Try This

Make Your Own Pet Treats

Here’s a #TryThisThursday tip for our pet lovers…We check for added and unnecessary ingredients in our food, but do we do the same for our furry friends? If not, maybe you should.

These are the ingredients for an unnamed brand of Beef Basted Dog Treats- Wheat Flour, Wheat Bran, Meat & Bone Meal, Animal Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Calcium Carbonate, Rice Starch, Corn Starch, Maltodextrin, Beef Broth, Animal Plasma, Carboxymethylcellulose, Dried Chicken Liver Powder, Potassium Sorbate (to Preserve Freshness), Salt, Natural Flavors, Brewers Yeast, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Cobalt Carbonate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Red 40, Caramel Color, Iron Oxide.

Here are the ingredients in an unnamed brand of cat treats- Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Corn, Animal Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Rice, Dried Meat By-Products, Wheat Flour, Natural Flavors, Corn Gluten Meal, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Dl-Methionine, Vitamins: (Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source Of Vitamin E), Vitamin A Acetate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid Supplement), Minerals: Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide) And Dried Cheese.

I am seeing A LOT of red flags in those ingredients. WHY are there food dyes, preservatives, and animal by-products in our pet’s treats? We think that we are rewarding our pets with them, but we are effectively giving them “treats” that may harm them. Many of these ingredients are allergens, can cause kidney problems, gastrointestinal problems, and other health concerns in pets.

The same thing goes for their food as well. Some foods that are available in stores are really unhealthy. They contain corn fillers, food dyes, corn syrup, MSG, chemical preservatives, natural flavors, vegetable oils, and many other questionable things. Luckily, there are also ones that are generally healthy. Good dog food brands include Nature’s Variety, Natural Balance, Earthborn Holistic, Rachel Ray Nutrish, Nutro Ultra, Addiction Grain-Free, and Whole Earth Farms. Good cat food brands include: Acana Regionals, Farmina N&D, Holistic Health Extension, Merrick, Orijen, and Tiki Cat.

As for treats, it’s super easy to make them yourself!

Dog Treats

• 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour

• 2 eggs

• ½ cup canned pumpkin

•2 tbsp. peanut butter (make sure your peanut butter does NOT contain xylitol- it is deadly to dogs)

• ½ tsp. salt

• ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a ½ inch thick roll. Cut into ½ inch pieces.

3. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.

Cat Treats

• 10 oz. canned salmon (undrained)

• 1 egg

• 2 cups whole wheat flour

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse 10 oz. canned salmon in a food processor or blender and chop and finely as possible.

2. In a stand mixer, or bowl, mix salmon, 1 egg (beaten) and 2 cups of whole what flour until dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add up to 1/3 cup water. If dough is too wet or sticky, add a bit more flour. Dough should be tacky, but not sticky.

3. Roll out dough on a floured surface until about ¼ inch thick. Cut into the shape of your choice to create your treats.

4. Place treats on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, until they are browned and crunchy.

5. Allow to cool before serving. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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Resources:

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/4_9/features/5388-1.html

https://www.petsafe.net/learn/pet-food-the-good-the-bad-and-the-healthy

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