From soothing her stomach to cleaning her teeth, these healthy homemade treats help support your dog or cat’s wellness.
Just like us, dogs and cats are prone to a variety of ailments, from allergies to diabetes to GI upsets. Along with providing your companion with regular veterinary care and a healthy lifestyle, you can support her wellness with a quality diet —including homemade treats that use ingredients selected to address specific conditions. Give the following recipes a try next time your dog or cat needs a nutritional boost to help her deal with a health issue.
The Tastiest Treats for Teeth
If you’re looking for cleaner teeth, give these award-winning “dental delights” a try.
- 2 cups poultry giblets, cooked (hearts, liver, gizzards)
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1½ teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon first pressed/extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole egg
- 1½ cups whole grain or seed flour (e.g. oat, spelt, or an alternative whole flour like hemp or quinoa)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries, finely minced
- 1 egg white
- Parmesan cheese
Place giblets in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes.
Pureé cooked meat in a food processor or blender, then add all other ingredients, except the whole flour. Ensure all ingredients are thoroughly blended, like a thick paste, before adding the flour, a little at a time. Add a bit more water or oil if your dough is too dry, and a bit more flour if you find it is too wet.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
Dust your hands with flour and sprinkle a little on a cutting board or countertop. Oatmeal can be used in place of flour. Turn out your dough and knead well, then roll it out to a thickness of about ¼”. This part is particularly easy if you roll out the dough on a piece of floured wax paper or parchment paper. Cut the dough into desired shapes and sizes, or roll out small pieces to the thickness of a pencil and cut into small treats, like biscotti — this makes a great training treat.
Bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200°Fand remove the cookie sheets from the oven. Beat or whisk the egg white until soft peaks begin to form. Baste the biscuits with the egg white, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return the biscuits to the oven and bake for another 45 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the biscuits until they have completely cooled.
This recipe makes 50 treats and can easily be doubled. Store in the fridge or freezer. You can even store extra dough in the freezer, so it is ready for you any time you want to make a fresh batch.
Oats are high in minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. They help support strong teeth.
Parsley has potent antimicrobial properties that make it the perfect breath freshener.
Tummy Soothing Pumpkin Pudding Cake
- 1½ cups whole oat flour
- 1 cup whole brown rice flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons Saigon cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon carob powder
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup ground almonds (optional)
- 3 cups pumpkin purée
- ¼ cup combination of local and Manuka honey
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a cake pan or a Pyrex dish. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon batter into cake pan and bake for1¼ hours. Test “doneness” with a toothpick; it should come out “clean.” Cool completely before serving. Cut in squares and store in an airtight container. This recipe freezes well.
Pumpkin is often referred to as “medicine in a can.” It is very rich in fiber and contains many disease-fighting nutrients. It helps fight both diarrhea and constipation.
Cinnamon was recommended as early as 2700 BC for the treatment of nausea, fever, and diarrhea. Native American Indians used it for diarrhea and chills. Cinnamon is a carminative and used as a digestive tonic when prepared as a tea.
Ginger has many healing properties, including its ability to cleanse the colon, and reduce spasms and cramps. It has also been used in the treatment of colitis, nausea, gas, indigestion, motion sickness and vomiting. Ginger helps protect the gastric system by supporting digestive enzyme activity.
Carob is great for calming an upset tummy and helping to cure diarrhea
Novel Protein Stir Fry
Are allergies an issue? Novel proteins can help calm her skin.
- 1 pound ground novel protein of your choice (e.g. kangaroo, buffalo, ostrich)
- 3 tablespoons first pressed/extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder or
- 1 teaspoon turmeric paste made with ground turmeric root
Add olive oil to a middle-sized pan and set heat at medium high. Add ground protein, gently combine with olive oil and spices, and stir. As soon as bubbles appear, turn heat down to simmer, and continue stirring until there is no pink left in the meat. Cool and serve. This dish can also be served raw.
Buffalo is an excellent protein choice for animals that have allergies encompassing both skin-related issues and gastrointestinal problems.
Kangaroo is another great source of novel high-quality protein. It is a valuable source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, niacin, iron and zinc.
Ostrich is yet another novel protein choice to try. According to the Canadian Ostrich Association, it has an ideal pH balance, so the meat does not attract bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that acts as a decongestant and antihistamine, which can help in the reduction of mast cell de-granulation and histamine release. Turmeric also has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial properties. Keep in mind that “more does not mean better” when it comes to turmeric, as it can cause an upset tummy.