No one likes to go to the pet store over and over to buy dog treats. Homemade dog treats have high nutritional value and can be the best option for your pet if you choose the right food.
However, if you choose the wrong dog food, it will have a devastating effect on your dog's health. Before discussing the pros and cons of homemade dog treats, you should first understand what homemade dog treats are.
What is Homemade Dog Treats?
Homemade dog treats are defined as home-cooked dog food that is made from the same ingredients that we use in our diet.
If your dog starts eating homemade dog treats, he will avoid eating commercially processed dog food, such as canned dog food or dry kibble food.
Parents of pets choose homemade dog treats for many reasons, such as:
- Allergies to food ingredients
- A specific diet for ailing dogs
- A desire for better quality control of ingredients
- Knowing about the things that your dog eats every single day.
The commercial pet food industry is surrounded by so much controversy, and that is why many pet owners start making homemade dog treats and switch from commercial dog treats to keep their pet healthy.
Pros of Homemade Dog Treats
Use of healthy ingredients
When you're making homemade dog treats, you'll know precisely what your dog's cookie contains. You can select the best quality ingredients that are free of artificial colors, allergens, and additives.
Tasty dog treat
When it comes to knowing your dog's palate, no one knows it better than you. When you prepare their food at home, you are more likely to give them their favorite ingredients. If your pet is picky about his food, he'll appreciate the homemade treats.
Saving time and money
One of the many benefits of homemade dog treats is that it is easy to make at home and saves money, time, and trouble in the long run. However, some prescription dog foods have a unique nutritional composition and require a high manufacturing cost.
Therefore, they are costly for dog owners. In the type of commercial treats that you are feeding your dog, you can make homemade dog treats, and you will see that it is a cheaper alternative to industrial food.
Reducing wastage of food
Many of the homemade dog treats explicitly involve food scraps. Instead of throwing away leftover dinner, you can use them as a base for delicious dog treats. Homemade dog treats also help reduce packaging waste.
Elimination of Allergens
If your dog suffers from allergies, choosing a dog food without that allergen is not easy. This is because the commercial dog food may be exposed to that allergic ingredient during manufacturing, or it may contain any other variant of that allergen, for example, chicken versus chicken fat.
When you make homemade dog treats, you can easily control the allergic ingredients in pet food. You can also speak to your vet or canine nutritionist to remove the allergen and replace it with any healthy alternative.
Homemade dog treats are made of Fresh ingredients
Many of the best quality commercial dog foods contain artificial ingredients and preservatives, and they add salt to keep these ingredients fresh. These synthetic ingredients have a damaging effect on the dog's health condition, and it will lead to disease and general poor health of the dog.
Homemade food doesn't contain filler ingredients
Many of the commercial pet food companies use cheap filler ingredients in their diet that lack essential nutritional value. Most of the filling ingredients are used to make food in large quantities at a reduced cost.
Basically, these filler ingredients have low nutritional value and simply pass through your dog's system and only generate more waste. Some research has shown that these filler ingredients in dog food are the primary agents that cause allergies.
On the other hand, homemade foods allow you to use the best ingredients that have nutritional values and eliminate potential allergens and unnecessary fillers.
Cons of Homemade Dog Treats
If you think everything is good with homemade dog treats, then it isn't. They have many benefits, but unfortunately, there are few drawbacks related to homemade dog treats.
Lack of Nutritional Balance in Some Home Diets
When preparing homemade dog treats, it is essential to add the correct vitamins and supplements to create a perfect nutritional treat for your dog.
Many homemade dog treat recipes do not have these unique dietary needs and do not provide the necessary vitamins and supplements. Furthermore, these deficiencies lead to weight loss, decreased body energy levels, and other serious health problems.
Beware of unsafe ingredients
There are certain human foods like onion, chocolate, grapes, and raisins that are not safe for your dogs, and you should be aware of this. Unfortunately, not all dog owners are aware of these facts and feed their adorable pets with these unsafe ingredients.
To avoid these unsafe ingredients, the best way is to consult with your veterinarian or dog nutritionist, who can help you familiarize yourself with the full list of unsafe human foods for dogs.
Irregular calories distribution
If you give your dog commercial treats, you are aware of the fact that the feeding instructions are written on the back of the food bag, and you will know how much food your dog needs per day. There is no such information on homemade dog treats.
This lack of information can often be the cause of your dog's overfeeding or undernourishment. This problem can be avoided by following a homemade food recipe approved by a canine nutritionist.
Homemade dog treats Can Be Expensive
The biggest drawback to homemade dog treats is their cost. On the other hand, commercial dog food is quite affordable. Homemade dog treatment often becomes expensive due to costly ingredients. If you can select a reasonably priced ingredient, you can cut your pet food budget.
Cooking for Dogs is Time consuming
Homemade dog treats take your time and daily commitment. It is not like commercial food that you open the food bag and put in the food bowl for homemade food; you have to measure, cook, and store food for routine use. It's a chore.
If you want to reduce cooking time, you should cook food in bulk and freeze it for later use.
Homemade dog treats Can Be Inconvenient
Humans have many options to eat when we travel, but dogs do not. If you are a travel fanatic, cooking at home is not convenient for you. Also, many kennels don't accommodate your dog while you're out of town just because you feed them homemade food.
Many dog owners turn to commercial food when traveling to other places because it is not convenient to home feed dogs on the roads. It needs to pick up the right food if you want to travel with your puppy. You can also read well-researched reviews carefully from the Best Puppy Foods at ThePets and choose the most appropriate food for your pet. One of the things to consider is to include healthy nutritious ingredients, the right amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Guidelines for Homemade Dog Treats
There are a few guidelines you should follow to make sure you don't feed your dog unnecessary calories or low-calorie foods.
Avoid unnecessary salt
Unlike humans, dogs can eat bland food. In fact, their digestive system prefers to eat bland food. Too much salty and spicy food can cause diarrhea and vomiting and can also cause digestive illnesses in the long term.
Feed them the good stuff
If you think of some food as junk and it is not suitable for you, it will be even worse for your puppy. Unnecessary fat, salt, and sugar can cause weight gain and other health problems over time.
Avoid contamination of food
Food poisoning is a common problem in homemade dog treats, so be careful of contamination during food handling, preparation, and storage.
Always wash your hands before cooking, wash kitchen utensils thoroughly, cook all meats and eggs carefully, and discard expired food material.
Consult your vet
Always consult your vet before making any sudden changes to your dog's diet. If you want to make homemade dog treats regularly, you should first consult your vet about allergies and other health issues.
Ingredients to Avoid
There are a few ingredients to avoid when making dog treats at all costs. These ingredients can be very toxic to your dog and can hurt them a lot. Some ingredients to avoid are
Don't give your dog chocolate because it contains a compound called methylxanthines. Even a small amount of this food can make them sick and kill your adorable pet.
Garlic, Leeks, Onions, and Chives
These foods belong to the allium family and can be very toxic to cats and dogs. Do not feed them whole or in powders form because they can raise their heart rate and cause weakness.
The vet has yet to find any clues as to why grapes are toxic to dogs. Do not feed the grapes fresh or even dry because they can damage the kidney.
Dogs like rich nutmeg but do not feed them because it contains a substance called myristicin. Even a small amount can cause hallucinations and diarrhea, while a large amount can cause seizures.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener and can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs. If you give it to your dog, it will release additional insulin, and in a few days, your dog may experience vomiting and liver failure.
Homemade treats are the best options for your dog, but you should also consider its pros and cons. Always consult your vet before making any new homemade treat. To avoid the potentially harmful side effects, you should carefully select the ingredient and avoid contamination.
About the Author:
Vicki S. is a professional writer in taking care of pets topics. She creates informational and helpful articles that help pet owners live in harmony with their pets. There are a lot of areas Vicki specialized in: Dog Health, Puppy Care, Dog Training, Cat and Kitten Care, Cat and Dog Nutrition. Vicki avid pet lover with particular experience with cats, and she takes care of her cat Brenda.