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.
Yep, this is my dog Gemma. She is a French Brittany Spaniel and wow is she ever loved! 🙂
It amazes me how much love and affection a dog can offer a family.
Before Gemma we had a yellow lab, Ginger. Oh what a great dog Ginger was.
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!
- 2-3 large sweet potatoes cut into 1/4″ thick slices
- dehydrator, you could also use an oven at a very low temperature.
- Cut your sweet potatoes into 1/4″ thick pieces.
- Set your dehydrator to 125 F. If using an oven set it as low as it will go.
- 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.
- Store in refrigerator.
What Are Your Thoughts?
What do you feed your dog?
Do you make your own dog treats?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I agree with you,I started making my own treate and giving her a high quality holiStic dog food. I have a new Shellie .i lost my Shelby a Shellie in January. I name the cookies after her. I have been giving my puppy potato starch chews from a holistic pet store but they are expensive. I am trying to make my own.
Hi. I’m new to the raw meat diet but just recently went to a holistic vet to see what my options are with my 6 year old rottie who has seizures and is on 14 meds a day. She suggested raw meat diet. I just started him today and am looking for help with transitioning him. He loves his treats and would like to know what this group suggest? Websites?
Love this idea of sweet potatoes and will try it out. Thanks!!!
He’s been having seizures for 3 years he has been medicated for three years. Need to change him. Need more options than to increase his meds.