Your dog does tricks for treats all the time — so why should he or she miss out on the “trick or treat” fun of Halloween? While your pup can’t eat typical treats like chocolate or candy, some of your own favorite fall flavors can be enjoyed by your furry friend, too. Check out these three quick and easy recipes for healthy Halloween dog treats made with seasonal ingredients. (It’s up to you whether or not your dog needs to be wearing a costume to eat them.)
Fall’s most iconic ingredient is thankfully one that your dog can get their paws on, too. Not only is pumpkin delicious, but it’s also super nutritious for Fido. Because of high fiber content, it’s excellent for digestion, and it’s also full of vitamins and minerals to keep your dog healthy. If you’re going to feed your dog pumpkin, make sure it is pure, canned pumpkin purée — not pumpkin pie mix, which is full of sugar and additives. Your dog can eat pumpkin plain, but it’s more fun when it’s incorporated into these Halloween treats.
This recipe from the American Kennel Club for frozen pumpkin treats only requires two ingredients. Just keep in mind you’ll have to prep them 24 hours in advance.
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- Mix pumpkin and yogurt together in bowl.
- Divide mixture evenly into ice tray or mold.
- Freeze 24 hours.
Since this recipe is so simple, why not go the extra mile and use silicone molds in fun shapes like bones and paw prints? (Buy from Walmart, $8.99)
Sweet Potato Treats
Pumpkins aren’t the only orange, autumnal heavy-hitter that your canine can savor. Cooked sweet potatoes are versatile and yummy, and you can feel good sharing them with your dog in moderation due to their many health benefits. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, especially vitamin A, which is good for your pup’s vision, skin, and coat.
Sam Turnbull from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken shares a recipe for easy DIY sweet potato dog chews, and when she says easy, she means it — the only ingredient is sweet potatoes. These chews will keep your dog entertained, and as an added bonus they’ll smell a lot better than their meat jerky treats.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Slice sweet potato into coins or strips (no thinner than ¼ inch, so they get chewy, not crispy) keeping your dog’s size in mind. Some sources note that sweet potato skins can be hard for dogs to digest, so consider peeling them first.
- Bake in single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets 2 ½ -3 hours, flipping halfway through, until dried out and shrunken.
- Let cool completely.
Turnbull says these can be refrigerated and stored for up to three weeks, so the Halloween fun can extend beyond the holiday.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and it may keep the vet away, too, because apples are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber; plus, since they’re so crunchy, apples can promote dental health. You can also give your dog plain, unsweetened applesauce in moderation. When feeding your dog apples, make sure you only give them bite-sized chunks they can safely manage, and avoid overfeeding due to the fruit’s sugar content.
The owner of the blog Must Love Home shares a recipe for homemade apple peanut butter dog treats that are sure to get your pup’s tail wagging. As an added bonus, peanut butter is also healthy, as long as it does not contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is highly toxic to dogs. Always check the ingredients first.
- 4 cups oat flour (the writer recommends making your own by blending rolled oats in the food processor)
- ⅔ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine ingredients in large bowl and mix thoroughly to form a dough, adding more oat flour if sticky.
- Transfer dough to flat surface and roll to ¼ inch thickness.
- Use cookie cutter to cut out shapes. (These Halloween-themed ones are too cute: Buy now from Walmart, $7.97.)
- Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake 20-25 minutes until dry and starting to darken at the edges.
- Cool completely on wire rack.
The writer of the blog says these treats stay good if refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two weeks, or frozen for up to three months.
Your dog is sure to have the happiest Howl-o-ween ever with these fun and easy treats. And remember, before feeding your pet something new, always make sure to keep their dietary restrictions in mind, and check with your vet before making any changes to their diet.
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