Did you know there were nearly 20 major recalls on pet food in 2017?
Like much of the processed food on supermarket shelves, you never really know what’s in your dog’s food. Even if it’s not contaminated, the truth is that there are many harmful ingredients lurking dog food and snacks.
How can you make sure your four-legged family member stays happy and healthy?
The best dog snacks are the ones you make at home, using safe and natural ingredients.
Not sure where to start? Read on for 10 fun (and healthy) recipes your pup is sure to love!
1. Yogurt Berry “Pupsicles”
What exactly is a “pupsicle?” It’s a popsicle for pups–and it’s one of the best dog snacks out there.
To make them, spoon 16 ounces of plain yogurt into a mixing bowl. Mix in a handful blueberries or chopped strawberries, then scoop the mixture into a dog treat mold or ice cube tray.
Freeze them for four hours or until frozen through. On a hot summer day, pop a few out for your dog. She’s guaranteed to beg for more!
2. Crispy Apple Chips
This one-ingredient recipe is as simple as it gets.
After you remove the seed and stems from fresh apples, slice them very thinly. Arrange the apple slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake them on low heat (150 degrees) for five to six hours, or until totally dehydrated.
Once cool, you’ll love sharing these crunchy treats with your dog.
3. Sweet Potato Chewies
This recipe is similar to the apple crisps, except this sweet treat is chewy.
Slice a sweet potato into 1/3-inch chunks (lengthwise if you have a large dog, crosswise for smaller dogs). Bake them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for two to three hours at 250 degrees.
Once they’re chewy in the middle and slightly crispy on the edges, they’re ready to go. Be sure to flip them over once during baking to ensure even baking.
4. Canned Food Crunchies
What if you’re out of fresh produce but still want to make a fun treat for your dog? One of our best dog snacks is made out of canned dog food!
Grab a can of high-quality, loaf-style dog food. Slice it into bite-sized pieces and bake it on an ungreased tray for half an hour at 350 degrees.
If you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container for up to five days.
5. Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies
Want to try a gourmet treat for your canine companion? You’ll love making these cookies as much as your dog loves eating them.
Combine 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup of plain peanut butter, and 1 cup of flour. Roll the dough until it’s about 1/3-inch thick, then cut it with a pizza slicer or cookie cutter.
Bake the “cookies” for 15-20 minutes at 325 degrees. Be sure to let them cool completely before you feed them to your dog!
6. Carrot Applesauce Oat-Bars
Want to combine fruits, veggies, and fiber into one healthy treat? Whip up a batch of these yummy oat-bars for your pup.
Combine 1/2 cup each of quick oats, grated carrot, applesauce, and flour. Use a spoon to drop them in bite-sized pieces on a baking tray.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the treats are set. Bonus tip: This also makes a terrific snack for horses!
7. Bacon Cheddar Biscuits
We’ve covered a lot of sweet and fruity treats so far. But don’t worry–some of the best dog snacks are savory.
Here’s one of our favorites.
Fry 4 strips of bacon until they’re nice and crispy, then let them cool. Combine crumbled bacon with 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1-1/2 cups of milled oatmeal. Stir in 2 eggs until the mixture is thick and sticky.
Roll the dough until it’s 1/4-inch thick and cut it into the desired shapes. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. When the treats turn a pale-ish brown, you’ll know they’re ready.
The dog begging at your feet will be a good indication, too!
8. DIY Jerky
Why buy prepackaged jerky at the store when you can make your own version at home? Since your pup needs lots of protein to stay healthy, this snack is as nutritious as it is delicious.
Start with high-quality beef, chicken, or salmon cut into thin strips or bite-sized chunks. If you have a food dehydrator, this is the perfect chance to use it.
If you don’t have your own dehydrator, you can use an oven-safe baking rack, a drip tray, and a fan-forced oven.
Dehydration time varies depending on the method, meat, and thickness. You’ll know the meat is done when it turns color, firms up, and becomes dry with some chewy flex.
9. Leftovers Trail Mix
Not sure what to do with all those leftovers? Turn them into a healthy snack for your dog!
You can combine whatever you have lying around in your fridge, including meat, potatoes, vegetables (except onions), and fruit (except grapes). Cut everything into 1/2-pieces and dry in a food dehydrator or in a 200-degree oven.
This makes a terrific high-energy snack for your next hike or trip to the dog park.
10. Banana Peanut Butter Frozen Treats
Our list of the best dog snacks wouldn’t be complete without a little dessert. This treat is sure to be appreciated on those dog days of summer!
Combine 32 ounces of plain yogurt with a sliced banana and 3 tablespoons of plain peanut butter. Blend until creamy and pour into an ice cube tray or dog snack tray.
Freeze for at least two hours. The great thing is you can make a big batch and store it in the freezer as long as you like.
Ready to Make the Best Dog Snacks?
Your pup loves snacking as much as you do.
Make sure you feed her only the best dog snacks by trying some of the tasty recipes listed above!
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