Originally published June 5 2014
Homemade dog treats: How to make your own, save a bundle and improve your dog's health
by Julie Wilson
(NaturalNews) Most of the world has awoken to the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), seeking healthier choices such as organic, all-natural and gluten-free. The healthy food movement has burgeoned from a trend to a necessity and, for many, has become a way of life.
Processed foods produced by Monsanto's close friends, including big brands like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, General Mills and Kraft Foods, are primarily composed of harmful ingredients including dangerous preservatives, chemically induced artificial colorings, GMOs, canola oil, high-fructose corn syrup and aspartame.
Unfortunately, when it comes to pet food, most commercial companies are using many of the same harmful ingredients.
Following the introduction of GM corn and soy on the market throughout the mid-1990s, the "number of dogs reported suffering from a specific cluster of health problems increased," according to Natural Awakenings.
"It also became evident from discussion among veterinarians and dog owners that such health problems occurred more often among dogs eating pet food that included GM crops than those consuming food produced from conventional crops."
Some of the conditions reported to increase among dogs include allergies, asthma, skin problems, leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, recurrent diarrhea, indigestion, and abnormalities in the liver, the pancreas and immune system functions.
Ensuring a healthier and longer life for your pet is totally doable; it simply requires removing some of the toxins from their diets, which isn't as daunting as you might think.
Refining your pet's diet will require patience, but if you're already riding the healthy food train, the journey will be easier.
While healthy dog and cat food does exist, it can be difficult to find and costly. When deciding to purchase pet food, look for brands made in the USA that are USDA Certified Organic, free of soy, corn and wheat and gluten-free whenever possible.
Depending on your pet's condition, you may or may not want to buy foods containing grain. Debate lingers over whether dogs can properly digest grains. Some say that it improves digestion for dogs, while others attribute corn, wheat and soy to pet allergies and skin irritations.
If you want to eliminate the hunt, reduce your expenses and avoid time spent deciphering ingredients, try making your own healthy pet treats.
Dogs love peanut butter, so it's no surprise that Peanut Butter Cookies rank high on the list of popular doggy treats. Making these tasty treats at home is an easy way to incorporate fish oil into their diets to help improve your dog's coat, making it shinier and softer.
Money Crashers, your guide to financial fitness, offers great recipes for tasty, easy to make treats.
Start with these ingredients (make sure to buy organic when possible):
- 2 cups of flour (white or wheat, if your pup has no wheat allergies)
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- 1/3 cup of smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1/2 tablespoon of fish oil
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix the flour and oats together in a large mixing bowl. Pour in one cup of water and blend until smooth. Add in the peanut butter, honey and fish oil, and mix until all the ingredients are well blended.
- Slowly add the water until the mixture has a thick and doughy consistency.
- Lightly flour a cooking surface. Roll the dough onto the cooking surface to create a 1/4 inch-thick sheet.
- Use a cookie cutter to create shapes. Place the cookies onto a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before feeding.
If your dog is suffering from digestive problems, Frozen Yogurt Pop Treats can offer relief with ingredients like protein and calcium.
- 6 oz. container of plain, non-fat frozen yogurt
- 1 cup of no-sugar added fruit juice
- 1/2 cup of carrots, minced
- Add the yogurt, fruit juice and carrots into a medium-sized bowl. Stir until the ingredients are smooth and well-blended.
- Drop the mixture into ice cube trays by the spoonful.
- Freeze until the ingredients are solid.
- Pro Tip: Use hard plastic trays instead of the softer rubber ones to make the treats. The treats are easier to remove from a hard tray.
Chicken Casserole is another popular pick, filled with protein and veggies. Just like with humans, veggies make your pet feel full and help facilitate digestion.
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup of green beans, chopped
- 1/2 cup of carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup of broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 cup rolled oats.
- 4 cups of low-salt chicken broth
- Remove excess fat from the chicken breasts and cut the breasts into small nickel-sized chunks.
- Cook the chicken breasts in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until no longer pink.
- Add the chicken, vegetables, rolled oats and chicken broth to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the carrots are tender -- about 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool before serving.
- Store leftover casserole portions in the fridge for up to five days.
- Pro Tip: You can use a small amount of olive oil to fry the chicken if you are having trouble keeping the chicken breasts from sticking to the skillet.
For more healthy pet recipes click here.
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