As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of people are having to pay close attention to how they are spending their money. That means only buying essentials and saving the rest. Non-essential items are getting cut from the grocery list and most of the time, the first thing to go is dog treats. However, that doesn't mean Fido should have to go without treats! Save money and learn how to make your own dog treats with items already in your pantry. Not only will this be a healthier option for your dog to enjoy, but it will also save you some money and give you something to do in the kitchen while we continue to shelter in place.
DOG TRAIL MIX
One easy and fun dog treat to make is a homemade dog trail mix! For starters, the dog treat trail mix will include a few ingredients from your fridge. The ingredients include:
1. Meat (any kind you have on hand. If seasoned, be sure to wash off seasoning)
3. Other vegetables you may have in your pantry (just no onions! These can be bad for your furbaby)
4. Fruit (no grapes or raisins. These are poisonous to dogs)
One of the highlights of this treat is how easy it is to prepare! The steps to create this yummy masterpiece are as follows:
1. Cut all ingredients into about 1/4 inch pieces and place them on a baking sheet
2. Spray lightly with reduced-fat cooking spray
3. Place baking sheet into a food dehydrator OR into a 200-degree oven until the food is completely dried
4. When cool, place trail mix into a large one-gallon plastic bag for storage
This trail mix is one of the best, healthier, and most natural treats your pup will have ever had. This treat is really useful for rewarding good behavior in small amounts. Since the trail mix has smaller portions, you can use it for everyday training techniques like potty training or teaching your dog new tricks. Not only that, but you can fill up your dog's favorite treat-dispensing toy with the trail mix and watch your dog go nuts with the homemade treats made by you!
The JW Robobone Electronic Treat Dispenser (shown right) would be a wonderful tool to use your homemade dog trail mix with. Not only does the toy dispense treats, but it's also programmed to move and run away from your dog, keeping your dog chasing the toy during playtime. If your dog has had enough, the toy will go into sleep mode and only away when your dog gives it a nudge. It's a fun, effortless way to keep your dog entertained while you work from home or have things to get done around the house.
Another easy-to-use and fun interactive treat puzzle toy is the JW Rockin' Treat Ball. This treat dispensing dog toy works similarly to the JW RoboBone in that as it moves around it dispenses treats to keep your dog's attention. However, it is not electronic and only dispenses treats if your dog is playing with it. It may not have the same level of interaction but it still lives up to the purpose and expectation.
PEANUT BUTTER FROYO DOG TREATS
Another homemade dog treat is some puppy-friendly froyo! This might seem more like a dessert treat, and there is nothing wrong with that! These are more of an after-dinner treat for your pup while you enjoy your bowl of ice cream. The ingredients needed for this homemade dog treat are:
1. 32 ounces of vanilla yogurt
2. 1 cup of peanut butter
Super simple right? This easy peanut butter froyo only has two simple ingredients and is super easy on your finances. The next step is to combine the ingredients and create that masterful treat. The simple recipe is as follows:
1. Melt the peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
2. Combine the yogurt and peanut butter together to get a smooth finish. Add more peanut butter to thicken
3. Pour the mixture into cupcake papers or any fun dessert molds you have in your home.
4. Finally, place the molds into the freezer and allow them to firm up over the next 4 hours.
These treats can be a litter richer for your dog. That being said, you may want to get a treat toy that will slow down your dog's intake of this specific treat. The JW Twist In Treats Dog Toy (shown below) is a great option to slow down your dog while he eats this treat. Instead of using the treats to come with the toy, leave the mold in the center empty, and fill it up with the froyo mixture instead. Place the entire toy in the freezer for 4 hours os that it can mold to the toy. Then give it to your dog for a lickin' good time.
While we are all trying to find ways to keep busy and entertained during this difficult time our society is in, caring for our dogs while saving money can be a great trick for keeping busy and distracted. By making these homemade treats for your dog, you are giving them a healthier treat option while saving money! There are so many other fun ways to keep dogs occupied during this time. So get creative and enjoy these moments with your dog.
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