Treats are a great way to show affection and reinforce good behaviour in your dog.
There are many benefits to making your own at home – they’re cheaper, and you can make sure they’re healthy, too.
Making your own is easier than you think – here are a few recipes you can try at home.
This is a great snack to cool your dog down after a long walk or to keep them busy and entertained when your family sits down to a big meal. Plain, unsweetened yogurt works best and can be easily customised by adding some broken-up kibble or a few tablespoons of peanut butter. Stir in the kibble or peanut butter and then place the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze.
For bigger dogs, try filling a Kong chew toy with yogurt and freezing it. When needed, simply pull it out of the freezer and give it to your furry friend; they can lick and chew to their heart’s content.
Dehydrated sweet potato slices are a much-loved treat by both dogs and owners, but can be expensive as they are often considered premium snacks. With a little effort, you can make a cheaper alternative at home that will do the job just as well.
If you own a food dehydrator you can make them with little fuss, but even if you don’t it’s still possible. Take a large sweet potato and slice it thinly (about 1/3 inch) with a mandolin or sharp knife, then preheat your oven to its lowest setting.
Place the slices on a baking sheet and put them on the top shelf of the oven to cook slowly for several hours. For softer, chewier treats you can leave the slices in the oven for a shorter amount of time, but for dryer and tougher treats – with a longer shelf life – expect them to take upwards of six to eight hours. When finished, turn the oven off and leave them to rest overnight so they can cool and harden.
Simple dog biscuits
Having some biscuits that are easy to store, carry and travel with are also useful and can be made with ingredients you likely already have in the kitchen.
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour (substitute for oats if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp beef or chicken bouillon granules or a stock cube
- ½ cup hot water
Preheat your oven to 175C. Dissolve your bouillon or stock cube in the water and add the remaining ingredients to a bowl, gradually stirring in the water until it forms a dough. Knead the dough together until it forms a ball and roll out to ½ inch thickness. Cut into slices or shapes and place on a baking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes.
Have you ever tried to make your own dog treats?