Friday, May 24, 2013

So You Wanna Make Homemade Dog Treats. The Basics.

Recently I've become obsessed (not a far leap for those who know me) with.... 
{{{ making everything }}} where's the reverb machine when you need it
Yes. Everything.
 It started out innocent enough. Ya know, It was a budget thing. I want it. I need it. I can't live without it. I can't afford it....but...I could make it -no?  Coming from a DIY background (dad's a machinist, mom is a garden/crafting guru and my grams was the first Martha Stewart) it never occurred to me that I COULDN'T make it.  Zut Alors! 

While still working on - you only have so many hours in your life so thin out the list of things to make - I continue to hunt and gather all my "make its".  You may have recently seen my post about the other stuff I do while maintaining my Dog Accessory Empire. 
My knowledge expands as quick as my waistline. 

The newest  "make it" obsession is Dog Food/Treats. It's really easy and there's nothing better than knowing exactly what's in your furbabies food.  I'll be sharing various foods and treats that we have found success with such as these yummy Orange Biscuits or Sweet Potato Chips. Taking that next step to "DIY" dog food maker is really easy and worth it. Of course with anything, be sure to consult your vet about your particular dogs diet and use common sense.  Just because the bag says "Snack Well" doesn't make it ok to eat the entire bag of *cookies!
*see the waistline comment above
Ok so you are crazy enough to read this far, guess I better get started.

THE DO's and DON'Ts
Here are some of the good and bad things you should keep in mind when creating your own tasty dog treats:

Baby Food:    yup. Sugar, salt, onions, onion powder. Stuff Rover doesn't need.
Chocolate:    this one goes without saying...the chocolate is for mom. period.
Onions:   have the ability to cause changes in red blood cells, possibly damaging them and causing anemia. Even though you only have a cause for concern if it is eaten in a very large amount, play it safe and avoid all onion products.  See baby food.
Macadamia and Walnuts:  contain unknown toxins that may result in weakness, muscle tremors and paralysis. Talk about dangerous! You also need to be aware that, while other varieties of nuts may be safe, they can be heavily salted, and they contain high amounts of fat.
White Potato:  no problem with potatoes, except for the green parts, because they are toxic. 
Raisins and Grapes:  while there isn't a lot of info on the WHY it is known that they are toxic.
Salt, Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners:  not needed so why risk it? Dogs have less taste buds than we do so they don't need their food "salted" or "sweetened" to enjoy it.

 I didn't add Cheese and Milk to the Don't Need category but be sure to check with your vet to find out if your dog has a lactose intolerance issue. There are great substitutes like vegan cheese, almond milk, chicken or beef broth or just good old fashioned water.

Make it fresh. You like a stale doughnut? Didn't think so.
Make it natural. Chemicals, artificial colors and flavors.Yuck. Keep out the processed stuff.
Keep it balanced. Watch the fats and oils. Healthy vitamins and minerals are the way to go.
Keep it safe. Check with your vet to see if there are any allergies or sensitivities to certain foods.

Knowledge is key. Feel free to share recipes, ask questions or make comments. 
OH and if you have any cool plans for a barn wood kitchen table...send that along as well...
I know I can make it.


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