Most store bought treats are eagerly gobbled up by your dog. That’s because most of them are the equivalent of human junk food. Full of salt, artificial preservatives, colours, flavours and chemicals that quite frankly shouldn’t be consumed.
So while your dog may love them, they aren’t the best for their health. Then there’s all the recalls. With so many treats being recalled for health concerns, it can be scary to buy treats. After all, you don’t want to buy something that will make your dog sick and many brands are very secretive about the sources of their ingredients.
So what’s an owner to do who wants to treat their dog to a safe and healthy treat?
The answer is in your refrigerator!
There are many fresh foods that dogs love and, since it is “human food,” your dog feels like they are getting an extra special treat. Since you are buying the food, you know exactly what’s in it and where the ingredients were sourced – no worrying about recalls! In addition, if your dog has allergies, this is an easy way to make sure you avoid the foods he can’t have.
Let’s start with fruits and veggies! Dogs are not obligate carnivores. Fruits and vegetables are part of a dog’s natural diet and they make quick and easy treats.
Here are a few dog-safe fruits and vegetables that require little or no prep work.
Apple (be sure to avoid the core and seeds)
All of these can be fed fresh, frozen or canned – unless noted.
There are some other really great options – like sweet potato, pumpkin, and quinoa. Since they are not easy to give as a treat, here are a couple simple ways to make treats with these yummy foods:
Dehydrate. A Dehydrator will more than pay for itself in time. With it, you can dehydrate pumpkin, sweet potato and even proteins like beef and lamb.
You can also cut up raw sweet potato or pumpkin into chunks, cook and then freeze for an easy-to-serve treat.
Quinoa balls. Cook up some quinoa. Take cooked sweet potato or pumpkin and scoop out in small, tablespoon-sized balls. Roll in quinoa to coat. Freeze. These make great frozen treats for a hot summer day.
Along with dehydrating meats, you can of course slice them up and cook them for another easy treat that your dog will love. (Serve cooled)
Just remember all of these treats are fresh and all natural, without any preservatives so you need to keep them refrigerated and use up quickly (or freeze).
Finally, for training especially, your dog’s food can be a treat! For most dogs, food is one of the best things on Earth so it can easily be a treat for them. If you feed a high quality kibble then there is no reason why it can’t be a healthy training treat too! This way, you can use your dog’s meal for training, which can help make sure your dog doesn’t gain weight if you are training a lot.
Remember, treats should only make up 10 percent of your dogs, diet, so using kibble is a good way to keep this ratio in balance. Stay Loyal Grain-Free Formula has many of the fruits, vegetables and proteins listed above, has no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives and is made in Australia. You can find out more about our grain-free food by clicking this link.