health needs of your pet? The dog treat market can be a bit difficult to navigate, so we’ve done the navigating for you.
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Dogs love to be praised and rewarded when they do something good, and one of the best rewards they can receive is a doggie treat. But with so many varieties of treats available today, it's tough to know which one your pooch will appreciate more. To help, here are a few thoughts about the types of treats available and the pros and cons of each, along with some of the most popular doggie treats on the market.
Peanut butter and apples are a great snack, whether you're human or canine. Mix together 4 C. flour, 1 tbs. baking powder, 2 3/4 C. water, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 4 tbsp. honey, 1/4 C. finely chopped apple, 1 tbsp. peanut butter and 1 beaten egg. Spoon into small muffin molds and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 75 minutes. Remove chews from the molds as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. For a healthier treat, substitute 1 C. wheat germ for 1 C. of flour, and add 2 tbsp. of ground flax seed.
These treats are also on point nutritionally so you don’t need to worry about your dog packing on the pounds if you’re rewarding them little and often (although it's always a good idea to keep tabs on how much they're eating!). Made of natural whole food ingredients sourced from right here in the US and even supplemented with added antioxidants, these small-sized treats are just 3.5 calories each.
Even if you’ve never baked a thing in your life you can make these simple dog treat recipes. It’s hard to go wrong with five ingredients or less, and there’s comfort to be found in knowing exactly what’s going into your dog’s food. I make homemade dog treats when we’re working on any new training behaviors – the extra focus they bring is priceless.
In terms of what to avoid, start with any artificial additives and agents that are known to cause health problems in dogs. For example, food dyes are unnecessary when choosing the best healthy dog treats and so is glycerin (a preservative), because some studies have shown their dangers. Also, while some dog treats brands still use these, BHT and BHA preservatives may be harmful, according to some experts. That said, some other preservatives can and should be used to avoid spoilage, but only as long as they have been proven to be safe for dogs. Vitamin E and Vitamin C are some of those few that are allowed.
As with many products, price comparisons confirm that pet owners can find these fourth best healthy dog treats for a better price on Amazon and a few other online retailers than in a lot of brick and mortar pet stores. As with many other pet-related products, it's easy to spot reviews where dog owners say that their dogs would not eat these healthy pet treats, but that group seems to be very small for these specific pet treats. Other than that, we could not find any other negative feedback.
“I think it’s helpful to think about why you’re using treats and what message you intend and what behavior you want to reinforce,” she says. “If you give treats willy-nilly all over the place for no apparent reason, that can be detrimental because you may be giving too many treats and your pet may become overweight, but you also lose the opportunity to set up certain [behavioral] expectations.”
Bake these healthy treats a shorter time to keep them chewy, or a little longer for a crispy outside and chewy center. Combine a pound of ground beef, turkey or chicken liver with 1 C. corn meal, 1 1/2 C. flour, 1 tsp. anise seed and 1/2 tsp. salt. Spread into a greased baking pan, bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, and slice into squares when cool. Substitute fennel for anise if needed. Add an egg, or grated apple or carrot for more nutrition and flavor. Any ground organ meat, such as heart, can be used in place of liver. Dogs love these chewy brownies with nearly any kind of meat.
These dog training treats are made with real beef and chicken. Unlike a lot of other brands that mimic these flavors with artificial flavoring, these ones remain all-natural. There’s also garlic oil, for a stronger aroma and flavor. Again, these flavor-packed treats will keep your dog coming back for more. Nothing keeps a dog motivated like delicious treats.
You’ll want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit before starting. Then, dump 1 ¼ cups of PLAIN canned chickpeas into a bowl and mash them up until there aren’t any whole pieces left. Yes, it’s important to use plain, unseasoned chickpeas, because they’re the safest for your dog to eat. After, combine ½ cup of cooked rice (white or brown), and 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin to the chickpeas. You can make them any size you like, smaller for training treats, bigger just for fun. Bake for about 30 minutes. For larger cookies, flip them after 20 minutes. Allow them to cool before feeding.
I have a question about my 13-year old yellow lab who suffers from larynx paralysis. I have been grinding up his senior dry food for a few years now and mixing it with a homemade mixture of white rice, ground chicken, green beans, peas, carrots, beets, and sometimes pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Over the last few weeks, he has been having difficulty eating the dry food. We have been giving him the wet food, which he is able to eat up with no problem. He also gets a glucosamine tablet chopped up with his food twice a day for his arthritis. Are there any suggestions of any other soft food diets I could make for him? We also feed our Pekingese the soft rice mixture with a little bit of grinded food, as his stomach is delicate
I didn’t realize you could make dog treats with only 2 ingredients, That’s awesome! All of the recipes sound great. I read some of the other posts, and I’m borrowing one of the ideas. My daughter is in a Girl Scout troop and her troop’s project is to volunteer at a shelter. I will check with the shelter and see if we can bring homemade treats. Thanks for all of the ideas!
The ingredients in these world favorite training rewards treats are amazing, but let’s start with what’s not in them. There are no fillers like corn and soy, which many other brands carry. Fillers are bad for two reasons. 1) They’re tasteless for your dog, and 2) they lead to unwanted weight gain. Fillers are also a cheap way for companies to charge you more money.
Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.
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