20 Natural Treats For Your Dog

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Doggy stores are full of treats – bacon, sausage, bones… You name it! And there’s a bunch of it! But, why not take a step back from commercial purchases for your dog treats and have a go at making some at home?

Here are some ideas for great, natural, dog treats that will keep your dog coming back for more.

1. ICE POPS

Try pouring some stock into a bowl, adding bits of leftover meat and put the bowl in the freezer. You will have a fantastic canine iced lolly to turn out into the yard on warm, sunny days. It will keep your dog busy for hours.

Or why not try peanut butter pops? Dip tiny pieces of apple or carrot into smooth peanut butter then drop them into an ice cube tray and freeze. This is one of those sunny day treats which your dog will love and it’s extra healthy too.

If your dog is not on a restricted diet, the possibilities are endless.  Giving popsicles will help cool down your dog.  Since dogs are covered in hair, there is a risk of dehydration during hot weather conditions.

Basically, popsicles are both beneficial to your pet’s health and a delicious summer food.  If you don’t have time to make anything special, give your dog ice cubes; it can’t get simpler than that!

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  • Orla

    Lots of dogs are allergic to corn, (which is a major ingredient in most commercial dog foods.) I fed my dog a diet of raw meat and bones (or calcium supplement if I didn’t give him bones) and veggies. He had a terrible allergy, but his skin cleared up on the natural food diet. Raw chicken never made my dog sick, and the bones are only dangerous if they are cooked. He loved to crunch up the legs like candy sticks.

  • Anna

    I do not agree with the article about not to give a dog raw meat. I have had several dogs ( presently two) and they all have eaten raw meat and occasionally raw eggs and meal leftovers.
    They all lived long lives (15-16) had a beautiful shiny fur and were healthy and happy.
    Many dog food, even the best ones, have ingredients no living feature should eat.

  • MadMonkey

    Yeah, funny thing is that commercial dog foods have only been around for 60 years or so. Before that they ate… wait for it…. raw meet!
    I do not get why suddenly this is an issue.

  • MadMonkey

    Don’t feed your dog any old yogurt. Make sure it is plain yogurt. No sweeteners. The article fails to mention that.

  • bcats

    All this is making me hungry!

  • tmorris

    This is a BS article, designed to guilt you into taking your dog to the vet after every hiccup! Fido knows better than the author what he can and can’t eat. Use common sense, and listen to your dog. The comment about commercial dog food only being around for 60 years is spot on. My guess is store bought fair has poisoned more dogs than nature!

  • Mike

    Seriously? You think a dog knows what it can and can’t eat? I agree that this article may be a little overstated, but dogs certainly don’t know what’s good or bad for them. That’s just ridiculous.

  • Don

    Fed my dog butter pecan ice cream every night for the last two years of its life and the dog lived to be 17 years 8 months of age. It was one of the few things it would eat in its old age, and it certainly did not appear to do any harm.

  • roy paul shields

    Much of the dry dog food is next to worthless as far as nutrition and simply puts something on a dogs stomach. Many of the canned dog foods arn’t much better and gives dogs very loose stool. Read the labels on dry and canned dog food. I feed my two year old Siberian dry food mixed with a tad of grated cheddar cheese, one slice of Costco sandwich ham in small pieces and a small amount of bacon grease. The vet always compliments on how she looks. Just because a dog is an animal doesn’t mean that don’t like a variety in their meals.

  • Jo. Unrau

    I’ve had dogs all my life, ” & I’ve been around for quite a while. Dogs will eat almost anything, & especially if it’s mixed in with something they like the taste of.

  • Jo. Unrau

    I won’t give my dog raw meat. Worms, salmonella, a number of risks with it, but I get Merrick’s for him & the bones are cooked so well you can crush them up with a fork, which I do to be sure they’re safe. He also gets Merrick’s dry, & I cook for him sometimes. I’m 67 years old & got my first dog when I was 5. My babies live to a good old age. On average 15 yrs.

  • tauchera

    Salmon was a BIG surprise as they sell salmon dog food, treats etc. I have been feeding salmon with no ill effects but am worried now.

  • Nonya Bidness

    My dog eats Dog Chow, just as our last dog did. My old dog ate a lot of different foods, leftovers, bones that don’t splinter, fruit, veggies, his favourite was spaghetti. We made stews for him from the organ meat we didn’t use from the moose we got each year, and left over from chicken dinners. He got his vaccines every year, ate fresh raw fish if we forgot to put them in the basket after catching them, even snuck a whole raw steak and a whole pack of weiners off the counter once. The only problem he ever had was his ears would get funky every now and then, that would clear up after a day or two of cleaning out his ears. He was a healthy, lean, very active dog. Chewed on sticks, would eat blue berries as we were picking them. Love the cabin and the squirrel he chased but never caught for so many years. He was one month away from turning 18 years old when we had to put him down. The last year of his life, his hips got bad (half poodle, half retriever 32 – 34 pounds his whole life) and his eye sight diminished. We had to help him up to his favourite spot on the couch, and then he just got to a point where we knew he wasn’t enjoying life anymore. So we did what was best for him, like we did his whole life. He peacefully went to sleep and we buried him in his favourite place at the cabin. He lived a free, happy, active life, with very few restrictions, and never had problems with being overweight, was always very happy to see anyone and everyone LOVED him. Thats a full life for a dog, and we regret none of it. We even gave him aspirin (small dose) after his face was stung by a bee to help with his pain and reduce the swelling, and it never affected him. Dogs are scavengers. They love the hunt of finding something good to eat, even if its been buried for a year. Dogs have done this since the beginning of time. Its WHAT they live for. Its their instincts. They’re carnivores for goodness sakes. I now have a dog, 4 years old, who I got when she was 5 weeks old who was abandoned by her mom (runt). I am doing the exact same things with her that I did with our old dog. and she is the happiest, active (sometimes too much like an excited puppy, lol), dog you could find. She’s been 19 pounds since she was 6 months old, loves food of all kinds (favourites are pineapple, chicken, apples, peanuts & yogurt). She is half cocker spaniel and the other half we don’t know, but were guessing English Shepherd. Her only issue is, again, her ears get funky. A problem in a high humidity area with dogs with long ears. Its amazing, that with all these things we have done wrong with our dogs, that they were/are such amazing, healthy family members.

  • candygirl7

    We adopted a Pekingese from a rescue group last Sept 2013. He was underweight, scratched all the time, hair was dry and brittle and falling out. I make his dog food daily —would not even give him all the high dollar foods in can. He eats a mixture of boiled rice, tablespoon of cottage cheese and a protein, usually roasted turkey , chicken or hamburger mixed in —he gets a boiled egg twice a week and several slices of American cheese. You ought to see him now! Gained five pounds, hair is long and silky , eyes bright . Our vet said keep doing whatever you are doing because the transformation is amazing! Donny also had dry food occasionally , the Purina Source One kind. Sometimes as a treat, a slice of bacon, but that is infrequent. Every night, around 10:00PM my hubby gives him two teaspoons of vanilla ice cream—I don’t think that will cause him any gastric distress—it has not so far.

  • Rachel

    A butcher told me all bones whether cooked or uncooked can splinter and rip or tear things inside your pet.Makes sense to me….the way I see it ,is why risk it.

  • Rachel

    Chicken bones and smaller beef bones will not splinter off when left raw. It depends on the cut of meat too. If you research raw diet for dogs it will lead you to articles on the benefits of such a diet. My dog has went from a skinny/ malnourished dog (upon rescuing him) to a muscular-lean and healthy looking dog from six months of switching his diet to raw. I get compliments on the way he looks and the vet says he’s one of the healthiest dogs he’s sees and DOES agree to keep him on the raw food diet. I’ve fed my dog raw for years… and have handled raw meat and bones ever since I could cook. They can handle it.. This article is only HALF right when it comes to toxic foods.

  • Who Let The Dogs Out??

    well people i have a 19 yr old collie/hound cross. ive had him since his owner went into the hospital and died there. he was 16 going on 17 at that point in time. i took the dog to see his owner as often as i could. this dog ate such a disgusting variety of foods. basically whatever his owner could get for free. from various dog foods, to can food, slightly tainted chineese with shrimp, to all kinds of veggies and various other foods that the old man ate the dog ate too. since i have had him i cook rice for him n my other dogs with beef,chicken, or pork broth. they get veggies, i also cook oatmeal for them and sweeten it with honey or bananas. they do get dog food too both wet and dry. i have given my dogs raisins, grapes, cheese, potato chips, nuts, fruits, and pkged weiners once a week. the old dog also has perfect hearing, perfect eye sight, and is extremely active. loves playing tug of war with a stick, crazy about swimming, loves his car rides, and is quite the pest when he knows supper time is near. he also barks a lot to get his way. lol i dont think there is any set formula for feeding your dogs. i agree with one of the other commenters on here that u should listen to your dog, if something isnt tasty your dog will let u know because they wont eat it. if u knew what was really in dog food dry or canned all of you would quit feeding your dog any kind of commercial dog food and cook for your dog yourselves. i get many varieties donated to me as my dogs are all rescues and let me tell you i could write a book on the foods the dogs like and dislike. a lot of commercial dog foods have a lot of salt, sugar, and other chemicals in them. take my advice and listen to your dog. they will tell u if what you are feeding them is tasty to their taste buds. i must be doing something rite as this old dog is healthy and happy. and we are trying for the guiness book of world records.

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  • Alzo

    I have a healthy 98lb 4 year old boxer, when he was a puppy he had allergic reactions to almost all kibble food, had to prepare 2 meals a day for him, for 2 years straight. Loved avocado and raw eggs with cooked oatmeal or rice, and olive oil, as well as grapes and apple slices on occasion. He’s healthy and strong as ever! Always get compliments on how healthy he is. Some items on the list here sound a little overprotective to me…

  • Richard Heinl

    My dog has fleas!

  • Janet

    Ive found that my puppy LOVES to chew on a nice chunk of carrot. Keeps her occupied for quite a while, and it’s healthy!

  • Old Kute

    Gosh, did anyone tell the dogs that the food of their ancestors is bad for them. I wonder how they cooked their food when they ripped it off of the animals they caught, and even modern dogs who get out and catch rabbits, mice, and other animals? I can see some of these foods being bad but raw meat? Come on. And there is the rotten meats. I have seen dogs put raw meat into the ground and let it sit until, when it is dug up, you cannot stand the smell. That never seemed to hurt them. Now, maybe moldy bread (a man made product) might be bad but you are trying to tell me that, what the dog has done for millenniums is bad for them.
    Oh, I forgot, we have allowed a lot of added hormones and other garbage to be fed to these animals so they will produce more meat, more fat, and more milk. Maybe that is what is killing the dogs It sure is causing a lot of strange things in kids as well.

  • Consultofactus

    Time for a sanity check. While we all LOVE our dogs and want to take the best care of them we can I’m not buying this “most everything is poison” for an average healthy canine schtickel. Why? Well for starters it has long been recognized that dogs will eat just about anything including their own vomit, other dog’s vomit, cat poop, raccoon poop, road kill and garbage of every kind – the riper the better. If you’re a dog owner you know what I mean. In fact I remember seeing my newly adopted Jack Russell eating “tootsie rolls” coming freshly out of the backside of my Italian Greyhound – they didn’t even hit the ground! GROSS! No doubt that some of this might apply to a toy breed or puppy but your average canine will probably just throw-up anything it can’t handle – that’s what the industrial strength Carpet Doctor is for (they’d never think of evacuating outside!) When I was a kid I had a Springer Spaniel who ingested socks, balloons, underwear (dirty of course) cherries right off the tree, a dead crow (well aged I might add) a goose carcass from Christmas dinner (she moved a chair to the counter and ate what was left of our feast as we were taking grandma home) and scads and scads of Halloween/Christmas/Easter candy – lived to be 12, which is a little longer than average for this breed.

  • Chucky Regalla

    Check the water and make sure it’s pure. My dog used to drink from the sewer and that’s not good.

  • Chucky Regalla

    Never let your dog fight vermin such as woodchucks. They can cause unsightly scars.

  • Chucky Regalla

    Stool eating dogs should be trained not to eat it.

  • Keith A Mitchell

    my four dogs have had the Barf diet for at least 6 years so have raw meat , veg, bones (uncooked). Their coats are shiny and silky to the touch, poo’s smell less, they very rarely have any stomach disorders, full of energy and vitality, even our old bulldog still has bags of energy and loves her walks. Their evening snack is a raw chicken neck.

  • Sean

    Well I had 2 Jack Russells, thy ate all sorts, including curry, bones, meat, Guinness etc. They both lived happy and healthy lives, both were put down with skin cancer (a big problem in white Jackies)… the first at 22 and the second and 16.

  • Sean

    my dog loved them, no problems at all. This article is mainly rubbish.

  • Oldgus

    This article reads like it was written by someone that doesn’t know very much about dogs. Mine have been fed dry, canned, cat food, bones, raw meat, bacon, vegetables, red beans and rice, spaghetti, you name it. My dobermann even jumps up and pulls off kumquats, muscadines (green) and plums off the trees. They literally shovel it ALL in. This article reads like someone from Kalifornia wrote. They probably wouldn’t even fart around their dog without a vacuum cleaner cleansing the smell.
    Probably even dress them in one of those “funny looking outfits”. My dogs are “outside dogs” as well. Anyone that will keep a dog in a cage all day until they get home are cruel bastards/wenches beyond description. They should not be allowed to own a dog. Let the dog be free and keep all poisons in a safe place under the sink and padlock it if you must. The animals will be just fine. I am a senior citizen BTW and have had many long lived animals and never pampered them. They are animals. Remember that.

  • BobbyM

    It seems that Dogs are very nutrient fortified, they eat better then cows, poultry, etc and we know what their fed. So I am thinking to get the same benefits these dogs are receiving let’s BBQ, Dog for lunch anyone.

  • noveldoc

    Poop is good for dogs. It helps keep the bacterial colonies up in their intestines so the can digest well. And, for most dogs, there is no treat as tasty as a dried cat box crunchy.

    We humans would probably have healthier GI tracts if we ate some poop. Gut flora imbalance, especially after taking antibiotics, can be a real problem and doodies have much more bacteria that yogurt.

    There is now even a medical procedure for giving feces from healthy people to patients with bowel flora problems. Helps. Of course, we slurry it up and put it down a tube. But maybe just serve it with some garlic and onion?

    Tom

  • noveldoc

    See above. Poo is good for their GI tracts. We should be eating some.
    My daughter’s mother in law tried to train her dog by putting Tobasco on the poop. But he just loved the “Mexi-poo” and wanted more.
    Tom

  • noveldoc

    When we were stationed in Germany, we had to call a German vet for our dachshund who was tired, listless and had chronic loose stool. No shot. He had mom grate a couple of carrots and mix in a couple of raw eggs. She perked up immediate and went on a to feel great with a wonderful shiny coat. We fed her this twice a week for the rest of her long and healthy life.
    Tom

  • Builderofthepie

    Never feed a dog avocados, raw eggs, or grapes, it’s one of the worst foods a dog could eat, look it up.

  • kwijino

    I’m pretty much with you there. I agree on chocolate (though it’s mostly dark chocolate that’s dangerous to the wee beasties) but some of these seem really far-fetched.

    Who in the world would feed their dog hops (which I don’t think is served outside of beer much), “Chicken jerky”, or uncooked bread dough? I eat salmon as sushi quite often, so am I or the people of Japan gonna suddenly keel over from this salmon disease the article writer spoke of?

  • Euthanize The Elderly

    I think it is time someone put you down for your insensitive and mildly retarded comments. Put this person out of their misery

  • Rebecca Mann

    Advising no raw meat is ridiculous, whoever wrote this article doesn’t know a thing about raw diets – although raw meat should never be fed at the same time as dry dog food or cooked meat (different body process). Rule of thumb is that pork and beef should be frozen for several weeks to kill parasites which renders it harmless (and much more beneficial than cooked meat as part of a whole raw diet) to give to a dog.

    The author has obviously picked up on other Internet lists for no-go foods,most of which I would have thought obvious to everyone who isn’t living on Mars (such as chocolate, grapes, etc), but there’s no mention of the utter crap that’s in most kibble (dry food). Wheat is useless for dogs and at the very least can cause skin and behavioural problems. Most over the counter kibble contains wheat or ‘fillers’ in the form of other grains, such as rice – all rubbish foods for dogs. And dairy (including the natural yoghurt mentioned here) is also unhealthy for carnivores. I don’t know where they got their information about not giving raw eggs, but that’s also rubbish. Nothing wrong with a freshly laid raw egg from hens free to roam (as opposed to battery corn fed birds). This article seems to have been stuck together from pieces of information found elsewhere, and no proper research has been done. It’s just copy and paste.

  • Geri Mellgren-Kerwin

    Nothing gets more arguments than a discussion of what is safe to feed dogs and cats except what is safe to eat yourself! If you believe them all, everything is dangerous.

  • chocafrolic

    Trolling again??

  • Sel

    Actually you are only supposed to give your dogs room temperature water whenever they are outside playing. Their body temperature is naturally higher than ours and with their smaller body size, they overheat much easier than we do. So if you give your dog an ice-pop, it can actually shock their system. This happened to our friend’s dog right in front of us. Our two golden retrievers were running and playing outside, so we gave them ice. The friend’s golden retriever started seizing and wouldn’t respond. The veterinarian said that they shouldn’t be given ice when playing outside since their body temperature will be considerably high. So ice-pops inside the house, yes! But when they are playing outside in the heat, I would not recommend ice-pops.. Just sharing our experience so hopefully no other pup has to go through it!

  • dabsforsleep .

    Raw eggs are fine

  • dabsforsleep .

    My dog loves beer, he could out drink me at one time( I don’t really drink and my brother wanted a drinking buddy, my dog could down 2 natty ices where I could only drink one) he rarely gets a beer now but he will on occasion when I have a beer, he is almost 13 which is the top average for his breed other than some bad hips he is doing well

  • [email protected]

    Eureka, a few months ago, we gave our dog a dried chicken breast sold as a treat in a pet store. It was shortly after this time that he became very sick, vomiting, off his food and we took him to the vet. The following day, he was still being sick, and we rushed him in again, as I was worried that he was still not eating and had become listless and weak. Poor dog and very injured wallet, as this treatment cost well over £350, but I would do anything within my power to keep him safe. I never made the connection about chicken jerky products. I assumed that, as it was sold in a reputable pet shop it was safe. However, I think this article must have touched on the cause of my dog’s severe bout of gastritis. Otherwise, he is a very fit and athletic border collie who lives on top quality wheat free kibbles mixed with a tablespoon of boiled chicken mince and carrots (I cook the latter myself for him), occasionally given treats tiny bits of raw carrot or apple and dog biscuits at bed time.

  • Celeena

    You should NEVER give your dog raw meat, and especially NOT BONES! You’re going to kill your dog!

  • Truth928

    What a ridiculous article, filled with lies and untruths…”Dont feed your dog , fish bones, candy, alcohol or caffeine”…guess what? Humans shouldnt eat that either. I have raised TWO incredibly healthy dogs (1 completely vegetarian and the other other mostly) who ate Avocados everyday, fruit (bananas, pears, plums, apples, mangoes , pineapples) and vegetables. Including Onions, garlic and Raw chocolate..Both of these dogs were incredibly fit and healthy and neither one ate ANY dog food. They are all filled with denatured, disease producing Crap..Their diet was mostly raw with NO refined foods. One of them is 12 years old now and she looks like she is 4 or 5 yrs old and runs like a thoroughbred.

  • SuZieCoyote

    Dogs have lived with humans for as long as we know. Commercial dog food is very recent. Apparently, all throughout history, the dogs didn’t die from eating scraps from our camps. That’s how they came to be domesticated in the first place. While I was growing up, none of our very healthy dogs ate anything but scraps. My mom just laughed at the dog food aisle, saying “Who would pay for this stuff?” Who would have thought a dog could flourish on a natural diet! My mom, for one. Yes, chocolate is a poison to a dog and it probably isn’t a good idea to regularly feed them onions and garlic, or grapes/raisins. Most of us know this. (I would say that growing up, our dogs got the occasional onion, garlic, grape, etc, but it wasn’t a daily thing – it was part of the scraps.) But large fresh (not cooked) bones have been in a dog’s diet since wolves hunted down prey. I buy big beef bones for my dog and he’s gnawed on them since he was a pup. Eggs? Well, no, you can’t feed *anyone* a raw egg now because of the salmonella from the factory farming. But eggs are another thing that dogs have eaten throughout history when they could get them. This sort of article is full of information that is not well-substantiated and has its roots in the dog food industry, which is where vets get a lot of this info. Would you like to eat the same dry cereal every day? Have you read the ingredients list on most of this stuff? I wouldn’t eat it and I won’t feed it to my beloved dog. Of course, don’t feed the dog the Standard American Diet (SAD) either! It kills. Don’t feed the SAD to yourself or your children, either. Basic rule, avoid poisons and avoid processed and refined foods, especially sugars. There are good cookbooks out there for preparing healthy dog food if your dog has a sensitive gut or you are concerned your diet might be too bad to share with Rover.

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  • Wolf

    Don’t feed dogs American cheese, it’s not cheese and it’s very unhealthy for everyone. Feed them real cheeses, dense cheese is usually best as lactose is hard on dogs. Goat cheese is a wonderful addition to a dog’s diet. But American cheese… you might as well feed him salty plastic with dangerous chemicals in it.

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  • Ruby

    I agree, when they are that old give them whatever they want or will eat.

  • Ruby

    My dogs eat bones all the time. Two are 12 and one is 16. (He only gets the ends off chicken bones now). You have to start at an early age to be able to feed them bones. I don’t them pork bones and only the ends of turkey bones because these two seem to splinter more.

  • Ruby

    Funny, but true!

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