Looking for a quick and simple way to save some money on dog treats while simultaneously promoting your furry best friend’s health? Look no further!
If you’ve been to a pet store or done any online shopping for pet food in the last five years, you’re probably familiar with the constant choice between cheaper dog treats with questionable ingredients, and all the newer options that might be simpler or healthier but are also more expensive. Well, what if we told you there was a way to have healthy dog treats without breaking the bank? While it might not be quite as easy as hitting “buy now” on your computer, but making a batch of our 3-ingredient dog treats brings together the affordability for you and the quality for your pup.
Organic vs. Non-Organic Dog Food
Much like human food, organic dog food and treats are often healthier than non-organic options. This is because the organic label, by definition, means you’ll never find chemicals, preservatives, or even animal byproducts that might be present in non-organic pet products. Some of these things might not even show up on a non-organic product’s nutrition facts label, like trace amounts of pesticides, heavy metals, or livestock byproducts (hooves, beaks, leftover antibiotics, etc.), so when you’re buying non-organic, you’re signing up for a certain level of mystery regarding what exactly is going into your pet’s body.
Organic ingredients are also produced with the environment in mind. For example, to be classified as organic, any fruit or vegetable must be harvested from soil that hasn’t been touched by unnatural pesticides in at least three years.
How to Make 3 Ingredient Dog Treats
If you’re looking for a healthy, organic, and easy dog treats recipe then look no further. We love this recipe because it requires only a few simple ingredients and provides your pet with essential nutrients. Note that if your dog has any health complications or issues, it’s a good idea to check with your vet before serving up these (or any) delicious treats.
What You’ll Need
You can make these 3-ingredient dog treats with items you should already have at home. You’ll need:
- 1/3 cup organic peanut butter (make sure it’s Xylitol free)
- 1 cup organic oat flower (Tip: You can make your own organic oat flour by blending up organic rolled oats in a food processor)
- 1/3 cup soft organic fruit or veggie of your choice (banana, pumpkin, sweet potato, etc.)
Be sure to check out the dietary safety section of this article before choosing your fruit or vegetable, as certain options, like grapes and raisins, are toxic to dogs, while others, like pumpkins and sweet potatoes, actually provide some great health benefits.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
- Use your hands to mash and knead all your ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Mix until you get a large doughy ball with a consistent texture. If your choice of fruit or vegetable is hard, you will obviously have to cook and mash it separately first.
- If your mixture is too dry, or stiff, add more of your soft organic fruit or vegetable or even some extra organic peanut butter as needed. Water or milk can also be used in small amounts. The goal here is a firm but pliable texture.
- Spread the mixture across a cutting board in. thickness of about one-quarter of an inch.
- Cut into shapes of your choice and place them on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the treats begin to turn golden brown.
- Let the treats cool until they’re firm before taking them off the cookie sheet and storing them.
Storing Your Healthy Dog Treats
How you store your finished batch of treats is going to depend on how you cooked them. Softer dog treats should be put in a sealed container in the fridge and have an estimated lifespan of two to three weeks. If you cooked your treats longer, to the point that they’re harder and easily snap in half with some pressure, room temperature storage should suffice. Note that the estimated lifespan of these 3-ingredient dog treats will remain the same, provided they’ve been stored in an airtight container.
You can also freeze your treats, as this can increase the shelf life from weeks to months, though your dog might not like the taste as much. Keep an eye out for signs of mold or significant changes in smell or texture, as this will indicate spoiling.
We love our pets and it’s important to make sure their treats are healthy (or if they’re not, at least eaten in moderation), but it’s even more important to ensure they’re safe to eat at all. Below is a breakdown of dietary considerations and things to avoid when making healthy dog treats at home.
Ingredients to Avoid in All Easy Dog Treat Recipes
Avoid using peanut butter that has the artificial sweetener Xylitol in it, as it’s poisonous to dogs. So long as you don’t substitute organic peanut butter for regular, this shouldn’t be an issue as organic inherently means that there aren’t any unnatural additives, although it’s always best to double-check all ingredients labels.
If you’re subbing in different nut butter, avoid almond, cashews, and walnut butter, even if they’re organic, as they’re known to cause serious digestion issues in many dogs. Also steer clear of macadamia nut butter, as it’s toxic to dogs!
As stated earlier, avoid grapes and raisins as they’re both toxic for dogs to eat. And while these are a less common option, avocados are also toxic for dogs to eat and should be avoided. Also, keep in mind that the pit of almost any fruit or vegetable that has one contains enough cyanide to harm your dog, so be sure to use extreme caution when serving the non-pit part of any of these fruits or vegetables.
Ingredients to Embrace in All Easy Dog Treat Recipes
The organic oat flour is not only safe for your dog to consume but incredibly beneficial, as oats, especially oats that aren’t processed like the kind you might find in instant oatmeal, are actually a healthy alternative to wheat and grains for many dogs with sensitivities. But even if your dog doesn’t have any unique dietary sensitivities, organic oats are a good source of fiber, vitamin B, and linoleic acid, which can help regulate blood glucose levels, maintain a healthy coat, and strengthen skin, respectively.
Just be sure the oats your dog eats are always cooked, not raw, and watch out for possible diarrhea and vomiting that too much fiber can bring on.
If you want to sub out the organic oat flour for any reason, some other flours that are safe for dogs to eat include whole wheat flour, garbanzo or chickpea flour, buckwheat flour, coconut flour, brown rice flour, barley flour, or millet flour.
Some of the best organic fruit and veggie choices include bananas, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes. Bananas are high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper, yet low in cholesterol and sodium. Be careful of the high amount of natural sugar though. It’s the reason why bananas work perfectly as an ingredient in treats and not their everyday food.
Pumpkins, like oats, contain fiber, so be careful when you’re putting both of them into the same batch of treats. Pumpkins also have lots of carotenoids, potassium, and vitamin C. Sweet potatoes contain more than double the number of antioxidants found in blueberries and are a rich source of fiber, iron, calcium, many B vitamins, and vitamin C.
For more information that can help you give your pets the best care possible, stay up to date with the Public Goods Blog for more tips and buying guides, such as The 7 Best Vitamins and Supplements For Dogs and The 8 Best Puppy Shampoo for Dogs with Sensitive Skin.
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