Tag Archives: Ingridients

3 Ingredient Dog Cookie

Here is a quick cookie recipe to try this afternoon for your dog! It only uses three ingredients and likely you already have them in your pantry. Rolling these out and cutting them with a pizza cutter is a great quick way to make small training treats instead of constantly having to break bigger cookies into smaller chunks.

I like making these and having them on hand for stuffing them into George’s Kongs too. Make sure you use peanut butter without xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is very poisonous to dogs.

A great advantage to this cookie recipe is you can make them super hard and crunchy by baking them longer and leaving them to cool over night in the oven to harden and try out. Or bake them for less time, once cooled store them in an air tight container to keep them soft and fresh.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups oat flour (whole wheat is fine if your dog doesn’t have allergies)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1 1/4 cup hot water
  • additional flour for rolling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl till well combined.
  3. Spread out on a floured surface, kneed into desired thickness.
  4. Cut out shapes with either a cookie cutter or a pizza roller.
  5. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet for 40 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven off and let them cool overnight.

Cooking times can vary depending on if you want super crunchy cookies, or softer cookies. Just make sure to keep checking them in the oven so they don’t get too crispy or burnt!

 

Tasty Apple and Cheddar Dog Biscuit

Last week we focused on ingredients you never want to find in your dogs kibble. Unfortunately the cookies and treats we feed are dogs are also a haven for chemicals and other toxic ingredients.
I often buy my clan homemade treats from a dog bakery or these awesome human grade organic biscuits. They both loved this apple and carrot biscuit so much from the bakery that I decided to try and make a version of my own and add a little cheese into the mix.One of the benefits of making your own biscuits is being able to control exactly what ingredients go into them. George has a terrible chicken allergy, even eggs are on the no-go list. And most times then not, eggs are in all sorts of dog biscuits, they use it as a binder. Fortunately I do not have to worry about flour or a wheat allergy, but like this post if you guys want to see a wheat-gluten free version of these biscuits!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups barley flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients and about 3 tablespoons water to form a dough. Roll out mixture between two sheets of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thick; remove plastic wrap and cut out biscuits with a 3 1/2-inch bone-shaped cookie cutter. Reroll scraps and continue cutting out biscuits.
  3. Space biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until nicely browned and firm.
  4. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack. Turn off oven and place biscuits on wire rack in oven overnight. Remove from oven and store in an air tight container up to 2 weeks.

If you want crunchier biscuits, cook them at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. The actual cook time will depend on how low the temperature is, so remember to keep checking them! By cooking them at the lower temperature for a longer period of time this also ensures that most of the moisture is cooked out of the biscuit which makes the storage life much longer.

Check out this post to see other great tips and advice in making your homemade biscuits last longer. Have nothing cute to store your new biscuits? Follow this simple DIY for a customizable treat container.

5 Ingredients that you Should Never Find in Your Dog’s Food

Often when we are in the grocery store we pick up an item, and read the label on the back. Normally you should know all the ingredients that are healthy and that are not. When was the last time you visited the pet store and read the label on your dogs treats and food? Were you able to recognize the harmful vs healthy ingredients? We’ve already talked about how to understand pet food labels, but do you know the ingredients that raise red flags? If not, bookmark this page for future reference to check the ingredients within your dog’s food. We’re going to break down five ingredients that if found on the label, you should avoid purchasing:

  1. Ethoxyquin Unfortunately ethoxyquin is commonly found in most dog foods, it is a preservative. But this product was actually produced to be used as a herbicide! As awareness has increased around increasing quality care for our dogs, veterinarians began noticing that ethoxyquin is often associated with the development of kidney and liver damage, cancer (liver, spleen, stomach, skin), immune deficiency syndrome, blindness, and leukemia.
  2. Propylene Glycol If you know anything about auto care products, you may have immediately recognized this. And yes, it is found in anti-freeze! It is placed in dog food and cat food to help reduce moisture and prevent bacteria growth in wet/canned food. Your dog needs intestinal bacteria to help absorb and digest the food. Since propylene glycol reduces bacteria growth, it reduces the “good” bacteria as well. As a result, some dogs can develop cancerous masses within their intestines or develop inestinal blockages.
  3. Butylated-hydroxyanisole (BHA) or Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) Both are equally potent and dangerous for your pet. In fact, these two are often found in our food too. BHA is another preservative and is often responsible for kidney damage. BHT, even more potent than BHA, is used to help reduce food spoiling. BHT has been directly linked with cancer for both dogs and humans.
  4. Corn Syrup/Corn is often used to help “sweeten” your dog’s palate. Too much sugar over time will lead to weight gain, diabetes, hyperactivity, build up of plaque and tartar, as well it can even change mental behavior. Over time it may develop mold or fungus; in turn, may result in death. Corn is a very inexpensive filler, and commonly found in lower grade foods.
  5. “By Product” This could be either chicken, lamb, beef, fish, turkey and so on (any form of protein). “By product” are the internal remains of an animal, not muscle meat. Often times, this will include diseased tissues, lower intestines and tumors.

If cost is inhibiting you from buying higher quality, natural dog food, the higher quality of food the less the dog will need to eat. How does that work? Like mentioned above, corn is a major filler in the lower end brands. The more filler, the more the dog is going to need to eat in order to get the minimum nutrients they require. In quality dog food there will not be corn. So with no filler, the dog is getting all the nutrients they need but consuming less kibble.

There are so many more ingredients that you need to keep an eye out while reading the list, it can be exhaustive. As a concerned pet parent what can you do? Start researching and reading your dog’s food labels, did you find any of the five ingredients listed above on their bag? Also do not think that this list just applies to their food, treats are often overlooked but they can be just as filled with chemicals, if not more so.
Rebecca Bone-icon

Understanding Dog Food Labels

The food we consume is regulated by nutritional experts and closely monitored for quality, but knowing what goes in to our dogs food should not be such a mystery. A general rule of thumb I have adopted into my own lifestyle, is if I cannot pronounce it I am not eating it and I have applied this to my animal’s health too. Dog food labels can be confusing and misleading, what may look like a “wholesome” or “natural” dog food is really just full of chemicals and fillers. Bellow I have compared two dog food labels, the first one; Acana which is good baseline dog food. And beneful, a grocery brand dog food. Notice how the ingredient list in Acana is full of things we recognize and can pronounce. Where as in Beneful, it contains weird chemicals, and chicken by-product meal.

8725136_f520                                                                                            Acana
8725145_f520
                                                                                           Beneful

Listed Ingredients

Pet Food companies are required by law to list all the ingredients by order of predominance and also to list vitamins and minerals by their chemical name. This can result in multiple different ingredients you have never seen or heard of before. For example, ferrous sulfate might sound harmful, when really it is just a source of iron. However there are definitely ingredients that you should avoid in your pet food, such as, Propylene Glycol. Which is a preservative to help semi-moist food stay hydrated, however if consumed on a daily bases it is toxic.

One important thing to note is the first two ingredients listed. Normally it is a meat by product or whole meat then another source of protein, such as peas or potatoes. The crude protein listed in the guaranteed analysis might be 27%, however it is not straight meat protein. Because a fiber source is the second item on the list. It highly likely that the majority of the crude protein is coming from pea protein versus meat. If you take a look at the two ingredient lists above, Acana and Beneful shows this exactly. Acana’s first few ingredients are a meat source. So we know that the majority of the protein is coming from meat. Where a Beneful has ground corn-meal, chicken by product meal, then corn again.


Guaranteed Analysis

This is where we learn what the percent values in your dogs food are. Depending on your dogs age, and health this will dictate what you are looking. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has set out recommended minimums and sometimes maximum levels of nutrients. An very important factor to remember when comparing two different labels is that not all dog food kibbles have the same moisture levels. Meaning if you are trying to compare the two different foods you have to make everything equal. So we use a simple formula to find the actual true percentages of fat and protein in the kibble.

So lets use Benful as the example.
100% Dry matter – 14% Moisture = 86% Actual Dry Matter
27% Protein / 86% Actual Dry Matter = 31% True Protein
12% Fat / 86% Actual Dry Matter = 13% True Fat

Then Acana.
100% Dry Matter – 10% Moisture = 90% Actual Dry Matter
33% Protein / 90% Actual Dry Matter = 36% True Protein
18% Fat / 90% Actual Dry Matter = 20% True Fat

The nutritional Adequacy Statement is one of the more important statements too when looking at the labels it can impact your pet’s health if claims are made that it is nutritionally complete when the prodcut is not able to meet any of the requirements set out by the AAFCO. Think of the AACFO as the FDA for pet food. Look for statements like,

“…. is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO (Dog/Cat) Food Nutrient Profiles.”
or
“Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that …. provides complete and balanced nutrition.”


 Feeding Directions

At minimum, some where on the label should include wording such as “feed ___ cups per ___ pounds of body weight daily.” The feeding directions should be taken as rough guidelines, a place to start. Breed, temperament, environment, and many other factors can influence food intake. Dog food brands attempt to cover almost all scenarios by setting the directions for the most demanding of situation. The best suggestion is to offer the recommended amount at first, and then to increase or cut back as needed to maintain body weight in adults.


Understanding the requirements of a pet food label helps to ensure that your dog’s nutritional needs are being met. The best advice I can give you is to monitor your dogs activity levels, and adjust the amount of food at feeding time. Or switch the food to something that offers higher or lower fat content depending on the situation. Our pets rely on us to provide them the best care and nutrition we can offer. Understanding the basics to dog food labels is just a small thing we can do in being a better pet parent.

Rebecca  Bone-icon