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Giving Your Canine Buddy Dog Biscuits

February 15, 2024

Does your furry friend like treats? We’re guessing he probably does. Fido is always super cute when he’s angling for a yummy snack! While dogs have very different personalities and preferences, they all share one thing in common: a love  of treats! (We love snacks, too.) There are a few things to consider when giving your canine friend his snacks. A local Savage, MN vet weighs in on Fido’s snacks in this article.

Should You Give Dogs People Food? 

Fido’s menu should be based on a dog food that is suitable for his age, size, health, and breed. That said, you can supplement your pet’s diet with certain people foods. Some of the things that are safe for Fido to eat include unseasoned meat, fish, and poultry, without skin, bones, or fat; eggs; and rice. Some fruits and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, blueberries, sweet potatoes, spinach, peas, and carrots, are also fine for dogs.

It’s also worth noting that sharing food from the table won’t exactly teach good pet manners. Begging is bad petiquette! If incorporating any of these foods into your pet’s food, add it to his bowl at mealtime. Be sure to ask your vet for specific advice.

What Foods Are Not Safe For My Dog?

It’s important to remember that not everything is safe for our furry friends.  Garlic, onions, scallions, chives, pitted fruit, raw dough or yeast, avocado, alcohol, chocolate, grapes, raisins, and anything with xylitol, salt, sugar, or fat are all unsafe to feed pets. 

Make sure to research any new food before feeding it to your pet. Ask your Savage, MN veterinarian for more information on safe and unsafe foods.

Should I Have My Dog Do Tricks For His Treats?

Man’s Best Buddy really does strive to please his humans. He gets adorably proud of himself when he knows he’s done something correctly! Have him work for his treats! Start with basic commands, like Sit and Stay. Once your four-legged friend has those basics down, you can move on to more advanced commands. Or, show him some cute tricks. Classic tricks like Shake and Roll Over will always be adorable.  

How Can I Choose Safe Dog Treats?

It’s important to choose dog treats that contain wholesome, nutritious ingredients. Always read the label carefully. The ingredient list should name meat, fish, and poultry first and most frequently.  Avoid products with ingredient lists that read like chemical experiments … that may very well be what they are.

Also, only pick snacks that are appropriate for your pet’s size. Anything made for a larger or smaller dog could damage Fido’s teeth or even cause him to choke.

It’s not a bad idea to keep an eye on pet food recalls. You can do that at the FDA site here or the AMVA site here

Can I Make Dog Treats At Home?

Sure! Many people enjoy making their pets’ snacks. Homemade treats are also a great option for dogs with allergies or dietary restrictions. This can also be a good way to use leftovers, like all that extra turkey you end up with after Thanksgiving. Plus, you’ll know exactly what your pup is eating.

Most of Fido’s treats begin with a batter or base. Here are some of the things you can use: 

  • Ground Meat 
  • Sodium-Free Broth
  • Fat-Free Yogurt
  • Liver Powder
  • Bananas
  • Peanut Butter Without Xylitol
  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Eggs
  • Whole Wheat Flour 
  • Wheat Germ Oil
  • Sodium-Free Broth 

You can also customize Fido’s snacks with safe fruits and vegetables like peas, green beans, and spinach; bacon bits; cheese; shredded meat; or kibble.

Here are a few recipes you can try:

  • Put beef, whole-wheat flour, eggs, and cheese into a food processor and process until smooth. Pour into a brownie pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
  • Mix eggs, whole-wheat flour, olive oil or wheat germ oil, bacon bits, shredded meat or cheese, or kibble. Cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Combine plain shredded or canned chicken with cheese, bacon bits, whole-wheat flour, and sodium-free chicken broth. Cook at 375 for 20 minutes.

You’ll want to divide the mixture into small portions. Cook times may vary, depending on how big and/or thick the snacks are.

Feel free to mix and match! You can find more great recipes online, or make your own. Read labels carefully, and be sure to only use safe ingredients. 

Is It Okay To Give Dogs Rawhide? 

Although it is rather popular among dogs, rawhide can be quite dangerous, especially for pups who chew vigorously. Ingesting rawhide can cause serious—and potentially fatal—internal problems. Plus, rawhide can break into small and/or sharp pieces, posing a serious choking hazard. Stick with safer treats instead. 

Who Made The First Dog Biscuit? 

According to some studies, Fido has been by our side for as long as 30,000 years! If that’s true, then we can probably guestimate that Man’s Best Buddy has been asking for scraps for 29,999 years, 11 months, and 29 days.

In other words, we’ve been tweaking Fido’s menu for a very long time. According to the old manuscript ‘Farm Topics’ by Roman poet Marcus Terentius Varro, our canine companions were fed meat, bones, and milk-soaked barley back then.

Virgil also weighed in on this. He is attributed with the quote: “Nec tibi cura canum fuerit postrema; sed una Veloces Spartae catulos, acremque Molossum, Pasce sero pingui.” This means “Don’t leave the care of dogs until the end; feed fast Spartan hounds and fierce Mastiffs.”

Medieval texts also offer some clues. In a 14th-century French manual, Gaston III, the 11th Count of Foix, noted that he fed his greyhounds bran bread and hunted meat.

As to the actual dog biscuit, that’s been around a few hundred years as well. An early 1800s businessman named James Spratt created the first modern dog biscuit out of wheat, vegetables, beetroot, and beef blood.  In 1907, chemist Carleton Ellis created another version. He also gave Fido’s cookies their iconic bone shape, therefore introducing the milk bone that Man’s Best Buddy still wags his tail for today.

Are You Supposed To Give Dogs Treats?

Although treats are not technically necessary for Fido’s physical health, they certainly do contribute to his happiness and well-being. Snacks are great for training, bonding, and just brightening up your cute pet’s day. They can also give Fido a sense of routine, which is also very beneficial. For example, you might want to give your pup a small treat after his walk.

Don’t go overboard! Ideally, you’ll want to keep treats to a maximum of five to ten percent of Fido’s daily caloric intake. Don’t let your pet fool you into overfeeding him. That may require some resolve on your part, and some training on Fido’s part, but it’s crucial!  Our furry pals  know how to melt our hearts with their sad puppy expressions. For advice, contact your Savage, MN veterinarian.

Conclusion: Providing treats to your dog can be beneficial for him in many ways. Just stick with safe options, and don’t overfeed him.

Contact your Savage, MN veterinary clinic if you have any questions about feeding your dog biscuits or if you need a dog exam.

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