If you’re a dog owner and lover as we are, I know you’ve seen news reports such as these reporting on sickly and dying dogs from tainted dog treats. Mostly placing blame with Chinese manufacturers and imports of poorly made dog foods. And sure we can all sign petitions and shake our fists, but you can also take responsiblity for yourself and your pet.
With two working bird dogs in our family, we’ve not only invested our love and adoration for them, but have given uncountable hours to their training and development of their hunting skills. This makes it very easy and almost second nature to pay attention to anything that goes in our dogs mouths—as you would a child. So I’m not blind to the fact that many own dogs just to own dogs, nor am I blind to the fact that with our nation’s obesity ratings and health issues—if a person can’t even feed themselves nutritiously and responsibly, how can the give more care to an animal than themselves. So yes, we may be a small group but I refuse to turn the other cheek to how simple and much cheaper it is to forgo the pre-made junk treats in stores and think outside the box.
Regardless, dogs love food. Real food. Every dog I’ve owned has grown up eating natural wonderful dog treats. And no, not expensive fancy gourmet whatevers, but plain, healthy and all natural fruit and vegetables. I wonder if all the back years of vets trying to train owners not to feed dogs table scraps and “people food” has counter acted some people’s ability to think about what food is healthy.
Ideal fruit and vegetable treats we regularly feed our dogs:
• apple bits
• cored apple with peanut butter inside
• carrot sticks (excellent for dental hygiene and cleaning plaque—much cheaper than dental bones)
• bananas (great hot weather nutrients if at the park or training in heat—just like for people after 5Ks and road races)
These are as simple and healthy as it gets and dogs love them for the same reasons we do—they are restorative and refreshing. And you know what’s going in their bodies. Here’s a great article that details some more fruit and vegetable ideas along with cautions to one’s you should not feed your pets.
If you like to take a more hands on approach and bake dog treats, I highly recommend this awesome book of Country Wisdom and Know How.
It details wonderful, healthy, homemade dog treats you can bake at home with the simplest of ingredients. Another favorite it includes is a top 10 list of herbs that are safe and helpful to common digestive and breath issues with dogs.