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My boyfriend and I are adopting a 6-month-old puppy tomorrow, and I wanted to find out if anyone has any ideas about vegetarian treats? Our dog won't be eating a vegetarian diet, and we'll buy store-bought treats that will have meat in them. However, we'll be clicker training, and I see a lot of threads around here saying to use chicken, etc. But my boyfriend is a vegetarian, and he's not comfortable with us *cooking* meat in the house. So as far as small treats for training that ideally I could make at home go, are there any vegetarian foods that you'd recommend? I've been brainstorming a bit, and poking around these forums, and I did pick up on the idea of string cheese, so that's good. Any other ideas? Thanks!
 

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Some dogs like carrots, apples, other fruits/veggies, etc. So it depends on your dog's individual taste. But cheese is probably the most universally liked non-meat treat among dogs.
 

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Yeah I was going to suggest string cheese. Cut it in tiny pieces. I have never met a dog that doesn't love cheese!
 

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You can bake your own dog biscuits; many recipes feature peanut butter. I make a peanut butter/pumpkin dog biscuit that all the dogs go crazy for. Here's my recipe:
Proportions are kinda free form.... it is more or less 2 cups of flour (i used self-rising flour), 1 cup of canned pumpkin, 4 tablespoons peanut butter and 2 eggs. Dash of salt if desired. The dough should be thick and stiff but able to be rolled out to 1/4 inch thick sheet- slightly stiffer than regular biscuit dough because you want the doggie biscuit to be crunchier/drier than a person's biscuit. Add more flour to the outside as you roll/work the dough just like baking biscuits for people. you can turn them into people food by adding cinnamon and honey

Cut into strips about 1 inch by 2 inches or use a cookie cutter for shapes. Bake at about 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes till they have the consistency you want.
For training, either break up the biscuits or make small ones to begin with.

Many vegetables and fruits are safe, but not all dogs like them, especially like them enough to use as training treats.

I actually just use the dry dog food for the majority of training- it helps keep from getting stomach upsets from overeating and since kibble is small, I can feed treats for a full hour of training. One trick is buying a small bag of a different recipe of the same food brand- particularly a fish based one since its more smelly. Its just "different" enough to be interesting but not so different its likely to upset sensitive tummies (some dogs are way worse than others about that)

Be careful of the commercial treats- look for Made in the US/Canada treats and aim for ones without a ton of HFCS and other fillers. There have been several recalls of chicken strip treats from China and other Chinese made treats.
 

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A banana treat favorite at my house;

1 or 2 over-ripe bananas
2 cups flour (i like potato flour)
4 eggs
a touch of cinnamon/extra sugar if you want.

beat together, put in a jellyroll or 9x13 that's WELL greased. Bake at 350 for half an hour or so, til toothpick comes out clear.

Flip onto a cutting board, let cool. Cut in cubes. Store in fridge.
 

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Was just looking through the book "Better Food for Dogs" by Bastin, Ashton, and Nixon. There's an entire chapter dedicated to homemade treats/cookies that are all vegetable-based. Some examples include .. blueberry peach flax cookies, barley apple cinnamon cookies, blueberry banana biscotti, etc ... so that might be something to look into.

Seems kinda labour intensive ... sort of. Depends on your energy level and willingness to bake up a storm, I suppose. 'Ready-to-use' string cheese does sound much easier, and has the advantage of being quickly inhaled (rather than the extra time it takes to crunch and swallow a cookie). Which, I think would lend itself better to being a training reward, if multiple / rapidfire reinforcement is your goal.
 
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