Many pets are on special diets for various medical conditions. These special diets can be amazing for our pets, and they help improve the quality of life of the pet. These diets can be for things such as allergies, kidney failure, diabetes, thyroid conditions, urinary problems, and many other things. When a pet is on a specific special diet, they are sometimes not allowed any food other than that diet, which includes treats. It can be hard for many as lots of owners love to give their pets treats. Some specialty diets do have treats available to go with them that are formulated with the same special ingredients, but some don’t. This can be tough for pets and owners who are used to receiving and giving lots of treats. Many of these diets come in a canned formula as well as dry. You can take the canned food and turn it into treats! Here are some treat recipes from our friends at Hills Veterinary Diets.
Pet treats from canned food (pate style):
- Open the can of food and shake it out
- Cut the loaf into 1/4″ thick slices, then cut that into bite-size pieces
- Bake the bite-size pieces in a microwave oven on high for about three minutes. If using a conventional oven place the pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 until they are crispy. This usually takes about 30 minutes.
Pet treats from dry kibble:
- In a blender, add 2 cups of dry kibble and grind/blend it into a powder
- Pour powder into a mixing bowl and gradually add 1 to 1.25 cups of water, stirring until it forms a dough
- Shape the dough into individual treats or cookies and flatten them using the back of a spoon. The dough will not flatten out on its own.
- Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until crispy.
When making these cookies, please do not freeze them. They should be stored in the fridge for no longer than 5-7 days then discarded. When feeding treats to a pet who is on a special diet, please check with your vet first. Even though these homemade treats are made out of the same food your pet eats, some pets still shouldn’t have treats, or shouldn’t have treats at certain times of the day (like with diabetes). Your veterinary care team would be happy to help you figure out what is best for your pet. Also, keep in mind that treats should never exceed more than 10% of your pets total daily intake, even these homemade ones. Happy baking!
Written by: Mikaila Cariou, RVT