What I like best about baking my own treats is knowing what’s really in them. My dogs don’t have gluten sensitivities so I use wheat flour sometimes, rice flour, or teff. Here’s a favorite recipe.
Crunchy Peanut Butter and Banana Bites
|1 cup peanut butter
||1 teaspoon vanilla
|1 or 2 very ripe bananas
||1 teaspoon cinnamon
|2 eggs, whipped
||1 to 1 ½ cups flour
Mash the bananas and mix with peanut butter. Mix in the whipped eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon. Fold in the flour. Grease the bottom of a baking sheet with butter and press the batter flat on the pan. I don’t worry about making it look pretty. I go for about ¼-inch thickness, but press to your preferred thickness. Score the dough by running the blunt edge of the knife across the dough to create square shapes.
Bake at 250o for 2 to 2 ½ hours. Longer baking = crispier treats. When the dough is hardened (but not burned on the edges) turn off the oven and let the treats cool in the oven. When the treats are cooled, break them into pieces along the scored edges. Enjoy!
I’ve read that Shelties are one of the breeds that don’t get a strong “doggie” smell, and I’ll have to say that’s been true of my boyos. I also read that feeding a high quality dog food can help reduce doggie smell in any breed. Of course baths and brushing don’t hurt either. Most days when I cuddle with my boyos, I breathe in a surprising and pleasing variety of scents…
|Bronner’s citrus soap
Bad breath! Bah humbug! While my boyos don’t usually have nasty doggie breath, when I was treating them for tummy troubles, I found a side benefit to parsley water—fresh breath. Now I know why restaurants put that sprig of parsley on the plate.
Cooking up a batch of breath-freshening parsley water couldn’t be easier.
Recipe for parsley water
Boil a quart of water. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Drop a bunch of parsley (amount the amount you get at the store) into the water and let it soak for 3 minutes.
Pour a teaspoon of the parsley water on your dog’s food to help with upset tummies and to freshen breath.
A quart of water makes a lot of parsley water so you can freeze ½ cup or 1 cup portions for later use. Or make less and boil it up as needed.
There are lots of causes of bad breath in dogs, so—just as with humans—good dental practices like regular checkups and regular brushing are important. Parsley water won’t clean teeth or substitute for professional care.
Apple cider vinegar may be one of the best things you can put in your dog’s mouth. I give my dogs ½ teaspoon with their meals to support overall digestive health. They don’t mind the addition to the food, and I like it better than putting it in their water. They’re picky about the taste of their water.
Vinegar –it’s good inside and out. Some great things vinegar may do for your dog (and you too!):
- Support overall digestion
- Help with the assimilation of vital nutrients, including calcium
- Provide a great source of potassium (11 mg/tablespoon)
- Prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the digestive track (and vinegar doesn’t interfere with the good bacteria)
- Reduce blood sugar levels
- Relieve or prevent arthritis
- Protect the urinary tract from infection and can help relieve infections
- Repel insects
Vinegar works wonders outside the body as well. One of my boyos gets itchy feet in the late spring/early summer. He has literally licked the fur off his paws. But daily foot baths with about a cup of vinegar to a quart of water relieves the itching. When pollen is literally coating everything in sight, I add about a half cup of baking soda to the foot bath. Tino has actually learned what I mean when I say, “Tino! Don’t lick your paws?” If the itching is so bad, he can’t resist, I threaten… “Do you want me to get the socks???” Usually I only have to put the socks on for a day or two when the allergens are at the worst, along with the foot baths.
Vinegar is also great for repelling insects, so dab it on sensitive areas during mosquito and flea season. A vinegar rinse at bath time also helps keep those gorgeous fur coats soft and shiny.
As with any food, not all pets react well. So watch your pet for adverse reactions like queasiness, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, or lethargy. Test on skin too before adding it to baths or other topical applications to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation.