Offering your dog or cat a delicious treat is one of the highlights of pet ownership. While it’s important not to over-indulge our pets (extra weight can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, joint pain, and more), treats are important for training and overall enjoyment of life.
Commercial pet treats can leave much to be desired, unfortunately. Many are loaded with fillers, food colorings, preservatives, and probably too many calories. Creating your own homemade pet treats is an easy (and cheap!) way to show your pets how much you care.
The Sky’s the Limit (Almost)
Many “people foods” can add nutrients and flavor to a pet’s diet, but certain ingredients should never make it into your homemade pet treats, including:
- Grapes or raisins
- Macadamia nuts
Homemade Pet Treats
Discovering your pet’s preferences is part of the fun of making homemade treats.
Start with the basic recipe: mix a small amount of plain yogurt into whole wheat flour until a pliable dough forms (adjust if the dough is too runny or crumbly). Roll out the dough, cut with cookie cutters (lots of room for fun here), and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
Try any of the following ideas to add flavor and texture to your homemade pet treats:
- Pumpkin (canned and unsweetened)
- Sweet potato (cooked and mashed)
- Beef or chicken broth (low sodium or homemade)
- Tuna or salmon
- Applesauce (unsweetened)
- Mashed berries
- Peanut butter (all natural and Xylitol-free)
- Grated cheese
Experimenting with different types of flours can also be fun. Flours made from almonds, oats, rice, and chickpeas will make the treats gluten-free, which can be beneficial for pets with sensitive tummies.
Made with Love
Homemade pet treats can be frozen and defrosted as needed, so don’t be afraid to make extras! If your pet is slow to adjust to your creations, have patience and keep trying. For more information on pet nutrition, don’t hesitate to reach out to your team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital.