Start Making Your Own Dog Food

flickr_kitayHave you ever thought about making your own dog treats?

Many pet owners are accustomed to buying their dog food from the pet store, but some home cooks and dog lovers like Michelle Johnson from Dog Treat Kitchen have sworn by making their dogs' food and special treats from scratch.

Making your own dog treats using food from your pantry can save you money and time. Depending on where you shop, purchasing premade dog biscuits can cost around $15 per box while certain dog food brands can set pet owners back up to $60 per bag. That's a lot of money to spend on a commodity that you could easily make in your kitchen.

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What's more, homemade dog treats might even be healthier for your dog. After reading up on the latest scandals concerning dog treats, you may be convinced to start making your beloved pup's treats at home as well.

Making homemade dog food and treats can help you keep track of your pets' caloric intake, which can be particularly helpful for pets with dietary restrictions. Veterinary groups have estimated that 20 to 60 percent of American dogs and cats are either overweight or obese and at risk of developing health risks. By controlling the ingredients that go into your dog's daily meals, you can keep your pet healthier and living longer.

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The best ingredients to feed your dog are sweet potatoes, bananas, and peanut butter, because they can satiate your dog's seemingly endless appetite without leading to excessive weight gain or health risks. Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, are very filling, and have been found by animal studies to stabilize blood sugar levels in pets. Bananas contain many amino acids, electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to keep your dog healthy.

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Veterinarians warn pet owners to watch what kind of peanut butter they serve their pets, cautioning them to opt for natural varieties rather than ones with added sugars and salts, just as you might do with your children.

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Now that you know why you might opt to feed your dogs with food from your pantry, you may be wondering what kinds of recipes are suitable for your furry friends, so here's a chicken broth dog treats recipe for you to try. Homemade dog treats can also make a great gift to a fellow pet owner.

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Many pet owners choose to make their by blending a combination of dog-friendly ingredients like bananas, peanut butter, honey, and yogurt, and freezing the mixture for future use. For a heartier meal, chefs like those at the Dog Treat Kitchen incorporate various meats from chicken and liver to salmon.

The great thing about making your own dog treats with nutritious ingredients from your pantry is that they are healthy for your family to eat as well. Make a batch of treats for your family and one for your pet to keep the whole household satisfied for the week.

Note: Many recipes for dog treats and food can be used for cat treats as well. Feel free substitute some ingredients for ones that you have in your pantry or that you know your pets like, but be sure to check whether or not your pet can safely eat them beforehand.

Click here to see the Chicken Broth Dog Treats Recipe

-Ally Bruschi, The Daily Meal