There are many commercially prepared treats for dogs that are nutritious and delicious, however sometimes home made treats are even more provocative while at the same time providing excellent nutrition. Standing alone, raw fruits and vegetables (with the exception of grapes and onions) are great treats and supplements to a regular diet, and peanut butter placed into Kongs or puzzle toys may be used for mental stimulation and simply to keep dogs occupied and content.
When training, however, it is often helpful to have special treats that are used for individual behaviours. My dog, Jacob would do anything for tuna treats, and so I reserved them for reliable recall. Desirable rewards go a long way to reinforce attentiveness and focus that facilitate learning new behaviours.
Here are a few recipes that you can make at home.
- 1 tin tuna in water
- 1 egg
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup of white or rice flour (about)
- grated parmesan cheese
Put all ingredients except the cheese into a blender or food processor and pulse until well mixed. Add water if necessary to make the mixture into the consistency of a thick cake dough. Spread onto a greased cookie sheet at a thickness of about 3 to 5 millimeters and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. When cooled, cut into small squares and store in the refrigerator of freezer. The treats should be the consistency of putty when cooked which makes them easy to break into smaller pieces if desired.
PEANUT BUTTER BARK BITES (modified from the magazine Fetch)
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/4 cup oats
In a big bowl, stir together the peanut butter, cinnamon and water, then slowly add the oats 1/4 cup at a time. When completely mixed in, form the mixture into bite-size balls and chill them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.
BANANA FROSTY BITES (taken from Dr. Ernie Ward – Fetch magazine)
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/4 cup light coconut milk
Blend the banana, parsley and coconut milk until smooth and divide into miniature ice cube trays. When frozen give as cool treats on a hot day.