Not too long ago, a stick of crispy, greasy bacon or a piece of sugary biscuit was enough to keep dogs—and their humans—happy.
But if you’re like most dog owners today, you’ve now become aware and informed about the importance of carefully chosen meals to make sure that they are both doggie- and vet-approved. When it comes to dog food, the demand for options that are both yummy and healthy is higher now more than ever.
That’s why dog owners are now looking into incorporating more homemade dog treats into the diet of their furry friends. The following reasons make homemade a better option than most store-bought, additives-driven treats in the market today:
– Many homemade dog treats can be made with household ingredients you most likely have in your pantry right now.
– Since you’re making them yourself, you can easily adjust the flavors, size and presentation according to your pet’s specific preferences.
– When you make homemade treats, you can be as choosy as you want with the ingredients. With the right recipe, you can make nutrient-rich treats without the saturated fats typically found in store-bought dog food.
– Just like when you eat home-cooked meals or bring a packed lunch with you instead of dining out, homemade dog food allows you to save money without scrimping on the quality and quantity.
Another reason to go for homemade treats for your dog? You can find so many recipes and ideas online shared by pet nutrition experts, chefs, cooks and health-conscious pet owners. The classic dog biscuit is still a crowd-pleaser. Martha Stewart’s recipe for apple cheddar dog biscuits can be your dog’s treat while you have your wine and cheese. Or you can try the cinnamon bun bites recipe from Babble (made healthier with whole wheat flour).
Keep in mind, however, that homemade doesn’t automatically amount to healthier. Make sure to reap the most benefits of going the homemade/DIY route with the following considerations:
– Look for healthier ingredient substitutes. For instance, if you’re making biscuits but you chose it to flavor it with lots of bacon fat, then it might compromise the health of your pups, make them obese or put them at risk of heart disease.
– Introduce your dog to new food items carefully. Just like humans, dogs can be allergic even to whole, unprocessed food. If you’re making your dog try out a new ingredient, give him only a small amount to test his reaction.
– Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to raw food. There’s a long-brewing debate on whether or not raw food, such as raw bones from the butcher, are good for dogs. If you’re unsure about your position or don’t have facts to prove your position, better go for cooked, traditionally prepared treats in the meantime.
– Check for nutrient requirements. Ask your vet for recommendations, such as the addition of calcium tablets to the recipe, that will boost the nutrition levels of the treats you make.