Dog owners in today’s society value their pets almost as high as humans which in return has fuelled the huge growth in the pet market and has certainly increased the prices of treating our furry friends. There is plenty of choice in the market, but due to the number of recalls we’ve had in recent history on pet food, it can be reassuring to know the ingredients they are actually eating for ourselves.
Dog treats are incredibly easy to create unlike those for humans, but because we are making them ourselves we know that our furry friends are getting better value for money. Learn these easy money saving dog treats that you can make yourself, but ensure that you check with your veterinarian if your pet has a sensitive digestive system first.
All of the following treats are suitable for human consumption, but they are pretty bland. Additionally they aren’t intended as a meal replacement either, simply as a treat to give your dog.
Simple, Raw Dog Treats
Those who don’t feel like buying any specialist dog treats or preparing any at home will be happy to know that there is a another way to get better value for money from your old food produce. Dogs love raw snacks and these ideas below require little to no preparation at all. Try giving them some of the following:
- Pineapple chunks
- Carrot sticks
- Apple slices
WARNING: Do not give your dog anything from the onion family because these can be poisonous to dogs, e.g. onions, grapes, mushrooms, avocado and tomatoes.
Meaty DIY Dog Treats
Baked Pig Ear Dog Treats: This is such a simple recipe, simply get hold of some pigs ears, cut them into pieces that are the right size for your dog and then throw them into some olive oil to coat. Spread them out on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake them on the ovens lowest setting until they are completely dried out. This can take anywhere between 6-10 hours, but it’s a good idea to flip them at the mid way point. Once finished, leave to cool and store in tissue within an airtight container.
Frozen Dog Treats
Frozen dog treats are not only a great way to save money, but they are an excellent idea to keep your pet cool during the hot summer. If you have to leave your dog alone during those summer months, leave a couple of frozen dog treats around for him to enjoy. We have more helpful information in our article: ‘Save Money Keeping your Animals Cool this Summer’.
Strawberry Dog Ice cream: There are a few more products like this popping onto the market at the moment such as ‘Frosty Paws’, but in our eyes they are simply overpriced dog ice cream.
- 3 cups of non-fat plain yoghurt
- 4 large strawberries, rinsed, hulled and diced
First, start by throwing both ingredients into a blender or food processor. Once blended, pour the mixture into little cups or an ice cube tray to freeze. Serve once frozen for a cool, homemade delicious treat.
Baked Dog Treats
Two-Ingredient Treat: These biscuits are so easy and cheap to create that they could provide an incredibly viable treat substitute for those expensive branded store items. All you will need is whole-wheat flour and some high quality baby food to create these cookies.
- 2 x 120g jars of preservative-free baby food. Ideal flavour options are: sweet potato, pears, apples and carrots. Avoid anything from the allium family e.g. garlic or onion.
- 2x cups of 100% organic whole-wheat flour. Feel free to add rolled oats or wheat germ for some bulk.
Mix the two ingredients together to form dough, whilst adding water as needed to keep it firm but malleable. Next, roll out the dough and cut it into shapes with a sharp knife or shaped cutter. Place the snacks into a parchment-lined backing sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350’F.
Flax Seed Cheddar Dog Treats: These require slightly more effort, but the ingredients make it very healthy for your dog’s skin and coat. The slight sprinkling of cheddar cheese on top makes these biscuits that extra bit exciting too.
- ½ cup of beef broth
- 1 cup flour (whole-wheat or all-purpose)
- 2 tablespoons of flax seeds, freshly crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Shredded cheddar for topping
Put the flax, olive oil and broth into a bowl and whisk well until mixed. Next stir in the flour to create sticky stretchy dough. Then cover your hands in olive oil and roll the dough out in 16 Ping-Pong sized ball shapes. Place the balls onto a parchment-linen baking sheet and press a pinch of cheddar into the top of each one. Bake in the over for 15-20 minutes at 350’F, or until the cheese browns and the biscuits become firm but springy. Then leave to cool.