What can be better than a gift of Homemade Pet Treats
for the Furbabies in our Lives?
It’s that time of year again. Cooling weather and thoughts of gathering with the ones we love to celebrate the upcoming holidays. Homemade gifts are both thoughtful and fun to do on a cold winter’s day. Not sure what to make for your friends and family? Do they have pets? A gift idea and maybe even a great family tradition might be baking treats for Fiddo and KitCat. Learn what ingredients are healthy and find a few recipes to try out. We also included healthy information on what to avoid to keep them safe and healthy. If you are not a baker, do not worry, we also included local shops and artisan farmer market links to help fill the 4-legged critters stocking for the holiday!
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, and make substitutions and customizations. Pets are a big part of your life and family. 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 or a super cuddle. Indeed, they’re man’s best friends. 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 them.
- 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. A quick tip: All natural peanut butter will separate in the jar and need to be stirred.
- Un-seed Apples clean their teeth and freshen their 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. With cats, it’s best to avoid dairy altogether. Many cats are lactose intolerant and can’t process 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 taking 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, raisins, and currants
- Macadamia nuts
- Marijuana (not to be confused with meowjina)
- Medicine for humans and other pets
- Onions (alliums. Scallion, shallot, leek, and chives)
- Tobacco products
- Xylitol (a sweetener found in sugar-free treats, mouthwash, and toothpaste)
- Potatoes (cooked, soft sweet potatoes are very good for your dog though)
- Citrus oil
- Any fruit pits. (cherries, peaches, etc.)
- Green tomatoes
- Spinach in excess
- Black walnuts
- Mustard, mustard seeds
- Coconut flesh and water (avoid in your cat’s diet)
Not all of these foods are toxic. Some items may cause tummy issues, like blockage of the digestive tract if swallowed. 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, 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 treats your fur baby will ever have come from your own kitchen! Take a peek into our favorite chef’s recipes: For Dogs:
- 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 owner’s.
- Tail Waggins Dog Bakery (Georgetown, TX)
- Natural Paws (Cedar Park, TX)
- Hollywood Feed (Round Rock, TX)
- Pupology (Georgetown)
- Woof Gang Bakery (Cedar Park)
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 cat’s 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 at the package to see how many calories are in the 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 affection, 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
Also: 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 on what your puppy likes and welcomes adjustments. We promised a recipe or two. Give these quick homemade treats a try. You can take a look at the list of best natural ingredients above for substitutions.
Tasty Dog Treats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup peanut butter natural, NO Xylitol or sugar substitutes
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (all-purpose can be used instead)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, and peanut butter. Stir until combined.
- Add in flour, stirring just until combined.
- Lightly flour a flat surface and roll out dough to one-quarter inch.
- Cut shapes out of dough and place them on a prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 to 40 minutes – depending on the desired level of crunchiness.
- Remove treats from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
Tasty Cat Treats
- food processor
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- 2 cans of tuna (not drained)
- 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sea meal mineral powder
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Put all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, and process until the whole thing is a fine-grained mash.
- Drop by 1/4 teaspoonful onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press slightly with a finger, to make a firm little disc.
- Bake for 12 minutes, until treats are getting golden brown. With a wide spatula, turn treats, and return to the oven for another 3-5 minutes, until this side is brown too. (This step is really just so that both sides will brown up nicely. You can skip this and just cook all on one side for about 15-16 minutes until treats are fairly brown at edges and golden in centers, and they’ll be fine)
- Cool thoroughly, and store in an air-tight container. While these stay very dry, crisp, and stable for a remarkably long time at room temperature, I try to use them up within about 2 weeks or refrigerate if storing longer.
At Wilco Wellness, we believe that health is a state of physical, mental, and social well-being. It infuses positive energy into the body, mind, and spirit. The best journey is living to support a complete state of harmony.
Thank you for reading our blog on Treat Them Well- Home Treats for your Pet. Share the treats you baked on our Instagram site and we will be sure to tag you back. If you have a great recipe of your own please share it with us on our Facebook site! Have a wonderfur Holiday and see you on the trail soon.