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doggy treats

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So, I want to talk about doggy treats. It took us a long time to find something that the little girl would bother leaving something else for. But, I am quite certain that what we found is full of junk, filler, etc. (she likes the pepperoni stick style treat--we have been breaking it into very small bites for training purposes).

We bought our dd a doggy treat cookbook --one of the few that no one had commented on unsafe ingredients (via reviews at Amazon) and we double check against the list by ASPCA. We finally baked a "treat" today--we haven't tried them with the dogs yet though. We know that they like peanut butter, apples, and cheese. (And they really like to chew lately--anything)

I happen to have some lovely liver in the freezer. My dad raises our beef so I know exactly what goes into and happens to our beef. The liver is from one of the cows recently butchered. I don't like liver and was thinking of turning it into training treats. I found a website with several recipes that look promising--including instructions on simply drying it.

So, what have you all done for training treats. Any great homemade ones? Any that resemble the peperoni style treat? If the liver is a hit, I know that the butcher often has people turn down the liver so I can probably get more for pretty cheap.

post #2 of 8
Oscar is raw feed, so I won't do commercial treats. He likes freeze-dried lambs lung (yum!) which I get here. The other thing he likes is plain old ground beef, rolled into a ball, this is his treat for going in his crate, and what I stuff and freeze in his Kongs. How lucky that you have access to such awesome meat. I would definitely dry the liver if you don't want it.
post #3 of 8
Liver is great but do be careful about how much you give as some dogs will get an upset tummy from too much.

Lamb lung and beef heart can be good rewards if you want to stick with single ingredient stuff.

For homemade treats I like "tuna (or salmon) brownies" - you should be able to find a recipe online fairly easily.

For storebought treats, I usually will look in the cat section for freeze dried salmon, and follow the same guidelines as I do for foods when looking in the dog treat section. Favorite treats include Wellness Wellbites and Cloudstar soft and chewy treats.

A better version of the pupperoni treats are Nutro's Lamb and Rice sticks.
post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
Liver is great but do be careful about how much you give as some dogs will get an upset tummy from too much.
This is so true! The first treats I gave our puppy were dried liver while at the same time starting him on raw. The result was a runny tummy for 10 days, too much liver. A raw fed dog should have 5% of his diet as liver (I assume it would be the same for dogs not fed raw), as I was giving a lot of training treats, I am sure he went way over that.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks--I had never heard of using Lamb lung before, but I do have access to beef heart too. I struggle with the idea of going raw for our house, but store bought treats (so far) seem particularly disgusting.

I don't really care if I stick with single ingredient stuff--I plan on trying a few things. I really need to be able to carry it with me to our puppy classes--they start in a couple weeks.

Thanks Stardogs for listing some better store bought treats to look for. Sometimes, it is nice to just grab and go.

This is the site I found when I was looking for making our own liver treats. http://www.dogtreatkitchen.com/index.html

post #6 of 8
I have a couple of simple cookie recipes that I make (not always, but when I have some free time and don't mind heating up the house with the oven). One for cheese biscuits and the other for peanut butter cookies. Both have flour so would not be suitable for a dog with grain allergies but fortunately we have none of those.

The PB one is particularly easy: 1 cup natural peanut butter, 1 cup milk, 2 cups flour, 1 tbsp baking powder. I get the natural peanut butter at the bulk store, it's quite inexpensive there. Basically you mix the milk and peanut butter together, add to flour and baking powder mixture, then mix and knead till smooth. Roll out to 1/4" thick and cut up into whatever shapes you like, place on a greased or parchment paper lined sheet. Bake at 375F for approx. 20 min or until they're done as you like.

I got little dog bone cutters from the bulk store also, but you can do simple rectangle shapes or whatever. They taste just as good. I usually use the last bits of dough to make little kibble-sized bits for quick training. Making them more crunchy is good for regular cookies but less crunchy is usually better if you're going for training treats. This fills a couple of cookie sheets for me so you can do a smaller batch by halving.
post #7 of 8
My dog likes a raw carrot or 1/4 of an apple.
post #8 of 8
Liver is VERY popular with dogs. Most dogs I know will do anything for some liver.

That said, you don't have to get fancy. My dogs ultimate treat is cheese. She will do literally anything for a bite of cheese. So I buy cheese sticks and feed her tiny little bites when we're training for something that needs a jackpot reward. Some people use shredded chicken or hot dog pieces or even little bacon pieces. All of those are better quality than Pupperoni. (although if its only occasional, it wont harm your dog either).

I'm just saying, you don't need to bake special dog treats, when they probably prefer the raw ingredients anyway

For commercial treats, Cloud Star makes some soft training treats, and the soft ginger bread men break into tiny pieces easily. Also Zuke's Training treats are a big hit, although the salmon ones are stinky (which makes them even tastier to dogs, lol) Nutro treats are pretty good. Nature's Recipe also makes some soft venison treats that are nice (but I don't like other treats in their line). And you can buy all sorts of brands of various freeze dried livers (chicken, beef, lamb) which crumbles easily and is beloved by dogs, if you want a to-go version of your liver treats. My dogs absolute favorite commercial treat is Evanger's Nothing But Naturals. They're like doggy crack. The Evangers rep gave out free bags to our customers at my last job before we got them in stock, when they first came out, and those customers came back in droves demanding to know when we were getting them in because their dogs were CRAZY about them. All of those brands are all natural.

I follow most of the same rules for dog treats that I do for dog food. I avoid treats with BHA, BHT, or Ethoxyquin. Also no treats with by-products or unnamed meats (like poultry, instead of saying chicken, turkey etc) Mixed tocopjerols are very good, its a natural way to perserve food. I'm a bit more lax about wheat and corn in my dog treats, but I don't like it when they are the first ingredient, and I try not to pick treats that are all grain.

for hard biscuit type treats, Old Mother Hubbard is nice. I really love Grandma Lucy's Organics if you can find them, They're cheap and really tasty (I'll admit, I've tried them, and I steal them from my dog- they're human grade, and taste like what they say they do) My dog loves them. Also most of the natural dog food brands make excellent treats- California Natural, Solid Gold, Innova, Canidae, Wellness etc.
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