Game Day Treats for Pets

Fall is the time for home get-togethers, and sometimes ‘tailgating’ from your couch during the big games. But before you share table foods with your dog, it’s important to think about all the ingredients in it, even the ones you don’t see. Surprisingly, many of the herbs and spices that we enjoy could upset an animal’s digestion, or worse. 

While you’re making treats for your guests and family, consider making a few special ones for your pets. Here are some suggestions to get your creativity going.

Things to keep in mind are that nutmeg and clove, ingredients in both Pumpkin Pie Spice and Apple Pie Spice, are highly toxic to animals, so you may want to make your own holiday spice mix. 

Watch out for the salt monsters like chili, chips, bacon, tacos, BBQ and fast foods that usually find their way to the front of the TV.  Also, onions, chives, shallots, garlic, chocolate and cocoa powder, and xylitol sweetener are all toxic, so they should be kept off the menu. Now let the flavor games begin.

ASPCA’s Doggie Nachos and Cat Nachos
For dogs or cats, spread canned food on parchment paper, bake it until it is crispy, cut it into chip sizes and top with carrots, green beans and blueberries (this is safe for both dogs and cats). They also suggest a cat-only version with catnip.

ASPCA’s Tuna Touchdown Treats for Cat (but dogs would love it, too)
Mix whole wheat flour, an egg, and a can of tuna or chicken (skip the catnip for your dog). Make it into a dough and roll it into little balls or football shapes, or use a cookie cutter, and bake them.

Pizza Crust Bones
Make pizza dough with tomato puree, Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil and parsley, and cut into bone shapes before baking.

Puppy Bowl Platter Halftime Stars
Combine a jar of baby food (or plain pureed pumpkin) and 1 cup of oat flour. Mix, roll out and cut into stars with a cookie cutter, then bake them.. 

No Bake Peanut Butter ‘Meatballs’
Add peanut butter to rolled standard oats, plus flaxseed oil and water if needed. Mix, and roll into meatball shapes. Chill in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

Dog Friendly Pizza
Make a cauliflower crust topped with browned turkey, mozzarella, and tomato paste, plus a few turkey pepperoni slices for a boost of flavor.

When human snacks come in small bites, it’s tempting and easy to offer some to pets. It may be necessary to explain that your dog can’t have any. She isn’t being deprived; she’s enjoying a gourmet selection. Then everyone can have a great time. May your team win!

Heron’s Crossing provides end-of-life care for pets in the Metro Atlanta area. In-home appointments with compassionate vets are available. If you’d prefer a home-like setting away from your home, our Decatur office is also available by appointment.