Homemade Treats To Improve Aging Dogs’ Health

homemade treats to improve aging dogs healthWhether your dog is a senior with arthritis, or you want to start early preventative care for your young pup, these homemade treats are rich with ingredients that help with arthritis and inflammation, joints, digestion, skin/coat, tumors/cysts, cholesterol, cancer, and cataracts. They’re a great source of antioxidants, beta carotene, fiber, vitamin A,  potassium, iron, Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and B vitamins. This recipe is super easy, tasty, and so healthy for our dogs! The human members of your family may even like them too. 

Ingredients That Help Aging Dogs IMG_2682

  • Turmeric – a natural spice that has amazing health benefits for humans and animals. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties to help joints and is known to help with fatty tumors and cysts. Known to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and rich with antioxidants believed to prevent and fight cancer. It’s also packed with beta carotene which can prevent cataracts. 
  • Pumpkin – great source of fiber for dogs with an upset stomach, regulates the digestive system, and a source of vitamin A, potassium, iron, and beta carotene. 
  • Flax Seed Meal – incredible source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is great for dogs’ skin and coat. The antioxidants in flax seed are also an anti-inflammatory. 
  • Oats – a great bowel regulator, source of protein and B vitamins, calms nerves, and prevents tumors.
  • Eggs – excellent source of protein 
  • Meat – you can use ground turkey, venison, beef, pork, or chicken depending on what you prefer to use. I recommend a lean meat like turkey, venison, or chicken. 

Amount of Turmeric Depends on Your Dog’s Weight

You will need to adjust the amount of turmeric you use in this recipe depending on your dog’s weight.

If your dog is:

1-25lb = 1 Tb of turmeric

26-50lb =2 Tb of turmeric

51-75lb = 3 Tb of turmeric

75lb+ = 3.5 Tb turmeric 

Step 1: Mix All Ingredients In A Large Bowl

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

IMG_2683Combine:

  • 1 C ground flax seed meal
  • 1 C of oats
  • 2 eggs
  • Turmeric (amount depends on your dog’s weight)
  • 1 can pumpkin

IMG_2685Your mixture will look like this once combined thoroughly. Next step is to add the 1 lb of ground meat:

IMG_2686Once you’ve added the ground meat, the mixture will be finished:

IMG_2687

Form The Treats

IMG_2688The mixture will be slightly sticky, so rolling the treats into balls or using cookie cutters wouldn’t be an easy task. I simply grabbed globs of batter out of the bowl and plopped them down onto the baking sheet. I pushed down to flatten them, and they’ll taste just as good if they’re ugly as they would cut into pretty shapes!

Bake

IMG_2690Once the baking sheets are full of treats, place them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Depending on the size of your treats, they may need to bake for more or less time than that. I didn’t bake mine for long, because these are specialized for elderly dogs. A softer treat is better than a crunchy one on their teeth.

 Chow Down!

Turmeric can cause dehydration, so make sure your dog has plenty of water available when you serve these treats. 

IMG_2726 Jem and Zoey loved the smell of the treats coming out of the oven!

IMG_2743Of course Jem did her typical move: jump up onto the counter to investigate! 

IMG_2791And she loved what she smelled! 

IMG_2805Jem and Zoey loved these treats sooo much that I couldn’t even get a clear picture of the crazy girls! They went nuts! Safe to say this is a recipe for the record books. 

Storing These Treats

You must keep these natural treats in the refrigerator since they lack preservatives. They will last up to a week in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. You can also freeze the uncooked dough if you would rather not bake them all at once. 

Do you have any other tried and true methods for helping elderly dogs feel more comfortable or prevention for younger pups? 

Homemade Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

homemade chicken jerky dog treatsSome people think that making your own dog treats is labor intensive and time-consuming. But what if I told you that it’s as easy as chop and bake? Anyone can dice up some chicken and place it in the oven, right? It’s so easy! And with only 1 ingredient, no preservatives, no added-anything, and no mystery meats… your dog will thrive on these tasty treats! And dehydrated treats are the least labor-intensive creation imaginable. You barely have to lift a finger! And with claims that even jerky treats made in the USA aren’t safe, it’s so important that we can rest-assured that we are feeding our dogs non-toxic treats.

Step 1: Prepare Your Checklist of Ingredients

DSC06781Ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken

That’s it! Just 1 ingredient. You can buy whatever is on sale, but I used the chicken breasts that our family eats. These will be ready in no time, so preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Step 2: Slice The Chicken

DSC06783A lot of people slice the chicken into thin, 1/8-3/8″ jerky slices. The thinner they are, the less time they will need to cook in the oven. However, I found it was much easier to just cube the chicken into thin, square-shaped pieces. I began by cutting the chicken into long jerky strips, but it was kind of difficult, and the cubes ended up cooking better in the oven. 

DSC06788Step 3: Place & Bake

DSC06789Place the chicken pieces on baking sheets. You can use non-stick spray if you wish. 

DSC06792Place in the oven and bake for about 2 hours at 250 degrees. The amount of time will vary depending on the thickness and size of the treats you cut.

Jem’s trusty nose tells her there’s something in the oven…

DSC06867

Step 4: Eat Up!

DSC06793Make sure your jerky treats are a golden color with some crisp to them. If they’re still soft and very white, you should cook them for longer. Your treats may take more or less time than mine did depending on the size you cut them. 

Zoey smells something coming out of the oven…

DSC06800And Jem is quick to investigate…DSC06816“Are all of these for me?!” 

DSC06850Jem can’t believe her eyes!

DSC06844OH my gosh they really ARE for me…

DSC06841And soon enough Jem couldn’t get enough…

DSC06843But Zoey’s height doesn’t keep her from taking a whiff…

DSC06857And she loves what she tastes!

DSC06861These jerky treats were so easy to make and healthy for the dogs. Based on their reactions, these seemed to be their favorite dog treats that I’ve ever made! I had to put them away in the refrigerator and spray Febreeze to get Jem to stop sniffing around the kitchen for more! 

Other favorite homemade treat recipes:

 

Yummy Homemade Banana Dog Treats

homemade banana dog treats from radiofence.comWhat’s better than homemade dog treats? When they’re only 1 ingredient! These banana dog treats are super easy to make and much cheaper than store-bought treats. You can’t go wrong! And your doggy is going to love them.

Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients

All you need for this recipe is bananas! I chose to use 5 bananas because I have 3 hungry doggies to treat this week. 

homemade banana dog treats from radiofence.comI chose bananas that still had some green color. This made them stay in tact better when I cut them rather than soft, ripe bananas. 

Step 2: Peel and Cut The Bananas

homemade banana dog treats from radiofence.com

homemade banana dog treats from radiofence.comI sliced my bananas into bite-sized pieces since my dogs are small. When I give them treats, I like them to be bite-size rewards after a walk, trick, or good behavior. Over-treating can lead to obesity and other health problems. 

banana dog treats from radiofence.comYou can also slice the bananas long-ways into three pieces for a chewy treat for bigger dogs. This shape is also great if you want your dog to have a treat that will last longer.  Don’t worry if you can’t cut them perfectly, as you can see mine broke!

Step 3: Place & Bake

homemade banana dog treats from radiofence.comPlace the bananas on a baking sheet. You can use parchment paper, but I didn’t have any in stock! I heard that squeezing lemon on the treats will keep them from browning, but I don’t know if it made much of a difference. I’d say that this step of adding lemon isn’t necessary. 

homemade banana dog treats from RadioFence.comBake in the oven at 200 degrees for 1 hour & 30 minutes. They will come out of the oven still a little bit soft. Let them sit and cool for about 30 minutes, then remove from the baking sheet. You can cook them for longer if your dogs prefer a crispier treat. 

Step 4: Go Bananas!

Yep, that’s right. My pups went absolutely bananas over these treats! It was so much fun to watch them freaking out over the taste. 

Zoey and Laci were the first ones out of the gate…

zoey and laci homemade dehydrated banana dog treats from radiofence.comI wasn’t sure which one of them would get the first bite…

homemade banana dog treats from radiofence.comBut before they could get a taste…

radiofence.com banana dog treats INCOMING! Jem swooped in for the prize! And with one sniff of the banana…

banana dog treats from radiofence.comShe was hooked!

radiofence.com banana dog treatsZoey had to see what all the fuss was about…

radiofence.com banana dog treatsAnd she was in love!

radiofence.com banana dog treatsIt was Laci’s turn to fight for a taste…

radiofence.com homemade banana dog treatsShe wasn’t about to let Jem steal her bite…

radiofence.com homemade banana dog treatsOut of the way, Jem… this bite is mine!

laci radiofence.com homemade banana dog treatsSuccess! Laci got her bite, and she went crazy for it…

radiofence.com homemade banana dog treatsThe girls loved their treats so much that they wished their Uncle Buddy there to try them. But since they didn’t have a big dog to share the big pieces with, they would just have to split it in three…

radiofence.com pet products

Health Benefits Of Bananas For Dogs 

Bananas are beneficial to dogs when given in moderation, so a treat is the perfect solution. They’re one of the most nutritious fruits you can feed your dog. They have high levels of vitamin B, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium that your dog may not be getting from her dog food.

Large/Medium sized dogs can eat up to half of a banana a few times per week. Smaller breeds should have smaller slices. It is recommended to feed your dog bananas in moderation since they can cause constipation in humans and dogs when consumed heavily. If your dog struggles with constipation on a regular basis, it may be wise to avoid banana treats. 

Dogs that suffer with colitis, which is inflammation of the colon, benefit greatly from eating bananas because the enzymes soothe irritations in the intestines. Always consult your veterinarian to make sure any nutritional additives to your dogs diet coincide with her treatment regimen. 

 

If you love how easy dehydrated dog treats are to make, check out our other recipe:

Homemade Doggy Ice Cream For Summer

homemade dog ice cream recipe from radiofence.com What treat do you crave the most on a hot summer day? A nice cool, refreshing ice cream cone? Well your dog is thinking the same thing! Too bad dairy can make their tummies hurt so bad… it would be great to let our pups have a lick and get a break from the heat. 

I love to find fun, new, and exciting ways to keep my dogs entertained. I’ll search for things that we can do together at home when we’re stuck inside because it’s close to 100 degrees out. What screams “summer vacation” more than ice cream?!

Your dog can still enjoy an ice cream treat during these hot summer months as long as you make it yourself at home. And don’t worry, just like all the other recipes I share, it takes less time to make this yourself than to buy the mystery-meat “dog ice cream” at the grocery store. 

All you need is a blender/food processor, bananas, and peanut butter!

Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients

homemade dog ice cream recipeIngredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas – peeled
  • 1 tb peanut butter

See? I told you this was going to be easy! 

All you have to do is peel the bananas and put them in a dish for freezing. 

homemade dog ice cream recipeI chose to cut mine into small pieces before freezing them because my Ninja is small, but you can freeze them whole if you have a bigger machine.

Step 2: Freeze Your Bananas

All you have to do to prepare your doggy ice cream is freeze the bananas for 2-3 hours. You can always freeze them for longer if you wish, but my dogs were in a hurry!

You can see a little peak of Zoey’s raw food (Darwin’s) in the freezer… I’ll have to tell you more about that later! 

Step 3: Blend The Ice Cream

homemade dog ice cream for summerOnce your bananas have chilled in the freezer, simply stick them in the blender/food processor and blend for 30-60 seconds or until they have an ice cream-like consistency. 

homemade dog ice cream for summerI couldn’t believe how much this looked and felt like real ice cream when I was finished blending! The texture of the bananas and the refreshing cool temperature could have even fooled me into thinking this was real ice cream. Maybe we will make this a human snack tradition as well!

Step 4: Add Peanut Butter

homemade healthy dog treat recipeAdd a tablespoon of peanut butter (I just scooped a spoon-full out of the jar). It doesn’t need to be exact. Blend again until it has mixed with the bananas.

Jem says “I smell something yummy!”

This part is completely optional, but what dog doesn’t love peanut butter? You can add any ingredients to your ice cream that your dog loves or that she needs supplemented into her diet. Consider adding any of the brain foods that extend your dog’s life span

And always remember, read the label on your peanut butter to make sure it doesn’t have the added ingredient that is highly poisonous to dogs!

Zoey and Laci say, “If only we were a couple inches taller!”

Step 5: Beat The Heat and Enjoy!

homemade dog ice creamNow for the best part of all, watching your dog devour this amazing treat that you made so easily in your kitchen! Isn’t there something rewarding about knowing you made a treat for your dog yourself and watching how much she loves it?

homemade dog ice cream treatI wish we had some cute ice cream bowls or cones, but they loved this ice cream so much that they probably would have destroyed it too quickly for me to get good pictures no matter what I served it in! 

homemade dog ice cream treatAs always, Jem and Laci were the biggest little piglets when it came to scarfing it down. They were running from bowl to bowl trying to make sure to stake their claim on each one. Zoey was her usual shy self and took a couple licks before just letting them take over. As usual, I let Zoey have her treat in a separate room so she could enjoy it without the others trying to nab it from her.

homemade dog ice cream I love this recipe for so many reasons – it’s healthy for the dogs, easy for me to make, and it’s always a great back-up plan for bananas sitting on the counter that have gotten too ripe for the family to eat. I have a feeling my girls will be getting homemade ice cream pretty often as our bananas become over-ripe.

Have you ever tried a homemade ice cream recipe, and did your dog love it as much as mine did? I hope you try this recipe, and if you do let me know how they like it!

Jerky Dog Treats “Made In The USA” Still Not Safe

RadioFence.com jerky treats made in the USA and china are not safe

By now we’ve all probably heard about the toxic dog treats from China that have caused so many tragic dog deaths and complications. Since 2007, that FDA has received more than 5000 reports of illnesses believed to be related to consuming jerky treats. Since these tragedies, there has been a mass movement to take all treats that are made in China off the store shelves and most pet parents have been paying attention to where the treats are made before giving them to their dogs.

jerky treats from china recalledBut come to find out… even if the treats have the “Made In The USA” sticker/label, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the treats are healthy for your dog to consume. One of the scariest facts about this whole issue is that the specific toxin or poison that has caused all of these illnesses and deaths hasn’t been determined. The FDA believes that there is an association between these illnesses and the treats made in China, but it has not been proven that this is the cause. The truth is that they still haven’t determined the cause of these deaths. 

china treats recalledThe FDA warns consumers that until they can determine which ingredients in jerky treats are poisonous, there may not be a single jerky treat brand on the shelves that is safe for consumption. “I don’t recommend pet owners feed their pets jerky treats until the FDA can actually tell us what in the jerky treat is actually causing the sickness,” said Studio City veterinarian Dr. Julio Lopez

Jerky treats at Petco - some make claims of their ingredients being sourced in the USA

Jerky treats at Petco – some make claims of their ingredients being sourced in the USA

The FDA warns us that jerky treats labeled “Made In The USA” may pose just as many health risks as the treats made in China because while many of these treats are “assembled” in the United States, they are likely to include ingredients from China. The Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer for the FDA explained that “manufacturers do not need to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products.”

"Family-Owned Spot Farms" makes it known that the chicken is raised in Kentucky

“Family-Owned Spot Farms” makes it known that the chicken is raised in Kentucky

Los Angeles residents Henry Alvarez and Lynn Thanarajakool say they’ll never feed a pet a jerky treat again, no matter where it’s manufactured, after their beloved Dachshund Kingsley died within days of eating a treat from a package labeled “Made in China.” “I only gave him one treat and it was Wednesday night and he started feeling sick by I would say noon the next day,” Alvarez recalled. The veterinarian ruled Kingsley’s cause of death as kidney failure which is a consistent symptom that the FDA associates with feeding pets chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats. 

The FDA is continuing to investigate all jerky treats and the causes of these illnesses and deaths. If you choose to continue to feed your dog jerky treats purchased in stores, the FDA warns:

  • Adhere to weight guidelines listed on the package: smaller dogs may be more vulnerable to health problems related to the treats
  • Monitor your pets for signs of sickness
  • Report any serious symptoms to the FDA and your vet 
  • If your pet gets sick, keep the packaging so the FDA can track the origin of the ingredients if your

For more information from the FDA on jerky treats, visit this website.

Homemade, organic, locally-grown, inexpensive, quick & easy... what more could you ask for?!

Homemade, organic, locally-grown, inexpensive, quick & easy… what more could you ask for?!

 We make homemade jerky treats for our dogs because it’s much less expensive, we can be sure where the ingredients are coming from and that they are healthy ones, and our dogs have given us clear and obvious signs that they prefer their treats homemade – can you say spoiled?! Zoey was given a treat at a friend’s house the other night that was made by a family company in Texas and kept putting it in her mouth, spitting it out, putting it in her mouth, spitting it out, and so on. She only ended up eating it because the other dogs wanted it and were trying to take it from her! She didn’t want the treat, but she wasn’t going to surrender her treat knowing that another dog would get to enjoy it – typical alpha dog behavior. 

I’m confident that I can make homemade jerky treats for less money than the store-bought kind and with less hassle than going out to the store, so why would I take the chance on the store-bought treats when we don’t know what’s causing these deaths? Have you or anyone you know experienced anything out of the ordinary with treats or dog food? And do you trust the store-bought brands?

For more of our healthy homemade treat recipes: