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We all love a treat every now and again, and our dogs are no different. There are a variety of tasty treats out there to choose from, but some of these pet foods aren’t always the healthiest choices, especially when they’re not eaten in moderation. Potential issues such as weight gain and dental disease can arise due to some canine snacks being high in sugar and additives.
So, how can you make sure that your furry friend is eating snacks made of healthy ingredients? One way is to have a go at making your own! There are plenty of easy-to-make recipes, so we’ve rounded up our favourites below, which you can make from the comfort of your own home.
During the summer months, both kids and adults alike love to cool down with a tub of delicious ice cream. Now your four-legged friend can enjoy a frozen treat too! Dogs can’t eat ice cream for humans as the sugar content is too high, but there are many recipes that are safe and scrumptious for you pooch. One recipe which will refresh them during hot weather is strawberry and banana ice cream, made using natural ingredients. Strawberries can even help to whiten your dog’s teeth too!
• 10 fresh strawberries – don’t use canned or strawberries in syrup• 1 banana • 1 cup of natural, plain yogurt (no sweetener or flavour)
• Mash the strawberries into very small pieces • Add in the banana and mash together• Stir in the yoghurt, thoroughly mixing all the ingredients together • Pour the mixture into a freezer-friendly container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours – preferably overnight (this will keep for up to 8 weeks)
Video sourced from Gemma Stafford
For many of us, peanut butter and banana is a match made in heaven, and it turns out some dogs love it too. As well as being extremely delicious, this dog-friendly version is also a secret breath-freshener, thanks to the addition of parsley. When buying peanut butter for your pooch, make sure it doesn’t contain the sweetener xylitol, as this can be toxic to dogs. Most peanut butter doesn’t include it, but it’s important to check the label beforehand just in case.
• 1 cup of oat flour• 1 banana• 2/3 cup rolled oats• 2/3 cup dried parsley • 3 tablespoons peanut butter• 1 beaten egg - cooked eggs are fine for dogs, but raw egg whites can cause a biotin deficiency
• Preheat oven to 150°c • Mash banana thoroughly in a bowl, and add the oat flour, rolled oats, parsley, peanut butter and egg. Stir well • Set aside for 5 minutes, then roll the mixture into 24 balls• Place the balls onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and use the back of a spoon or the heel of your hand, to press each ball into a coin shape• Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown, and set aside to cool
Sweet potatoes have many health benefits for humans, and they’re also great for dogs. They’re packed full of amino acids, helping to maintain healthy and strong muscles. They’re also really high in fibre, meaning they’re fantastic for the digestive system. These DIY sweet potato chew sticks are healthy, and will keep you pooch entertained for hours.
• One large sweet potato• Natural hemp rope
• Wash the sweet potato thoroughly• Slice it into 1cm-thick round pieces • Remove the centre of each slice, making sure the hole is wide enough for the rope to fit through. A top tip is to use an apple corer or cookie cutter• Bake at 100°c for about 5 hours (if you have a dehydrator, dehydrate over night at 80°c)• Tie a knot at the end of the rope and put the sweet potato rings onto the string. Finish by tying a knot at the other end
Video sourced from Elmo’s Kitchen
If your pooch is a fussy eater and doesn’t like to try new things, you can easily make a basic dog biscuit at home. This way, you can include your dog’s favourite ingredients whilst also making sure they’re healthier than many shop-bought treats. You can even buy bone-shaped moulds, so your dog won’t even know the difference! One of the best things about this recipe is that you’ll probably have the majority of the ingredients hiding away in your cupboards already.
• 650g of wheat flour – you can use white flour or oats if your dog is sensitive to wheat• 1 egg• 1 teaspoon of beef or vegetable gravy granules• 120ml hot water• Optional: cheese and bacon in moderation
• Preheat oven to 180°c• Dissolve gravy granules in the hot water, then pour this into a mixing bowl• Add the flour, egg, and any of the other optional ingredients, and mix well • Knead the dough until it forms a ball, then roll it out until it’s about 0.5 inches thick• Cut into slices, or use your shaped mould, to make your chosen shaped biscuits, then place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper• Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden, then leave to cool before your dog can enjoy them
Before making any tasty treats for your four-legged friend, consider any allergies or dislikes that they may have. Food allergies and intolerances are quite common, and can make feeding your dog very expensive when you’re discovering what they’re allergic to. If you’re considering making your own treats, always check you’re using dog-friendly ingredients, as some foods can be toxic to pets. Here's a useful link that gives you a summary of many toxic items and foods that’re dangerous for your pet to digest. If you take out pet insurance, you’ll be covered when it comes to vet fees should your pet come across any allergies. Here at Asda Money we have a range of pet insurance cover types available. Find out more about Asda Money Pet Insurance provided by Legal & General here.
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