Homemade Treats For Dogs With Allergies

Disturbing Lab Results Prove Top Dog andAs you may have read last week, Zoey has been having a tough time with allergies. I took her in to the vet to get some more insight, and he explained that it could be caused from the food or treats I’m giving her, but mostly its airborne allergens present this time of year. 

Store-bought treats are filled with allergens like soy, wheat, corn, etc. And plenty of dogs are allergic to meats like chicken, beef, and pork used in treats and food. 

Homemade treats are a must for dogs with allergies, because you can’t be 100% sure that the store-bought kinds have pure ingredients that are allergy-friendly. 

My vet suggested giving Zoey sweet potatoes as treats because they’re great for dogs with allergies.

Raw honey is also a great natural allergy solution. Drizzling raw honey on the top of sweet potato treats after they’re cooked is the perfect solution for a dog with allergies. 

Why Is Honey Good For Dogs With Allergies?

Raw honey, especially honey bought locally, contains traces of pollen and airborne allergens which helps acclimate your dog to the pollinated air. It also contains enzymes that help dogs digest food better. Does your dog seem to be slowing down or acting lazy? The natural sugars in raw honey that are easily broken down by your dog’s body is a great source of energy for your pup, when used in moderation. Puppies should stay away from honey until they’re adults.

Easy Homemade Dehydrated Sweet Potato Dog Treats

You may remember us making dehydrated sweet potato dog treats in the past, and they’re my personal favorite. Sweet potatoes are so healthy for dogs and humans, they’re inexpensive, and they’re the easiest treats to make. With only 1 ingredient, and 1 kitchen tool needed before popping them in the oven, I feel like I could make these treats all day long!

Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients 

You’ll Need:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Raw Honey (preferably local)

IMG_1525The first step of our treat-making process has quickly become one of Zoey and Jem’s favorite, because they love playing this game of nabbing my ingredients off the kitchen counter, running into the living room, and devouring them. Think they’re a little impatient? 

IMG_1518I can’t bring myself to scold Jem for treat-napping because it’s so stinkin’ cute!

IMG_1483And I love how much she loves fresh, healthy foods.

IMG_1493It’d be like scolding your child for getting excited about eating her veggies… it just doesn’t feel right! 

IMG_1494Zoey appreciated Jem stealing a sweet potato off the counter for her, since she’s vertically challenged. But she would rather cuddle her sweet potato than devour it…

IMG_1512Although Jem and Zoey think they do a perfectly good job of “washing” the potatoes with their tongues, and I have to agree, I do give them a good wash in the sink with my potato brush before slicing them. 

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees before we begin prepping the potatoes. 

Step 2: Slice The Sweet Potatoes 

I used a mandolin to slice my potatoes because I don’t trust myself to slice them by hand, but it’s perfectly fine to use your knife to slice the pieces if you don’t have a kitchen gadget. 

potato-collage-600x600Using the mandolin, I sliced mine like so:

DSC04125-600x399It’s quick and easy. I had my sweet potato sliced in just minutes.

IMG_1521

Step 3: Bake!

Your oven should be preheated to 250 degrees. Place the sliced sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Sorry Jem, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer…

IMG_1528Bake them at 250 degrees for 1.5 hours.

IMG_1529 After 1.5 hours, remove from oven. My sweet potatoes were cooked at this point because I sliced them thin, but if yours are still very soft, bake for longer. 

IMG_1534If your dog has dental issues or prefers a softer treat, you can bake them for less time. 

They will seem slightly soft when they first come out of the oven, so let them cool completely before serving them to your doggies.

Step 4: Drizzle Sweet Raw Honey On Top

IMG_1543This step will have your dogs drooling! The raw honey drizzled on top will not only have your pups going nuts, but it’ll be the perfect icing on top to help relieve your dog’s allergies.

IMG_1544The sweet potato honey combination can’t be beat when trying to soothe a pup suffering from allergies.

Step 5: Dig In!

IMG_1624If you haven’t already been attached by lickers like I was, now is the time to watch your pups go to town. My favorite part! 

IMG_1547Jem is too tall for me to handle sometimes! I can barely grab a treat off the cookie sheet before she jumps up and snatches it. 

IMG_1548Zoey has to have her chance too, even though she can’t jump as high as Jem.

IMG_1558The girls loved these treats SO much that they were crying for more. I’ve never seen anything like it!

IMG_1623I was worried they were going to keep whining until they were all gone…

IMG_1582Okay one more…

IMG_1624

Now that I know honey is so good for dogs with allergies, and sweet potatoes are the best treat option when my dogs are having symptoms, I plan to make these treats regularly. If the health benefits weren’t reason enough, their overwhelmingly joyous reaction to the flavor sealed the deal! I love how much they adore their homemade treats :)

Does your dog have a favorite homemade dog treat recipe? Or do you have any secret remedies to help allergies? 

 

How Do I Cure My Dog’s Allergies?

cure dogs allergiesZoey has been having a terrible time with allergies lately. She wants to bite at her paws non-stop. I tried wrapping them, but we all know how long something like that lasts before Houdini-dog finds a way to remove it. I also tried wiping her paws whenever she came in from outside, but that didn’t seem to give her any relief. Our only choice was to make a visit to the vet to make sure we find a way to cure her itchy skin.

IMG_1398

Why Do Dogs Have Allergies?

Dogs commonly have an allergic reaction to their food, treats, or environment. The vet explained to us that almost every dog in Florida has allergies, unfortunately. And her paws aren’t bothering her because of the direct contact they’re making with anything on the ground like fertilizer, bugs, or any toxins. Instead, dogs’ paws have millions of receptors that serve the same purpose that humans’ noses do. When we have allergies, we are aware of it because of how itchy, scratchy, and bothersome our nose feels to us. The same thing happens to our dogs when they have allergies, except they have those feelings in their paws. 

IMG_1393Zoey’s paws have a reddish pink stain from biting at them. I thought this was possibly blood from breaking the skin, but the vet explained it is the discoloration from the bacteria in her mouth. Similar to the discoloration you see around the mouth of white or light colored dogs’ mouths and eyes. 

Make Sure It’s Not Your Dog’s Food Causing An Allergic Reaction First

Common ingredients in dog food that cause allergic reactions for dogs include:

  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Fish
  • Chicken Eggs
  • Corn
  • Wheat 
  • Soy

I feed Zoey Darwin’s Raw Food and chose to purchase Chicken, Turkey, and Beef so she has a variety of tastes. The vet advised that turkey is the best meat to feed a dog that is experiencing allergies because it is not known to cause any itching. Since dogs have been known to have allergies to beef and chicken, I’m going to strictly feed her the raw turkey/vegetable medley from Darwin’s and see if this naturally eases her allergies without medication. If the itching stops, I know that she’s not allergic to the turkey or vegetables.

IMG_1400At this point you can begin the elimination diet to test your dog’s food allergy. Slowly add one ingredient to her food at a time and observe her behavior to see if she has an allergy to it. This method will help determine which foods she has an allergy to so you can eliminate them from her diet.

If the itching continues no matter what food you feed her, we know that she is possibly having seasonal allergies from her environment.

Does Your Dog Suffer From Seasonal Allergies?

If a change in diet doesn’t help your dog’s allergies, then it is most likely a seasonal allergy from the environment. Like my vet said, almost every dog in Florida has seasonal allergy problems.

IMG_1463My vet recommended a Zyrtec prescription for Zoey if her allergies don’t improve from the change in diet. Zyrtec prescribed by your veterinarian is an acceptable method for improving your dog’s quality of life. While I would love to have Zoey living a medication-free, natural lifestyle… it’s not always practical to avoid medications. If Zyrtec will make her feel better, of course I’m more than happy to give her the relief she so desperately needs. Zyrtec can take a couple weeks to help because it takes awhile to get into your dog’s system. So if immediate relief is important, a steroid can be combined with the Zyrtec to give your dog relief sooner. 

Treats Should Not Be Given Without Careful Consideration 

homemade organic sweet potato dog treatsMy vet explained to me that treats commonly cause allergic reactions, too. He advised that Zoey should only have sweet potato for treats. Luckily, we are used to making our own homemade sweet potato dog treats, so this will be the easy part! Dehydrated sweet potato dog treats are really easy to make. The dogs love them as much or more than any other treats, and I can rest confidently knowing that Zoey won’t have an allergic reaction to them. 

 

Does your dog suffer from allergies? Do you have any tried and true methods for improving them?