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Homemade Dog Treats

Empty Food Provides Little, If Any, Nutrition

The other day, a friend and I were talking about our health.  Neither of us is a “spring chicken,” but we weren’t playing “I can top that.”  It was more along the lines of how much “garbage” is contained in our food, and how that results in empty food – food that contains little, if any, nutrients. 

Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” 

Hippocrates clearly didn’t live in the 21stCentury, where most food is genetically modified, and neither you (nor your body) know what’s real.  So much for food being “medicine.” 

So, if the food we’re eating is empty of nutritional value, providing little, if any, nourishment and questionable benefits, it’s an easy conclusion that it’s contributing to poor or declining health.  That means I have to discover new ways to really “feed” my body.

If it’s true for me that what is sold in the market lacks nutritional value, then it’s not much of a stretch to recognize that food being sold for my dog is equally nutritionally valueless.

Full of Nutrients or Garbage?

Commercial dog treats found in pet and other stores come in seemingly infinite varieties.  They may be soft or hard, biscuits or rawhide, and everything else in between.  Unfortunately, their nutritional values can vary, as well.  

In the same way that cooking (and possibly growing) your food is a healthier option, making homemade treats for your canine friend likely means better nutrition for him or her.

While your dog would certainly enjoy just about any treat you give him, many of the products on sale are not necessarily a “good” thing, and can be detrimental to Rocky’s health. No doubt, the best way to ensure that your best friend gets a safe, wholesome and nutritional treat is simply to make it yourself.

Homemade treats are every bit as good as, if not better than, their commercial counterparts.  Did you know that one of the easiest and most popular homemade dog treats to share is liver?  Liver is tasty, and it’s packed with healthy goodness.

Homemade Liver Treats

Here’s how to make homemade liver treats.  You need liver (surprise!), a dehydrator or an oven, parchment paper, and a knife or scissors.

Cut some liver into really, really thin slices.  If you have one, a dehydrator can make preparation of this treat much easier, but if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use an oven.

Put the liver slices on a rack so that they are exposed to air on all sides.  Set the oven at its lowest temp, and bake the slices until they are firm and can be cut with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.  

Open the oven door occasionally during baking to let out the moist air and keep it from getting too hot in there.  We are dehydrating the liver – not necessarily cooking it.

When the liver is dry, remove it from the oven and cut the slices (scissors or a sharp knife). Don’t worry, if the liver gets wet or greasy while you’re cutting it, just stick it back in the oven.  If the liver is too hard to cut, it was in the oven too long.  It’s OK, though.  The slices are still edible.  Just use a different cutting tool.

Back In The Oven For The Big Finish

After you finish cutting the liver slices, they go back in the oven again, still at a low temperature. This time, put the slices on parchment paper.  Bake them until they’re dry to the touch – not greasy. 

York slurping
Oh, yum! I’m ready!

You want to end up with a liver treat that is dry on the outside and moist on the inside.

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