Truly man’s (or woman’s) best friend, dogs are our most trusted and worthy companions. Though they deserve the finest fare, our four-legged BFFs are often subjected to store-bought packaged foods that are chock-full of gag-inducing animal by-products, additives, preservatives, and chemical residue. Thankfully, dogs can also thrive on a regimen of vegan food. Commercial brands like Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula are available if you’re not a master chef, but in the eyes of our companion animals, nothing tastes better than when Mom (or Dad) makes it. While you may not have the time or money to whip up gourmet three-course meals for your pooch, one way that you can show him or her a little extra love is by preparing easy, homemade vegan dog treats. All you need is a little know-how about canine health and a few minutes of prep time.
Because most pups have such voracious appetites and will eat anything—and everything—in front of them, many people don’t realize that doggy allergies go far beyond just chocolate. Beware of onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, peach pits, apple seeds, and hops, which are all detrimental to your dog’s health. Small amounts of onion and garlic are okay occasionally, but are toxic enough that continuous exposure can cause serious liver damage, anemia, and even death. Steer clear of these ingredients while whipping up snacks for your pooch, and don’t give in to begging without checking ingredients first to ensure your dog’s safety.
Now that we know what not to put in canine food, let’s focus on the positive. Most fruits, vegetables, and grains are safe for dogs, and healthy choices like carrots, bananas, peanut butter, carob, and oats can be made into tasty bites so good that you might find yourself sharing with Fido. Feel free to improvise by combining flour or oats, organic veg-based baby food, peanut butter, and shredded veggies to find your dog’s favorite flavors, or skip the brainstorming and check out one of the many vegan treat recipes already available. Peanut Butter Carrot Puppy Biscuits are a no-brainer, and the six simple ingredients needed might already be in your kitchen. If your pup is always gazing up at you with Precious Moments eyes when you’re indulging in chocolate, relieve your guilt by baking up wheat-free Peanut Butter & Carob Doggie Treats that have the sweet cocoa flavor minus the poison factor. If your dog is celebrating a birthday or has just been extra-good (saved you from a fire, folded your laundry, is heartbreakingly cute every single day), step it up by whipping up some Organic Banana Carob Dog-Friendly Vegan Cupcakes complete with cinnamon or carob frosting options. You’ll be guaranteed prances of jubilee and sloppy kisses in return.
Our creature companions deserve a taste of the kind diet, too. Going DIY on dog treats means knowing that you are saving animals beyond just your own while satisfying your pup’s appetite and your own peace of mind, so bake for your barker!