Puppy dog birthdays are best spent making bone shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids and homemade dog treats for the four-legged children. We’ve spent many a dog birthday this way, and our dogs have always loved these homemade treats. And so have their dog friends with whom we’ve shared them!
There are pros and cons to making your own dog treats, but if you are careful, the benefits of homemade can easily outweigh the downfalls. Below, we’ve broken it down for you…
Benefits of Homemade Treats
- You control what is in the treat, and can load it with healthy ingredients.
- It’s easier to avoid preservatives and flavorings that can be found in the store-bought kind when you make your own treats.
- There are plenty of recipes that will allow you to make treats without common allergens like wheat or gluten.
- They make great gifts for friends with dogs!
Downfalls of Homemade Treats
- It can be difficult to calculate the number of calories in homemade dog treats. Treats should make up 10% or less of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
- If your pet is on a specific diet, or has allergies or sensitivities, you should check with your vet before giving your pet anything homemade.
- Xylitol, onions, garlic, chocolate, and raisins should be avoided when making homemade treats. If you choose to make treats containing peanut butter, be sure to check the label for xylitol, an ingredient that can make your dog very sick.
- Because they do not contain preservatives, homemade dog bones do not keep as long as store-bought ones. Storing them in the refrigerator may help them stay fresh longer.
Other considerations when making your own treats:
- Make sure to use a baking mold that is BPA free.
- Cook homemade treats containing raw meat to an adequate temperature (165º F).
- Store treats out of reach of your dog. Eating too many treats--even the healthy homemade kind--can upset his digestive system.
Ready to make your own treats? Check out our video to learn how to make Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Bones. These are a hit in our house and we’ve given them as gifts many times. Homemade treats are best because they are from the heart--even a four-legged friend can recognize that!