If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at baking for your pet and are hoping to make some homemade dog treats, this is the blog for you. We’re talking all about homemade dog treats, ingredient swaps and the basics of baking for dogs to help you the next time you’re in the kitchen and you want to cook up something special for the furry friend in your life.
Before You Start Baking…
...keep in mind that your dog has very different nutrient needs than you do. He also has different taste buds. If you’ve ever snuck a nibble of your dog’s treats -- we all have, right?!--just because you’re curious to see what they taste like, chances are you were underwhelmed by the flavor. And that’s because dog treats and dog food are typically seasoned a lot less than human food. Yourdog doesn’t need or want to chomp on anything that’s too bold to taste, so it’s good to keep this in mind when you’re in the kitchen.
Also remember that your pup can’t eat a lot of the foods that are a staple in the human diet. Here are some of the foods you should avoid when you’re baking homemade dog treats:
- Sugar: Sure, your dog might have a sweet tooth, but our dog’s bodies are not designed to process sugar and it should be avoided, especially the amount of sugar you’d normally include in cookies or other baked goods. The same goes for non-sugar sweeteners. They should only be used in moderation, if at all when you’re baking for your dog. This can include things like honey, maple syrup, or agave.
- Chocolate: When you’re baking up a biscuit recipe or other treat for your dog, don’t forget that chocolate is on the no-no list and should not be fed to your pet. It might be tempting to toss some chocolate chips into the mix, but this can be harmful to dogs and should be avoided when baking.
- Fat: Avoid adding unnecessary fat to your dog’s baked goods. There’s no need to add oil, butter and avocado to your treats when you can choose just one of those high-fat ingredients for your dog. It boosts the calorie count and can be difficult for dogs to digest and break down in their bodies.
- Anything Artificial: Artificial colors, flavors or additives can be harmful to dogs. This is especially true when it comes to artificial sweeteners like xylitol. It’s best to avoid ingredients that aren’t natural to help ensure your homemade dog biscuits are healthy for your pet.
Ingredient To Use In Your Homemade Dog Treats
Instead of using the ingredients listed above, choose a homemade dog treat recipe that is made with fresh, whole ingredients you know are safe for pets, minimal seasoning and is a flavor you know your pet will love. Here are some ingredients to consider adding to your biscuit or treat recipe:
- Pumpkin: Pumpkin is the ultimate ingredient to add to your home baking because it supports healthy digestion. If your dog has an upset tummy or other digestive discomfort, bake up some treats that feature this ingredient. Plus, it helps keep treats moist and chewy for a texture your dog will love.
- Applesauce: Choose unsweetened applesauce to add a cakey texture and a touch of sweetness to your dog’s treats. It’s full of fiber for healthy digestion and packed with immune system-supportive compounds to boot!
- Greens: Sneak some veggies into your dog’s diet by adding greens like spinach, broccoli or other leafy veggies into his dog treats. They add antioxidants to his diet that fight free radicals and support a healthy immune system plus help with a host of other health issues while they are at it.
- Berries: If your dog does have a sweet tooth and you want to reach for ingredients you know your pet can’t get enough of, try adding blueberries, cranberries or other pet-safe fruit to your homemade dog treats. They pack a serious nutritional punch, have an interesting texture and offer health benefits that make them an excellent addition to any recipe.
- Nut Butter: Peanut butter, almond butter and just about any other kind of nut butter under the sun makes a tasty ingredient addition to your dog’s treats. It’s packed with protein, healthy fats and Amino Fatty Acids that support skin health, a luscious coat and more. Plus, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a dog that isn’t head over heel in love with peanut butter, right?!
- Powdered Supplements: If you want your treats to offer targeted nutrition, consider baking with some of your dog’s powdered supplements. Add probiotics into your dog cookies or reach for immune system support powder to give your biscuits a little extra boost. Most supplements can be added to your baking to add even more nutritional value toyour dog treats.
Safety Tips In The Kitchen
When you’re baking for your pet, take care to keep your dog safe! Treat Fido similar to the way you would a toddler that’s in the kitchen with you. Your dog won’t inherently know to steer clear of the oven because it’s hot and he definitely won’t know that he needs to wait for the treats to cool off once they are removed from the oven. Exercise caution when you are baking with foods you know your dog loves to make sure he doesn’t eat any raw batter that could contain pathogens and that he’s not in harm’s way when it comes to a hot oven or sharp bakeware and kitchen utensils.
PetHonesty Products You Can Bake With
Ready to hit the kitchen and start baking some homemade treats for your dog? Pick up a jar of Allergy SkinHealth Food Topper to use in your treat recipe. It’s packed with probiotics to help keep your dog’s digestive tract functioning at its best, antioxidants to boost his immune system, and essential vitamins and minerals your dog needs to be consuming every day. It’s the perfect powder to add to your homemade dog traits if you want to make sure they are packed with nutrient power and that they taste delicious!