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Problems with Imported Chicken Treats
Illness is on the rise due to products such as chicken jerky
Making your own treats can be painless.

It seems like every month there’s a new pet food product that gets recalled. According to the FDA, the number of dogs getting sick from imported chicken flavored treats has been on the rise. The FDA ran extensive tests, but can’t identify the specific contaminant, nor can they attribute the rash of illness to a specific brand.

Symptoms have included decreased appetite and activity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption and urination, and even kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome, a condition associated with low glucose.

I gave up buying most commercial dog treats a long time ago. It’s much cheaper to make your own, plus you can control all of the ingredients. For anyone who is hesitant to make dog food, treats is a good place to start. It doesn’t have to be complicated or gourmet.

For training I usually cook steak or chicken and cut it into small pieces. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can even use the microwave. When I’m in a rush and need something really yummy, I’ll stick a hot dog in the microwave and have something ready in just a few seconds. Not the healthiest treat, but a lot better than a lot of commercial treats! Every now and then I’ll also take out the baking supplies and make regular dog biscuits.

Do you make your own dog treats?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Rachel Tayse/flickr.

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Submitted by Carolyn | November 24 2011 |

Yes, I've made dog treats for many years now for Maggie. Starting in October we go into production: I bake batches of dog cookies to give to canine friends for the holidays. There are some great suggestions (which I use all the time) here at Bark:

Dog Food Recipes: Low-Cost Homemade Treats
Making dog treats from leftovers
By Rayanne Chamberlain

Submitted by Birdy | November 24 2011 |

I give my chihuahuas Cheerios for treats. They love them. Given b/w that & a chicken nugget, they would choose the nugget & so would I, however you can't get much worse than a chicken nugget & a couple of Cheerios is an easy healthy treat!

Submitted by Frances | November 25 2011 |

Like you, I usually make my own. Liver and rice cake is very popular (equal quantities by weight of raw liver and raw short-grain rice, an egg or two - cook the rice until gloopy in salt free stock if you have it, water if you don't; blitz the cooked rice, raw liver and eggs in a food mixer, bake as a cake until done, then cut into pieces and either freeze for soft treats or bake again in a low oven till very dry. Once dry they keep for ages in a tin). Tuna cake - substitute a can of tuna in oil for the liver. Any meat - although I try to avoid processed stuff these days, much as the dogs love it! I'm currently working on a reasonably well balanced hard baked travel bar, involving minced chicken, eggs, rice and sweet potatoes ...

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