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How To Save Money Feeding Treats to Your Pets

Giving treats to your cat or dog can become expensive as they’re not always cheap to buy. If you don’t mind spending a bit of extra time and effort, you may consider making your own homemade pet food as “treats” every once in a while in order to save money and reward your pet. This can work out cheaper and at the very least, it allows you to take some control over what your pet is eating. However, make sure you do your research to make sure you are not overfeeding your pet a certain treat (this could be bad for the pet health-wise and might make them unwilling to eat their normal pet food, which contains some very essential nutrients to keep them healthy). Here are some recipes to try:

CATS

Here are a few ideas for some very delicious homemade cat food recipes for those once-in-a-while treats:

Chicken and sardine: For this recipe, you’ll need 1 can of sardines in olive oil, 1/4 cup of whole grain breadcrumbs, 1 egg (beaten), 1/2 tablespoon of brewer’s yeast and 2 cooked chicken drumsticks (with the bones removed). Drain the sardines (keeping some of the olive oil in reserve) and mash, mix in the breadcrumbs, egg and brewer’s yeast and coat evenly across the chicken drumsticks. Heat it over olive oil in a frying pan and fry the drumsticks until golden brown, making sure to turn them regularly so that they’re evenly cooked.

Mince: For this, you’ll need 100g of mince, 3 teaspoons of rice and 1 teaspoon of broth or gravy. Fry the mince until it’s brown, add the rice (with a little water if you want more of a soup consistency) and stir in the broth or gravy. If your cat isn’t a fan of mince, you can use diced chicken in its place.

Tuna patties: For this treat, you’ll need 1 can of tuna, 1/2 cup of boiled rice and 1/4 cup of pureed liver. Drain the tuna and mix everything together. Make small balls out of the mixture and shape them into patties. Store them in the fridge until use.

NOTE: Make sure you do not overfeed your cat these treats, especially fish. Overfeeding fish to your cat can cause some harmful health problems.

DOGS

Here are some recipe ideas for homemade dog treats:

Cheese bites: For this, you’ll need 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 1 cup of wheat flour, 1 tablespoon of softened butter and 1/2 cup of milk. Mix the flour and cheese, add the butter and gradually add the milk until a stiff dough starts to form. Knead the dough for a few minutes, roll out to thickness of around 1/4 of an inch, cut into shapes and put on an ungreased baking tray. Bake for around 15 minutes before leaving to cool.

Casserole: You’ll need a cup of boiled poultry (chopped), 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice, 1/2 cup of mixed vegetables (cooked) and 3 or 4 tablespoons of chicken broth (not salted). If you’d prefer to use salmon instead of poultry, leave out the chicken broth.

Feeding your pet home-made treats can be cheaper than buying commercial pet treats, especially if you were going to be using some of the ingredients for your own meals. However, make sure to check with your pet’s vet if you’re planning to make the switch from commercial pet treats as it can be quite a radical change and won’t always be in your pet’s best interests, especially if they have certain health issues that need to be taken into account. Make sure you get a list of foods and condiments that dogs and cats should not eat before preparing homemade food for them as some food items can make them very ill or even kill them. If the vet agrees that it’s fine to move on to homemade pet food (at least for treats), it can be useful to mix some commercial dog or cat food in with your homemade offerings at first to help your pet make a more successful transition between the two.

If you have any other recipes or resources, please share them with everyone in the comments below!

(photo credit: scaredy_kat)

Sally Aquire
Sally is a UK-based freelance writer. As well as personal finance, she also writes on health & beauty and lifestyle topics. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, shopping, hanging out with friends and generally making the most of her downtime!

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