In Part I of our Homemade Doggie Biscuits blog post, we recommended some easy and healthy dog treat recipes. In today’s post, we’ll be providing some points to look out for when choosing a recipe for your four-legged best friend.
The most important take-away from this post: Every dog is different! It is super important to understand your dog‘s preferences and allergies (if any). Most of the ingredients in dog biscuit recipes can be easily swopped with others, for example, if your dog is allergic to chicken, substitute it for turkey, duck or pork. So don’t be afraid to change up some of the recipes that are available online.
Good ingredients to use/look out for in recipes:
Instead of wheat flour which is commonly used in dog treat recipes, try opting for complex grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, barley and millet which provide better nutrition. Cornmeal also seems to be commonly used in dog treat recipes as well, but try to avoid corn and wheat as they are the most common allergens for dogs (not saying this is true for all dogs!).
High in fibre and an excellent source of Vitamin A, potassium and iron, pumpkin is a great ingredient to use in dog treats. Pumpkin is also high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants (good for overall healthy skin and fur), and the oils in pumpkins’ flesh and seeds are believed to support urinary health.
Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, sweet potatoes (both the orange & purple kind) also help to stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance in dogs. Each sweet potato is packed with vitamins A, C, D, B6; and minerals manganese, copper, potassium and iron that all help boost the immune system and fight free radicals. It is also a good source of dietary fibre to help with loose stools.
Use carob in place of chocolate! Dogs metabolize the theobromine and caffeine present in cocoa much slower than humans, so consuming large amounts of chocolate (in proportion to your dog’s size) could result in chocolate poisoning. Carob is the best substitute for chocolate and rich in vitamins A, B, B1, B2, B3, B6 and D, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and protein. It is also low in fat and high in fibre; however as carob is naturally sweet, try not to use too much carob powder in your recipe or make carob-based recipes too often.
Cheese is a good source of calcium for humans and dogs alike. However, some dogs are lactose intolerant, so for lactose intolerant mutts, look for cheese with zero sugar. Since lactose is a natural sugar, zero sugar content essentially means lactose free cheese. Another issue with cheese is the fat and sodium content, so try to get a low/reduced sodium cheese. Cottage cheese is a good type of cheese to use since it has the lowest fat and sodium content compared to other types of cheese.
So have fun and get creative with your homemade doggie biscuits for your precious one(s)! We are also in talks of having freshly baked doggie biscuits (baked with love by yours truly) available for sale at our shop. So stay tuned to the Suds & Scissors Pet Parlour Facebook page for more updates.