Everyone seems to have a homemade dog treat recipe these days, present company excluded. Aside from the eagerness of some pet parents to overfeed homemade treats, not all biscuits are created equal. In fact, some homemade dog treat ingredients can be dangerous to your dog’s health.
Before we get started on the ingredients to avoid, how many of these statements do you believe to be true?
If a gorgeous dog treat image appears on Pinterest, the recipe is likely safe for my dog to consume.
Pumpkin spice blends are safe to use in dog treat recipes.
Keep reading and we will reveal the answers at the end of this article.
Human Foods Toxic to Dogs
We all know about chocolate, but there are other lesser talked about ingredients that have the potential to harm or kill your dog. These include, but are not limited to:
Nutmeg: This spice produces volatile oil, which can cause psychological effects on a dog. The larger the amount, symptoms such as vomiting, seizures, and abdominal pain may occur.
Fruit Seeds and Pits: These may contain cyanide, which can poison a dog. Signs of cyanide poisoning include dilated pupils, dark red mucous membranes (gums), panting, heavy breathing, and even shock.
Xylitol and Other Artificial Sweeteners: Xylitol is toxic. Period. Xylitol is used as a sugar substitute in many recipes for people, so do not share your Xylitol laced treats with your dog. Although other sugar substitutes are not toxic in the way Xylitol is, they can cause issues and gastrointestinal upset.
Caffeine: According to the Pet Poison Helpline, caffeine exposure can result in vomiting, agitation, panting, pacing, and increases in heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature along with seizures and even irregular heartbeats.
Watch for any ingredients like Green Tea, Green Tea Extract and Green Coffee Extract, as they all contain caffeine.
Grapes, Raisins, Currants: Any recipe that calls for grapes, raisins, or currants: These ingredients are known to cause kidney failure in dogs.
Proceed With Caution
Baby Food: Many different varieties of baby food contain onions or onion powder. When my previous Cocker Spaniel developed Irritable Bowel Disease, we occasionally fed her canned baby food and kept a close eye on the ingredients. Baby food can also contain salt or sugar.
Liver: Liver seems to be a common ingredient in many dog treats. I feed our dog the occasional dried liver biscuit, too. Too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Large amounts of cooked liver can cause vitamin A toxicity.
Macadamia Nuts: Even just a small amount of macadamia nuts can cause neurological problems in dogs. Walnuts also fall into the toxic category for dogs. So do not share your people cookies or treats with your pooch either. Be on the safe side.
Salt: Salt is very dangerous to dogs. This time of year, folks are engaged in homemade cookie making, kids are doing their play thing with Play Doh, and homemade ornaments are popular. These all contain salt and salt is dangerous to dogs. Large amounts of salt can cause kidney issues, too.
TIP: You just don’t want to resist those pleading eyes when your dog stares at you as you eat a delicious homemade cookie. Save the danger and keep some of Fido’s favorite treats with you. When you take a bite, give the dog a piece of his doggie treat. I break my dog’s treats up into pieces.
Unbaked yeast bread dough is toxic to dogs. Again, from Pet Poison Helpline: When ingested, the unbaked bread dough expands in the warm, moist environment of the stomach and can result in a bloated stomach (called “bloat”); this can then progress to a gastric-dilatation volvulus (GDV), which is a twisted stomach.
Five Key Points of Safety in a Homemade Dog Treat Recipe
1 Avoid ingredients in this post and on this ASPCA dangerous people food list in any homemade dog treat recipe for the reasons mentioned.
2 Just because the author or creator says it is safe for dogs does not necessarily make it so. People make mistakes, no matter who they are. Double check each ingredient and refer to your dog’s veterinarian, the info in this article, and/or a veterinary nutritionist before feeding anything you are not 100 percent certain is safe for dogs.
3 Calorie counting: Some homemade dog treat recipes are very high in calories. Treat recipe authors often omit the caloric intake to determine how many treats is enough or too much.
4 Know Thine Flour: Brown rice flour gives a dog biscuit its crunch and may even help the dog better digest the treat. Some dogs are unable to tolerate wheat flour, as it may induce itching or stomach issues.
5 Yogurt Alert: Yes, yogurt is a probiotic. Yes, many dogs love it as a treat and occasional snack, even straight from the container or as a food topping. You should only select yogurts that do not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars.
Want More Tips to Keep Dogs Safe? Check these out:
Do you ever make your dog homemade dog treats? Are you paying close attention to the recommended ingredients?
By the way, the answer to both points is false:
If a gorgeous dog treat image appears on Pinterest, the recipe is likely safe for my dog to consume. FALSE – not always.
Pumpkin spice blends are safe to use in dog treat recipes. FALSE. NO!