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Healthy Dog Treats for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Life's Abundance Healthy
Go for Bite-Sized Treats

Giving your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel an occasional dog biscuit can be a sign of your affection, or a little helpful motivation during a training session.  But be sure to offer your Cavalier Spaniel a healthy dog treat that provides good nutrition and is safe for your pet to consume.

Here are some guidelines to follow:

Go for Bite-Sized Treats

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. Given the trend toward obesity in dogs, it's best to keep treats on the low-calorie side. 

If you can't find dog biscuits in the size you want, cut or break them into smaller pieces. Your Cavalier won't know the difference!

Avoid Chemicals, Artificial Colors and Dyes

When Bentley was a puppy, I made the mistake of buying his treats at our local pet store. There were lots of cute little t-bone steaks, chicken leg-shaped treats and green toothbrushes, etc. But I found out the hard way that many of these treats were made with artificial colors and dyes, preservatives and chemicals that made them unhealthy choices.

Those treats may have been cute, but they gave Bentley an upset stomach - which I found out the hard way when Bentley couldn't digest them. To make matters worse, the artifical colors came through in his vomit, making it almost impossible to clean the stain out of the carpet.

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.

Buy the Wholesome Low-Fat Treats
that I give to Bentley

Here's a low cost suggestion from one of our website visitors:
When Liv is training Bella, her tricolor Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, she rewards Bella with Cheerios. Just one Cheerio works well as a training tidbit to reinforce good behavior. (There's no need to give your pet a whole handful of Cheerios when one will do!) 

Plain Cheerios breakfast cereal -- without frosting or added sugar -- make a small treat that you can safely give your pet. Not to mention, a box of Cheerios is a very economical choice! However, some dogs are allergic to wheat and corn in many cereal products.

Consider substituting natural fruits and vegetables for the cheerios. Bentley absolutely loves small pieces of green beans as a healthy treat!

Make Table Scraps Off Limits

Aside from the fact that you don't want to teach your Cavalier to beg, 'human food' is often not a healthy choice for a dog. Our food is frequently too high in calories and fat, may not be easily digestible by your dog, and may even be harmful (e.g. chocolate, grapes, raisins, and more).

Even if you wish to feed your dog a snack while you're at the dinner table (which we don't recommend), choose a healthy dog biscuit designed for a dog's nutritional needs or a small piece of fresh fruit or vegetable.  Try green beans, bell peppers, carrots and even cantalope!

To avoid teaching your Cavalier King Charles the bad habit of begging from the table, take a few small pieces and put it in his regular dinner bowl, rather than feeding him by hand tableside.

Are Bones Safe for My Cavalier?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, like most dogs, love to chew. But are bones safe for dogs?  Can you give your dog a 'real' bone, or should you stick to synthetic bones and rawhide chews?

There is considerable difference of opinion on the subject of giving a dog 'real' bones. Most agree that it is not wise to feed a dog a cooked bone, such as a leftover chicken bone. Bones become brittle from the heat of cooking and then can splinter in your dog's mouth and digestive tract. 

However, many dog owners feel that feeding a dog raw bones is safe and can be helpful in keeping their teeth clean.  Chicken necks are often recommended for small dogs as poultry bones do not splinter when raw.

For those who wish to avoid the 'real' bone controversy altogether, there are numerous alternatives that are safe for dogs, including nylon or synthetic bones, edible snack bones and rawhide chews. Again, look for natural ingredients and avoid chews that are treated with dyes.

about Rawhide Chews

Life's Abundance Porky
                                        PuffsHowever, rawhide chews and many similar products are not fully digestible in a dog's stomach. Pork hide products (made into chews or "porky puffs") are a  healthier choice. They can be fully processed in your pet's digestive system.

Recently, there has also been some question about the safety of giving your pet Greenies.  Greenies are made from wheat gluten which can distress allergy-prone canines. Additionally, Greenie are high in calories so they aren't the best choice for overweight animals.

Buy the Wholesome Low-Fat Treats

that I give to Bentley

Homemade Treats

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 stated:.

Canine Carrot Cookies

2 cups carrots, boiled and pureed
2 eggs
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.

From www.dog-training-breeds.com

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

For more dog treat recipes, click here.

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