Homemade Dog Treats: Best and Worst Ingredients

Ingredients for dog treatsTreat your dog right with the right treats!

Sharing food with your dog under the table is a long time habit from childhood which can make your best friend fat! Since most commercial dog treats are loaded with fat and sugar they don’t really make the best substitute for table scraps… so let’s stick to the low fat end of the table for now and see what else can be used. (Make sure you read the commercial dog jerky recall post so you dont make your dog sick.)

Good Ingredients for Dog Treats

  • Dried chicken strips.
  • A shocker: baby carrots. It comes with a dogs love for chewing and what better than an orange stick all juicy and sweet!
  • Banana: great for muscle and blood vessel function as well as for regulating the acidity of body fluids and much more.
  • Rutabaga (boiled and mashed).
  • Sweet potato (boil, mash and add a bit of good oil)
  • Flaxseeds: Whether grounded or as an oil add it to the dogs food to increase the nutrient density of any meal. (Store in refrigerator to maintain freshness)
  • Non-fat yogurt: great way to disguise medicine!
  • Salmon: full of Omega-3 (it’s good for both of you so share it together!)
  • Nori: dried edible seaweed that can be found in the Asian food items isle.
  • Blueberries either fresh or frozen. Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential here since blueberry “trots” are most unpleasant (and you’re the one who will be cleaning up!).
  • Rosemary
  • Swiss chard: It is best maintained by blanching (not boiling) the leaves and stalks to mush. This sweetens the leaves and frees up some of the oxalates, which can bind minerals. Optional: use the water in which the chard was blanched too to “lap up” any leeched nutrients.

Dangers to Dogs!

Common human and household foods that are toxic to dogs:

  • Chocolate
  • Onion and garlic
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Green tomatoes and the tomato plant itself because of the tomatine they contain. As the tomato ripens and turns red the tomatine disappears so the tomato becomes safe for the dog to eat.

Nothing beats home cooking! A few favorite recipes’ use Dog Treat Mix since it has no wheat, no soy, no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no hydrogenated fats and no preservatives. But feel free to try something else instead!

Preheat oven as indicated in the flavor chart.  Spray cooking pan with non-stick spray.

Pet treat cooking chart

**Oven times are appropriate as individual ovens will vary.

For even browning – turn treats over after 25 to 30 minutes.

Go shopping:

One thing to remember for your dog if you do decide on store bought treats is their overall caloric intake. A general recommendation is that treats should not make up more than 15% to 20% of the pet’s total diet. In other words don’t give them too many and if it looks like junk food it most likely is junk food!

Cesar the dog whisperer has some good recipes you can follow.

Relieve Your Pet’s Ailments With These Supplements

Pet food supplimentsNo one likes seeing a pet suffer. Animals are valued members of the family, and most owners would do anything to ease their discomfort. If this is the case for you, then you should consider pet supplements for your animal companion.

Pet supplements are derived from natural elements. Humans have been using supplements for centuries to treat a wide range of maladies. Recently, people have begun using supplements for pets to achieve similar results. If you have never thought about supplements for your pets, consider the following ailments that can be successfully treated with pet supplements.

1. Digestion. When a pet is suffering from digestion problems, every part of life is affected. From diarrhea to constipation, these issues are uncomfortable, messy and ultimately dangerous. To help a pet with digestive issues, consider these useful supplements: Probiotics is one of the latest options. This microorganism has been shown to introduce healthy bacteria into the digestive tract, which can help things run smoother. For constipation, fiber is a great option.

2. Skin and coat. Animals can suffer from a range of skin and coat problems. In particular, dry and flaky skin can be a huge issue, especially for dogs. Other animals may have excessive hair loss, which can be problematic for the pet and the owner. Some pets may simply have a lackluster coat that does not do them justice. Fortunately, there are several supplements that can work. Many fatty acids have been shown to help pets maintain healthy skin. Any supplements that focus on omega-3 or omega-6 acids are especially useful. Specific examples include flaxseed oil, olive oil and soybean oil. Some research that suggests that probiotics can have a positive impact on an animal’s skin or coat as well.

3. Anxiety. Like humans, pets can suffer from anxiety. Although it is sometimes hard to diagnose, pets that have anxiety will display a variety of symptoms, some of which can inhibit their normal functioning. This anxiety can start at a major life change, or it can be a response to a specific fear. Some of the most popular supplements for animal anxiety are valerian and chamomile. Because these supplements work like sedatives, they should be used precisely and only as needed.

4. Joints. Arthritis and other joint issues are fairly common as pets begin to age. Owners will notice these issues when their pets start moving slowly or have trouble doing normal activities. It is painful to watch a pet suffer, which is why natural supplements can be such a great solution. There are a number of supplements that have been shown to ease joint pain, especially by relieving inflammation. Glucosamine is a very popular choice, and fish oil has also been used to ease the effects of inflammation.

Like their human counterparts, animals can benefit from the use of supplements as part of a balanced nutritional lifestyle. Supplements can also be effective at treating specific ailments, which is why it is important to talk to your veterinarian about the options currently available.

Jen Thompson loves to write about animals, she has two cats and a dog

Facing the Knife? Preparing your Pet for Surgery

Cat Dog SurgerySending your pet into surgery can be nerve wracking, even if it is just for something routine. Make sure you know how to prepare your pet for a successful surgery!

1. Don’t let them eat after 10 pm the night before …but keep water out

No they are not Gizmo and won’t turn into gremlins. However, preventing your pet from eating after 10 pm the night before surgery will reduce the risk of aspiration while they are intubated. Intubation is where a tube is put down their throat to help your pet breath during the surgery. If they aspirate, or vomit during the surgery, that can cause vomit to get into the intubation tube and into their lungs which can cause some very serious short and long term health problems, as well as potentially kill them if they fully choke on the vomit. If you don’t feed them after 10, they stomach will have digested any food in it and they will have no food to vomit.

Even though your pet can’t eat, he can drink. Make sure to leave water out at all time for them to be able to drink. We don’t want them to become dehydrated.

2. List of Medications

Make sure to tell your vet about any and all medication your pet might be on, this includes holistic and vitamins. Medications can cause unforeseen complications during surgery, but if your vet is aware of them then she can take the necessary precautions to make sure that your pet stays safe.

3. Vaccinate prior to surgery

If your pet has not been vaccinated, make sure to get them vaccinated prior to surgery. Most vets will require that your pets shots be up to date before they are admitted.

4. Add on services

Putting your pet under anesthesia is always risk. Though most young animals will have no complication, there is always a chance. So while your pet is under anesthesia you may want to consider doing some add on services to reduce the number of times your pet has to be put under.

  • Dental cleanings
  • Declaw
  • Microchip – this does not require them to be under general anesthesia, but is can be done while they are under.
  • Nail trim – -this does not require them to be under general anesthesia, but is can be done while they are under.
  • Cherry Eye

Some people worry that getting their cat spayed and declawed at the same time might be too traumatic for their cat. If you are considering a declaw, it is a good idea to consider a simultaneous surgery. They will be able to recover from both surgeries at the same time, instead of double recovery time, and they will only have to be put under the one time.

The other additions are pretty simple to do and are not considered major surgeries, though they do require general anesthetic to be performed.  Additionally, add on services are often less expensive when paired with something else.

Make sure to look at our promotions page for surgical coupons.