It’s all about healthy eating these days – and not just for us, but for our dogs, too. Even treats should have as few additives as possible, and sugar or too much salt are never a good idea – the sad fact is that many mass produced dog treats are really not very healthy at all. Much like ours, the best treats for dogs are as natural as possible – and sales of all-natural or organic dog treats are rising all the time, but they’re not cheap, so why not have a go at making your own? It doesn’t need to be difficult or overly complicated, and you can experiment if you remember to avoid those foods that can be harmful to your dog: chocolate, onion, grapes and raisins for example.
Recipes your dog will enjoy
- No-bake pumpkin treats – what could be more autumnal than pumpkin? When you’ve scraped out the pumpkin flesh from your lantern, don’t throw it away, purée or blend it and mix it with a little water and about three times its weight in rolled or porridge oats. Thoroughly mix by hand and divide into balls (size to depend upon your dog). Coat these balls with oats and place in the refrigerator overnight to set the purée. Delicious!
- Apples make good and healthy dog treats (no pips, though) and are plentiful in Autumn. Finely grate or stew your apple – or apples and mix with 400g (14oz) oat flour or porridge oats, 100g (3½oz) porridge oats, 150g (5½oz) grated mature cheese for a dog-tempting flavour, and 2tbsp vegetable oil. Add a little water to bind into a dough then roll out onto a lightly floured surface to about 1cm thick and cut out into biscuits (a bone shaped cutter is a nice touch!) Bake at about 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4 until golden brown and leave to cool.
- Deep fried potato skins – or sweet potato skins –make lovely dog treats. They can enjoy theirs when you have bonfire jacket potatoes. This would work with carrots (dogs LOVE carrots), parsnip or beetroot too – even apples if you’ve plenty from your tree. The skins of fruit and veggies is where all the vitamins lurk.
- Talking of bonfire night, if you’re making a big chilli, you can do a dog-friendly version – just without the chilli powder or onions.
Well, that’s just a few seasonal ideas to get you going. The internet is a wonderful place to find recipes and your dog – and his health – would definitely thank you for it.