Grain free dog treats

trinigeminiDecember 29, 2008

Does anyone know of recipes for grain free dog treat. We are currently trying to keep our 1 year old bulldog on a grain free diet. I searched the internet but could not really find any.

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There are a number of commercially available chicken and liver treats. You can also dehydrate your own meat for easy (and cheap) treats. Are you willing to make your own, or are you really looking to pay a premium for grain-free meat-based treats? There are tons of treat options, but so many of them are insanely expensive.

I blow a ridiculous amount of money on organic and grain-free food for my two cats and two ferrets, so if you're willing to spend the money, I can easily point you in the right direction. I just can't personally justify spending the money on grain-free treats. That's not to say that I don't see a real value in grain-free food/treats, so, like I said, I'll happily point you in the right direction. However, I don't think there's anything wrong with saving a buck and making your own. What do you want to do?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 1:49AM
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You might try looking under "hypo allergenic" food and treats.

Boiled or baked chicken liver is a good treat.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 7:46AM
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The original poster did specifically ask for 'recipes', but the jerky or dehydrated meat is a good recommendation. Also bully sticks and cow tails are healthy and basic.

Here's the recipe for the only dog treat I bother to make. Not often, but once or twice a year and they freeze well.

Liver Leather

1 Pound beef or chicken liver (beef is preferred)
1 cup tapioca flour or starch (oriental food store will have this is the supermarket doesn't)

Preheat over to 250F. Puree the liver in a food processor. Add the tapioca flour and mix with the liver in processor. Line a baking sheet with foil and pour the disgusting mess in there. Cook for 1 hour. (The scent is delightful, you will have any loose dogs in the neighborhood howling at your door.) Turn off the oven after an hour and leave overnight. In the morning, peel the leather off of the foil and cut it into small, 1", squares. Freeze in baggies what you won't use in a week. Remember that organ meat is rich, but these are healthy and high value treats.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 8:01AM
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Depending on how you feel about feeding fruits & veggies, you can dehydrate things like apple and apricot slices to use as treats. Also, baby carrots work great for a no-hassle grain free treat...nothing to make then, just fed raw.

I use baby carrots and commercial dehydrated Lamb lung and/or liver treats for my dogs, since one of them cannot have any grains at all. Works great, not expensive at all.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 11:42AM
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Thank you all for your help. We have decided that buying grain free treats is ridiculously expensive as Jenc said. We have been dehydrating stuff for her. Hubby did some bananas which she loves. But he also did some ground beef....he made little cookies out of the beef and dehydrated them...unfortunately they are really tough and Tootsie tends to just swallow them which makes me nervous as it sometimes gets caught in her throat. I love the idea of the liver treats and we will be making those soon. Tootsie is on grain free dog food which is ridiculously expensive but we feel it its worth it. She currently eats Orijen 6 fish which she loves....we always get butt wiggles when its feeding time :-) I think we will try raw fruits and veggies too....I just wanted to be able to bake her something (when you go into those dog boutiques they always have the cutest cookies). I guess I just want her to have variety in her treats since her food is always the same. Plus the little girl is smart and now I need some high value treats to get her to listen, doggies biscuits just don't cut it for her anymore. :-) Thanks again for all your suggestions. I'm sure we will be using all your ideas.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 2:33PM
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you dont say WHY you are trying for a grain free to share??

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 7:20PM
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Tootsie is an english bulldog. We adopted her when she was already 11 months old. Hubby has been on a bulldog forum and they say bullies have alot of allergies...especially to grain and chicken. Tootsie seems healthy enough however she does have a yeast infection in her ears and her face folds smell if we don't clean them everyday which means she probably also has the yeast infection in her folds. We have been doing all we can and it just seems safer to get her off grains and chicken. She has to be cleaned with meds as simple soap and water won't kill the yeast and she hates it. We also have to put baby rash cream on her folds which really isn't good for her if she eats any. We are trying to stop the allergies and yeast totally. When we got her she also had a little hot spot on her foot which has cleared up since we switched her food. So hopefully going totally grain free will help her even more.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 8:19PM
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Here's a link to a recipe, although I haven't tried it yet. BTW, you can use human dandruff shampoo for baths in place of the expensive medicated shampoo the vets carry. Dandruff is usually caused by yeast, so it's the same stuff.

Also, fish oil is good for strengthening the immune system against allergies. My dogs eat Orijen 6 also, but I still feed the fish oil supplement on my vet's recommendation. My dog's allergies were a lot better this year after eliminating grains and feeding the fish oil. They weren't altogether gone, but they didn't get him down as much as they usually do and he's 14 years old.

Here is a link that might be useful: grain-free treats

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 10:09AM
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Tri - Check with Ntural balance, I know they have frozen barf food which may not have any grains. If you are at your wits end, contact the company - no seriously, I have spoken to them a number of times about their products (which are human grade not waste products) and they will try and assist you in whatever way they can. I know for a fact they carry a potato and duck formula - I dont think it has grains in it you may want to check the ingredient list on the label, good luck

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 6:13PM
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Thanks Mazer...I am happy with her food...I just wanted treats as well :-) Something I could make for her so she would know when I am cooking for her and get excited. I know its dumb, but my old dog knew when I was doing something especially for her and it made me feel happy. And thanks for the recipe Deb...that looks like a really good one.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 7:11PM
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I don't read well for comprehension after 1am, apparently. Sheesh. Sorry for the odd post. I'm not sure where I was going with that.

Dehydrating your preferred protein is about as simple as can be, and you don't even have to buy a food dehydrator. It's more work, but can be done in the oven on very low heat. No real recipe involved - the time in the oven/dehydrator will vary depending on the size of the chunks you're using. I've even seen people make a type of microwave "jerky" on the lower power settings.

If you use a lot of treats in training, you'll probably want smaller treats, so I'd recommend freezing your meat before cutting it (much easier to cut tiny slivers of meat that way).

Food allergies often present themselves as skin conditions, and there's certainly no *harm* in limiting/eliminating grains in a dog's diet (as long as the diet is balanced), so it sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck with her.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 9:30PM
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Jen we actually have a dehydrator, and hubby has made her some jerky out of ground beef, unfortunately they are very tough and my little girl just swallows....we will experiment with size.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 11:47PM
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I made the beef treats suggested by Deb and tootsie loves them. Thanks so much again. We also bought her carrots which is fun to watch her eat....the baby carrots just hand out her little mouth like a cigar :-)

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 10:12PM
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My dog loves baby carrots and frozen green beans for treats.

He is also a sweet potato addict. We bake thin slices in the oven to make crispy treats.

We also bake/mash them and combine them with oatmeal, instant mash potato flakes or cooked rice (ratio of roughly 1:2 so 1 cup dry ingredient to, 2 cup of mashed sweet potato) form them into little balls and bake at 350F for 15-25 minutes. Depending if you want them soft or crunchy.

Good luck with your little one.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 10:33PM
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My dogs have been on grain-free for years. A trick to making grain free treats is to take a normal recipe and substitute buckwheat or amaranth flour (get them at whole foods or other natural food store). I have even made treats with chickpea flour!

As far as the shampoo goes, DON'T USE PEOPLE SHAMPOO!!! Dogs have a different skin pH then people so it will dry them out and make it worse!

If you can find it, Canidae makes a great grain free food and they just expanded their line to include a pure fish one. It is a lot less than Origin. (we pay $30/ 15lbs).

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 3:04PM
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I have problems with my cockers and yeast in their ears. I feed them yogurt on their food or give them acidophiles pills. We still have flare ups but it sure helps.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 12:16AM
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I know this is an old thread, but for anyone still pulling it up, I just discovered a site that gives suggested substitutions for wheat flour in dog biscuits. I have also seen specialty flours at places like Whole Foods. They carry Bob's Red Mill in our area, and we can get flours made from quinoa, amaranth, pea, almond, etc. If your WF doesn't carry Bob's, you can order direct online.

I have a pug with allergies, so I'm familiar with the wrinkle issues and allergies. I have to reiterate a previous post, please DO NOT use human shampoo on dogs. My own hair stylist says human dandruff shampoo makes issues worse on us, I can't imagine what the stuff would do when it damages the skin with an incorrect pH as well. I use witchhazel to clean my pug's folds. Try to get as low alcohol content as possible to avoid irritating any open sores. Any drugstore should have it in the beauty section.

One last thing, since my pug also inhales his treats, we use a Kong toy to make them more difficult to access. Try shoving one of your dehydrated burger treats inside. We use a medium sized toy, and have discovered that ice cubes fit just right if slightly underfilled. My ice cube trays are full of raw egg yolk (do not feed raw egg whites), canned pumpkin, applesauce, mashed potato, mashed over-ripe banana, pea soup, and any dog-safe leftovers from my meals. Once frozen, pop them out into a zipper bag and refill! You can also make semi-homemade treats with the rolls of dog food like Natural Balance or Vital have by dicing them to an appropriate size and either dehydrating or baking on low.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flour Substitutions

    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 12:17PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Just a suggestion, if your girl suffers from yeast overgrowth. Anything high is carbs and simple sugar will make yeast worse. Yeast thrives on sugar so be careful with giving her fruit. Apples and bananas are the worst as they are very high in fructose. Carrots and green beans are good treat foods and I also use meat strips done in the crock pot and frozen in baggies. They are not tough and are not high in fat while still being soft and easy to chew or swallow as the case may be.

A suggestion for skin folds, I use Canestin 1 or 2% topical cream found in the family planning section of the pharmacy. It is obviously for yeast and no more harmful than diaper cream. If fact, most diaper creams contain starch and will not work on yeast, IMO.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2011 at 12:43PM
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spedigrees z4VT

We buy a package of cold cuts at the deli every week (ham, bologna, turkey, or roast beef). In addition to making sandwiches for we humans, I parcel out bites to the dogs as treats during the week. Torn off bits of the thinly sliced meats make small but delicious treats. These treats are easy and require no preparation. The dogs know the sound of the fridge door opening combined with the crinkling of the plastic baggie and they come running.

When I am out of cold cuts, I cut up a block of locally made cheddar cheese into bite sized bits, store them in a baggie in the refrigerator, and those are my dog treats.

Any kind of meat and/or cheese makes a healthy dog snack. I do occasionally hand out a scrap from a sandwich or a (human) cookie, but the dogs' main snack food is appropriate fare for a carnivore.

This post was edited by spedigrees on Sun, Jun 30, 13 at 11:00

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 10:57AM
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