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Holistic Dog Treats |

Today I am stepping out of the box a bit with this post!  If you have a dog, I am sure you won’t mind. First of all, let me introduce you to our dog. 

Meet Gemma

Yep, this is my dog Gemma.  She is a French Brittany Spaniel and wow is she ever loved! :)  

Holistic Dog Treats |

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It amazes me how much love and affection a dog can offer a family.   

Meet Ginger

Before Gemma we had a yellow lab, Ginger.  Oh what a great dog Ginger was.  

Ginger | 

Unfortunately, Ginger passed away two years ago.  Ginger had 3 episodes of a pancreatitis attack and we finally had to put her to sleep so she wouldn’t have to suffer anymore.  

Through this very difficult time, I began to do some research on what causes pancreatitis in dogs.  

Can Commercial Dog Food Make Your Dog Sick?


I was shocked to read that the commercial dog food that I was feeding Ginger could have been what made my dog sick.  

I don’t know why I was shocked…I mean humans are getting sick from all the fake food that we are putting into our bodies, why wouldn’t an animal?

Many commercial dog foods are full with fillers, artificial ingredients and harmful ingredients that can simply make your dog sick.  Most dogs can not even digest these commercial foods and their health declines as their bodies slowly start to break down.

So when we got Gemma, we were sure to do some more research on what foods were best for her breed. For French Brittany Spaniels, they do best on diets rich in meats and vegetables like lamb, duck, fish and sweet potatoes.

The Holistic Dog Food We Use


We found a terrific local company who makes excellent holistic dog food right here in the Milwaukee area. Fromm Gold Holistic Adult Dry Dog Food is the brand of food that we feed Gemma and we have been super happy with it.  They sell their food all over the United States at quality pet stores.

We looked into a BARF diet (raw food diet of raw meats, bones and organ meats), but it was to expensive for us.  Fromm food was another alternative.  They focus on using real whole food ingredients. No fillers, just look at a few of the first ingredients in a package of Fromm dog food.  

Ingredients: Fresh duck, duck meal, pearled barley, fresh sweet potatoes,brown rice, oatmeal, white rice, whole dried egg, millet, dried tomato pomace, safflower oil, fresh Wisconsin cheese, flaxseed, fresh carrots, fresh broccoli, fresh cauliflower, fresh apples, fresh green beans, chicken cartilage, fresh cranberries, fresh blueberries. 

Now lets look at some commercial dog food ingredients.  

Whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal, corn glutenmeal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E),meat and bone meal, brewers rice, soybean meal, whole grainwheat, egg and chicken flavor, animal digest, calcium phosphate

Which would you rather eat?  What the heck is animal digest?

Holistic Dog Treats


There are several holistic treats that we give our dog.  In the first picture at the top of this post, are the homemade sweet potato chews. Also in the picture are Large Elk Antler Dog Chew Treats.  

Elk Antlers are great for dogs to chew on and our dog absolutely LOVES them.  They are all natural, they come right off of an elk.  My farmers market also sells them.  They are expensive, about $15 for a good size antler, but we have had the same antler for over a year and it gives her something to chew on.  

The other items in the picture are the sweet potato chews.  Last month my husband came home from the pet store and I was shocked at how much he spent on these sweet potato treats. One little packet (6.5 oz) cost over $9.00.  Think about that…that is roughly only 2 medium sweet potatoes that I can get for under $1.00!

So you know me, I looked at the ingredients and there was only one ingredient…sweet potatoes.  After I examined them a bit, I knew that these would be some of the simplest and cheapest dog treats to make!  

So my husband got out the knife, sliced up the sweet potatoes and put them right in the dehydrator.  Next morning they were done…that easy!

Who knew it was so easy to make your own holistic dog treats…and the dogs absolutely LOVE them!

 Holistic Dog Treats |

How To Make Homemade Holistic Dog Treats
Prep time
Total time
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes cut into ¼" thick slices
  • dehydrator, you could also use an oven at a very low temperature.
  1. Cut your sweet potatoes into ¼" thick pieces.
  2. Set your dehydrator to 125 F. If using an oven set it as low as it will go.
  3. Allow the potatoes to dehydrate for 8 hours or until almost dry, but not brittle. If using an oven, check the potatoes after 4 hours.
  4. Store in refrigerator.

What Are Your Thoughts?

What do you feed your dog?

Do you make your own dog treats?


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Join the Conversation

19 thoughts on “How To Make Homemade Holistic Dog Treats”

  1. Brenda says:

    I think your dog treats are great- not so much the Fromm Gold Holistic Adult Dry Dog Food . Please check further into several of the ingredients in it that can cause health problems in our pets such as Alfalfa Meal,  Yucca Schidigera Extract, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, and flaxseed.

    1. hallecottis says:

      Thanks Brenda….I agree that there are a few ingredients I would rather not have, but it is clearly the best options available to me at this time.  What food would you recommend outside of a BARF diet?

      1. Debbie says:

        Try the Orijen brand of kibble. It’s expensive, but biologically appropriate. We used to use EVO, but they recently had an incident at their plant that contaminated some of their kibble. I bought both brands at a local organic pet store. I believe both of these are Canadian, so no worries about unnamed Chinese contaminates. We feed the kibble along with raw ground turkey. We buy the 5 pound loafs from Smart and Final. Each of my golden retrievers get 1 cup of kibble a day along with 8 ounces of turkey. We add raw bones to the mix every so often as well.

  2. Megan Bell says:

    Amanda McGuire Rzicznek!

  3. Forza10USA says:

    @hallecottis Great! Holistic pet food is a safer route than conventional. Most do not contain oxytetracycline.That means a healthier pet!

  4. julnjake says:

    A raw diet, not BARF, is a great diet and when you utilize your local craigslist it can be very cheap!  I only pay for food for my lab and italian mastiff a few times a year.  Look into the yahoo group for raw feeding.  Again, raw, not BARF.

  5. chefmuhs says:

    Yes Yes Yes we make homemade everything — my dog Cinnamon eats fish and potatoes, &peas for meals right now!! I can’t wait to try these for her She will love them!!

  6. SpencersMom says:

    Raw diet! Love it! Started off on kibble when we brought him home as a puppy and switched after a few months. Big difference in his overall health. I buy commercially prepared raw food prepared with human grade ingredients and I also feed him raw meaty bones once a week. Can’t wait to try these treats! Thanks! Any comments on Organic Apple Cider Vinegar? I heard it has huge health benefits for dogs (as well as humans).

  7. lf100848 says:

    hallecottis Raw is really not so expensive if you do your research. Buy in bulk and talk to local butchers to get better prices. its absolutely worth it! Our dog loves it, he looks great, moves quicker, better stamina, stool is smaller, doesn’t have dog smell, or smelly breath. If you’re paying for Fromm, you can absolutely afford a raw diet!

  8. Niki Emel says:

    Made these yesterday! MY dog loves them!

  9. ninapage says:

    I make my own treats, I dry any meat we have and also Kale. Austin just loves his treats.

  10. Lisa says:

    I agree you can do raw meaty bones, offal and cheap cuts of meats and really lower the price of feeding raw. Also you can put a couple of veggie days and a fasting day per week and lower the cost even more. It does a dog good to fast (and humans too) and they don’t feel the fast. Mine have as much energy on a fasting day as they do with a raw meaty bone day. Thanks for the treats recipe, I’ll give it a go!

  11. Kelly Wrenn Roberts says:

    Melissa Cohen, thought you might like this info on dog treats for the puppy, easy to make;-)

  12. Donna says:

    I bake thinly sliced liver at a very low heat in the oven so it turns jerky-like – it keeps a long time in the fridge and forever if frozen. I have to say their favorite is when I give them raw tripe for dinner (buy it at Tail Blazers) – it is NASTY smelling but I give it to them partially frozen – they are CRAZY for it.

  13. Cathy says:

    We use the diet found in Dr. Becker’s book Real Food for Healthy Dogs & Cats, Simple Homemade Food. I have the 4th edition. We tried the raw diet, but our Beagle mix had a lot of problems. He has had some immune issues ever since we rescued him. We do use the option of partially cooking the food, and my Beagle mix does just great with it. My Lab mix has never had a problem except with bad commercial kibble food. At first it was a bit overwhelming, but we have it down pat now.

    We also use the vitamin recipe found in the book, because if you make your own food and don’t get in enough ingredients you might be doing some damage that won’t show up for years.

    Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It is amazing how much information is in there.

    Oh, we also give our dogs antlers for chews. They love them.

  14. O. J. Morgan says:

    I buy cow horns from the abettor. My 14 month old pup loves them. I also buy dried cows ears – keeps dogs happy for several hours.

  15. Joanna says:

    Thank you for the sweet potato treat recipe! My dogs love sweet potatoes. The commercial package of duck and potato is made with canola oil, which I avoid. I didn’t realize making a treat could be so simple.

    I don’t buy antlers for my dogs. My young dog (2 years old) can handle them. My older dog (14) hurt his teeth on them. The antlers are too hard. We have to be careful and match the hardness and digestibility of food and treats with the age of the dog.

    I just started making food for my dogs. They love it, and it’s much better for them. Mostly I make a kind of stew in my rice cooker: varying combinations of lentils, brown rice, broccoli, carrots, black beans, split peas, carrots, celery and, of course, sweet potatoes. People like it too!

  16. Sherry says:

    We make sweet potato chewy treats and crispy treats with a little bit of cinnamon sprinkled on them. My Irish Setters love the crispy treats, but recently at a local farmer’s market, dogs loved the chewy treats the best. Any suggestions to cut the slices of sweet potato the same size/thickness? Thanks to all who love healthy treats for their lovable pets.

  17. Shannon says:

    I prefer orijen to anything I’ve seen on the market. My dog eats combo of natural balance venison and sweet potato and fish combo from Orijen. Be careful how much protein you give to big dogs though. This is why I mix.

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