Snacks and treats are an important part of your interaction with your pet.
We use snacks to reinforce good behaviour and as a reward for tricks.
Any snack or treat given to your dog should be healthy dog food in nature and have some kind of beneficial result such as aiding in cleaning teeth; rawhides and beef jerky specially designed for dogs are a great way to do this.
While people do use table scraps as treats, it is often not recommended as these scraps do not provide the needed dietary benefits.
Purina Beggin? Strips is a popular dog snack on the market and contains healthy ingredients.
Another alternative is to make your own dog treats.
This option is a fun way to interact with your pet and a chance to make something in the kitchen that you would not necessarily make.
Two examples are as follows:
- 1 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp powdered garlic
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- Rind of 1 orange
- 12 tsp butter (don’t use margarine it’s mostly water)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients. Knead until well blended. Divide into 6 parts. Roll each into a log. Wrap loosely in wax paper. Freeze.
When needed, thaw and slice into 1/2 thick slices (across roll).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie pan. Bake about 12 minutes. Makes 6-8 cookies per roll.
- 3 1/2 cups plain flour
- 2 cups Quaker oats
- 1-cup milk
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 beef or chicken bouillon cubes
- 1/2 cup meat drippings (beef, chicken, lamb or turkey)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Pinch ginger
Before you start making this recipe, make sure you check there is no onion in the bouillon cubes. Best to be safe even if it is only a small amount.
Dissolve the cubes in hot water. Add your milk and the meat drippings and beat.
In a separate bowl, mix flour and oatmeal. Then, pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Press onto an ungreased cookie sheet and cut into shapes desired.
Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 hour. Turn off heat and leave in the oven to harden. Refrigerate after baking.
Now, there are many people who will claim that table scraps are deadly to your pet and should not be given as snacks. These people are only partially correct.
While commercial snacks are formulated for the needs of your pet, there is no harm in allowing your dog some table scraps as long as it is not harmful to the dog and is not in excess.
There are human foods that are harmful and deadly to your dog, but most human food is perfectly acceptable for dogs. The trick is research.
Easily digestible foods such as cooked rice or chicken and turkey (boneless) will be fine to feed your dog. Even some fruits and vegetables are well received by dogs, though there are some types to avoid such as grapes and onions.
Table scraps should not be the main source of dietary intake for your dog but as small treats here and there. Harmful table scraps like chocolate and bones can cause extensive harm and even death to your pet.
Digestive problems do occur when dogs eat table scraps that are too rich or that simply do not agree with their stomachs. Be wary of what table scraps you allow your dog to have and never overdo it.
As always, consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions about snacks. Always read the label and follow instructions for store bought brands as this will lead you to the higher quality dog food or treats.
It is also important to remember that these are treats and not intended to act as a stand along meal. Use snacks and treats sparingly as to avoid over feeding.