September 29, 2010
Is your dog tired of the same old treats? Do you want to give him or her something special to commemorate a birthday, celebrate an obedience class graduation or just to make them smile? If so, then try out some of these yummy homemade dog treats!
In this installment of Dog Tails’ Dog Treats, we have collected the best recipes from some of our favorite dog blog and websites. From Martha Stewart’s beautiful hand-molded paw cookies to treats with healthy fall ingredients like pumpkin, we’ve got enough to keep you pup’s tail waggin’ till winter.
Snickerpoodles, from Beautiful Life Photography
These irresistible cookies, made with simple and inexpensive ingredients like oatmeal, cinnamon and applesauce, proved to be a big treat not only for this family’s dog, but also for the kids! As you can see in the stunning photos that accompany this recipe, everyone pitched in to help. Plus, you can mold these cookies into whatever shape you want. Dog bones, stars, paws, squirrels – the possibilities are endless!
For the complete recipe, click here.
Paw Print Dog Treats, from Martha Stewart
The design diva, and avowed animal lover, included this adorable dog treat recipe in her popular magazine’s March 2010 issue. As to be expected, it is slightly more complicated than the previous recipe, but still simple enough for the kids to help out with measuring and mixing.
The best part of the recipe is the signature “Paw Print.” Once the round treats are cut out and placed on the baking sheet, the next step is to press your thumb in the middle of the circle and your pinkie finger around that thumb print, creating a paw-shaped imprint. Adorable! Add in the coating of low-sodium chicken broth (a dog favorite) and you’ve got a perfectly irresistible treat.
For the complete recipe, click here.
September 9, 2010
You’ve seen the face. You know, the one that only appears when you’re standing at the kitchen counter preparing a meal, or eating at the dinner table, or just having a snack on the couch. The look says, “Can I have some? Please? I’ve been good today. Just a little piece, please?”
Pet owners have strong opinions about people food for dogs. Some forbid it, while others treat it as the dog’s regular, hard-earned dessert. A third group keeps treats out of the kitchen and dining area to discourage begging, but occasionally uses people food for treats and training.
No matter what group you fall into, it is important to know what foods are harmful for dogs, and which foods are healthy additions to their diet. (In moderation, of course.) DogTails’ new food series, Dog Treats, tackles this issue today. Check out our list, and keep an eye out at home, as food-loving dogs often find both equally appetizing.
Yogurt is a cool, tasty treat most dogs love. Stick to plain, unsweetened yogurt, as the flavored varieties often include too much sugar or artificial sweeteners – both of which are not good for dogs. Some experts even cite plain yogurt as a source of healthy bacteria that helps dogs regulate their digestive systems. Like humans, certain dogs will have a negative reaction to dairy, so keep the serving size small, especially when it is first introduced.
Sweet Potatoes are healthy vegetables that are often used as ingredients in pet foods. You can serve them cooked or slice and dehydrate them to make yummy chewy treats. Modern Dog magazine highlights this food as a great source of fiber and select vitamins. Similarly, squash and pumpkin are also healthy veggie treats for dogs.
On the carnivore’s side, Lean Meats are a great source of protein for dogs. When feeding dogs fresh lean meats like chicken, beef and pork, you will want to make sure that: 1) the meat is well-cooked, 2) the fat has been trimmed, and 3) there are no seasonings. Certain herbs and spices (see below) are hazardous to your dog’s health and should be avoided.
Chicken Broth can help make your dog’s dry food more palatable. If you’re going with the store-bought variety, make sure you pick up the low-sodium option. Regular canned broth contains too much salt for dogs, and could cause excessive thirst or an even more serious reaction.
We recommend giving people food to dogs only in moderation, and always paying careful attention to the dog’s behavior and health when introducing a new treat. If you have any questions at all regarding appropriate food choices, contact your veterinarian.
On the flip side, we have foods that dogs should avoid eating. Grapes can harm a dog’s kidneys, and should be avoided, along with raisins and wine.
Chocolate is a well-known toxin for dogs. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which can negatively affect a dog’s heart and nervous system. Baking chocolate contains the highest level of these compounds, and as a result it is the most dangerous to dogs if consumed.
Alcohol is also extremely dangerous for dogs. It can cause symptoms ranging from nausea to difficulty breathing to coma.
As mentioned above, certain herbs and spices should also be avoided. These include garlic, chives, onions and mustard seeds.
Finally, candy is also off-limits. These products often contain excess sugar and in some cases, harmful artificial sweeteners like Xylitol. So remember, with Halloween just around the corner, steer your dog away from the candy baskets!
We invite you to share your dog-friendly recipes here, or on our Facebook page.
Photo by Andrew Vargas via Flickr. Photo is cropped.