Dogs are hardworking, loyal, adorable, and, honestly, pretty darn perfect. That’s why they deserve the very best: the softest embarrassing doggie sweaters, that really good dog bed with the memory foam, the squeakiest of dog toys, and, of course, tasty treats on demand. The problem is, hitting the shelves at your local pet supply store or supermarket for treats on the regular can really add up – especially so for large breed dogs and multi-dog households. What’s a loving pet parent to do?
The answer is surprisingly simple: make homemade pet treats from the comfort of the kitchen! Even the most novice of home cooks can quickly and easily whip up a batch of healthy, delicious, and canine-approved cbd dog treats, armed with, in most cases, nothing more than a cutting board, stove, oven, and freezer. In this article, we are going to cover some of our favorite pet treat recipes that you can make for your four-legged friend!
Canine Cuisine: What’s Safe For Dogs To Eat?
Almost every pet parent is guilty of sneaking tidbits to their best four-legged buddy under the table now and then. A dropped French fry here, a stray meatball or two there – it’s one of the fringe benefits of being man’s (or woman’s) best friend. When it comes to homemade dog treats, however, it’s best to keep an eye on nutrition rather than the “kitchen sink” approach with leftovers tossed in. Here are a few healthy, natural treats for dogs that have been vet-approved:
- Chicken and Turkey: Inexpensive, easy to prepare, and loved by dogs everywhere, plain chicken or turkey is always a big hit. While it’s natural to want to put a human spin on seasoning and preparing these proteins, remember that a dog’s palate is very different from his owner’s tastes. Salt, sugar, and certain seasonings can upset his stomach or even cause serious health issues like canine vomiting or diarrhea, so avoid them and cook fowl by boiling or simmering in plain water, not oil. Any turkey or chicken given to dogs needs to be either stripped from the bone or made from boneless cuts/ground: both raw and cooked bones can splinter and cause internal injuries.
- Beef: After chicken, beef is one of the most common proteins found in most high-end commercial dog foods, and lean beef is an excellent treat for a dog’s overall health, coat, and energy levels. Avoid exceptionally fatty cuts of beef, as this can disrupt a dog’s natural digestion and cause “problems” at both ends. Similar to chicken, no sauces or seasonings should be used on any beef destined for canine treats.
- Pork: The “other white meat” is safe for dogs, though owners should, as with other proteins, stick to lean boneless cuts that are unseasoned and prepared with salt-free cooking methods. While many commercial dog treats offer bacon flavored options, real bacon is typically too fatty and salty to support canine health, so it’s best to leave it out.
- Meat Broths: If using canned or boxed variety broths, opt for plain, low-sodium varieties. They’re great for pouring over kibble to make it more enticing, and also make a great base for freezer-prepared treats. Avoid homemade broths that contain problematic ingredients like onions, garlic or other seasonings.
- Plain Yogurt: The probiotic content of plain, unsweetened yogurt, such as Greek yogurt, make this inexpensive dairy aisle staple a wonderful, healthy treat for pups. Avoid brands that are sweetened or that contain fruit; sliced fruit can always be added in fresh later, where it won’t bring any unnecessary sugar to the mix.
An important note on yogurt for dogs: Xylitol, a sugar substitute that is used commonly as sweetener in many foods – including some yogurt brands – is extremely toxic to dogs. Specifically, this ingredient is used in several commercial brands of low sugar or diet yogurt. That’s why it’s important to always check the ingredient list for Xylitol before buying or using yogurt to create homemade dog treats – and if it’s in the product, leave it on the shelf!