Cooking For Your Dog

My dogs' favorite treat!

I have been a dog trainer and a vet tech for what seems like forever!  I have never “catered” to my dogs’ food choices.  If I were to let them choose, my 12 year old dog would opt for Reese’s Pieces and Peanut Butter Cookies for all of his meals!  He is a dog after my own heart!

I haven’t jumped on the raw diet bandwagon and I don’t have the time or effort to cook all of my dog’s meals for them.  I don’t believe in spoiling them when it comes to their meals either.  You surely know someone who’s dog will only eat homemade meals.

Personally I don’t believe that most homemade dog food recipes and raw diets get the dogs all the vitamins and nutrients they need in all the right amounts.  I know that most try, but I don’t believe that they have been around long enough to provide my dogs with all that they need.

I understand that there are many of my readers that make their own dog food or feed the raw diet and do a great job and have wonderful results, but for now it is just not for me.  I believe in the research and nutritional components of some of the large dog food companies.  I am not here to discourage anyone from making their own dog food.

However, I recently had a scare when it comes to dog treats.

I use to give my dogs a third of a piece of chicken jerky at night when we all went to bed.   And, my dogs started begging to go to bed around 7 p.m. each night so that they could enjoy their nightly ritual!  I didn’t realize that the FDA had been cautioning pet owners about chicken jerky products made in China since 2007!  YIKES!!!

It got me thinking; perhaps it would be safer for me to make my own dog treats!

For years I have been telling my obedience clients to use human food for treats (in moderation of course) because if lots of small children get sick from string cheese we will know a lot faster than if dogs get sick and the process it takes to diagnose and relate it back to a food or treat item.

But, my dogs LOVED chicken jerky!

So I am going to start cooking for them, at least in moderation!  And, I am going to share some recipes with you so that you can do the same!

When cooking for your dog, remember that simplicity is best!  Dogs don’t need added salt or onion or garlic flavorings.  Actually onions and garlic can be toxic for your dog, and salt is hard on his kidneys so when I cook for them I decrease or leave out any salt, garlic, onion or other spice.  My dogs don’t care about spices!  They just want treats that taste good to them, and we all know that dogs eat unimaginably gross things!  Keep it simple, they also don’t need sprinkles or anything that “looks” like chocolate!

Chicken Jerky Oven

  • 1 cooked chicken breast cut into thin strips
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  • Place strips on baking sheets and bake 2-3 hours (depending on thickness) to remove moisture.
  • Allow to cool in oven as oven cools to continue dehydrating
  • Freeze to preserve freshness

Keep it Simple!

Chicken Jerky Dehydrator

  • Raw chicken breast (as much as you desire or have room for) cut into thin pieces
  • Dehydrate for 8-10 hours depending on thickness
  • Freeze to preserve freshness

I assume you could dehydrate almost any kind of meat this way!

Liver Biscuits

  • 1 lb Liver
  • 1 box of corn muffin mix
  • Liquefy liver in food processor or blender, mix with muffin mix, knead until doughy, spread on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Cool, cut and put in fridge or freezer.
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  1. Laura Williams says:

    Thank you for the wonderful recipes. I am one of those people that has fed a home cooked diet to our boyz. It is a lot of work. I stopped once we had 5 weims but then picked it back up again when Bauer was diagnosed with kidney stones but I only make his meals home cooked now. The other boyz is commercial/homecooked combined. The important thing is making sure the dog is getting enough nutrients through the food and also balancing the calcium to phosphorous in the meal then supplementing with various vitamins. I run everything through to make a meal consistent with calorie and volume needs. The Whole Dog Journal has a really good ebook about home feeding and canine nutrition. I think also has an article on her website. As far as vitamins, I only use human grade vitamins because they are FDA monitored where dog vitamins/supplements are not.


  2. Wonderful information. Precise and informative.


  3. Doug says:

    Wow I had no idea you could make healthy dog treats like this!Thanks for all the cool dog treat recipes, I look forward to trying them out.


  4. Betti Lang says:

    Dog Treat Recipe Exchange has some good recipes on their web sight also.


  5. Mary Perini says:

    I buy True Chews chicken jerky that is made in the USA. My dog loves them. I purchased other ones that were “made in the USA” but the fine print says “Product of China.” They are irradiated in the USA. I think I will try this recipe.


  6. Betty says:

    My little dog is slightly overweight so I have been making her home made stew with stewing steak, and mixed veggies (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and peas. She loves it much better than commercial food, but after reading about vitamins and nutrients, should I be adding some sort of supplement to this food? I also give her canned dog food when I don’t have any home made food for her. Because of her teeth, they were bad when I adopted her and she has since had 10 teeth taken out, I also give her a few Hills Small Bites dental food every day. Am I doing the right thing?


  7. Darlene says:

    There are so may good recipes here that I will surely try. My dog doesn’t seem to like boxed treats. I’m sure he is going to love these. Thanks!!!


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