Baking homemade treats for your dog or cat is an exciting way to show you care
Gobble, gobble! Food-based holidays, like Thanksgiving, are the best holidays. It’s the food. The family. The friends, and especially the leftovers. Everyone in this house, human and canine, lives for holiday leftovers!
But using up all the leftovers is an annual challenge. For example, we can never use all of the turkey meat from our monstrous feast. It’s quite literally “turkey for days,” if you will. No worries! We don’t waste anything; we put it to fair use.
Luckily, there are many ways to turn unseasoned leftovers into delicious dehydrated treats and more! Heck, it doesn’t even need to be “holiday season.” In this blog, we’ll show you what’s healthy, what to avoid, and who is local to help you “treat” your 4-legged pal the best!
Choosing healthy and nutritious ingredients for your cat confections and doggie bakes doesn’t have to be confusing; all you need is some simple knowledge. Then you can navigate through any recipe, make substitutions and customizations.
Pets are a big part of your life and families. They’re playful, loyal, and always know when to cheer you up. Sometimes, pets can sense when you’re down and can cheer you up with a sloppy lick of a super cuddle. Indeed, they’re man’s best friend. Owning a pet is a big responsibility, and choosing natural pet products will ensure the pet’s safety while enhancing their quality of life.
Use the Best Natural Ingredients
Feeding your pet the best natural ingredients will help contribute to their longevity. We have created a quick list of ingredients to choose from:
- “Egg-celent” Breakfast makes dog-safe brekkie options. Eggs are an excellent source of digestible protein enriched with essential vitamins and minerals. Raw eggs run the risk of salmonella, so avoid.
- Green beans, Broccoli, and carrots are nutrients and low-calorie
- Unsalted peanut butter makes a great source of protein. Be sure it is all-natural, xylitol is a sugar substitute that is not safe for dogs to eat.
- Un-seed Apples clean teeth and freshen breath.
- Unsalted, un-buttered, and air-popped popcorn promotes digestion and eye health. Be sure to check the couch cushions for harmful kernels.
- Pumpkin keeps tummies feeling fuller for longer, promotes a shiny coat, and is known as a superfood! Make sure to only use the seeds and flesh of the pumpkin! Read up on other fall favorite flavors for your pup.
- Cheese for non-lactose intolerant pooches provides calcium and protein. Choose low-fat options, like mozzarella or cottage cheese, to keep caloric intake down. Go easy on the cheese for cats as many cannot handle dairy.
- Cooked and unseasoned chicken are for animals who might be lacking protein. “Hen meat” promotes healthy skin and shiny coats. Check the bowl for accidental “bone slips.” Beef, turkey, and other small deli meats may help foster a strong heart, good vision, and a healthy reproductive system. Avoid raw meat.
- Fishy foods contain loads of omega-3 fatty acids, helping keep kitties’ eyes sharp! Canned or cooked fish makes a good treat while helping with arthritis, kidney disease, and other heart disorders. Raw fish is never a good idea. Dogs do not love fish as much as cats.
It’s a good idea to think back to the recipes you used to cook leftovers (or check out the packaging) before starting to cook. We know you love your pet and want the best for them. Choose organic when possible, and consult your vet when necessary. It’s not worth it to take the risk if unsure about an ingredient.
Know Potentially Harmful Ingredients
Some foods and drinks that you think are tasty treats may be harmful to your pet. As tempting as it may be to share your delightful and delicious foods with your four-legged pal, please resist! This list provides some potentially hazardous edible items:
- Alcoholic beverages and foods
- Fatty foods
- Grapes and raises
- Macadamia nuts
- Marijuana (not to be confused with meowjina)
- Medicine for humans and other pets
- Tobacco products
- Xylitol (a sweetener found in sugar-free treats, mouthwash, and toothpaste)
Not all of these foods are toxic. Some items may cause tummy issues, like blockage of the digestive tract if swallowed. For example, consuming corn on the cob or cherry pits may get stuck in your pet’s throat or stomach. We know you love your pet and want the best for them. Choose organic when possible, and consult your vet when necessary. It’s not worth it to take the risk if unsure about an ingredient.
Avoid Non-edible Hazards
While not edible themselves, plastics like potato chip bags and snack bags can be hazardous for your pet. What might seem like a perfect hiding spot can cause suffocation. This might happen if the bag wraps around his nose and mouth. Dogs are more likely to sniff out food bags. But we won’t limit a ‘curious cat’.
Some of the best treat your fur baby will ever have come from your own kitchen! Take a peek into our favorite chef’s recipes:
- How to Make Cranberry Herb Turkey Jerky Dehydrator Dog Treats From Leftovers
- Frozen Blueberry Coconut Oil Dog Treats
Dog-Tired (No Time To Bake)
If your “dog tired” and have no time to bake for a puppy, we recommend these local vendors and pet food store owners.
- Tail Waggins Dog Bakery (Georgetown, TX)
- Natural Paws (Cedar Park, TX)
- Poochie Trends (Cedar Park, TX)
- Olive Green Dog (Cedar Park, TX)
- Hollywood Feed (Round Rock, TX)
- Pupology (Georgetown)
- Woof Gang Bakery (Cedar Park)
Reminder: Limit Treat Intake
Good behavior is a great reason to show your pet a little more love and affection. With the rise of pet obesity, be sure to follow essential pet health and wellness guidelines. A pet treat is a special reward for our pets, but physical activity can do wonders for your pets’ health.
How Many Treats Can I Give My Pet a Day?
Pets shouldn’t get more than 10% of their daily calories from special treats. This includes food you might use for pet medicine or table scraps since these things aren’t designed for a healthy dog or cats’ diet.
Speak to your vet. They can tell you how many calories your pet needs each day, and you can figure out what 10% of that amount is. Check out the recipe or look on the package to see how many calories are in treats.
In the words of Michelle of DTK, “Next, grab your apron, and let’s start baking!”
Remember, giving no treats is fine, too. Dogs and cats do well with other rewards and signs of affections, like playtime and words of praise. And Stick with organic, natural recipes for a more fruitful life. Your pets will thank you! We hope that you found this article inviting and informative.
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Thank you to:
The Modori Family for their information – Top 8 Benefits of Using Natural Pet Products
Dog Treat Kitchen (DTK) is a beautiful, comprehensive resource for making different dog biscuits, including tips and recipes. She reminds you to keep a consensus for what your puppy likes and welcomes adjustments.