Apr 102015





Finding training treats for our puppies and dogs is sometimes difficult.  We try to avoid items produced off shore, we try to avoid treats with sugar and added “stuff” and we look for low calorie for those of our dogs that have a tendency to be chubby.  And..cost is a factor as well. That just doesn’t leave very many to select from.

An easy and very inexpensive alternative to commercial training treats is dehydrated beef liver.  It is extremely inexpensive at the discount grocery store not far from me and comes packaged frozen and neatly sliced so I don’t even have to touch it.  I thaw the meat, open the package, slide the slices over onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake at 200 degrees for 2 1/2-3 hours.  Sometime I turn the liver over midway, sometimes not. Once totally cooled, I use my kitchen scissors to cut into tiny little pieces for storage.  Since my dogs are small and I like to keep it fresh, I usually divide the batch into 3 zip lock bags and freeze 2 of them and leave one in the refrigerator to use within a week or so.

The best part about dehydrating your own treats is you know there are no additives and it is a supplement to your dog’s diet rather than ruining their appetite which many treats do.  Homemade liver treats are inexpensive, very very easy to make and your dogs will jump over the moon for them!  Just in case you want to teach them to jump over the moon 🙂

Jun 282013

I was mailed a sample of Orijen dog treats for review and frankly, my dogs LOVE them.  The treats are small meatball size and can easily be divided into smaller pieces.  They are not gooey so they do not make a mess in your treat bag and the high quality ingredients take away the guilt we might sometimes have “stuffing” treats into our dogs mouths each time they agree to do what we have asked when we are training.  I shared with some other folks in my training class, and their response was the same…dogs love them.

Orijen is a Canadian dog food company and I have purchased their products in the past by mail order although none of my local stores carry the brand.  The food is given the highest rating on dogfoodanalysis.com and is very high calorie so even though a little pricey, the quantity you feed can be reduced making up for the difference.  I especially like the food when my dams have a litter of puppies and they need the best I can give them.

Chewy.com has good pricing, home delivery with free shipping on orders over $49 and no sales tax.  If you are in an area where a variety of dog food brands are not available, or you just like coming home to a heavy bag of food on your doorstep rather than lugging it home from the store, this is an alternative.

Check them out at http://www.chewy.com/s/orijen

Note–chewy.com does not support Alangus Aussies in any way other than providing a treat sample for my  review

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Aug 302012

As I was reading the newest edition of The Whole Dog Journal today, I was reminded of the dangers of some dog treats, particularly chicken jerky and semi soft treats imported from China.  The first issued warnings were in 2007 from the FDA and frankly, nothing has changed.  Warnings are still on their website available to the public.  Additional information can be found at http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm092802.htm

Since those warnings, I find myself looking at the small print on the back of dog treat packages for the country of origin, and if I see China, it goes back on the shelf.  And, you do have to be careful because sometimes “packaged in USA” is in big print and “made in China” in very tiny print.

Perhaps circumstantial, but I have had a couple of pet sit client dogs with ongoing diarrhea while their owners were gone when I was following the instructions to give the pups a “treat” each day.  When the treats stopped, so did the stomach upset.  Enough said.

To quote from the article Jerky Treats (and others) still Making Dogs Ill,  The Whole Dog Journal, September 2012:

“All of these treats have been associated with a type of kidney failure in dogs called acquired Fanconi syndrome.  Affected dogs may show any or all of the following signs:

*Decreased appetite


*Vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes with blood

*Blood tests may show signs of kidney failure”

There are plenty of wholesome treats on the market for our dogs.  My pups love baby carrots, frozen green peas, fresh or frozen green beans, chunks of sweet potato or apples in addition to some treats that I pick up from the pet store shelves. I’m not a fanatic and my dogs do occasionally get some “junk food”, but I admit I’m very careful about where the products come from.

 Posted by at 10:22 pm