Cooking for your dog: Healthy treats and snacks

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I think we can agree that most dogs love when you give them treats. They may stare at you with those sad puppy dog eyes when you’re eating a bowl of ice cream or a cheeseburger, but it’s usually best not to share table scraps with your dog. What you can do is have some healthy homemade treats on hand to give them. These treats are easy to make, affordable, and nutritious. Plus, cooking for your dog is a great way to show them some extra love.

Doggie pancakes

These pancakes are full of healthy fiber, protein, and tasty peanut butter. They’re also super quick and easy to make. Simply throw a banana into your blender with 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of oats, and a tablespoon of ground flax. Blend until smooth and cook like regular pancakes. You can also add a handful of blueberries which are full of antioxidants. I like to use natural peanut butter with no sweetener since dogs don’t need the added sugar.

Bone broth

Bone broth is easy to make and has many health benefits for your dog. It’s a good supplement to pour over your dog’s food. I make large batches at once and freeze it so I have enough for a few weeks. I use a simple recipe to make bone broth. This broth will thicken once cooled and have a gelatin-like texture. When making bone broth you can use beef marrow bones, chicken feet, or other bones with lots of joints. This broth is best made in a slow cooker because it needs to cook overnight. Add the bones to your pot, fill with water, and add around 4-5 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar. Cook on low for at least 24 hours. Strain out the bones and allow the broth to cool. Once the broth has cooled, you can put it into jars for freezing.

Parsley and turmeric pupsicles

Not only are these frozen treats nutritious, but they’re also cheap and easy to make. Yes, they sound gross and they look like they’re made from pond water, but they are full of nutrients. To make these pupsicles, simply wash a bunch of parsley and add it to a large stockpot. Fill the pot nearly to the top with water and cook for 45-60 minutes on medium heat. Towards the end of cooking, stir in 2-3 teaspoons of turmeric. Let the mixture cool and then blend it until smooth. You can remove larger stems if needed. I freeze these in ice cube trays but they can also be frozen in silicone molds.

Nutritious dog biscuits

Pumpkin is super healthy for dogs. It contains a lot of fiber and helps with digestion. Some dogs will eat plain canned pumpkin. I give our dogs a spoonful on top of their dog food on most days. But if your dog prefers baked treats, try these pumpkin dog biscuits. Mix 4 cups of oats, 1 egg, and 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree(be sure not to use pumpkin pie filling.) Mixing in a blender works best as it grinds the oats as it blends. You can roll these into balls or roll them out onto a floured surface and cut with a cookie cutter. Bake these treats at 400 degrees for around 10-13 minutes.

Cooking for your dog and making special treats gives you the chance to supplement your dog’s diet. When making treats for your dog, be sure to introduce new foods slowly in case your dog is sensitive to the ingredients. Avoid giving your dog xylitol since it’s highly toxic to dogs as are some other common foods. You can use these treats and snacks as a way to bond with your dog while adding nutrients to their diet. These foods are easy to make and are all very affordable, especially when compared to commercial dog treats.

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