Easy as 1-2-3: How to Create Healthy Pet Treats at Home

pet treatsTreats make life a little sweeter for our four-legged friends, but too many calories and unhealthy ingredients can put a damper on their enjoyment. Here at Rocklin Ranch, we believe snacks should be both tasty and nutritious, which is why we’ve come up with a list of our favorite healthy pet treats!

Fresh and Simple

Raw fruits are naturally sweet and can make the perfect snack (in small amounts). While you should avoid grapes, raisins, and most citrus fruits, your pet can enjoy the following (peeled, cored, and de-seeded):

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Melon
  • Berries
  • Pears
  • Mangos
  • Apricots
  • Kiwi

Likewise, many pets will enthusiastically eat lightly steamed or roasted vegetables (without salt or butter):

  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Green beans
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Bell peppers
  • Sweet potatoes

Cool Down

As the days heat up, pets can benefit from a cool treat. Any of the aforementioned fruits or vegetables can be frozen or pureed and poured into ice cube trays, popsicle molds, or single-serve yogurt cups. Dollops of thicker purees or cubed chicken or beef can be frozen on parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Healthy Pet Treats Galore

Offering your sweet pet a homemade snack can be quite satisfying, and the best part of preparing your own healthy pet treats is that you don’t have to be an amazing cook! The following recipes are easy to prepare and contain 5 ingredients or less:

Make sure all ingredients are safe for pets. Avoid chocolate, grapes/raisins, macadamia nuts, and the artificial sweetener Xylitol, as all of these are potential pet toxins. In regards to pets on prescription or restricted diets, you can even bake the canned food and make treats for them.

The Golden Rule

Over half of all U.S. pets are overweight or obese, making it more important than ever to consider the calorie content and portion sizes of our pets’ meals and treats. As a general rule, treats (even healthy ones) should not compose more than 10% of your pet’s daily diet.

Offering healthy snacks (in small amounts) that contain fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats and dairy products can add valuable nutrition while also keeping calories low to avoid weight gain.

Let Us Know!

What’s your pet’s favorite healthy snack? Snap a photo, and post it to our social media page or let us know the next time we see you. If you have further questions about healthy pet treats, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital.