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Homemade Treats Improve Your Dogís Health
Many commercial dog treats contain filler ingredients, and even common components like wheat or corn can irritate pets with sensitive stomachs.
Food allergies are common in canines. They can lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms, including itchy, inflamed skin and ears, constant scratching and licking, and digestive problems like excess gas, burping, vomiting, and soft stools.
A variety of foods can cause issues with canine digestive systems, and determining which ones are irritating your pet is a process of trial and error. Your vet can help streamline this process through a series of allergy tests, but you should still expect to put your dog on an elimination diet to determine which ingredients cause the most extreme reaction. Common canine allergens include dairy, eggs, soy, and wheat gluten, although some dogs are also sensitive to beef or chicken.
Note that the issue might not be food related - your dog could be allergic to the pesticides used on your lawn or the laundry soap for washing his bed. Itís also possible for a dog to develop allergies over time, meaning you may need to occasionally tweak his diet to keep things working as they should.
When seeking out recipes for homemade dog treats, strive for simplicity. Recipes with three or four ingredients work best, and popular options include oat flour, peanut butter, pumpkin puree, bananas, rolled oats, applesauce, and fresh fruits like blackberries or blueberries. If your pet can handle them, eggs work well as binding agents.
Most dog treat recipes are adaptable - you can substitute for any ingredients you believe will irritate your pet. This might mean trying oat flour instead of wheat or pureed pumpkin for applesauce.
Itís best to invest in the highest quality ingredients, as they are less likely to contain fillers and preservation agents. Avoid any human food advertised as low sugar, as they tend to contain xylitol - a compound so toxic for canines that even small amounts can lead to hypoglycemia, seizures, liver failure, and death. Other compounds to avoid include caffeine, grapes/raisins, macadamia nuts, and onions.
Most dog food recipes work the same way. Youíll blend wet and dry ingredients until you get a dough-like consistency and then shape them into balls or spread them on a cookie sheet like brownies. Bake at low heat (no more than 350 F) until the treats have set, usually 30 minutes or less. Store the cooled treats in the fridge or an airtight container on the counter for several weeks.
If youíre willing to experiment with each batch, youíll soon come across a combination that your dogís taste buds and stomach can tolerate.

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #5