However, making my own treats isn’t just less expensive, it also offers me the opportunity to carefully choose the ingredients I want to use. I can even add herbs and oils that have holistic properties. If you would like to make your own dog treats, here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Choose Ingredients Carefully
The beauty about making your dog treats at home is that you are able to carefully choose ingredients based on your dog’s preferences or food sensitivities.
Making your own treats is a great way to include vegetables and herbs you may otherwise not feed. I love making dog biscuits with shredded carrots and spinach. I use blue berries and yogurt in one of my dog treats and even made up a recipe for fresh breath cookies that includes mint and parsley!
If your dog has a food sensitivity, it is easy to substitute ingredients. I use brown rice flour in a lot of my recipes, which is a great substitute for wheat flour. I have used applesauce instead of eggs if a pet had reactions to eggs.
2. Add Natural Healing Remedies
There are many ingredients that I use in my homemade dog treats that help with my dog’s health. For example, to help with arthritis I add turmeric to my dog treats, it has anti-inflammatory properties. You can also use flax seed, as it also helps with inflammation, in addition to providing the needed nutrients for a healthy coat and skin.
If my dog has a stomach upset, or a spurt of diarrhea, I make some delicious dog biscuits with canned pumpkin. Pumpkin also helps with constipation.
When I want to use holistic oils, such as CBD oil, which helps with pain or anxiety, I choose a no-bake recipe to ensure the oil does not loose it’s effectiveness due to high temperatures in baking.
3. Avoid Harmful Ingredients
The benefit of homemade dog treats is that they contain no artificial flavors, chemicals or preservatives. Be sure to choose only dog-approved ingredients, and never use any ingredient that contains artificial sweeteners. Also some ingredients that are healthy for humans, such as garlic, are toxic for dogs, so be sure to research new ingredient before using them in your treats.
I make sure that I use only natural high quality ingredients in my homemade treats. For example, I use unsweetened applesauce in my recipes. Many regular applesauce may include sweeteners, which can be harmful to dogs. The same applies to peanut butter. PB is one of the most used ingredients in homemade dog treats. Be sure to use a natural peanut butter and never use anything that has the words “light” on it, as this is a sure indicator that the item was made with artificial sweetener
4. Make Small Patches and Store Treats Properly
It is important to remember that your homemade dog treats contain no preservatives. Unlike store bought treats, they do not have a long shelf-life and must therefore be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator. You can also freeze them. I prefer to make smaller patches that I can use up within one of two weeks. Never leave your homemade dog treats at room temperature, as they will quickly mold!