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Paws For Thought: Tips About Giving Fido Dog Biscuits

February 15, 2024

Our canine companions are all unique individuals, with their own personalities and preferences. One thing they all agree on is their love of treats! Treats are a great way to get Fido’s cute tail going. They are also very useful for bonding and training. A local Hudson Valley, NY vet offers some tips on giving your pup his treats in this article.

Is It Good To Give My Dog Treats?

Definitely! Treats are great for training, bonding, and just brightening up your pet’s day. They also provide a sense of routine, which is also very beneficial. Our furry friends feel most secure when they are kept on a pretty set schedule. That includes snacks! Your dog may also come to expect a treat after a walk, or when he does a cute trick on command. That’s not a bad thing!

It’s important not to go overboard with treats. Man’s Best Friend is not only adorable, he’s also exceptionally good at begging. In general, treats shouldn’t make up more than five percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake. For more specific advice, consult your Hudson Valley, NY veterinarian.

How Did The Dog Biscuit Get Its Name?

Man’s Best Friend doesn’t always know his treats as biscuits: many of our furry patients know them as snacks, cookies, or treats. However, no matter what you call them, the history is the same.

Fido has been our good friend for thousands of years. Some studies suggest that dogs have been at our sides for as long as 30,000 years! It’s probably safe to assume that we have been feeding them table scraps for a very long time. But when did leftovers morph into actual treats? That also may have happened a long time ago … possibly as far back as the Roman Empire.

We do know that dogs were commonly given scraps of bread during that time. In his ‘Farm Topics’ manual, a Roman poet named Marcus Terentius Varro mentions giving Fido meat, bones, and barley soaked in milk.

Several hundred years later, in 14th-century France, we find another book about Fido’s menu. This one was written by Gaston III, the Count of Foix. He apparently fed his beloved greyhounds bran bread and hunted game.

Fast forwarding again, we’ll find that the modern dog biscuit was created by a businessman named James Spratt around the 1800’s. His version contained wheat meals, vegetables, beetroot, and beef blood. Different versions and products quickly followed, with our canine pals happily tasting and sampling all of them. In 1907, chemist Carleton Ellis reshaped Fido’s cookies. This revolutionary change led to the development of the milk bone, which Man’s Best Buddy still enjoys to this day.

What Are Safe Treats?

Your dog’s treats should contain only wholesome, nutritious ingredients. It’s a good idea to read the label. Meat, fish, and poultry should appear first and most frequently.

You should only give Fido things that are the right size for him. If you give him something made for a larger or smaller pooch, he could choke or hurt his teeth.

In addition, you may want to keep track of recalls. While these don’t happen often, they unfortunately aren’t unheard of, either: occasionally a bad batch of treats does slip through. You can follow updates at the FDA website here or the AVMA website here. You can also set up Google alerts to be notified when recalls occur.

What Are Unsafe Treats For My Dog?

Rawhide is a big concern here. While it’s very popular with dogs, it can also be very dangerous, particularly for vigorous chewers. It can break off into tiny pieces, which are choking hazards, and can also cause serious internal issues if ingested.

Can Dogs Eat People Foods?

As mentioned above, Fido ate table scraps for thousands of years. Many of our menu items are safe for him. Plain meat, fish, or poultry, without skin, bones, or fat, is always a good choice. Dogs can also eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, including apples, sweet potatoes, spinach, peas, carrots, and blueberries. It is always best to research anything you give your pet first. Also, be sure to remove seeds and pips. 

Which People Foods Are Dangerous For Dogs? 

Don’t give your pooch garlic, onions, scallions, or chives. Other unsafe foods include pitted fruit, avocado, alcohol, chocolate, grapes and raisins, anything containing xylitol, salt, sugar, or fat. Meat on the bone is also dangerous. Ask your Hudson Valley, NY veterinarian for more information on safe and unsafe foods.

Can I Make My Dog’s Treats At Home?

If you like baking, you can certainly try making homemade treats. This is also a good option for pups with allergies or dietary restrictions. To start, pick a base. You can use chopped or minced meat, sodium-free broth, liver powder, ripe bananas, peanut butter that does not contain xylitol, fat-free yogurt, or pumpkin puree. Eggs, whole-wheat flour, wheat germ oil, and sodium-free broth are also good options.

You can customize Fido’s snacks by adding things like bacon bits, shredded cheese, bits of kibble, or safe fruits and veggies like peas, green beans, or spinach.

If these go over well, you can buy an appliance just for your dog’s snacks! Dog biscuit presses, or dog treat makers, as they are also called, are similar to typical waffle makers or panini presses, but have a bone-shaped pocket for batter. Your furry pal will probably not really care what his treats look like, but it’s not a bad idea to make them unique. These also make good gifts for Fido’s buddies.

You can try these recipes:

  • Combine plain, cooked boneless turkey meat with cheese and eggs. You can also incorporate baby food and/or safe fruits and vegetables, such as peas, carrots, or sweet potatoes. Put the batter into a food processor to mix, and divide into small portions. Cook at 375 for half an hour.
  • Mix plain canned chicken with shredded cheese, bacon bits, whole-wheat flour, and sodium-free chicken broth. You can also add an egg. Divide into small servings and bake at 350F for 15 minutes.
  • Combine some pureed pumpkin mixed with peanut butter. Add two large eggs and some whole-wheat flour. Cook at 400F for 15 minutes.
  • Mix natural peanut butter with fat-free yogurt and mashed banana. Pureed pumpkin or sweet potato will also work. Divide into small bits, and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Instant tail wags!
  • Mix eggs, whole-wheat flour, and olive oil to make a basic biscuit. Then, customize it with bacon bits, shredded meat or cheese, or bits of kibble. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  • Combine some whole-wheat flour, eggs, and beef liver together in a food processor. Divide into small portions and cook at 375 for 15 minutes or until crunchy. 

Feel free to mix and match! Just make sure you only use safe ingredients. If using peanut butter, choose a brand that does not contain xylitol. If you use baby food, make sure it does not contain garlic, onion, avocado, or any other unsafe ingredients.

Lastly, don’t forget to make Fido perform a trick for his treat!

Conclusion: Dog biscuits are a great way to reward your dog for good behavior, brighten up his day, and just get his tail going. Just be sure to stick with safe products and ingredients, and don’t overdo it.

Have questions about feeding your dog biscuits? Is your canine buddy due for an appointment? Contact us, your Hudson Valley, NY veterinary clinic, today!