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
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
- 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.