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Healthy Homemade Dog Treats | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Feb. 5. 2019
Snacks

Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

Feb. 5. 2019
Snacks
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder and CEO

Your dog will love these healthy homemade dog treats made with peanut butter, sweet potatoes, and banana.

The next time you’re meal prepping and planning your own meals, get your pup involved! Making healthy homemade dog treats is far more simple, resourceful, and can be more convenient than getting dog treats at the store.

Luna has her own thing going on — from her Instagram account (@hiimlunathesamoyed) to the NS community asking about her diet, to random people in Nashville coming up to me because of her Instagram — she’s kind of a big deal.

Jokes aside, one of the most common and interesting questions I get when I share a picture of her is about what we feed her. Dogs, just like us, all have different needs and taste preferences when it comes to food. Depending on your dog’s size, the breed, their activity level, medical history, etc. will dictate what kind of food they eat and what snacks/treats will be best for them.

Just because I’m a Dietitian, I’m not an expert in animal nutrition, so this article is more about what I’ve personally learned and professionally researched about what foods dogs can’t eat and what they will.

What Ingredients Are In Dog Treats?

Depending on the type and the brand ingredients can be animal proteins, lard, vegetables, fruits, rice, and the list goes on.

From my experience, Luna came into my life when she was a little pup at 9 weeks so she’s been with me her entire life — by default with me cooking often in the kitchen with healthy foods it was only natural to let her try them. To my surprise, she has a long list of vegetables and fruits she likes including carrots, sweet potatoes, radishes, lettuce, celery, broccoli, and a few fruits. Like most dogs, she loves chicken, cheese, or anything with peanut butter.

I don’t always make her homemade dog treats, but when it comes to using up ingredients that I already have stocked in the pantry, it seems like a win-win. Not to mention, this recipe makes a lot of treats, about 50 if you slice them in thin rectangles, which lasts a few months depending on how often you feed your dog treats and how many at a time.

What To Feed Dogs

I get this question often and as much as I let her snack on vegetables that I’m also making a meal with or have on hand, I don’t make her food as most people think! I’m just like you and rely on store-bought dog food to meet her nutritional needs. Even if I had the time and resources, I don’t think I would do the planning and prep that a dog deserves in making sure their nutritional needs are met.

My rule of thumb when looking for dog food is to go to the source, check out the company, their mission, sourcing of ingredients, processing, and chat with them if you need to. For the past 3 years for Luna, she’s been eating a variety of food by the same company — yet we change the type (i.e. salmon, chicken, etc.) about every 3 months so we know she’s getting different nutrients in addition to healthy snacks at home.

There are so many great brands out there and ways to learn more about choosing the right food for your dog.

Foods That Dogs Can’t Eat

Remember, as much as you can be flexible with this recipe and in giving your dogs snack, there are foods that dogs can’t eat. These are the most common unsafe foods for dogs:

  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Lemons and Limes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Raisins
  • Tea, coffee, alcohol

The Recipe

Serves Makes 50 treats

Print

Ingredients

2 cups mashed cooked and peeled sweet potato (or you can use pumpkin puree)

1/2 cup organic peanut butter

2 eggs

1/2 banana

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or ghee)

3 cups rice flour (or whatever flour you cook with at home)

1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 1

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk and then add the mashed sweet potatoes (or pumpkin puree). Add in the flour and all remaining ingredients and stir until batter forms.

Step 2

On a baking sheet lined with a silicon pad or well-greased with coconut oil, pour the batter on the tray, evenly spread a thin layer to cover a 9 x 13 (large) baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Step 3

Take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing the cooked treats into long thin rectangles, about 50 in total. Next, using the same baking sheet, place a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet and put the sliced treats back into the oven to bake for another 10 minutes.

Step 4

Take the treats out of the oven and let cool completely before storing them in a glass container and in the pantry for up to a month or two in the refrigerator. One treat is one serving and adjusts the serving size based on the weight and size of your dog.

For a frame of reference, we give Luna a treat about every other day and she weighs about 55 lbs.

Can’t wait to see you try it!

Did you know that you can submit your own photo of whatever recipe you make from NS? Scroll down to the bottom right and you’ll see a section for you to show off your creations from home!

Can’t wait to see how you make these and share your happy pup enjoying these! Tag us on Instagram @nutritionstripped #nutritionstripped

Tagged:
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