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Hi everyone,

I recently switched Butters to a raw food diet, using Nature's Variety Instinct Raw, right now she's trying chicken and duck and loving it!!

Anyway, I don't know much about the raw diet and I was wondering for those that are super health-conscious for their doggies, what they feed as "you're-just-so-cute-I'm-gong-to-give-you-a-treat" treat. For training treats I normally use freeze dried beef liver or chicken, and it seems to go well..

The other treats I have are:
- Knuckle bones
- Bully stick
- Duck tenders
- Blue Buffalo Banana/Apple biscuit - made of oatmeal <-- this is a treat I'm wondering if I should continue since Oatmeal is a grain....a lot of places say oatmeal is good for dogs, but some are saying dogs don't need any grain in their diet -

I've tried feeding her veggies like baby carrots, but she can't even chew them properly as she doesn't have any 'grinding molars', so she cuts them up in itty bitty pieces and doesn't even swallow them - it's a bit of a struggle for her actually - same with giving her a little piece of pear, apple, etc.

What do you guys suggest are some really good 'you're so cute' treats that are healthy for them and won't counteract the benefits of a raw diet?
 

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Look at the ingredients of the food you are giving now and go with those. It has a number of veggies and fruits in it, cook and use them.

I made the prettiest raw ground turkey/cooked sweet potato leather a few years ago. Pureed it together, spread on parchment paper, dried in the dehydrator until top was dry, flipped it over and removed the paper and dried until done. That mix could have been baked as well as I more recently did with chicken liver and an assortment of veggies. Try half meat/liver and half veggy/fruit.

Max gets dehydrated lamb lung, cooked llama lung, any leftover plain cooked meat for training treats. He gets a kong smeared with a little peanut butter or stuffed with some dehydrated lamb lung for a treat. He gets dried tendons for chewies.

I haven't ever but you can put cut up meat on a towel in the refrigerator and let it mostly dry out too.

You can make your own jerky with no seasoning what so ever.

Don't worry about this, it isn't a religion or anything. Just watch how she does on particular treats and use again if she does well and likes them and drop them if you notice any reaction to them.
 

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I also feed Nature's Variety....kibble, cans and raw medallions. I use their biscuits, too. My dogs love them! I also give them lamb lung and lamb ears to chew. I will use Zuke's for training. Other biscuits I like are Newman's own small, Fruitables, Zuke's. My dogs are not bothered by whole grains so I just look for quality ingredients and made in the USA.
 

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You can bake liver for treats, so it's not "raw" but it's simple and no starches or flour or anything. Boil it for 10-15 minutes until it's cooked. Cut up into treat-sized pieces and bake for ~20 minutes at 200*.
 

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My boys are also on a raw diet, I purchase from Urban Carnivore/Carnivora, and I am fairly health conscious when it comes to their treats as well...

For wholesome, healthy treats I use goat cheese, goat yogurt (I use this to fill and freeze in the raw marrow bones once they've eaten through them and recycle the bone and fill with yogurt and freeze as a tasty frozen treat to lick out and keep em busy), I go to the grocery store and buy cheap cuts of beef like chuck steak or flank steak and I bake or fry it with a touch of garlic powder, leftover meats like chicken, pork, etc, and on the fibre side I use lots of frozen/thawed green beans and other veggies, apples, bananas, and they also love watermelon.

When i'm lazy and just need to reward them for something quickly, I keep a bag of the healthiest cookies I can find which are Mother Nature's Milk Biscuits, they're small but just big enough to break in half and give them both a grunchy treat conveniently.
 

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Honestly, I don't think it's a problem if you feed them regular treats that you can find at the petstore. As long as the ingredients are OK I'd just go with that. But if you really want to make your own treats, you could go with boiled or dehydrated chicken or turkey, or dried anchovies (my dogs love these). As for the carrots, you should either puree or boil them first because really if you feed them raw, it's not gonna get digested and you'll see it in their poo the next day.
 

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I either make my own treats, or I buy treats that are either just meat or mostly meat, without any grains or preservatives or chemicals or anything. I like using the chicken or duck jerky for dogs that you can buy at Sam's Club. Right now that's the only treat I buy. I cut it up along the "grid" marks with scissors to make training treats, and whenever I leave him home alone I give him a couple of whole ones to munch on. I also like to put liver, meat, heart, etc. in the dehydrator and make my own treats that way. I've also made dehydrated sweet potato, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, bananas, apples, etc. and he loves those, too!

And on occasion I'll buy him something like a bully stick or a cow trachea. I just read the labels and make sure there isn't anything bad in there. Most bully sticks have "beef pizzle" as their only ingredient and that's fine by me! But there are others that have a bunch of other stuff in there too to make it like a "fake bully stick." Those are usually the cheaper ones that look to perfect to be actual bully sticks.

But yeah, just read the labels and feed your dog whatever you feel comfortable with! A treat is just that, a treat, and while you don't want to be giving anything to your dog that will be harmful to him, you also don't have to religiously feed him raw ONLY. Some cooked/dehydrated treats will be fine.
 
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