You have read our article on obesity; then you will know that over 2.5 million dogs are overweight according to the latest research. Some of this is due to people not taking into account treats as part of the calorie/food intake. Whilst food is the obvious reward this does not have to be the case (Missy loves a good game of ball as her reward or liver).
If you look around any pet shop or online store, you will soon discover that there is a wide range of’ training treats‘. The thing I have found with a lot of them is that they are big chunks of biscuit, I have always found that small, highly tasty morsels are far more effective. After all, if you give them a large biscuit you are not only helping them to become overweight but by the time they’ve crunched through a dog biscuit they’ve forgotten what it is they were being rewarded and you have also lost some of the focus.
Another thing I have discovered having a hyper allogenic dog is that most commercial treats are full of sugar, addictive’s, and low quality ingredients which are very unhealthy for your dog. For example, just looking at a well-known brand of reward strips the first ingredient is cereals, followed by various sugars.
Why not also try a treat variety from tasty cheese to the king of treats such as chicken or liver. You even mix in a small amount of regular dry dog food. Remember if they have done something outstanding don’t give them a bigger bit as a reward just make sure they have two or three small bits very close together.
Finally, remember when using food for training is to make it different from their usual– food, after all, it does not take them long to work out they can get the food for free later on, so why would they bother to work hard for it?
Equipment you’ll need for Homemade dog treats.
Making homemade dog treats requires n special equipment just the basic. Many of these things will already be in your kitchen, and if you don’t have one or two things, don’t worry about it.
- A mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon, spatula, a knife or biscuit cutter
- An electric mixer or food processor
- A muffin or fairy cake tin, baking sheet
- Oven or microwave
- Freezer bags or food-grade plastic tubs for storage
A note about ingredients
Most of the ingredients you need to make delicious and healthy treats for your dog are readily available in your local shops or supermarket. These include things such as liver, peanut butter (make sure it doesn’t have xylitol), cheese, fish will all go towards creating treats that your dog will love. There are, however, some foods which you should not feed your dog. Chocolate, grapes, coffee, potatoes, onions should be avoided when creating treats for your dogs.
Homemade Liver treats
Missy just loves her liver, whether it be in a cake or dried and in some ways, this is not surprising. When dogs had to hunt for food, the liver was considered to be the prize bit of a kill. This would be the first part of the animal to be eaten along with the heart. The liver could also only be eaten by the head of the pack. However, today things are different, and we cook it for them and they all enjoy it.
Lambs liver is very easy to get from supermarkets and if you purchase towards the end of the day is often reduced and provides a tasty reward
500g chicken liver
130g digestive biscuits
3 tbsp runny honey
A handful of parsley, chopped
You will also need: a food processor, microwaveable dish approximately 8 inches square (or equivalent round), foil, baking sheet, skewer or knife, cooling rack
Turn the oven on to 200C (180C fan)
Place all ingredients into the bowl of your food processor and whizz up together until you have a smooth mixture.
Scrape the mixture into your microwaveable bowl. Now microwave on high for around 7 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
Turn the microwaved mixture on to a cooling rack. Leave it ‘bottom side up’ to get rid of any condensation.
Once the mixture is dry, cut into small squares of around an inch, Now spread the squares on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 1.5 hours.
Allow the treats to cool, keep some in the fridge for immediate use, and freeze the rest for another day.
Roxys Recommended Homemade Treat – Chicken Jerky
For this, you will need 4 or 5 food quality chicken fillets. Then cut these fillets into about an inch. Now cover the meat in garlic puree
Once done, place the cubes on greaseproof paper in a roasting tin. Place the roasting tin in the middle of the over for around 2 hours or more. This will cause the chicken to be dark brown and completely dry like the jerky you buy in the shops – cooking it thoroughly prevents it from going rancid after a few days.
Place on a rack to cool. Once cool keep in an airtight container
Like most things, some of the best treats are the ones you make yourself from quality food. So Why Not become the Gordon Ramsey of the dog world.