Giving your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel an occasional dog biscuit can be a sign of your affection, or helpful motivation during a training session. But be sure to choose healthy dog treats that provide good nutrition and are safe for your pet to consume.
Guidelines for Dog Treats
Quality counts. Choose dog treats from a premium pet food company. Dog treats found in your local grocery store are often high-calorie low-nutrition products packed with artificial colors that can difficult for your beloved Cavalier to digest. A Veterinarian once told me buying grocery store dog treats were the equivalent of giving my dog Snickers candy bars!) Buy dog treats from a quality pet food company, like Life’s Abundance, to ensure you are giving your pet something that is healthy as well as pleasurable.
Keep treats small. It’s easy to over-do it with dog treats, so choose bite-sized, low-calorie, nutritious treats. Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will feel just as loved with a small treat as he will with a huge dog biscuit. If you can’t find dog biscuits in the size you want, buy a high quality, nutritious dog treat and cut it into smaller pieces.
Avoid Chemicals, Artificial Colors and Dyes. When Bentley was a puppy, I made the mistake of buying treats that looked like little t-bone steaks, chicken leg-shaped treats and green toothbrushes, etc. I found out the hard way that many of these treats were made with artificial colors and dyes, preservatives and chemicals that gave Bentley an upset stomach. Bentley couldn’t digest the treats, the artificial colors came through in his vomit, making it almost impossible to clean the stain out of the carpet. (Ugh!)
Remember that the fun shapes are the product of sale & marketing aimed at pet owners, and doesn’t translate into healthy options for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Fruits and vegetables make great treats. Bentley absolutely loves small pieces of carrots or green beans as a healthy treat! It’s easy to cut them into small pieces that are the right size for training treats. However, some foods, such as grapes or raisins, can be toxic to dogs. Read our articles on table scraps and toxic plants.
- Make Table Scraps Off-Limits to your Dog
- Flowers and Plants that can harm your Pet
- Canned vs Dry Dog Food
Why not make your own healthy dog treats in your kitchen at home? That way, you can be sure to use natural ingredients and bake treats in whatever size you feel is best for your Cavalier Spaniel.
You can find lots of free recipes for dog treats on the internet, but here are a couple to get your started:
Canine Carrot Cookies
2 cups carrots, boiled and pureed
2 Tablespoons of garlic, minced
2 cups all purpose flour (or rice flour or wheat flour)
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
Combine carrots, eggs and garlic. Mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients. Roll out on heavily floured surface and cut into bars or desired shapes. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or to desired crunchiness. The centers will continue to harden as they cool. Brush with egg white before baking for a glossy finish.
From Dog Fancy Magazine (February 1999)
Crunchy Meat Treats
1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup water
5 teaspoons chicken or beef broth
1 jar of baby food – any meat flavor you like
Combine all ingredients well. Form into a ball and roll out on a floured surface. Cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool.
Homemade Dog Biscuits
1 & 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, wheat germ, peanut butter, vegetable oil, honey, baking powder and water. Mix thoroughly.
Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes and place on baking sheets.
In a small bowl, mix together the egg and milk to make a glaze. Brush glaze over the biscuits.
Bake for 40-50 minutes until biscuits are golden and firm. Cool.
From Cindi Roberts