Why you should make your own dog treats

Why you should make your own dog treats

Have you ever looked at the ingredient list in store-bought dog treats? Even the 'All Natural' Dog treats often have added ingredients that don't come from nature.  Here are just a few reasons why you should consider making your own:

1.  Many dogs have grain allergies and if you're dog is one of them, you know the struggle of finding a grain-free dog treat, or a treat without the particular one your dog is sensitive to.  Some of the symptoms of grain allergies in dogs include:

  • Itchy or dry skin
  • hair loss
  • bumps or rashes
  • constant licking or chewing at his feet
  • red paw pads
  • stomach upset
  • chronic ear infections. 

By making your own treats, you can eliminate ingredients one at a time to see if your dog's condition improves. Sometimes it can be the protein in store-bought items, but if it's the grain, you can easily switch up ingredients.

2.  Many store bought specialty treats can have hidden dangers you may not have considered.  Bone treats, for example, may keep your pet occupied for a while, but the FDA recently warned consumers that store bought 'bone treats' can lead to illness and even death.  For instance, mold was found in some varieties, which can cause an unexpected trip your Veterinarian, while others were found to quite often splinter, often leading to intestinal obstruction or even death.   

3.  While not necessarily a big problem, given that there are so many options today, choking is also a concern with store-bought treats, especially those chewy ones that are made to look and smell like 'jerky'.  My Boston Terrier practically swallows them whole if I don't tear them up into smaller pieces, especially the ones that resemble little hamburgers.  I know there are other options, but for very little money, you can make your own and customize them to the size and consistency for your own dog.  

4.  And finally, there are the added ingredients or byproducts like food coloring, your pup could begin to experience some new symptoms over the following days or weeks such as skin issues, anal gland abscesses, or ear infections.  My Vet confirmed that recurring ear infections in my pup could be caused by the types of proteins or additives in the food I was feeding her.  I switched the food to a limited ingredient food without any preservatives or artificial colors or flavors, and so far, so good! 

While the US receives some very affordable and safe products from overseas, there have been many reports of dangerous ingredients in pet foods from China.  These ingredients have led to problems such as intestinal upset, convulsions, hives, or even liver and kidney issues.  The FDA has done a pretty good job of  ramping up inspections of production facilities in China, but when it comes to the health of our furry family members, most of us don't like to take chances.  

Whipping up a batch of homemade dog treats is easy enough and requires very little time.  My live-in quality control Terrier has tested and approved these treats, so here's a recipe that is sure to be gobbled up.  If your dog likes honey, peanut butter or oats, he'll love this recipe:  

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 TBSP Honey 
  • 1 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 2 1/2 C whole wheat flour (can substitute Coconut or Rice flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Cup Quick Oats

Mix ingredients in order, roll and cut with cookie cutters, or just roll them into little balls.  Trust us, your pet won't care what they look like!  Bake at 350.  It's that easy!  You can leave out and substitute ingredients as you like to accommodate your particular pet's nutritional needs.  If you make these dog treats, please let us know how your special fur baby likes them.  They can last up to 2 months in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.  (We can certify that they are delicious because we've got the inside scoop from our own canine Quality Control Specialist). Let us know what your fur baby thinks!  

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