Home Dogs Natural Dog Treats

Natural Dog Treats Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 18:01

If there is anything my dogs won’t eat I haven’t found it yet. If I eat it they will eat it, and with gusto. And then there are things that I wouldn’t eat, mostly involving the cats, that they consider a gourmet treat. The enthusiasm they show while devouring just about anything in the food category led me to write an article questioning whether they even had taste buds. Turns out they do. So as long as I avoid foods that is bad for them, such as onions, chocolate, grapes, etc., and they like it, I have no problem letting them have it. And I am more comfortable giving them natural food for treats than I am with the processed and packaged stuff the pet food industry offers.
I have had a healthy skepticism about the pet food industry for a long time, and the number of recalls of food and treats in recent years make me even more cautious. The melamine contaminated gluten disaster in 2007 only served to reinforce the belief that the stuff in the bag or can is not all it is said to be. Maybe the worst part, or perhaps the most enlightening, was the disclosure that the foods, from cheap store brands to premium name brands, were all made in the same plant from the same ingredients.
Anyway, I have found that my dogs are just as happy with a piece of fruit or vegetable as they would be with something that came out of a box, and it is probably better for them. Here are a few that we use.

The old standby. Dogs love them and they are good for them. A whole carrot gives them something to chew on and keeps them occupied for awhile. Baby carrots make a quick treat or reward. The chlorine story from last year has been pretty well disproved, unless you choose to believe it. We also cut up big carrots into short pieces 1-2 inches long for a larger, chunkier treat.
Sweet and tasty, dogs love them. Our former home had a large yard with five apple trees in it, and all our dogs (five at the time, along with assorted fosters passing through) loved to munch on the fruit that fell. Huey would pick his own right off the tree. Now we cut them into slices and remove the core before giving a slice as a treat. Apple seeds contain a chemical that is a form of cyanide, and a rumor has it that apple seeds can kill a dog. The amount of this chemical is minute, and a dog would have to eat a lot of seeds to cause any harm. In addition, the seeds have to be broken to release the chemical, and it is likely that they would be swallowed whole and passed harmlessly. Our dogs ate hundreds of apples whole and all lived to a ripe old age.
I can’t eat a banana without two pairs of eyes staring at me expectantly. I have to buy the largest bananas I can find so that I get some too. We cut them in bite size pieces and keep them in the refrigerator so they are available for a quick treat. They don’t last long.
Sweet Potatoes
Tasty and nutritious, dogs love them. The best way to cook them we found is to cut them into round slices, then cut each slice into smaller wedges and put them in boiling water for 4-5 minutes, then chill the pieces in cold water. They should be soft but firm. Peeling is optional; everyone has an opinion about potato skin so the choice is yours. The dogs will like it either way. The pieces can be refrigerated and used as needed.
Broccoli & Cauliflower
We keep this around cut into dipping size pieces for ourselves, along with carrots, celery, cukes, pepper and small tomatoes and a small bowl of salad dressing for a dip. It is great for snacking and the dogs like it as much as we do.
In season this is a great treat. Cantaloupe, watermelon or honeydew cut into bite size pieces will make your dog very happy.
Well that is just a sample of possibilities. There are plenty of other natural, do-it-yourself treats you can come up with. All dogs are different but they all like to eat.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 January 2014 18:15