Why You Need to be Making Your Own Puppy Treats
The dog treat aisle at your local supermarket is now full of all kinds of delicious puppy treats.
And as a nation of dog lovers – Americans love 77.8 million of those rascals – it’s tempting to buy them all the treats they could ever want. It’s what we do for the people – we, mean dogs – we love.
But while these packages may look like they offer mouthwatering morsels for your pooch, dog treats aren’t always dog-friendly.
Dog owners want nothing but the best for their best pals. That’s why you need to make your own dog treats.
Keep reading to find out why homemade snacks are the best option and how easy they are to make.
Why You Should Ditch Storebought Puppy Treats
They’ve got the cute marketing campaigns, attractive packages, and there’s no assembly required. Buying puppy treats seems like the best option for your dog.
But just as human treats tend to be chock full of suspect ingredients, dog treats can be equally as sketchy.
Back in 2007, dog lovers were aghast as they watched their beloved pets suffer from kidney disease at unprecedented rates.
Because they fed them treats made with imported Chinese ingredients. Once recalled, companies found that the ingredients they’d used in the puppy treats were full of contaminants like melamine.
The result was a high protein content that put stress on dogs’ kidneys.
When all was said and done, over 5,300 products were affected by the contaminated products and many were sold by pet food companies you know and love.
Dogs suffered and their owners cried – and it was all due to cheap filler ingredients.
Unfortunately, the 2007 scare wasn’t the only time dodgy ingredients plagued pets.
Since then, there have been issues of salmonella contamination, toxic mold aflatoxin, and banned antibiotics showing up in dog treats. Because of the nature of dog food manufacturing, these cases reach dogs across the country.
Avoiding Chinese Ingredients
The bulk of the problem seems to stem from ingredients sourced from China. Meat products are particularly suspect and treats or food containing chicken are the source of most complaints.
Here’s the problem: It’s hard to tell where the ingredients in puppy treats come from. Even if a product is “Made in the USA”, they may be buying ingredients from abroad.
Because of this, there’s only one completely safe alternative – making your own puppy treats.
Why You Should Make Your Own Puppy Treats
Making your own puppy treats give you the option to control what your pet eats. It means stopping him from unwittingly eating something you would never eat yourself.
Homemade snacks also offer benefits for dogs who suffer from food allergies and intolerances. If your dog has high cholesterol, heart problems, or is a little bit too fluffy, homemade treats provide an option for a healthier snack.
Making Puppy Snacks Is Easy
If you’ve avoided homemade treats because you were worried about finding special ingredients or processes, then worry no more.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of treat recipes available on the internet. Almost all of them include an ingredients list filled with items you already have in your cupboard.
Here are some of the most common ingredients found in homemade snacks:
- Flour (wheat)
- Almond or nut milk
- Peanut butter
These ingredients are easy to buy and store. Plus, you can often find organic versions in the supermarket for an extra layer of protection.
Many human ingredients are safe for dogs, but there are some human foods your dog treats should never include.
Never Use These Ingredients in Puppy Treats
The following ingredients should never be added to dog treats:
- May results in a coma or even death
- Any pits or seeds
- Apple, apricot, peach, plum, or any other pits or seeds feature cyanide
- The chemical compound Persin, found in avocados, can cause constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and even pancreatitis
- Unbaked yeast dough
- Caffeine causes fast pulse, high blood pressure, seizures, tremors and may be fatal
- May cause anemia
- Methylxanthine is poisonous to dogs
- Cooked bones
- Choking hazards
- Raw Fish
- Exposure to bacteria may result in fatalities
- Contains toxins damaging liver and kidney failure
- Large amounts of vitamin A impacts bone growth and causes weight loss
- Macadamia nuts or nut butters
- May cause distress, fever, weakness, tremors, and rapid heart rate
- May cause anemia
- Leads to insulin overproduction and kidney failure
Take extra care to avoid adding these ingredients to anything your dog eats.
Most pet owners know they aren’t in complete control of what their pets eat. Two minutes alone near the garbage bin is enough to create a health emergency.
These emergencies are exactly what pet insurance is good for.
If you suspect your dog has eaten one of these foods, take them to the vet immediately to avoid further complications.
Finding the Right Treats for Your Dog
If you switch your dog’s food, you keep an eye on him to make sure it doesn’t make him sick.
You’ll need to do the same when you start making their own treats. Although homemade snacks are safer than many of the products available in stores, not all dogs tolerate the same ingredients humans do.
Pay attention to how they react to the treats you introduce. Look out for these potential changes:
- Recurrent skin infections
- Recurrent ear infections
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Increased itching
- Increased licking
If these symptoms come on in the weeks after you change their diet, they may be diet related.
Notice these symptoms in your pet?
Visit your vet for a clearer picture of your dog’s health and how to help them get a balanced diet.
Start Baking Treats Today
You can’t trust the ingredients found in commercially available pet treats. There’s too much at stake to worry about all the ingredients that could harm your dog.
Making your own dog treats isn’t just safer – it’s easier, cheaper, and they’re often healthier, too.
Your pup would do anything for you. Helping them achieve a balanced diet for a healthier life is the least you can do in return.
Want to find other ways to help your dog live a happier and healthier life? Read more here.