Most dogs love treats at any time. When we focus on dog training with snacks, we should also focus on our dog’s health. While store bought treats are handy, they are not the healthiest for our furry little friends. It is just as easy to make natural treats at home.
Many brands of store bought dog treats contain unhealthy ingredients. They usually are too high in calories for any dog. A study of a popular brand of dog snacks showed that one stick was 30% of a 10-pound dog’s daily intake of calories.
The increased calories are not the only problem; many snacks contain harmful chemicals and bacteria. Another study showed that E.Coli was present in 27% of a select brand of dog treats. Additionally, all most every brand contains preservatives and additives.
These recipes are for a healthy dog treat alternative. I am sure your dog will love them. Switch to a more natural option and everyone will be happy.
1. Carrots or Apples
Carrots are loaded with great stuff for your pup including vitamin C and fiber. You can just feed them carrots by themselves, or make some awesome treats.
Have a dog with bad breath? Here is a natural dog treat that will also help with the breath problem. In addition, Apples are full of vitamins A and C and excellent for cleaning a dog’s teeth. I know my dog loves slices of apples and am sure yours will too. Apple and brown sugar treats will be great for your pet.
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- (1 bunch fresh carrots, finely chopped or grated and 2-3 fresh bananas, peeled and mashed) substitute with apples if you prefer apple treats
- 1 beaten egg or substitute ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (*optional, we went without)
- 1/2 cup cold water
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Check out the full recipe here.
2. Banana and Honey Treats
Bananas are full of potassium and vitamins. My dog just loves eating pieces by themselves. Bake them into cookies and I am sure your dog will go bananas. Here are good honey and banana treat recipe.
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 bananas, mashed
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 egg or substitute ¼ cup of pumpkin puree
- 4 1/2 cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes
Pumpkins are not just for Jack-O-Lanterns. They are a great snack for any dog. Pumpkin contains beta-carotene and vitamin A while also keeping the digestive tract healthy. I know my dog enjoyed snacking on our pumpkins this fall.
Cooked oatmeal and oat flour are great for any dog with sensitivity to wheat. Oatmeal is packed full of fiber and dogs love the taste. Remember to keep the brown sugar and maple syrup to your breakfast, not theirs.
5. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a great snack for dogs. It is filled with protein, heart-healthy fats, and vitamin B and E. Fill a treat with it and your pup will be busy for a while. Avoid sugar-free peanut butter since it can contain xylitol which is dangerous for dogs. Doggy peanut butter is also easy to find.
6. Peanut Butter, Banana Oat Cookies
My dog has a sensitivity to wheat. A lot of the biscuit recipes contain flour, so I made a recipe with oats instead.
- 1 cup raw unsalted peanut butter or doggy peanut butter
- 1.5 cups quick oats
- 1 ripened banana
Preheat oven to 350°.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly.
Roll dough in hands into small balls.
Flatten on a greased or lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 10-11 minutes. Use quickly or refrigerate to keep fresh.
My dog loves them!