Homemade Gold: Treat Recipes that You Can Trist
Our furkids' favorite homemade treat is made from Applegate Farms Natural Organic Uncured Turkey or Chicken Hot Dogs. The turkey and chicken that is used is raised with no growth stimulants or antibiotics and is wholesome grain fed. As Goldens often have hidden allergies, it is best to steer clear of several kinds of ingredients. These include soy, corn, wheat, and yeast. There are also dogs that can be allergic to milk products or peanuts. My Ollie used to have food allergies and signs included ear inflammations and skin irritations that caused him to chew at his paws. In fact, his saliva then reacted with the fur which grew discolored and reddish-looking in appearance. And, that staining was noted around his mouth as well. Nike cooking away!

Check out these great recipes that  steer clear of allergens
Suzi Beber's Homemade Recipes
  Assorted Homemade Recipes  

Knowing about what "bad" things that can be mistakenly eaten is important. That is why we believe in going organic. Certified organic farmers are committed to maintaining standards which protect the health of land, air, water, animals, wildlife, and people. Healthy soil, wise use of water, and a balanced farm ecosystem are hallmarks of organic agriculture. That means cleaner air, safer drinking water and healthier food chains. Organic food is also grown without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, hormones, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). And that may mean it has long-term health benefits. And, they taste great, studies showing that organically grown apples, for example, taste noticeably sweeter.

Certified organic meat, dairy and poultry products come from farms following strict standards for the humane treatment of animals. Organically-raised animals are fed a certified organic diet. They are never fed the by-products of other animals, and never given artificial hormones. And, for a farm to be certified, its animals must be allowed outside for fresh air and exercise. The result? Some certified organic milk cows have a productive life expectancy two or three times that of their commercial counterparts!

You can learn more by subscribing to The Whole Dog Journal, a monthly newsletter which includes news, features and tips on raising a healthy dog.

5 No-No's, or What a Healthy Treat Must NOT Have
1. No artificial preservatives, such as BHS, BHT, potassium sorbate, sodium nitrate, and especially, ethoxyquin.

No artificial colors.

No products with the term "flavor" in the ingredients list (chicken flavor, liver flavor, etc.). This means that the contents don't have enough of their own good flavor. It is not the mark of quality ingredients.

No propylene glycol, which is the thing used to keep foods moist.

No food "fragments" or by-products. The dog food industry is a well-known dumping ground for waste products from the human food industry. A treat that contains "whole wheat" is incredibly healthier than one that has wheat bran, wheat middlings, and wheat germ. Meat ingredients should be whole also. This would be seen by the terms "Chicken," "Lamb," or "Beef," for example. This wouldn't include things like "chicken by-products" or worse things such as "poultry by-products." Now, "Chicken meal" is better than "chicken by-products," but just plain "chicken" would be better. And, the best of all would be a product made with "organically raised chicken."

5 Things to LOOK FOR in Healthy Treats
1. Meat-based treats are best for dogs. Most commercial treats are grain-based. But, treats with meat in them more closely match a dog's natural diet.

Top-quality, whole ingredients are best. These would include oatmeal, rice, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and eggs.

Food used in treats should be kept fresh with natural preservatives like vitamins C & E. Vitamin E is often listed as "mixed-tocopherols."

Organic ingredients are the best. That's because pesticides are in our foods, even if they are not listed as an ingredient. Every commercially farmed food that is not labeled as "organic" is exposed to pesticides some time during its production. Our dogs are unfortunately exposed to LOTS of toxins in their short lifetimes. There are flea control products, heartworm preventatives, pesticides & herbicides on grass, rug & floor cleans, and so on. The best we can do for our pets is to try to reduce their exposure to whichever toxins we can.

Natural, food-based sweeteners, such as applesauce, molasses, or honey are best. Now, remember, in an everyday dog food, we wouldn't want to see any sweeteners. But, with treats, this requirement can be relaxed so that the snack is more attractive to eat. You don't want to see artificial or lower-quality things being used for sweetening, though. These include NO NO's such as corn syrup, sucrose, and ammoniated glycyrrhizin. And, flavor enhancers like salt and sugar are sometimes used to make poor-quality ingredients taste better. Just remember, if the product contains really "good stuff," your dog will want it!



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