Sunday, December 19

A Word of Caution

Several years ago, in the wake of a string of pet deaths nationwide due to contaminated kibble and massive pet food recalls, the market saw an influx of books on homemade doggie treats.

At the time, I snagged several of the new volumes from the local library and copied out a few simple treat recipes that I've relied on ever since.

Recently, I decided to add a few new treats to my repertoire and was reminded of the conflicting value of these well intentioned works.

Each book seems to offer several excellent recipes - healthy, simple, inexpensive and loved by every dog I've given them to.

Unfortunately, those shining stars usually comprise only a fraction of the book. Many of the recipes contain ingredients of impractical expense or questionable safety. I'm sure that every dog would love liver and salmon pates, but I doubt that I'm the only reader who finds such ingredients out of the budget for puppy treats.

As for safety, a surprising number of the given recipes contain cheese and other dairy ingredients which dogs are not intended to digest. Some also contain garlic and dried cranberries which, being closely related to onions and raisins respectively, also rank high on the list of foods to be kept away from dogs. Although they probably won't do any harm in small amounts, they should not be a regular part of your pet's diet.

So while I highly recommend making your own doggie treats (both for your furry companion's safety and your budget), please make sure that you do your research or run the ingredient list past your vet's office. As the saying goes, if something is worth doing than it's worth doing right - especially when it comes to the health and safety of our furry companions.

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