Virtually every dog owner in the country will give their dog treats from time to time, either as part of incentivising training, as a reward, or simply because your dog likes them! You may have wondered why your dog will often seem to be much more interested in the treats jar than they are in their regular food, and the reason for this is quite simple; treats are designed just as that; a treat, rather than being designed to make up the bulk of their diet.
This means that treats are not something that they always have or get used to, and also, because they are designed to be highly appealing to dogs by means of flavours, aromas and textures, often managed by being high in sugars, flavourings and fat.
If you’re starting to feel like you’re shelling out all of your spare cash on keeping your dog in treats, or if you worry what is in the treats or how good they are for your dog, you might want to consider making your own dog treats at home, where you can carefully control what goes into them and how they are prepared. This is by no means as complicated as it might first sound, and most dog treat recipes contain just three or four common ingredients that you may well have in your cupboard anyway.
There are literally thousands of dog treat recipes on the internet, and this selection of four is a good place to start; if you are still not convinced, check out this list of six good reasons for making your own dog treats at home. Read on to learn more!
The vast majority of commercial dog treats of all types contain a relatively long ingredient listing, and unless you are an expert in canine nutrition, you may not even be able to interpret exactly what all of them are!
When you make your own treats at home, you can decide exactly what goes into them and in what quantities, and because you can make them in fresh batches and freeze them for later use, you can leave out the preservatives, colourings and other artificial ingredients that go into most commercial offerings.
Not all dog treats on sale will show you how many calories are in each treat, and guidance on how many treats per day to feed can be unreliable, as it does not take into account different sizes of dog, and their general condition.
The calorie count of all of the ingredients that you use for your treats should be clearly indicated on the packaging, and then all you need to do is perform some basic maths to work out how many calories go into your batch, and into each individual treat.
Many dogs are finicky about both their food and treats, and making your own at home means that you can try out a whole range of different options, by making up a large batch of a basic dog treat recipe and then dividing it into smaller batches and adding a range of ingredients to each.
This will allow you to offer your dog a taster menu, so that you can see which they prefer before you make up a large batch!
You can also make substitutions to raise or lower the calorie count of each treat as well.
You should be able to prepare and cook a batch of dog treats in less than half an hour, and the cost of doing so will be measurable in pennies rather than pounds! If you have the time to spare and enjoy cooking, making up your own treats at home can save you a lot of money in the long run!
Need to get a wormer into your dog or give them regular medications and find yourself running into resistance? Add the medicine into a delicious treat recipe that you know your dog will wolf down! Most dogs will not notice the pill at all, but if your dog is wise to your tricks, slip the pilled treat into a collection of others, and hopefully the first bite will encourage your dog to wolf down the rest without suspicion!
You can also add a range of supplements such as chamomile or omega-three oils to your treats, if your vet agrees that this is a good idea.
Dogs that have sensitivities to flavourings, preservatives or individual ingredients in food and treats are often left out when it comes to rewards, as there are very few treat manufacturers that cater for them.
However, you can make treats at home specifically to suit your dog, sticking with basic ingredients or special offerings, such as gluten-free flour for dogs that cannot tolerate gluten.