The simple act of treating a pet to something tasty feels good. We have the power to satisfy them and we are rewarded with their gratitude. Until, that is, they beg and plead for more.
While it’s critical not to over-indulge pets, treating them to something yummy can become part of the daily routine (especially if you’re using treats in training). To eliminate some of the fillers, preservatives, and artificial flavors that can abound in commercial products, you can create your own delicious DIY pet treats to show how much you love them.
Stocking Up on Pet Treat Ingredients
When you make your own DIY pet treats you know exactly what’s in them, and how they’re benefiting your pet’s health. Plus, you can make them in bulk, store them for weeks or months, and even give them away as gifts.
Every pet is unique and has their own individual tastes. For example, if your cat goes crazy for tuna fish you can customize your DIY pet treats to satisfy their cravings. Dogs may not be as finicky as cats, but that just means you have to be extra careful when deciding your ingredients. Please be advised that the following items should never touch your pet’s palate:
- Grapes or raisins
- Macadamia nuts
The good news is that you have an abundance of other ingredients to choose from. Whether crunchy or chewy, your DIY pet treats will always hit the spot.
Depending on your pet’s preferences you can slowly start to tweak your recipes for DIY pet treats, but we recommend starting out as simply as possible.
Mix a little plain yogurt into whole wheat flour until a pliable dough forms. Adjust if the dough is too runny or crumbly. Roll out, cut with cookie cutters (there are cute fish or bone-shaped ones out there) and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350-degrees. Adjust for the right chewy or crunchy texture.
Super Yummy DIY Pet Treats
The following can add variety and flavor to your pet’s cookie jar:
- Cooked, pureed sweet potato
- Unsweetened canned pumpkin
- Salmon or tuna
- Rated cheddar cheese
- Rolled oats
- Low-sodium chicken broth
- Xylitol-free peanut butter
- Unsweetened apple sauce
You may even decide to shake up the type of flour you use. Instead of whole wheat flour, try rye, barley, chickpea or oat flour. This will make your DIY pet treats gluten-free, something that many sensitive pets care about.
Your DIY pet treats may not win your pet over immediately, especially if they’re deeply attached to the store-bought versions they’ve grown up with. Stay patient and encouraging, but never force your pet to eat them. Over time they will likely figure out that your treats are better – and better for them!