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Treats fall under the same category as food. If it is ingested, it needs to be free from all the artificial additives put into dog food today. Good treats are not easy to find in the pet stores. Even those labeled as "natural" sometimes have preservatives in them. When purchasing treats, note which brands you and your dogs like and stick with them. For information on selecting food see the nutrition page.

A good definition of a training treat is one that is small, soft, and easily swallowed. Take a jar and make a mix of different treats then pour a small amount into a container to train with that day. Of course, do not put things in the jar that need to be refrigerated. The following are good treats:

  • Charlee Bears – found at most pet stores
  • Freeze-dried liver – again found at most pet stores. Look for small pieces. You should not use a large amount of liver for training since it can cause diarrhea.
  • Three Dog Bakery
  • Paws Gourmet
  • Buddy Biscuit Ity Bitty Biscuits
  • Simon & Huey Soft Training Treats
  • Dry cereal such as Cheerios, Chex, or Kiks
  • Gerber Graduates puffs
  • Dry dog food
  • String cheese – cut/tear into small pieces
  • Cheese pieces
  • Hot dogs – preferably nitrate-free turkey or all beef hot dogs. Cut into quarters length wise then width wise into pieces. (Place on a couple of layers of paper towels and microwave until dried out. Don't burn them.)
  • Frozen carrots – thaw and cut into quarters. Put in a low temp oven to dry them out a little.
  • Blueberries or other small pieces of fruit
  • Beef Jerky– don't get the peppered kind.

If you like to making your own treats there are many different recipes for both biscuits and training treats. You can vary the dryness of the treat by the length of time they are cooked or dry them out in a low temp oven.

My dogs' favorite treats are Jack Mackerel Treats

1 - 15 ounce can mackerel (do not drain)
3 eggs including shell
2 tbsp. of garlic powder
blend in food processor or blender
1 C corn meal (can a substitute a different flour)
add the corn meal and mix well
2 C flour (wheat, oat, rice, etc.)
Add flour slowly until dough is the consistency of a thick brownie batter but not roll out cookie dough. Depending on the amount of liquid in the fish you may not use all 2 Cups.

Spread dough into a greased/floured cookie sheet. Bake 300 degrees 30-40 minutes until desired consistency is achieved. Treats should be soft and firm, but not crumbly or crunchy. Cool, then cut into small cubes using pizza cutter and freeze until ready to use.

You can use the same recipe substituting salmon, tuna, canned dog food, or a pound of liver. For variety add 1 cup of shredded cheese or sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and more garlic powder.


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Copyright 2006-2013 Susan Armstrong - All rights reserved

Updated July 2013