Have you ever considered making your own doggie treats? Whether you want to save a little money, have full control over what your pooch is eating, or simply love the art of DIY, it doesn’t matter. Ou Kaapse Vet takes a look at a range of fun, delicious treats that are simple to make- and you and Fido both will enjoy.
How do I choose the right ingredients?
Before we look at any specific recipes, a word of caution. While dogs are very adaptable animals, enjoying a wide range of foods, there’s some things we can eat regularly that are bad news for them. Grapes and raisins, for example, are a doggie no-no. Other ingredients, like peanut butter, are perfectly fine for them to have as a treat- but just as with us, there can be too much of a good thing. While we encourage you to have fun when selecting your ingredients, always be mindful that what you’re using is appropriate for your pooch. And keep the treats to a sensible minimum- no matter the puppy dog eyes they turn on you! Remember, a dog at a healthy weight is a companion who will live a long, full life with you.
What are some tasty treats I can make?
Now that’s out the way, let’s look at the fun stuff. What fun treats can you make for your dog?
1) Ice it up
The perfect way to beat the summer heat, your dog will love an icy treat at almost any time. These can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. You can simply save the stock-water from your meat, freeze in ice cubes, and crumble their favourite treat into it. Or freeze a few toys in a bigger cube for them to unearth through the day- giving them a brain challenge too. Or you can go all-out with this delicious doggo recipe. Simply add 2 cups of a dog-safe fruit to ½ a cup of peanut butter and twice as much water. Toss in a few flax seeds (about 2 tsps) to help boost Fido’s coat. Mix everything together, freeze in a big ring pan (or many small ice cube trays) and you’ll have a fun treat for them to explore.
2) Meaty bites
Want something that’s less ‘treat’ and more ‘meat’? You can use a very similar recipe to make your very own icy meat treats. Combine a cup of shredded meat or fish with ½ cup plain yoghurt, 1 mashed carrot, a sprinkling of parsley and 3 tbsp of olive or flax oil. Stir together well, freeze and you’re done! Not only does the meaty treat give him a little coat-boost, it also has parsley as a breath freshener. You can use this same recipe, in smaller ‘dots’, for the kitties you love too.
3) Easy dog cookies
Keen to challenge yourself? These easy-to-make dog cookie treats are perfect for you, then. Simple combine ½ cup unsalted peanut butter with a cup of water, 2 tbsp oil, and 3 cups of a flour of your choice. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a cookie pan with some baking paper. Beat together the liquid ingredients, slowly adding the flour until you have a malleable dough. Roll it out to a 2-cm thick layer, and cut your cookies. They’ll need 15-20 minutes to cook- and your pooch will love them.
Which of these dog treat recipes will you be trying first? Be sure to let the Ou Kaapse Vet team know which your dogs enjoy the most!