If you’re a pet owner who loves to cook or bake, making your own healthy pet treats can be fun and rewarding. It’s a great way to spend some time with your four-legged friend, plus you’ll know exactly what’s in the treats they’re eating.
To help you get started, we have a few recipes we think your pets will love! If you don’t have time to make your own treats, we’ve got you covered with some single-ingredient treat ideas.
10 healthy single-ingredient treats
No time to make treats? There are a number of less calorie-dense treats that require little prep. They’re also great for overweight dogs.
Carrots – small baby carrots or garden carrots sliced into smaller pieces are sweet and will help keep your dog’s teeth clean.
- Green beans – frozen, raw or canned (unsalted).
- Pumpkin – Cook it in the oven or buy the unsweetened canned variety (not pie filling!)
- Apple slices – Remove the seeds and core, as the seeds and stem contain cyanogenic glycosides, which is harmful.
- Cauliflower – go easy as it can cause gas!
- Dehydrated apricots – A little goes a long way, so don’t feed too much to avoid stomach aches.
- Dehydrated sweet potatoes – Sweet and chewy, it may be your dog’s next favourite.
- Oatmeal – Great for senior dogs with bowel irregularities and for dogs allergic to wheat. Let it cool and serve without sweeteners.
You can also skip food treats altogether and opt for a new toy instead.
Ingredients to avoid in your healthy pet treats
Thinking of experimenting in the kitchen to create your own unique treat recipe? Before you do, beware of the following foods, which can be toxic to pets.
- Alcohol and food products containing alcohol
- Avocado – primarily a problem for birds, rabbits, donkeys, horses and ruminants
- Coffee and caffeine
- Citrus, including the stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds
- Coconut and coconut oil
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs
- Milk and dairy
- Onions, garlic, chives
- Raw/undercooked meat, eggs and bones
- Salt and salty snack foods, such as chips, pretzels and popcorn
- Xylitol, which is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste
- Yeast dough
Read more about the potential effects of these foods.
It can be tempting to let your pet overindulge on healthy homemade treats. However, it’s important to factor those goodies into your pet’s overall caloric intake. Otherwise, you could end up with a pudgy pooch! Lastly, consult with your veterinarian if you’re not sure whether an ingredient is safe for your pet. Better safe than sorry!