Adding something natural to your pet’s dog food can have many benefits, from its good taste to the way it can improve their health. In fact, some dog owners may not even be aware of some of the foods in their own home that are beneficial to their pets. I started adding sweet potatoes to my dogs’ diet as a treat, not realizing how much more they offer my pups. I discovered these three benefits sweet potatoes have for dogs, including:
1. Sweet Potatoes Are a Source of Natural Fiber
Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, which helps cure loose stool and diarrhea.
2. Sweet Potatoes Are a Healthy and Safe Alternative to Rawhide Chews
Rawhide chews are a convenient, long-lasting treat that dogs love, and though they can do a great job satisfying a dog’s chew dry, they also have a reputation of being a choking and digestive blocking hazard. Some natural alternatives are bully sticks , carrots, and, of course, sweet potatoes. Although they may not have the same lasting power of a rawhide chew, they are safe, healthy, and are the perfect ingredient for homemade dog treats.
3. Sweet Potatoes Have Anti-Cancer Benefits
According to Mercola.com, a substantial amount of research has proven that these naturally-sweet root vegetables possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and disease-fighting components. These benefits make the choice to add sweet potatoes to our dogs’ diet simple. To make it even simpler and sweeter, here are a couple more of my easy DIY dog treat recipes.
Dehydrated Sweet Potato Dog Treats
- 1 sweet potato, sliced thinly
- Cinnamon (optional)
Slice sweet potatoes the long way or into discs and space evenly in a dehydrator.
Sprinkle with cinnamon (optional).
Dehydrate for 24 hours for crunchy treats.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use the oven. Dehydrate at 200 degrees for an hour, flip over, and bake for another hour. When finished, turn off the oven and allow sweet potatoes to cool inside as the oven cools.
Frozen Sweet Potato Dog Treat Recipe
Winter hasn’t arrived yet, and our dogs are still enjoying frozen dog treats. Two of our dogs are unable to digest dairy products, so I make frozen treats at home with ingredients that are easy on their tummy.
- 2 or 3 sweet potatoes
- Fresh cranberries (don’t use Craisins, as there is too much sugar)
- 1 cup raw goat milk (optional)
Microwave sweet potatoes until soft; scoop out the potato into a bowl.
Mix sweet potatoes and raw goat milk. If your dog can handle milk products, you can substitute the raw goat milk for plain yogurt, kefir, or not use it at all.
Mix cranberries into the sweet potato mixture with a spoon.
Spoon mixture into ice cube trays or small Rubbermaid containers. Freeze overnight.
When giving our dogs the “cubes,” I simply add them to their food dishes. Rubbermaid containers provide them with a nice break as they lick their treat for 15 minutes. If you choose the container option, give these to your dog under supervision – our dogs start chewing on the container when they finish their treat.
The Internet provides a plethora of easy dog treat recipes that can be altered to suit your dog. With my dogs, I substitute wheat flour for coconut flour. And before using artificial or powdered milk or eggs, I check the ingredients for common allergens.
Now, go have fun making healthy dog treats! Your dogs will love them, and they’ll reap some major benefits!
Kimberly Gauthier writes about raw feeding for Keep the Tail Wagging while raising four gorgeous dogs in the Pacific Northwest.