Some time not so long ago, horrible news broke out about dog treats from China killing dogs. It became such a problem that Petco, one of the major pet supply stores in the U.S. pulled anything on their shelf that came from China.
I've got two dogs. They are my family. I would be devastated if this happened to them, or any of the dogs in families I know for that matter.
But, luckily, I make all my dogs treats, and it's incredibly easy so I'm going to share the secret:
Use dehydrated vegetables.
Yep. That's it.
No blending, chopping, mixing, following recipes, or dirtying dishes!
There are certain vegetables or fruits you want to avoid. But instead of getting a "sweet potato flavored" treat, why not give your pup a dehydrated, nutrient rich actual piece of sweet potato?
Here's how I do it:
I have a small dehydrator that I got for free when someone got a new one, and honestly, I think they're like $15 new. Very easy to operate. Plug it in, and go. No temperature controls, or time keeping abilities. That makes it perfect for things like this.
Whenever I'm cooking (which is daily) I always save the scraps of fruits or vegetables to do one of two things with (or sometimes both).
1) I make vegetable stock with the butt ends, and shavings of the vegetables
2) I make dog treats
Sometimes I do both. I'll boil the vegetables, and give them to the dogs with their dinner, or dehydrate them for later. Of course, the boiling does destroy some of the nutrients, but so would baking, and the store bought ones are definitely void of nutrients, so I don't feel like this is a problem. If I'm running low on time, I will put the shavings in a jar in the freezer until I can come back to it. But most of the time, I put a pot on low, on a back burner and instead of scraping the vegetables into the compost pale, I'll put them in the pot.
Sometimes, I will blend them to make a paste, and then dehydrate it into actual cookies for the dogs. This is great with sweet potato peelings and added herbs like parsley for fresh breath. Add a little water, blend, and lay onto a sheet of parchment paper in your dehydrator.
Since my dehydrator is super basic and has no temperature controls, I usually just do it for 18 to 24hrs. I touch them to see if they're dry and then store them in their normal treat jar.
For a wonderful Vegan friendly bone for your dog, try this:
Whenever you are cooking with broccoli, take the long stem that we all throw in the compost, boil or steam it on the back burner, just until tender, leaving the inside nice and crunchy. Let it cool. Give it to your dog. The crunchy part is great for them, and the nutrients too! And they usually eat every piece so there's no mess afterwards.
You may be asking if I compost anything since I use all my veggie scraps and the answer is yes! I still have plenty to feed my compost including things my dogs can't have (i.e. onions) and leftover bits of prepared food.
Make sure you research which foods you can give your dogs and which foods you can't. I have read conflicting arguments regarding some items, so I will live that due diligence up to you.
Thanks for reading!
Do you you have any healthy dog treats you like to make for your fuzzy family?