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How to Make Healthy Homemade Dog Treats
Natural Dog Treats are Good for All Types of Dogs
Healthy Homemade Dog Treats
Whether you have a small dog or large dog, purebred or mutt, all dogs love treats, but too many treats can lead to obesity in dogs. By making healthy homemade dog treats you can give your dog a little snack that won't pack on extra pounds.
If you have the time to make homemade treats, you can make some that are hard dog biscuit types that you can store in a container on your counter top or you can make treats that can be stored in the freezer in ice cube trays. If you are looking to make dry treats, check out my article on homemade dog treats. If you are looking for treats you can store in the freezer, check out the recipe below.
Some fresh fruits and vegetables and cooked lean meats can also be given as healthy treats. When giving your dog natural treats for the first time, your dog may turn their nose at it, but try offering it a few times and see if eventually your dog takes a liking to it. Only try one natural dog treat at a time and allow a week before trying another natural option so that you can tell if your dog has an allergy to the food. If a dog is allergic to something, they may get an upset stomach or some dogs will get itchy or you will notice dry skin flakes. Once you determine which natural foods your dog likes and has no allergic reaction to, you can mix things up everyday and give your dog a variety of healthy homemade treats.
Banana Bite Ingredients
- 2 Bananas
- 1 1/2 cups Nonfat Yogurt
- 1/2 cup Rice Milk or Water
More Frozen Treat Options
Consider freezing small chunks of apples, kiwi or watermelon smashed into ice cube trays for healthy quick summer treats for your dog.
Banana Bite Instructions
- Blend yogurt, rice milk, and bananas in a blender
- Pour mixture into ice cube tray and freeze for a few hours
- When ready to serve, allow the treat to soften a little before giving the cube to your dog. For smaller dogs, break the cube into smaller pieces before giving it your dog.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies as Dog Treats
Fresh fruits and vegetables can be given as dog treats instead of store-bought or even hard homemade biscuits. Below are a list of fruits and vegetables that are safe to give your dog. You should only give your dog two-three treats per day at a maximum.
- baby carrots
- green beans
- celery (even dogs will like this option with a little bit of peanut butter)
- yams or white potatoes (these MUST be cooked prior to being served to your dog)
- apple slices
Bad Food for Dogs
Christmas, Halloween and Easter are all holidays where candy and fat-filled goodies abound. Make sure those treats are completely out of reach from your dog. Chocolate, sugar, bubble gum, excessive fat, and foods high in salt can all be very dangerous for your dog!
If you think your dog has consumed any of these DANGER foods, get them to an emergency animal hospital right away! It is better to be safe than sorry. Some dogs have reportedly died within hours of eating some of the foods on the danger list.
Smaller dogs are usually at a larger risk of sudden death than larger dogs, but it is always best to contact your veterinarian immediately and be safe than sorry if your dog consumes any of these dangerous foods.
Dangerous Foods for Dogs
Avoid giving your dog these foods since they may cause extreme diarrhea, vomiting, or even death.
- pure garlic or onions
- macadamia nuts
- all kinds of chocolate, including white chocolate
- persimmons, peaches and plums
- raw meat or raw eggs
- foods high in sodium like pretzels and potato chips
- yeast dough
- foods or drinks with caffeine or alcohol
Personal Experience with Dogs Eating "People" Food
I have owned dogs all my life and have always given them some "people" food here and there as a treat. Recently, I have started giving my dogs fruits and veggies as treats all the time instead of store-bought treats. I also make my own healthy homemade dog treats baked in the oven when I have time. All dogs are different and react differently to people food. My black lab hated carrots for a long time, but finally after she saw the other dogs in my house eating them month after month, she finally started to enjoy them as well. Some of my dogs get gas when I give them too many fruit and veggie treats. However, my chocolate Labrador Retriever, that lived to be fourteen years old, ate all kinds of food and would get into the garbage constantly and (fortunately) never had any digestive problems. One thing that every dog I have owned has loved is bananas with a little bit of all natural creamy peanut butter. The best thing you can do is talk with your vet about the types of veggies and fruits to try with the breed of dog that you own and learn through trial and error. Like anything else, moderation is key. Although some "people" foods may be okay for dogs, large quantities should not be given to your dog because it could lead to your dog gaining weight and developing health problems.
Although I have owned a lot of dogs and a variety of breeds, your vet is the best person to talk to about what to feed and what not to feed your dog. The information shared in this article is based on personal research and experiences and although the results have been positive for my dogs, your dog may have certain restrictions that need to be considered.