Questionable ingredients in homemade dog treats ?

by Tammy
(Spartanburg, South Carolina)

I'm very puzzled with all the research I've been doing on the internet regarding ingredients that should NOT be included in homemade dog treats. We all want to be extremely careful in learning the harmful ingredients for our pets...

I would like to know why I see these ingredients listed below, over and over in all of the recipes I have collected. Here are the ones I have the most concern over, since I have used them and see them in most all the recipes and have also seen the ingredients on the "NO NO lists" for dogs as well.... SO which is correct and who do we believe? I'm sure there are several more that I did not list.

I know the whole list of "NO NO foods" for dogs, but these few spices/ingredients have me really confused because onion powder is also an ingredient in Chicken Bouillon that I use frequently. Onion and Garlic can be found in Baby food, and they suggest that the dry yeast added in treats can expand in the tummies of dogs and cause a problem, however there are lots of treat recipes that have this ingredient. I'm just confused in what to believe and what I should or should not use for the health of my dog and others.

One more important question. Can you add nutritional supplements to homemade dog treats... ex. Glucosomine/chondroiton (liquid or crushed/pill form) etc...
Would appreciate your thoughts/opinions.


Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Dry Yeast
Baby Food

Chef's Answer ~ You've raised some very good questions. First and foremost, if you have serious concerns about your dog's health, I would highly recommend consulting your Vet or even better a holistic Vet.

The internet and even some books are filled with conflicting information. Some times dog treat recipes are posted on websites and left there without being updated for years. (By the way, that's not the case here at, we are always updating and improving our recipes for our four legged family members.) We continue to learn new things about nutrition for our companion animals, and so you will most likely always read something that is no longer recommended for our pets.

Another wonderful source of current information is the ASPCA website. They even have a full list of human foods to avoid.

If you come across a dog treat recipe that you really want to try and it includes a "gray area" ingredient, leave it out. See how the recipe comes out without it and see if your dog enjoys the treat just as well.

There are so many wonderful dog treat recipes out there that do not contain any harmful or possibly harmful ingredients. My best advice is to stick with those, when in doubt, leave it out.

As far as baking with supplements, my research suggests that the high temperatures damages or even completely cancels any good that the supplements can add to your dog's diet. If your dog must take a pill, bake soft homemade dog treats and place the pill inside the treat after it is baked.

I hope this has helped. Happy Dog Treat Baking! :)

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