Looking back at the dog treats post I wrote a while back, I entertained the option of feeding our beagle, Penny, homemade dog treats instead.
I scoured the web, found recipes that ranged from simple to super cute (yeah, those treats cut out with bone-shaped cookie cutters) and realized that most of them were flour-based. TOO MUCH CARBS.
That got me thinking. Why in the world feed the dog with extra carbs when we ourselves have been consciously cutting down on our carb consumption? To bring the wonderment even farther: Is there a need to give the dog any treats at all?
Of course, pet owners give their dogs treats for different reasons. For some, it’s a way to reward the dog. The dog did not eat its poop? Okay, that deserves a reward. Throw him or her a treat. The pup did not give you a hard time during bath time? Treats are in order.
For others, treats are given to dogs in pretty much the same way that we humans eat snacks. Treats, in other words, are in-between meals.
And, for some others still, dog treats are… Well, the neighbors give their dog treats regularly; why not us? Or, they say on TV that this or that treat will make the dog more cheerful. So, why not?
Except during her first few months with us when we thought it looked cute to make Penny run and catch the treats we threw her way, we belong to the second category. We give her treats in the form of snacks. We give her her regular feed twice a day and, in between, there are snacks. Since we have sworn off commercial dog treats because we don’t really know what’s in them, it made sense to feed Penny homemade dog treats.
So, I was about to preheat the oven and take out the baking stuff when I started asking myself questions about just how good are those carb-laden treats the recipes for which I had already bookmarked? I backtracked. Instead of baking, I sat down, gave the homemade dog biscuits a long and hard look, and I started writing out those thoughts.
The bottom line? No, there will be no homemade dog biscuits. There is no need. We already give Penny treats regularly in the form of fruits and vegetables. Can anything be better?
Dogs are more omnivorous that you may think
While there’s no way to make Pepper and the other feline members of our household eat fruits and veggies, Penny loves them. Cats are carnivorous but dogs are omnivorous although not as omnivorous as us humans.
But although dogs are omnivorous, there are fruits and vegetables that aren’t safe for them. No onion nor garlic for them. No nuts either except peanuts. Whether grapes and mushrooms are okay seems to be debatable. I prefer to err on the side of safety.
What fruits and veggies do we give our beagle Penny?
It’s Speedy who gives her fruits. Penny especially loves bananas and apples. If she’s sleeping and someone peels a banana, she wakes and runs. Her nose is always her guide.
Pineapple, melon and mango, she is given occasionally. Only occasionally. Not because they’re bad for her but because she makes a mess with their juices and it’s such a pain to clean up the sticky drops she leaves in her wake.
And veggies? She loves lettuce. This short video is from Sam’s Instagram account.
And cucumber too! When I peel carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes, I put all the skins in her bowl with a little water and she just gobbles them up. When I peel them—if the skins are thin and nice, I leave them on.
But these are raw fruits and vegetables? Of course! Oil and seasonings aren’t good for her so she gets no share in our cooked veggies. And definitely no fruit pies either.
So, you see, if fruits and vegetables form part of your family’s daily diet, there’s no earthly reason why your dog can’t benefit too.