We love our dogs, don’t we? That’s why we pet them, cuddle them, and give them lots of treats… And there is nothing wrong with treats! But have you ever read the list of ingredients on your dog’s favorite dog treats?
Let’s look at the popular “Pup-Peroni” by Delmonte. Made to look like pepperoni, they consist of:
beef, meat by-products, soy grits, sugar, liver, salt, propylene glycol, garlic powder, caramel color, natural smoke flavor, potassium sorbate, sodium nitrite, Red 40, BHA, onion extract.
Now we will look closer at the ingredients:
Meat by-products: these are whatever is left of an animal after the meat has been cut away. This includes offal, bones, fatty tissue, skin… it brings protein into the pet food but this protein is the lowest quality. Basically it is a smart way of pet food companies to make money with waste.
Sugar: never good in excess and unnecessary too. The dog does not care about sugar. The dog’s body though has to metabolize it and just as in humans excess sugar can contribute to diabetes.
Propylene gylcol: mainly used as the acting ingredient in antifreeze and also to make polyester, propylene glycol is generally considered to be safe, however, concerns about its toxicity are raised frequently. I could not find support for the claim that low doses are toxic, but I included it as it is, after all, a chemical compound.
Garlic powder, onion extract: onions and garlic contain aliphatic sulphides which can cause a disorder called Heinz body anemia – your dog’s blood cells are damaged and burst. Some websites about natural pet care claim it is safe for dogs and cats to consume garlic, but science tells us differently, even small amounts cause damage, especially when these small amounts are administered over a period of time. There is no reason whatsoever why garlic and onion have to be ingredients in this treat.
Red 40: This food dye came under critique after research showed a link between the consumption of Red 40 dyed foods and hyperactivity in children. It also causes tumors in mice and might be a carcinogen in humans. Dogs can’t even distinguish red and green colors from other colors – why dye a treat? Well, it sells better to the pet owner as it creates the pepperoni color that the Pup-Peroni tries to imitate.
BHA: used as a preservative, it is listed as a carcinogen.
You see, there is no reason for and many reasons against “treating” our dogs to store-bought treats with ingredients like this.
Luckily, there is an easy, quick, low calorie and healthy alternative!
They are a big hit in our house, whenever I make them the dogs wait eagerly for their share!
This is all you need to make about 50 treats:
All-natural healthy homemade dog treats
- 3 cups oats
- 1 can pumpkin puree
- 6 oz peanut butter (no added sugar)
- 2 eggs
Combine all the ingredients except the oats in a large bowl.
Now slowly add the oats. The mixture should be easy to roll into balls, if it is too sticky add a tad more oats.
With your hands roll the dough into balls. You can easily adjust the size accordingly to the size of your dog. We have a German Shepherd/Husky mix and a Shar Pei, so I made balls the size of walnuts. If you have a smaller or a very large dog, just make them smaller or bigger.
Bake them at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes, depending on their size.
Let cool, then make your dog happy with a tasty treat!
They keep very well in the fridge for two weeks and can also be frozen. I store them in a container with a lid or a one gallon mason jar.
They’re also perfect for chubby dogs and dogs on medication- our big dog is both by the way…
Why for chubby dogs?
They are all-natural, sugar-free and low calorie while providing a real dense bite for your pup – no swallowing whole and immediately wanting another one because Mr. Dog barely tasted anything.
Why for dogs on medication?
If you never encountered the hassle of giving a pill to your dog- lucky you. They eat e-ve-ry-thing they shouldn’t eat but pills? Nuh-uh, no chance. Our dog Shiloh, who needs a supplement for his joints as well as a NSAID for his arthritis, eats whatever we put the pill in (slices of lunch meat or cheese, peanut butter…) and spits out the pill. With these treats however he seems to not even taste the medication. We simply press the pill into a treat and he will happily eat it.
Happy dog – happy owner!
And if our dogs could dance they’d go all crazy to the Song of the Day Queen – Don’t stop me now