Dog Treats and Biscuits

February 23rd was National Dog Biscuit Day. There are many different types of dog treats out there to give your furry friend. It’s important to know what you are giving your dog as a treat, as some contain large amounts of calories in small packages. Also, dogs that suffer from food allergies can have flare ups if they receive dog treats containing one of the food products they are allergic to.

Dog treats and biscuits can come in a number of forms. Pre-packaged biscuits are the most commonly used treats. They can be made from a variety of ingredients, so be sure to read the labels and nutrition information before freely feeding these treats. Chewier types of treats are typically packaged for dental health. Using these treats can help keep your dog’s teeth tartar-free between dental cleanings. Soft treats are typically more dense, served in smaller portions, and smell stronger. When you find the kind that your dog likes, they are typically seen as higher value and can be used as training rewards.

No matter what type of treat you decide to use, it’s important to remember not to overdo it. The Pet Food Institute recommends feeding less than 10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake in treats. When feeding dogs a balanced diet, you can subtract the amount of treats from their regular diet, meaning you would feed less of their regular food when treats are given. Many table scraps that people commonly give as treats are very dense and fatty, or contain things that a dog’s digestive system can’t process. Cat food and treats contain a high protein and fat content. Unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise, stick to treats formulated for dogs! (It is commonly recommended for diabetic dogs to receive high fiber vegetables like celery and carrots in moderation as treats.) Finally, be sure that dogs get plenty of water and exercise. When dog treats are given during training sessions, they can burn calories during the exercise and play.

Homemade dog treatsMaking delicious, healthy dog treats at home is easier than you think and very rewarding. The key is paying attention to the ingredients you use. Homemade treats using grain-free flour can be fed to dogs with grain sensitivities. The look is up to you; you can roll small amounts of dough into balls and press them down with a fork, or you can roll out the dough flat and use cookie cutters.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

Peanut Butter Pup-Pups

Ingredients:
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup corn meal
1 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
½ cup vegetable oil

*Natural peanut butter is the best to use, where it’s just ground peanuts. If you use conventional peanut butter, be sure it does not contain Xylitol (some sugar-free varieties contain this, and it is toxic to dogs).

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Soften peanut butter in microwave. Add the peanut butter and egg to dry ingredients. Stir well to make a dough.  

Option 1: Pinch off enough dough to roll into a 1-inch diameter ball. Repeat until all dough is used.
Option 2: Roll out onto a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes.

Place biscuits onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned on top.
Store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.


Carob Brownies

While carob looks like chocolate when baked, it is perfectly safe (and yummy) for dogs!

Ingredients:
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup carob powder
2 tablespoons applesauce
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup or molasses
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add applesauce, brown rice syrup/molasses, and water. Use a spoon to mix into a batter. Pour the batter into a greased (or foil-lined) 8×8-inch square baking pan. Use the back of a wet spoon to spread batter evenly to the edges. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is firm. Cut into small squares. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

If baking isn’t for you, come visit our retail store, The Silver Collar Pet Boutique, where we carry all types of dog treats from hypoallergenic to locally made!

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