Karen Wild: Home-made dog treats are best!

Karen Wild column EMN-140715-124751001
Karen Wild column EMN-140715-124751001

Ever spent money on a treat for your dog, only for him to gobble it up in seconds?

It seems the more expensive the treat, the quicker it vanishes. Worse still, it sits there, unloved, dry and ignored whilst we wonder at what point we can throw it away without feeling guilty about the expense.

As canines are scavengers, they love anything that is smelly, preferably meaty and not really minding if it has gone past its best. Even eating poo doesn’t faze them. We just can’t let them do this, no matter how disappointing it is for them! Diseases, poisonous items, or worms can be hidden within such delicacies.

Time for a compromise. What can we offer them that will keep them occupied at the times where kibble will not do?

The best treats for dogs are tasty, long lasting, and give them something to forage for. The longer this takes, the better, especially if your dog is the sort to hoover up their food without it even touching the sides.

Dog ice lollies

It’s easy to freeze leftovers that you would normally just give to your dog. Use an old freezer or margarine tub, add some of their soaked kibble or pieces of biscuit, and you have a cooling tasty treat.

When you remove it from the freezer it will have formed a nice block, but let it sit for a moment or two before giving it to your dog. This avoids freezing their tongue!

You might want your dog to enjoy this outside as it can be messy, but he will definitely think it is worth it on a hot day!

Kong layers

Most dogs have a ‘Kong’ toy. This is a rubber, strong hollow toy that is beehive shaped and easy to stuff with different types of food. Add a smear of peanut butter around the inside, block the small hole at the end with a little piece of cheese, and push a layer of chicken down to the base so it is hidden deep inside the Kong.

Next, layer some kibble or dog biscuits, another layer of chicken, a layer of biscuit, then a layer of wet dog food... anything that your dog loves.

Finally, push some biscuits into the opening and your dog can enjoy a layered treat to keep him interested. Again, these can be frozen and don’t leave as much mess as the other frozen treats as the food is inside the Kong. Your dog can spend a long time digging out and foraging for the contents - bliss!

Put it all together - the giant summer dog delight!

Why not make a few Kong layer treats, some iced block goodies, then add them to a bucket of water and freeze this last of all? You may need to remove a shelf from your freezer to fit it in, but your dog now has a very long lasting, fun (for outdoors) breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper treat.

It’s never too late to do something new for your pooch. Give these treats a try. You will both be glad you did!