4 RECIPES FOR ORIGINAL, HEALTHY DOG TREATS
Giving your pooch a healthy dog treat is a great way to reward good behaviour and share a nice moment! However, there are a few basic rules you should respect to ensure your healthy dog treats are suitable and avoid your pooch gaining weight.
A Few Basic Rules
It's easy to go overboard, even with healthy dog treats! Remember that they should only be given as “little extras” outside of meals, and therefore do not constitute comprehensive feed. Beware of excess weight gain! Healthy dog treats should never be abused, so to make sure you're using them correctly, here are the key things to watch out for:
Quantity: To avoid a dietary imbalance, if necessary, you can slightly reduce the amount of food you give your dog in their regular meals on days you want to give them a healthy dog treat.
Adapt the healthy dog treat to the animal: If healthy dog treats are the primary source of motivation in your dog training, plan something light, such as a small piece of dried meat (see our recipe below), or simply a small portion of their daily food ration distributed as a reward. This helps to keep their diet balanced, and you can easily distribute the remaining amount between their meals.
Choose the right ingredients: Certain toxic ingredients should be avoided (such as chocolate, onion, potatoes, and even avocado). Other than this, watch out for “homemade” healthy dog treats sold in supermarkets, as these don't always have the best composition and can often lead to various issues like weight gain or digestive disorders.
Beware of Dried Liver!
Dried liver is an increasingly “fashionable”, natural, and super tasty treat, sold commercially as a “homemade” healthy dog treat. So, why be wary of it? Because these small pieces of fat, which smell delicious to our furry friends, are hyper-concentrated in vitamin A! They contain almost 3 to 4 times more vitamin A than a piece of raw liver of the same size. Just 10g of dried liver is enough to meet the daily needs of a dog who weighs between 15 and 20kg! If you give your dog any more than that, they will soon reach an overdose.
Generally, dogs are pretty tolerant of an excess of vitamin A. However, it's not something you want to make a habit of because an overdose can lead to skeletal calcification, pain, lethargy, reluctance to move, and persistent lameness of one or both forelimbs. In both dogs and cats, too much or too little vitamin A can cause skin disease. The clinical signs of skin disease include hair loss, a dull coat, excessive dryness, and an increase in skin infections. So this vitamin is not to be played with!
Our Healthy Dog Treat Recipes
👉 Beef Heart and Coconut Meatballs
- 200g minced beef heart
- 100g coconut flour
- 1 fresh egg
- 30cl milk or 50cl kefir
Mix everything well, adding more milk or flour if required to achieve the desired consistency. Then, form into meatballs.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 180°C.
→ The meatballs will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Store in the freezer to keep for longer.
👉 Dried Meat or Fish Fillets: Light, Practical, and Super Tasty
- Meat or fish: as much as you like!
The key to this recipe is to slice your chicken fillet—beef heart, salmon steak, or even tinned sardines (well rinsed, of course!)—as finely as possible.
Be careful to remove as much fat as possible, as it tends to oxidise and cause the meat to go rancid once dried.
Place the pieces on a sheet of baking paper on a metal grill. We recommend that you use a grill rather than a baking sheet, as it allows the heat to diffuse. Bake at 80°C for 5 to 6 hours. Don't panic if your red meat turns a little black: this is completely normal.
If you can, invest in a dehydrator! This small machine allows you to prepare dried fruit, meat, or vegetable snacks for you and healthy dog treats for your furry friend!
→ Once your healthy dog treats are well dried, you can store them for about ten days in a glass jar.
👉 Banana Crunchies
If you have ripe bananas at home and you're sick of banana bread, here's another use for them! Meat-free but just as healthy and tasty, these little cupcakes make a delightful healthy dog treat!
- 2 ripe bananas
- 4 heaped tbsp kefir or plain yoghurt
- 8 heaped tbsp almond powder
Thoroughly mix all the ingredients.
Shape the mixture into mini loaves.
Bake for 1 hour at 160°C.
Leave to cool for about 20 minutes then cut each "loaf" in half.
Put them back in the oven for 1 hour at 120°C.
→ Keep for a maximum of 3-4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them if you want to keep them for longer (2 to 3 months).
👉 Tuna and Brewer's Yeast Crackers
- 1 small tin of tuna in brine
- 125g breadcrumbs
- 30g spelt flour
- 2 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
- 1 egg white
- 1 to 2 tsp brewer's yeast
- Flour for dusting
Thoroughly mix the ingredients until you obtain a smooth dough. You can add the tuna brine or a little water if necessary to reach the desired consistency.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Dust your work surface with flour, then roll out the dough to about 0.5cm thick.
With a knife or cookie cutter, cut into small round or diamond shapes.
Cover your baking sheet with baking paper and place the dough shapes on top.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes then leave to cool and dry gently.
→ The crackers will keep in the refrigerator for ten days or 2 to 3 months in the freezer.
PUBLISHED 11.12.2020 - HECTOR KITCHEN, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
By the Hector Kitchen medical and scientific team
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