We don’t want to sound like a stuck record, but we can all agree that living costs are spiralling out of control these days. With families looking for ways to cut costs, pet food is often one of the first places where compromises get made. It’s no secret that good-quality food can be expensive, so how can you stretch your money without sacrificing quality? To help, we’ve created a list of treats for your canine companions that won’t break the bank and are pretty healthy to boot. Read on to find how you can ditch those expensive dog treats and reward your dog with homemade scooby snacks that will have them returning for more. To make it even easier, most of these ideas can be made with food you’d be buying regularly.
From the Fruit Bowl
Unlike cats, dogs will happily munch their way through an omnivore diet. The nutrients found in certain fruits and veg are essential to your dog’s overall health. This blog answers the question of “can dogs eat fruit” in easy-to-understand terms, and it lists the benefits of each fruit. Here are some of our favourite suggestions.
We’ve all been there; your avocado goes from rock hard to a mushy mess as soon as your back is turned. Don’t let it go to waste, and just remember to remove the skin and stone before serving it up.
Figs are your best friend if your dog needs some more fibre in its diet! They are a great boost for our dog’s digestive system. Be sure to give them to your pup in moderation. Too many and their digestive system may work too well if you get our meaning.
From the Bakery
Fan of baking shows? Well, you can release your inner Martha Stewart or Delia Smith with some homemade doggy biscuits. Making your own biscuits can be incredibly cost-effective, plus you have full control over what goes into them, so you can tailor recipes to suit your dog’s likes and needs. You will find no shortage of recipes online, but if you want an easy one to start off with, try this.
The Basic Biscuit
390g or 3 cups of plain flour
80-120 ml or ⅓ -½ cup of water
Mix the eggs and water, then add enough water until you’ve formed a stiff dough. Roll it out, cut your shapes (bone shapes are best, of course) and then bake in a 350 F/180 C oven for about 20 minutes.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, get creative, you can try adding in some mashed bananas or grated carrots or even place the water with chicken stock for a more meaty flavour.
From the Fridge
Hot days can take it out of anyone, but if you’re covered in heavy fur or hair, the heat can be even more stressful. Raid your fridge to find treats that cool your dog on hot days.
For a cool and crunchy treat, sticks of cucumber are ideal. Cucumbers are incredibly low in calories, so you don’t need to worry about unwanted weight gain. Cucumbers also have the very handy benefit of helping to tackle bacteria in your dog’s mouth. Regularly snacking on cucumber could help your dog’s breath smell better.
Full disclosure: This suggestion isn’t for everyone! While yoghurt and dairy products offer a tasty snack for most dogs, some dogs are lactose intolerant and should not get yoghurt at all. Greek yoghurt is a lovely treat if your dog is happy with dairy. Dogs have much lower levels of lactase in their stomach than humans, meaning you should only give yoghurt to your puppy in small amounts every so often.
From the Freezer
For those hot days when a snack from the fridge just doesn’t cut it, take a look at these freezer-friendly options. We love them for two reasons:
- They are an ideal way to give your dog an extra hydration boost on warm days;
- You can make them in bulk ahead of time, giving you homemade snacks on hand whenever you need them.
Peanut Butter Ice Lollies
Mash together peanut butter, a ripe banana and as much water as you need to make a thin paste. Pop your concoction into moulds and stick it into the freezer. The resulting treat will set any dog’s tail wagging! When choosing peanut butter for this tasty treat, be very careful that it doesn’t contain a sweetener called xylitol. Xylitol can be fatal for dogs, so always check the ingredient. Better yet, look for all-natural peanut butter that contains peanuts and nothing else.
For an even more hydrating treat, replace peanut butter with blended-up watermelon, you won’t need to add any extra water, but a splash of yoghurt will jazz things up a bit.
For a super simple snack, freeze wedges of watermelon. Just be sure to remove the rinds and seeds before dishing them up.
So there you have it, seven homemade dog treats that will be gentle on the pocket and good for your dog’s overall health. Try them and let us know your favourites.