Every dog loves treats. And most Jack Russell Terriers are so high energy, they can enjoy plenty of them without having to worry about their weight.
But, just like human treats, dog treats need to be healthy. And also just like human treats, you can make wholesome, tasty dog treats at home.
Why make homemade treats? Well, for one, if you’re making it yourself, you know what goes into it. You can control the ingredients and the proportions.
Also, if you’re making treats at home, your Jack can “help” — or at least be a taste tester!
Finally, making treats yourself can save you money. And when you have a little dog that can eat like the big dogs, that’s important.
The Unique Nutritional Needs of the JRT
All dogs share some of the same nutritional needs. First, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, it’s best for dogs to get most of their nutrition from protein and fats, rather than carbohydrates. They do need carbohydrates, though, as well as vitamins, minerals, and water.
But Jacks have some breed-specific needs as well.
Well, for one, Jack Russell Terriers are very athletic. They need a lot of exercise. Who are we kidding? They’re hyper. And this means they have a high metabolism.
What does that mean?
It means they burn through calories fast.
But it’s not enough to just feed them lots. You have to strike the right balance between protein, fats, and carbohydrates, so that your buddy develops lean muscle instead of running to fat.
Proteins should come from healthy sources like meat, poultry and fish. Fats should also come from pure animal sources. Some examples include salmon oil and chicken fat.
What about carbohydrates? It’s true that a lot of dog foods contain a large amount of cereal fillers. But that’s not necessarily the best thing for your dog.
Instead, whole grains, legumes, and vegetables are healthy sources of both fiber and vitamins and minerals.
So, What About the Treats?
Can you make healthy homemade treats for your Jack? Of course, you can! And we’re here to help. Here are a pair of recipes that are guaranteed to please.
Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Biscuits
It might not sound appetizing to us humans, but dogs love these ingredients, individually and in combination. Peanut butter and eggs are healthy sources of protein, while pumpkin has lots of fiber and Vitamin A.
Just make sure to choose unsweetened peanut butter. Too much sugar is bad for all of us. Even more importantly, some peanut butter brands use Xylitol as a sweetener, and even a small amount of this is poisonous to dogs.
- 2-½ cups of flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all ingredients together until it forms a stiff dough. Roll out the dough, then cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Bake 40 minutes or so until hard. Adapted from this recipe by Kelly at AllRecipes.com).
Savory Dog Biscuits
There are a lot of sweet dog biscuit recipes, but remember that dogs are carnivores. That means that their tastes run to meat. Here’s a meat-flavored treat that your JRT will love. The garlic and brewer’s yeast can help to keep fleas away.
- 3 cubes of beef bullion
- 1-½ cups boiling water
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 egg yolks
- ⅔ cups brewer’s yeast
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Dissolve the bullion cubes in the boiling water. Stir together all of the other ingredients in a bowl, then add the bullion-water. Mix until it forms a stiff dough. Roll out the dough then cut it into shapes. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn off the oven, while leaving the biscuits inside for at least three hours to harden. (Adapted from this recipe by MOMDAUGHTERCOOKS at AllRecipes.com.)
Tell Us About Your Dog Treats!
Does your Jack have any favorite treats? Whether those treats are homemade or store-bought, we want to know! Tell us about them in the comments!
Featured image: CC0 by Foto-Rabe via Pixabay