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Fido’s Dog Biscuits

February 15 2024

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and we love them all. While they are all very different, our canine companions all love treats, no matter what their personalities and preferences are. Snacks are a great way to get Fido’s cute tail going. They’re also very useful for bonding and training. However, there are some things to take into account here. In this article, a local Lake Murray, OK vet offers some advice on this.

Can I Give My Dog People Food?

Our canine pals often love getting table scraps. Many people foods are safe for them. Some examples of things Fido can have include plain meat, fish, and poultry without skin, bones, or fat; eggs; and rice. Dogs can also enjoy many types of fruits and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, blueberries, sweet potatoes, spinach, peas, and carrots. However, always research any food before feeding it to your pet, as not all of the foods that we enjoy are safe for our furry pals. Also, keep in mind that sharing table scraps doesn’t exactly enforce proper petiquette. 

What Foods Are Not Safe For My Dog?

There are also many things that aren’t safe for your furry friend. Some unsafe foods include garlic, onions, scallions, chives, pitted fruit, raw dough or yeast, avocado, alcohol, chocolate, grapes, raisins, and anything that contains xylitol, salt, sugar, or fat. You should also avoid giving your dog meat on the bones; anything with seeds or pips; and/or caffeine. Ask your veterinarians for more information.

How Do I Identify Safe Dog Treats?

When choosing dog treats, read the label carefully to make sure your pet’s snacks contain only wholesome, nutritious ingredients. Avoid products with ingredient lists that read like chemical experiments. Meat, fish, and poultry should appear first and most frequently on the label.

Fido should also only be given things that are suitable for his size. Something made for a larger or smaller dog could cause your pup to choke or damage his teeth!

Keep an eye out for recalls. Even though this fortunately doesn’t happen very often, sometimes bad batches make their way through. You can follow updates online at the FDA website here or the AVMA website here. Another option is to set up Google alerts to be notified of recalls via email.

When Were Dog Biscuits Invented?

Dogs have been a part of our lives For thousands of years. In fact, Fido has been standing faithfully by our side for 30,000 years, according to some studies. If that’s true, he probably has been asking for scraps for 29,999 years, 11 months, and 29 days. In other words, we’ve been giving Fido table scraps for a very long time …. possibly even since the Roman Empire. The Roman poet Marcus Terentius Varro mentions feeding Fido meat, bones, and milk-soaked barley in his ‘Farm Topics’ book. 

Virgil also had something to say about feeding our canine companions. He’s attributed with the quote: “Nec tibi cura canum fuerit postrema; sed una Veloces Spartae catulos, acremque Molossum, Pasce sero pingui.” That means “Do not leave the care of dogs to the last; feed the swift Spartan hounds and fierce Mastiffs.”

There are also some clues in medieval texts. The 11th Count of Foix, Gaston III, wrote about doggy diets in a 14th-century French manual, noting that he fed his greyhounds bran bread and hunted meat.

A few hundred years later, in the early 1800s, a businessman named James Spratt invented the first modern dog biscuit, which was made with wheat, vegetables, beetroot, and beef blood. Different versions and products followed shortly thereafter. No doubt, our canine friends enjoyed trying them all! In 1907, chemist Carleton Ellis gave Fido’s cookies their iconic bone shape, thus officially launching the milk bone that Man’s Best Buddy still enjoys today.

Do Dogs Need Treats?

Fido’s physical health does not depend on treats, but they definitely play a role in his happiness and well-being. They’re great for training, bonding, and just brightening up your pet’s day. Also, they can help give Fido a sense of routine, which is also essential. For instance, you may want to give your pup a small treat after his walks, or perhaps before bed. Your dog might even learn to expect treats if he does a cute trick.

The big thing is not to overdo it. Keep your pet’s treats to a maximum of five to ten percent of his daily caloric intake. That may require some resolve on your part and some training on Fido’s. Our canine pals are expert beggars, and know exactly how to melt our hearts with those sad-puppy expressions!

Is Rawhide Safe For My Dog?

Rawhide should be offered cautiously, if at all, and only under supervision. While it is popular with dogs, it can be dangerous, particularly to pups that chew vigorously. The issue is that it can break into small and/or sharp pieces, which are choking hazards. It could also cause serious—and potentially fatal—internal problems if ingested. It’s best to opt for safer treats instead. Ask your vet for advice on this.

Is It A Good Idea To Make Homemade Dog Treats?

You can definitely give this a shot! Homemade treats are a great option for dogs with allergies or dietary restrictions. Another advantage is that you will know exactly what your pup is eating.

Most types of treats start with a base or batter. You can use chopped or minced meat, sodium-free broth, fat-free yogurt, liver powder, ripe bananas, peanut butter without xylitol, pumpkin puree, eggs, whole-wheat flour, wheat germ oil, or sodium-free broth. Then, to customize the snacks you’re making for Fido, you can include things like bacon bits, shredded meat or cheese, kibble, or safe fruits and vegetables like peas, green beans, or spinach.

If you prefer to make your pet’s snacks, you might be interested in buying a dog treat maker. This is similar to a waffle maker or panini press, but has a bone-shaped pocket for batter. Fido probably won’t care whether or not his treats are bone-shaped, but this can help separate pet treats from people treats. These can also make cute gifts for people with pups of their own. (Note: if making treats to give away, include ingredients on the label.)

Here are some recipes you might like:

  • In a food processor, combine beef, whole-wheat flour, eggs, and cheese. Pour into a brownie pan and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Mix pumpkin puree, peanut butter, two large eggs, and some whole-wheat flour. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes.
  • Make a simple biscuit batter by combining eggs, whole-wheat flour, olive oil or wheat germ oil. Add bacon bits, shredded meat or cheese, or bits of kibble. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Combine plain shredded or canned chicken with cheese, bacon bits, whole-wheat flour, and sodium-free chicken broth. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes at 350°F.

This is just a small sample of what you can make for Fido. You can find more great recipes online. You can also make your own, or mix and match. Just make sure you only use safe ingredients. Always read labels! Peanut butter should not contain xylitol. Baby food should not contain garlic, onions, avocados, or any other harmful ingredients.

If you have questions about feeding your dog biscuits, contact us here at your local Lake Murray, OK veterinary clinic. We are always happy to help! 

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