I'm pretty casual about dog food. I read labels carefully, but all except the cheapest grocery-store brands rarely have chemicals, sweeteners, flour, or dye. Most use a named meat source as their primary protein and first ingredient. If you want a nice food, there are tons of choices out there (I realize other people have different criteria, but I'm talking about just the basics).
Treats on the other hand--- oh my gosh, so many are loaded with sugar, food dye, chemical preservatives, and plain flour. Since my Corgis (like most) are on a limited calorie diet, I do try to find treats that have some nutritional value, and since I like to buy "Made in the USA" when possible, I've found that an awful lot of the treats out there are just not acceptable to me.
But recently I've begun to think about price. Why do they cost so darned much? For instance, Blue Buffalo kibble (hardly a cheapy) retails online at Petco at anywhere from $1.75 per pound for a 30-pound bag, to $3.30 a pound for a six-pound bag. Obviously buying in bulk saves.
Now compare the Blue Buffalo treats. Basic bars, similar enough profile to their food. And they retail for--- $9.99 a pound. That's three times as expensive as their highest-priced bag of basic kibble.
What gives? I realize they probably don't make treats in the same large batches they do kibble, and that in manufacturing there is cheapness in numbers. Still, it seems a little ludicrous to me, especially since they are sourcing most of the ingredients from the same place as the kibble.
I can't help but wonder if they charge so much more just because they can.
Here's a few recipes from MyCorgi members who make their own.
I sometimes use cheese. I don't like hot dogs (which a lot of people use and the dogs LOVE) because they have worse stuff in them than cheap dog food. Blech! I'll eat them myself, though! LOL. But I'm only having them every now and then, not using them a few times a week for training.
My agility instructor uses cooked chicken sometimes. Maybe I'll try that, but I'm kinda lazy. :-)
If you ever fry bacon, or cook other meats, save a few pieces in a pill bottle or something. Just remember to use them before they go bad. And wash the container.
I've used kibble for treats, broken into small pieces.
What do professional dog trainers use?
The trainers I've had have used everything from plain kibble to tiny bits of steak. Small pieces of hot dog or cheese are popular too it seems.
For our rally or obedience classes I usually grill a chicken breast and cut that into small pieces. I like those individually wrapped cheddar cheese sticks too, but the ones I had were a bit crumbly if I tried to use them right out of the package instead of slicing them up before hand. I figure I'm paying enough for these classes that the last thing I want is a dog that blows me off all night because he's bored of the treats lol.
Yeah, Jack's been blowing me off in agility because we moved indoors for the winter. It's a horse arena, and I think there were chickens in there and he was finding chicken poop.
I've got NOTHING in my repertoire that will compete with chicken poop!! This time I'm bringing peanut butter in a tupperware container to see if THAT helps. Ugh!
Chicken PIECES won't beat chicken POOP? That's nuts!
When i have the time and when the house could use a little extra warming up I make my own dog treats. You can bake them in bulk and any size you like. I just keep most in the freezer and take out as needed. When I don't have homemade ones I just use my dogs regular kibble, to most dogs it isn't what they get it's that they are getting it from your own hand and not a dish that entices them. I also like to use the samples I random pick up from pet expo's and other events. When doing lots of training or need soft treats i like to use peas, banana, apples ect. great way to be okay to feed them more without having to worry about adjusting a meal and have them give you the dirty look like you jipped them of a full meal and not have to worry about them packing on a couple more pounds.
Beth and Anna,
Hope this works. Try going to all discussions. Go to discussions, started by, Jane Christensen. Find "do you make your own dog treats?" It will be on page 8 of my discussions.