Pet treats and snacks can get expensive — and unless you’ve ordered them in advance, you may not have any handy. But don’t panic! You only have to look in your pantry to find some of the best pet snacks arounds.
We’re not talking feeding chocolate to the dog or dangerous food to your cat. These are natural food items.
“Many fruits and vegetables make wonderful treats for dogs,” notes Falls Village Veterinary Hospital. “Obviously, they are nutrient-dense foods which makes them great for health. They are often really convenient because many are staples you probably keep handy for your family anyway. And unlike many dog biscuits or similar treats, they are low in calories.”
Likewise, with these treats there’s no need to read the ingredients list or wonder if there are hidden allergens in what you’re feeding your pet. Homemade treats are simple and come from natural sources.
Here are some of our favorites.
Peanut butter is a versatile, cheap, and delicious snack. People love it, dogs love it, birds love it, gerbils love it. You can smear the peanut inside of a toy and let your pet try to “solve” the puzzle or just enjoy some couch time and let them lick it off your finger. You can mix peanut butter with birdseed, dog food or with other items on this list as well. These combinations can also be cut up and frozen for the snacks later.
Apples are a healthy treat for birds, rodents, reptiles, and even dogs.
- Cut the fruit up into small chunks if you want to use it as a training tool for parrots and parakeets.
- Give wedges of apples to hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits as a yummy dessert after they’ve eaten.
- You can even give apples to tortoises!
Carrots can be a good treat for chewers. You can tie them to the side of your parrot’s exercise tree or cage, letting them gnaw on it all day long. Cut up carrot sticks for your bunny or guinea pig and they’ll enjoy crunching away on these root vegetables.
Some dogs love carrots, but are bad about chewing them, so if your dog is one of those swallowers, make sure to cut the carrots into smaller pieces or you risk an upset stomach later.
Cooked chicken is a highly prized snack by cats and dogs — the carnivore pets. Give your pet boiled chicken as a treat on top of their regular food. Try to avoid adding any sort of seasoning to the chicken since spices and oils can upset a dog or a cat’s stomach, especially if they’re not used to eating them.
Bananas are naturally sweet, so they appeal to a wide variety of animals that can taste sugar (sorry, cats). All the herbivore animals such as birds, rodents, rabbits, and tortoises love this sweet gooey snack. Dogs love bananas, too, since they are able to taste sweetness.
Like peanut butter, bananas are great to mix in with other snacks on this list or mash together with seeds and pellets. You can also use bananas AND peanut butter — an Elvis special — as a way to hide medication and make giving meds an easy process.