Monday, April 18, 2011

Healthy Treats... for Dogs

Yep, this post is dedicated to the four legged family members our there.

Last month, my sweet little Chihuahua, Martini, was diagnosed with Epilepsy.  The good news, it can be controlled with medication.  The bad news, the medication makes her extra hungry, all the time!  When I was faced with the issue of a constantly starving doggie I thought knew a few things things:

1.) I didn't want to give her a bunch of unhealthy treats filled with junk fillers.
2.) I didn't want to spend a ton of money on "designer treats".
3.) I wanted to find lower calorie calorie options for her if at all possible.

I don't mind paying a bit more for her food, but with the treats I figured I can find a way to keep it simple.  Here are are few healthy treat alternative that your pup should love.  Keep in mind when it comes to any treats, they shouldn't make up more than 25% of your dog's diet.

Green Beans
Green beans are especially great for overweight dogs.  Just wash & dry them, trim the ends, put them in a Ziploc bag, and throw them in the freezer.  Tini loves to eat one right out of the freezer.  I give it to her whole and she chews it until there is nothing left.

Yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein. When choosing yogurt, pick one that has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners.  If your pooch is pudgy, make sure that you pick fat-free yogurt but not one that contains fat substitutes. For a great summer treat, make your dog Fro Yo! 

Mix 32 oz Yogurt, 1 cup melted Peanut Butter and 1 Tbls Honey.   Pour into ice cube trays or lined cupcake tins and freeze.  Once solid pop out and place in a Ziploc bag to store in the freezer.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are great sliced and dehydrated as a chewy treat for your dog.  Sweet potatoes are loaded with beneficial nutrients like Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Potassium, and Iron.  Your dog will love these treats and they will keep him or her occupied for a little longer than some treats cause they are dehydrated, almost like a rawhide.

Just cut a clean, dry sweet potato into 1/3"-1/4" slices.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours, turning halfway.  Cool completely and store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to three weeks or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

More tasty doggie treat ideas to come, but for now I hope you and your pooch... Enjoy!

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